SOURCE: Sorenson Communications

Sorenson Communications

October 29, 2013 23:17 ET

Sorenson Communications Congratulates New FCC Commissioners, Calls for Focus on Needs of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing

SALT LAKE CITY, UT--(Marketwired - Oct 29, 2013) - Sorenson Communications®, the nation's leading provider of Video Relay Service (VRS) for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals who use sign language to communicate, today congratulated new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler and Commissioner Michael P. O'Rielly on their Senate confirmation. Sorenson also urged the new commissioners to ensure that recent FCC actions don't undermine the availability of telecommunication services for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.

"We congratulate Chairman Wheeler and Commissioner O'Rielly on taking their places at the FCC. We urge them to help the Commission to be more responsive to the needs of the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities," said Mike Maddix, Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs for Sorenson. "We are in a situation right now, that if not corrected, will result in the loss of critical services for millions of Americans who are deaf or hard-of-hearing and will run afoul of the mandates of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). We hope that with this change in leadership there will be a willingness to truly understand the long-term ramifications of recently proposed and adopted policies and to make changes before it is too late."

The FCC is charged by Congress to fulfill the mandate of the ADA requiring the availability of telecommunication services for the deaf and hard-of-hearing that are functionally equivalent to services available to the hearing. However, recent FCC orders imposing technological and financial burdens on the people who use these services, as well as drastically reducing compensation rates paid to the providers of these services, run counter to the ADA mandate and threaten the future availability of such services. 

Sorenson and others who serve or represent the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities contend that recent FCC orders pertaining to VRS, IP Relay and IP Captioned Telephone Service will dramatically impact the quality and provision of these services. Additionally, Sorenson and the other major VRS providers have publicly stated that the new FCC compensation rates for providers are unsustainable. Similar drastic cuts to the rates for IP Relay have resulted in virtually all providers leaving that market.

About Sorenson Communications
 
Sorenson Communications® (www.sorenson.com) is a provider of industry-leading communications products and services for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. The company's offerings include Sorenson Video Relay Service® (SVRS®), the highest-quality video interpreting service; the Sorenson ntouch® VP videophone, designed especially for use by deaf individuals; ntouch® PC, software that connects users to SVRS by using a PC and webcam; ntouch® for Mac®, software that connects users to SVRS by using an Apple® computer; ntouch® Tablet, which turns the Apple iPad® with a front-facing camera into a larger-screen mobile VP; and ntouch® Mobile, an application empowering SVRS communication via mobile devices.

Disclaimer
If you choose Sorenson as your default provider, you can port your existing 10-digit number to Sorenson from another provider or Sorenson can provide you with one for the geographic area where you live or work. If you later change your default provider, you can port your number to that provider. When selecting Sorenson, you must provide to Sorenson the physical address (i.e., the Registered Location) from which you are placing the call, so that Sorenson can properly route any 911 calls you may make. If you move or change your location, you must notify Sorenson immediately. You can update your Registered Location from your Sorenson videophone by calling 800-659-4810 or by visiting www.svrs.com/moving. Sorenson will confirm receipt of your Registered Location information. Emergency calls made via internet-based TRS may not function the same as traditional E911 service. For example, you may not be able to dial 911 if there is an internet-service failure or if you lose electrical power, and your 911 call may not be routed correctly if you have not updated your Registered Location. For more information on the process of obtaining 10-digit numbers and the limitations and risks associated with using Sorenson's VRS to place a 911 call, please visit Sorenson's website: www.sorenson.com/disclaimer. For information on toll-free numbering, please visit www.svrs.com/tollfree.