According to the FCC, Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) is a telephone service that allows persons with hearing or speech disabilities to place and receive telephone calls. TRS is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. territories for local and/or long distance calls. TRS providers – generally telephone companies – are compensated for the costs of providing TRS from either a state or a federal fund. There is no cost to the TRS user.
To learn more about TRS, visit the FCC’s website: www.fcc.gov
HLAA, TDI, and other consumer organizations filed a Petition for Stay on September 30, 2013. Our Petition requests the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) put a hold on implementation of one section of their Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Services (IP CTS) Order that requires all users to pay a minimum of $75 for the captioned telephones. See our Petition.
On August 26, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted the final Order regarding IP CTS (Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Services). The new rules change the way consumers get the phones and use the phones. The rules include:
New FCC Rate Regime Prioritizes Cost Reductions Over Quality of Service for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing
Between February 21, 2013 and March 8, 2013, the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Telecommunications Access (RERC-TA) at Gallaudet University conducted a brief survey.
Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) filed comments on February 26, 2013 with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in their proceeding on captioned telephones. The FCC is alarmed that usage of IP CTS (Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Services) has risen dramatically. They are concerned that the fund which serves all Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) will run short this year if they do not do something immediately.
The Equal Rights Center recently published the report titled, Disconnected: Housing Discrimination Against the Deaf & Hard of Hearing.
The report’s Executive Summary:
In the United States, more than nine million individuals identify as Deaf or hard of hearing, and approximately 2.1 million individuals identify as having a speech impairment. Many of these individuals rely on a Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) to communicate by telephone. TRS is a term that encompasses a variety of technologies that facilitate telephone conversations for individuals with hearing or speech disabilities, including internet, video, and sign language systems. For many such individuals, TRS is a lifeline to government services, medical care, employment, and housing. TRS is a particularly useful tool when seeking rental housing, in that many prospective tenants contact housing providers by telephone to obtain critical threshold information about apartment availability, rental rates, and the application process.
In their Report and Order released June 29, 2012, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules that prohibit the temporary authorization of IP Relay users, other than emergency callers. All new users must have a verified registration and eligibility information on file before a service provider may issue a 10-digit number providing access to IP Relay.
Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) is concerned about an alarming trend among state legislatures. Some states are redirecting money collected for the state telecommunications relay services (TRS or Relay Services) fund for purposes other than supporting Relay Services. These funds are collected via a surcharge on the phone bills of state residents. The stated purpose for that surcharge is to support captioned telephone services, Voice Carry Over, TTY and Hearing Carry-Over services provided by the state Relay Service. (Internet-Protocol (IP) Relay and Video Relay Services (VRS) are not covered under this fund.)