Relay Texas Celebrates 20 Years of Service
Austin, TX 78753
1321 Rutherford Lane
RELAY TEXAS SERVICE NUMBERS
TTY and Hearing Speech-to-Speech or Video Relay
Carry-Over (HCO) Voice Carry-Over (VCO) www.sprintvrs.com
711 or 800-735-2989 711 or 877-826-6607
Voice Reduced Typing Speed Customer Service
711 or 800-735-2988 (Telebraille) 711 or 800-676-3777
711 or 877-828-9348
ASCII Sprint TRS Customer Service in Top: Former Relay Texas account manager Mark Seeger signs The Wind
711 or 800-735-2991 French Spanish Beneath My Wings for anniversary celebration attendees. Top right: Sprint
711 or 888-777-5380 711 or 800-676-4290
Director of Customer Care Ray Drenth (right) congratulates Austin Center
711 or 800-662-4954 900 Dialing Access Customer service is available in
Manager Scott Demarest for 20 years of service. Bottom right: Sprint Business
900-230-2303 all call modalities (Voice, TTY, Sales Manager Maggie Schoolar (right) looks on as the first relay call is
Spanish/English ASCII, STS and DBS). processed through the Austin center on Sept. 1, 1990.
Translation Internet Relay any Texans who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired remember the almost insurmountable bar-
711 or 888-777-5861 www.sprintip.com
riers to telephone communication that existed prior to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It was
in September 1990 that the first Relay Texas call was placed through Sprint’s TRS center in Austin. The
Eileen Alter Individuals interested in applying for a Specialized
Relay Texas Administrator Telecommunications Assistance Program (STAP) voucher center is now the longest continuously-operating telecommunications service center in the world.
(512) 936-7132 Voice should either call the Office for Deaf and Hard of Hearing In August, the Austin TRS center’s management, employees, former employees, guests from the Deaf communi-
(512) 936-7147 TTY Services (DHHS) at (512) 407-3250 voice or (512) 407- ty and Texas Public Utility Commission members gathered at the center to celebrate 20 years of Relay Texas service.
(866) 759-1606 Videophone 3251 TTY, or e-mail email@example.com. Companies Special guests included Relay Texas Administrator Eileen Alter, retired Relay Texas Administrator Ed Bosson, and
firstname.lastname@example.org interested in becoming a STAP vendor should call (512) Sprint’s Director of Customer Care Ray Drenth.
email@example.com 936-7116 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Relay Texas celebrates the accomplishments of the past and looks forward with great expectations for the future.
White Cane Day Relay Texas Outreach in Action
Thoughts from the
Relay Texas Administrator a power-
that assists with
appy New Year! On Sept. 1, Relay Texas movement and pro-
(RT) marked a 20-year milestone in the vides visual notifi-
provision of statewide telephone relay ser- cation of a disabil-
vice. We have had much success over the years and ity, the white cane
are proud of the valuable service that we perform: is also an important
changing lives for the better by ensuring that Tex- symbol of inde- Sprint Project/Program Manager Pictures (L-R): Former Relay Texas and CSD employee Scot Atkins (left) posed with Sprint TRS Supervisor Evelyn
ans with a hearing and/or speech impairment can pendence for those Sharon Behringer (left) discusses Relay McRae at the Statewide Conference on Education of Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Fort Worth on July 22-24; Austin
place and receive telephone calls. But our work is with severe visual Texas services with White Cane Day middle school students visited the Austin TRS center in June to gain hands-on experience with the relay service; Austin
not done, especially when there are so many people impairment. Each attendees. TRS center supervisor Randall McKee (in yellow) shared information about Relay Texas with Texas Assistive Technology
who have never heard of relay services and do not year, participants Network meeting attendees in San Antonio in July; Relay Texas demonstrated CapTel at the Abilities Expo in Houston in
know what to do if they receive a relay call. Some- gather in cities throughout the U.S., including Dallas, Ft. August, with actor and author Henry Winkler (right) in attendance.
times, people hang up on a relay caller because they Worth, Waco and Austin, to raise public awareness about
mistake the call as a telephone solicitation or be- the challenges faced by people with blindness and other
cause of negative press concerning fraudulent use
of some relay services.
Austin has one of the largest annual gatherings. On
New Relay Texas Website Walk4Hearing Event
Moving into our third decade of service provi-
Oct. 13, nearly 450 people participated in the march from
sion, we are focusing more on educating the pub- aunched on
the Texas State Capitol to Republic Park. Relay Texas
lic about what relay service is. Our new campaign, Sept. 9, the
representatives attended the event and provided informa-
“Don’t Hang Up,” will include photos of actual RT new Relay
tion about telecommunication relay services for people
users and will largely be targeted at service-related Texas website pro-
with severe vision and hearing loss.
businesses and businesses with call centers. We vides useful infor-
will also approach companies that RT users iden- mation about the
tify as “in need of training,” either because a com-
" diverse Relay Texas
pany employee did not handle a relay call properly SIGN UP FOR services and re-
or, even worse, hung up on the caller. sources available to
Through print, radio, and TV media advertise- OUR NEWSLETTER! Texans who are deaf,
ments and direct contact, we hope to greatly reduce hard of hearing, or Texas State Representative Carol Alvarado
the number of people who are unfamiliar with relay The Relay Texas Newsletter is published quarterly speech disabled. It also contains answers to frequently (right) from District 145 addresses
services and hang up on relay calls. We will help and is free to subscribers. If you would like to have asked questions, and downloadable Don’t Hang Up report Walk4Hearing participants.
relay call recipients learn optimal methods for com- the Relay Texas Newsletter delivered to your home forms and customer contact forms.
or office, please fill out this form and mail to: o raise hearing loss awareness in Tex-
municating with relay callers and identify poten- The new website is at www.relaytexas.com. Although
Attention: Relay Texas Newsletter as, the Hearing Loss Association of
tially fraudulent calls. currently only available in English, soon the site will also
1321 Rutherford Lane, Suite 100 America (HLAA) Houston Chapter
We invite you to join us in spreading the word. be available in Spanish.
Austin, TX 78753 sponsored a Walk4Hearing event on Nov. 6
If you know of a company that in Houston’s Tom Bass Park. One hundred
may benefit from training or
you would like to receive more Please don’t hang up and twenty walkers of all ages participated
in this event, which was held in conjunction
information, please contact me
on Relay Texas! with similar events sponsored by other HLAA
chapters. Participants were honored to be ad-
dressed at the start of the event by Texas State
Eileen Alter Rep. Carol Alavardo, from District 145, who
Relay Texas Administrator City ________________________State _______ Newsletter services provided by has been a strong supporter of important leg-
T.S. Writing Services, LLC islation that benefits Texans with hearing loss.
Zip_________ E-mail______________________ www.tswriting.com
A Deaf-Owned Company