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					                                                                                                                                   Relay Texas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Winter 2010


                                                                                                                Relay Texas Celebrates 20 Years of Service




                                                                     relaytx@puc.state.tx.us
                                                                     www.puc.state.tx.us
                                                                     Austin, TX 78753
                                                                     Suite 120
                                                                     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
                                                                        Sprint TRS
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
Spanish
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.



                                                                                                            M
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 stap@dars.state.tx.us. Companies         Special guests included Relay Texas Administrator Eileen Alter, retired Relay Texas Administrator Ed Bosson, and
     eileen.alter@puc.state.tx.us              interested in becoming a STAP vendor should call (512)       Sprint’s Director of Customer Care Ray Drenth.
     relaytx@puc.state.tx.us                   936-7116 or e-mail stap@puc.state.tx.us.                         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
                                                            M
                                                                        ore than
Relay Texas Administrator                                               a power-
                                                                        ful tool
                                                            that assists with


H
          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.
                                                            visual disabilities.
                                                                Austin has one of the largest annual gatherings. On
                                                                                                                          New Relay Texas Website                                               Walk4Hearing Event
    Moving into our third decade of service provi-


                                                                                                                          L
                                                            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.



                                                                                                                                                                                                T
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
                                                              Name___________________________________
information, please contact me
at relay@puc.state.tx.us.
                                                              Address_________________________________
                                                                                                                                     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



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