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February 26, 2003

YTG offers new phone service

From: Whitehorse Star, Canada - 26 Feb 2003

The Yukon Government Inquiry Centre now offers text telephone service (TDD/TTY) for people who are deaf or have a serious speech or hearing impairment.
?Our goal is to provide telephone access to government program and service information for all Yukoners,? Glenn Hart, the Minister of Community Services, said in a statement Monday.
?While only a small number of Yukoners now use text telephone devices, we?re determined to provide equitable, convenient access to information and government services whenever possible. TDD technology helps us reach this goal.?
The Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD/TTY) uses a relatively inexpensive, portable piece of technology with a keyboard and small display screen that can be attached to the phone. People at both ends of the telephone circuit can type questions and read answers over the phone line in much the same way as an Internet chat room works.
?The inquiry centre is one of the best places in government for this technology,? Hart said. ?Inquiry centre staff are trained to be knowledgeable about government programs and services and they know how to access additional information from all areas of government.
?They can provide government-wide research assistance, especially for people who have difficulty using regular phone services.?
The new dedicated phone number for the text telephone service is 393-7460. Individuals calling from outside Whitehorse can call collect through the relay operator or dial direct and request an immediate call-back.

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