IM this article to a friend!

March 25, 2003

CSD, Interpretek and SLC Announce VRS Alliance in Rochester, N.Y.

From: CSD - 25 Mar 2003


Release Date: March 19, 2003

Contact: Rick Norris

CSD Communications Office

CSD, Interpretek and SLC Announce VRS Alliance in Rochester, N.Y.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.– CSD today announceda strategic alliance with two sign language interpreting agencies, Interpretek and SLC, both located in the Rochester, N.Y. area. Under the agreement, CSD will provide a complete, multi-faceted video relay service (VRS) platform while the two agencies will supply the workforce for a new local video call center. CSD was the first to offer VRS by combining traditional relay services, web-based video conferencing technology and sign language interpreters to provide an innovative communications solution. The call center in Rochester marks one of nine video centers across the country, creating the most comprehensive VRS network in the world.

Through its partnership with Sprint, CSD has long been known for the quality of its telecommunication relay services and outstanding customer service. Now it offers its consumers a completely new innovation that revolutionizes the communication industry for deaf and hard of hearing consumers. The addition of VRS to its product offerings significantly broadens the continuum of options for deaf and hard of hearing consumers. Many consider this service to be far more productive and superior than any other mode of communication access currently available in the marketplace.

“We are very excited by the opportunity to offer a complete communications solution to deaf and hard of hearing people,” said Benjamin Soukup, CSD chief executive officer. “We look forward to working with Interpretek and SLC, because our alliance with them will enable us to realize our core values of creating strong partnerships, providing convenient and transparent communication services and offering excellent customer service.”

“We know that CSD is the right company to partner with,” said Michael John Rizzolo, Interpretek president. “Their national scope fit perfectly with our nationwide interpreting referral system, so being able to staff their call center here in Rochester is something we look forward to.”

“The future of technology is here,” said Nancy Berlove, president of SLC, Inc. “We look forward to expanding this unique opportunity, not only to the deaf community to improve communication access, but also to interpreters for greater professional opportunities.”

To use VRS, sign language users need a personal computer, a video camera and high-speed Internet access. Consumers access the service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via the VRS web site at When the video interpreter appears on the screen, give them the phone number you wish to call and proceed with the conversation by signing to the interpreter, who speaks through a headset to the hearing person on the other end of the line. When the hearing person responds verbally over the phone, the interpreter signs back to the deaf consumer.

Hearing consumers who wish to communicate with a deaf person may access the service by calling (866) 410-5787 and giving an IP number, username on or ISDN number to the video interpreter. For more information about VRS, or any other CSD program,

- more -

CSD Contracts with Interpretek & SLC Page 2

March 19, 2003

About Interpretek - Interpretek was created with the intent to match each interpreter with assignments that they are best suited for. After 10 years of being in business our vision has not changed a bit. Everyday, our dedicated staff continues to create value for our customers and the community. Interpretek is not only about what we do but who we are. Our staff is a dedicated group of individuals who are always trying to find ways to better serve our customers. From the president on down to our data entry personnel, we wish to serve you in a timely and convenient manner that will help to assist you, our customers. For more information,

About Sign Language Connection - Sign Language Connection, Inc. (SLC) has been providing quality interpreting services for the greater Rochester, N.Y. area since 1990. SLC, Inc. is dedicated to ensuring that effective communication between the hearing and deaf communities occurs and to meeting customer satisfaction at all times. We offer computerized scheduling, four (4) full-time coordinators, 24-hour services, 7 days a week and access to 150 certified interpreters. For more information, see our website

About CSD–CSD (also known as Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc.) was established in 1975, primarily to provide sign language interpreting services to deaf and hard of hearing adults in South Dakota. Today, CSD employs over 2,000 individuals in offices across the nation, providing a broad continuum of social and human service programs, as well as telecommunications relay services. CSD is a private, nonprofit agency dedicated to providing quality services, ensuring public accessibility, and increasing awareness of issues affecting deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired individuals. For more information,

– END –