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May 6, 2003

Technology donation helps deaf students

From: Provo Daily Herald, UT - May 6, 2003

Thanks to Sorenson Media, a leading video communication technology provider in Salt Lake City, deaf students at Utah Valley State College have something to talk about.

Sorenson donated more than 10 VP-100 videophones that allow the deaf to use American Sign Language to call anywhere in the world. The phones may be attached to a standard television or DSL Internet line. Camera technology and cable Internet let a deaf person dial an ASL-trained relay interpreter through the videophone. The interpreter uses a standard phone line to contact a hearing person and informs the party that he or she is about to have a conversation with a deaf person. The two converse via the third-party interpreter -- the essence of Sorenson Media's Video Relay Service, or VRS.

Unlike older text-based communication devices, like Text Telephone Relay (TTY), where the deaf or hard-of-hearing type their responses to a text relay operator who reads the text to a hearing user, VRS uses real-time communication, allowing for quicker responses. Sorenson VRS enables ASL users to communicate expressions, emotions and intent through video.

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