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September 17, 2003

Texas School for the Deaf Selects Sorenson VRS

From: Sorenson - Sept 17, 2003

Texas School for the Deaf Partners with Sorenson Video Relay Service (VRS) to Facilitate Video Communication for Students and Staff

Sorenson VRS will be Incorporated into the Communication Curriculum and Job Training Program at Texas School for the Deaf

AUSTIN, Texas and SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, (September 16, 2003) - The Texas School for the Deaf (TSD) and Sorenson Media® today announced that TSD will implement Sorenson Video Relay Service(tm) (VRS) for both TSD students and staff. TSD decided to adopt Sorenson VRS based on its ability to deliver the highest-quality video relay service through its state-of-the-art relay solutions and reliable interpreting service.

"TSD serves deaf and hard-of-hearing children in the state through our school programs and our Educational Resource Center on Deafness (ERCOD), which provides outreach services to all Texans. TSD offers an environment where full communication access is available to ensure that all children reach their potential," said Dr. David Coco, outreach specialist at ERCOD. "Sorenson VRS expands TSD's communication options and facilitates access to the hearing world."

Sorenson VRS enables deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals to effectively and naturally communicate with the hearing world. Using the Sorenson VP-100(tm) videophone appliance connected to a TV, or a personal computer equipped with a Web camera and Sorenson EnVision® SL video relay software or Microsoft® NetMeeting®, both deaf and hard-of-hearing users are able to place calls to family, friends, or business associates through an ASL interpreter and a broadband Internet connection.

Several Sorenson VP-100 videophones are already in use by students and staff in the TSD Middle School and High School dormitories and additional units will be installed later this month. Eventually, TSD plans to make VRS available to all of the TSD staff and 450 students.

Daniel Meek, a 10th grader at TSD said, "VRS makes communicating by [video]phone more equal to the way hearing people communicate. It is easier to express myself using sign language than typing."

TSD has begun to provide training classes for its staff and students on how to use the Sorenson VP-100 videophone to place Sorenson VRS calls. Additionally, TSD plans to incorporate VRS training into the communication curriculum. For example, the Career and Technology Education (CTE) program, which teaches high school students how to prepare for employment interviews, will include VRS training. By learning how to place video relay calls, "students will be able to apply for jobs and make contacts that were previously not easily accessible to them", said Coco.

"Sorenson VRS is the perfect fit for the faculty and students at TSD," said James Lee Sorenson, CEO at Sorenson Media. "It was developed with the goal to break down the communication barriers for the 28 million deaf and hard-of-hearing Americans. Sorenson Media is honored to have TSD integrate Sorenson VRS into the school's facilities, curriculum, and job training program."

About Sorenson VRS

As a service to the deaf and hard of hearing community, Sorenson Media developed the Sorenson Video Relay Service (VRS), an exclusive integrated solution of videophones and video relay software that offers the highest-quality video relay service in the nation. Deaf and hard of hearing individuals are able to conveniently place video relay calls to anyone through either the Sorenson VP-100 videophone or Sorenson EnVision SL, or Microsoft NetMeeting video relay software. Hearing users who want to place a video relay call through a standard telephone line to a deaf or hard-of-hearing user may access Sorenson VRS by calling toll free (866) FAST-VRS or (866) 327-8877 and giving the contact information (i.e. name, videophone number, or IP address) to the video relay interpreter. Sorenson VRS takes care of the rest by routing the call with the user's preferences through the Sorenson VRS Call Center to a certified interpreter agent. For more details on Sorenson VRS, please visit

About Texas School for the Deaf

Founded in 1856, Texas School for the Deaf is the oldest continually operated public school in the state of Texas. In addition to providing education and support services for students from birth through age 22, TSD serves as a clearinghouse for information about deafness and is a valuable resource to Texans of all ages who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

About Sorenson Media

Sorenson Media ( and is the recognized technology leader in video services, video compression, and video communication to improve the quality of communication over the Internet. The company's products and services include the industry's highest-quality video relay service, award winning video compression solutions, and the market-leading broadband Internet videophone technology.

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