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October 22, 2003

Oregon School for the Deaf Implements Sorenson VRS

From: Sorenson Media - Oct 22, 2003

Sorenson Video Relay Service (VRS) Expands Communication for Faculty and Students at the Oregon School for the Deaf

SALEM, Oregon, and SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, (October 22, 2003) – The Oregon School for the Deaf (OSD) and Sorenson Media announced today that OSD will implement Sorenson Video Relay Service (VRS) for both its students and staff. OSD decided to adopt Sorenson VRS based on its ability to deliver the highest-quality video relay service through its state-of-the-art video relay solutions and reliable interpreting service.

"OSD offers a full range of curriculum and provides individually-designed instruction for students leading to a variety of post-high school options, including college, competitive employment, and supported work," said Jane Mulholland, director at the Oregon School for the Deaf. "Sorenson VRS is a resource that will not only be utilized by students daily on campus, but also when they graduate and rely on the service to communicate for employment and other pursuits."

Sorenson VRS enables deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals to effectively and naturally communicate with the hearing world. Using the Sorenson VP-100 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 American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter.

Several Sorenson VP-100 videophones have been installed in school buildings, the Deaftech Lab, the Outreach Center, and the student dorms. Additionally, VRS training is being incorporated into the communication and transition curriculums, thus helping students prepare for independent living and employment.

Mulholland added, "the Sorenson videophone technology and relay service was demonstrated to families and visitors at a recent open house at OSD. Many parents and students explained how this technology has positively impacted their family communication."

"With my son away at OSD, Sorenson VRS has greatly improved the way we communicate and therefore, changed our relationship for the better," said Jessica Thirkell, hearing mother of OSD deaf student, Austin Martini. "Being able to communicate instantaneously has allowed him to reach me in an emergency, when he has had a bad day, or when he has had the best day of his life. I no longer have to wait for the weekends to catch up with him. Sorenson VRS lets me know now. That is a huge relief to a mother who doesn't get to see her child everyday."

"Sorenson VRS is honored to be selected by OSD," said Pat Nola, COO at Sorenson Media. "Whether students are staying in touch with loved ones while away at school, sharing an experience with a close friend, or contacting a faculty member about a class project, Sorenson VRS continues to be the ideal communication bridge for deaf and hard-of-hearing students."

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. The deaf and hard-of-hearing are able to conveniently place video relay calls to anyone through either the Sorenson VP-100 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. 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 toll free by calling 866 FAST-VRS [866 327-8877] and giving their contact information (i.e. name, videophone number, or IP address) to the video relay operator. 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 interpreting agent. For more details on Sorenson VRS, please visit

About The Oregon School for the Deaf

Established in 1870, the Oregon School for the Deaf (OSD) is one of Oregon's oldest and proudest state-operated programs. OSD is an important part of the Oregon Department of Education's services to children, families and school districts in the state of Oregon. OSD provides comprehensive, specialized, educational services for children who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing in a setting that is communication-accessible through the use of American Sign Language by all staff. High quality teachers, educational support services specialists, and residential staff work closely with parents, school districts, and other professionals and community partners to meet the needs of each child. Approximately 140 students who range in age from five to 21 are served at the Salem campus, while the Outreach program serves as a clearinghouse for information about deafness for Oregonians of all ages.

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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Press Contact

David Parkinson
Sorenson Media