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January 7, 2004

CSD of Wisconsin Awarded $40,000 Video Relay Service Grant

From: CSD - Jan 7, 2004


Release Date: Jan. 7, 2004

Contact: Derric Miller

CSD Communications Office

CSD of Wisconsin Awarded $40,000 Video Relay Service Grant

MADISON, WIS. — The state Public Service Commission dispensed approximately $500,000 in grants to organizations inWisconsin, and CSD of Wisconsin received $40,000 to continue providing public video relay service (VRS) sites.

Introduced last year by CSD, VRS offers the nation's 28 million deaf and hard of hearing individuals the ability to communicate with the hearing using American Sign Language (ASL), in a format comparable to standard videoconferencing. A deaf caller contacts a video interpreter via a Web camera through their computer. The interpreter then translates the caller's ASL into speech for hearing users, and speech into ASL for the deaf user. VRS is free to all users and requires only a personal computer, a Web camera and high-speed Internet connectivity such as DSL or a Cable modem.

"This grant will provide our Wisconsin consumers access to VRS who otherwise might not have the equipment or means to experience this cutting-edge communication technology," said Benjamin Soukup, CSD chief executive officer. "We appreciate the Public Service Commission's loyalty to their constituents and their faith in CSD's services."

You can find more information about the service at

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 services 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 the deaf, hard of hearing and individuals with speech disabilities. For more information, please visit

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