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February 18, 2004

AT&T Signs Three-Year Contract With State of Virginia for Relay Services

From: PRNewswire (press release) - Feb 18, 2004

New Agreement Provides AT&T's Extensive Relay Services Allowing Communications For Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing

MORRISTOWN, N.J., Feb. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T today announced it has signed a three-year contract with the state of Virginia to provide relay services for the deaf, hard-of-hearing and speech-impaired community.

"Winning this contract with the Commonwealth of Virginia is a victory for the thousands of hearing and speech-impaired Virginia residents who will be able to communicate easily and without limits," said Sue Decker, general manager of marketing and sales for AT&T Relay Services. "AT&T has a rich history in Virginia, and we've had a Relay Center in Norton, Virginia, with a minimum of 105 relay operators since 1991."

Ron Lanier, director of the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, stated, "Because of the important role relay plays in the lives of Virginians who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, our primary intent for a new contract was to ensure that Virginia remains a leader in this area. With the many new consumer-focused relay features that Virginia Relay will begin offering in the next few months, we believe we have accomplished that goal."

AT&T Relay Services plays a vital role in supporting the more than 23 million Americans who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, a segment of our society that will continue to grow as the general population ages. With AT&T Relay Services, consumers can communicate in a variety of ways including using a traditional teletypewriter (TTY) device or through our Internet Relay Service or Video Relay Service. AT&T's relay services are free to consumers, and appropriate toll charges apply only when a TTY is used.

AT&T also has contracts to provide relay services to the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Saipan, and the following eight states:

- Alabama - Maryland
- Delaware - New Jersey
- Georgia - Pennsylvania
- Maine - West Virginia

With seven nationwide centers, staffed by more than 800 relay operators, AT&T assists millions of deaf and hard-of-hearing consumers each year. Since the introduction of the first TTY in the early 1960s, AT&T has been a pioneer in providing communications services for the deaf, hard-of-hearing and speech-disabled communities.
A few AT&T milestones include:

* 1980: Introduction of Operator Services for the Deaf
* 1987: AT&T opened the first Relay Service Center in California that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
* 1996: AT&T introduced the first Spanish-language relay service in the nation.
* 2000: AT&T became the first relay services provider to offer " speech-to-speech" service, which provides a specially trained relay operator who "re-voices" messages from consumers with speech disabilities who are difficult to understand.
* 2002: AT&T was the first to provide Internet Relay Service.
* 2003: AT&T introduced Video Relay Service for deaf consumers who prefer to use American Sign Language instead of text.

More information on AT&T Relay Services is available at

About AT&T
For more than 125 years, AT&T (NYSE: T) has been known for unparalleled quality and reliability in communications. Backed by the research and development capabilities of AT&T Labs, the company is a global leader in local, long distance, Internet and transaction-based voice and data services.