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March 23, 2004

VA Department of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Brings CapTel Phones to the Commonwealth; Sprint to Provide New Service Starting April 1

From: U.S. Newswire (press release) - Washington,DC,USA - Mar 23, 2004

To: State Desk

Contact: Susan Weis of the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, 410-296-0800 or

RICHMOND, March 23 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH) and Virginia Relay are pleased to announce a one-year contract with Sprint Relay to provide CapTel(tm) services in the Commonwealth. Beginning April 1, 2004, CapTel will provide improved telecommunications accessibility for the thousands of Virginians who are Hard of Hearing, Profoundly Deaf and Able to Speak, Late-Deafened, Cochlear Implant Users, VCO and 2-Line VCO Users, or Amplified Phone Users.

Ideal for people with some degree of hearing loss, CapTel works like other telephones but with one important distinction: users can read a captioned version of their conversations on the text screen of their phone. This is made possible through the very latest in voice-recognition technology, which the operator at the captioning service center uses to transcribe everything the other party says into written text.

With CapTel, captions appear almost simultaneously with the spoken word, allowing CapTel users to understand everything that is said-either by hearing it or by reading. There are no complicated procedures to follow or confusing equipment to configure.

CapTel services represent a significant step in meeting the goals to bring about real-time functional equivalency to traditional telecommunications relay services. In the business world, CapTel has proven to be an invaluable tool for professionals with hearing loss who need accuracy in their telephone communication.

Ronald Lanier, director of VDDHH says of CapTel, "This technology is revolutionizing the way those of us with hearing loss communicate. The freedom and simplicity of CapTel is truly pioneering. There are now many options available for people who are deaf and hard of hearing to communicate -- CapTel is on the leading edge."

For more information on availability or to request an application for a CapTel phone, contact VDDHH at 800-552-7917 v/t or email us at Additional CapTel information is available on the VA Relay website


/© 2004 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/