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August 26, 2004

National Association of the Deaf Recognizes Sprint with President's Award

From: Sprint - Aug 26, 2004

Sprint honored for 14 years of “exceptional service to the association” and deaf community

Media Contacts:
Stephanie Taliaferro, Sprint, 913-794-3658

Anita B. Farb, National Association of the Deaf

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — August 26, 2004

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) recently recognized Sprint (NYSE: FON) with its President’s Award to honor Sprint for “exceptional service to the association” and the deaf and hard of hearing communities. Sprint has been the leader in providing innovative relay services nationwide for 14 years and has built a close relationship with NAD during that time.

“Receiving this recognition is quite an honor, and we value our strong relationship with NAD,” said Mike Ligas, region vice president – Sprint Relay. “Sprint is extremely proud of the innovative ways we’ve met the communications needs of our deaf and hard of hearing customers over our 14 years of providing relay services.”

“We are grateful for Sprint’s strong confidence in the NAD over the years,” said NAD President Andy Lange. “The NAD is very pleased to recognize and honor Sprint for its service and for being a role model in the industry.”

As the leading provider of relay services in the United States, Sprint serves the federal government, 31 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and New Zealand through a comprehensive portfolio of communication services. Sprint’s experience in the field provides the assurance that all relay services delivered will meet or exceed Federal Communications Commission mandates for such services.

Sprint Relay Portfolio
Sprint Relay began in 1990 and provides state-of-the-art technology, a full range of features, and highly trained, professional staff to ensure users are able to communicate easily and effectively every time they place a relay call. Relay service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with no restrictions on the number of calls placed or call length. Information about Sprint Relay services is available at

Traditional relay services involve a relay operator serving as an intermediary for phone calls between a deaf, hard of hearing or speech-disabled user and a hearing party. The TRS operator speaks words typed by a deaf user on a text telephone (TTY) or via the Internet and relays the hearing person’s spoken response by typing back to the deaf user.

Sprint and CSD (Communication Services for the Deaf) launched the first nationwide Video Relay Service (VRS) in May 2002. VRS provides American Sign Language (ASL) users with an attractive alternative to communicate by video conferencing, using ASL as their native language. VRS requires users to have a personal computer or television monitor, a Web camera or videophone and high-speed Internet connectivity such as cable and DSL. Sprint Video Relay, powered by CSD, is a free service through the Internet that enables the deaf or hard of hearing user to communicate in American Sign Language to a hearing or standard telephone user.

Sprint Relay Online(SM) is also a free service that combines TRS with the ease and ubiquity of the Internet, allowing users to make calls from any PC or Web-enabled Internet device without having to use traditional TTY equipment.

During 2004, Sprint launched three new products: CapTel(SM) Relay Service (captioned telephone), Relay Conference Captioning(SM) and Sprint Relay Wireless(SM).

CapTel, developed by Ultratec, Inc., is available for those who are hard of hearing or have experienced hearing loss later in life or deaf individuals with good vocalization skills. CapTel allows nearly simultaneous voice and text captioning via a special, CapTel-equipped phone using a standard telephone line. The captions are displayed on the CapTel phone’s built-in screen so the user can read the words while listening to the other party’s voice.

Relay Conference Captioning(SM) , developed by Caption Colorado, is a free service that combines real-time captioning and standard relay service to provide relay conference captioning calls for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals (in participating Sprint Relay state programs). By using an Internet Text Streaming platform supported by skilled captioners, RCC provides highly accurate real-time captioned text for any live conference call.

Sprint Relay Wireless powered by GoAmerica(TM) is the newest service in Sprint’s portfolio and an easy way to make a relay call while mobile. Based on technology developed by GoAmerica, the provider of WyndTell® service, Sprint Relay Wireless enables users to connect to Sprint Relay Online from virtually anywhere using a variety of wireless handheld devices and pagers.

Sprint Government Systems Division ( is based in Herndon, Va., and offers the full range of Sprint product and service offerings for federal and state government customers.

About Sprint
Sprint is a global integrated communications provider serving more than 26 million customers in over 100 countries. With more than $26 billion in annual revenues in 2003, Sprint is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying state-of-the-art network technologies, including the United States' first nationwide all-digital, fiber-optic network and an award-winning Tier 1 Internet backbone. Sprint provides local communications services in 39 states and the District of Columbia and operates the largest 100-percent digital, nationwide PCS wireless network in the United States. For more information, visit

About the NAD
Established in 1880, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is the nation's oldest and largest nonprofit organization safeguarding the accessibility and civil rights of 28 million deaf and hard of hearing Americans across a broad range of areas including education, employment, health care, and telecommunications.

The NAD is a dynamic federation of 51 state association affiliates including the District of Columbia, organizational affiliates, and national members. Primary areas of focus include grassroots advocacy and empowerment, policy development and research, legal assistance, captioned media, information and publications, and youth leadership. More information about the NAD is available at

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