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August 23, 2005

PRESS ANNOUNCEMENT: BDA-CSD Launches Sign Language Video Relay Service

From: CSD - Aug 23, 2005

Release Date: August 23, 2005

BDA-CSD Launches Sign Language Video Relay Service
SIOUX FALLS, S.D., UNITED STATES and LONDON, ENGLAND – 23 August 2005 – The British Deaf Association (BDA) today unveiled the first video relay service center in the United Kingdom. The announcement was made during the BDA Conference at the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel in Brighton, Sussex, England.

Deaf consumers who use British Sign Language can now communicate with hearing people through this video relay service. The deaf consumer uses a D-Link videophone and Internet connection to communicate with a live video interpreter, who voices to the hearing person using a standard telephone. The video interpreter then signs the telephone conversation with the sign language user. A webcam with PC can also be used to access video relay service, as well.

The BDA-CSD Video Relay Service will enable deaf and hard of hearing customers in the United Kingdom to conduct phone calls in an efficient and professional manner. To launch this service, BDA entered into a partnership with CSD, Inc., a deaf-run telecommunications and human services organization in Sioux Falls, S.D., United States. CSD pioneered video relay service through its partnership with Sprint and its own brand, CSDVRS.

"We are thrilled that we can provide this professional service for the deaf and hard of hearing in the United Kingdom," said Doug Alker, BDA Chair. "Today, we begin a new era in communicating between deaf and hearing individuals in the UK through the establishment of fast and efficient service that drastically cuts the timeframe for calls. We predict a positive response to this new video relay service."

"CSD believes in making technology available to deaf and hard of hearing consumers that will improve their quality of life," said Benjamin Soukup, CSD chief executive officer. "The BDA-CSD Video Relay Service is a major step in providing telephone functional equivalency for the nation's deaf and hard of hearing."

The BDA-CSD Video Relay Service offers callers professional, certified sign language interpreters and seamless conversations, where facial expressions and nuances can be portrayed spontaneously. It will be operational Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. D-Link users can reach BDA-CSD VRS at BSLVRS.ORG. For information on the service, send an e-mail to

About BDA
The British Deaf Association is proud of being a democratic member-led organisation. It is the largest national charity run by Deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users for Deaf BSL users. The BDA's vision is a world where Deaf sign language users have the same rights, responsibilities, opportunities and quality of life as everyone else. There are 250,000 Deaf people in the UK whose first or preferred language is BSL, as well as at least 300,000 non-Deaf BSL users.

About CSD
CSD, Inc. (also known as Communication Service for the Deaf) is a private, nonprofit telecommunications and human services organization based in Sioux Falls, S.D. In its 30-year history, CSD has expanded its communication service offerings and currently manages over 20 call centers in the United States. CSD offers telecommunications relay services (TRS), video relay services (VRS), equipment distribution programs (TEDP) and sign language interpreting services. Additionally, CSD's National Programs provides human services in 15 locations in eight states. For more information, see


Contact: BDA: Doug Alker,
CSD: Tim Rarus,