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December 18, 2006

Hamilton to Become the State of West Virginia’s new TRS Provider

From: Hamilton Relay - Dec 18, 2006

For Immediate Release

Contact: Beth Slough, 402-694-3656 v/TTY
TRS Contract Manager/Senior Editor
Hamilton Relay

Hamilton to Become the State of West Virginia’s new TRS Provider

Aurora, Nebraska– December 18, 2006. The West Virginia Public Service Commission has granted Hamilton Telecommunications a temporary certificate to provide telecommunications relay service and CapTelTM service in the State of West Virginia. Hamilton will begin processing West Virginia relay calls on January 31, 2007.

Telecommunications Relay Service is a valuable communications tool that allows people who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or Speech Disabled to use the telephone to communicate with standard telephone users. Individuals with hearing or speech difficulties use a Text Telephone (TTY) or other assistive telecommunications device to call a telecommunications relay center. A Communications Assistant answers the call and then places another call to the telephone number the person wishes to reach. The Communications Assistant then translates and relays conversations confidentially by converting voice information to typed communication and reading aloud typed messages to hearing persons. Standard phone users can also initiate a call through the relay.

CapTel is a new technology developed by Ultratec, Inc. of Madison, Wisconsin that allows individuals with hearing loss to view word-for-word captions of their telephone conversations. This device is perfect for individuals who have understandable speech but do not hear well over the phone. Similar to a traditional telephone, the CapTel phone allows hard of hearing callers to talk and listen to individuals using a traditional phone. While listening to the voice of the other party, the CapTel phone also allows the user to read word for word captions of the other party’s conversation on the CapTel’s built-in screen. Captions are provided by a specially trained operator who "re-voices" everything heard from the hearing user into the voice-recognition technology, converting speech into text so that it can be read on the CapTel phone’s screen. The captions appear almost simultaneously with the spoken word, allowing CapTel users to understand everything that is said - either by hearing it or by reading it.

"Hamilton is excited to have this opportunity to provide service to the relay users in West Virginia," says Dixie Ziegler, Vice President of Hamilton Relay. "Hamilton will provide West Virginia relay users with a high quality telephone communication and will bring the latest developments in telecommunications and technology to West Virginia relay users. We look forward to working with the WV Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the WV Association of the Deaf to provide assistance in areas of outreach in West Virginia."

Anyone can access the Relay by dialing 711 or one of the toll-free numbers below:

* TTY/ASCII/Telebraille: 1-800-982-8771
* Voice: 1-800-982-8772
* Speech to Speech: 1-866-519-0570*
* Spanish: 1-866-519-0569*
* Customer Service: 1-866-430-1274 V/TTY*

*indicates new West Virginia Relay telephone numbers that will be available beginning January 31, 2007.

Individuals and organizations who would like more information, can contact Hamilton Relay at 1-800-618-4781 (V/TTY) or via e-mail to

About Hamilton Relay
Hamilton Relay offers a variety of services including Internet Relay, Video Relay, Wireless Relay and CapTel. All services are available at Hamilton Relay also provides traditional relay services to 11 states, the District of Columbia, the Island of Saipan and the Virgin Islands.

CapTel is a trademark and service mark of Ultratec, Inc.