Video Relay Services (VRS) Today!
May 22, 2011 5 Comments
Tory Radio is starting to cover some of the more interesting political campaigns which take place, to give the listeners an idea of what is going on in an around Westminster.
This week I interviewed Paul Kershisnik, from an American company called Sorenson Communications. Sorenson provide Video Relay Services (VRS) for Deaf people in the USA, and they are involved in a UK campaign called VRS Today! which is calling for a universal VRS market here. Deaf people use VRS as a hearing person uses the telephone. It allows them to speak in British Sign Language (BSL) via a webcam to an interpreter, who translates the conversation in real time to a hearing person. This is up to five times faster than using text-based relay services, and allows Deaf people to communicate in BSL, which is their first language.
The VRS Today! campaign is calling for an open market in the UK for VRS providers, giving Deaf consumers the choice to access the telecoms services they want. An independent report has already demonstrated a net benefit to the economy of over £500m. To make this happen, Ofcom and DCMS need to create the right conditions for a market to be viable. Over 100 MPs have already backed the campaign.
To find out more about the campaign, and to see how you can help, visit www.vrstoday.com
Listen to our podcast with Paul Kershisnik by clicking the link below.