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HOH Technology and Innovative Phone Services Blog

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Returning veterans are in the process of re adjusting to the civilian lifestyle. Many will be seeking resources to help resolve different issues that they may be confronted with, such as hearing loss. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, loss of hearing is a common disability for veterans (VA- Public Affairs). Telecommunications access services are available through the Sprint Federal Relay Program. Sprint Federal Relay can provide tools to accommodate the communication needs for these veterans with a hearing loss.
Who can use Federal Relay? Federal agencies, authorized Federal contractors, agency sponsored universities and laboratories; the general public to access Federal agencies; and when authorized by law or regulation, state, and local governments, and other organizations listed in GSA Order 4800.2E. It is accessible in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Marianas. All other locations are defined as non-domestic.
Federal Relay is divided into two parts -- Telephonically-based and Internet-based. Telephonically based services comprise of: Traditional Relay (TTY/ASCII/Voice), CapTel and STS (Speech to Speech). IP Relay (FRSO), Relay Conference Captioning and Video Relay Service make up the Internet based group. Federal Agencies who have employees with a hearing loss or speech difficulties can submit a task order with Sprint (GSA contract holder) in order to use Federal Relay at www.federalrelay.us/task-order-submission.
Federal Agency's Designated Agency Representative (DAR) and/or Contract Officer (CO) cab join an audio conference to learn more about the new Federal Relay contract and how to submit a Task Order.  For more information on how to get this training, please click onto this link - http://www.federalrelay.us/darco-training.

For Further Information on Federal Relay and/or contract, go to www.federalrelay.us, call Federal Relay Customer Service at 1-800-877-0996  (Voice/TTY) or email federalrelay@sprint.com. Questions about the change from "centralized" to "direct" billing, contact GSA - Federal Relay Program Office at (703) 306-6308  or patricia.stevens@gsa.gov.

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Sprint Relay has upgraded their website to reflect all the new current technology available for Deaf and Hard of Hearing consumers!

Do you know someone with a hearing loss? Do you know that Sprint Relay can provide telecommunication tools for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf Blind and Speech disabled family and friends? Our website has all the information to guide you in learning about the newest technology and services for those in need of communication access.

People can learn about Sprint Relay Services, browse in the Sprint Relay Store to purchase wireless devices, discover what’s new and find out about upcoming events and sponsorship/advertising requests. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to get updates on new products coming out – available through the website.

Sprint Relay has earned top honors in Customer Care and Speed in the 2011 Paisley Group National Relay Text Telephone (TTY) Performance as well as earned ABILITY Magazine’s Best Practices Award for its “innovative implementation of Video Relay Service” in the workplace and home. With over 20 years of providing relay services, Sprint Relay continues to honor their commitment to top quality products and Customer Care to consumers.

Come check out our website at sprintrelay.com to learn more about our services and phones available today.

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Sprint Video Relay goes MOBILE with the Android Market

Which devices can Mobile Video Relay consumers download the Sprint Relay MVRS App?

Sprint Relay provides Android based devices for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people who communicate via sign language and wish to utilize Video Relay Services directly on their mobile phone! Several new phones are currently available through Sprint Relay Store. Consumers have a choice of using the SMVRS App with the HTC EVO, Samsung Epic or the new Galaxy TAB, all with 4G network. Special pricing is available for those who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and wish to take advantage of making calls using Video Relay. Purchase information for consumers can be accessed by going into sprintrelaystore.com.

How can consumers download the SMVRS app on their new phone?


All that is needed to access this service is simply download at no cost the app for SMVRS on their Android device. The SMVRS app can be retrieved through the phone using the Android Market app and or by scanning the Barcode (QR) which will allow the app to be downloaded. For complete information on how to receive this app, click onto www.sprintvrs.com/supports/mobile_vrs_app


People who use MVRS will need to sign in with (or register for) their Sprint 10-digit phone number to begin placing calls anywhere in the US. Go to www.sprintvrs.com/supports/ten_digits_numbering  to get the number and begin making calls. Now Deaf and Hard of Hearing people can access Video Relay anywhere, any time!

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I dont hear my phone ring but until saturday it was no big worry.  i had my phone setup to talk to mt which the tone i was able to here.  now im stuck missing call and ive spent a few hours each day looking and searching for the talk feature with no sucess.....  very very unhsppy epic user! 

C

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SWIS_poster_2010sm3.jpgTake the journey and experience the award winning documentary “SEE WHAT I AM SAYING (SWIS)”, by director/producer Hilari Scarl. The film details the lives of four entertainers; a comedian, musician, actor and singer – all whom are Deaf. While they remain committed to their Deaf and Hard of Hearing audience, the ability to become more recognized among their hearing peers highlights the stories of these talented artists. Since its première in 2010, SWIS has played to millions of people though out the world.

he release of the DVD February 20, 2011 will feature a grand opening gala, sponsored by Sprint Relay at Universal Studios in Hollywood CA. This will concede with the Sprint Relay SWIS short film contest, which will award the top 3 winners with prizes as well as viewing of their movies at the Gala party. Current screenings of SWIS are available in 2011. For more information on this film or purchase of the DVD, please check out the website at http://www.seewhatimsayingmovie.com.  For more information about Sprint Relay, see http://www.sprintrelay.com.

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wireless device pix.pngHearing Aid Compatible (HAC) cell phones are becoming more commonly available to the public. Cell phones come with special ratings to allow hearing aids users to determine generally how well the cell phones should function with hearing aids. The FCC has provided two ratings for hearing aid users to guide them in their search in finding a suitable wireless phone that is compatible with their hearing aid.

Cell phones come with two ratings- “M” and “T” along with a rating number for each.  The “M” rating refers to the cell phone’s compatibility with the microphone on the hearing aid. The hearing aid microphone is used to gather sounds around you and amplify them for your ears .The “T” rating refers to compatibility with the T-coil that is incorporated in some (but not all) hearing aids. The hearing aid T-coil also is a mode that reduces background noise, which may help some hearing aid users in noisy places. Ratings are added, from 1 to 4, for both Microphone (M) and T-coil (T) use. So if a phone is rated M1/T1 it might not be as compatible with your hearing aids as a phone that is given M4/T4 rating. Generally, the higher the number, the better the performance with a hearing aid.  Nowadays, ratings 1 and 2 are practically never seen or published – in practice, only ratings 3 and 4 are published.

Hearing aids themselves are also rated for reduced interference with electronic devices.  An audiologist or hearing health care professional should be able to assist you with determining the level of interference reduction of the hearing aid.

Sprint Relay provides a “one stop shop” for all wireless needs to people who are deaf and hard of hearing. Specialized plans are developed for consumers who prefer a data only package which does not include voice minutes in the plan.  This is perfect for those who plan to only use their phone for email, text messages, internet browsing, and other internet services on the phone. New devices are continuingly being added to the list of options for people to choose from. It is advisable that you try different devices before any purchase of a cell phone, especially if you have a severe or profound hearing loss and want to hear on the phone. Sprint has a 30 day guarantee return or exchange of any wireless device purchased through the retail store or online.

For more information:

http://www.sprintrelaystore.com

http://www.accesswireless.org

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jenny_webcaptel.png  Welcome to the first posting of the new HOH TIPS Blog!

Sprint CapTel is now reaching out to the community to encourage interaction on topics related to hearing loss and technological issues. We will post a new topic twice a month – enabling viewers to learn about a new product, discuss a subject, and share feedback.

What will be our topic for the beginning of this month? What has been on everyone’s mind when it comes to accommodations on the job? Phone accessibility.

For people with a hearing loss, equal access in the workforce has long been an issue. In order to keep up with hearing employees, accommodations may be needed to ensure that the job can be completed. One of the most important functions on the job involves use of the phone. While volume control phones dominate the market, few options are available for those incapable of understanding telephone conversations with just increased sound.

Captioned Telephone, known as CapTel to many current users, helps provide a bridge for people whose hearing loss is severe enough that speech is undistinguishable. CapTel allows for this specific population to listen to the other party’s voice while at the same time read captions from the screen on the phone. Using CapTel allows for independence on the job, giving “functional equivalency” to millions of people who have a hearing loss and find it difficult to use the phone.

Users can have a CapTel device for the office; business travelers may benefit from receiving captions on the computer using WebCapTel. People in hotel rooms, conference arenas or business areas can utilize this tool by simply registering. It only takes a few minutes! The computer will caption the other party’s voice while the WebCapTel user will be able to read as well as listen to the conversation from any phone being used.

To learn more about CapTel, log onto http://sprint800.com

For those interested in learning more about the WebCapTel Service, log onto http://sprintcaptel.com


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