A deaf call relay service in South Dakota is preparing for layoffs. Communications Services for the Deaf in Sioux Falls will lay off more than 40 employees at the end of June. These workers are involved in the company's TTY area. This phone service is being phased out in favor of video relay services.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is asking the public for comment on establishing a video relay service. Public hearings will be held this fall, starting in Gatineau. Canadians who are deaf have access to TTY and Internet Protocol relay. Initial comments can be submitted to the CRTC by regular mail at Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2. There is more info in the video posted below:
Police in Windsor, Ontario is using a US language bank to provide it with video relay interpreters. A year ago, a 30 day trial run with Language Services Associates went well, according to officials, so now police will use the Pennsylvania-based service on a regular basis.
Florida's Public Service Commission is dumping Sprint and giving a 3-year contract to provide telephone service for nearly 3 million deaf and hard of hearing to AT&T. The new contract starts June 1 and will pay about $5.5 million each year. Both Sprint and Hamilton bid against AT&T.
Two years ago, GoAmerica changed its name to Purple Communications. Even the company's stock ticker went from GOAM to PRPL. Besides providing text and video relay, the company combined its interpreting services under the banner Purple Language Services. That includes Sign Language Associates (or SLA), Hands On Services and Visual Language Interpreting (VLI). Hands On first used purple in its logos, leading some to refer to it as the 'purple company'.
The FCC has announced the deadline for submitting comments related to its plan to overhaul the Video Relay Service. According to the Federal Register, comments are due by March 2. You may submit comments, which should be identified as relating to CG Docket Nos. 10–51 and 03–123 through email by accessing the Commission’s Electronic
Comment Filing System. To go there, click here.
There are reports on social media that a federal grand jury has indicted the former owners of a Maryland video relay business. Bridget and Jerry Bonheyo are accused of allegedly having employees at Bonheyo & Bonheyo make false calls, so they could get reimbursed by the government and destroying evidence after the business closed. The Bonheyo’s shut down the company after John Yeh, who ran the video relay company Viable, was arrested on similar charges. Yeh was recently given a nine year sentence and ordered to pay restitution of $20 million. The Bonheyos case will be heard in New Jersey district court and that's where they will next appear on January 10th.
Purple Communication is opening call centers in Seattle and Long Beach, California. The video relay provider says it also plans to hire more than 50 video interpreters as well as new professional, support and management positions. The Sacramento-area-based company has more than 800 deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing employees. Company executives expect to Purple to make more than $100 million in revenue this year.
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