Video Phone Relay Service Denied for Deaf Due to Cash Crisis

14 November 2008

If you're hearing impaired,  you're now expected to listen harder.  Lack of government funding means that the British hearing-impaired is to be denied access to modern phone relay service, although the technology is available.

A number of phone relay services that allowed deaf and hearing impaired callers to communicate on standard phone lines have been forced to close down.   Special interest groups are calling for governmental review of the current relay funding structure, which currently only covers TypeTalk, an outdated analog relay system that cannot be integrated into digital phone systems.

The legislature mandates that TypeTalk be subsidized so that deaf callers can make calls at the same rates as regular users, but it does not ensure equality in efficiency.

Video phones are considered a luxury, and even digital captioning systems like CapTel are expensive to operate, so they cannot continue to provide service in the UK without government subsidies.


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