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Editorial #13-Dr. Z's Thoughts on Today's News (November 19, 2009) (NEW)

Today’s charges regarding VRS fraud is a wake up call to everyone involved in the industry–consumers, interpreters and the VRS companies. History tells us any industry in rapid growth mode usually gets slowed down with a variety of issues–the situation today is an example of this issue. The charges today are serious and if true, should be dealt with appropriately.

Some people have commented as to whether it will hurt the VRS industry. As far as I am concerned–this will not reduce our access to VRS nor communication access in general. The Chief of Staff of the FCC, Edward Lazarus made this clear in his press release when he said ” I would also emphasize that nothing we do today, or in this investigation, will prevent the processing of legitimate VRS calls. Moving forward, our goal will be simple: to ensure that the VRS program is one that the American people can be proud of, and that the deaf community can rely on.” This is relieving to know.

We deaf and hard of hearing consumers value the service as second to none–it has provided us with functionally equivalent access to communication that we didn’t have prior to 2000. We should not let today’s news reduce that access. We must work together to weed out weaknesses in the system that funds VRS and move on to greater things—even better communication access.

Dr. Z cares about your communication access.

1 comment to Editorial #13-Dr. Z's Thoughts on Today's News (November 19, 2009) (NEW)

  • Tom Willard

    I just don’t understand why there were no safeguards built into the system to prevent this kind of thing from happening. Seems like the FCC was asleep at the switch. Didn’t all those huge reimbursement requests from tiny VRS companies raise any suspicions? Why did it all come down to one interpreter at one VRS company being the whistleblower?

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