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Editorial #79-How Best to Manage VRS Interpreters-A Guest Editorial by Jeff Rosen

ZVRS (CSDVRS) is very mindful how we manage VRS interpreters in a way that we do not affect the surrounding community’s interpreting needs where we have a center. We work through this by having interpreters work remotely from their homes in a secure room. Jeff Rosen, CSDVRS’ General Counsel explains this in an editiorial which was previously submitted to Ed’s Alert along with a link to our response to the FCC on this issue.
As a result of healthy competition and choices, there are many more interpreters engaged in providing VRS in the US. We must view the impact of call centers on the availability of in-person interpreters for the deaf community and also the impact of call centers on the well being of interpreters. Many people in the US (and Canada) are of the view that VRS has made it much more difficult for them to obtain in-person interpreters, that call centers leave such a large footprint on the deaf communities, and many interpreters are forced to leave their homes in areas of low population density to seek work at a call center usually located in urban areas.

CSDVRS recently wrote a letter to the FCC expressing some concerns.
(Link to FCC Letter)

There is no question that relay consumers have a right to absolutely secure and compliant video interpreted calls, we are smart enough to regulate in a way that accomplishes those requirements. We also can regulate how emergency calls must be handled by virtual video interpreters (also known as in-home interpreters). We can also make sure that all VRS providers primarily use call centers, with virtual video interpreters a limited % of the workforce.

What we cannot afford to do is detach regulatory decisions from the real world impact on deaf people and interpreters. There must be careful study, collaboration and to the extent possible, consensus with the affected constituents – consumers and interpreters.

Jeff Rosen
General Counsel

Dr. Z (and Jeff) cares about your communication access.

Disclosure: Dr. Z is a contractor working with CSDVRS on several projects.

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