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Editorial #132: FCC Issues VRS Order and Proposes New Rules--Will VRS Be The Same?

fcc logoOn Monday, June 10, 2013 the FCC after several years of study, issued an order and proposed new rules regarding how VRS should be structured and managed. The order and proposed rules run over 100 pages of fine print. Dr. Z took the opportunity to read through the document.

It has some good things and some things that require further thought and discussion.

Basically, it makes it possible and better for smaller VRS companies to be able to compete in today’s unbalanced VRS playing field, with Sorenson dominating 80% of the market. The more competition we have, the better VRS will be for deaf and hard of hearing consumers. But some of the rules have cause for concern. The FCC is going to give some work on VRS to third parties. We must be sure those third parties have insights and expertise on the deaf and hard of hearing community and be sensitive to cultural and communication issues. Dr. Z will look into this some more in the next few weeks and express his thoughts.

BOTTOM LINE: VRS is here to stay.
The FCC has a mandate under the ADA to insure deaf and hard-of-hearing citizens have functionally equivalent communication access.

Dr. Z cares about your communication access.

Disclaimer: Dr. Z (Philip Bravin) is currently the Vice-President of Business Development and Outreach at CSDVRS, LLC.

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