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Editorial #139: Open Up Sorenson Videomail! Unfair! Thanks from Dr. Z!

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Thank you! Thank you! Many of you wrote to the FCC about the Sorenson videomail interoperability issue. It has to come from you as deaf and hard of hearing consumers. Let’s continue to remind the FCC about this inexcusable issue.

Why is this inexcusable? All VRS providers get public money to be sure the VRS service is functionally equivalent. Look here: Title IV of the ADA which is the law of the land says in part: “provide the ability for an individual who has a hearing impairment or speech impairment to engage in communication by wire or radio with a hearing individual in a manner that is functionally equivalent to the ability of an individual who does not have a hearing impairment.”

This is the law of the land. The FCC is letting Sorenson get away with this–the FCC is paying providers to provide functionally equivalent service. The other providers are absorbing the cost of videomail as part of the FCC reimbursement while Sorenson is saving money by not providing the service and they get the same monies from the FCC. Is this fair?

Dr. Z continues to be fed up. Why can’t we deaf and hard of hearing people be like our hearing counterparts. Our hearing family and friends can do a lot of things with their smartphones while we deaf and hard of hearing people use our phones through trial and error and not being sure if it works 100% of the time. (This is exactly the same thing I said a week ago.)

If we sit back and do nothing after we tell the FCC what we thought, the issue will die down.

The FCC is required by law to respond to our complaints. Let’s see what they say. In the meantime, keep the complaints coming.

Once again, thank you from Dr. Z!

Thanks for listening and please go ahead and file the complaint. (here’s the link.)

Dr. Z cares about your communication access.

Disclosure: Dr. Z (Philip W. Bravin) is associated with CSDVRS, currently its Vice-President of Business Development

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