Take Action

How can you help preserve access to IP CTS? There are a number of ways.

First, if you’re part of an organization committed to ensuring Americans with hearing loss can access the technology they need to communicate, we invite you to join the Clear2Connect Coalition.

Contact your Congressional representatives

To help, you can use the sample language below for calls, letters, or emails. You can also customize it by including your own personal message or story about how IP CTS helps you.

My name is [your full name], and I’m from [city]. I’m [calling/writing] to ask [Representative (name)] to preserve the right for Americans with hearing loss to access the technology they need to communicate using a phone—as is their right under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA requires that people with hearing loss have access to communications technology that is “functionally equivalent” to what people without hearing loss use. Currently, IP CTS, or captioned telephone services, use both Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) and a call assistant (“human element”) to ensure accuracy of the call. The FCC is considering certifying vendors that offer ASR-only solutions for captioned telephone service. While ASR is well on its way to becoming a viable option, it’s simply not yet accurate enough for use on its own for IP CTS. By certifying ASR-only IP CTS providers, the FCC would cause significant risk of harm by jeopardizing access to communications for users who rely on this critical service. IP CTS has been a critical life-changing service for older Americans, veterans, and others with hearing loss. Can I count on [Representative (name)] to protect access to this essential service?

Members of the U.S. Congress – Contact Information

 

Contact the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

To help, you can use the sample language below for calls, letters, or emails. You can also customize it by including your own personal message or story about how IP CTS helps you.

My name is [your full name], and I’m from [city]. I’m [calling/writing] to ask [Chairman Pai/Commissioner (name)] to preserve the right for Americans with hearing loss to access the technology they need to communicate using a phone—as is their right under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). IP CTS has been a critical life-changing service for older Americans, veterans, and others with hearing loss. By certifying Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR)-only IP CTS providers, the FCC would cause significant risk of harm by jeopardizing access to communications for users who rely on this critical service. While ASR is well on its way to becoming a viable option, it’s simply not yet accurate enough for use on its own for IP CTS. Can I count on [Chairman Pai/Commissioner (name)] to protect access to this essential service?

FCC Contact Information

 

Share information about this issue on social media

To help, you can use the sample language below or share your own post on social media using the hashtag #Clear2Connect.

  • The @FCC is considering certifying Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR)-only providers for their captioned telephone program. ASR is not yet accurate enough to be accessible. Urge FCC not to infringe upon rights of Americans with hearing loss! Learn more at Clear2Connect.org.
  • I’m taking action to ensure Americans with hearing loss have access to technology they need to communicate using a phone—as is their right under the Americans with Disabilities Act! @FCC, please do not certify Automatic Speech Recognition-only providers for IP CTS! #Clear2Connect
  • Captioned telephone services are life-changing for Americans with hearing loss. That’s why I’m advocating that @FCC not reduce access to these services by certifying providers that only use Automatic Speech Recognition. Visit Clear2Connect.org to learn more about the issue.

Include information about this issue in your organization’s newsletter

To help, you can use the sample language below:

Did you know that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is currently considering changes to their captioned telephone services program that would infringe upon the rights of Americans with hearing loss? Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Services (IP CTS) is a life-changing service that allows people with hearing loss to speak during a phone call and read captions on a specialized telephone or mobile app when the other person responds. Cutting-edge speech recognition technology, along with skilled transcribers, are used to provide this live service. Users get real-time, accurate transcriptions of conversations on their phone, which is vitally important to ensure effective, reliable communication and sharing of information.

Currently, captioned telephone services use both Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) and a call assistant (“human element”) to ensure accuracy of the call. The FCC is exploring the option of certifying IP CTS vendors that offer ASR-only solutions. While ASR is well on its way to becoming a viable option, it’s simply not yet accurate enough for use on its own for captioned telephone service. By certifying ASR-only IP CTS providers, the FCC would cause significant risk of harm by jeopardizing access to communications for users who rely on this critical service.

Learn more about how you can advocate for the FCC to preserve access for Americans with hearing loss to use the technology they need to communicate using a phone—as is their right under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)—by visiting Clear2Connect.org.

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