The Clear2Connect Coalition is committed to raising awareness about assistive communications technology and ensuring that people with hearing loss have access to quality, accurate communication technology.
Under Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Americans who experience a hearing and/or speech disability have a right to access telecommunications services that is “functionally equivalent” to those relied upon by consumers without such disabilities. One such available service is Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS), or captioned telephone service, which is provided for at no cost to users through a program administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). which is provided either by a combination of a skilled transcriber and automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology, or by ASR technology only.
Video Relay Service (VRS), also administered by the FCC, is provided at no cost to people who communicate using sign language. Through the service, an interpreter facilitates conversation between d/Deaf and hearing parties.
The FCC, must take action to protect the quality and accuracy of these communications services. Given the critical importance of these services, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, we urge the FCC to adopt new service quality standards for communications services and ensure continual modernization of these services for deaf and hard of hearing consumers.
That’s where Clear2Connect’s advocacy comes in. Our goals are to protect the right for people with hearing disabilities to access the safe, effective technology they need to communicate, and to educate people, especially in underserved communities, about these services.