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E-Michigan Deaf and Hard of Hearing People.

Video Relay Services

Index:

“Chris Hunter conversing with CAC VRS operator at the DODHH office Call Center.”

“Chris Hunter conversing with CAC VRS operator at the DODHH office Call Center.”

Video Relay Services, or VRS, allows a caller to communicate in American Sign Language (ASL), using video conferencing equipment, to a sign language interpreter who voices (using spoken English) the signed message to a hearing telephone user. The interpreter then relays the voice message back to the caller using sign language.

VRS is faster than a traditional TTY relay call. A 15–minute TTY call can be shortened to 6.5 minutes using the VRS! For many deaf or hard of hearing people, ASL is a more natural way to communicate than with a traditional TTY relay service. As more people obtain home computers with fast Internet connections, VRS is sure to become more popular.

How Does VRS Work?

There are two ways for a Deaf or Hard of Hearing person to make a VRS call. One way is through a home computer with a web cam and a high–speed Internet connection. The other is through a Call Center. Communication Access Center (CAC) has established Call Centers at various locations in Michigan. These are listed below.

CAC requires that all VRS interpreter/operators are qualified interpreters with Michigan QA III, RID, or NAD IV or NAD V certifications. The VRS interpreter/operators follow the same Code of Ethics as other interpreters. All calls are confidential.

When the caller connects to the video relay service, a relay interpreter, known as a VRS operator, will appear on the television screen. The VRS operator can see the caller; the caller can see the VRS operator. The caller gives the phone number to the VRS operator to be dialed. Once the hearing person answers, the VRS operator will sign to the deaf or hard of hearing caller that the call was answered. As the caller speaks in sign language, the VRS operator will voice what is said to the hearing person.

Internet VRS Equipment

With the proper equipment, callers can use VRS from their home or office. The following equipment is needed:

  • A web camera that allows the user to display video on the web.


  • A high speed Internet connection, 128 KBPs or higher (usually through a cable modem, DSL line, or office LAN);


  • Microsoft Net Meeting, a free service that allows a web camera to communicate to another user. The user will need to download free software for installation and must become a registered user (Instructions are at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/netmeeting/


When accessing VRS from home or office connect to a VRS website (listed below). The directions are easy to follow.

VRS websites

AT&T Video Relay

CSD Video Relay

Hamilton Video Relay

Hands On Video Relay

IP Relay

Nordia Video Relay Service

Power VRS

Sorenson VRS

Sprint VRS

Call Booth Locations in Michigan

Video Relay Services are open 24 hours - 7 days.

VRS Call Booth Locations and Hours (as of July 2006)
Holiday Closings – Call before to make sure the Call Center is open.

CAC
1277 Miller Road
Flint, MI 48503
V/TTY 810-239-3112
Fax 810-239-1601
info@cacdhh.org
8:00am – 5:00pm Mon – Fri

Deaf C.A.N.!
2111 Orchard Lake Road
Sylvan Lake, Mi 48320
V 248-332-3331
TTY 248-332-3323
Fax 248-332-7334
deafcan@deafcan.org
9:00am – 5:00pm Mon – Fri

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Connection
500 W. Western
Muskegon, Mi 49440
V (231) 722-DHHC (3442)
TTY/Fax (231) 722-3443
contact@dhhc.org
9:00am – 5:00pm Mon – Fri

Deaf, Hearing & Sign Language Center
19185 Wyoming
Detroit, MI 48221
V 313-341-1353
TTY 313-861-4669
Fax 313-341-4091
tmullen@dhscoline.com
9:00am – 5:00pm Mon – Thurs;
9:00am – 1:00pm Fri
Please contact office for possible accommodations beyond hours listed.

Division on Deaf & Hard of Hearing
Michigan Commission on Disability Concerns
Department of Labor & Economic Growth
201 N. Washington Square, Suite 150
Lansing, MI 48913.
V/TTY 517-335-6004
dodhh@michigan.gov
8:00am – 5:00pm Mon – Fri

Michigan Association for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
2929 Covington, Suite 200
Lansing, MI 48912
V/TTY 800-YOUR-EAR
V/TTY 517-487–0202
FAX 517-487–2586
yourear@madhs.org
9:00am – 5:00pm Mon – Fri

Michigan Works! - Howell
1240 Packard Dr
Howell
517-552-2101
Fax 517-546-2139
8:00am – 5:00pm Mon – Fri

Michigan Works! - Lansing
2110 S. Cedar
Lansing
517-492-5500
Fax 517-492-5501
8:00am – 5:00pm Mon – Fri

Michigan Works! - Traverse City
1209 S. Garfield Avenue
Traverse City
V 800-442-1074
Fax 231-922-3737
8:00am – 5:00pm Mon – Fri

info@michdhh.org

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