Technological progress has touched almost each and every realm of life. Such products have been developed which allows speech impaired, deaf and hard of hearing individuals to easily communicate over video phone in real time with the help of sign language interpreters.
Participants in VRS communication
VRS is the most innovative form of communication being adopted by the D-HOH-SI community. In VRS there is an interpreter who will help you with each and every step of communication. This interpreter is also known as a Communications Assistant (CA). The deaf person communicates with the CA in sign language and his message is transferred to the hearing party via voice. This technique of Video Relay Service has become extremely sought after in present times.
How to make a VRS call
For a VRS call you need a Desktop/Laptop attached to a video camera or to a television and a high speed broadband Internet connection. Then you contact VRS CA. This person is a qualified sign language interpreter. They talk with each other via sign language by means of a video link. VRS CA then calls up the person whom you i.e. the VRS user wishes to convey the message to. The VRS CA transmits the conversation to and forth between both the parties. He communicates in sign language with the VRS user and sends the message via voice to the other party. There is no typing or text involved in a VRS call. A voice telephone user can begin a VRS call by making a call to the VRS center; this is generally a toll-free number.
Benefits of Video Relay Service
- VRS is apt for people whose main language is ASL. They need not type whatever they want to say.
- Messages which cannot be expressed in text are transmitted in VRS via the sign language.
- A VRS call is just like a telephone conversation happening between two hearing people.
- It is much quicker compared to text-based conversation.
However, one should be cautious as VRS fraud can put you in a fix. At times the interpreters convey the wrong messages and this can lead to major fraud. Also, rates for VRS calls are quite high. This is the reason that this service is resorted to only in times of need. Regardless of this fact, VRS, akin to other kinds of Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS), is an effective medium of communication and facilitates people with hearing disability to convey their messages to people who can hear properly.