HAMILTON TO CONTINUE PROVIDING GEORGIA'S telecommunications relay AND CAPTIONED TELEPHONE SERVICES THROUGH 2014; INTRODUCES NEW MOBILE CAPTIONS SERVICESM FOR DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING
Georgia Relay, the free public service that enables people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind and speech-impaired to place and receive calls via a standard telephone line, announced today that it has again selected Hamilton Relay as its contracted service provider of telecommunications relay and captioned telephone services. The new contract will take effect April 1, 2011 and carry throughout March 31, 2014. Hamilton Relay has served as the service provider of Georgia Relay services since 2006.
Georgia Relay provides the most up-to-date technologies and assistive devices to enable people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind and speech-impaired to communicate via a standard telephone network. Georgia Relay services are easily accessed by dialing 7-1-1.
"Hamilton Relay has been a great partner to Georgia Relay for the last four years, and we are excited to announce that our partnership will continue into 2014," said Michael Russell, Relay Administrator for the Georgia Public Service Commission. "Together we will continue to ensure that Georgia's deaf and hard-of-hearing population receives equal access to telephone communication through the best services and devices that technology has to offer."
The most recent service to be offered by Georgia Relay and Hamilton Relay in partnership with Mobile Captions Company and Consumer Cellular, is Mobile Captions Service (MCS). Similar to closed caption on television, MCS enables persons who are deaf or hard of hearing to read typed captions of what is being said on a wireless phone display as the conversation is taking place. This is the first time MCS has been offered in the state of Georgia.
Available exclusively through Consumer Cellular on the Nokia E5 smartphone, MCS subscribers can speak, listen and read during a wireless phone conversation. The Nokia E5 smartphone is M3/T3 hearing aid-compatible and comes with a large, 2.4-inch display and full QWERTY keyboard.
The technology that supports MCS is similar to Voice Carry Over (VCO), which allows individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to utilize their own speech throughout their phone conversations. In addition, those individuals with some hearing can hear what the other party is saying. To use MCS, the Georgia Relay user places a call on their Nokia E5 and it automatically connects to Hamilton Relay Service. A specially-trained live operator known as a Communication Assistant (CA) begins typing what the other person says. MCS subscribers can then read what is said in real time directly on the screen of the Nokia E5, making it possible to catch every part of the conversation.
"We are pleased to be partnering with Consumer Cellular and Mobile Captions Company to introduce Mobile Caption Service to the state of Georgia," said Dixie Ziegler, vice president of Hamilton Relay. "We are confident that Georgia Relay VCO users will love the technology, as they will now have another means of conducting conversations from their mobile phone, while they are on the go."
For more information about Georgia Relay and its services, please visit www.georgiarelay.org or call 1-866-787-6710.
About Georgia Relay
Georgia Relay provides services that enable people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind and speech impaired to place and receive calls via a standard telephone. Free specialized telephones are available to applicants who financially and medically qualify through the Georgia Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Program (TEDP). Georgia Relay is easily accessed by dialing 7-1-1 and is overseen by the Georgia Public Service Commission. For more information about Georgia Relay and its services, please visit www.georgiarelay.org or call 1-866-787-6710.
About Hamilton Relay
Hamilton Relay offers a variety of services including Telecommunications Relay Service, Captioned Telephone and Internet Relay services. Hamilton provides Telecommunications Relay and/or Captioned Telephone services to 18 states, the District of Columbia, the Island of Saipan and the Virgin Islands. More information is available at hamiltonrelay.com. Hamilton Relay is a registered trademark of Nedelco, Inc., dba Hamilton Telecommunications.
About Mobile Captions Company
Mobile Captions Company (MCC) is an emerging technology and service company founded in 2009. MCC specializes in bringing enhanced mobile communications to people who are hard of hearing. MCC's technology is a patent-pending, end-to-end system that allows captions (text) to be delivered to any MCC enabled cell phone over the cellular infrastructure. To learn more about Mobile Captions Company, go to www.mobilecaptions.com.
About Consumer Cellular
Consumer Cellular, the exclusive wireless provider for AARP members, was founded in 1995 on the belief that everyone should have affordable access to the safety and convenience of cellular service. The company provides its customers with simple, affordable cell phones and calling plans, guaranteed satisfaction and top-ranked customer support staff all located within the United States. Plus, Consumer Cellular customers never have to sign a long-term contract in order to start service. To learn more about Consumer Cellular, visit www.consumercellular.com/mobilecaptions.