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Transition from TTY to Real-Time Text Technology

NVRC Board Members Tom Dowling, Gary Viall, and Alexa Schriempf, and staff member Debbie Jones attended this morning's FCC Open Meeting   There was a great turn out of Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf-Blind and Speech Disability consumer organizations!  There were representatives from Gallaudet University, TDI, HLAA, and NAD, to name just a few.

The first item on the agenda for this morning's meeting was the Transition from TTY to Real-Time Text Technology:

The Commission will consider a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to help achieve the transition from TTY technology to a reliable and interoperable means of providing real-time text communication over wireless Internet protocol-enabled networks and services.

 

Real-Time Text Technology (RTT) would replace the old TTY technology for communication over telephone lines and wireless systems, providing real-time, as you type it, text communications for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf-Blind and Speech Disabled consumers.  RTT would be flexible to work on all internet protocol systems and devices, as well as being retro compatible with older TTY devices, until they phase out.  It would also be compatible with 911 systems for emergency calls.

The FCC heard the report  on Real-Time Text Technology, as well as remarks from Bobbi Cordano, President of Gallaudet University. The Commissioners voted to adopt the Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

This means that, moving forward, industries will not limited to making devices compatible with the old TTY technology, and can focus on making RTT interoperable across all devices and IP networks.

(See attached press release)

DOWNLOAD (PDF) - FCC Press Release DOC-342624A1

See pictures of meeting on facebook

 

 

 

TDI website
Dec 07, 2015

From the time Robert H. Weitbrecht made text-telephonys (TTY) possible up to the present, there has always been challenges to making our world all the more accessible. AT&T, one of the most ardent supporters for accessibility, has run into one of those such challenges.

When you call 911 through a regular telephone land line, using a telephone or TTY, your call is automatically connected to your 9-1-1 emergency services center – the 9-1-1 center that serves your location. Your address and phone number are automatically displayed on the computer screen of the 9-1-1 operator, even if you don’t type or say anything. The 9-1-1 operator can send emergency services to your location immediately, and call you back if your call is disconnected.

Learn more  ...  TTY Emergency Calls

 

 

by Joshua Guyan

AT&T submitted a Petition for Rulemaking to the FCC, requesting that the Commission update its rules requiring support for text telephone (TTY) technology.  The petition asks the FCC to launch a proceeding to recognize real-time text (RTT) as an acceptable alternative to TTY under the Commission’s accessibility rules and, in the interim, AT&T is seeking a waiver to allow it to deploy IP (Internet protocol)-based voice services without support for TTY.

TTY technology has long been used to enable individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to communicate by typing messages on TTY devices that are transmitted over telephone lines to TTY devices at the receiving end.  Currently, TTY compatibility is required for a variety of communications services under the FCC’s accessibility rules.  The petition argues that TTY technology is outdated and incompatible with increasingly prevalent Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology.  Newer RTT communication has the advantages of interoperability with IP networks and instantaneous transmission that allows for interactive conversations.

By developing RTT so that it is interoperable with TTY, and permitting RTT to be used as an acceptable alternative to TTY, the petition argues that service providers and device manufacturers would be able to choose the accessibility method that works best for their service.  The petition posits that ultimately, RTT will fully replace the use TTY.

 

Original Article

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The Technology Access Program (TAP) at Gallaudet University is looking for individuals to participate in a study that will allow TTY users to communicate with friends and family members who do not use TTYs.  The study will last for up to 8 weeks, with participants making at least one call per week.

Participants who do not have TTYs will be given software to use to call their friends and family members who have TTYs, and each other.  Participants will be instructed how to use the software, and will be contacted periodically by TAP staff to answer any questions you may have.  At the end of the study, you will be interviewed about your experiences by TAP staff.

If you are interested in participating, or have questions about the study, please contact Paula Tucker by email at paula.tucker@gallaudet.edu, or by phone (voice or TTY) at 202-651-5049. To call using VP, contact Christian Vogler at 202-250-2795.