Relay Services Coming to Thailand

April 25, 2011

NecTec MastheadAs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) releases new rules for the United States video relay services (VRS) industry, in an ongoing effort to move on from recent industry abuses by developing a stronger and more robust oversight process, VRS and its TRS sister service are still going full speed ahead in other countries. Just last month, Thailand’s National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre (NECTEC) announced plans to establish a relay call center which would serve 3,000 Thais who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.  (Now, if only The Nation, the leading Thai newspaper which delivered this story verbatim, should realize that these people are not dumb too: “The relay-call centre would be capable of serving 3,000 deaf and dumb people in the community.”)

Regardless of the legal structures in other countries which may make the provision of high-quality relay services a more significant challenge than in the USA (and Switzerland and Australia, which sources say have been commended for providing solid relay services), it is gratifying to see that more and more deaf and hard-of-hearing people can attain functional equivalency over the telephone – in other words, like their hearing friends, they can be “a phone call away.”

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