I need your help.

Please link up, tweet, facebook whatever. If you agree with what I’m saying help make a difference. Ask me if you have any questions

***The FCC is no longer accepting comments***

I honestly don’t know how to start or how to explain this so instead of a 3 page explanation I’ll just get to the point. I work for a video relay company (VRS) that interprets phone calls for people who use sign language. Think about all the calls you make in a day, to family, your doctor, your banker…on and on for business and pleasure. These calls would not be possible for Deaf people without an interpreter. This service is provided by the government as a part of the ADA law (Americans with Disabilities Act) the same law that requires wheelchair ramps and such.

Anyway, the VRS system is governed by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and on April 30th they published a public notice with the proposed pay rates for TRS (telephone relay service). This new rate will mean a significant decrease in pay for the companies that do the most work. Here is a direct quote from the public notice
” This calculation results in rates of $5.7754 for Tier I, $6.0318 for Tier II, and $3.8963 for Tier III. The Bureau also particularly seeks comment on whether the Commission should adopt 2010-2011 interim Fund Year rates based on NECA’s proposed use of weighted averages in calculating each of the tiers, as described in the 2010 TRS Rate Filing.”
So this is what that means, the bigger companies that process most of the calls will not be able to go on at that level of income. They will be forced to either shut down or reduced their numbers considerably. This will cause more calls to go to the smaller companies who won’t be able to process the calls in the allowed time by the FCC. Therefore they won’t get paid for their minutes and have great financial troubles as well. I just don’t understand how they think the bigger companies who are doing more work can survive on that amount. They are doing more work because they have more interpreters and therefore more overhead expenses. I honestly just don’t understand the logic.

Anyway back to the point, if you don’t like how this sounds and you don’t like the loss of equal communication for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing please write to the FCC before May 14th. I’ve made it easy just follow these steps and if you want you can even copy and paste the letter I have at the end of this message. Please help keep the phone accessible for everyone.

So here is what you can do:

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Sample letter

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