NIC implements Video Relay Service station on campus

Last fall, North Idaho College's Center for Educational Access called upon student leaders to address the need for proper technology for the deaf community, and the Associated Students of NIC answered.

The culmination of an ASNIC project came to life recently as the light of a table lamp on the lower level of the Edminster Student Union Building began to flash on and off, signaling a call through the new Video Relay Service.

“The Video Relay Service is like a web-cam, phone and interpreter all in one,” said Edward Emerson, an ASNIC senator from Ponderay, Idaho that spearheaded the project this spring. “Technology has really come far.”

The Video Relay Service allows deaf people to use phone services in real time without the use of a text telephone or TTY machine.

Video relay calls can be made from the NIC station with the use of a television. The call is placed through a certified American Sign Language interpreter via a high-speed Internet connection. The deaf user sees an ASL interpreter on their TV and through the use of a web-cam, signs to the interpreter. The interpreter then contacts either another customer with Video Relay Service technology or a hearing user via a standard phone line and relays the conversation between the two parties. Calls can be placed to the NIC station as well and a lamp placed at the station will flash signifying a call is coming in.

“It's much better than TTY technology because with Video Relay Service, both parties can express and receive emotions and gestures that are lost with text telephones,” Emerson said.

The Video Relay Service is available to NIC students as well as community members by checking in at the Auxiliary Services Office on the main floor of NIC's Edminster Student Union Building.

Information: (208) 769-3361.

For More Information
NIC Center for Educational Access Coordinator Sharon Daniels-Bullock, (208) 769-7794

Posted: Friday, June 3, 2005

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