SAVE VRS (ASL/English Voice-over/CC)

Uploaded by jstewardson2 on 11.11.2012

Hi everybody so today I'm gonna be doing a video
a little bit different than what I typically do. Today I'm
gonna be talking about something related to my job and is related to my
life and it's very important. So what am I gonna be talking about?
VRS, you might be thinking what's VRS?
VRS means Video Relay
Service and
typically we just call it VRS. So you might think
what's Video Relay Service, what VRS? Well if your'e Deaf or if
you're Hard of Hearing, or maybe if you have friends or family that are Deaf of Hard of Hearing, you probably
already know what VRS is, but maybe you don't know what it means.
So let me explain. VRS is something like, let's say a Deaf person
wanted to use a phone. Well how are they gonna do that? A lot Deaf people can't talk,
or obviously most of them can't hear well enough to use the phone.
So they use something like a camera, or possibly
a VP, which VP means video phone.
It's similar to a camera. So what they can do is have the camera rolling and the Deaf person
can use sign language. Then someone like myself, who's an interpreter,
will watch the Deaf person use sign language and I'll speak in English to a
person who is on a regular hearing phone. Then when the hearing person talks I'll
sign to the Deaf person and vice versa. It's a really cool process and it's a lot
easier for Deaf and hearing people to communicate with each other. At least you'd think so.
I mean it's really cool. It's a great idea, but
now there's a problem coming up. What could possibly happen in the future?
What it is, is the FCC, and FCC mean
Federal Communication

Commission. So Federal Communication Commission,
and we call it the FCC for short. What the
FCC is trying to do is pass multiple parts of I think a law or something.
It's gonna affect the VRS industry.
You might think oh well maybe they're gonna pass something good. Well no they're not.
Let me kinda explain what I mean. Ok first of all,
the FCC thinks that things like video phones, you which have
cool items like flashing lights you can see, or Signmail,
so you can leave messages. They don't think that that's so cool.
They want to go ahead and save money and limit those features.
So the FCC would prefer that videophones,
Ojos, or pretty much any other
VP like equipment, they don't want those anymore. They would prefer
to go ahead and use regular off the shelf equipment, you know
like a webcam, something you can put on your computer, or
you know some laptops have some webcams inside. Maybe some sort of
webcam attached to your TV, or something like that, but things that are made for regular
hearing people that you just buy in the store, like Best Buy, Walmart, or Target.
So that type of thing, computer and TV equipment.
That's what the FCC wants. They don't want videophones anymore.
They prefer to use just regular off the shelf equipment. You might think "oh well that's not
a big deal! You know I have an iPad, or I've used my computer for making
videos or something". But think about it, videophones have a lot of
really nice features on them. For example like I told you before
some videophones have a light, so when somebody calls,
the light flashes. So light regular people have a ring,
on their phone. A lof of Deaf people can't hear that so they have a light that flashes. So
they walk by they can say "hey somebody's calling me", and they can take the call.
Well if you have something like a webcam or something like a webcam or something attached to your
TV or just like in iPad. They don't have someting like that.
So if someone tries to call you for whatever reason you're gonna miss it.
So you could be missing really important calls. Let's say the doctor's calling for test results,
or maybe a baby's gonna be born soon in the family.
You want to know right away, so you can go to the hospital and visit them, or maybe
you happen to have a family member that's sick and is gonna pass away soon. You need to know things like
that. But if you use regular equipment you're gonna miss out
on these calls, and that's not anything that's good. So
you know if we use something like regular equipment it's not customized
for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people, it's just not! So I mean
obviously the quaility is gonna lacking there. Also things like videophones
and Ojos and other types of equipment that are made specifically for Deaf people
are focusing on good quality picture. Something like a webcam
might not have such good quaility you know. If
you want something with good quality it's gonna be really expensive. You know like if get like
a cheap webcam you might be like
"Wait, uh what, what are you saying???", because the picture is fuzzy and granulated.
Ok, the second thing the FCC decided to do
is you know now you get free videophones, you get free Ojos,
you get free whatever. The FCC, they don't want that!
They prefer that you, the Deaf or Hard of Hearing person, you buy your own
equipment. So, let's say mabye
you're on SSI, Social Security. You have a limited income. You might be
only getting a few hundred dollars, and that's it! You know you gotta pay your rent,
your electricity. You have multiple bills you gotta pay and once you're done
you don't have anything left! Now you
don't, you think "oh great I have a free videophone I can talk with my friends and my family
and do my business or whatever." If the FCC passes what they're gonna pass,
you won't have that anymore. You're gonna have to go and buy your own webcam. You're gonna have to go and
buy your own computer or TV or whatever! It's not gonna be free
anymore. So, you might be thinking "ok well now I'm gonna have to figure out
how to fit this into my budget, if I can afford it? You know and if
I can afford something is it gonna be good enough quality?!" Maybe you can't even
afford anything. So you're thinking "how am I gonna call anyone?" Well maybe you
can't anymore. Also you might not
think about this but Sorenson and other companies provide free routers
for your equipment. You know I mean like Sorenson, I think
Healinc, Convo, all of those different companies, they give you
free routers to have good quality picture. Not anymore! You're gonna have to
go buy your own router. Let's say oh well I want a good router,
one that has wi-fi internet. Those can be pretty
expensive and a lot of times people just can't afford it in this bad economy.
So pretty much what you're gonna doing is saving up
your money, go for months on months without any type of way to call anyone.
You can't get ahold of your friends or family. There's really not much you can do
about it. You're gonna have to take care of yourself now. Also,
now before I had mention about some of the features, you know
with the videophones and what not. Now if you have webcams and things
it's quite limited. So again like I talked about with the light, you're not
gonna have a flashing light anymore. Now I know recently Sorenson came out
with something called and n-touch, which is good equipment to adapt to your TV or computer.
Not gonna have that anymore. Also
like for exapmle Sorenson has Signmail. I know other companies have other ones.
So that way a person can leave a message for you if you're
Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Well might not have that anymore. So again
let's say you're waiting for some realy important call and you're not at
home. Well first of all you're gonna miss the call, and second of all
if someone wanted to leave you a message, well... they can't! So
you're gonna have to say "oh well I had a missed number, who called me?" Try and call back and they might not know.
It's just really frustrating and it's just very limiting and there's not much you can
do about it. Now the last thing is really important.
You know if you're Deaf or Hard of Hearing person, oh you know this isn't gonna affect me.
It's really no big deal! Maybe youre thinking oh I'm a regular hearing person
it's not gonna affect me either. Let me explain what I'm talking about. Again
VRS pricing, now the FCC
pays VRS companies per minute that people
use our service. Obviously when they pay
you know each minute, that goes ahead and that pays for the interpreters. It pays for
the equipment that the companies give out. It pays for the
research for companies to come up with creative technologies to get better and better
service. The FCC has decided, "you know what
I think we're paying VRS companies too much", so they're cutting them
the prices. This isn't a good thing! I mean
obviously myself being an interpeter in the VRS industry
you know this could affect me. You know if my company doesn't
get as much money from the government. Meaning you know I
might be be getting paid a lot less. I could even be
fired! You know and a lot people right now are going through that
thing. You know they're losing their job. They can't affod things and you know what that might affect me,
my family. Maybe it might affect your family if you have an interpreter
or you know if you are an interpreter yourself or
just anything like that. It could affect them! You know and it's not
only that I'm focusing on "oh me the poor interpeter, you know I'm not gonna
get paid as much!", but it's gonna affect you Deaf and Hard of Hearing people as well.
So let's say the companies aren't getting as much money from the government.
You know less, and less, and less, money over the years. That means that
the quality of the service that your'e gonna get is gonna be lacking! It's just gonna
get worse and worse and worse, because if the interpeters
can't afford to work meaning your'e gonna have less interpreters available to do your
service. If there's not enough interpeters working
let's say you actually do get connected to VRS, you're gonna have to
wait...... and I mean WAIT!
Five mintues, maybe 10 mintues or even more. If you have an important
call there's really not much you can do about it. If the
companies can't get the money and they can't do good research to give
you better quaility products, let say you get connected to the VRS,
you could have a horrible picture! You won't be able to see the interperters,
the interpreter can't see you and the whole experience is gonna be lousy. There's nothing that, we
the interpreters or companies, can do about it! You know we are gonna
have to adapt to that regular hearing person, off the shelf equipment.
Which mean the quality could be lacking and that means
that you as a Deaf person are not gonna have equivalency as a regular
hearing person would. So you know there's many reasons that these new laws that the FCC
are trying to pass are just not a good idea. It's really important that you
whether you're Deaf, Hard of Hearing, hearing, an interpter, whoever you are really
doens't matter. It's important that you give your opinoin. Say what
is on your mind! Tell the FCC, this isn't fair, this is awful! I
don't like it. You know I feel like I'm sub-class, I'm not good enough!
Maybe the FCC people don't even know anyone whose if Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
They may have no idea, and they just don't understand. You know they don't
understand what it's like to be a Deaf person and finally get new
equality good equipment! They don't get it. So it's really important that you
voice your opinion! Tell them what you think!
You know what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna go ahead and give you some links. I'll put it here in the video
and well as in the description box. I'll put them both
in those there so you can see both of them about some websites that you can go to. The
first website that you need to go to was set-up just so that it's a little bit
easier for people to understand. It's got brief explanations, just kinda like what
I told you and it also has more video, in sign language, explaining
again what the FCC is doing. That website

Again I'll spell it out
Obviously again I'll type of the description here in the video,
and in the links so you can see that below. Now
the second one I'm gonna give you is the actual FCC, their website.
If you want to do some more in-depth research, or just see exactly what they
have to say and how you can help I'll give you that.
The FCC website, it's called a public notice,
so that's for everybody a public notice. That website
is www.

and I'll include that in the description
and also in the video as well so you can see that. Again it's really important that
you go ahead and inform the FCC or your
congress people or just whoever. Inform them how this is gonna impact you in your life!
Thank you for listening. Bye!