Sam the Deaf

Why MUST use VRS? What’s wrong with TRS

I'm Deaf

Once, I had problems with Text Relay Service (TRS) to call any business. They panic and hang up on me because they think either tele-marketing call or scammer from Africa. I understand they been bothered by that everyday. So, many deaf said that VRS a solution. Sure, I would HATE to agree this is true, but it is true.

HOWEVER…. I’m tired of seeing that many deaf people are ignoring TRS, and tell me that they love and must use Videophone. They tell me that TRS is DEAD. Old technology belongs in the graveyard. Cover it in dirt, throw a match in there, and burn it. May it rest in peace.

I feel so insulted and totally upset. I look at them as if they’re communication snobs, choosing ASL over English. I feel that they think VRS is simple solution without thinking twice. I have tried and tried to explain this is not totally true, from what I’ve seen in the past and even to today. People who make and sell TTYs and TRS services are still important, but deaf people are not supporting them. Without this support, these things would fade away, which is NOT A GOOD THING. Let me tell you why. TTYs and TRS are key communication access tools, not only for deaf and hard of hearing but for:

• People who don’t know American Sign Language
• the Deaf-Blind and/or Usher’s Syndrome, etc.
• Dial-up Internet Service users

On the last point, I keep reminding people– don’t forget there is only about 70% high-speed Internet coverage in America. It means there are chances that people are use slow-speed Internet service, and can’t use videophone equipment and VRS. They have to use either TTYs, or online TRS through dial-up Internet.

So these reasons are why TTYs and TRS are still important to the Deaf Community (remember the Deaf-Blind are part of Deaf Community!). So don’t help kill TTYs or TRS. Help save it for the others in Deaf Community who need it.

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  • I still use 
    TRS for business, bank, insurance, etc due long words/number for item number or account number. Also AIM have auto-save our conversation for proof in the future if needs. 

    I use VRS for quick like make an appointment or quick question.