Access for People with Speech Disabilities
If you have a speech disability and live in the USA (including
Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands), you can now use a new, free
telephone service 24 hours a day. It is also available (fewer hours
of the day) in Sweden and Australia. This FCC mandated service,
called Speech to Speech (STS), provides communication assistants
(CAs) for people with difficulty being understood by the public
on the telephone.
STS is provided through the TTY relay in each state. Unlike TTY,
STS enables people with speech disabilities to communicate by voice
through a CA as many people with speech disabilities have difficulty
People with speech disabilities can dial toll free to reach a
patient, trained CA who is familiar with many speech patterns and
has excellent language recognition skills. This CA makes telephone
calls for them and repeats their words exactly in a 3-way calling
environment. Every month users make about 6,000 calls nationally.
STS is the only way for many people to telephone others not accustomed
to their speech. Many STS users have Parkinson's disease, cerebral
palsy, ALS, multiple sclerosis, or muscular dystrophy. Other users
stutter or have had a laryngectomy. STS also helps some speech synthesizer
Bob Segalman, Ph.D. has cerebral palsy and developed the concept
of STS. Now it makes telephone use much easier for him. To try out
STS, report problems or get more information: Call 800-854-7784
and ask for Dr. Bob Segalman (direct 916-263-8689). You may also
visit the STS website: http://www.stsnews.com/
contact Katherine Keller at email@example.com
to place you on the STS List Serve.
Bob is gathering support letters to insure that every state implements
an STS Outreach Service to tell people with speech disabilities
about STS.. If you're willing to sign a support letter, please e-mail
Bob at: firstname.lastname@example.org
and indicate which state you live in and request a draft.
For a list of U. S. Speech-to-Speech access numbers go to: http://www.stsnews.com/Pages/STSDial-UpTelnumbers.html
Australia provides STS. Contact: Ace.Tom.McCaul@uq.net.au
(Tom McCaul). Sweden has just extended its STS trial for one year.
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