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News Release
 
Speech-To-Speech Service Now Available For Speech Impaired Oregonians
 
March 5, 2001 (2001-010)
 
Contacts: Ron Eachus, Chairman, 503 378-6611; Roger Hamilton, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Joan H. Smith, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Information Officer, 503 378-8962
 
Salem, OR - The Oregon Public Utility Commission announced that for the first time the Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service (OTAP) is providing Speech-to-Speech (STS) services as a feature for those who are speech disabled, yet want to use their own voice as much as possible when placing a telephone call.
 
The service, required by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), provides the speech-impaired community with communication assistants (CAs).
 
A communication assistant makes calls and repeats the caller's exact words in a 3-way calling environment thus enabling people with speech disabilities to communicate by voice. The CA is trained to recognize many speech patterns and has excellent language recognition skills.
 
"I am excited about the opportunity to provide more enhanced services to those who have speech disabilities. This continues our commitment to ensure all Oregonians have access to telephone service regardless of any limitation that they may experience," said Damara Paris, Residential Service Protection Fund Program Manager.
 
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 synthersizer users.
 
The Speech-to-Speech number for Oregon is 1-877-735-7525.
 
 
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