Note: This page provides information about direct video calling (DVC). If you are looking for information about video relay services (VRS), please visit the webpage at https://www.fcc.gov/vrs.
Direct Video Calling (DVC) is video teleconferencing that allows conversations to occur between two callers using American Sign Language (ASL), without the need for translation services. The Commission encourages entities in the public and private sectors to adopt measures so that such callers can avail themselves of DVC for business and personal calls.
Individuals fluent in ASL may be assigned 10-digit videophone numbers by Video Relay Service (VRS) providers. Videophone numbers may also be assigned for “enterprise” videophones at a business, government agency, or other organization. These videophone numbers are registered in the Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Numbering Directory.
Benefits of DVC:
- Improved Communications. DVC improves privacy and efficiency, which increases productivity.
- Career Opportunities. Employing native ASL-users to handle customer service video calls expand hiring opportunities for people with disabilities.
- Secure. Use high-speed broadband and your own internal networks without compromising security or facing potential barriers created by firewalls.
- Commitment to Accessibility. DVC is one way to enhance accessibility.
- Cost savings. Replacing interpreted calls with direct communication saves money and avoids miscommunications, and maximizes organizational productivity and efficiency.
To establish DVC, businesses, government agencies, and other organizations can install a DVC call center platform and have their customer service telephone numbers entered into the TRS Numbering Directory by Qualified Direct Video Entities. The DVC call center platform will automatically direct video calls to a videophone and voice calls to a standard telephone in the call center. For more information about DVC, contact us at DVC@fcc.gov.
In addition to providing efficient and effective communication for ASL users, DVC works on Internet-based networks, unlike the TTY. Thus, for ASL users, DVC may replace TTYs, since TTYs were designed for operation on legacy networks.
Selected sections of eCFR Part 64, Subpart F:
- 47 CFR § 64.601(a) – Definitions of Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Terminology
- 47 CFR § 64.601(a)(34) – Definition of a Qualified Direct Video Entity
- 47 CFR § 64.611 – Internet-Based TRS Registration
- 47 CFR § 64.613 – Numbering Directory for Internet-Based TRS Users
- 47 CFR § 64.615 – TRS User Registration Database and Administrator
Contact Information for Qualified Direct Video Entities
Federal Agencies Direct Video Calling Lines
- 988 Lifeline - U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
- ASL Consumer Support Line - U.S. Federal Communication Commission (FCC)
- ASL Direct Video Line - U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
- Disability Information and Access Line - U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Community Living (ACL)
American Sign Language Videos
- Disability Advisory Committee Direct Video Recommendation (9/7/23) Word || PDF
- FCC ASL Consumer Support Line – Call the FCC directly in ASL
- Direct Video Calling Primer (PowerPoint || PDF)
- ACE Direct - A free, open source Direct Video Calling Center Platform developed by the FCC
Orders, Public Notices, Notices, and Press Releases
WCB and CGB Seek Comment on VTCSecure LLC Petition for Waiver of the Commission's Rules and Request for Declaratory Ruling to Permit Providers of Direct Sign Language Customer Support Service to Access the TRS Numbering Directory (DA 16-810).
Public Notice: Word || PDF
4/11/18 - Robert McConnell & David Schmidt | Team Leads, FCC Direct Video Calling Initiative
With ‘Direct Video Calling’, FCC Helps Open Phone Lines to ASL Users | CitiesSpeak
8/14/15 - Tom Wheeler | FCC Chairman
Direct Video Communication: Access for People who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Speech Disabled in an IP World
6/11/14 - Greg Hlibok | Chief, Disability Rights Office
FCC Launches Direct Video Communication Access to Help Consumers Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
11/4/16 - Direct Video Calling Showcase & Demonstration of ACE Direct Platform