Direct Video Calling

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.

Rules 

Selected sections of eCFR Part 64, Subpart F

Contact Information for Qualified Direct Video Entities 

American Sign Language Videos 

Resources 

Orders, Public Notices, Notices, and Press Releases  

1/28/22 
nWise AB Granted Access to TRS Numbering Directory (DA 22-98) 
Public Notice  Word || PDF 

6/11/21  
Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc., Granted Access to the TRS Numbering Directory (DA 21-682) 
Public Notice  Word  || PDF 

5/15/19 
FCC Acts to Improve Video Relay Service and Direct Video Calling (FCC 19-39) 
Order: Word || PDF 

12/29/17 
Video Relay Service Providers May Begin Submitting Data to the TRS User Registration Database (DA 17-1246) 
Public Notice   Word  || PDF 

10/26/17 
CGB Announces Effective Date of Rules Allowing Assignment of VRS Numbers to Hearing Individuals (DA 17-1031) 
Public Notice  Word  || PDF 

3/23/17 
FCC Seeks Comment on Direct Video Calling Customer Support Call Center Rules 
Report and Order, Notice of Inquiry, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and Order  (FCC 17-26) Word  ||  PDF 

1/18/17 
VTCSecure Granted Access to the TRS Numbering Directory (DA 17-86) 
Order and Declaratory Ruling  Word || PDF 

9/30/16 
FCC to Hold Direct Video Calling Showcase (DA 16-1126) 
Public Notice   Word  ||  PDF 

7/18/16 
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 

11/18/15 
Release of Auto Call Routing (ACR) “Cookbook” Enabling DVC (DA 15-1312) 
Public Notice  Word  || PDF 

6/10/14 
FCC Launches Support Line for Consumers who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing Using American Sign Language over Video Phone 
News Release   Word    ||  PDF 

6/10/13 
FCC Adopts Reforms to the Video Relay Service (FCC 13-82) 
Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking   Word  || PDF 

Blogs 

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 

Events 
11/4/16 - Direct Video Calling Showcase & Demonstration of ACE Direct Platform 

Updated: 
Friday, August 26, 2022