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On May 14, 2020, the FCC released an Order extending temporary waivers through June 30, 2020, for telecommunications relay services (TRS) providers to ensure relay services remain available during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These waivers allow TRS providers flexibility to deal with reduced staffing and increased call volumes, to enable more of their employees to provide services from their homes, and to expand the pool of contractors qualified to provide American Sign Language interpretation services for Video Relay Service (VRS).

The Bureau today also temporarily waived two additional TRS rules to enable Internet Protocol Relay Service communications assistants to provide service from home workstations and to allow registered VRS users who are abroad as of May 14, and did not preregister to make calls from abroad, to make calls to the U.S. during the national emergency.

Order:
URL: https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-extends-temporary-waivers-relay-services-rules-during-pandemic
Word: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-20-517A1.docx
PDF:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-20-517A1.pdf
Text:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-20-517A1.txt

News Release:
URL: https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-extends-temporary-waivers-relay-services-rules-during-pandemic-0
Word: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-364356A1.docx
PDF: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-364356A1.pdf
Text: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-364356A1.txt

General information on TRS is available at https://www.fcc.gov/general/telecommunications-relay-services-trs.  For further information, please contact Bill Wallace, Disability Rights Office, CGB, at (202) 418-2716, or William.Wallace@fcc.gov.  Individuals who use videophones and are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at (844) 432-2275 (videophone).

Updated: 
Friday, May 15, 2020