COMMISSIONER AJIT PAI
Speech-to-Speech and Internet Protocol (IP) Speech-to-Speech Telecommunications Relay
, CG Docket No. 08-15; Telecommunications Relay Services for Speech-to-Speech
Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities
, CG Docket No. 03-123.
Seventy-nine years ago, Congress created the Commission "to make available, so far as possible,
to all the people of the United States, without discrimination . . . a rapid, efficient, Nation-wide, and
world-wide wire and radio communication service."1 And Congress reiterated that message 23 years ago
with the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Today we reaffirm our commitment to this vital
mission by strengthening the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) program used by so many
Americans with disabilities.
The reforms we make to the Speech-to-Speech component of TRS may appear incremental for
some, but they can be monumental for those in need. The muting requirement, for example, is a simple
fix to ensure that the message of those with a speaking disability comes through clearly. Extending the
minimum stay-time should allow fuller, longer discussions for users. And making Speech-to-Speech
service easier to access is just as important; there's no reason why 711 can't offer the full range of TRS
programs, including Speech-to-Speech service, from the same straightforward, interactive menu.
None of the reforms adopted today would be possible without the hard work of the Commission's
Disability Rights Office--Gregory Hlibok, Marilyn Abraham, Helen Chang, Rosaline Crawford, Jackie
Ellington, Elaine Gardner, Eliot Greenwald, Solita Griffis, Christina Hebert, John Herzog, Roger
Holberg, Sherita Kennedy, Cheryl King, Diane Mason, Judy Miller, Traci Randolph, ShaVonne Morris,
Suzy Rosen Singleton, and Dana Wilson--along with their front-office support: Kris Monteith, Karen
Peltz Strauss, and Robert Aldrich. Thank you for everything you've done not only with respect to today's
item but in your ongoing work to support Americans with disabilities.
1 47 U.S.C. 151.