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Verizon Introduces Broadband Video Call Center Link for Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing Customers in Mid-Atlantic Region
Date:9/19/2007

First in the Industry to Offer Two-Way American Sign Language Support

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Customers in the Mid-Atlantic region who are deaf or hard of hearing can now communicate directly with Verizon about their services, using videophones and American Sign Language.

The new option for engaging Verizon's Center for Customers with Disabilities is available here and in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. Customers can communicate directly via videophone with representatives in the Verizon center who are proficient in using American Sign Language (ASL) to handle orders, change services or answer questions.

[Note: View a video demonstration and recorded comments from a key advocate at http://mfile.akamai.com/14177/wmv/verizon.download.akamai.com/14177/media/v z_v ideo_link.wmv ]

Most video services for people who are deaf or hard of hearing involve an interpreter who relays messages between those individuals and the hearing parties they communicate with. A videophone with a high-speed connection and a monitor, used either one-on-one or with an interpreter, is preferred by many American Sign Language users when they want to communicate by telephone.

"This unique, all-video call center capability lets these customers communicate directly --- in their preferred language, in real time -- with a Verizon customer service representative who can engage in conversation using ASL," said Tom Boudrow, who is outreach manager at the Verizon Center for Customers with Disabilities and who is deaf.

"Verizon is the first company in the industry to offer customer service via videophone - another example of our leadership position in providing effective communications for all of our customers and our quest to make the center a valued resource for customers with disabilities."

Claude Stout, executive director of Telecom
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SOURCE Verizon
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