Hamilton Relay, a Nebraska-based provider of Telecommunications Relay and Captioned Telephone Service to 18 US states and the District of Columbia, has announced that it will continue to be the provider of California Relay Service.

Hamilton reports that it was awarded a second consecutive contract following a competitive procurement process. Hamilton Relay received its first award in 2010 and began providing Telecommunications Relay and Captioned Telephone Service in the state of California on June 2, 2010.

California Relay Service, a state-mandated program of the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program of the California Public Utilities Commission, provides 24-hour service that enables individuals who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, or have difficulty speaking to communicate over the telephone with friends, family members, and businesses.

When a traditional relay call is placed through California Relay Service, a Communications Assistant (CA) confidentially relays the conversation by speaking or typing what’s said between the relay user and the standard phone user. When using Captioned Telephone (CapTel), a screen on the phone displays word-for-word captions, generated by a captioning assistant through the use of voice recognition software, allowing users to listen while reading what’s being said during the conversation.

“As a CapTel user, I understand how beneficial relay services can be,” said Debra Rogers, Southern California Outreach Coordinator. “As an outreach coordinator, it’s exciting to be able to share information about relay service with others. Relay allows individuals who have difficulty hearing or speaking over the phone to reconnect with their family and friends.”

Anyone can initiate a call through California Relay Service by dialing 711 or the existing toll-free access number for specific relay services. There is no cost to use California Relay Service, although equipment and long distance charges may apply. Free telecommunications equipment is available for qualified California residents through the California Telephone Access Program. For more information, visit the Hamilton Relay website or contact California Customer Care at 1-877-632-9095 (English Voice/TTY), 1-877-419-8440 (Spanish Voice/TTY), or via e-mail at [email protected].

Source: Hamilton Relay

Image credits: Hamilton Relay, Hamilton CapTel