AUSTIN, Texas, April 9, 2020 / Convo, the only Deaf-owned and fully FCC certified Video Relay Service (VRS) provider, has joined forces with DPANTV, Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. and Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc, to provide live ASL interpreting for White House Task Force Press Conferences, ensuring accessibility to Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities.
“In this global pandemic, it’s critical to have equal access to real-time public information in our native language, so we can make informed decisions for our health and safety,” says Wayne Betts Jr., Founder of Convo. “We are proud to take part in this collaboration, but the federal government should be providing these services every time they address the nation. It is our right, under the American with Disabilities Act, to have equal access.”
CONVO, CSD, DPAN, and RID began ASL live streams of the COVID-19 Task Force briefings on March 22, 2020. For future Facebook Live Streams of Task Force briefings visit DPANTV.
With the COVID-19 outbreak, VRS call volume surged and continues to increase. To scale their service without putting interpreters at risk, Convo implemented @home interpreting service to transition interpreters to work remotely, and petitioned the FCC for a temporary waiver to allow the use of contract interpreters to supplement their workforce. These steps will ensure continued access to communication for all users, and protect the health of interpreters.
“For our interpreters, staying healthy means they can assist our callers during this time of uncertainty. Convo can maintain our service, and expand to support our callers when they need us the most,” says Jarrod Musano, CEO of Convo. “We are committed to providing reliable access to communication. Ensuring we can fulfill our service commitment of having the shortest call answer times, and quality interpreters available 24/7.”
Convo is the nation’s only Video Relay Service provider that is Deaf-owned and fully certified by the FCC. Founded in 2009, we deliver a 24/7 on-demand VRS service with highly trained and certified American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters that blend sign-centric culture and video conference communication to meet the unique needs of our users. Convo’s mission is to provide communication solutions to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals, groups and organizations for both workplace and personal use. To learn more, visit convorelay.com.
For more information, please contact Janelle Ronquillo, firstname.lastname@example.org.