Curious about VRS?
You’ve come to the right place!
What is Video Relay Service (VRS)?
Video Relay Service (VRS) allows deaf people who use sign language to communicate with voice telephone users through video apps and a high-speed Internet connection. A video sign language interpreter relays the conversation at no cost to the callers. Convo is compensated by the Telecommunications Relay Service Fund, which the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) oversees.
To download a PDF on VRS and how it works, learn more about it here.
How does VRS work, exactly?
There are three parties involved:
- The Deaf/Deafblind/Hard-of-Hearing person
- The sign language interpreter
- The hearing person(s)
The Deaf caller uses a device with a video camera (e.g.: mobile phone, laptop) and a high-speed internet connection to make and receive calls from hearing people.
The Deaf caller will connect with the hearing caller through a VRS interpreter, who is a qualified sign language interpreter. The VRS interpreter relays the conversation between the two parties—in sign language with the Deaf caller, and by voice with the hearing caller.
While the VRS interpreter is essentially a “middle person” in VRS calls, the exchanged messages are determined by the Deaf and hearing callers and may not be altered by the interpreter.
Are VRS calls confidential?
Yes! The sign language interpreting profession requires confidentiality of content, according to a rule mandated by the FCC. All calls are confidential as part of FCC’s rules in overseeing VRS.
While the VRS interpreter is essentially a “middle person” in VRS calls, the exchanged messages are determined by the Deaf and hearing callers and may not be altered by the interpreter. All calls are confidential and secure.
What is TRS?
Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) is a service provided by the FCC that allows persons with hearing or speech disabilities to place and receive telephone calls. VRS is one form of TRS. TRS is available in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. territories for local and long-distance calls.
To learn more about TRS from the FCC, click here.
OK, I’m interested! How can I sign up?
We love your enthusiasm! First, we need to know if you meet the criteria needed to get a VRS number. To find out if you are eligible for a Convo number, please go here.
I’m eligible to have my own VRS number!
We’re thrilled to have you! Let’s get your Convo # now. We look forward to serving you.