I was fiddling around on the internet after looking for places to buy 70's style pants for the New Year Eve party I am attending. Decided to check Bell's website to find out what kind of internet services they provide for the Deaf people in Canada. Turns out that they only have two web pages dedicated to Bell Relay Service:
Office of the Manager
P.O. Box 920, Station A
December 30, 2006
Dear Sir/Madam;Hello, I am a Deaf person living in Ontario and I moved to the United States almost ten years ago and moved back to Ontario a few months ago. I wanted to comment on Bell's commitment to provide Relay Services for the Deaf in Canada. I studied Business Administration Management and one of the courses I took focused on Quality Assurance and when I compare the Relay Services Bell provided ten years ago and today, the quality remains the same.
I would like to find out what kind of actions Bell has taken to increase the quality of Bell Relay Services? It was difficult for me to find contact information to share my concerns. Does Bell Relay Services benchmark its' own relay services against other relay service providers, including relay services provided in other countries? I believe there are opportunities to provide relay services at lower costs using other technology that is readily available in the Deaf community. The Teletype devices that Bell Relay Services was developed more than fifteen year ago are rapidly becoming obsolete (I never used the TTY during my entire time living in the United States, but was able to make phone calls to Deaf impaired (hearing) people),
The technology I am talking about takes advantage of the internet. Has Bell investigated the opportunity of implementing the internet for relay services? Have you ever experimented with something called IP Relay? There are plenty of companies in the United States that provide IP Relay Services, to list a few for example: www.ip-relay.com, www.sprintip.com, http://www.siprelay.com, and so on. There are other advanced relay service technology out there that take advantage of our natural language, American Sign Language. Those relay services are called Video Relay Services (VRS) and they use either web cams or video phones (see what video phones are like at http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=8&sec=0 ). If you want to learn more about those services, these are websites of the companies that provide Video Relay Services: www.ip-vrs.com, www.sorensonvrs.com, www.sprintvrs.com, www.hovrs.com and so on.
I look forward to talking with someone from Bell Relay Services about modernizing Canada's relay services quality. Bringing Bell Relay Service out of the "stone age" era should be one of Bell's New Year Resolution for 2007.
Let's see if the Office of the Manager responds. I encourage everyone else who wants some kind of internet based technology be put into use for Relay Services in Canada to send their comments and suggestions to the Office of the Manger at firstname.lastname@example.org. This way we can hope that they make this technology their New Year Resolution.