Bringing state-of-art technology to address the rights of deaf and hard-of-hearing inmates
DALLAS, TX February 1, 2017/PRNewswire/ —
Securus Technologies, a leading provider of civil and criminal justice technology solutions for public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring, announces a partnership with Purple Communications, Inc. to bring Video Relay Services (VRS) to deaf and hard of hearing inmates.
Securus is proud to have provided Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) services for many years with TTY/TDD devices for deaf and hard of hearing inmates and will continue to do so. Equal access is an important aspect of the ADA. With newer ADA technology like Video Relay Services (VRS), Securus is proud to partner with Purple to provide VRS which includes American Sign Language (ASL) translation services. VRS allows the automatic bridging of an ASL interpreter to allow deaf and hard of hearing inmates to communicate with hearing people who do not have a videophone. As such, VRS use will allow deaf and hard of hearing inmates equal access to communicating with attorneys, family and friends that is enjoyed by other inmates.
“Securus is committed to serving the technology needs of correctional facilities,” said Richard A. “Rick” Smith, Chairman and CEO of Securus Technologies. “Serving these needs is meaningless unless we also serve the various needs of their inmate communities regardless of whether they speak English, Spanish, Vietnamese or American Sign Language. Deaf and hard of hearing inmates deserve the opportunity to communicate with their family and friends and to use technology that reasonably accommodates their unique situations. Given the nature of VRS calling, Securus gains no revenue from these calls. Providing a VRS service is the right thing to do, we love to provide expanded communications for all those incarcerated.”
Neither Federal nor State laws require deploying VRS services to inmates. The FCC does require that VRS calling, when provided, be provided free of charge to the deaf and hard-of-hearing. VRS translation compensation is provided to VRS service providers, like Purple Communications, through funds managed by the FCC. VRS technology will allow inmates to take turns signing back and forth directly with their family and friends over video. Deaf and hard of hearing inmates can also place VRS calls to the hearing community through the use of a VRS interpreter.
About Securus Technologies
Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and serving more than 3,450 public safety, law enforcement and corrections agencies and over 1,200,000 inmates across North America, Securus Technologies is committed to serve and connect by providing emergency response, incident management, public information, investigation, biometric analysis, communication, information management, inmate self-service, and monitoring products and services in order to make our world a safer place to live. Securus Technologies connecting what matters®. For more information, please visit SecurusTechnologies.com.