(For our not-yet-existent “Exceptional Students” category…)…This is a press release that came over a special ed listserv, not our own original writing….
OVERLAND PARK, Kan.– March 5, 2008 – Sprint (NYSE:S) today released Sprint WebCapTel®, a new free web-based service that allows a person who can speak but has challenges hearing over the phone, to read word-for-word captions of their calls on a web browser. This new service is expected to help an estimated 23 million Americans with hearing loss, who may face challenges hearing over the telephone.
“We are always looking for ways to offer unique and easy user experiences for our customers. This new solution from Sprint will offer the hard-of-hearing community with the ability to enjoy the benefits of a natural phone conversation by accessing real-time web-based captions,” says Mike Ligas, director of Sprint Relay.
With Sprint WebCapTel®, users can make and receive calls on their own telephone, cell phone, land-line, or even an amplified phone. During the call, if they have difficulty hearing what is being said, they can log into http://www.sprintcaptel.com and read written captions of everything their caller speaks. Captions appear virtually at the same time as the person speaks, allowing users to enjoy a natural telephone conversation.
With this new service, CapTel® is available almost anywhere with a phone and internet access on a computer. Using any phone, even amplified phones, Sprint WebCapTel® will capture the audio of the person speaking to the user and change the spoken sounds into words to read. When displayed on a web browser, the user can change the font size, color, and even background. When a call is completed, the user can save the captioned conversation for later review, allowing the user to concentrate on being involved in the conversation.
“WebCapTel puts people with hearing loss back in control of their own telephone conversations – any time, anywhere – by capitalizing on the convenience and prevalence of the Internet,” states Robert Engelke, president of Ultratec, Inc., the company that developed CapTel technology. “It gives people with hearing loss the confidence to rely on the telephone again, leveling the playing field for professional opportunities, in social situations, and in matters of personal safety.”
This free service is available for Sprint customers anywhere in the United States and within US Territories. However, calls to or from international locations, such as Canada or Mexico, are not available. To learn more about this free service, visit http://www.sprintcaptel.com .
Sprint has 17 years of experience in providing relay services to persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or deaf-blind or have a speech disability to communicate with hearing persons on the phone. Sprint’s experience in the field assures users of Sprint Relay receive quality service no matter what type of Relay service they are using. Relay service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with no restrictions on the number of calls placed or call length. For more information, visit http://www.sprintrelay.com.Sprint
WebCapTel is an extension of Sprint’s existing CapTel® service, which also provides captions during phone calls, but requires a specialized telephone to display the captions.
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