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Project number: 224348
Project acronym: AEGIS
Project title: Open Accessibility Everywhere: Groundwork, Infrastructure, Standards
Starting date: 1 September 2008
Duration: 48 Months
AEGIS is an Integrated Project (IP) within the ICT programme of FP7

Published in: Health & Medicine, Business
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  1. 1. VIDEO RELAY SERVICEPRACTICES ANDPOLICIES AROUND THEWORLDC. Vogler1, J. McWhinney2, P. Harper3, A. Raike4, G.Hellström5, G. Vanderheiden61Gallaudet University, 2Significan’t, 3Australian Assoc.of the Deaf, 4Aalto University, 5Omnitor, 6Trace Center
  2. 2. What are Video Relay Services? Optional: Audio patch-through (voice carry AEGIS persona: over, hearing Tomasa Almaraz carry over)
  3. 3. Relay Services as Enablers• Relay services enable functional equivalence• An attempt at a definition: Can deaf* people use telecommunication services in the same unrestricted manner and at the same costs as hearing people? * “deaf” is meant to include deaf-blind, hard of hearing, and people with speech disabilities, as well here
  4. 4. Relay Services in Context• Real-time or near real-time: • Video Relay Services (~50% share in US in 2010, >60% in Sweden) • Captioned Telephony (~ 20% share in US in 2010)• Interactive, but with significant lag • IP-based Text Relay • Analog TTY Relay • Speech To Speech
  5. 5. VRS Across the World• Currently not interoperable – video call side does not work across national boundaries• Per-country differences in technologies and policies• The following slides compare some key aspects of VRS across nine countries• Full matrix can be found at http://tinyurl.com/VRSComparison
  6. 6. VRS Standards and ProtocolsApplies when a deaf person calls a hearing personvia VRS via a video connection SIP H.323 H.324M ProprietaryAustralia X (Skype)Denmark X XFinland X (likely)Germany X X X (Web)New Zealand X XNorway X X X X (Skype)Sweden X X X (Web)United X X (SignVideoKingdom only)United States X X (FaceTime, Web)
  7. 7. VRS Standards and Protocols• It is a Wild West out there• No common interoperable protocol • This is a huge problem for point-to-point calls • Severely limits the ability of mainstream equipment to make video connection to VRS• There is pressure to move toward SIP (also for next-gen emergency calls) • Note: SIP alone does not guarantee interoperability, also need common set of codecs, and peering arrangements with proxy server operators
  8. 8. Hearing Person Calling Deaf VRS User ENUM E.164 Verbally give (direct dialing of number, handle, deaf user’s or SIP address number) to relay interpreter Australia X Denmark X Finland X Germany X New Zealand X Norway X Sweden X Switzerland X United Kingdom X United States X
  9. 9. Hearing Person Calling Deaf VRS User• In almost all countries, relay calls are still too complicated to set up for hearing callers• USA and UK are the only exceptions • There a hearing caller just dials a telephone number normally, and is routed through an interpreter automatically
  10. 10. Emergency Calling through VRS Can use VRS to Caller location Priority given call support over normal callsAustraliaDenmark XFinlandGermany XNew ZealandNorway XSweden X X (only REACH X (only REACH 112) 112)United KingdomUnited States X X (but technical X differences across providers)
  11. 11. Emergency Calling through VRS• In some countries calling emergency services through VRS is impossible• Most countries do not support caller location • VRS interpreter must ask the caller, and then consult directory to find appropriate PSAP• Most countries do not support priority in caller queue • VRS has no idea that the caller wants to dial 112/999/911, with disastrous consequences if many callers are ahead in queue
  12. 12. Policies Guiding VRS Availability• From strongest to weakest: • Functional equivalence • Only restrictions are technical and human factors (e.g. availability of interpreters, types of calls supported by relay service technology) • Access to telecommunications • May be subject to “reasonable accommodations” provision, such as limited talking time, no nighttime calls, extra cost to caller, etc. • Social services • Typically covers labor market participation of people with disabilities with state funds with a set number of interpreting hours/year, subject to bureaucratic needs assessment
  13. 13. Policies Guiding VRS Availability Functional Access to Social Service Equivalence TelecomAustralia X (text relay only, VRS TBD)Denmark XFinland XGermany X (personal) X (business)New Zealand X (funding limits)Norway XSweden XUnited Kingdom X (personal) X (business)United States X
  14. 14. Operational Policies for VRS Limited Limited Extra Cost Mandated hours weekdays to Deaf by Law Callers Australia X X Denmark X X X Finland X X X Germany X X X X New X X X Zealand Norway X X X Sweden X Implicit United X X X Kingdom United X States
  15. 15. Summary and Conclusions• Need for technical standards• Need for integration into ENUM E.164• Emergency access is lacking • Also need to consider next-gen emergency, e.g. REACH 112, NG-911• The differing philosophies underlying VRS show in the operational characteristics • Limited availability in many countries • Extra costs to callers in some countries
  16. 16. AcknowledgmentsThe contents of this presentation were developed with funding from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Education, grant number H133E090001 (RERC on Telecommunications Access). However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.
  17. 17. Questions?Email: christian.vogler@gallaudet.eduWeb: http://tap.gallaudet.edu/