New Technology Helps Hard-of-Hearing

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Jed Boal ReportingA Utah company has taken another revolutionary step to help the deaf and hard-of-hearing communicate. The new technology enables them to have phone conversations almost as simply as everyone else.

Jeff Pollack is a busy instructor at the University of Utah. Like many of us, he needs to stay in touch wherever he goes. Sorenson IP Relay lets him do that with a text-to-speech relay call.

James Lee Sorenson, CEO of Sorenson Communications: "It enables the deaf and hard-of-hearing to communicate when they're out with mobile devices and P.C.S"

Computer technology revolutionized the way the deaf communicate. Sorenson Communications introduced video relay service two years ago, a videophone for the deaf. This new, free service enables the deaf or hard-of-hearing to place calls to anyone in the country from a mobile device or personal computer.

Jeff Pollack uses his mobile device on campus.

Jeff Pollack, Voice of Interpreter: "To contact other professors, I would have to contact them in person and get an interpreter, but now it's very easy."

When Jeff types his message to the communications center, the communications center calls my phone, Jeff types in his message to me, and the communications assistant tells me what Jeff is saying.

Jennifer Caldwell is a deaf stay-at-home mom. She says the service is a big leap from older, slower relay systems.

Jennifer Caldwell, Voice of Interpreter: "With other services my family didn't have any patience with their service. It makes the relationship and communication much better."

The IP relay center creates jobs too, 250 now and more than 500 in the next two years.

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