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VRS Consumer: Please Contact Your Senators Today

Hello,

Please have your customers, family, and friends help. Visit these local
offices, walk in and tell the staff there to please help make sure FCC do
not cut the VRS rate and put the VRS service in danger. See attached letter
as an example, mail it to her DC office. (see below)

Also call in, deaf use VRS call these number, or hearing people call voice,
email too, whichever method they prefer. Use the letter as guideline for
talking points if use other method of contact. The entire VRS industry
depend on you and your people.

Please forward this to your friends who supports in saving the VRS services.

Thanks!
Concerned VRS Consumer

SENATOR KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON
284 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-4304
202-224-5922
202-224-0776 (FAX)
202-224-5903 (TDD)

SENATOR KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON
961 Federal Building
300 East 8th Street
Austin, Texas 78701
512-916-5834
512-916-5839 (FAX)

SENATOR KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON
10440 N. Central Expressway
Suite 1160
Dallas, Texas 75231
214-361-3500
214-361-3502 (FAX)

SENATOR KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON
1919 Smith Street
Suite 800
Houston, Texas 77002
713-653-3456
713-209-3459 (FAX)

SENATOR KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON
3133 General Hudnell Drive
Suite 120
San Antonio, Texas 78226
210-340-2885
210-349-6753 (FAX)

SENATOR KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON
500 Chestnut Street
Suite 1570
Abilene, Texas 79602
325-676-2839
325-676-2937 (FAX)

SENATOR KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON
1906 G East Tyler St
Harlingen, Texas 78550
956-425-2253
956-412-1468 (FAX)

Download Sample Letter (text format)
http://deafnetwork.com/wordpress/download/446/

====== Sample Letter Here =============================

The Honorable Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison
284 Russell Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Hutchison:

I am writing you today as a member of the deaf community to ask for your help in preventing the Federal Communications Commission from destroying a valuable communications service for the deaf. I use Video Relay Service to communicate over distance in my native language, American Sign Language, something that no other technology permits. This life-altering technology has vastly improved my ability to connect with the hearing community.

In the Americans with Disabilities Act, Congress directed the FCC to ensure that all deaf Americans have access to “functionally equivalent” communications, and VRS is the most functionally equivalent form of communications available to the deaf today. However, there is much to be done before VRS becomes truly functionally equivalent.

I am sure you can imagine the distress I felt when I learned that the FCC is proposing a VRS rate reduction that would threaten this service. I hope that you act to preserve my rights to functionally equivalent communications by preventing the FCC from destroying VRS as we know it. I urge you to ensure that the FCC follows through on its obligations under the ADA so that the goal of true functional equivalence can become a reality.

I understand that, after a long process during which thousands of pages of comments were reviewed, the FCC established a fair long-term rate plan for VRS providers in 2007. At the time, the FCC stated that one of the goals behind this rate plan was to encourage providers to invest in better VRS service, better technology, and better interpreters. I can tell you as a VRS user that VRS service has in fact improved – wait times for calls are shorter, videophones are substantially better, and we now have Enhanced 911 emergency service and ten-digit telephone numbers.

Now the FCC has proposed to abandon its successful rate plan, drastically reduce the VRS rate, and give different VRS providers radically different rates. Rates as low as the FCC has proposed will reverse the progress made toward functional equivalence. Providers will be forced to cut their costs by making VRS less functionally equivalent or stop providing VRS altogether. The proposed rate cuts are so deep that the rates would not cover the real total costs of running a VRS business. I understand that what the FCC misnames “actual” costs are only a part of the real world total costs of providing VRS. Obviously, a VRS provider will not be able to provide service at the same level if it cannot recover the real costs of running its VRS business.

It is unthinkable to me as a deaf person that the FCC would intentionally hurt the deaf community by undercutting VRS. Instead, the FCC should be demanding more improvements in VRS. Please stand up for the rights of deaf individuals and tell the FCC not to destroy this life-altering broadband service by slashing the VRS rate.

I urge you as strongly as I can to bar the FCC from halting the investment and improvements in VRS. Please remind the FCC Chairman and Commissioners that they are obligated to make better VRS available to more deaf individuals. Please show your constituents that you will act to safeguard the rights of deaf individuals by making the FCC Chairman and Commissioners keep their commitments to the deaf by establishing a fair and predictable VRS rate!

Sincerely,

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