Star VRS Closes/CAAG Remains Strong!
Link to Star VRS Letter to the FCC:
Contact the FCC about your concerns: 844-432-2275
[Video Description: Jeremy Jack, a white bald male with a beard wearing a suit sits on a desk in an office. In American Sign Language he signs: “Hello! I’m Jeremy Jack, Vice President of Star VRS. I have the difficult task of informing you that as of March 31, 2016 Star VRS will close services. This video is not to speak poorly of or put blame on any individual however there are two reasons that I will share that had us come to the decision to close.
First, three years ago the FCC released the VRS Reform Order. Within that Order it was explained that VRS compensation rates would be drastically cut over time. During these cuts the FCC committed to establishing structural reforms that would bring cost savings to VRS providers. Since then the FCC has indeed significantly reduced VRS rates. But the promised structural reforms have yet to come about. Which has caused devastating financial loss to VRS companies, particularly the smallest providers.
Additionally, in a VRS industry that is dominated by a single provider, two mid-size providers, and three very small providers it is incredibly prohibitive for the five smaller providers to compete without support from the FCC.
It is for these two reasons that Star VRS has chosen to stop providing service. You can read more in our letter to the FCC by following the link in the description below.
If you are concerned that other VRS providers will close their service and that VRS will be reduced to one company as with what happened in IP-Relay we encourage you to express those concerns directly to the Federal Communications Commission.
To our loyal customers of Star VRS we express our heartfelt gratitude and when moving or porting to your new VRS provider we encourage you to use the two small Community based providers: Convo, the only Deaf owned provider or Global VRS, the only woman and interpreter owned provider. We ask that you continue to support small VRS companies.
And finally to clarify, the parent company of Star VRS, Communication Axess Ability Group (CAAG) is not closing and remains a strong and stable interpreting agency that offers Community interpreting services, Video Remote Interpreting Services, and Advocacy services under the Texas DARS program. For over 15 years now CAAG has served our Deaf Community and will continue to do so for many years to come.
Bye and take care…”
Image fades to white and the CAAG logo, a red ball with the white letters CAAG on it, rolls in from the left side and stops in the middle. Above the ball the words Communication Axess appear and below the ball the words Communication Matters appears]