Viable and Sign Shares Team Up to Provide Video Relay Services

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Video relay call center to be established in Houston will benefit deaf and hard of hearing people nationwide.

Viable, Inc., a provider of video relay services (VRS) for deaf and hard of hearing people, and Sign Shares, a provider of comprehensive sign language interpreting services, have partnered in opening a video relay call center in Houston. In a VRS call, deaf and hard of hearing people for whom American Sign Language is their native language use video technology to connect to a Video Interpreter (VI), who will dial out to another party then interpret their phone conversation.

Sign Shares was established in 1986, placing it among the earliest professional interpreter agencies in the nation. In its 20-plus years of business, it has provided sign language interpreting services to clients in corporate, legal, medical, and educational settings. Sign Shares also has an extensive list of clients in the government market and provides video-based interpreting services.

"We are honored to partner with a pioneering leader in the field of ASL interpreting and, given its long history of exemplary service and commitment to the deaf and hard of hearing community, to be a part of its future," said John T.C. Yeh, president and founder of Viable. "Callers who choose ViableVRS can continue to expect the highest quality interpreting when they make their VRS calls."

People who want to call ViableVRS have a variety of connection options:

  • Via dialing ViableVRS.tv on any videophone
  • Via one-click connection on the VPAD
  • Via one-click connection with Viable Vision for the PC
  • Via dialing ViableVRS.tv using XMeeting for the Mac

"It is an exciting time for Sign Shares as Viable is a unique company and one which we feel is making a difference in society. The company is full of bright young techies who are deaf and whose talents are making a better place for persons who are deaf and hard of hearing," said Deborah Gunter, CEO of Sign Shares and herself a nationally certified interpreter.

This is the third call center partnership Viable has announced in the second quarter of 2008 and brings the company's nationwide presence to the following locations: Corona, CA; Ellicott City, Frederick and Rockville, MD; New York, NY; and Houston and Round Rock, TX.

Openings for qualified interpreters are available at the Houston call center and all other call centers. Interested candidates should contact Viable to inquire about employment opportunities.

About Viable, Inc.
Viable provides next-generation video relay services for deaf and hard of hearing persons that can be accessed wherever there is Internet or wireless connectivity, opening them to a world of communication possibilities. Founded in 2006, Viable is a private, deaf-owned company, and the majority of its employees are deaf and hard of hearing and are personally vested in the innovation and development of the company's products and services. Further information is available at http://www.viable.net .    

About Sign Shares
Founded in 1986, Sign Shares has its corporate headquarter in Houston and a branch office in Seattle. Its services include sign language and oral interpreting and transliteration, deaf intermediary, video remote interpreting, and training and consulting, all of which is provided to clients in the government, corporate, legal, education and health care markets. To learn more about Sign Shares, please visit http://www.signshares.com .    

About Telecommunications Relay Services
Mandated by Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, telecommunications relay services (TRS) enables individuals with hearing or speech disabilities to achieve functional equivalence by accessing telephone systems to place or receive calls through an intermediary known as a relay operator or relay interpreter. Emergent IP technology has given rise to video-based solutions, which are known as video relay services (VRS). VRS options include using a webcam or a videophone to connect to a video relay interpreter, and allow deaf and hard of hearing callers for whom sign language is native to fully achieve the ideal of functional equivalence.

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Glenn Lockhart

Deborah Gunter
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