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International Telecommunication Union Geneva, 2 November 2009 Our Telephone – Striving towards Functional Equivalency in Relay Services. Christopher F.

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Presentation on theme: "International Telecommunication Union Geneva, 2 November 2009 Our Telephone – Striving towards Functional Equivalency in Relay Services. Christopher F."— Presentation transcript:

1 International Telecommunication Union Geneva, 2 November 2009 Our Telephone – Striving towards Functional Equivalency in Relay Services. Christopher F G Jones Director AccEquE Ltd ITU-T Workshop "The impact of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the work of the ITU-T" Geneva, 2 November 2009

2 International Telecommunication Union Our Telephone Call Deaf sign language users, deaf with speech, deafened, deaf blind and hard of hearing people have a basic human right to access the telephone in the MOST functional equivalent way as possible. Not only enabling them to fully integrate socially in society but more importantly in their place of employment. ITU-T Workshop on Accessibility Geneva, 2 November

3 International Telecommunication Union Our Telephone Call The use of other telecommunication methods such as SMS, , faxes etc should not be used instead of a telephone call. Why? Because telephone is a TWO-WAY communication process as opposed to alternative telecommunication methods. ITU-T Workshop on Accessibility Geneva, 2 November

4 International Telecommunication Union Our Telephone Call Therefore relay services are the only appropriate access to the telephone for deaf people. There are many different types of relay services, some are more functional equivalent than others. Examination of call operating procedures are necessary to strive towards more functional equivalency. ITU-T Workshop on Accessibility Geneva, 2 November

5 International Telecommunication Union Our Telephone Captioned Telephone Relay Service CTRS is perhaps the most functional equivalent type of relay service. Traditionally hard of hearing people in general have always loathed Text Relay Services. Why? They simply want to use a normal-like telephone. With CTRS, they simply LOVE it. ITU-T Workshop on Accessibility Geneva, 2 November

6 International Telecommunication Union Our Telephone Call. ITU-T Workshop on Accessibility Geneva, 2 November Hard of Hearing Caller Hearing Caller Captioning Assistant Audio Text Voice Recognition Engine

7 International Telecommunication Union ITU-T Workshop on Accessibility Geneva, 2 November Our Telephone Why do hard of hearing, deafened and deaf people with speech prefer CTRS? Transcription Speed Level of Accuracy Level of Transparency Level of Control

8 International Telecommunication Union Our Telephone Transcription Speed Transcription speed from speech to text is almost real-time. There will always be an inherent delay due to the voice recognition engine not producing the first word until receives sufficient words to establish a context. The apparent delay becomes unnoticeable during a call. ITU-T Workshop on Accessibility Geneva, 2 November

9 International Telecommunication Union Our Telephone Level of Accuracy For conversations in the range of 150 wpm to 180 wpm, the level of accuracy is typically 98%. Above 180 wpm, the accuracy drops slightly, this is no difference to any hearing person listening to fast speakers which can become more difficult to listen to! ITU-T Workshop on Accessibility Geneva, 2 November

10 International Telecommunication Union Draft ETSI standards on Relay Services suggests a minimum of 90% accuracy for CTRS. This level of accuracy in my view will lead to less functional equivalent service and therefore detrimental to hard of hearing people. We need to revise this upwards to 98%. ITU-T Workshop on Accessibility Geneva, 2 November

11 International Telecommunication Union Our Telephone Level of Transparency Hearing callers in a CTRS relayed call are very often not aware of their telephone call being relayed. This is the highest level of transparency achieved. This is dependable upon the way call procedures are followed. To ensure this, the Captioning Assistants simply do not intervene at all. ITU-T Workshop on Accessibility Geneva, 2 November

12 International Telecommunication Union Our Telephone Call Level of Control This is perhaps one of the most important elements of any relay call, who controls the call? With CTRS, the Captioning Assistant is unable to intervene a relayed call, therefore the control of the call is inherently passed to hard of hearing user such as explaining the CTRS or not to the hearing caller. ITU-T Workshop on Accessibility Geneva, 2 November

13 International Telecommunication Union Our Telephone Call Privacy Issue This is a serious issue that needs resolution. In many states, there are laws that one must inform the other party of a telephone call, the presence of a third person/party. If applied, this would lead to a REDUCED functional equivalency of a relay service. Therefore it is imperative that this is avoided where possible. There are ways! ITU-T Workshop on Accessibility Geneva, 2 November

14 International Telecommunication Union Our Telephone Call A challenge for ITU to come up with standards that enable all of us to enjoy as much functional equivalent relay services as possible. Not only technical standards but to include human factors such as call operating procedures, ethics, privacy, etc. Examine best practices throughout the world. ITU-T Workshop on Accessibility Geneva, 2 November

15 International Telecommunication Union Our Telephone Call With UNs Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a challenge to all states to provide a range of different types of relay services. Many deaf do not have a choice of different types of relay services or worse they have none. ITU-T Workshop on Accessibility Geneva, 2 November

16 International Telecommunication Union Our Telephone Call Deaf people simply need a choice of relay services for effective social integration and increased career progression. Remember it is our telephone call for both hearing and deaf people to enjoy and be comfortable with it. ITU-T Workshop on Accessibility Geneva, 2 November

17 International Telecommunication Union Our Telephone Call More importantly at NO cost to the user whether deaf or hearing other than the cost of a standard telephone call. That is our challenge. ITU-T Workshop on Accessibility Geneva, 2 November

18 International Telecommunication Union Our Telephone Call Thank you Christopher FG Jones Director – Acceque Ltd - Tele: ITU-T Workshop on Accessibility Geneva, 2 November


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