Captions of phone conversations make telecommunications more inclusive
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), December 09, 2013 - Sprint (NYSE: S), a leader in wireless accessibility, announced another milestone in the company’s effort to enable telecommunications for all. The company earned New Zealand’s prestigious Telecommunications and Internet Award for providing CapTel (captioned telephone) service in the country. Sprint opened the first CapTel center outside of the United States in Auckland, New Zealand in March 2013. CapTel service provides captioned conversations for people with hearing loss.
The award was given by the Captioning Working Group with membership from Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand, The Hearing Association New Zealand, and The National Foundation for the Deaf.
In an announcement, the Captioning Working Group noted, “This life-changing service [Sprint CapTel] has brought communication and connectivity, significantly reducing social isolation among those who are deaf and hearing impaired in New Zealand. The reactions of deaf and hearing-impaired people to regaining the ability to use the telephone have been moving. Some have been in tears as they made their first telephone call in many years.”
Mike Ellis, director-Sprint Relay Services, said, “Sprint has been a long-standing leader in relay services for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, as well as for individuals with speech disabilities. We are honored to accept this award for the work Sprint has done to assist and expand access for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.”
With a special CapTel phone, users can read what callers are saying while listening with their residual hearing. CapTel service breaks down barriers by enabling people who have hearing difficulty to enjoy telephone access.
Sprint has provided relay services in New Zealand since 2004. Sprint’s long-standing relay partner, Communications Services for the Deaf (CSD), runs the CapTel call center in Auckland.
Accepting the award in New Zealand, Liz D’Anna, Sprint Relay Services program manager, said, “We at Sprint will always strive towards enhancing our products and services to improve the quality of life for those who are deaf, with hearing loss, and with speech disabilities.”
At the opening of the CapTel center earlier this year, Hon. Amy Adams, New Zealand Communications and Information Technology Minister, said, “Collaborating with Sprint to provide CapTel positions New Zealand as a leader in providing telecommunications services that enable people with impaired hearing, speech and vision to participate on an equal basis with others.”
About Sprint Relay
Sprint is the largest and most technologically advanced Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) provider in the nation, with more than 20 years of experience in providing relay services to persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, or who have a speech disability to communicate with hearing persons on the phone. Sprint is the TRS provider in 30 states and for the federal government. For more information about Sprint’s commitment to people with disabilities, visit the Accessibility for All page on sprint.com or www.sprintrelay.com.
Sprint (NYSE:S) offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint served more than 54 million customers at the end of the third quarter of 2013 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Sprint as the most improved company in customer satisfaction, across all 47 industries, during the last five years. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
Mark Bonavia, 913-269-0436