Expansion of Telephone Service For Many People With Speech Disabilities

Internet publication URL: www.independentliving.org/docs4/segalman.html

If you have a speech disability and live in one of the thirteen states listed below, you can now use a new, free telephone assistance service 24 hours a day. Speech-to-Speech (STS) provides communications assistants (CAs) for people with difficulty being understood by the public on the telephone.

People with speech disabilities can dial toll free to reach a patient, trained CA who is familiar with many speech patterns and has excellent language recognition skills. This CA makes telephone calls for them and repeats their words exactly.

Every month users make about 6,000 calls nationally. STS is the only Way for many people to telephone others not accustomed to their speech. Many STS users have Parkinson's disease, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, or Muscular Dystrophy. Other users stutter or have had a laryngectomy or ALS.

STS also helps some speech synthesizer users especially in their attempts to reach someone through a switchboard or voice menu. After the desired party answers, the CA can stand by while the parties communicate directly without her/his involvement.

Bob Segalman has cerebral palsy and developed the concept of STS. Now it makes telephone use much easier for him. To try out STS, report problems or get more information: Call 800-854-7784 and ask for Dr. Bob Segalman (direct #916-263-8689). Or e-mail him: bob.segalman@worldnet.att.net .

STS will be available nationwide in March 2001. More information is also available at: http://stsnews.com/

Here are the U. S. Speech-to-Speech access numbers:

ARIZONA: 1-800-842-6520
CALIFORNIA: 1-800-854-7784 (Customer Service 1-800-735-0373)
GEORGIA: 1-800-229-5746
ILLINOIS: 1-877-526-6690
MINNESOTA: 1-877-627-3848
MARYLAND: 1-800-785-5630
NEVADA: 1-888-326-5658
NORTH CAROLINA: 1-877-735-8261
SOUTH CAROLINA: 1-877-735-7277
SOUTH DAKOTA: 1-877-981-9744
UTAH: 1-888-346-5822
WASHINGTON: 1-877-833-6341
WISCONSIN: 1-800-833-7637

Australia provides Speech-to-Speech.



(Tom McCaul).

Sweden just completed a Speech-to-Speech trial.



(Inga Svanfeldt)