People with Speech Disabilities Now Have a Telephone Service

Dial toll free to reach a patient, trained operator who is familiar with many speech patterns and has acute hearing. This operator makes telephone calls for you and repeats your words exactly. Internet publication URL: www.independentliving.org/docs5/speechphone.html

If you have a speech disability and live in : ARIZONA, CALIFORNIA, MARYLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA, WISCONSIN, GEORGIA, and WASHINNGTON STATE, you can now use a new, free telephone assistance service 24 hours a day.

This service, called Speech-to-Speech, provides human voicers for people with difficulty being understood by the public on the telephone. The FCC expects all states to provide Speech-to-Speech in two years.

If you have a speech disability, you can dial toll free to reach a patient, trained operator who is familiar with many speech patterns and has acute hearing. This operator makes telephone calls for you and repeats your words exactly.

Users now make about 5,000 calls a month nationally. Speech-to-Speech is also useful if you use a speech synthesizer. Speech-to-Speech is the only way for many people to telephone others not accustomed to their speech. Many Speech-to-Speech users have Parkinson's disease, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, or Muscular Dystrophy. Other users include people who stutter or have had a laryngectomy or ALS.

I have cerebral palsy and Speech-to-Speech made telephone use much easier for me. You can try out Speech-to-Speech, report problems or get more information by calling 800-854-7784 and asking for Dr. Bob Segalman (in the communication assistant's directory).

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

ARIZONA 1 800 842 6520 CALIFORNIA 1 800 854 7784
MARYLAND 1 800-785-5630 SOUTH CAROLINA 1 877 735 7277
WISCONSIN 1 800-833-7637 GEORGIA 1 800 229 5746
WASHINGTON STATE 877-833-6341

Sweden is conducting a Speech-to-Speech Trial now. Australia recently completed a trial.

For Swedish access numbers e-mail: Inga.Svanfeldt@hoh.lul.se (Inga Svanfeldt) and for Australian access numbers e-mail: Ace.Tom.McCaul@uq.net.au (Tom McCaul).

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