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Florida State Seal State of Florida
Public Service Commission


07/26/2011 Contact: 850-413-6482

Empowering the Deaf to Make Telephone Calls 24/7

TALLAHASSEE — Florida’s Public Service Commission (PSC) and Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc. (FTRI) will celebrate 20 years of “communications freedom” through the Florida Relay Service (FRS) at 10 a.m., Thursday, July 28 at FTRI’s Tallahassee office.  To highlight and demonstrate this important service, PSC Commissioner Ronald A. Brisé and FTRI Executive Director James Forstall will place a call to a hard of hearing consumer in North Miami, who regularly uses the specialized phone equipment through FTRI.

FTRI, a non-profit corporation formed at the PSC’s direction, administers the statewide FRS system.  Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, FRS facilitates telephone calls between people with hearing loss or speech disabilities and other individuals by using special equipment and a communications assistance operator.

Marking 20 years of communication freedom is especially fitting since July is also the 21st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  In 1991, the Florida Legislature established the Telecommunications Access System Act (TASA), and the PSC directed local exchange companies to form a not-for-profit corporation to accomplish the TASA requirements.  Today, FTRI continues to fulfill TASA’s intent by providing cost effective access terminals for basic telecommunications services to deaf, hard of hearing, speech disabled, and deaf-blind persons.

Thursday, July 28, 2011
10:00 a.m.
Florida Telecommunications Relay Inc.
1820 East Park Avenue
Suite 101
Tallahassee, Florida

An interpreter for the deaf will be available to assist with questions attending press may have for participants in the equipment demonstration.

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