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 ITU Workshop on "Telecommunications Relay Services for Persons with Disabilities"
 Geneva, Switzerland, 25 November 2011 Contact:
Relay services in Australia; the consumer perspective – Dani Fried, Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, Australia

This presentation provides a background to how consumers use – and would like to use – Australia’s National Relay Service. It will cover issues such as costs for consumers, call modalities, reasons for why relay services are essential, issues for consumers, and the vision of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network for a future Disability Telecommunications Service.
UN Route towards relay services throughout the world – Christopher Jones, Acceque UK and co-convenor of the ITU JCA-AHF

The UNCRPD will be explored in relation to the setting up and running of relay services for people with hearing and speech disabilities.

How deaf organisations have campaigned for relay services throughout the world? Deaf organisations in three countries whose campaign for better or new relay services will be investigated.

Can anyone use the UNCRPD to achieve their goals in getting relay services will be explored?
Beyond the TRS: The regulatory, funding and resourcing barriers encountered by the Australian Communication Exchange (ACE) in piloting a captioned telephony (CTS) relay service in Australia – Sandy Gilliland, Australian Communications Exchange, Australia

The Australian Government's internationally acclaimed National Broadband Network (NBN) vision and the associated multi-billion dollar investments can enable people to participate in this new environment. It would be unacceptable not to use these initiatives to also bring the benefits of these new opportunities to the disability community as well.

ACE (a not for profit organization, and the current provider of the Relay component of the National Relay Service) at its own cost has pioneered the proof of concept trialling of both Video Relay Services (VRS) and Captioned Telephone Services (CTS) in Australia since 2009.
Relay Services in Europe, technical perspectives – Emmanuel Buu, IVES, France

The EU Universal Service directive of in 2002 mandate the member states to provide a service of telephone to deaf of hard of hearing people. This is the legal bases for creation of relay centers in Europe. From our perspective of VRS platform provider, we report about the difference between the well established american model and the models emerging form various european providers. It includes the person to person calls, service provider interconnections, the mobile access to relay services.

Finally, some prospective ideas will be developped such as US ans Europe interconnection, use of IMS network and IP V6 impact.
How accessibility-focussed public procurement policies can be used to improve the quality of future relay services – Mike Pluke, ETSI and Castle Consulting UK

"A European Standard (EN) specifying accessibility requirements for use in public procurement is being developed by ETSI under Standardization Mandate M376. As many relay services will be procured by public authorities, the EN offers a perfect way to ensure that best-practice standards are used when specifying future relay services.

ETSI has already published documents on relay services and related issues and ES 202 974 (2009) "Harmonised relay services, which is explicitly "intended to give information suitable for incorporation in contracts between commissioning agents and service providers." will be a rich source for EN requirements.

The presentation illustrates how the EN ensures that appropriate ETSI-drafted requirements will be called up when public procurement contracts for European relay services are prepared."
The NER model to assess accuracy in respeaking – Pablo Romero-Fresco, Roehampton University

Respeaking is consolidating as the preferred method to provide live subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing around the world and is also being used in relay services. Yet, an important quality-related issue that is still to be addressed consistently is that of accuracy. Given that accuracy calculations vary greatly between countries and even companies, the question arises of whether we are effectively comparing incomparable data. The aim of this presentation is to briefly review a series of approaches to accuracy in respeaking adopted in different countries and then to propose a new model that is already being used by European broadcasters and media companies in English, Spanish, French, German and Italian, with a view to standardise practices regarding this issue.

Bibliographical reference:
Romero-Fresco, Pablo (2011) Subtitling through Speech Recognition: Respeaking. Manchester: St. Jerome.

Pablo Romero-Fresco (
Relay services in support of emergency calls according to the REACH112 concept – Gunnar Hellstrom, Omnitor, Sweden

The European project REACH112 deploys Total Conversation for inter-personal communication and for access to emergency services. The presentation describes the connection of relay services in emergency calls in the Swedish pilot of REACH112, and how the need for direct communication, calling by emergency service number 112, priority, recording, location information provision and support of various communication needs can be fulfilled. Connection with standards as well as practical experience is provided from the Swedish pilot that started in May 2011 and is run by technology provider Omnitor and emergency service provider SOS Alarm.
Reaching Out More: Relay Services in Total Conversation – Jim Kyle, University of Bath, UK

Telephony systems were designed to connect people but for most of the last century, they marginalised groups within society. Now using Android smartphones, netbooks, computers and videophones, people communicate in video, voice and text, from anywhere and at any time. In REACH112, we provide a pilot relay service: sign language interpreters, lip-speaking/lip-reading operators, speech to text operators and by connecting to existing text relay services, an open service to connect to society. In this paper, we describe user experience of the REACH112 Total Conversation Relay service and indicate its further value in making emergency calls. With over 1000 users, we cater for Deaf sign language users, hard-of-hearing, learning disabled and older people. As well as evaluating progress, the paper discusses impact, ethics, training and responsibilities in regard to telecommunications relay for all.
Relay Services; technology and user trends – Thor Nielsen and Niklas Cassel, nWise AB, Sweden

How can we make use of the rapid development of applications, hardware and broadband network capacity? How do we make sure to develop products, services and ways of working that caters for the future and not for the past? How do we make sure to include more people in different age-groups, genders and disabilities? How do we make sure to include diversity and innovation into the standardisation process?

We will present answers and ideas and share our experiences from working closely with many of the leading Text- and Video Relay Services in the world.
A Vision for Relay Services and Interoperability – Christian Vogler, Gallaudet University, USA

There is no doubt that relay services have contributed hugely to telecommunications access of deaf, heard of hearing, and speech-disabled people. However, we are still far from realizing the vision of true functional equivalence that would allow relay users to pick up any telecommunications equipment anytime, anywhere in the world, and call anyone in the world. In this talk I will discuss interoperability across equipment, integration into the mainstream telephone system, and common standards for relay services. All of these are missing key pieces that would allow this vision to become a reality.
Telecommunications Relay Services in Speech-to-Speech translation system in accordance with Recommendations F.745 and H.625 – Chiori Hori, NICT, Japan

NICT constructed a network-based speech-to-speech translation system on smartphones using telecommunications relay services according to ITU-T H.625 and F.745, We will extend this technology and utilize the system to contribute to help persons with disabilities to communicate with others. With this aim, we would like to present our technology used for the current field experiment through a demonstration and introduce our future experimentation plans to the disability community.

In the meeting, we look forward to advancing the discussion and having any suggestions to our presentation.


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