Approximately 28 million deaf and hard-of-hearing people reside in the United States, and a majority of them benefit from Telecommunications Relay Services which is mandated by Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Title IV of ADA was drafted based on the provision for TTY services. As Video Relay Services emerged in 2002, it surpassed TTY relay services because of its efficiency compared to the traditional TTY relay. However, Video Relay Services is a relatively new relay format, and no legal mandates for VRS technologies have been established. Thus, there is a strong need for a better understanding of how VRS are utilized for further policy development. A survey study was conducted among all deaf and hard-of-hearing professionals employed at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) in Rochester, New York. Comparative quantitative analysis of whether deaf and hard-of-hearing people are satisfied with either text-based relay services or video relay services to answer the primary research question of this thesis: does VRS provide functionally equivalent telephone access for the deaf?

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Video telephone--Evaluation; Telephone interpreting--Evaluation; Telecommunications devices for the deaf--Evaluation; Deaf--Means of communication

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Department of Science Technology and Society/Public Policy (CLA)


Kavin, Denise

Advisor/Committee Member

Atkins, Scot

Advisor/Committee Member

Foltz, Franz


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: TK6505 .Y67 2008


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