Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Recently I have heard about a new service similar to TTY (for persons who have trouble hearing) called Speech-to-Speech for persons with speech difficulties.  This service can be best explained by it's founder, Dr. Bob Segalman.
Speech-to-Speech is a service for people with speech disabilities. 
If you have a speech disability and live in the USA, you can now use a free† telephone relay service, available 24 hours a day. This service is similar to the TTY service available to the hearing disabled except that it does not require typing. 
This service, called Speech-to-Speech (STS), provides communication assistants (CA's) for people with difficulty being understood by the public on the telephone. It is available for business, medical, and personal communication. 
STS is easy to use, available from every phone and no registering is required. 
Just pick up the phone and dial 711 and request a Speech-to-Speech Operator. Your family, friends and business acquaintances can call you and use the STS services just as easily.
While I have had no opportunity to try out the service, it seems very needed.  I can only imagine the difficulty and frustration some of my students would have using a telephone to make a simple order or ask a question.  Trying to get the receiver to understand that they are using an AAC device, that they have speech difficulties, truly frustrating.  I'm excited to see a service like this available.
Now that Dr. Segalman has gotten the voice Speech-to-Speech (STS) running he is asking for help to get a video (vid-STS) service approved by the FCC.  His premise is that many persons with speech difficulties can make themselves understood when they are seen by a person they may be calling.  I think this would be a great addition to the STS service and encourage everyone to sign the petition below:

Video Speech-To-Speech

-  Patrick

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