The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved the annual budget for Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc. (FTRI), and voted to maintain the monthly surcharge paid by Florida telephone customers at 11 cents. FTRI administers the statewide Florida Relay System (FRS) that provides access to basic telecommunications services for deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf/blind, or speech-impaired.
“This service FTRI provides is invaluable to the estimated three million persons living in Florida that have been diagnosed with a hearing loss,” said PSC Chairman Art Graham. “Making sure deaf and hard of hearing persons can communicate efficiently and equivalently with their friends, families, business, and community, is imperative.”
The Telecommunications Access System Act established in 1991, provides funding to telecommunications relay services to persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired, or others who communicate with them. FTRI is a non-profit corporation selected by the PSC to serve as the Telecommunications Access System Act Administrator. 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 specialized equipment and a communications assistance operator to relay information.
In 2012, the PSC approved a three-year contract with AT&T Relay Services to provide Florida’s FRS service. AT&T’s call center in Florida brought new jobs to the state, which supports the top priority set by the Governor and the Florida Legislature. For information on how to obtain the special equipment, call FTRI at 1-800-222-3448 (Voice) or 1-888-447-5620 (Text Telephone/TTY) or visit www.ftri.org.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
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