RID / NIC loses face to BEI interpreter credential in Michigan-

After a successful one year pledged vow from the state appointed Director seeking to provide interpreting services for the Deaf/HoH to select a new (BEI) interpreting testing system, delayed information for consideration came from the RID whom had SIGNIFICANT, if not PREDOMINANT representation on the agencies "Rules and Regulations Committee" AND from its own DODHH Interpreter Coordinator.

Why was the Michigan Board for the Evaluation for Interpreters (MI-BEI) test labeled inferior by the RID and whats really at stake?

more to come...

1) 10/23/09 Michigan announces new BEI testing

2 Division on Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Rules and Regulations Committee Appointees

3) 1/14/10 DODHH letter to me w/ qa replacement card and BEI testing announcement

4) 1/14/10_RID argument to the state

5) 1/15/10 DODHH cancels rules and regulations meeting

6) 1/16 - MiDeafAss'n "closed" meeting discuss BEI "hot potato" issue

More arrests in VRS Defrauding Taxpayers investigation
Call us before we call them say Feds

The beginning of the end to address fraud / abuse in VRS was delivered just prior to Thanksgiving.
Indictments were "served" to 26 individuals linked primarily with Viable but
the on-going investigation "does not rule out more charges, and urges anyone with information about such fraud to come forward..."Joseph Persichini, Jr., Assistant Director of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
Department of Justice Press Release Nov 19 READ MORE

US Charges Firms Defrauded Deaf Phone Fund
Feds charge firms with stealing millions from fund to help deaf people make phone calls

Federal prosecutors on Thursday announced criminal charges against more than two dozen people accused of stealing tens of millions of dollars from a telephone service for the deaf.

Authorities said owners and employees at seven companies schemed to create bogus calls to a video service that allows the deaf to converse over phone lines to hearing people. Together, the companies represent about 15 percent of the market for such services, according to Justice Department officials READ MORE


Top Ten events of the "y2k" decade;

1) ADA reaches obscure10 year anniversary

2) ADA creates interpreter agency presence amidst severe interpreter shortages

3) Deaf Way I I _international Deaf culture shared & celebrated

4) Broadband becomes more accessible_technology hastens "functional equivalence"

5) Video Relay Service (VRS) / Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) arrive

6) Gallaudet President protest #2- "not Deaf enough" selection process brings repeat student scrutiny

7) RID membership reaches 15,000 plateau / "any and all certifications" accepted

8) Deaf Bilingual Coalition (DBC) -mandate for bi-lingual education revealed / audism exposed and challenged

9) VRS shackled with fraud and abuse allegations from federal government agencies / ongoing investigations abound

10) VRS industrys' current existence doubtful...

...and what will begin the next ten year stretch?

1) VRS reform _ the Dec. 17 '09 FCC workshop spreads VRS "out on the floor for 52 pick-up"

2) VRS- governments investigation trials and persecution under way with unprecedented fallout

3) VRS patent "discovered"-

4) RID "member" defined-

5) and much, much more..


Marlee Matlin's Remarks at FCC Hearing on Broadband Access for People With Disabilities

Video Interpret owner Michael Doyle
at an event in Chicago with Marlee
About the FCC Broadband Field Events

In an effort to solicit input from the public in the development of a National Broadband Plan, the FCC will host field hearings http://www.broadband.gov/fieldevents/
throughout the country. Details on further field hearings will be announced later.
The FCC is convening field hearings this fall to promote an open dialogue between the FCC and the public on development of a National Broadband Plan. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 directed the FCC to submit a National Broadband Plan to Congress by February 17, 2010 that addresses broadband deployment, adoption, affordability, and the use of broadband to advance solutions to national priorities, including health care, education, energy, public safety, job creation, investment, and others.

The FCC's Historic Opportunity to Improve Lives of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

As the FCC gathers recommendations for a national broadband plan, it faces a historic opportunity to help improve the lives of all deaf and hard of hearing individuals.
A recent field hearing on broadband access for people with disabilities outlined several of the necessary improvements an effective national broadband plan could have for people with disabilities, from improved closed captioning services to improved emergency services like 911.

Join FaceBook Cause-
Caption Action 2: Internet Closed Captioning
Get Congress to pass HR 3101, and increase closed or open captioning on the Internet. Want to tell someone about Caption Action 2? CLICK TO JOIN

FCC-OIG in Philly spotlight
VRS “fraudulent” calls & VI liability

Lets face it. VRS, in its short history would show most, if not ALL VRS providers can be linked to some sort of “fraudulent” call. VI interpretations (pardon the pun) of this “manufactured minute” phenomenon has been around awhile as Ed Bosson (the father of VRS) has so eloquently pointed out for the FCC.

Since Day 1, the “brown bag” kick-backs, lengthy hold times for a nationwide VP installation network , “conference” calls between hearing and Deaf employees, privacy screen interpreting , Deaf consumer paying no attention for whatever reason, pod casts, blah, blah, blah. They are simply too many to add-up with a variety that rivals counting stars on a clear night.
This “fraudulent” activity has never brought much widespread meaningful attention...until now.

What’s different today is the tanked economy, a new political structure getting “heat to clean house” on the TRS fund from ratepayers and then introducing a new target to locate these unlawful abusers.

The newfound untapped solution for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Office of Inspector General (OIG)? VIs’ at large.
Get the whole story HERE

Employees sue Viable over wages
List of plaintiffs in class-action suit to grow, alleging state, federal law violations
Rockville deaf-services company Viable has been hit with a class-action lawsuit filed by former and current employees seeking back payment of wages, interest, compensatory damages and other relief. The litigation comes not long after Viable made an agreement to be bought by a New York competitor...."There are large issues that remain to be resolved with Viable," Woodfield said. "But the facts are clear that Viable and the named officers failed to meet their payment obligations to their employees." Gazette Net (Sept 4 2009)

One Provider Per House?
(Aug 24) Purple Communications, a video relay Service, has brought our attention to a petition Sorenson Communications has filed with the FCC establishing a new rule allowing only ONE provider per geographical area with claims that it would be unsafe to have more than one provider per house. It also has been established according to their IT team hearing people have these VOIP choices. This begs the question which Purple asks, If hearing people can why can't the deaf?

Take a look at their video and the responses by their readers concerning their position on this issue HERE

Take a look at the petition filed by Sorenson Communications HERE

Videointerpret NEWS from the 15%
Convo Relay Launches a New Video Relay Service for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Communities Austin, Texas (PRWEB) May 21 Convo Relay today announced the launch of a new Video Relay Service for Deaf and Hard of Hearing consumers, Convo. Convo utilizes technology, call centers and video software to provide a service that enables deaf people to communicate with hearing parties.The vision of Convo includes ensuring speedy connection times, hence providing the best of functional equivalency....SOURCE

Video Interpreters Save Lives Mon, May 18, 2009 (nbclosangeles.com)
Dr. Bruce Hensel reported on a potentially lifesaving video interpretation service for patients in hospitals throughout the country...SOURCE

Language Line Services Expands Video Interpretation Service to Include Mexican Sign Language April 02, 2009 08:30 AM
TUCSON Language Line Services, the world’s leading provider of language solutions, today announced the addition of Mexican Sign Language or Lengua de Señas Mexicana (LSM), the dominant language of the deaf community in the urban regions of Mexico, to the Language Line® Video Interpreter Service offering... SOURCE

TDI casts ominous cloud on FCC proposed VRS ‘09-’10 rate
Recent U.S. Appeals Court decision “in check”
A Consumer Group -Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing,Inc. (TDI) apparently is creating a menacing predicament for some VRS providers in establishing a ‘09-’10 VRS compensation rate. This is being accomplished by requesting to see NECAs “postulating” of the TRS compensation rate funding to VRS providers from the FCC... READ MORE

FCC proposes ‘09-’10 VRS rate cut...Sorenson squirms
On May 14, the FCC issued a "Notice of Proposed Rule Making" (NPRM) stating 'we should modify the compensation rates for Video Relay Service (VRS) for the 2009-2010 Fund year.'
The deadline for the filed comment period on this issue was initially set for June 4 but has been extended to July 6 due to objections from parties “to allow interested stakeholders more time to comment on the NPRM given its potential impact on the VRS industry”.The ‘modifying’ they’re announcing is a projected CUT for ‘09-’10 funding of the per minute rate, negating the last year of the “contract” that was created in ‘07. That may come as a surprise to some. To others, not so shocking given the current economic crisis.As a resident of Michigan, “ground zero” of economic chaos, chronic dismal expectations with the state economy have been experienced for a LONG period of time.
Operating with less is the rule, not the exception. Government Motors, aka GM, has provided a reality check for thousands and thousands of people in Michigan.
Are you watching California? !Notwithstanding the current economic climate, Sorenson may have brought this “price drop” upon itself.... READ MORE

Congress busts Kevin Martin's chops, demands change at FCC
When the main VRS provider, Sorenson, was to be audited by the FCC, the company simply refused to allow the auditors access, and the audit was never done. The much smaller companies that were eventually audited turned out to have serious problems. Why did Martin do nothing despite warnings from his own staff? The report doesn't offer a reason, though it does demand an immediate audit of Sorenson and a Government Accountability Office audit of the entire TRS program.READ MORE