AURORA, Neb., March 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Hamilton Relay, a leading provider of Telecommunications Relay and Captioned Telephone Service, is once again the provider of California Relay Service. Hamilton was awarded a second consecutive contract following a competitive procurement process. Hamilton Relay received its first award in 2010 and began providing Telecommunications Relay and Captioned Telephone Service in the state of California on June 2, 2010.
California Relay Service, a program of the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program of the California Public Utilities Commission, provides 24-hour service that enables individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or have difficulty speaking to communicate over the telephone with friends, family members and businesses.
Relay service is essential to individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or have difficulty speaking, said Jonathan Lakritz, Program Manager at the California Public Utilities Commission. "It's also vital to family, friends and businesses that rely on the service to communicate with relay users."
When a traditional relay call is placed through California Relay Service, a Communications Assistant (CA) confidentially relays the conversation by speaking or typing what's said between the relay user and the standard phone user. When using Captioned Telephone (CapTel), a screen on the phone displays word-for-word captions, generated by a captioning assistant through the use of voice recognition software, allowing users to listen while reading what's being said during the conversation.
"We are thrilled for the opportunity to continue providing relay services for the State of California," said Dixie Ziegler, vice president of Hamilton Relay. "Hamilton is committed to providing these life-changing services along with bringing outstanding education programs and customer care to individuals across California."
"Providing outreach and education has given me the opportunity to meet so many amazing people and share invaluable information with the community," said Abigail Mebrahtu, Northern California Outreach Coordinator. "It's a rewarding experience knowing that the relay services we provide are making an impact on so many lives."
"As a CapTel user, I understand how beneficial relay services can be," said Debra Rogers, Southern California Outreach Coordinator. "As an outreach coordinator, it's exciting to be able to share information about relay service with others. Relay allows individuals who have difficulty hearing or speaking over the phone to reconnect with their family and friends."
Anyone can initiate a call through California Relay Service by dialing 711 or the existing toll-free access number for specific relay services. There is no cost to use California Relay Service, although equipment and long distance charges may apply. Free telecommunications equipment is available for qualified California residents through the California Telephone Access Program.
For more information, visit www.HamiltonRelay.com or contact California Customer Care at 1-877-632-9095 (English Voice/TTY), 1-877-419-8440 (Spanish Voice/TTY) or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About California Relay Service and the California Public Utilities Commission
California Relay Service is one of two programs of the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program (DDTP), which is a state-mandated program of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). DDTP provides Californians who are Deaf and disabled with specialized telephone equipment and relay services through the California Telephone Access Program (CTAP) and California Relay Service (CRS), respectively. The DDTP Administrative Contractor (the California Communications Access Foundation or CCAF) is the firm under contract with the CPUC to provide day-to-day DDTP operation and management.
About Hamilton Relay
Hamilton Relay provides contracted Traditional Relay and Captioned Telephone services through 25 contracts to 18 states, the District of Columbia and the Island of Saipan, and is a provider of Internet-based Captioned Telephone services nationwide. More information is available at www.hamiltonrelay.com or www.hamiltoncaptel.com.
Hamilton Relay, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2016, is a division of Hamilton Telecommunications, a diversified communications and technology service provider based in Aurora, Neb. Founded in 1901, Hamilton Telecommunications encompasses seven primary company divisions that allow Hamilton to operate on a local, regional and national basis.
CapTel is a registered trademark of Ultratec, Inc.
SOURCE Hamilton Relay