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Gathering to Celebrate Relay Service TSO mandate

Wellington Gathering to Celebrate Relay Service TSO mandate

There will be a gathering at Frank Kitts Park in Wellington on Tuesday 28th May 11am for Deaf and people with disabilities to Thank the NZ Government for supporting the Relay Service as a TSO (Telecommunications Service Obligation). The gathering will head to the Parliament Grounds to present MP's Ruth Dyson and Paul Swain signed Thank-you cards from the supporters.

Kim Robinson and Victoria Manning are organising this Support Rally, which is unique in New Zealand after 7 years going through the Human Rights Commission and 27 years of hoping waiting for this service to be established in New Zealand showing the appreciation of the Government support in this critial issue.

A Relay Service converts voice to text and text to voice with trained Relay Operators enabling both parties to have a conversation normally not done in other ways.

Telecommunications companies do not want to provide this service as they believe it is an outdated and expensive $10 million machine. Reality is, Email, Faxes, SMS and Voice Recognition Software do not resolve, nor fulfil total telecommunications needs for people whom the voice telephone becomes a barrier as its those means of technology are seen as 'delayed' methods of communication, whereas the Relay Service is seen as 'live' method of communication.

The establishment of this service in New Zealand will put this country in line with developed countries such as Australia, USA, UK that currently have a 24 hour 7 days a week Relay Service. This will also have a wide effect on the New Zealand Society as New Zealand currently has more than 300,000 people with hearing-impairments of all ranges and unknown number of speech-impaired people whom would be potential users of this service to meet their needs.

This service will enable a million people to stay in contact with each other daily and used for employment where the telephone was previously a barrier.The NZ Government hopes to see this service up and running by the end of the year.

The highlight of this Support Rally will be having New Zealand Sign Language Interpreters on the Parliament Floor interpreting the MP's Question Time.


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