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CTU to implement new technology to help deaf people communicate

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — The Trinidad-based Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) says it is now close to implementing the Caribbean Video Assistance Service (CVAS), which enables deaf people to communicate directly via the free Personal Universal Communicator (PUC) application.

It said the service, which also provides sight assistance for the blind, has the potential to revolutionise the way in which people with disabilities (PWDs) communicate with each other and hearing and sighted people.

The CTU said the new initiative is a collaboration between itself and VTCSecure that uses a technological platform to facilitate communication, without expensive equipment, via an individual’s smart phone, computer or wireless device from virtually anywhere.

VTCSecure is a global company that provides secure On-Demand, Video, Voice & Text Call Centre Services.

“This initiative requires the involvement and support from people with disabilities and the organisations that serve them, governments, network operators, regulators and corporate citizens,” CTU said, adding that sign Language interpreters are needed to work as on-line agents and that PWDs will be required to test the service.

It said VTCSecure will provide the Secure On-Demand Video Enablement Solution (SOLVES) platform to work ideally with a network operator to test and commission SIP trunks, which the operator provides. A SIP trunk enables SOLVES to connect to landline telephone numbers, an important part of allowing Deaf or hard of hearing persons access to the hearing.

The CTU said it has approached a number of organisations to collaborate on the implementation of the CVAS and that the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) has expressed keen interest in partnering with the CTU on this project, which dovetails with their proposed universal service initiative to provide assistive technologies to PWDs.

The goal of TATT’s project is to promote digital inclusion in Trinidad and Tobago by ensuring that low-income PWDs have access to affordable mobile devices with assistive features, CTU added.

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