Greeting Deaf members! I thought you should read and consider what we should do about VRS, and I thought of one idea and request from the interpreters
I thought I should repeat what I have said at WAVLI AG meeting last Saturday (March 25th) because not everybody is at meeting; no-show or early departurees. I noticed some questions from interpreters and thought it is worth to repeat here and I didn’t tell the whole script at the meeting as well. But also I thought it should be for a wider audience who has interest in the topic of Video Relay Service(VRS).
Like I said that I should speak what is on my mind. I don’t care if you decide to place me on your “hit list” but you should be aware what is brewing among the deaf individuals (just beginning). You know that we had an informative “town hall” with Sorenson some time ago. It was well attended by Deaf members and interpreters as well as a surprise visit from Sheila Carlin, CAD President from Winnipeg. At the beginning of the meeting, it was discussed the technical aspect of VP (videophone), Deaf members were excited about the new technological “toy” and the Sorenson spoke of the “possible” free VP device if they are “awarded” to provide the VRS. Then the next section was led by “vice-president” or big honcho of interpreter related part of Sorenson VRS service; focused on the VRS stuff. It was told that we, Canadian Deaf people, couldn’t have the access to Sorenson VRS. Then the same fellow asked the interested interpreters to go to another room for more detailed informative session. I wish to know what is being said in that room, but that is not my reason to talk about.
It’s well known that VRS can create a problem; shortage of interpreter for community needs. Sorenson openly recruit the potential interpreter to work for Sorenson’s call center. The Sorenson are well aware that it can create problem for Lower Mainland. And it said it could create some employment in area of ASL/interpreter instructing. Anita Harding and Janice Jickels raised the questions (repeatedly) about the shortage problem for Lower Mainland and BC Apparently that concerns fall on “deaf ears” on both Deaf people and Sorenson people. Few of us believed that Deafs are being tempted by FREE VP and didn’t think “advancedlly” about the potential problem of shortage.
I am speaking on behalf of few deaf notable members and “invisible” deafs. Anita Harding wishes to be here at the meeting & Aastrid Evensen-Flanjak is in Wash. DC and they both wish to speak up at the WAVLI meeting. So I am asking you for cooperation by not participating the Sorenson’s project VRS when they come back to set up the call center. We don’t want you, interpreters, act as “band-aid” for the American problem. That’s not our problem, and we should not suffer the problem (shortage of interpreter) at home, at same time, we don’t have access to VRS. It was speculated that CAD’s project might be set up sometimes before 2008 or earlier!?!
Like I said before about me being on hit list If you are “grumbling or whining” about the possible loss of employment Well let me tell you, there are 60% deaf people are unemployed or underemployed according to CAD’s paper. Please cooperate with us by refraining from working for VRS (whoever set up) until we have access to VRS. By being employed with VRS, I would said you have advantage (employment) where we don’t have the advantage (access).
I have no objection against Sorenson’s or CAD/CCSD/AVLIC’s plan to start up 100% Canadian VRS, and I have no preference toward either. What am I trying to say about is VRS accessibility for Deaf Canadians.
We can scratch each other’s backs I know many of interpreters have contact with many deaf people who are “social shy”, and you can spread the words about fabulous technical “toy” & about lack of VRS service. You can also encourage them to write a letter to CRTC or contact our CAD Delegate J Jickels. In return, you will have the opportunity of employment once we get the service of VRS for Deaf Canadians and might get some respect/appreciation from us. That is “two way street” request.
Once again, if you wish to remove my name from your Christmas card list, that suits me fine, and I save some money with postage & cards.
I am open for dialogue with you
Thank you for your time; listening (& reading)