Winter Deaflympics Names Sorenson Communications Official Provider of VRS and IP Relay Services

SALT LAKE CITY - Sorenson Communications, a provider of video relay services (VRS) for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals who use American Sign Language (ASL), will be the official VRS and IP Relay provider for the 16th Winter Deaflympics, to be held in Salt Lake City, Feb. 1 - 10. (Opening ceremonies will take place on Feb. 3 in the Huntsman Center at the University of Utah.) Approximately 658 athletes, officials, and delegates from 24 countries will participate in the Deaflympics. Sorenson Video Relay Service and Sorenson IP Relay (SIPRelay) will facilitate communication throughout the Deaflympics at nearly every venue, enabling deaf athletes, and spectators to stay connected with family, friends, fans, and colleagues.

VRS enables deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals who use ASL to conduct conversations with hearing individuals using their native language. To place a free VRS call, all that is required is a videophone, a high-speed Internet connection, a standard television, and the assistance of a qualified ASL interpreter, who relays the conversation between the deaf and hearing individuals. IP Relay is also a free service which enables text-to-speech relay calls from a mobile device or a personal computer to any standard telephone user in the U.S.

A map of Deaflympics venues at which Sorenson VRS and IP Relay (SIPRelay) will be provided can be accessed by visiting http://www.sorenson.com/deaflympics/venue_map.php and include:

  • Little America Hotel, Salt Lake City, ticket purchase and pick-up location
  • Park City Mountain Resort, Park City, Utah
  • Salt Lake City International Airport, Salt Lake City
  • Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, during the 16th Winter Deaflympics EXPO
  • Steiner Ice Arena, Salt Lake City
  • Soldier Hollow

"Sorenson VRS and IP Relay has made my life much easier by providing speedy access to communication and connection with people to help me get things done smoothly," said Nixo Lanning, a leading international deaf snowboarding competitor and member of the U.S. Deaf Snowboard Team. "Sorenson videophones will be a great way to stay connected during the Deaflympics Games."

Sorenson Communications will also sponsor the 16th Winter Deaflympics EXPO, a free two-day event that will be held Friday and Saturday, Feb. 2 and 3, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City. Sorenson Communications will provide free IP Relay Service and will showcase its VRS videophones, which will be available for use by guests. In partnership with AOL, Sorenson Communications will also offer a free Internet Cafe for EXPO visitors.

Prior to the EXPO, Sorenson Communications will co-sponsor an in-school Artist Residency Program with Quest: arts for everyone. Visual and performing artists will teach students at Sandy's Jean Massieu School of the Deaf and Salt Lake City's Wasatch Academy. Art works and performances by the students will be at the EXPO's "Children's Performance Arts Showcase," on Feb. 3, from 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

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