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Captioned Telephone: New Relay Service for People with Hearing Loss in Washington D.C.

(November 14, 2008)

Aurora, NE – Hamilton Telephone Company d/b/a Hamilton Telecommunications today announced an agreement with the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia to provide Captioned Telephone Relay Service. Similar to closed captioning provided on most television programs, Captioned Telephone Relay Service (CTRS) is a service designed for individuals who have difficulty hearing on the telephone.

The Public Service Commission invites District residents to a demonstration of the Captioned Telephone Relay Service on Friday, November 21, 2008 at 1:00 PM in the Commission's Hearing Room, 1333 H Street, N.W., Suite 700, East Tower, Washington, D.C. 20005.

Captioned Telephone (CapTel®) technology, developed by Ultratec, Inc. of Madison, Wisconsin, allows individuals with hearing loss to view word-for-word captions of their telephone conversations using a CapTel phone. This device is perfect for individuals who have understandable speech but do not hear well over the telephone.

Similar to a traditional telephone, the CapTel phone allows hard of hearing callers to talk and listen to individuals who are using a traditional telephone. While listening to the voice of the other party, the CapTel phone also allows the user to read word-for-word captions of the other party's conversation on the phone's built-in display screen. Captions are provided by a specially trained operator who "re-voices" everything said by the hearing user into specially calibrated, state-of-the art voice-recognition technology, converting speech into text so that it can be read on the CapTel phon's screen. The captions appear almost simultaneously with the spoken word, allowing CapTel users to understand everything that is said - either by hearing it or by reading it. CapTel allows individuals who are hard of hearing the ability to enjoy natural, interactive conversations. The CapTel phone features adjustable levels of amplification (up to an additional 35 dB that work in conjunction with a hearing aid's telecoil) along with simultaneously transmitted captions for complete confidence. The CapTel is not a TTY; rather it is a telephone designed to allow the user to have natural back and forth conversations with the support of captions.

"Hamilton is constantly striving to provide its customers with the latest developments in telecommunications and technology, resulting in services that are functionally equivalent to traditional telephone services. Hamilton is pleased to offer Captioned Telephone Relay Service to the residents of the District of Columbia," says Dixie Ziegler, Vice President of Hamilton Relay.

Hamilton has arranged, for a limited time only, to make captioned telephone equipment available for just $99.00 (normally a retail value of $495). This offer comes with a 90-day trial period, which guarantees that if the customer is not entirely happy with the CapTel phone, s/he can return the phone for a full refund within 3 months. To obtain a CapTel phone, customers simply submit a completed order form to WCI, the company that sells CapTel phones. Order forms are available via Customer Service.

For more information on how to sign up for District of Columbia Captioned Telephone Relay Service or if you have questions, please contact:

Hamilton Relay Customer Service
9107 Bluebonnet Centre Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
Voice/TTY: 1-866-560-1452
Fax: 225-293-3583
E-mail: dcrelay@hamiltonrelay.com.


About Hamilton
Hamilton Relay offers a variety of services including CapTel, Web CapTel, Mobile CapTel, Internet Relay and Video Relay. Hamilton Relay provides traditional relay services to 17 states, the District of Columbia, the Island of Saipan and the Virgin Islands. All services are available at www.HamiltonRelay.com

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