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New Rules and New Resource: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Communications Services for Incarcerated People with Disabilities

March 20, 2024
Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

On January 18, 2024, and March 19, 2024, The FCC released public notices announcing the effective dates for information collection requirements regarding the following rules:

Grace Period for Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) User Registration  

  • FCC rules allowing video relay service (VRS) providers to provide service to a user for up to two weeks after a user’s registration information has been submitted to the TRS User Registration Database, while the user’s identity is verified.

TRS Access in Carceral Facilities

  • FCC rules allowing VRS and Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS) providers to register incarcerated people for VRS and IP CTS in the TRS User Registration Database.
  • FCC rules requiring providers of incarcerated people’s communications services (IPCS) to provide access to telecommunications relay services (TRS) and point-to-point video service for incarcerated people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deafblind or who have a speech disability.

The FCC has posted a consumer guide to answer frequently asked questions about TRS access in carceral facilities:

Links to the Public Notices:

For general information about TRS, visit: fcc.gov/trs. For further information about these items, please contact Michael Scott at (202) 418-1264 or Michael.Scott@fcc.gov, or the Commission’s ASL Consumer Support Line at (844) 432-2275 (videophone).

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