Speech Disability - When a person is unable to produce speech sounds correctly or fluently, or has problems with his or her voice, then he or she has a speech disorder. Difficulties pronouncing sounds, or articulation disorders, and stuttering are examples of speech disorders. Speech disabilities vary in type and degree. Some may include difficulty with voice strength, fluency, aphasia which may alter the articulation of certain words, or voicelessness. Occurrence of speech impairments may be congenital, or due to an injury or illness.
Sprint has made it easier for individuals with speech disabilities to initiate calls using a wireless phone. Sprint's newly launched "My Wireless STS" service enables individuals with speech disabilities to simply dial a short wireless code - *787 - to place an operator-assisted call.
A Speech to Speech (STS) operator listens to the conversation and repeats the words of the person with a speech disability to the other party. STS users can instruct the STS operator to repeat every word spoken or to simply repeat the words that are unclear. No special equipment is needed.
STS users can access the *787 service from anywhere in the country 24 hours a day, 365 days per year - and at no charge to the user.
"We are very excited to announce *787 - a service that's tailored to the needs of STS users," said Michael Ellis, Director, Sprint Relay. "We are the first in the industry to bring this service to market, and we're pleased to have developed it in collaboration with speech disabled communities across the country."
Sprint also offers "My Email Set-up" for STS users with access to email. "We know that some STS users may tire and speech may become more difficult during long calls. Our new Email Set-Up makes it easier," Ellis said. "To reduce the amount of energy needed to provide calling instructions, STS users can email that information directly to the STS operator 2 to 24 hours prior to the call. This can include information such as the number to be dialed, the name of the person being called, any special instructions and subject of the call, or anything that makes it easier for the STS user to complete the call."
Sprint also recently announced the availability of dedicated customer service for STS users. Sprint's STS support staff provides one-on-one assistance, training on the STS service and can assist STS users to register their calling preferences. The new STS support toll-free number is 1-877-787-1989.
More information about the enhanced STS features can be found at www.sprintsts.com
For its innovation and industry-leading customer service in the deaf, hard of hearing and speech disabled communities, Sprint has been lauded with third-party awards and endorsements. The Paisley Group National Relay TTY Performance Index ranked Sprint Relay highest in customer care and speed of service. Sprint Relay also earned ABILITY Magazine's Best Practices Award for its "spirit of inclusion" in the workplace and in the consumer marketplace."
Sprint now provides relay service to 32 states and the federal government, to the country of New Zealand and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Sprint also provides Captioned Telephone "CapTel" services to 31 states and the federal government.
About Sprint Relay - Sprint is the largest and most technologically advanced TRS provider in the nation with more than 20 years of experience in providing relay services to persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, or have a speech disability to communicate with hearing persons on the phone. Sprint's experience in this field ensures Sprint Relay users receive quality service regardless of the type of relay service they are using. Sprint's relay service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with no restrictions on the number of calls placed or the length of calls. For more information, visit www.sprintrelay.com .
About Sprint Nextel - Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 56 million customers at the end of the first quarter of 2012 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in its 2011 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation's greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint