April 2013

VRSCA Conducts Survey for VRS Consumers

VRSCA (Video Relay Services Consumer Association) is a communication forum for Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing and hearing persons who use Video Relay Services (VRS). In the recent Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making (FNPRM), the Federal Communications Commission sought comment on proposed reforms to the VRS program to address structural issues and emphasized the importance of comments that are specific and supported by data. Because VRS is vital for communications within the Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, deaf-blind, and speech disabled communities, and because VRS provides us with the freedom to function independently, the VRSCA believes it is essential to provide insight to the FCC on who VRS consumers are and what issues are crucial to them. Therefore, VRSCA took the initiative to conduct an informal survey of VRS consumers that was presented in ASL video. The survey was posted on the website. There were over 900 responses to the survey, which was done in March 2012. Below are some of the questions asked in the VRSCA survey. Responses to those questions are listed below the questions. The VRSCA wishes to thank everyone who participated in the survey.

Where do you use VRS?


  • 95% use VRS in their home.
  • 19% use VRS in their office.
  • 13% responded “Somewhere else” – which includes use of VRS on mobile devices, at a friend or a family member’s home, or while traveling.
  • 5% use VRS at school.

How many times per week do you use VRS?


  • 39% use VRS more than 10 times per week.
  • 18% use VRS at least 10 times per week.
  • 28% use VRS at least 5 times per week.
  • 9% use VRS once per week

How many times a week do you place deaf-to-deaf VP calls?


  • 41% make deaf-to-deaf calls more than 10 times a week.
  • 16% make deaf-to-deaf calls at least 10 times a week.
  • 28% make deaf-to-deaf calls at least 5 times a week.
  • 9% make deaf-to-deaf calls at least once a week.
  • 3% make deaf-to-deaf calls less than once a week

Of the following options, what is most important to you when you make a VRS call?


  • 48% of respondents chose quality of interpreting as the most important feature.
  • 17% responded that the features and equipment were the most important features.
  • 17% responded that speed of answer was the most important feature.
  • 12% responded that quality of the video was the most important feature.

What problems do you experience when making VRS calls?

  • 40% of respondents chose long hold times to get an interpreter.
  • 39% of respondents chose hearing people do not understand what VRS is.
  • 30% of respondents chose poor video quality.
  • 30% of respondents chose poor quality of interpreting.
  • 18% of respondents chose something else.

How important is it that VRS companies provide outreach and education about VRS?

  • 69% responded that the outreach function was extremely important.
  • 21% responded that it is somewhat important.
  • 7% responded that it is neither important nor unimportant.
  • 3% responded that it is either less important or not important at all.

Where do you get the most useful information about VRS?

  • 67% of respondents get VRS information from VRS providers.
  • 47% of respondents get VRS information from friends.
  • 30% of respondents get VRS information from VRSCA.
  • 18% of respondents get VRS information from the FCC

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