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GSA AWARDS CONTRACT TO HELP HEARING-IMPAIRED PEOPLE

 WASHINGTON, March 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. General Services Administration's (GSA) Information Resources Management Service has awarded a contract to U.S. Sprint (NYSE: FON) to provide Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) for communications with and within the federal government by the speech and hearing-impaired community.
 The FIRS contract will ensure that the Federal Telecommunications System is fully accessible nationwide to speech and hearing-impaired federal employees and members of the general public who need information from federal agencies.
 The FIRS will provide speech and hearing-impaired individuals who use TDD's telecommunications capabilities that are equivalent to those provided to other users. It is anticipated that the FIRS will increase employment and advancement opportunities for speech and hearing-impaired individuals within the federal government.
 The FIRS serves an intermediary for conversations between hearing individuals, using standard telephone handsets and speech and/or hearing-impaired individuals using Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDDs). A TDD generally consists of a keyboard, display screen and a modem on which a telephone is placed.
 The FIRS also encourages direct telecommunications by maintaining an on-line bulletin board and by publishing an annual directory of federal TDD telephone numbers.
 The FIRS contract is for one year with three, one-year renewal options. The minimum dollar amount of the contract is $1 million and the maximum dollar amount under which the federal government may order services is $15 million.
 For more information on the Federal Information Relay Service, contact GSA's Office of Regional Liaison and IRM Management at 202-501-0308 (voice) or 202-501-2860 (TDD).
 -0- 3/8/93
 /CONTACT: U.S. General Services Administration, Office of Media Relations, 202-501-1231/
 (FON)


CO: U.S. General Services Administration; Sprint ST: District of Columbia IN: TLS SU: CON

MH-IH -- DC012 -- 3936 03/08/93 10:54 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 8, 1993
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