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MARYLAND RELAY SERVICE CELEBRATES FIRST ANNIVERSARY

 BALTIMORE, Dec. 1 ~PRNewswire~ -- Sprint and the state of Maryland will celebrate the first anniversary of Maryland Relay Service on Thursday, Dec. 3.
 Maryland Relay Service provides telecommunications relay service to Maryland residents who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired and to all others who want to communicate with them.
 Users of the service will join Gov. William Donald Schaefer and other officials at the Maryland Relay Service Communications Center at 6000 Metro Drive in Baltimore. The celebration will take place from 10 a.m. to noon.
 "By opening telephone communications to everyone, the Maryland Relay Service has enriched personal lives and enhanced business opportunities," said Schaefer. "The service has again shown that everyone benefits when we break down the barriers that separate us."
 Sprint (NYSE: FON), the nation's largest relay service provider, operates the Maryland center and processes calls 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. The Maryland Relay Center has become the busiest relay center per capita in the nation, processing more than 112,000 calls in October.
 "The popularity of the service is a testament to the tremendous needs that Maryland Relay Service is meeting and to the quality of service Sprint is providing," said Mike Baer, account manager for the Maryland Relay Service. "Sprint is proud to provide relay service to Maryland residents."
 To communicate with the Maryland Relay Center, a customer who is deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired uses a Text Telephone~Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TT~TDD) to reach any one of more than 100 specially trained communications assistants (CA) at the center. The TT~TDD user types in the name and number of the person he or she wants to reach.
 The CA then views the typed message on a computer terminal and verbally communicates it to the hearing party. The hearing party listens and responds to the message. The CA converts the verbal response into written form and then relays it back through the TT~TDD system. The system also allows hearing individuals to initiate calls to TT~TDD users.
 There are no restrictions on the length or number of calls placed through the center, and users of the service are not billed for calls placed in their local service area. Charges for long distance calls are billed at a special discounted rate. Both TT and voice users may initiate calls through Relay Maryland by dialing toll-free 800-735-2258.
 In addition to Maryland, Sprint provides relay service to California, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.
 Sprint is a diversified international telecommunications company with $9 billion in annual revenues and the United States' only nationwide all-digital, fiber-optic network. Its divisions provide global long distance voice, data and video products and services and local telephone services to more than 4 million subscriber lines in 17 states.
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 ~NOTE: Schaefer; Marty Walsh Jr., secretary of the Department of General Services; Dr. Ronald E. Nomeland, a member of the Governor's Advisory Board on Telecommunications Relay; and Dan Evanoff, senior vice president of Sprint's Diversified Brands Group, will take part in the celebration.
 Tours of the Maryland Relay Service will be available. Reporters will be able to see how the system works and talk with people who use the service.~
 ~CONTACT: Angela Peacock, 202-828-7415, or after hours, 301-564-4984, or Steve Dykes, 202-828-7435, or after hours, 703-242-1769, both of Sprint~
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CO: Sprint ST: Maryland IN: TLS SU:

MH -- DC023 -- 2408 12~01~92 12:03 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 24, 1992
Words:584
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