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MCI AND D.E.A.F. KEEP PHONE LINES OPEN FOR DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING IN FLORIDA DESPITE HURRICANE ANDREW

 MCI AND D.E.A.F. KEEP PHONE LINES OPEN FOR DEAF
 AND HARD OF HEARING IN FLORIDA DESPITE HURRICANE ANDREW
 MIAMI, Aug. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- MCI Telecommunications Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: MCIC) and the Deafness Education Advocacy Foundation (D.E.A.F.) are working around the clock to ensure Florida's deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired residents continue to receive telephone service despite the ravages of Hurricane Andrew.
 Usually staffed 24 hours by D.E.A.F.-trained operators, the Florida Relay Service (FRS) Center in Miami was evacuated Sunday at 1 p.m. in anticipation of the hurricane. MCI immediately routed the relay calls to an emergency telecommunications relay service (TRS) center in Minnesota. Also, the MCI Foundation donated funds to enable D.E.A.F. to increase the number of TRS operators needed in Minnesota to handle the heavy traffic from Florida.
 "MCI is committed to working with D.E.A.F. to maintain TRS service for Florida residents 24 hours a day, seven days a week," stated James Wilkes, MCI vice president, national accounts.
 "We opened the Minnesota TRS back-up center in June of this year to cover emergencies such as this. By anticipating the problem, we were able to route the calls without interrupting service."
 "There was never a break in TRS service," said Warren Moiser, FRS Backup Center manager, D.E.A.F. "In fact, Florida callers are asking our operators if they are safe at the relay center. The callers don't realize that the Florida center has been evacuated and their calls have been forwarded to the Minnesota relay center."
 The relay service center in Miami sustained minimal structural damage and is expected to be operational by this Friday. Until then, TRS calls to and from Florida will be routed through Minnesota.
 MCI opened the Florida Relay Service Center in May of this year. The center provides multilingual communications assistants who convert text messages sent by telecommunications devices for the deaf (TDD) to voice messages and vice versa. Operational assistance for the center is provided by D.E.A.F.
 Based in St. Paul, Minn., the Deafness Education Advocacy Foundation is a non-profit corporation owned and managed by deaf and hard of hearing individuals. D.E.A.F. provides educational services to deaf adults and runs the Minnesota Relay Service through a contract with the state of Minnesota.
 MCI Communications Corporation, headquartered in Washington, is the nation's second-largest long distance company, with annual revenue of approximately $9.5 billion. In addition to Florida, MCI provides TRS for the deaf and hard of hearing communities in Arkansas and Wisconsin and will provide TRS service for Louisiana in the near future.
 -0- 8/27/92
 /CONTACT: Steve Fox of MCI, 800-365-2275, or Warren Moiser of D.E.A.F. Inc., 612-222-6729/
 (MCIC) CO: MCI Telecommunications Corporation; Deafness Education Advocacy
 Foundation ST: Florida, Minnesota IN: TLS SU:


BR-BN -- AT003 -- 3875 08/27/92 10:44 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 27, 1992
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