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STATE OF LOUISIANA SELECTS MCI TO PROVIDE TELEPHONE RELAY SERVICE

 BATON ROUGE, La., Nov. 24 ~PRNewswire~ -- MCI Communications Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: MCIC) announced today that the Louisiana Public Service Commission has awarded MCI a three-year, $17 million contract to be the provider of the statewide telecommunications relay system, which will open communications between Louisiana's speech and hearing impaired individuals and the rest of the world by the end of January 1993.
 "Louisiana has taken a very important step, linking the hearing community with the speech and hearing impaired community through the Louisiana Relay Service," said Merilyn Istre, chairman of the Louisiana P.S.C.'s Relay Administration Board. "The relay service helps to open up a whole new world to deaf and hearing and speech impaired individuals -- a world of equal access."
 Under the terms of the agreement, MCI will streamline telecommunications relay services into a single relay center, addressing recent state and federal legislation mandating services for citizens with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
 In its winning bid, MCI developed a proposal involving the Deafness Education Advocacy Foundation Inc. (D.E.A.F. Inc.), a non-profit corporation owned and managed by deaf and hearing impaired individuals. Based in St. Paul, Minn., D.E.A.F. has provided relay service to the state of Minnesota since 1989.
 "By blending MCI's technology with the D.E.A.F.'s expertise and knowledge of the deaf community, we've created a first-of-its-kind approach to serving the Louisiana deaf community," said Jonathan Crane, president of MCI National Accounts.
 Relay calls made throughout Louisiana will be routed through a nationally recognized, state-of-the-art relay center, operated by MCI in Miami. MCI currently handles relay system calls for deaf and hearing and speech impaired individuals in Florida and Arkansas through the same Miami-based facility.
 "MCI has become a leader in providing statewide telecommunications relay services," added Crane. "More than 2 million deaf, hearing and speech impaired people in three states, including 400,000 in Louisiana, can now use the telephone as conveniently as those who can hear."
 MCI also provides relay service for the state of Wisconsin, through a second state-of-the-art relay center in Madison, Wis.
 MCI will hire a member of the deaf community to head up the Louisiana Relay Service and will conduct an extensive community outreach plan throughout the state, coordinating community events and informational sessions for the deaf and hearing impaired.
 Headquartered in Washington, MCI offers a full range of domestic and global telecommunications services through a state-of-the-art global telecommunications network. The company, with 1991 revenue of nearly $10 billion, is the nation's second-largest long distance provider and has more than 60 overseas offices in 55 countries.
 -0- 11~24~92
 ~EDITOR'S NOTE: LRS fact sheet and illustration of how it works are available upon request.~
 ~CONTACT: Paul Sims of MCI National Accounts, 800-947-0307~
 (MCIC)


CO: MCI Communications Corporation ST: Louisiana IN: TLS SU: CON

EA-BN -- AT001 -- 0899 11~24~92 09:01 EST
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Article Type:Obituary
Date:Nov 24, 1992
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