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AT&T LAUNCHES NEW LONG DISTANCE RELAY SERVICE FOR PEOPLE WITH HEARING AND SPEECH DISABILITIES

 WAYNE, Pa., July 26 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T (NYSE: T) today launched a new Long Distance Relay Service that for the first time, in all states, lets people with hearing or speech disabilities communicate over the AT&T network with hearing people.
 Operating from centers in Wayne, and Birmingham, Ala., the AT&T Long Distance Relay Service complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the most sweeping civil rights legislation since 1964.
 The ADA mandates that all telecommunications carriers provide interstate telecommunications relay service by July 26. A strong supporter of the ADA, AT&T already provides this service in 15 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and has been instrumental in assisting the Federal Communications Commission in developing service and funding standards.
 AT&T Long Distance Relay Service will enable deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing, or speech disabled people in all states to use a text- telephone to communicate with hearing people with the help of a specially trained AT&T communications assistant, who relays their messages over a standard telephone.
 Text-telephone users can reach the AT&T Long Distance Relay Service on one of four 800 numbers: 800-855-2880 for traditional text-telephone communication; 800-855-2881 for voice calls; 800-855-2882 for computer communication; and 800-855-2883 for telebraille calls. Calls are billed at direct-dialed rates.
 Separately, AT&T said it will combine two of its businesses that now serve people with hearing or speech disabilities. The combined unit will provide an array of services and products, including operator, directory assistance, toll, and special billing services to consumers who use text-telephones, and a family of text-telephones and associated products.
 "We're serious about fulfilling our mission to connect people to each other anytime, anywhere," said AT&T's Jim Shannon, who will head the new business. "We're committed to universal access to the Information Age."
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 /CONTACT: Kelly Statmore, 215-862-0541, or Ron Hatley, 908-221-6132, or home, 908-580-0441, or Donna Alexander, 215-963-1869, or home, 215-342-4433, all of AT&T/
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CO: AT&T ST: Pennsylvania IN: TLS SU: PDT

MJ-CC -- PH014 -- 5672 07/26/93 11:57 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 26, 1993
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