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Hands On Video Relay Services to Provide First Live Webcast of Presidential Forum Focused on the Disabled.

VRS Provider Joins Coalition of Disability Organizations to Provide Access to Important Emerging Electorate Bloc

ROCKLIN, Calif., Oct. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, two groups who share a vision will join together to support hundreds in the deaf community be a part of the 2008 presidential electoral process. This historic forum, hosted by Hands On Video Relay Services, Inc., and a coalition of prestigious New Hampshire disability advocacy and rights organizations, will focus on the political issues of particular interest to the disabled community. Hands On, a prominent and growing provider of video relay services, joins the National Association for the Deaf and Granite State Independent Living as lead sponsors of this event.

The Presidential Candidate Forum will be held on Friday, November 2nd at the Center of New Hampshire/Radisson Hotel in Manchester, New Hampshire from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The forum will be available via free streaming video on the Hands On VRS web site (

Confirmed participants include Senator Joe Biden, Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Chris Dodd, and Congressman Dennis Kucinich. Other presidential candidates invited to participate in the forum (in alphabetical order) are: Senator John Edwards, Senator Mike Gravel, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Governor Mike Huckabee, Congressman Duncan Hunter, Senator Barack Obama, Governor Bill Richardson, Senator John McCain, Congressman Ron Paul, Governor Mitt Romney, Congressman Tom Tancredo and Senator Fred Thompson.

"Hands On is excited and honored to be part of the first-ever Presidential Candidate Forum designed specifically for Americans with disabilities," said Ronald Obray, chief executive officer and founder of Hands On VRS. "Opportunities like these support our mission and help us bring technology and free streaming live access to the 50 million citizens in the United States living with disabilities, thereby helping to break down political barriers. Our participation is part of our sustained commitment to provide open access to everyone. The disabled community will now be able to have a strong voice and role in the 2008 election process."

"There are more than 50 million citizens in the United States living with disabilities, add to that their family, friends, educators, and caregivers and this represents a huge percentage of the voting population," said Clyde Terry, Chief Executive Office of Granite State Independent Living -- host of this year's forum who held a similar forum for the 2004 presidential election. "This forum will help inform and awaken this 'sleeping giant' of the electorate."

The Presidential Candidate Forum will feature 30 minute time slots for each presidential candidate to present his or her vision for the future of national disability policy that will promote equality and opportunity for people with disabilities. Issues each candidate will be asked to address include: employment, health care, long-term community-based supports, transportation, and others. Following their remarks, each candidate will be asked questions by the moderator gathered from the audience.

The number of registered voters with disabilities has dramatically increased over the last decade, making them one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. electorate, and could serve as an important voting bloc in the early primary states.

About Hands On VRS:

Hands On is a recognized leader in Video Relay Services throughout the country. The company is the second largest VRS provider in the nation. The company has been serving the needs of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community since 1992 when it first established Hands On Sign Language Services, Inc., a community based sign language services agency. The company is committed to removing communication barriers for Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals while providing quality services they can rely on. Hands On is a linguistically diverse company that employs both Deaf/Hard of Hearing and hearing employees. More information is available at

CONTACT: Terry Lee, +1-202-478-9643,, for Hands On VRS News Bureau

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 30, 2007
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