July 31, 2015
Today marks the end of an era in VDDHH’s 43 year history. For the past 24 ½ years, the Virginia Relay Center in Norton has been a part of our daily lives at VDDHH and the lifeline for thousands and thousands of deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, and speech disabled individuals in Virginia.
Since its opening in early 1991, Norton served as AT&T’s flagship center and consistently received the highest level of customer satisfaction of any relay center nationwide. It also served as the development and testing site for countless new relay technologies and calling features that were later mandated by the FCC or adopted by other states. At its peak, the Norton center provided relay services to 14 other states and employed 273 individuals. Of that number, there are 52 dedicated CAs and 3 managers who chose to remain in their positions and who will close the center later today, in their words, “with dignity and grace”.
Later today, all relay calls initiated in Virginia will be routed to Hamilton Telecommunications, our new relay services contractor.. Please review the attached Frequently Asked Questions flyer and share this important information with relay users in your area as appropriate.
Also attached is a copy of the Relay Choice Profile that will be used by Hamilton. A link will be added to the Virginia Relay website later today.
Thank you for your cooperation, and please reply if you have any questions after reviewing the attachments.
Clayton E. Bowen
Relay and Technology Programs Manager
Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
1602 Rolling Hills Drive, Suite 203
Richmond, VA 23229-5012
(804) 662-9704 v/t
(804) 662-9718 fax
(804) 283-5476 cell