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New Banking Tech for the Deaf

December 18 2008 | by

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In Texas, new technology will make banking easier for people who are deaf. Video relay interpreting (VRI) in American Sign Language (ASL) is now available at Frost Bank at 16 locations in Austin, San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley. The ASL translation service is conducted via videoconference with a personal banker in a private conference room. Deaf Link provides the service and interpreters, and Frost plans to expand to other banking locations throughout the state. VRI is an important move for helping deaf banking customers make significant financial decisions in their native language, without having to lip-read or use written notes. While the Americans with Disabilities Act doesn’t require banks to provide sign-language interpreters, they usually will if asked — but it can take days for one to become available and costs about $100 an hour. (The bank pays.) VRI is a much better solution. It’s free to use, and the service is available 24/7. However, that doesn’t mean bankers’ hours will improve anytime soon.

Watch a Fox News video about the new service.

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  • http://www.wildkat.co.uk/blog/ Kimberly

    I’m blind myself and know how difficult it can be to deal with banks. We have more of an issue with ATM machines and writing cheques though.

    It’s great that this service is availible. It must make communicating with the people working there so much easier! Technology has come so far.

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