Verizon customers who are deaf or hard of hearing and live in Delaware, New Jersey or Pennsylvania can now use American Sign Language and either a videophone or Web camera to communicate directly with the company about service-related issues. The addition of the three states is the latest expansion of this customer service support, which the Verizon Center for Customers with Disabilities first made available in 2007 in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. The company subsequently extended the support to Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island.
By using a videophone or Web camera connected to a computer, and a high-speed Internet connection, deaf or hard-of-hearing customers in these states can communicate one-on-one with a representative in the Verizon center who is proficient in using American Sign Language. The representative can handle orders, change services or answer questions.
Videophones usually consist of a set-top box with a screen and a built-in camera connected to a broadband router. A Web camera is supported by a computer and appropriate software. Either equipment option requires a high-speed Internet connection to receive good picture quality.
“We offer this level of service so our customers who are deaf or hard of hearing can communicate with us directly without the need for an interpreter or a relay service,” said Linda Mahoney, manager of Verizon’s Center for Customers with Disabilities.