FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about VRS and/or VRI

Is the conversation I share through Federal VRS/VRI confidential? 

Yes, interpreters have been trained to abide by the RID/NAD Code of Ethics and the FCC's regulations regarding consumer rights to privacy and confidentiality. Interpreters are monitored for compliance toward Federal's policy of confidentiality. 

Are the interpreters qualified and certified? 

Yes, we have professionally trained interpreters certified by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) CI/CT or CSC and/or the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) Level IV or V for English/ASL calls. 

How can I provide special instructions to the Video Interpreter (VI)?

If you have specific request, notify the VI of your specific request before placing your call- type in the field or sign your instructions. 

How can I provide special instructions to the Video Interpreter (VI)? 

If you have a specific request, notify the VI of your specific request before placing your call- type in the field or sign your instructions. 

What videophones do I use? 

Federal Relay does not endorse a specific brand of videophone equipment or software application. Federal users have the flexibility of using their preferred VRS application or equipment to access VRS/VRI through a dedicated toll-free number.

Spanish Translation En Espanol 

American Sign language (ASL) to Spanish is now available for ASL users to communicate with hearing users (standard telephone user) that speak Spanish. Video Interpreters (VI) will translate ASL to Spanish, and Spanish to ASL. (Spanish sign language to Spanish is currently not available.)

Can I make International Calls? 

Yes, international calls are permitted. International calling will require a U.S. based 10 digit number and fill out the International travel form. 

For ZVRS Equipment: 

  • If the video caller wants to call internationally, the Federal VRS caller dials the international number they want to call. The interpreter places the call and if the call goes through, the call is processed, no charges are charged back to the caller. If the call does not automatically go through, then we require a calling card to place the OB International call. 
  • If the video caller is traveling internationally, then must pre-register with their default provider in order to use their VP or VRS application to call back to the States. 
  • CSDVRS also validated the instructions for International on https://www.zvrs.com/services/customer-experience/international-travel/ (Disclaimer: By selecting this link, you will be leaving the official Sprint operated federalrelay.us website.) are still accurate for Federal VRS/ VRI. If a Federal VRS/VRI customer has someone else as their default provider, as long as they have registered for their 10-digit number for International Travel with their default provider, then a dial around call to the Federal Relay front door numbers should not be an issue.

To use Voice Carry Over (VCO) call: 

VIdeo Relay Service (VRS) with Voice Carry Over (VCO) allows a deaf or hard of hearing user, who prefers to voice for themselves, to speak directly to their called party while a Video Interpreter (VI) signs what the hearing person is saying. 

Notify the VI that you want to use VCO and provide your phone number to the VI. The VI will call you back, and then they will call/ connect the person you want to speak directly. The person you called will be able to hear your voice. The VI will interpret/sign what the hearing person says. 

No 711 and TTY Relay Calls

Federal VRS handles only video to voice calls or voice to voice relay calls. The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has ruled that VRS through a TTY relay service is not permitted. 

Relay calls are acceptable under HIPPA requirements:

Important information for Health Care Professionals concerned about the impact of Health Insurance Portability and Account Act (HIPPA) on the use of relay services is available on the web: FCC Public Notice clarifying use of relay services by Health Care Professionals