Few jobs lost following cancellation of hearing impaired service

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Sorenson Communications announced July 8 that the company will discontinue IP Relay services as of July 31. Locally, employees will not feel a major impact however, eight jobs will be lost in Price because of the change.

According to Sorenson Communications representative Paul Kershisnik, approximately 120 positions are currently filled in the IP Relay sector of the company. The majority of these positions are in the Salt Lake City office.

“This has been a small and declining market,” explained Kershisnik. “The end was in site but due to FCC (Federal Communications Commission) changes, the end came sooner than expected.”

Sorenson Communications provides products and services to the deaf and hard-of-hearing. According to the company, IP Relay is a service that allows users to communicate using a telephone. Due to a compensation rate decrease of 21% mandated by the FCC earlier this month, Sorenson no longer sees the service as feasible and will terminate IP Relay at the end of the month. Several other providers have done the same making Sorenson the third company to drop the service.

As far as users are concerned, Kershisnik assures that these costumers will be taken care of.

“Many have already made the change to Caption Call (a service similar to IP Relay),” he said. “This may be a significant adjustment for some.”

The communication company also offers customers a video relay service which works with the help of a sign language interpreter.

“This has become a major part of business,” stated Kershisnik. “The cancellation of IP is an isolated incident.”

Sorenson Communications has offered IP Relay for over eight years and served more than a quarter of the service market. Despite discontinuing the product, Kershisnik assures that the company will continue to provide deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals with reliable service.

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