Frequently Asked Questions

The following are frequently-asked-questions (FAQs) and answers about Sorenson VRS® (SVRS®), Sorenson videophones and its features. To find the information you need, simply select the tab that corresponds to the category you are looking for. Click on the question to view the answer.

Real Numbers


What is a local 10-digit number?

Local 10-digit numbers indicate the geographic location, or "area code," in which you live or work. Calls to a local 10-digit number from hearing callers who are outside your local calling area may cause the hearing caller to incur long distance charges.


What type of calls will incur long-distance charges?

Hearing individuals who live outside of your local area may be charged a fee for long-distance calls to your number. VRS calls made by deaf individuals are always free.


Will my new number be listed in the regular phone book?

No, your new number will not be listed.


Can people call me point-to-point using my local 10-digit number?

When you select Sorenson as your default provider, you receive a local 10-digit number. This number can be used by everyone, both deaf and hearing, to call you.


How can I create personalized contact cards?

After your SVRS equipment is installed in your home or office, you can easily call all your hearing friends, family and business contacts. And, anyone can call you using Sorenson VRS. All you need to do is tell all your hearing contacts about SVRS. To do this, you can give each of your hearing contacts a personalized SVRS Contact Card. The cards are very easy to use. Click on the link below to create your own personalized contact cards.

Create your contact card

How do I port my number to Sorenson?

To port your number to Sorenson, you will need to fill out the Letter of Agreement here and send the letter to Sorenson. Click the link below to learn more about porting your number to Sorenson.

Bring your number to Sorenson

I have chosen a different default provider, but am having technical difficulties with the Sorenson videophone I use. How can I get technical support?

Your default provider is responsible for providing you VRS, E911, and all other services. If you would like to port your number to Sorenson, our knowledgeable Tech Support Team will be happy to help you. Please contact the Sorenson Customer Information Group at 801-386-8500 and tell us you’d like to choose Sorenson as your default VRS provider. We’ll be happy to help you.


Get Connected


What is a default provider?

The FCC requires that all VRS users select a default provider. A default provider is required to provide users with:

  • A local 10-digit numbers
  • E911 service

A default provider also delivers enhanced features to the VRS users that it serves. Sorenson Gold Services include many features you've come to enjoy, such as Contact Lists, SignMail®, LightRing®, Call Waiting, Free Technical Support and much more.

When a you select a VRS provider as your default provider, the default provider's network connects with your videophone to deliver features. Sorenson's network cannot deliver features to the videophone of a user who has selected a different default provider. Sorenson Gold Services are provided to users through the network by connecting to the videophones they use. Sorenson will be able to deliver these features to all of the users who select Sorenson as their default provider.


Why should I select Sorenson as my default provider?

When you select Sorenson as your default VRS provider, Sorenson will provide you with a local 10-digit number. You choose how to use each number. If you experience an emergency, SVRS provides you with Enhanced 911 (E911) services to assist you in your time of crisis. Sorenson handles more E911 calls than all other VRS providers combined. You’re safe with Sorenson. Sorenson provides additional advanced features and services called Sorenson Gold Services. These services include the Sorenson Video Center, Contacts Lists, free technical support and more.


Why do I need to choose a default provider?

The FCC issued an order in June of 2008 requiring all VRS users to select a default VRS provider. The VRS provider you select is responsible for giving you a real number and providing you with Enhanced 911 (E911) service. Choosing Sorenson as your default provider makes it possible for Sorenson to continue to deliver the outstanding services and features you have come to expect.


How do I make Sorenson my default provider?

Your default provider is responsible for providing you VRS, E911, and all other services. If you would like to select SVRS as your default VRS provider, our friendly Customer Information Group will be glad to help you. Please call them at 801-386-8500 and tell us you’d like to choose Sorenson as your default VRS provider.

If you don’t yet have a videophone to use, click below to apply for a Sorenson videophone and we’ll be happy to get you started.

Apply now

General SVRS


What is Sorenson VRS?

SVRS enables the deaf and hard-of-hearing community to communicate with both deaf and hearing family, friends or business contacts using video relay service. This free, 24-hour service lets you place and receive calls with a professional American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter via a videophone and a high-speed internet connection.

What is SVRS?

Will I be billed for calls placed through Sorenson VRS?

SVRS and videophone calls are free to you. If a hearing individual calls you using your 10-digit local number, they may receive long distance charges from their phone company. If you want them to call you for free, give them your Direct VP number.


How is Sorenson VRS funded?

All VRS companies are funded through the same program as traditional Telecommunication Relay Service (TRS). Funds are made available by a federal law, the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires functional equivalency in telecommunications access. Sorenson Communications is reimbursed for the minutes of Sorenson VRS calls that are interpreted. Sorenson Communications is not reimbursed for equipment that is supplied, including videophones and routers, or installation and service of that equipment.


What are the Sorenson VRS operating hours?

Sorenson VRS is available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Are the Sorenson VRS interpreters qualified?

Yes, Sorenson VRS interpreters are either certified by the National Association of the Deaf (NAD IV or V), or RID (CI, CT, CI/CT, CSC, NIC, NIC Advanced, NIC Master) or hold a state interpreter certificate at the Intermediate or Master Certificate skill levels, or have the professional interpreting experience to become a Sorenson VRS interpreter. All interpreters receive on-going training.

Interpreters

Is the information I share through Sorenson VRS kept confidential?

Yes, all Sorenson VRS interpreters are required to abide by the confidentiality rules as outlined by the FCC in Section 705 of the Communications Act and as outlined in the TRS rules 47 C.F.R. § 64.604 Mandatory minimum standards found at: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/dro/4regs.html.


Does Sorenson VRS follow the policies contained in the Privacy Rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)?

Yes, according to the guidelines established by the FCC regarding the policies set forth in the Privacy Rule of HIPAA, all Sorenson VRS calls involving a doctor or health care professional can be accepted without requiring Sorenson VRS or video relay interpreters (VI) to sign a disclosure agreement. The FCC emphasizes that all forms of TRS including TTY based relay, Internet Protocol (IP) Relay, Video Relay Service (VRS), and Speech-to-Speech (STS) can be used to facilitate calls between health care professionals and patients without violating HIPAA's Privacy Rule. Sorenson VRS fully supports HIPAA's Privacy Rule and follows all guidelines established by the FCC. To read more about this information, please read http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-04-1716A1.doc.


Why can’t interpreters use the privacy screen during long hold times?

The FCC has ruled that interpreters cannot use a privacy/hold screen during a VRS call. You can still use the privacy screen on the videophone but you must be engaged in the call at all times. If you decide to use the privacy screen or leave the call, you must resume the call by taking down the privacy screen or coming back onscreen within five minutes. If you do not resume the call within five minutes, the FCC rules state that the interpreter must end the call.


Am I required to use Sorenson VRS for a minimum number of minutes each month to keep my Sorenson videophone?

No. There are no minimum SVRS usage requirements for getting or keeping a Sorenson videophone.


What makes Sorenson VRS better than other video relay solutions?

Sorenson VRS employs the highest-quality professional interpreters and provides the highest-quality video technology. When you are connected with Sorenson, you enjoy our Gold Services, including the Sorenson Video Center, E911, free tech support, SignMail, Call Waiting, and much more.


Why can't I schedule video relay calls?

In order to be in compliance with an FCC ruling, video relay calls cannot be scheduled. Sorenson VRS services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to allow users to make calls whenever they want.


Will Sorenson Communications ever ask for my personal financial information?

Sorenson Communications will never call you to ask for sensitive personal or financial information. Unfortunately, Sorenson VRS has been used in the past to conduct scams. We are vigilant to prevent and terminate all scams that try to take advantage of our systems, services and customers.

Remember; never provide your personal or financial information when you receive a relay service call from someone you do not know. These persons may claim that they are calling on behalf of Sorenson Communications and ask you to provide personal or financial information, such as bank account routing information, credit card numbers, or social security numbers. For example, one person [scammer] used Sorenson VRS and claimed the deaf person contacted had won a Sorenson-sponsored "lottery." The scammer deceptively claimed that the deaf person must pay a "fee" prior to collecting his or her "winnings" and then asked the customer to provide bank account routing information or a credit card number.

If someone contacts you making these claims, it is a scam to steal your money or to commit fraud. Do not provide your personal or financial information to anyone, unless you have initiated the contact or you have confirmed that you are dealing with a legitimate organization. If you are unsure, ask for the caller's name, business identity, telephone number, street address, e-mail address, and business license number. Be sure to verify that the company is legitimate by, for example, checking with your local consumer protection office, Better Business Bureau, state Attorney General, the National Fraud Information Center, the Federal Trade Commission, or other consumer group. If you cannot verify that a company is legitimate, do not provide them your information.

If you have been or are being contacted by someone claiming that you have won a prize or lottery sponsored by Sorenson Communications, please immediately alert Sorenson Communications by sending an e-mail to VRScomments@sorenson.com. Immediate investigation will begin to stop fraudulent activity.

For more information about how you can protect yourself against these and other fraudulent practices, please consult the Bureau of Consumer Protection of the Federal Trade Commission, at: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/index.shtml, or the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center, at: http://www.ic3.gov/.


Does Sorenson VRS work with a computer?

Yes. You can make SVRS calls from your PC using the Sorenson ntouch PC software. Learn more about ntouch PC, including how to apply, here.


What is a Voice Carry Over (VCO) call?

If you want to use your own voice to speak to the hearing people you call using Sorenson VRS, you can use our "Voice Carry Over" (VCO) feature. During a VCO call, the Sorenson interpreter relays the hearing person's part of the conversation in ASL to you while you speak using your own voice. To be able to make Sorenson VRS-VCO calls, a standard voice telephone or cell phone must be available near the Sorenson videophone. The Sorenson interpreter will call your voice phone before calling the hearing person whom you wish to contact.


What do I need to use Sorenson VRS?

To use Sorenson VRS, you must have a Sorenson videophone, high-speed internet access (256K) and a television with video input.


What is high-speed internet?

High-speed internet or broadband access, allows users to access the internet and internet-related services at significantly higher speeds than those available through "dial-up" internet access services. High-speed internet allows you to send and receive large amounts of information including video quickly over the internet from a computer or videophone.

A high-speed internet connection has a speed of at least 256k and is much faster that a dial-up connection. Broadband is a general term for the different types of high-speed internet connection options provided by local internet service providers (ISP) including DSL and cable (which is different than cable TV).


Why do I need a high-speed internet connection to use a Sorenson videophone?

In order for a Sorenson videophone to work properly, you must have a high-speed internet or broadband connection. Only high-speed internet provides the capacity to quickly send and receive high-quality video between videophone callers using sign language. If the internet speed is below 256k, the overall picture quality will be poor. 56k or dial-up connections are too slow and do not allow video to be sent over the connection. Both cable and DSL internet services will work with a Sorenson videophone.


What is cable internet?

Cable internet service is offered by many cable TV companies. Cable can provide up to 10 to 20 MBPs of data transmission downstream and 300 Kbps in upstream. However, the speed depends on the network congestion.


What is DSL?

Most major phone companies offer digital subscriber lines (DSL). If your location already has a standard telephone line installed, you might not be required to have an additional line installed. However, phone companies offer different types of DSL service depending on how much you want to spend.


How can I keep up to date with Sorenson Communications?

There are many ways to stay up to date with Sorenson and our products, services and features. You can visit our website at www.sorensonvrs.com, sign up to receive our quarterly electronic newsletter, become a fan of our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter.


What are some helpful tips to improve my VRS call?

There are some simple things you can do to improve the quality of your VRS call:

Lighting:

  • Turn on the lights in the room, if needed, to make sure your interpreter will be able to see you clearly.
  • Any light you turn on should be in front of you, not behind you. Strong backlighting can make it difficult for your interpreter to see your hands clearly. Close the blinds or curtains if a window is located behind you.
  • Check to be sure the background behind you is not distracting. Solid colors are best because some patterns can make it difficult for your interpreter to see you.

Clothing:

  • Believe it or not, some people forget to be fully dressed, so please "check yourself" before dialing or answering a call.
  • Wear clothing with solid colors that contrast with your skin color. If you have lighter skin, choose darker colors. If you have darker skin, try wearing lighter colors.
  • Avoid clothing with stripes or busy patterns because they can make it difficult for your interpreter to see your hands.

Camera position:

  • Make sure the videophone's camera is located straight in front of you. Try not to position the camera using a sharp angle because the interpreter may not be able to see your hands.
  • Try using the videophone’s Pan/Tilt/Zoom feature on the remote control to make sure your image is positioned in the center of the camera's view.

Understand the interpreter's role:

  • Please understand that your interpreters cannot have a personal conversation with you. Under federal guidelines, they are directed only to interpret your calls.
  • Your interpreters will respect your privacy and anonymity. Remember, they cannot answer personal questions such as telling you their names or where they live.
  • Your interpreters are allowed to give you their identification numbers and to state that they are qualified VRS interpreters. They may not answer questions about their background, experience, or training.
  • Our interpreters will be courteous and respectful just as we ask you to be in return.
  • If an interpreter isn't meeting your needs, politely request another interpreter.

Leaving messages:

If you are leaving a message on an answering machine or answering service for a hearing person, remember to leave your name and number so they can call you back.

Using Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Systems:

Many businesses now use computerized telephone answering systems with "Interactive Voice Response" (IVR) technology. An IVR system uses a recorded message to guide the caller through a series of options.

Based on the caller's response, the system routes the call to an operator or simply plays a recorded message.

Some IVR systems allow callers to skip directly to a live person, but many others do not provide this option.

Sorenson Communications uses an IVR system to help manage incoming calls. Some other examples of companies that use IVR systems are banks, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and doctors' offices.

Here are some suggestions if your SVRS call reaches an IVR system:

  • Pay careful attention to the options as they are signed to you by your SVRS interpreter. Remember, your interpreter cannot help you decide which option to choose.
  • Be patient. An IVR system can be confusing to anyone. Usually you can choose to have the IVR repeat its list of options if you did not understand all of them the first time.
  • Sometimes you may not have all of the information requested by the IVR ready, such as an account number. In that case, hang up, find the information you need, then repeat your SVRS call.

Slow down and be specific when signing a series of numbers and/or letters:

There will be times during your SVRS calls when you will need to sign a series of numbers and/or letters, such as when giving an address, a serial number, or an account number. And because certain letters and numbers use the same signs, your interpreter may need you to clarify which sign you have used. In both these situations, you can help your interpreter to understand you the first time by following these suggestions:

  1. Slow down when signing a series of numbers and/or letters.
  2. Use the signs for "number" or "letter" to clarify your signs when giving a combination of numbers and letters.
  3. Clarify these Signs
    Letters: O F D V W
    Numbers: 0 9 1 2 6

Establish with your interpreter the meanings of the regional and/or name signs that you wish to use:

Because your Sorenson interpreter may be located outside your local community, she or he will likely not be familiar with any regional or name signs that you use. For example, the signs that you use for such things as retail stores, freeways, cities, people, etc. may mean entirely different things to your interpreter. You can help your interpreter by establishing the meaning of any regional or name signs that you wish to use by clearly spelling out the meaning of those signs before you use them in your conversation.


Can I request to change my interpreters before I make my VRS call?

If an interpreter isn't meeting your needs, politely request another interpreter. Keep the following tips in mind:

  • Please understand that your interpreters cannot have a personal conversation with you. Under federal guidelines, they are directed only to interpret your calls.
  • Your interpreters will respect your privacy and anonymity. Remember, they cannot answer personal questions such as telling you their names or where they live.
  • Your interpreters are allowed to give you their identification numbers and to state that they are qualified VRS interpreters. They may not answer questions about their background, experience, or training.
  • Our interpreters will be courteous and respectful just as we ask you to be in return.

Can I use Sorenson VRS to make international phone calls?

If you are in the United States, you can use SVRS to call anyone, anywhere in the world who speaks either English or Spanish. Unfortunately, if you reside outside of the United States, you cannot make an SVRS call or use SVRS to make 911 emergency calls. .


What do I need to do if I am going to be traveling outside of the US?

If you are going to be traveling outside of the US temporarily, please contact our CIR department at 801-386-8500, before you begin your travels. Please keep in mind that as you are traveling outside of the US, you will not be able to make 911 emergency calls.


How do I get a Sorenson Videophone?

Click on the "Apply Now" button. Please note that the free Sorenson videophone is available for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals who primarily use American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate.

Apply now


How can I place a Sorenson VRS Call?

Making a Sorenson VRS call is easy. When the Sorenson videophone was installed in your home or office, the trainer showed you how to use the videophone’s remote control. You use the remote control to make selections and to enter numbers on your television screen. Follow these steps to make a Sorenson VRS call:

Step 1:
Using the videophone’s remote control, enter the phone number of the hearing person you want to call in the Dial field. Then, push the remote's Enter key to dial the call.

Step 2:
You will then be connected to the next available Sorenson VRS interpreter. There may be a short delay before an interpreter appears on your television screen.

Step 3:
Tell the interpreter the name of the person or business you want to call. The interpreter will then dial the number of the hearing person. When connected, the interpreter will begin relaying the conversation.

Step 4:
After you end the conversation, you can ask the interpreter to place another call for you or simply hang up.


How do I receive an incoming VRS call?

Answering a call from a hearing person is easy. When you receive an incoming call, the LightRing on the Sorenson videophone will flash to alert you to the call. Follow these steps to answer a Sorenson VRS call:

Step 1:
When the LightRing on the videophone starts flashing, it means that you have an incoming call.

Step 2:
A message on your television screen will indicate the incoming call. Select the Answer button to take the call by using arrow keys on the remote control and then pressing the remote's Enter key.

Step 3:
If you answer the phone call, a Sorenson VRS interpreter will appear on your TV screen. You can then begin your conversation with the hearing caller.


SVRS Features


How can I make dialing numbers I call frequently easier?

For numbers you call frequently, you can create a contact entry in your VP-200 videophone. This is a record you create which contains the name and dial number of the people you call. You can also designate a specific LightRing pattern for important contacts that will let you know they are calling when the LightRing on the VP-200 flashes to alert you to the call.


How do I add contacts to my VP-200?

You can easily add all the phone numbers for your hearing contacts to the VP-200's Contacts list. Follow these steps to add a contact:

Step 1:
At the VP-200 Home page, select the Contacts icon.

Step 2:
At the Contacts page, select the New... button.

Step 3:
At the Add Contact page, you must enter the hearing contact's name in the Name field. To do so, first press the Keyboard key on the remote control.

Step 4:
When the on-screen keyboard appears, use it to enter the contact's name. When ready to exit the Name field, select the Enter key on the on-screen keyboard. Then, use the remote control to move to the Dial field. Use the numeric keypad on the remote control to enter the phone number.

Step 5:
After entering the name and phone number, you must indicate the type of the contact. To do so, select either the Sorenson VRS radio button or the Sorenson VRS with VCO radio button. You may also specify a LightRing pattern for this contact. When ready to exit, select the OK button. That's it! Repeat this 5-step process for all your other hearing contacts.


How do I get Call Waiting?

If you have a Sorenson VP-200, the Call Waiting feature is already included. Because only Sorenson videophones support Call Waiting, only callers using Sorenson videophones can be placed on hold.


If I have a VP-200, how do I use Call Waiting?

Remember, you must have a Sorenson VP-200 videophone in order to use the call waiting feature. When you are in a VRS call and receive a new incoming call, a Call Waiting notice will appear on the TV screen to alert you of the incoming call. Press Enter on the remote control.

The In-Call Menu Bar will then appear as shown. The three options in the Menu Bar allow you to:

  1. Answer the incoming call by hanging up the current call
  2. Answer the incoming call by placing the current caller on hold
  3. Save the current caller to your Contact List

We will briefly explain each of these options:

If you receive a notice of an incoming call during a VRS call, and choose to hang up the current caller, simply select the Hang Up button. The current caller will be disconnected and an Incoming Call dialog will then appear. From this dialog you may choose either:

  1. Answer
  2. Busy

If you receive a notice of an incoming call during a VRS call and choose to answer the incoming call by placing the current caller on hold, select the Incoming button. You will then see four options for responding to the incoming call. You may:

  1. Choose to answer the call, but hold the current caller
  2. Answer the call, but hang up on the current caller
  3. Let the incoming caller know you are busy
  4. Cancel

If you want to answer the call by putting the current caller on hold, select, Answer-Hold Current button. You will then see the new caller appear on your TV screen. A mini menu bar will appear on the screen displaying the name and number of the new caller. The initial caller will then be placed on hold. If the caller you put on hold is hearing, they may decide to disconnect. If so, the interpreter will disconnect the call.

If you are in a VRS call and receive a notice of an incoming call, you can select the Save button. This will save the current caller's information, not the incoming caller's information, in the videophone's Contact list. This option will only appear if the current caller is not already in the Contacts list.

If you choose this option, the current caller is still connected and the incoming caller is still ringing in (not connected yet).


What will Call Waiting look like when I am on my Sorenson videophone?

If you are using a full screen while you are in a call, the menu bar will not be displayed. To display the menu bar, press Enter on the remote and the menu bar will appear on the screen. You will then be able to see if you have another caller on hold.

If you are using a windowed screen while you are in a call, the menu bar will automatically be displayed on the screen. You will not need to press Enter on the remote to display the menu bar.

If you are using a dual screen while you are in a call, the menu bar will not be displayed. To display the menu bar, press Enter on the remote and the menu bar will appear on the screen. You will then be able to see if you have another caller on hold.

Remember, it is important to check often to see if you have a caller on hold.




How do I switch back and forth between two calls in Call Waiting?

To return to the caller that is on hold, there is a Menu Bar with 3 options to choose from. You can:

  1. Hang up the current call to return to the caller on hold
  2. Switch back to the caller you placed on hold by placing the current call on hold (if possible)
  3. Save the current caller in your contacts list

If you want to switch back to the caller you placed on hold, select the Switch Calls button and the screen of the person who was on hold will appear while the other caller is placed on hold. You can continue to switch back and forth between the two callers as long as both parties choose to stay connected to your videophone.

The Switch Calls button provides you with a visual indicator that a caller is on hold. If you do not see this button when you display the In-Call Menu Bar, then you do not have another caller on hold.

Remember if you are in a VRS call and receive a notice of an incoming call, you can answer the incoming call, but let the current caller know they will be placed on hold. A VRS caller may choose to stop holding and hang up. If they do, the interpreter will also disconnect.


How many calls can I hold with Call Waiting?

Only one call can be put on hold at a time. If you receive a third call and already have one on hold, the third caller will receive a busy message.


Can I Put Voice Carry Over (VCO) Calls on hold in Call Waiting?

Yes, but you must manually mute the voice telephone line used for VCO calls.

Although the VP-200 can place the video connection on hold, the VP-200 cannot put the voice telephone used for VCO on hold. Unless you remember to manually mute the voice telephone line, the hearing person will continue to hear your voice even though the VP-200 connection to the Sorenson interpreter has been placed on hold.


Will the caller know they are on hold when I am using Call Waiting?

Yes, the Sorenson VRS interpreter will tell hearing callers they have been placed on hold while the user takes another call. The caller will remain on hold unless they choose to hang-up.


What is SignMail?

With our unique SignMail service, hearing callers can leave an ASL video message for you when you cannot answer your videophone. Just tell your hearing contacts to ask the Sorenson VRS (SVRS) interpreter to record a SignMail message. The interpreter will then record the hearing person's message as an ASL video and the video will show up in the videophone’s Video Center.


Video Center


Can I still view my SignMail messages on my computer?

Yes, you can choose to receive email notifications about new SignMail messages that will also enable you to view your messages on a computer. In addition, you will be able to download any messages you want to save. The new Video Center provides the added convenience of allowing you to view your SignMails right on the VP-200 that you use.


Where is the Sorenson Video Center?

You can open the Video Center by selecting the new “Videos” button on the Home screen of the VP-200 that you use.


How long will my SignMail messages be available in the Video Center?

Your SignMail messages will be available in the Video Center for 30 days unless you delete them sooner. If you want to keep a specific SignMail message for a longer period of time, you can download the SignMail message by selecting the link that appears in the notification email sent to your email address and then save the file to the computer’s hard drive.


How long will videos other than SignMail messages be available in the Video Center?

The videos that you receive on the videophone which are not SignMail messages will be available to you for varying amounts of time. Some videos will be sent to targeted groups of users for short periods of time, while other videos will be available until you delete them yourself. The list of videos available to you in the Video Center will be updated regularly to provide you with a variety of interesting videos. Your SignMail messages will be available through the VP-200 for 30 days although other videos may be available for either longer or shorter periods of time.


What happens if I am watching a video and someone calls me?

The Video Center will allow you to answer any incoming call. The VP-200 will notify you of the incoming call and you’ll have the option to answer the call or continue to watch the video.


Are the videos presented in the Video Center free?

As with all of the services you receive from Sorenson, there is no cost to you to view videos. You can watch all the videos in the Video Center for free.


Can I pause a video if I need to do something else?

The Video Center allows you to pause the playback of a video and then resume watching later. If you intend to pause for more than a short time, Sorenson recommends that you exit the Video Center and then access the video later when you have enough time to finish watching it.


Can I forward a video to a friend?

The Video Center does not allow you to send videos or links to videos to other videophone users. Sorenson delivers a variety of videos and carefully manages the network capacity. Not all videos will be available to all users at the same time. You can be assured that Sorenson will always immediately deliver your SignMail video messages.


Does the Video Center allow me to send or receive point-to-point video messages?

No. The Video Center does not currently allow users to send or receive videos between other videophone users.


How will my broadband internet connection be affected by the Video Center?

There will be no impact to your broadband connection from the Video Center feature. Sorenson carefully prepares all the videos delivered to the Video Center to best match the network settings of the videophone you use.


Videophones


Can a hearing person receive an SVRS videophone?

We thank everyone for their interest in Sorenson videophones; however, we are not able to send hearing persons a videophone because the video relay service equipment is intended only for deaf and hard-of-hearing persons who use ASL to communicate. Hearing family members and ASL interpreters do not qualify for this benefit. At Sorenson Communications, our mission is to break down communication barriers for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. Someday every deaf person in the United States will have access to SVRS.


Can deaf and hard-of-hearing persons receive an SVRS videophone at no charge?

Yes, deaf or hard-of-hearing persons who use ASL to communicate can receive a Sorenson videophone. However, an application for a Sorenson videophone must be submitted. Here are the criteria for receiving a Sorenson videophone:

  1. The application must be completely filled out
  2. The applicant must have a high-speed internet connection of at least 256K
  3. A Sorenson installer must be available in the area to set up the Sorenson videophone

Can I connect to SVRS if my company or home computer network has a firewall?

Yes, when you use SVRS to call other users over the internet, several IP ports are required to establish the outbound connection. If you use a firewall to connect to the internet, it must be configured so that the IP ports are not blocked. For more information on configuring your network, please see the Support section of this web site.


SVRS Español


Can I use Sorenson VRS to call someone who speaks Spanish?

Yes, you can use SVRS to call a hearing person who speaks Spanish with rapido.svrs.tv. Just dial rapido.svrs.tv on the videophone you use and you will be connected with a Sorenson trilingual interpreter (ASL, Spanish, English). It’s that easy!


I use American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate. Can a person who speaks Spanish call me through Sorenson VRS?

Yes, your Spanish-speaking hearing contacts can call you by dialing 1-866-9-VRSLATINO (1-866-987-7528) in the United States. The trilingual interpreter will ask them for your local 10-digit number to connect you.

Now your friends, family and associates in Mexico can contact you toll-free! To place a toll-free VRS call from Mexico, the caller dials 001-877-510-7655 to be connected to a Spanish-speaking ASL interpreter, and gives the interpreter your local 10-digit number. It’s that easy.


I use Spanish Sign Language to communicate. Can I use Sorenson VRS to call a hearing person who speaks English or Spanish?

No, you must use ASL (American Sign Language) to communicate through SVRS.


EnVision SL


Does Sorenson VRS still support EnVision SL?

We’re sorry, due to current FCC regulations, SVRS no longer supports Envision SL. To apply for a Sorenson videophone, click here.


SVRS 911


Enhanced 911 (E911)

Sorenson's E911 Experience

How do I Update my Address for E911?

Can I use Sorenson VRS to make a 911 call?

You can use SVRS to make a 911 emergency call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When you place an emergency 911 call, your call will immediately be answered by the first available SVRS interpreter. The interpreter will locate the nearest emergency service center who can quickly be dispatched to your location.

It is important to keep your contact information up to date for E911. During an emergency, if the person calling becomes unresponsive, help will be sent to the 911 location registered with Sorenson. If you move without updating the location information of the videophone you use, help could be mistakenly sent to your old address.

It’s easy to keep your address up to date right through the VP-200 that you use. From the home screen select the “Location” icon. You’ll be able to update your 911 location information. Use the remote to update the information if it is not correct.

Each time the power is reconnected to the VP-200, you’ll be asked to verify this 911 location information. This way, we’re always ready to send help if you need it.

To update your address information, click here. To learn more about SVRS E911 calls and how to make them, click here


What is the difference between 911 and Enhanced 911 (E911)?

With previous 911 services, the VRS provider did not have a videophone user’s address information on file and users had to sign their address to the interpreter. Now when you select your default VRS provider, you provide your address information so that VRS provider has it on file. This is Enhanced 911 or E911. During an emergency call, the interpreter will simply ask the caller to verify that the information is correct. You can keep your address information updated by visiting www.sorensonvrs.com/moving, dialing 800-659-4810, or through the “Location” button on the videophone. The videophone you use will ask the user to confirm the address every time it reboots.


How do I place a 911 call?

Placing a 911 call on a Sorenson videophone is easy. Follow these steps:

Step 1:
Using the number keys on the VP-200’s remote control, enter 911 in the DIAL field.

Step 2:
Use the arrow keys on your remote to highlight the SVRS icon if it is not already highlighted. Then push “Enter” on the remote.

Step 3:
You will be connected to the first available Sorenson VRS interpreter.

Step 4:
The interpreter will ask you for your name and the full address of where the emergency is located. Try to sign your responses as clear as possible.

Step 5:
The interpreter will give your information to emergency services. The police department, ambulance service or fire station workers will respond.


SVRS for Business


Why use SVRS for business?

Your deaf employees have much to offer and deserve the right to communicate easily with hearing co-workers and business associates. SVRS is available to provide that opportunity to all deaf individuals for free.

Sorenson VRS enables anyone to conduct video relay calls with family, friends, or business associates through a qualified American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter via a high-speed internet connection and a video relay solution. It is an ideal technology for businesses with deaf or hard-of-hearing employees or business contacts that use sign language. Additionally, Sorenson VRS helps make your organization compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


When should my employees use SVRS?

Employees use VRS interpreters to facilitate conversations that take place over the phone between deaf and hearing parties in two different physical locations—for example, a corporate office manager who can hear and a deaf regional sales associate working in a separate office.

Sorenson VRS is not intended to take the place of hiring interpreters for on-site meetings or conversations.


How can my deaf or hard-of-hearing employee receive a free videophone?

Sorenson videophones are only available for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals who use American Sign Language to communicate. To have a videophone installed at no charge, ask your deaf employee to submit an online application.


What do I need to provide as the employer?

Sorenson VRS requires a 256K high-speed internet connection and a standard television with video input. Additionally, certain ports need to be open that will not compromise network security in a corporate network to allow for video to be transmitted over the internet.

SVRS for Business Brochure (PDF)
Configuring your network for the VP-200 (PDF)
Configuring your network for the VP-100 (PDF)

How is SVRS deployed in business settings

Sorenson Communications will work with your IT management team to implement the videophone technology. The videophone is a standalone video appliance and, unlike many other solutions, does not require a PC. As a result, it greatly minimizes security exposure and simplifies firewall management.


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