Important Change to CA CapTel User Announcement and What CapTel Users Now Need to Do 

 Removal of Pre-recorded CA CapTel Announcement Message

 

CapTel users in California currently see and hear a pre-recorded message at the beginning of each CapTel call that makes both call parties aware that another person is on the line. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has required use of this message to comply with California privacy laws.  In response to considerable consumer feedback, however, the CPUC has identified other options that would still comply with the privacy laws. Specifically, the CPUC has determined that CapTel users can comply with the law by directly informing the other participant on the CapTel call that a third party (i.e., a “communication assistant”, a “captionist” or even an “operator”) is on the call. A CA is a specially-trained captionist who re-voices what the hearing party says using speech-to-text software. This technology automatically transcribes the CA’s voice into text, which is simultaneously reviewed by the CA and is transmitted to the CapTel user’s text screen. It is the CapTel users’ legal responsibility to make the other person on the call aware of the captionist’s (or CA's) presence.

 

 

What CapTel Users Now Need to Do

 

The CPUC has authorized us to implement this change. If all goes well, starting on October 28, 2010, CapTel users will see a brief text-only message at the start of each call reminding them of their legal responsibility. This text message will say, “California law requires you to inform the other person(s) that there is an operator on the call”. It is the responsibility of the CapTel user to inform the other person on the call that a captionist or CA also is on the call; however, the CapTel users will have complete control over the words they use.

 

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