Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program

Telecommunications Access for the Deaf and Disabled

Administrative Committee (TADDAC)

June 24, 2010

10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program, Main Office

1333 Broadway St., Suite 500, Oakland, CA 94612

 

The Telecommunications Access for the Deaf and Disabled Administrative Committee (TADDAC) held its monthly meeting at the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program (DDTP) main office in Oakland, California.  TADDAC Chair, Kathleen Barrett, called the meeting to order at 10:05 AM.

 

TADDAC Members Present:

Kathleen Barrett, Disabled Community-Mobility Impaired seat, Chair

Gerald “Bummy” Burstein, Deaf Community at Large Representative, Vice-Chair

Tommy Leung, Disabled Community – Blind/Low Vision seat

Kenneth Rothschild, Proxy for Chriz Dally, Deaf Community

Nancy Hammons, Late-Deafened Community

Alik Lee, Division of Ratepayer Advocates (arrived 2:45 pm)

Colette Noble, Hard of Hearing Community

Kevin Siemens, Disabled Community-Speech-to-Speech seat

Non-Voting Liaisons Present:

Shelley Bergum, CCAF Chief Executive Officer         

Linda Gustafson, CPUC Communications Division

CCAF Staff Present:

Priya Barmanray, CRS Program Analyst

Silke Brendel-Evan, CRS Special Project Coordinator

Dan Carbone, Customer Contact Liaison

Margie Cooper, CRS Contract Specialist

Patsy Emerson, Committee Assistant

Karen Evangelista, Committee Coordinator

Jen Minore, Field Operations Manager, Northern California

David Weiss, CRS Department Manager

Nate Young, Marketing Collateral Specialist

 

CPUC Staff Present:

Linda Gustafson, Communications Division

Jonathan Lakritz, Communications Division

Penney Legakis, Communications Division

Grant Lee, Human Resources Manager

Sindy Yun, Legal Division

 

Others Present:

Bapin Bhattacharyya, EPAC

Liz D’Anna, Sprint

Gilbert DelToro, Jitterbug

Teresa Feeney, AT&T

Marilyn Finn, HLA-CA

Anne Girard, Hamilton Relay, Director of Marketing

Wayne Hoang, AT&T

Otis Hopkins, Attendant to Tommy Leung

April Lindbergh, AT&T Channel Manager

Kenya Lowe, AT&T Channel Manager

Michelle Munoz, AT&T Channel Manager

Gail Sanchez, AT&T Relay, Product Manager

Beth Slough, Hamilton Relay, National Account Manager

Karla Thompson, Attendant to Kevin Siemens

 

  1. Welcome and Introduction of Members

 

          The Committee members and liaisons introduced themselves. Kenneth Rothschild was in attendance as proxy for Chriz Dally and Patrick Boudreault was absent.

 

  1. Minutes of the April 22, 2010 TADDAC Meeting and the May 14, 2010 Joint Meeting

 

The minutes were approved with corrections.  On page 4, line 7 of the TADDAC meeting minutes Linda Gustafson’s name was corrected.  On page 5, line 32 of the Joint Meeting minutes, the words “in light of the Comcast decision” were added after the word “asked”.

 

V.       Public Input

          Marilyn Finn addressed the issue of the new pre-recorded message before CapTel calls and how it is negatively affecting her life. She stated that the message is intrusive, incorrect, and untrue and that when she places a CapTel call, the person she is calling hangs up upon hearing it without waiting to learn who is calling. Marilyn then read parts of a letter by Lisa Hamlin, policy director of HLAA, expressing her concerns about the same issue. Lisa stated that this is a privacy situation and the legalities surrounding the message and relay services need to be cleared up immediately. Patsy Emerson then read a letter to TADDAC from Dana Mulvany, another CapTel user, who stated that the message is an abridgement of an important civil right that adversely and unfairly affects a vulnerable group of people. Dana urged TADDAC to initiate emergency action to protect the rights of CapTel users and put an end to the discrimination they are experiencing. Both Lisa and Dana submitted that the responsibility for announcing the presence of a third party could have been left to the CapTel user who could then decide what statement to make and be able to say it in his or her own voice. Colette Noble added that complaints should be made to the FCC via their website at the first Disability Access to Communications Services and Equipment link if you want your complaint to go on the record and be heard. Nancy Hammons reported that she had recently attended the HLAA conference in Milwaukee and that the captioned telephone announcement was the hot topic and CapTel users nationwide are looking to California to push the FCC to get the message removed.

 

II    Continued

 

Review of TADDAC Action List from May 14, 2010 Joint Meeting

Previous Action Item #1: EPAC will update the Committee on TPIC.

 

This item will remain on hold until September, 2010.

 

Previous Action Item #2: CPUC will update the Committee on the issue of hiring/training an ADA Coordinator who can work with the CPUC and DDTP on accessibility concerns. A CPUC response is only needed when a change in the status of the issue occurs.

 

Grant Lee, the CPUC HR Manager, was introduced to the Committee. He will be working on ADA compliance issues and will inform TADDAC and EPAC of pertinent actions at the CPUC.

 

Previous Action Item #3: Phil Kaplan and Annette Carter will create an outline for a Deaf/Blind CA training curriculum.

 

This item was left ongoing but moved to a low priority.

 

Previous Action Item #4: Monitoring of quality issues in CRS-3: Phil Kaplan will prepare recommendations for spending the following budget items: a. Request to pay volunteers for making test calls to evaluate the quality of CRS calls.

 

This item was added to the 2011-2012 Budget Must Haves list and closed.

Previous Action Item #5: Committee members will review the DDTP website (English and Spanish) and give any feedback and suggestions to CCAF.

 

Shelley Bergum reported that the DDTP website is being updated and adapted to be more user-friendly. The Committee will continue to review the site and give feedback and suggestions to CCAF.

 

Previous Action Item #20: CCAF to update the Committee on the development of the new CapTel 800 as a replacement to the CapTel 200.

 

TADDAC’s recommendation to replace the CapTel 200 with the CapTel 800 was sent to the Communications Division at CPUC and approved. There are no more CapTel 200s in stock and the new CapTel 800s are now being distributed to the service centers and are available to customers. This item was closed.

Previous Action Item #21: Every Committee member will place at least one test call by the next meeting.

 

The test calls were made and this item was closed.

 

Previous Action Item #22: CCAF to research the technological feasibility of video-to-video conferencing with a CBO for Committee meetings in order to increase public input.

 

After much discussion about logistics and feasibility, the Committee agreed to do more research on video conferencing and to continue this discussion in the Fall.

 

Previous Action Item #24: TADDAC to appoint two Committee members to work with the new ADA Coordinator.

 

Colette Noble volunteered to work with the new ADA Coordinator and this item was closed.

 

Previous Action Item #26: TADDAC to choose a member to lead Goals & Objectives and Budget “Must Haves”.

 

Nancy Hammons and Patrick Boudreault were chosen as leaders and this item was closed.

 

Previous Action Item #27: CPUC Legal Division will prepare a guide to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act for the Committees.

 

This item has not been completed yet so was left ongoing.

 

Previous Action Item #28: The Committee will receive the web link to the FCC’s Broadband Plan report.

 

The link was distributed to all Committee members and this item was closed.

 

Previous Action Item #29: Nancy Hammons and Patrick Boudreault will lead the development of TADDAC’s Budget “Must Have” proposal to the CPUC.

 

Nancy developed the draft proposal and this item was closed.

 

Previous Action Item #30: The Committee members will send their ideas for the 2010 Joint Committee Meeting to Kathleen Barrett.

 

Ideas were forwarded and the meeting was held so this item was closed.

 

Previous Action Item #31: Helen Mickiewicz will research the question of legal professional privilege for CRS Communication Assistants.

 

This item was not discussed.

 

Previous Action Item #32: Committee members will forward questions and concerns of CRS users re: new long distance charges to Kathleen Barrett to then forward to CCAF.

 

This item was not discussed.

 

Previous Action Item #33: GoAmerica will report on why the practice of announcing a new STS CA was discontinued.

 

This item was not discussed.

 

  1. Approval of Agenda

The agenda was amended to allow for the earlier public input and the Chair’s report was put before the CPUC’s report.

 

  1. Administrative Business

  • Report from the Chair

Kathleen Barrett reported that she has been receiving e-mails and comments about the CapTel third party announcement. She said that during the CapTel trial period an announcement was not made, but when CapTel became a permanent part of the program, the CPUC sought the opinion of the Attorney General as to whether things could continue as they had been during the trial phase or whether an announcement needed to be added. In the Attorney General’s informal opinion, by his interpretation of the provision in the penal code, an announcement should be added. That is how the requirement for the announcement came to be part of the RFP for the relay contracts. At this point Kathleen turned the conversation over to the CPUC to further discuss this issue.

    1. Report from CPUC Staff

Jonathan Lakritz clarified the types of actions that are available to the CPUC by stating that they are limited to interpreting the rules and regulations that are pertinent to the agency, and the Penal Code requirement is outside their jurisdiction.  What is within the CPUC’s discretion is the content of the message and the nature and timing of when it occurs and they are still open to ideas and comments on these matters. The issue had been raised of whether individual CapTel users could be responsible for compliance with the Penal Code by making their own announcement, and Jonathan said that the CPUC would look into the possibility.  There are questions of liabilities and the agency is trying to ensure that the relay contracts are consistent with California law, although it is unclear from the statute who ultimately bears the responsibility to inform the other party that there is a third party on the line.

 

New Action Item: Jonathan Lakritz will research who is ultimately responsible for informing callers of a third party’s presence and if it is possible to shift responsibility to the consumer on CapTel calls.

         

Since the CPUC doesn’t have the discretion to interpret the Penal Code, Jonathan suggested some possible venues for resolution of the responsibility for compliance issue. First, a different opinion could be sought from the Attorney General’s office. Secondly, the CPUC could work with the legislature to modify the privacy requirements in the Penal Code to allow an exemption for CapTel. Lastly, the FCC could provide a resolution, though in Jonathan’s experience working with the FCC in the past, they have been very reluctant to preempt state privacy laws.  Individuals can also act by expressing their concerns directly to Hamilton Relay or the DDTP, by filing a complaint with the FCC, or by filing a complaint with the Attorney General’s office.

          Colette Noble expressed frustration that there is no allowance for self-introduction and at the loss of functional equivalency and observed that only CapTel service is singled out for this.  Tommy Leung asked for a copy of the Attorney General’s opinion and stated that it appears there are competing privileges of confidentiality at play and wondered which privilege would prevail, the caller’s or the recipient’s. He suggested a legal workaround whereby the caller would take responsibility for informing about the third party. David Weiss commented that all CapTel users already sign a several point agreement before being given a phone and that a point stating the need to comply with the Penal Code could be added to this agreement. Sindy Yun stated that neither the question about competing privileges nor the question about whether the CapTel caller can inform the other party themselves was addressed to the Attorney General, but she can take those questions back to the Attorney General.

Jonathan agreed that this might be a good solution and then gave an update on the major contract rebid efforts. The Relay Service transition went smoothly and the contract requirements are being met. As of August 1st consumers will be able to identify their provider of choice through their 711 profile forms.  The Equipment Processing Center contract, set to transition June 28th, will remain with the same vendor but on a new platform that will allow for closer monitoring and equipment tracking. Program participants will be able to track their own equipment through a new Web interface. Lastly, the Marketing contract with OneWorld which transitioned in April is also going well as they work to better understand their constituency.  Jonathan added that the new CapTel 800s are in stock and being distributed and that the Jitterbug pilot project is continuing.

VII. C.    DDTP Financial Statements Presentation

          Jonathan Lakritz outlined DDTP Expenses as of the end of May, 2010 and what they are estimated to total at the end of the fiscal year June 30th.  The expenses are broken down into CPUC Expenses, Equipment Expenses, Committee TECs, Leases, and Contracts with a grand, end-of-year total of $44,461,082.43. It is estimated that due to higher rates on new contracts and additional equipment costs, the expenses will go up by about $5 million next year, possibly more. When asked about travel expenses, Jonathan asked that the Committee put together estimated travel on a six-month basis for consideration in the budget, but he cautioned that the budget situation in Sacramento makes approval of any increased spending unlikely. Bummy Burstein asked for information on the surcharge revenue earmarked for this program and Jonathan agreed to have the information by the next meeting.

 

VII.F. Consideration of a Summer Meeting for TADDAC

          Discussion of having a TADDAC meeting in July or August centered around the state budget and when and if Committee members, attendants and interpreters would be paid. Jonathan Lakritz noted that the reason the CPUC had historically recommended that there not be meetings during the summer was because they could not realistically estimate when the Committee would be compensated. Bummy Burstein stressed the need for a summer meeting saying that two months without one was too long and that they would lose momentum. He moved that TADDAC have a meeting one month of the summer and agree to be reimbursed later and the motion passed.

IV.C.   Report from CCAF

 

Shelley Bergum reported on activities that the DDTP will be participating in with respect to the ADA anniversary celebration. CTAP will have a booth at the big expo in Sacramento on July 26th and will also participate in events in San Jose and Hayward. The Marketing department has been trying to identify events in cities where DDTP service centers are located to participate in those activities, but we’ll be having small celebrations in the service centers anyway, at least on July 26th which is the official ADA signing date anniversary.

Shelley also spoke about the new CapTel 800s which are now available for distribution. The normal exchange policy will remain in place, however persons who have been certified for low vision as well as hard-of-hearing will now be able to use the 800 model.

Lastly Shelley mentioned the move of the CSD call center to a new data base and location and asked if the Committee would like to meet there in Stockton to take a tour and get a better idea of the services CSD provides. The Committee agreed to discuss the idea after lunch.

Lunch Break 12:20 PM- 1:05 PM

  •  Unfinished Business

 

The Committee reviewed the Budget Must Have document and added a line item requesting travel expenses for Committee members and their assistants and a line item for talking smoke detectors to be placed above the exit doors of the DDTP office areas. Nancy Hammons asked that the Committee submit all final comments to her by next week, the end of June, so that she can complete the document for inclusion in the CPUC resolution by early July.

 

  • Public Input continued

 

Marilynn Finn read another letter from Linda Drattell, a hard-of-hearing late deafened specialist at DCARA in Santa Clara, who wrote to TADDAC expressing her unhappiness with the new CapTel announcement and requesting that TADDAC advocate that no announcement be made and to work toward a modification of the California law that has been interpreted to require it.

 

  • New Business

  1. EPAC Report and Recommendations

Kenneth Rothschild referred the Committee to the Basic Amplified Cordless Phone Evaluation handout from EPAC that recommended replacing the C4205 with the W425. Tommy Leung moved that the Committee accept EPAC’s recommendation and the motion passed unanimously.

 

  • Introduction of the CPUC’s Human Resources Manager

Jonathan Lakritz introduced Grant Lee, CPUC Director of Human Resources, who spoke about the ADA coordinator and ADA compliance.  Mr. Lee told the Committee that he is aware that ADA policies, grievance procedures, and basic notices need to be established and communicated properly and he is committed to satisfying ADA initiatives and compliance. The CPUC is developing a Disability Advisory Committee (DAC) which is working to establish a charter that ensures that the needs of their constituents are heard and understood.  Mr. Lee assured the Committee that any documents created by these groups would be made readily available to the Committee. Specifically, Mr. Lee said that the charter and grievance procedures will be shared with TADDAC before they are finalized, as well as the CPUC’s reasonable accommodation policies and its ADA Policy Statement. The CPUC is also seeking to broaden the diversity of new employees to include more persons with disabilities who are currently represented at a percentage lower than the state average. The Committee encouraged Mr. Lee to attend or have members of his staff attend upcoming ADA anniversary events or other related events.

D.Updates from the new CRS Vendors

 

Beth Slough, Hamilton Relay’s National Contract Manager, and Anne Girard, Director of Marketing, gave an update on the California team. Beth and Anne announced Edward Kinal, CRS-3 Account Manager, Erica Forbes, Speech-to-Speech Subject Expert, and Jenny Buecherner, Deaf-Blind Subject Expert. They also announced two outreach coordinators, Crystal Eusebio in northen California, and Paul Stuessy in southern California and their National Product Manager for captioned telephone, Mitch Levy.

Beth reported that the recent transition went very smoothly but that training is continuing in all the relay facilities, especially in regards to deaf-blind services, Speech-to-Speech, and Spanish services.  The first week following the transition saw a great deal of customer service activity, mostly having to do with updating customer profiles and long distance questions. For CapTel customer service most calls were concerning the privacy announcement. Hamilton implemented 24-hour customer service for California CapTel customers in both English and Spanish and welcomes the feedback they have received from consumers. Beth referred to a handout that lists some FAQs and the type of language Hamilton’s customer service is using to explain the new CapTel announcement.

Gail Sanchez of AT&T introduced their California team of Kenya Lowe, Deaf-blind Specialist, Michelle Munoz, southern California, and April Lindbergh, northern California, all Channel Managers who will be doing outreach to different local and national organizations to try to identify and connect with all the people who could be using relay services.

  • Review of Material to Educate CRS Users about the new Long Distance Charges

              

     Shelley Bergum reported on the materials that have already been produced and distributed and solicited suggestions of other places to advertise and get the word out about new long distance charges.  CCAF has sent fact sheets and general information mailers targeted to specific communities such as TTY and VCO users, Speech-to-Speech and CapTel users and they have added this information to three different pages on the DDTP Website. Two other things CCAF is proposing to do are including a bright yellow card listing the new long distance charges in each shipment of TTYs, VCO and CapTel phone equipment and updating the website with more information.

    Shelley also noted that the relay operators inform customers that the number they have dialed is either a local, toll, or long distance call. Bummy Burstein suggested sending materials for distribution to the eight different service agencies for the deaf in the state of California. It was also suggested that the Committee use Facebook to inform consumers. Kenneth Rothschild asked if Jonathan Lakritz had learned whether a special long distance provision had been made with AT&T and Hamilton for Speech to Speech users and Jonathan replied that he has been working with them on it.

              

  • Items for Next Month’s Agenda

The Committee agreed that they would like to have a summer meeting but will have to work with the CPUC about payment issues before deciding on the tentative date of the fourth Thursday in July. Nancy Hammons said that she would like to have the September meeting in conjunction with a Town Hall Meeting at Fremont Oak Gardens in Fremont. The Committee would like to have a vendor update with CRS statistics summarized in a verbal report and discuss the additions made to the Budget Must Haves list at the next meeting.  The Committee would also like a report from CD on the development of a special long distance rate plan for CRS users.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:25 PM.

 

These minutes were prepared by Patsy Emerson.