Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program 

Telecommunications Access for the Deaf and Disabled 

Administrative Committee (TADDAC) 

 

November 18, 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 Vice Chair, Bummy Burstein, called the meeting to order at 10:10 AM.  

  

TADDAC Members Present: 

Kathleen Barrett, Disabled Community-Mobility Impaired seat, Chair (arrived 11:00 am) 

Chriz Dally, Deaf Community (arrived 11:00 am) 

Tommy Leung, Disabled Community – Blind/Low Vision seat 

Alik Lee, Division of Ratepayer Advocates 

Colette Noble, Hard of Hearing Community 

Bummy Burstein, Deaf Community at Large  

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

 

Non-Voting Liaisons Present: 

Shelley Bergum, CCAF Chief Executive Officer           

Linda Gustafson, CPUC Communications Division 

Helen Mickiewicz, Legal Division 

 

TADDAC Members Absent: 

Patrick Boudreault, Deaf Community 

Nancy Hammons, Late-Deafened Community 

 

CCAF Staff Present: 

Sharon Albert, Director of Operations 

Silke Brendel-Evan, Special Projects Coordinator 

Margie Cooper, CRS Contract Specialist 

Patsy Emerson, Committee Assistant  

Karen Evangelista, Committee Coordinator 

Karen Lincoln, Customer Contact Operations Manager 

Jen Minore, Field Operations Manager, Northern California 

David Weiss, CRS Department Manager 

 

CPUC Staff Present: 

Jonathan Lakritz,  

Penney Legakis, Communications Division 

 

Others Present: 

John Fechtor, Hamilton Relay 

Anne Girard, Hamilton Relay 

Wayne Hoang, AT and T Relay 

Otis Hopkins, Attendant to Tommy Leung 

Royce Johnson, CSD 

Edward Kinal, Hamilton Relay 

April Lindbergh, AT and T Relay 

Beth Slough, Hamilton Relay 

Paul Stuessy, Hamilton Relay 

Karla Thompson, Attendant to Kevin Siemens 

Ileana Winterhalter, AT and T Relay 

 

  1. Welcome and Introduction of Members 

 

          The Committee members and liaisons introduced themselves. 

 

  1. Minutes of the July 29, 2010 TADDAC Meeting  

  

The minutes were accepted with no corrections.   

  

          Review of Action Items List from July 29, 2010 meeting. 

           

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

 

          Shelley Bergum stated that EPAC has been charged with coming up with recommendations for TPIC but TADDAC needs to know if CD wants EPAC to move forward with developing recommendations or to close this item due to TPIC Program inactivity. This item remains on hold until EPAC meets again in December, 2010.  

           

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

 

          As the site is still being updated, this item will remain ongoing and the Committee will review the site again when the update is completed. 

 

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

 

          The Committee will wait until January 2011 to receive the finalized guide and will address the issue again at that time. 

           

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

 

          This item was held for later discussion when Helen will be able to address the issue. 

 

          Previous Action Item #35: Committee members to assist CRS Vendor outreach efforts by sending information on community events to David Weiss.  

 

          David had no new comments or updates. This item to remain ongoing.  

 

          Previous Action Item #36: AT and T to investigate the issue of STS Relay  answering with automated menu dialing instead of a live operator. 

 

          Wayne Hoang of AT and T explained that STS users making 711 calls with no profile in place would automatically go to an automated answering system. This item was closed. 

 

          Previous Action Item #37: TADDAC will receive a report from CCAF on developments of the Deaf Blind Communicator (DBC) when available. 

 

          No new developments were reported and this item will remain ongoing.  

           

  1. Approval of Agenda 

 

The agenda was modified to move the CPUC report to the afternoon and the agenda was then approved. 

 

  1.  Administrative Business 

 

  1. Report from CPUC Staff moved to the afternoon. 

 

  • Report from the Chair 

 

There was no report from the chair.  

 

  • Report from CCAF 

  

          Shelley Bergum reported that the Customer Contact Operations Report was not included in today’s binder but was given as a handout and includes call center statistics up through September. Shelley also brought the Committee up to date on scheduled marketing activities. Major TV and radio ads in English, Spanish, and Chinese begin in Southern California in November. The Leeza Gibbons ads will soon have their final run but OneWorld Communications will roll out the new CTAP ads at the first of the new year. There are three dates scheduled for the Parade Magazine ads to run statewide. Colette Noble had expressed her displeasure with the wording of those ads at prior meetings and her concerns have been forwarded to the CPUC which will hopefully take them into consideration for future campaigns.  

 

          Shelley’s big news was the move of the Oakland CTAP service center to the new Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley which Jen Minore described in greater detail. Jen said the building is amazing and was built from the ground up with universal design in mind, so it is completely accessible and also located right above the Ashby BART station. It houses several founding agencies including a Department of Rehabilitation office so it will offer an excellent opportunity for CTAP to cross reference customers such as those of the Center for Independent Living and the World Institute on Disability. The new service center will open December 6th of this year. The last item of Shelley’s report was that the CTAP service centers in Burbank and Riverside need to find new locations that are in compliance with the State accessibility requirements. She asked the Committee to offer any suggestions of suitable locations that they may know of which will then be passed on to the CPUC.  

           

  • Public Input 

 

Public Input was held until after lunch. 

 

  •  Unfinished Business 

 

          It was agreed to postpone review and discussion of the Budget “Must Have” document until later in the meeting when Jonathan Lakritz would be available.  Ed Kinal of Hamilton Relay then gave a brief Power Point presentation to introduce John Fechtor, National Outreach Manager and Paul Stuessy, Southern California Outreach Coordinator and a member of HLAA in both Pasadena and San Diego. Ed gave a brief update on Hamilton’s outreach activities and said they are continuing with CA refresher training to meet contract requirements and are evaluating and monitoring customer service, which includes refining the Speech-to-Speech training line and posting information to their Web site. John informed the Committee that the position of Northern California Outreach Coordinator is currently vacant and a suitable candidate is being sought to fill it but that outreach event planning and attendance will continue during recruitment. Anne Girard added that Hamilton Relay produces a newsletter and that she would like to include TADDAC members on the mailing list and that part of their outreach efforts is coordinating with agencies and organizations that serve persons with disabilities and distributing materials such as their newsletter and brochures to them.  

 

  • New Business 

 

  1. EPAC Report and Recommendation 

 

There was no report or recommendation at this time. 

 

  • Overview of CRS Call Volumes and Consumer Issues 

 

David Weiss directed the Committee’s attention to the CRS-3 Dashboard handout he had provided and noted that the report is still a work in progress that has yet to be finalized, but which contains the most appropriate and relevant information available. Both relay providers are in compliance with contract requirements, both have been chosen almost equally by 711 users as their preferred provider, and both have Speech-to-Speech training lines in place that are going smoothly. David then explained the attached graph that showed trends in CTS and TRS service and usage since October of 2077 and predicted that the number of CTS calls will surpass those of TRS soon. He also noted that since a Hamilton ad campaign in California last month promoting CapTel, so many customers requested them that they are currently on backorder.  

 

  • Discussion of Committee Member Responsibilities 

 

Colette Noble reminded the Committee that this item had been added to the agenda to enable them to discuss the repeated absences of Patrick Boudreault from the meetings and what should be done about the situation. Bummy Burstein informed the Committee that Patrick had notified the Chair that he would be resigning his seat. The Committee will await his formal letter of resignation and begin the process of replacing him. 

 

New Action Item: Karen Evangelista will prepare a flyer to announce the Deaf Community Seat vacancy on TADDAC. 

 

  •  Review of Draft Decision in the LifeLine Proceeding 

       

      Shelley Bergum told the Committee that there had been no changes to the draft but that the decision is on the Commission’s agenda for a vote tomorrow, after which time the Committee will follow up on it. 

 

  • Discussion of Off-Site Meeting Possibilities 

 

      Colette Noble expressed interest in having a combined off-site meeting with EPAC, either in Stockton or elsewhere, with presentations, panels, and outreach to the public in order to join forces and be more effective as a group. When asked about the feasibility of this, Shelley Bergum stated that combining both committees in an off-site meeting would not be any more difficult than with one, but would need to be discussed with the Communications Division because it would involve additional expenses. She added that CD had suggested that as a topic for this year’s joint meeting the committees might look at the deaf-blind community as there are some new initiatives relating to CRS and deaf-blind users, and EPAC has also been looking at equipment for the deaf-blind. Kathleen Barrett stated that she would like to meet off-site at the Call Center in Stockton so that the Committee could be educated about how the Call Center Works and do some outreach at the same time, or to meet in Riverside or San Diego where there has always been a good turnout. Kevin Siemens expressed concern that one committee would be paid more attention to than the other at a combined off-site meeting. Finally, having the meeting at the upcoming CSUN Conference in San Diego in March of 2011 was discussed.  

 

Motion: Chriz Dally made the motion to choose the CSUN Conference as the location for the off-site meeting.  

 

The motion was passed with six members in favor.  

 

New Action Item: Kathleen Barrett and Tommy Leung will write a proposal to submit to the CSUN Conference regarding hosting of the off-site TADDAC meeting as a CSUN Conference-sponsored event. 

 

Chriz Dally remarked that it might be appropriate to invite EPAC to join TADDAC at the conference as it is an equipment-based event and Speech-to-Speech, deaf-blind devices, and captioned telephones could all be discussed. There was a general consensus that the Committee would still consider having the meeting in San Diego coincidentally with the CSUN conference even if it were not sponsored by them. 

 

  • Member Reports 

      

     Kathleen Barrett reported that she had spoken with a few people with speech impairments who could benefit from STS but were not using it because it was too complicated and wondered if this was representative of the community at large. Shelley Bergum said that this reinforced the need for the STS training line and the hope that more people would learn to use the service. She said that CCAF has developed a proposed outreach plan to get the word out to more people about the training line but CD hasn’t approved it yet. 

 

  • Items for Next Month’s Agenda 

 

         Shelley Bergum forwarded a suggestion from the Communications Division that the Committee discuss the 2011 conferences and conventions they would like to attend or at which they would like to be represented and then make those recommendations to CD as a group. Chriz Dally suggested more discussion about the proposal for the CSUN conference and items that would be on the agenda for that meeting. David Weiss said that both AT and T and Hamilton would like to bring some Speech-to-Speech experts to the next meeting to give the Committee and opportunity to meet them and learn about their roles. Chriz asked if both vendors could also share their experiences working with deaf-blind consumers and David said that the topic was already being discussed with the CPUC as a possible agenda item for a meeting in the spring. Kevin Siemens requested that a discussion about his concerns regarding local call areas, the 40-mile radius, and billing problems be an agenda item next month. David stated that this is a contractual, case-by-case issue and offered to speak with Kevin individually outside of the meeting and to follow up with vendors on his behalf.  

 

Lunch 12:15 – 1:25 

 

VII. E. continued 

 

Bummy asked to clarify the difference between the proposed joint meeting of TADDAC and EPAC and the regular joint meeting by calling the regular meeting the “Annual Joint Meeting.” 

 

V. Public Input continued 

 

There was no public input. 

 

IV A. CPUC Update 

 

Jonathan Lakritz told the Committee that the LifeLine Order was up for a Commission vote tomorrow morning. The main issue of concern is how carriers are to be compensated for LifeLine customers and how that may affect customer rates. Jonathan then spoke about CapTel and the updated privacy announcement. There are those who are still unhappy with the situation, but there have been far fewer complaints since the recorded message was dropped and the text message was put in its place. Jonathan gave a brief update on the OneWorld marketing contract, new messaging and upcoming spots which will begin airing in early 2011. Jonathan wanted to hear the Committee’s thoughts on their off-site meeting and offer feedback and guidelines but will wait and read the captioning notes from this morning’s discussion. Linda Gustafson then spoke about the new training lines for the Speech-to-Speech service which are in the process of being implemented. Potential users of the training lines include current and new STS users, their families and friends, and professionals who may work with them. Linda also mentioned the improvements to AT and T’s up-front automation that has been streamlined to better serve the consumer and how that came about because of feedback from CCAF staff, the CPUC, and consumers. In response to Colette Noble’s questions about relay operator transparency and confidentiality on CapTel calls, Linda replied that these issues are still a concern and that a list of frequently asked questions has been developed that will hopefully address these and other issues.  

 

VI Unfinished Business A. and B. 

 

Linda Gustafson said that, assuming the CPUC budget with the line item for the DDTP is approved by the Governor, the 2011-2012 program budget will be maintained as recommended at about 70 million. The “Must Have” items will have to go through a more detailed review and approval process to flesh out the details. Overall the budget is okay. In terms of specific program areas, they are moving forward with several major initiatives in the CRS and marketing areas. Colette Noble expressed her concern that persons who actually use the equipment are tapped not only to test products and provide feedback, but to review marketing materials. Shelley Bergum assured her that the marketing materials were reviewed by members of the communities to which they are targeted and all of that feedback is given to CD. Chriz Dally brought the discussion back to the 2010-2011 Budget “Must Have” items four, five and seven and CD’s response to them. As to item four regarding testing of new technology, Jonathan Lakritz explained that ongoing testing is already built into the program and money allocated for it, but that there are limits on what types of equipment can be tested within the statutory mandate. As to item five regarding the marketing contract, Linda said that CD had simply not anticipated at the time that the contract would be for a larger amount than the one that was currently in place. As to item seven regarding videoconferencing, Jonathan said that the technological feasibility of this was still being considered but that costs would be prohibitive and that he recommends the Committees focus on doing more outreach events as a way to involve more people. He also reminded the Committee of the current budget shortfall and that we all need to tighten our belts. In response to Chriz’ question about unspent monies being rolled over to the next year, Jonathan said that appropriations are only good for the year in which they’re authorized but that surcharge revenues do roll over. What is happening with program costs is that rather than decreasing or increasing, they are shifting as more people are looking for assistive devices and less people are using the relay service. In response to Shelley’s question about committee members attending out-of-state conferences, Jonathan encouraged them to include them in their travel expense requests and wait and see what happens. Helen Mickiewcz arrived at this point in the meeting and addressed Colette Noble’s question about the FCC’s determination that the relay operator is considered invisible on a relay call and why announcing the operator’s presence on CapTel calls in California is required. Helen said that the CPUC had looked at this question and in their legal analysis had concluded that the FCC’s determination was not as far reaching as California’s privacy statute. The State Attorney General’s office reached the same conclusion. There are two privacy interests, that of the caller and the person being called, and California law protects both of them. After discussion about third parties and various types of assisted calls, Helen explained that on traditional relay calls the presence of the third party is obvious and unmistakable, but on a CapTel call their presence is not obvious, and this is why some kind of announcement is necessary in order to comply with the law. Helen then took a look at the TADDAC charter and answered Bummy Burstein’s questions regarding term limits and proxies.  

 

The meeting was adjourned at 2:40 PM 

 

These minutes were prepared by Patsy Emerson