Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) is concerned about an alarming trend among state legislatures. Some states are redirecting money collected for the state telecommunications relay services (TRS or Relay Services) fund for purposes other than supporting Relay Services. These funds are collected via a surcharge on the phone bills of state residents. The stated purpose for that surcharge is to support captioned telephone services, Voice Carry Over, TTY and Hearing Carry-Over services provided by the state Relay Service. (Internet-Protocol (IP) Relay and Video Relay Services (VRS) are not covered under this fund.)
Instead of depleting these intrastate Relay Service funds for other purposes, HLAA calls on states to ensure these funds are used for quality Relay Services for Americans who have a hearing loss, their employers, friends and families who need to contact them.