History of Louisana Relay Service
Following the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) accepted responsibility for the development and review of options to effect compliance with the telecommunications provisions of the ADA, particularly the requirements as to the provision of intrastate Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS). In its Order No. U-17656-A, the LPSC created and authorized the Louisiana Relay Administration Board (RAB) to oversee the TRS operations in Louisiana. As part of the RAB’s primary function, they oversee the establishment, administration and promotion of a statewide program to provide access to all telecommunications services by persons who are deaf, deaf/blind, and others such as severely hearing disabled, severely speech disabled which includes but is not limited to the creation of a telecommunications relay service to function as a communications bridge between members of the deaf the hearing citizenry.
Duties and Responsibilities
Louisiana Relay Administration Board’s duties are to:
1. Establish, administer and promote a statewide program to provide access to all public telecommunications services by persons who are deaf, deaf/blind, and others such as severely hearing disabled or severely speech disabled. This program will include but is not limited to the creation of a telecommunications relay service to function as a communications bridge between members of the disabled communities and the public at large.
2. The RAB will promulgate such procedures, regulations, rules and criteria and may also take other action necessary to implement and administer this program where not otherwise prohibited by law. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Public Law 101-336, specifies that the FCC will prescribe regulations to implement telecommunications relay services for persons with a hearing and/or speech disability. These regulations will establish functional requirements, minimum standards, guidelines, and operational procedures. The regulations may provide for mandatory items or service enhancements. When the regulations are issued, the RAB will work with the vendor to ensure that all requirements are met.
3. The RAB will consist of five members. Members will be the chairman of the LPSC or his designee, the chairman of the Louisiana Commission for the Deaf or his designee, the chairman of the Deaf Task Force or his designee, the chairman of the Louisiana Telephone Association or his designee, and the chairman of the Telephone Access Program Board or his designee.
Oversight of the telephone relay service operation would be the responsibility of the Relay Administration Board (“RAB”) a five member body comprised of two representatives appointed from the Commission, and two by the deaf community, plus one member selected by the Louisiana Telephone Association. Members shall be the Chairman of the Louisiana Public Service Commission or his designate, the Chairman of the Deaf Task Force or her designate, the Chairman of the Louisiana Telephone Association or his designate, the Chairman of the Louisiana Commission for the Deaf or his designate and the Chairman of the Telephone Relay Committee of the Telephone Access Program Board or his designate.