In a move to better serve individuals with hearing and speech disabilities, the General Services Administration (GSA) is transitioning to the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS), GSA announced May 10.

GSA will be transitioning users off its own FedRelay contract without any disruption of services, and the preparation for that transition is already underway.

“TRS will deliver expanded and improved services to individuals with hearing and speech disabilities, providing continuous access through one suite of services used by the public and the government,” the announcement says. “Federal employees will now be able to use the same services at work and at home. Citizens that rely on relay services in their day-to-day activities will also be able to use TRS to communicate with government entities.”

GSA said this transition plan has been in the works for the past two years, and the agency has consulted with deaf and hard of hearing community leaders in the creation of this transition plan. Relay Conference Captioning and Video Remote Interpreting are two services that are not offered by TRS but will be handled by GSA’s Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contract.

GSA’s FedRelay contract was originally set to expire on May 15, but GSA has extended task orders until November 15. The extension is meant to give agencies time to address any outstanding FedRelay accounts and prepare for the transition.

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Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.