Wednesday, 03 December 2014 11:29

TUSMA launches free new app for deaf, hearing and speech impaired in OZ

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The Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency (TUSMA) has launched a new free smartphone and tablet app as part of the National Relay Service (NRS).

TUSMA says its new NRS app, available free of charge for iOS and Android, enables Australians who are deaf, hearing or speech impaired to easily access the National Relay Service (NRS) through the convenience of their smartphone or tablet.

It adds that NRS app is ‘easy-to-use and free to download, only requiring an internet-enabled smartphone or tablet, and provides quick and convenient access to four NRS service options—internet relay, speak and listen, video relay and captioned relay.’

People can also store quick phrases in the app to speed up the time it takes to make calls when accessing the internet relay and speak and listen service options.

Mark Darras, TUSMA Chairman, said: “The NRS app is a world first for relay services. It allows users to access multiple call types through the app as well as allowing them to save commonly used phrases to make calls quicker and easier.

“TUSMA has introduced a number of new services and improvements to the NRS over the past year. The app is the final major change to the NRS since the commencement of new service agreements managed by TUSMA. A number of new service options including SMS relay and video relay have been introduced to the NRS and embraced by NRS users.

The agency says the NRS was used nearly half a million times in 2013-14, with 3.4 million outbound call minutes relayed, a 10% increase from the previous year, and notes that the new service options introduced by TUSMA ‘accounted for 20% of total calls in the last financial year - owever internet relay remains the most popular option for users to make a connection to the NRS.’

Darras added that: “Demand for the NRS is growing, with usage trending towards accessing the service through online and digital options. Users are embracing the internet-based technologies and services available through the NRS”.

The free NRS app on iTunes is available here, while you’ll find the NRS app on Google Play here


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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