I want to say thank you to FCC! With the recent news that the FCC rate MAY be cut this statement may seem a bit strange. But I had to be careful not to react to this news with anger. I always think of my mother’s favorite saying “be loving”!!

So I think the best way to “be loving” in any situation is to begin with appreciation, no matter how good or bad the situation may seem at first. So what about the FCC can I appreciate? Well for one, the FCC makes TRS and VRS possible for deaf people to communicate on the phone. Without the FCC, relay services would not exist and if it did, it would NOT be free to consumers. So that is why I want to thank the FCC.

I can only assume that that the FCC doesn’t clearly understand how important VRS service is to the deaf and hearing communities. So I wanted give the FCC an idea of what a deaf person sees when we make a phone call. Absolutely nothing compares to using our first language (ASL) to communicate. The way we communicate with hearing people most effectively is through an interpreter. Interpreters work very hard, must follow a strict code of ethic, intense training, and never-ending professional development. Interpreters are not TTYs. To say one is just as good as the other in terms of relay access is like reading the screenplay of “Star Wars” instead of actually watching the movie. There are not enough words in the English language to describe the feeling of seeing the Death Star for the first time.

I don’t think I have to get angry and yell to make my point. I think it is best to show the joy of using VRS as seen in my cartoon and to express my deepest gratitude to the FCC for making this incredible service available to us over the years.

May the force be with you!

‘Til next time—Matt