(1) (Video Relay Service) A communications service for the hearing or speech impaired. A VRS is the video counterpart of a TTY relay service, in which the user types on a terminal, and the relay operator speaks the messages to the recipient (see TDD/TTY). In a VRS system, a videophone is used, and the user dials a VRS operator who is fluent in sign language. The operator dials up the recipient's telephone, views the signing over the videophone and converts it to speech. The operator also converts the responses back to sign language for the VRS user.
A Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) that allows persons whose primary language is American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate through a communications assistant (CA) in sign language using videoconferencing equipment and an Internet Protocol (IP) based connection over the Internet. The signing person communicates in ASL to the CA, who voices the message to the hearing party, who responds to the CA, who then signs to the hearing-impaired caller. See also Internet, IP, TRS, and videoconference.