View All News

New Avaya Solutions Provide Access to Converged BusinessCommunications for People with Sensory Impairments

11-05-2003

Avaya Inc. (NYSE: AV), a leading global provider of communicationssolutions and services for businesses, today announced two newsolutions that enable people with sensory impairments to accessadvanced business communications over converged, Internet Protocol(IP) telephony networks. Both solutions will be demonstrated duringIDEAS, the Interagency Disability Educational Awareness Showcasescheduled for today and tomorrow at the new Washington ConventionCenter (Booth #405).

Avaya Inc. (NYSE: AV), a leading global provider ofcommunications solutions and services for businesses, todayannounced two new solutions that enable people with sensoryimpairments to access advanced business communications overconverged, Internet Protocol (IP) telephony networks. Bothsolutions will be demonstrated during IDEAS, the InteragencyDisability Educational Awareness Showcase scheduled for today andtomorrow at the new Washington Convention Center (Booth #405).

The Avaya developments give users the capability to accuratelyand reliably transmit teletypewriter (TTY) signals over an InternetProtocol network. TTYs — also known as TDDs — are assistive devicesused by people who are deaf or hearing impaired to communicate overtelephone systems. In addition, Avaya's solution allows TTY signalsand voice to be intermixed on the same call — a significant benefitfor the large number of TTY users who are hard of hearing but areable to speak clearly. Thus, users can receive a call on their TTYdevice and speak a response.

Today's new, packet-based or IP networks previously presented achallenge to TTY communications due to transmission requirementsfor TTY signals1. Avaya has overcome this challenge withan approach to TTY over IP that is not adversely affected bymoderate levels of packet loss and has little impact on networkbandwidth2, unlike other solutions on the market.

Avaya also has enhanced its PC-based Avaya Universal AccessPhone Status — a unique software application for AvayaCommunication Manager that allows people with visual impairments tohear the status of typically displayed telephone activity featuressuch as caller ID or the line on which a call is coming in or onhold. A new version of the application now will support the hearingimpaired as well, displaying call status and phone functions in apop-up window on their PC screen. In addition to audibly providingthe status of standard telephony functions, the application alsosupports a wide variety of specialized business communicationapplications. For example, when used in a customer contact center,the feature can provide workers with information such as the numberof calls in queue and the average waiting time for the calls. Arecent enhancement to this software provides support for users whoare hearing impaired, by alerting them when they have an incomingcall.

"There are 54 million people with disabilities in the U.S. andthis number is rising," said Debra Ruh, president and founder,TecAccess. "Providing accessible business communications offersopportunities for the astute company to increase their customerbase as well as the pool of skilled, talented employees from whichto draw. Avaya is a leader in making products accessible and amodel that other organizations need to emulate."

Both the TTY over IP and Universal Access Phone Status complywith government standards for accessibility that were establishedby Section 508 of the federal Workforce Rehabilitation Act. TTYover IP will be delivered as a core component of AvayaCommunication Manager software, while the Universal Access PhoneStatus application will be available for download from the Avayacorporate Web site, free of charge. Both will be generallyavailable by the end of the year. The new applications join Avaya'sextensive portfolio of Accessible Solutions, which alsoincludes:

  • Avaya Speech Access for Communication Manager thatallows people with visual or mobility impairments to access acorporate phone directory, place or transfer a call, establish aconference or remotely activate call forwarding with spokencommands.
  • Avaya Self-Service Solutions (Interactive VoiceResponse) that supports speech access and are interoperablewith TTY devices used by the hearing impaired.
  • Avaya Messaging Solutions (Intuity™ AUDIX®, ModularMessaging and IP Office VoiceMail Pro) that include TTYinterfaces, which provide TTY users with access to the samemessaging capabilities available to other voice-only users.


Avaya is an industry pioneer in the development ofcommunications solutions for people with disabilities and buildsaccessibility features into the same industry-leading communicationsolutions used by more than a million businesses worldwide,including more than 90% of the FORTUNE 500®. The company has beenhonored by the Association of Access Engineering Specialists and bythe Florida Coalition for Disability Rights.

"Avaya is committed to developing accessible, standards-basedcommunications solutions that open the enterprise workplace toinpiduals with functional limitations," said Joel Brunson, Avayavice president, public sector. "Doing so not only levels theplaying field for job seekers with disabilities, but also allowscompanies to be more responsive to their disabled customers.Universal Access to people and information guarantees the continuedevolution of civil rights for the disabled."

About Avaya
Avaya Inc. designs, builds and manages communications networks formore than 1 million businesses worldwide, including 90 percent ofthe FORTUNE 500®. Focused on businesses large to small, Avaya is aworld leader in secure and reliable Internet Protocol (IP)telephony systems and communications software applications andservices.

Driving the convergence of voice and data communications withbusiness applications — and distinguished by comprehensiveworldwide services — Avaya helps customers leverage existing andnew networks to achieve superior business results. For moreinformation visit the Avaya Web site: http://www.avaya.com. For moreinformation on Avaya solutions for accessible communications,visit: http://www1.avaya.com/enterprise/508/index.html.

About TecAccess
TecAccess is the recognized authority on Section 508 and E&ITAccessibility. They are a SBA 8(a), SDB Certified and Woman OwnedBusiness and the majority of their team are people withdisabilities.

1 TTY signals must travel acrosspacket-based networks as a single transmission. Packet basednetworks function on the principle of breaking information intosmall pieces that are reassembled when the message arrives. Packetloss is almost inevitable, which means that special treatment mustbe applied to TTY messages because there is no tolerance for delayor loss of packets.
2 Does not require the use of high-data-rate audioencoding and transmission schemes.

Categories: Press Releases
View All News