Sorenson provided a new Videophone Booth designed by a Lexington Student
5/30/2012 9:00:00 AM
Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and Russell Harvard, star of the hit Off Broadway show Tribes, today helped a student at the Lexington School for the Deaf inaugurate a new video relay phone booth provided to the school by Sorenson Communications. 12th grader Stephanie Talavera placed video phone calls, facilitated by an American Sign Language interpreter, to both luminaries as part of the unveiling ceremony.
Stephanie earned the honor of placing the first two calls – one to a hearing person and one to a deaf person – by winning a student art competition to create a graphic design for the new booth. She also was awarded an iPad2 from Sorenson.
Lexington School for the Deaf is part of the largest organization serving the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities in New York State. For 148 years, Lexington has educated a diverse student body from the United States and abroad.
The Sorenson Video Relay Service® (SVRS®) empowers deaf and hard-of-hearing people who use sign language to conduct video relay calls with both hearing people and with other deaf people. SVRS calls are placed using a videophone, TV screen, high-speed internet connection and the assistance of a professional American Sign Language interpreter, who relays the conversation. SVRS is provided 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.
Queens Borough President Marshall, who recently hosted free hearing screenings in Lexington’s mobile testing van, is a long-time friend of the school and its affiliated service centers. Mr. Harvard, who is deaf, won a 2012 Theatre World Award for his performance in Tribes.
"It is very rewarding to be able to demonstrate that deaf people and hearing people can communicate with each other using technology. It was a great experience being able to speak with Borough President Marshall and Mr. Harvard – they are both such fantastic role models!” Stephanie said.
"I congratulate Stephanie on her winning art design and wish her every success following her upcoming graduation from Lexington School for the Deaf. She is a very bright young lady with a promising future ahead of her. Effective communication is key to increasing our awareness of the joy and pain of others,” the Queens Borough President said.
"Stephanie and her fellow graduates at Lexington have the whole world at their fingertips. I hope they all go on to achieve their dreams. As we say in show business, break a leg!” Mr. Harvard said.
"Sorenson Communications is focused on breaking down communication barriers with innovative solutions and high-quality products. We are very proud to support Lexington School for the Deaf, which does extraordinary work in preparing its students for full lives as engaged members of the community,” said Mr. Jody Kulchinsky, district manager, Sorenson Communications.
"We have great friends in Borough President Marshall, Russell Harvard and Sorenson Communications. Their enthusiasm for Lexington’s mission – to provide an excellent, well rounded education for deaf students and to help prepare them to participate fully as world citizens – is deeply appreciated,” said Lexington’s Principal Dr. Regina M. Carroll.