Lincoln City Libraries now offers free video phone communication equipment for use by the deaf and hard of hearing at the Bennett Martin Public Library, 136 S. 14th Street. It is the first public library in the state to offer the service. The public may use the equipment from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and from noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. Library staff will also be available to demonstrate the equipment during those hours.
"Lincoln City Libraries appreciates the support of the Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and hard of Hearing (NCDHH) and Sorenson Communications in making this important service available," said Library Director Pat Leach. "We are proud to offer this added service to the community."
"In Nebraska, about one percent of the population is deaf, nine percent is hard of hearing and more than 20 percent have some form of hearing loss," said John Wyvill, NCDHH Executive Director. "This equipment allows deaf or hard of hearing individuals to communicate with hearing people in real-time through a sign language interpreter." He said deaf or hard of hearing individuals can also call those with video phones and communicate directly.
The video phone enables Video Relay Service (VRS), a telecommunication service funded by the federal government's Telecommunications Relay Service.