Meet Frazelle Hampton, CapTel Outreach Coordinator

  • Jan 4, 2016
  • |
  • publicrelationsdept

Frazelle Hampton

Late last year, Virginia Relay, VDDHH and Hamilton Relay welcomed Frazelle Hampton to our team as Virginia Relay CapTel outreach coordinator. Frazelle provides outreach support and education throughout Virginia to raise awareness of the benefits of CapTel for people who have difficulty hearing over the phone.

Frazelle has a diverse professional background that includes administrative, training and teaching roles. Prior to joining Virginia Relay, she was most recently a mortgage default foreclosure specialist for a major mortgage company.

“I am very much looking forward to working with the public and getting out into the community. I’ll enjoy providing information to help people better understand CapTel and Relay and how to use these services,” she says. “I am excited to join Hamilton Relay and Virginia Relay because they align with my belief that we are here to help serve our community.”

Frazelle is available to provide free exhibits and presentations about CapTel, Virginia Relay, and TAP. For more information, please visit or contact Frazelle at 804-726-6615 or

*CapTel is a registered trademark of Ultratec, Inc.

This week, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia is the first state in the nation to functionally end veteran homelessness. This is a great accomplishment for our state. VDDHH, Virginia Relay, and Hamilton Relay share Governor’s McAuliffe’s commitment to supporting our local veterans.

Because we understand that the ability to use a telephone is instrumental to living independently at home, veterans living with a hearing or speech loss are automatically eligible to apply for no-cost telecommunications equipment through Virginia’s Technology Assistance Program (TAP).

Adaptive telecommunications equipment, including text telephones (TTY), captioned telephones (CapTel) and other devices are available to individuals who meet one of the following qualifications:

  • A veteran with a hearing or speech loss and proof of an Honorable Discharge
  • A veteran with a hearing or speech loss and documentation of a service-related disability rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • A surviving spouse or child of a veteran who was killed in the line of duty and has a hearing or speech loss
  • An active member of the Virginia National Guard who has completed the required initial active-duty service

For more information on TAP for veterans, visit or call 1-800-552-7917.

In addition, Virginia Relay’s contracted service provider, Hamilton Relay, offers the Heroes With Hearing Loss program to raise awareness and initiate meaningful dialog about shared hearing loss experiences among veterans, their families and friends.

Hearing loss is the number one service-related injury affecting veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Heroes With Hearing Loss works to connect these veterans with solutions to help manage the impact of hearing loss and communicate more effectively with family and friends. To learn more about Heroes With Hearing Loss, visit

Together, we can ensure that Virginia’s veterans have the support and services they need to continue living in their homes.

Hamilton Relay, Inc. currently has a position open for “Virginia Captioned Telephone Outreach Coordinator” staffed in Richmond, Virginia.

Position summary: This full-time position is responsible for coordinating and implementing outreach activities designed to promote Captioned Telephone Service (CapTel®) for Virginia Captioned Telephone Service (VACTS).  The position requires independent travel throughout the state of Virginia.

Preferred education, experience and skills:

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree and two or more years of experience in the design and implementation of public outreach, public relations or related marketing experience are required.
  • Experience in the telecommunication field, Traditional Relay Service or Captioned Telephone Service is a strong plus.


  • Excellent presentation skills
  • Experience in the planning, coordination and delivery of public relations activities
  • Ability to develop effective outreach and educational campaigns
  • Ability to confidently communicate (oral & written) with a wide variety of audiences
  • Ability to plan, schedule and execute multiple projects
  • Ability to understand and follow directions
  • Capacity to develop and maintain effective working relationships with Relay Administrator, organizations within the public, private and non-profit sectors
  • Knowledge of and ability to understand various communication modes used by current and potential relay users
  • Familiarity with the user communities that could benefit from relay services:
    • Senior Community
    • Hard of Hearing Community
  • Able to travel alone
  • Be able to lift up to 50 lbs
  • Captioned Telephone users are encouraged to apply

Interested individuals may apply online at: or contact Amy Hall in Corporate Human Resource Department by September 11, 2015 at 800.821.1831. Hamilton Relay is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or disability.

Hamilton Relay, Inc. is a division of Hamilton Telecommunications based in Aurora, NE. Hamilton offers a competitive wage and full time benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions:

As of July 31, 2015, Virginia Relay welcomes Hamilton Relay as the new Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) provider for Virginia. To help you understand what to expect with this transition, here are responses to a few Frequently Asked Questions:

Is Virginia Relay closing?
No, quite the opposite! Virginia Relay, the free public service that enables people who are deaf, hard of hearing, DeafBlind or have difficulty speaking to communicate with standard telephone users, is still available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We have simply chosen a new service provider. As of July 31, 2015, we begin a new 5-year contract with Hamilton Relay as Virginia’s provider of Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS).

Who is Hamilton Relay?
Hamilton Relay is a division of Hamilton Telecommunications, a diversified telecommunications service provider headquartered in Aurora, Nebraska. Hamilton Relay has provided telecommunications relay services for individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, DeafBlind, or have difficulty speaking since 1991. Including Virginia, Hamilton Relay currently provides TRS and/or CapTel service in 18 states, as well as the District of Columbia and the island of Saipan.

Why did Virginia Relay choose Hamilton Relay as its new service provider?
We chose Hamilton Relay because they have been providing high-quality TRS services across the country for 24 years. And with Hamilton Relay as our TRS provider, we are able to offer Virginia Relay users a host of new features, including 7-1-1 routing and a Speech-to-Speech User Training Line. Hamilton Relay also has a well-established presence in the deaf and hard of hearing community, both nationwide and here in Virginia, as they have been providing CapTel service in Virginia since 2011. With Hamilton Relay as our service provider, we are confident that Virginia Relay will continue to offer our users the highest quality TRS and customer service.

When I dial 7-1-1 to place a Virginia Relay call, who will answer my call?
Now, every Virginia Relay call is routed to one of five Hamilton Relay call centers located across the U.S., and answered by the first available Communication Assistant (CA). All Hamilton Relay CAs receive the same training and follow the same rules and protocols for call handling. That means you can expect each and every call made through Virginia Relay to accommodate personal calling preferences and be processed promptly, professionally and accurately by our specially-trained CAs.

Will I need to create a new Virginia Relay Choice Profile?
No. All of your calling preferences as established in your existing Virginia Relay Choice Profile have been transferred and are automatically available to the Hamilton Relay CA every time you make or receive a call. To create your Virginia Relay Choice Profile, please visit To make updates to an existing profile, contact Virginia Relay Customer Care at the number below.

Will Hamilton Relay offer any new features?
Yes! With Hamilton Relay as our TRS provider, Virginia Relay is able to offer more features than ever before. New available features include: 7-1-1 routing, a Speech-to-Speech User Training Line, and Remote Conference Captioning (coming soon). A complete list will soon be available at

Will there be a charge for these new features?
No. All of the services and features available from Virginia Relay continue to be free public services, including TRS, and CapTel. Charges still apply to long distance calls.

How do I place a Virginia Relay call?
As always, anyone can make a Virginia Relay call just by dialing 7-1-1. Or, you can use the following phone numbers to reach any of these specific services:

  • TTY (800) 828-1120
  • Voice (800) 828-1140
  • STS (866) 221-6784
  • Visually Assisted STS (800) 855-8220
  • Spanish (800) 855-8200
  • Customer Care TTY (866) 246-9300
  • Customer Care Voice (866) 894-4116

Have more questions?
Feel free to contact Virginia Relay Customer Care:
TTY: 866-246-9300

Voice: 866-894-4116

Please note that under Hamilton Relay’s rules and policies, Communication Assistants (CA) are required to relay all comments shared between the calling parties, and are not permitted to respond to comments or questions directed to the CA, or to have side conversations with either party. For assistance in using Virginia Relay, please contact Virginia Relay Customer Care.

According to the Virginia Association of the DeafBlind, there are about 16,000 people living in Virginia with some degree of combined vision and hearing loss. Persons who are DeafBlind vary greatly in their background and experiences. For example, one individual may have lived his or her entire life blind or visually-impaired, and then begin to lose hearing later in life. Another individual may have lived his or her life deaf or hard-of-hearing, but now is losing vision due to glaucoma, macular degeneration, or another health condition. Other individuals may have had full hearing and vision for most of their lives, but are now experiencing some age-related loss of both. Each of these people will have different needs to communicate and live independently at home and/or in the workplace.

The Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (VDBVI) provides services and resources which empower individuals who are blind, vision-impaired or DeafBlind to achieve their desired levels of employment, education and personal independence. Elizabeth Spiers is the program director for DeafBlind services at VDBVI and recently provided an overview of the agency’s services for individuals living with combined vision and hearing loss. These services include:

Rehabilitation Training/Independent Living and Vocational Rehabilitation

Elizabeth and her colleague, Christine Day, work throughout Virginia to meet with people who are DeafBlind and help assess how their combined vision and hearing loss is impacting their lives, both at home and at work. They then make personalized recommendations and help connect each person with service providers and programs to obtain adaptive equipment, services and training that will help them to communicate more easily and live and work independently. VDBVI works closely with rehabilitation teachers, education service coordinators and/or vocational rehabilitation counselors to provide written results and recommendations and assist in providing services for customers who are DeafBlind. To receive rehabilitation teaching/independent living or vocational rehabilitation services, you must have an open case with VDBVI.

iCanConnect Virginia

iCanConnect is a national program that distributes no-cost telecommunications equipment to people who are DeafBlind and low income. In Virginia, VDBVI identifies and assesses applicants to make sure they are good candidates for the program and makes recommendations for the telecommunications equipment that is best suited for each person’s needs. When the equipment is ordered, VDBVI helps install it in the consumer’s home, and provides the necessary training and tutoring to make sure they understand how to use it. iCanConnect applicants do not need an open case with VDBVI to receive equipment. To apply, please visit

Community Outreach and Education

Elizabeth and Christine regularly offer presentations for people who would like to know more about DeafBlindness. They also provide training to other agencies and organizations working with this population. Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired Located in Richmond, the Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired provides training programs in a classroom setting to help people learn more about living independently with vision loss. Lessons include orientation and mobility, Braille, cooking, personal and home management, keyboarding and technology skills, job readiness skills, vocational evaluations, adult basic education, health education, and more.

For more information about any of VDBVI’s DeafBlind services, or to request a presentation, please contact Elizabeth Spiers at or 410-371-3133 (Voice/TTY) or 804-325-1282 (Voice/Videophone).

From the Spring 2015 issue of The Commonwealth Caller. Read the full newsletter here.

Celebrate Communication on Saturday, May 16

  • May 5, 2015
  • |
  • publicrelationsdept

The Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC), the area’s leading non-profit for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened, and deafblind, is proud to host Celebrate Communication 2015. Northern Virginia’s premier information fair for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community will be held from 10am – 2pm on Saturday, May 16 at the Northern Virginia Community College Ernst Center Gymnasium in Annandale.

Celebrate Communication is free for the public and will feature exhibits and activities providing information to support better communication and understanding for people with hearing loss and their families and friends. More than 40 organizations, businesses, educational institutions and community groups will be on site offering free information on hearing assistive technologies, cochlear implants, government services, hearing aids, telecommunications and Relay services, hearing assistance dogs, professional services, and more. A full list of sponsors and exhibitors can be found on NVRC’s website at

Other activities for all ages will include:

  • Free hearing, vision and blood pressure screenings in the Lions Club Mobile Van
  • Face painting by Dee Vinchey from 11am – 1pm
  • Craft vendors
  • Raffle prizes
  • An appearance by NVRC’s mascot, Yellow Dog


WHAT: Celebrate Communication 2015

WHO: The Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC)

WHEN: Saturday, May 16, 2015; 10am – 2pm

WHERE: Northern Virginia Community College
Ernst Center Gymnasium
8333 Little River Turnpike
Annandale, VA 22003

COST: Free; free parking available in “B” lots

CONTACT: Please contact Bonnie O’Leary at; 703-352-9055 x106 (V), 703-352-9056 (TTY), or visit

CapTel 840i and 2400i Now Available at Low or No Cost

  • Feb 20, 2015
  • |
  • publicrelationsdept

Virginia Relay and Hamilton Relay are excited to announce that CapTel 840i and the 2400i are available to Virginia residents at low or no cost!

There are now three ways to obtain a CapTel phone in Virginia:

    1) CapTel phones and other assistive telecommunications equipment are available at no cost to people who qualify medically and financially through the Technology Assistance Program (TAP). To find out if you qualify, contact the VDDHH outreach office nearest you. For a list of office locations visit or call 1-800-552-7917(voice/text).

    2) People who do not meet TAP’s financial requirements, but are able to obtain certification of hearing loss from a qualified independent third-party professional (physician, audiologist, government/veterans program or other hearing healthcare professional), may request a CapTel 840i or 2400i phone at no-cost. For more information, please call 1-800-826-7111 or email Stephanie Ulmer at

    3) All CapTel phones, including models that do not require internet service, are available to non-qualifying TAP applicants for for purchase for the exclusive discounted price of just $75. To order, please call 800-233-9130 or visit

Introducing the CapTel 2400i®

  • Jan 7, 2015
  • |
  • publicrelationsdept

The newest addition to the family of CapTel technology, the 2400i captioning telephone, will be available in early 2015 to Virginians with hearing loss. The CapTel 2400i includes new elements along with a variety of enhancements to its popular features, providing another option for enjoying phone conversations with clarity and confidence!

The CapTel service is the same, offering quality captions through the use of voice recognition technology. With its new touch-screen technology, the 2400i allows users to enjoy a large colorful display with the capability to navigate the menu and dial a number by touching images on the screen.

Check out these great features:

  • Large, colorful display with easy touch-screen technology
  • Easy-to-follow menu system
  • Built-in answering machine stores up to 100 unique messages
  • Adjustable font sizes and colors
  • Amplification and adjustable tone control
  • Bright flashing when phone rings
  • Phone book allows you to easily store and dial more than 95 names and phone numbers
  • Save up to 10 favorite numbers and 4 speed dial numbers
  • Menu options and prompts available in English or Spanish

In addition, the 2400i Captions will default ON automatically, due to recent
changes with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). This means that users will not be required to turn the feature on at the beginning of every call.

To learn more about CapTel, call 1-800-552-7917 (voice/TTY) or visit

CapTel is a registered trademark of Ultratec, Inc.

The Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH) and Hamilton Relay, Virginia’s captioned telephone (CapTel®) service provider, recently announced that Stephanie Ulmer has been hired as Virginia Relay Captioned Telephone Outreach Coordinator. In her new position, Stephanie will provide outreach support and education services for the entire Commonwealth of Virginia to raise awareness of the CapTel services available through Virginia Relay. Virginia Relay is a free public service that enables people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or who have difficulty speaking to place and receive telephone calls.

Ulmer is highly experienced in business and customer service within the health care field. Previously, she worked for the District 19 Community Services Board as administrative associate in Child and Adolescent Services. She currently resides in Prince George, Va.

“I am looking forward to shifting my focus to marketing,” says Ulmer. “I am excited to have the opportunity to travel and meet people throughout Virginia and educate them about the life-changing benefits CapTel provides for individuals who have difficulty hearing over the phone.”

CapTel is designed specifically for people who have difficulty hearing over the telephone. Using a CapTel phone, users speak directly to the other person and are able to listen while reading word-for-word captions of what’s said to them during phone conversations. Behind the scenes, captions are generated by a specially-trained Captioning Assistant using state-of-the-art voice recognition software. Captions appear on the CapTel phone’s display screen nearly simultaneously to the spoken word, adding clarity and confidence in using the phone to communicate with friends, family and businesses.

Virginia residents are eligible to purchase CapTel phones at a special reduced rate of $75 through Virginia Relay. CapTel phones are also available at no cost to people who qualify medically and financially through Virginia’s Technology Assistance Program (TAP). For more information, please visit or contact Stephanie Ulmer at

Happy Grandparents Day!

  • Sep 5, 2014
  • |
  • publicrelationsdept

This Sunday is National Grandparents Day! If your grandparents, or other friend or relative, would like to hear better over the phone, we offer no-cost amplified phones, captioned telephones, and other assistive telecommunications equipment to qualified applicants through the Technology Assistance Program (TAP). To learn more about TAP or to request an application for equipment, please click here to visit our website or call us at 1-800-552-7917 (V/TTY). Happy Grandparents Day from Virginia Relay!