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Meta and ZP Better Together bring Video Relay Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to Portal

Video calling has become a critical service enabling remote work and learning from home. And for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, it can also be a lifeline — but not everyone is able to communicate using sign language, the primary language of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. That’s why we’re collaborating with ZP Better Together, LLC, a leading provider of video interpreting and communication solutions for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, to bring Video Relay Services (VRS) to the Meta Portal family of video-calling devices. With VRS, a relatively new form of telecommunication service, members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community can communicate in real time with hearing people using a sign language interpreter. If you’re Deaf or Hard of Hearing, you can even apply to receive a Portal for free at portal.zpvrs.com.

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Through our collaboration with ZP, Portal now includes VRS apps that bring a sign language interpreter onscreen to connect the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community with friends, family, and coworkers. With the convenience of an onscreen sign language interpreter facilitating the communication, VRS gives people who are Deaf, DeafBlind, Hard of Hearing, Speech-Disabled, or have hearing loss — and the organizations that employ them — the freedom to make and receive calls to anyone, anytime.

“Today, ZP and Meta are introducing a powerful new experience for people who use American Sign Language,” says Mike Shebanek, Meta Head of Accessibility. “The combination of ZP’s apps and video relay service with the Portal’s AI-powered Smart Camera that automatically keeps people in frame is game-changing. It delivers simplicity, connectivity, and the freedom to move and communicate using both hands.”

ZP’s VRS apps are always available, offering a seamless, immersive video-calling experience with interpreters standing by 24/7. Share your ups and downs and find everyday moments of connection with friends, family, and coworkers. Even across great distances, ZP’s VRS apps on Portal give you more ways to laugh, work, and be together.

In addition to ZP’s VRS apps, Portal offers a variety of third-party apps that let you connect with friends, family, and colleagues as well as apps and features to keep you entertained. Use Messenger, WhatsApp, Microsoft Teams, or Zoom to connect with friends or coworkers. Or you can apply augmented reality masks and filters for fun during video calls, bring beloved children’s stories to life with Story Time, binge-watch your favorites from Prime Video and Netflix on Portal TV, or you can enjoy video content together with friends and see their reactions in real time with Watch Together — like you’re all in the same room.

Visit portal.facebook.com to learn more.

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