Question: How can I find a job as a text or video relay services communications assistant
Working as a text relay services operator or video relay service (VRS) interpreter can offer a qualified hearing person flexibility as relay services are available 24 hours a day. The jobs involve assisting with communication between deaf and hard hearing people via the internet, using the web, instant messaging, or video. Communication can be in American Sign Language, English, or Spanish.
Relay Service Job Criteria
For traditional text relay services, a typical job ad will state that the job's duties include taking calls and typing. Good customer service skills and fast typing speed (an average of 60 wpm) are essential. A video relay service (VRS) interpreter is a professional, certified sign language interpreter. (Prospective interpreters can learn more through the article on Becoming a Sign Language Interpreter
. See also the About.com article on Relay Services
Mainstream Job Sites
A few mainstream job sites carry relay service job ads. For example, a search on CareerBuilder using the key phrase "relay services" turned up several jobs. You do have to read the job advertisements to make sure they are in fact relay services for the deaf and hard of hearing. Some of the jobs are advertised by staffing agencies and they may use terms like "customer service representative" or "call center representative." Adding the keyword "deaf" to a search may help to narrow the results more accurately.
Relay Service Agencies
One way is to check the websites of the relay services. Look for "jobs" or "employment" on their sites. A video relay service job is usually listed as a VRS interpreter, and a text relay service job is usually listed as a communications assistant (CA). At the time this article was written, few relay services had job listings on their sites. Here are examples:
Locations of Relay Service Jobs
Although you can access a relay service from anywhere, the jobs themselves are usually at relay service centers. The relay service agencies have opened service centers across the United States and Canada.