DOVER-FOXCROFT - Mayo Regional is one of nine hospitals throughout Maine that is now a site for Video Relay Interpreting (VRI), an innovative project of the Pine Tree Society's Deaf Services program. The purpose of VRI is to make healthcare more accessible to Maine's Deaf and hard-of-hearing community.
While hospitals must be accessible to people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, the shortage of sign language interpreters combined with Maine's large geographic area often makes this a challenge. VRI enables the pool of interpreters clustered around Maine's largest cities to reach participating hospitals using a network of Interactive Video Conferencing technology operating via ISDN high-speed telephone lines. With the development of protocols, procedures and capacity at participating hospitals, Pine Tree Society's deaf Services program is now able to effectively provide services via VRI.
The VRI project is made possible by the Technology Opportunities Program, National Communications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, with additional support from the Maine Health Access Foundation, The Bingham Program and the Davis Family Foundation.
Other hospitals where VRI is available are Maine General Medical Center, Augusta; Cary Medical Center, Caribou; Franklin Memorial Hospital, Farmington; St. Mary's Hospital, Lewiston; Stephens Memorial Hospital, Norway; Maine Medical Center, Portland; Penobscot Bay Medical Center, Rockport; and Spring Harbor, South Portland.
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