Portal users can now bring sign language interpreters into video calls

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Meta’s Portal devices they are now much more practical for the deaf and hard of hearing. The social media giant has partnered with ZP Better Together to enable Video Relay Services (VRS) on the portal hardware via apps, allowing you to bring an English or Spanish sign language translator into conversations with hearing people. In other words, you can make video calls to a far larger audience, and ZP translators are available 24/7 if the conversation can’t wait.

Functionality works in a whole range of Portal products. You can also sign up at get a free Portal via the ZP website if you are deaf or hard of hearing.

This move could help Meta corner video calls for those with hearing problems, of course, but it doesn’t change the vital role it could serve some people. Although smart screens have long been useful for conversations between sign language users, this extension could help hearing-impaired people communicate with almost anyone. This is especially important during a pandemic, when personal interpreters may not be available.

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