Disability Program

The Postal Service employs over 2,800 employees who are deaf or hard of hearing, and we make various communication accommodation options available to enhance their work experience and foster a more engaged workforce.

We offer Sorenson Communications Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) service at Postal Service facilities throughout the country, which provides real-time communication, 24-hours per day, between individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and hearing individuals who are in the same location using a remotely located video interpreter, videophone technology and a high-speed Internet connection. As soon as the call is connected, the interpreter appears on the computer monitor screen. The individuals can see and hear the remote interpreter, and the interpreter can see and hear the individuals in the room. We also provide in-person interpreters with contracted companies or organizations for certain events.

In addition to teletypewriters (TTY) and captioned telephones, we also provide Sorenson ntouch™ videophones which support Video Relay Service (VRS), allowing individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to communicate with hearing individuals via a remote sign language interpreter.

The Disability Program, which is part of EEO Compliance and Appeals, assisted in the development of a web-based course made available to all Postal Service employees via our Learning Management System (LMS) titled Providing Communication Accommodations. This course instructs supervisors and managers in recognizing and properly handling requests for reasonable accommodation from individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. In addition, students learn about the different types of communication accommodations available at USPS so they are able to assist in establishing effective communication plans.

Beginning in FY2015, this course will be required training for all supervisors and managers in the Postal Service under the Strategic Training Initiative.