The Countdown To The Resurrection

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6: HOVRS — What Is So Special About ‘Em?

Posted by ridor9th on November 13, 2008


Like it or not, the videophones are vital to millions of Deaf individuals across not in this country but across the globe.  Like it or not, the videophones are replacing TTYs these days.  More and more Deaf people are tossing the TTYs in the closets and attics.  The videophones, of course, spawned the need for video relay services.  Needless to say, there are dozens of for-profit VRS companies out there to serve the Deaf people.

SorensonVRS.  CACVRS.  HandsOnVRS.  CSDVRS.  ViableVRS.  SprintRelay.  LifelinksVRS.  HawkRelay.  HamiltonVRS.  SnapVRS to name few.  If I miss anyone else in particular, so sue me.  These companies were created to meet the demands — heck, it’s all about economics:  Supply and demand.

Few people wondered why there are too many VRS companies.  I had to explain about how it works from time to time.  Basically, in this country, the demand will spawn the supply which will spawn the companies.  Then when the profits decline, that’s when the companies will merge or eat each other up in the process.  It happened with banking, retail, internet companies and so on.  It shall happen with VRS companies, sooner or later.

I’m all for VRS companies to make money off from us as long as they involve Deaf people in the process.  As long as they do not exploit us.  As long as they do not manipulate the needs of Deaf people in general.

I’m not a fan of SorensonVRS.  I already made it clear a long time ago that I find them to a major nuisance mainly because they attempted to subjugate the interpreters from switching to other VRS companies — in fact, they created a contract binding them that should they quit, dismiss or terminate at SorensonVRS, they cannot work for another VRS company for a year.  SorensonVRS repeatedly claimed that it is about the code of ethics.

My response?  Bullshit.

Not only that, SorensonVRS also waged a lengthy battle with other VRS companies in preventing the FCC from requiring the interpreters to be certified.  SorensonVRS only wanted “qualified” interpreters because it is cheaper than to hire “certified” interpreters.   SorensonVRS does not give a crap about the quality and ability of interpreters’ ASL as long as it is cheap.   Meanwhile, SorensonVRS also claimed that the main reason why they did this is because there were not enough interpreters out there that are certified.

Yeah, right, like I really believe.

Truth be told, I don’t use SorensonVRS for a long time.

Sorenson has its VP-100 and VP-200.  Some has Ojo.  CSDVRS has D-Link and is currently distributing The Z.  Viable already launched the VPAD and VPAD Plus.  What of HOVRS?  The so-called MVP has been stagnant in delays for the last couple of years!

Unlike others, HOVRS has caught my attention with the way it runs itself in our communities.  Which is what I will cover in 3-part entries on this particular blogsite.

The founder and the CEO of HOVRS was none other than Ronald Obray.  Obray is CODA.  That was kinda cool and nice to know that someone within our community was to run the company that may make money off from our people.  Not only that, Kelby Brick also worked for HOVRS as the Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs.  Kelby Brick is Deaf attorney that has worked with National Association of the Deaf.  Not bad, right?

Last year, I was surprised to learn that Ronald Obray sold HOVRS to GoAmerica for $35 million in cash.  GoAmerica already swallowed Verizon’s Telecommunication Relay Services a bit earlier before merging with HOVRS.

I was piqued with curiosity about the folks that runs the HOVRS.  The very top officers of HOVRS/GoAmerica — the CEO, President, the Vice-President and all that positions — none of them are Deaf.   Dig it?

One source inside from HOVRS told me that since GoAmerica swallowed HOVRS, there has been an activity of pushing Deaf people aside from climbing up the corporate ladder.  Which is why we do not see any Deaf individual working as an Executive of some sorts at GoAmerica/HOVRS.

That particular source said that the main reason why Deaf individuals were pushed aside is that these current executives claimed and felt that Deaf individuals lack the experience and means to qualify for any top-level positions within GoAmerica/HOVRS.  That is bullshit, folks.  The claims are the same ones that all Deaf individuals had heard from many hearing-oriented corporations.

But this excuse coming from GoAmerica/HOVRS whom garnered millions of dollars from the FCC related to video relay service business is deplorable, simply put!

Look at Viable.  The top-level positions — All of them are Deaf!  CSDVRS?  They have several Deaf individuals running at the top.  So does SprintRelay and SorensonVRS.  It appears to me that this particular company, HOVRS, is systemically preventing the qualified or interested Deaf individuals from getting their positions.

For a company that makes money off from Deaf Communities and yet, scheming to prevent Deaf individuals from attaining the top-level positions is simply despicable.

What says you?



NEXT: What’s Up With HOVRS’ MVP?


27 Responses to “6: HOVRS — What Is So Special About ‘Em?”

  1. Deaf Anonymous said

    TTY are still in use by some people wary of dirty players from at least one of the following: AT&T VRS, BISVRS, CACVRS, CSDVRS, Hamilton Relay, Hands On VRS, Hawk Relay, i711 VRS, IP-Relay VRS, LifeLinks VRS, Snap! VRS, Sorenson VRS, Sprint VRS, URelay VRS and Viable VRS.

    Snap! VRS has Ojo. Don’t get me started on the Bricks. However, are you saying Kelby Brick used to work for HOVRS? You have no reason to be surprised about what amounts to just a chicken feed fire sale from GoAmerica’s perspective.

    Deaf or not, smartest executives will prevail. You ought to know that not all Viable executives are deaf. Definitely not.
    Sorenson has one deaf executive. Whatever shows on the biographies is what you get. The rest aren’t top executives.

    After FCC exposes many dirty players then accounting for mergers and the formation of the prevailing Socialist party we’ll have one service left. Name of service is UnitedRelay run by a little bitch-bastard fascist backed by the Gestapo.

    Keep up.

  2. Anonymously Deaf said

    FCC is investigating into HOVRS. For proof, check:

  3. Anonymously Deaf said

    The correct link for the leaked FCC report investigating into HOVRS:

  4. Anony Musses said

    Has any one got MVP yet? Is? we get MVP through friends via email a pyramid scheme?

  5. Penny said

    Pah seeing you in front page on Deafread. Finally! Deafread and Deaf Village are twins…maybe more of fraternal twins. Glad to see DEAF like you in front page. Good note here. I learned something from you about Sorenson and other relay services. I was frustrated with some horrible inept interpreters from Sorenson when VP was born but in the past two years I have been impressed with them and their work. They did a fabo job when I had to make important calls. I have heard others were not happy with VRS from Sorenson. I guess I have been just lucky to have good interpreters who answered my calls. Hands On has a reputation of sending interpreters from streets…interpreters used ragged clothes and have lack of trainings. I always try to avoid using intepreters from hands on at all costs. It is a nightmare. I am looking forward to your next three series. You gotta start a magazine business. I visualize you as a magazine man, smile.

  6. Penny said

    Oops…I mean seeing you on front page in Deafread. English!!! 🙂

  7. Joe said

    What a keen observation you made! I am all for companies that invest in the Deaf people and allow them to climbing up the corporate ladder.

  8. Silly Tony said

    I enjoyed reading your blog about VRS. Informative and educational. It is something we should be aware of the nature of their businesses. I am not saying that I take it as a fact but rather that I appreciate learning something significant.

    See, I think Deafread needs you. At least I do.

  9. *Boston said

    Great blog!

    Now you got me thinking about which company I should use knowing where the profits go. I want to see Deaf community be involved with the companies that serve them. HOVRS was once cool VRS and I have not been using it lately and now with the GoAmerica I will not attempt to use them again. Just to show that I am for deaf-allied companies.

    Thanks for sharing!

  10. Deaf Anonymous said

    I hope *Boston meant only those deaf-allied companies operating with the highest degree of purified ethics. Not all deaf-allied companies are ethical. Don’t generalize.

  11. Annonymous Employee of HOVRS said

    Rider, you are such a bogus fraud it is hard to believe anyone ever reads you, including me. I must be as a big an idiot as those who actually believe you know what you are talking about.

    I’ve worked for HOVRS for 5 years. No VRS provider works as hard as we do to advance the cause of the Deaf.
    Many of our original employees have been promoted after the merger, and we have incredible benefits. As far as deaf leadership, we have 20 Managers, 6 Directors and 1 VP who are deaf. 60% of our company is Deaf! And yes Kelby Brick still works here as a VP. If you were a real reporter, you’d do your homework next time, before you make your lies. I’m proud to be part of HOVRS company and we are doing what I’ve never seen before at any company I’ve worked for. We are all working very hard to create a culture where Deaf and Hearing work together and help each other grow professionally.

    And don’t forget that the company you are trying to slander and lie about, is the one that fought the battle and got us interoprerablitiy, 10 digit numbers for all of us, and is the one who is fighting the battle to get Soretoes’ interpreter lock up removed. You are a fool to try to damage Deaf people like me and my coworkers, who work so hard for the Deaf just to get your name in the lights!

    I’ve heard you actually will write anything if someone pays you enough, so I wonder who paid you to write these lies? Are you ready to admit the truth to us?

    Rider, I’ll be posting this elsewhere if you try to block me.

  12. ha ha ha said

    hey *Annoymous Employee of HOVRS: you pointed one finger at ridor and you forgot all your four others pointed back at you. you just got pwn’d. believe it or not, ridor has billion fans online reading his blogs. he does have many that loves him and hates him both — still, his blogs are very addictive and very juicy to our brains. we thirst for his blogs no matter what. just like sprite: OBEY YOUR THIRST. his blogs are very informative and educational. put aside your jealousy, it’s unnecessary. not so many bloggers can speak a piece of their mind like ridor does. you suck, simply put. and to correct your english, it is ANONYMOUS, not annoymous and it’s RIDOR, not rider. you just had to comment here because you don’t want us to know the truth. YOU are the one that is SUCH A BOGUS FRAUD! =D

    ha ha ha!!

  13. ha ha ha said

    Oh and one more thing *Annoymous Employee of HOVRS: the company that fought the battle and got us 10 digit numbers for all of us, don’t forget that they were the first to establish the proxy numbers (fake direct numbers such as 1-866, 1-800) that still indicated us as lesser equal to others. recently they established a local direct number for anyone to call, what took them forever to come up with that idea? right, they’re idiots just like you. remember you are not any better in this community so shut it. just admit it for once and all that you’re addicted to Ridor’s blogs. =D

  14. Deaf Republican said

    “Believe it or not, Ridor has billion fans online reading his blogs. He does have many that loves him and hates him both — still, his blogs are very addictive and very juicy to our brains. we thirst for his blogs no matter what. just like sprite: OBEY YOUR THIRST. his blogs are very informative and educational.”

    Gosh, you nailed it! I, for one, greatly enjoyed the then-RidorLIVE blog and now this new blog name (hard for me to remember this new blog name). It is totally up to me to believe what I am reading what Ridor is sharing with the deaf world. Many times, I see that he got valid points. I call Ridor’s the Deaf National Enquirer. Quite frequently, the National Enquirer was the first one to unfold the story that we had hard time to believe but in a few days later we read the same thing in more conservative newspapers like the NYT, WSJ, etc.

    Keep feeding us, Ridor, whether we like to hear or not, whether we believe it or not, whether you insult us or not, whether it provokes us or not, whatever!

  15. justemele said

    That is a fact that people are tossing their attics in their storage or their attics, whatever where they put it, but remember some companies wont accept VRS like for example, Western Union wont accept VRS because they still have a policy, use a tty so that way they can call you back to confirm your number or whatever. That kind of thing still lingers in this world.

  16. Deaf Anonymous said

    Justemele, I believe one part of the new policy is Caller ID, if any used, of hearing people will show your real phone number provided by your preferred VRS provider. This concept uses pass-through technology. This will work best if your real phone number has a local area code.

  17. Annonymous Employee of HOVRS said

    Rider is like Soretoes in my book, not worth a correct spelling. Anyway, Ha, Ha, Blah…Soretoes is the one that issued fake proxy numbers, the only reason you know they are fake numbers is because HOVRS educated the market and made the FCC order Soretoes to issue real numbers, obviously you like Rider because you don’t like the facts to be correct also…BYTW I agree with you Rider is like fastfood and Sprite Billions are eating & drinking it and it taste good but makes you sick longterm.

  18. ridor9th said

    AEOHOVRS: Re-read what I wrote carefully — I said there is no Deaf individual at the top-level position with GoAmerica which HOVRS is under. I am aware that there are few Deaf individuals running around HOVRS but certainly no Deaf individual holds any position in GoAmerca.

    By the way, I allowed your postings to go unchecked twice even with the fact that you kept on referring me as Rider instead of Ridor — from now on, call me Rider again and you’ll be deleted just like that.

    BTW, there will be 2nd and 3rd entries focusing on HOVRS’ lies and copyrights … tsk tsk!


  19. Wars between different VRS providers said

    I tell you, Ridor, YES, Sorenson is cheaping to hire non certificate interperters. Few friends of mine told me that they complained too much with bad interpreters from sorensons because of too much MISUNDERSTAND! I already seen this too. Because I found out that Sorenson has hard time to find a certificate interpreters so they decide to hire cheap interpreters!

    I have used CSDVRS more often than Sorenson. I do not have MVP, Z, and VPAD yet so i have to wait on listing!

  20. ha ha ha said

    Annoymous Employee of HOVRS: it’s obvious that you didn’t get my point about sprite’s motto. you’re just another imbeccile working under a company that is total bogus fraud and Soretoes, rofl.. let me tell you something, right here you’re losing your point. you can either stop dropping unintelligent comments or continue making yourself look like a fool. as for me – i’m just another reader here enjoying every last letters of this blogsite. =D

  21. Annonymous Employee of HOVRS said

    Ridor – you are wrong as usuall. Too bad someone with your following couldn’t get their facst straight so we could all trust you more. We need more sources of good factual information in our community. Why don’t you interview the executive team at our company and get your facts straight, I’ve never heard of a reporter not checking their facts have you?

  22. John Lefman said

    “Not enough certified interpreters” – yes, you are absolutely right, it is total fucking bullshit.

    What they really mean is “there are no cheap certified interpreters”. This was the same bullshit that Bill Gates used when he told congress that there arent many qualified computer programmers in the U.S.A.

    Nice to have you back, your blog entries are always interesting.

  23. justemele said

    AEOHOVRS-If you say that You want ridor to interview the executive team, and since you work at HOVRS, why don’t you tell the facts if you say that ridor is not getting the facts straight then why don’t you do it since you work there. Ridor knows how to get his fact straights and he wouldn’t publish this if he did not have his facts straight up. Have you heard of confidentiality policy? Newspapers, Media even blogs wouldn’t reveal their sources that’s why ridor is entitled to his own right not to reveal his own sources.

  24. Happy Camper said

    Just to keep it real for all of you, I got my MVP last week. The installer from HOVRS was very professional, and also gave me a new wireless router as part of the set up. He hooked up to my TV via a cradle and I can either make calls on the TV or take it out of the cradle and go anywhere wirelessly in my house or back yard. The picture quality is good and the battery seems to last forever. I have the Vpad also and I don’t know wether HOVRS used deaf people or not to design it, but they must have because they’ve thought of everything. It was worth the wait for me…good luck to the rest of you. I didn’t make anymore calls than I usually do, so I don’t think they care how many minutes we make and I never heard them mention it to me. BYTW the multipoint doesnt’ work yet though, which is a bummer.

    Keep sturring up the soup Ridor, we love you even if you are on an island by yourself.

  25. KH said

    Happy Camper,

    What you just said is a lie, obviously unless you can videotape your MVP and show it to us on YourTube?

    Talk is cheap! Show Me The Mvp!

  26. Just Browsin' said

    The MVP is out–It’s true. Beta testers are now testing the MVP to identify bugs so that Purple can iron them out prior to the launch.

    I seen it and played with it..

    VPAD+ on the other hand, is a stellar product yet the fact that it lacks a battery handicaps its’ true potential.

    Like it or not, the way these companies are handling themselves, it’s the corporate world. Just be grateful that we at least HAVE the fucking technology to overcome our fucking barriers so we can have fucking jobs and not waste our fucking time making wankers out of our fucking selves by tossing fucking crap back and forth in blogs like this one. You idiots.

    Would you even SAY the same things if you were to use your real names? I bet you not.

    fucking wankers.

  27. Get A Life! said

    Jeez…. All I read… Blah Blah (I’m neutral.) I don’t believe anyone words at all. All I believe is eyes to see “seeing a proves than a words”.
    So, don’t wastes your breathe to anyone whoever makes you mad or whatever you disagree. pointless…. It just a words that flow.
    Seems Ridor has his points and free speaks. I cannot complains or judges his words. That his expressions and options.
    TTY/TTD, Videphone devices, and “text” mobiles really nice and provides deaf people to have excellent communication needs which is the most important to all of us.
    If no all of above “devices”, we’ll be stuck as hell. Also we wouldn’t want to rely on hearing people to call for you while you and them “writing”. Such as mess!
    Once we all have a nice tech-communication devices. So accept it and move on. 😀

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