Sunday, November 16, 2014

Why IP-Relay is Important to Me Personally

The discontinuance of Purple's IP-Relay service on November 14, 2014, was difficult for everyone to deal with. It's affected many people in many ways, some more than others. In this post, I'm going to be writing how it's affected me.

I got my number sometime around 2004 or 2005. I started using it for job searches, calling medical people, and various other places.

Currently, my usage of IP-relay has two major uses. Job searches and medical. I'll cover the two in detail below.


November 3 had me enter the hospital for hip replacement surgery on the right hip. I needed to do this to make me more able to work. Before the surgery, I was in constant contact with the hospital and other medical people in preparation for the surgery and for other future appointments.

The day after surgery was when the news broke about Purple discontinuing IP-Relay. I was in my hospital room and was writing messages and other things on a laptop in between visits and communications with doctors, nurses, and physical therapy. That plus keeping in contact with people on my phone via IM. This was NOT how I wanted to spend my time in recovery from major surgery!

I was discharged from the hospital November 6th. Fortunately, I went with the same home health services as before, and the supervisor, nurse, and physical therapist had no problem with my using text.

But this is a critical time post-surgery. Anything can happen. As one can see after reading the previous Surgery and the Hips posts, I'm in zero mood to have an infection again, which required a lot of calls and making contacts with doctors.

Before graduating from Gallaudet University in May 2013, I was in contact with medical people in terms of dealing with a bad and painful left hip joint. All through the surgeries on the left hip joint in June, July (due to infection, replaced by antibiotic spacer), and November 2013 (spacer replaced by new joint), I was in contact and afterwards for post-surgical checkups.

Job Searches

I started my job searches in January 2014 after I was allowed medically to drive and do what I needed to do. Many employers require job seekers to have a phone number, and some won't even consider using email. I had some interviews in that period of time between January and when IP-Relay was discontinued. I had a few employers request that I call them. Many employer online applications require that a phone number be entered. There were 2-3 employers who had pre-screening using Skype.

I have one pending interview, fortunately, for an entry level position. When I told the employer that I could not make the interview due to surgery (this was a week after surgery), they said

"No problem.  Just email me when you are ready."

How many employers would be willing to do this?

That plus a government interview that was just two weeks after surgery when I was more physically prepared.

A Critical Time

Thus, as I've said before, this is a critical and important time for me under these two particular categories.

For those who wish to read comments submitted to the FCC related to IP-Relay, they can be found here:

Go into Full Text Search and search using keyword ip-relay.

Related links:
The End of Text IP-Relay Services? Say It Ain't So.
Here's Why Purple's in Deep DooDoo!
The Case for AIM Relay

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