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BellSouth Offers Customers With Hearing or Speech Disabilities New Wireless Options for Enhancing Their Communications Needs

ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 10, 2002--

Innovative Telecommunications Services Open Doors for People with Hearing or Speech Disabilities

Communicating effectively can be even more of a challenge when paired with a disability -- as more than 28 million Americans who are affected by serious hearing loss or deafness can testify.

Now with new technologies like BellSouth's Wireless E-Mail service, many people with hearing or speech disabilities are experiencing a new found freedom in messaging, allowing them to tremendously enhance their quality of life, and empowering them to level the playing field in the world of communications technology.

Trends show that most people who have hearing or speech disabilities already use a variety of technologies, such as TTY devices, the Internet, flashing alarm clocks and other technologies on a daily basis. And with the introduction of wireless messaging technologies, people with hearing or speech disabilities are able to fully realize the benefits of staying connected to co-workers, family members and friends while at home, or on the go.

"Wireless E-Mail brings easy, portable communication methods to people who, because of their disability, have limitations on how and when they can communicate," said Eric Wolbach, Director of Wireless Services for BellSouth. "BellSouth Wireless E-Mail gives customers who are deaf, or who have speech disabilities the freedom to communicate instantly with the people who are most important to their lives. It also provides them with the same benefits of convenience and mobility that hearing customers have had for years with cellular phones and other technologies."

With BellSouth Wireless E-Mail service, customers with hearing or speech disabilities can enjoy the flexibility of communicating with any e-mail capable device, such as a PC, other two-way messaging devices, word pagers, select cell phones, and PDAs. Customers also can pull data such as flight information, stock quotes, weather and horoscopes from the Internet using Info on Demand capabilities.

The ability to further personalize messages is an added benefit that customers with hearing or speech disabilities can enjoy with BellSouth's Wireless E-Mail service. Customers can now add one of 25 symbols to their outgoing messages, such as a happy face, frown, or flowers, to indicate how they truly feel as part of the message. This feature provides a creative way for customers with hearing or speech disabilities to signify good news or even a bad mood when communicating with family and friends.

Customers can also enjoy much of the same functionality as Internet based email. For instance, they can store up to 250 contacts in the address book and have helpful folders for incoming, outgoing and draft messages to help keep them organized.

"BellSouth Wireless E-Mail is a simple solution for allowing customers with hearing or speech disabilities to easily connect within their own community, or to even connect with the rest of the world," said Wolbach. "It truly empowers customers to express themselves on their own terms and gives them more choice and control over how they want to communicate."

BellSouth is committed to helping all of its customers lead a more "connected lifestyle" by creating solutions, like wireless email, that allow customers to connect to home, work, family, and the world in an integrated and seamless way. Through a variety of service options, customers are able to perform advanced messaging capabilities, e-business transactions, and wireless functions, giving them more flexibility in managing their communications services.

Customers with disabilities can find more information on BellSouth Wireless E-Mail and other communications solutions that work for them at www.bellsouth.com/specialneeds, a website created by BellSouth to address the specific needs of its customers who have disabilities. The site offers information on BellSouth products and services and usage suggestions for customers with hearing, visual, speech and physical disabilities.

BellSouth Wireless E-Mail service utilizes a two-way paging unit, the Motorola® Talkabout® T900 2-way. The Talkabout® T900 2-way comes in four fun colors: Black, Aqua Ice, Razberry Ice, or Mystic Blue. The service is offered at $22.45 per month for BellSouth® Solutions plan customers, or $24.95 per month a la carte. The T900 device can be purchased through BellSouth for $49.99 (after a $100 rebate which is redeemable after 6 months of service).

To order services, customers can call 1-866-855-8482/TTY or visit BellSouth's special needs website at www.bellsouth.com/specialneeds. BellSouth will deliver the unit at no cost to its customers with hearing or speech disabilities, and will provide one month of free service. No signed contract is necessary.

About BellSouth Corporation

BellSouth Corporation is a Fortune 100 communications services company headquartered in Atlanta, GA, serving more than 46 million customers in the United States and 14 other countries. Consistently recognized for customer satisfaction, BellSouth provides a full array of broadband data and e-commerce solutions to business customers, including Web hosting and other Internet services. In the residential market, BellSouth offers DSL high-speed Internet access, advanced voice features, wireless e-mail features and other services. BellSouth also provides online and directory advertising services, including BellSouth® Real PagesSM.com. BellSouth owns 40 percent of Cingular Wireless, the nation's second largest wireless company, which provides innovative wireless data and voice services.

National Association of the Deaf -- www.nad.org Georgia Association of the Deaf -- www.gadeaf.org

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