(1) "Communications assistant" means a person who transliterates conversation from text to voice and from voice to text between the end users of a telecommunications relay service provided pursuant to this section or Title II of the "Communications Act of 1934," 104 Stat. 366 (1990), 47 U.S.C. 225.
(2) "Communicative impairment" means deafness or speech impairment.
(3) "Deafness" means a hearing loss that prevents a person from being able to understand speech over the telephone.
(4) "Speech impairment" means a speech impairment that renders a person's speech unintelligible on the telephone.
(5) "Telecommunications relay service" means telephone transmission services that provide the ability for an individual who has a communicative impairment to engage in a communication by wire or radio with a hearing individual in a manner that is functionally equivalent to the ability of an individual who does not have a communicative impairment to communicate using voice communication services by wire or radio. "Telecommunications relay service" includes services that enable two-way communication between an individual who uses a text telephone or other nonvoice terminal device and an individual who does not use such a device.
(B) Any communication made by or to a person with a communicative impairment with the assistance of a communications assistant at a telecommunications relay service is confidential and privileged and shall not be disclosed by the communications assistant in any civil case or proceeding or in any legislative or administrative proceeding, unless the person making the communication and the person to whom the communication is made each waive the privilege of confidentiality or the obligation to divulge the communication is mandated by federal law or regulation or pursuant to subpoena in a criminal proceeding.
(C) A communications assistant or a telecommunications relay service provider is not subject to criminal prosecution and is not liable in damages in any civil action on account of the act of transliterating or the content of any communication transliterated, or any injury, death, or loss to person or property allegedly arising from the act of transliterating or the content of any communication transliterated, between the end users of a telecommunications relay service, except in cases of willful or wanton misconduct.
Renumbered from § 4931.351 by 128th General AssemblyFile No.43, SB 162, §1, eff. 9/13/2010. .