Patience with relay assisted calls is very important as legal implications can be severe for refusing to continue with the calls after being informed of calls being relay assisted. Local and even national deaf organizations have been suing businesses for not answering relay assisted calls.
Dial 7-1-1 or Special Toll Free Numbers Relay is a free communications service that connects individuals who are deaf, hard or hearing or have speech disabilities with others using standard telephone equipment or telephone equipment designed for individuals with disabilities. To use Relay dial one of the toll free numbers listed here, or simply dial 7-1-1. A specially trained Communications Assistant (CA) will answer your call and relay the telephone conversation between you and the party you are calling. All call information and conversations are confidential. Relay service is available 24 hours per day, 365 days a year. Long distance calls placed for you can be billed to your existing long-distance service calling plan, collect, or with use of pre-paid calling card, carrier-calling card, or third-party billing.
Types of TRS Calls
Computer (ASCII) users can access Relay Service by setting the communications software to the following protocols: speeds ranging from 300 to 2400 baud : 8 Bits, No Parity; 1 stop Bit; Full Duplex. For speeds at or below 300 baud, follow the above using half duplex.
Hearing-Carry-Over HCO allows hearing individuals with very limited or no speech capability to type his or her conversation for the Communications Assistant to read aloud to the hearing person. The HCO users hears the other party's response. HCO requires a specially designed telephone.
Internet Relay Connect to the relay using your computer or other web device. The Communications Assistant handles the call the same as traditional relay call - "voicing" or reading everything you type to the other party - and typing everything the other party says for you to read on your screen.
Spanish Relay is for Spanish speaking individuals with a hearing or speech disability.
Speech-to-Speech STS allows a person who has difficulty speaking or being understood on the phone to communicate using his or her own voice or voice synthesizer. The Communications Assistant revoices the words of the person with the speech disability so the person on the call can understand them. No special telephone is required.
Text Telephone (TTY) Allows anyone who is deaf, hard of hearing or speech disabled to use a TTY to communicate with anyone using a standard telephone.
TTY User and Emergency Assistance ("9-1-1")
TTY callers should dial 9-1-1 directly. All 9-1-1 centers are equipped to handle TTY calls. Using Relay for 9-1-1 may result in a delay to getting your urgent message through.
Video Relay Service (VRS) Allows natural telephone communication between Sign Language and standard telephone users. The service requires high-speed Internet service using DSL, cable modem, or mobile broadband modem.
Voice-Carry-Over VCO enables people who have difficulty in hearing on the phone to voice their conversations directly to the hearing person. The CA then types the hearing person's response to the VCO user. Requires a special telephone with text display.
A hearing person may use a standard telephone to place a relay call and easily converse with a person who is deaf, hard of hearing or speech disabled.
Captioned Telephone Service (CAPTEL)
CAPTEL allows a person who has hearing loss to receive word-for-word captions of their telephone conversations on the phone. To use captioned telephone service, one must have a CAPTEL phone. The captions are displayed on the telephone's built-in display screen so that the user can read the words while listening to the voice of the other party. If you wish to contact a person who uses CAPTEL phone, dial 1 877-243-2823.