If you have limitations hearing or speaking, dial 711 to reach your state’s telecommunications relay service (TRS), which is for people who need direct assistance relaying telephone conversations and their friends, family, and business contacts. This service is offered for free in both English and Spanish, and includes the following TRS options:
- Text-to-Voice TTY-based TRS: The most traditional TRS service, where a communication assistant relays verbal and written communication between two parties.
- Voice Carry Over: Allows a person with a hearing disability to use their own voice to speak directly to the other party with a communication assistant relaying all replies in text.
- Hearing Carry Over: Allows a person with a speech disability to listen to replies from the other party and use a communication assistant to read text replies aloud.
- Speech-to-Speech Relay Service: Allows a specially-trained communication assistant to listen to a person with a speech impairment or disability and relay the spoken words to the other party.
- Shared Non-English Language Relay Services: Traditional TRS service in non-English languages like Spanish or French. This service may not be available for all languages in all areas.
- Captioned Telephone Service: Designed for individuals who have a hearing disability but some residual hearing, this service requires the use of a special telephone. The service allows affected individuals to simultaneously hear the other party and read a transcription of their words.
- IP Captioned Telephone Service: Uses the Internet instead of telephone lines to provide the party with a disability and the communication assistant. No special telephone equipment is required for this service.
- Internet Protocol Relay Service: Uses the Internet instead of telephone lines to connect the party with a disability and the communication assistant. This service may not be available in all areas.
- Video Relay Service (VRS): An Internet-based form of TRS that allows a person whose primary language is American Sign Language to communicate via video with a communication assistant. This service may not be available in all areas.
You can learn more about TRS service here.
You can learn more about relay service in your state by checking the FCC’s relay services directory. If you are in Canada, you can learn more about the CRTC’s relay services by visiting their website.