Relay service allow people with communications disabilities, such as those who are deaf, hard of hearing, and who have speech disabilities, to interact with voice telephone users through a keyboard or other input method. People with disabilities may use the relay service to communicate with Marketplace Navigators. Types of relay service include:
- Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS)
Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) is a telephone service that allows persons with hearing or speech disabilities to place and receive telephone calls. TRS is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories for local and/or long distance calls. TRS providers – generally telephone companies – are compensated for the costs of providing TRS from either a state or a federal fund. There is no cost to the TRS user.
- 711 Access to TRS
Anyone can dial 711 to connect to certain forms of TRS anywhere in the United States. (For more information regarding 711, click here.)
How Does TRS Work?
TRS uses operators, called communications assistants (CAs), to facilitate telephone calls between people with hearing and speech disabilities and other individuals. Either a person with a hearing or speech disability, or a person without such a disability may initiate a TRS call. When a person with a hearing or speech disability initiates a TRS call, the person uses a teletypewriter (TTY) or other text input device to call the TRS relay center, and gives a CA the number of the party that he or she wants to call. The CA in turn places an outbound traditional voice call to that person. The CA then serves as a link for the call, relaying the text of the calling party in voice to the called party, and converting to text what the called party voices back to the calling party.