Attachment J Telephone Communication Devices










These symbols indicate that devices are available at this location which will enable persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind and speech-impaired to communicate over the telephone. Some persons make use of devices that communicate in a print format such as a Teletypewriter (TTY). Others have enough residual hearing to benefit from devices that strengthen a telephone’s volume. handset with lines indicating volume tty symbol




What is a TTY?


A TTY (Teletypewriter) is sometimes called a TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) or a Text Telephone. TTY is the abbreviation preferred by people who are deaf. A TTY looks like a small typewriter with a telephone coupler above the keyboard. The user places the telephone receiver on the coupler, usually with the hearing end of the telephone to the right, and the speaking end to the left. Some types of TTYs include printers. These have rolls of paper the size of adding machine tape which are set into the back of the machine and print out the conversation as it takes place. There are large print and braille TTYs, which are used by people who have low or no vision. More portable TTYs allow users to take their TTY on the road. Some of the newer models have a recording to announce to the hearing party that a TTY is being used, or a direct line feed into the telephone, eliminating the couplers. There are also computer modems and software that make communication possible between the computer (ASCII) and the TTY (Baudot).


Where can I get a TTY or an amplifier?


Names of distributors are available by contacting the Disability and Communication Access Board at the telephone numbers listed at the end of this Attachment. If you purchase a TTY or other telephone amplification device, you will need to complete a Telecom Request Form (DAGS Form 1). A completed sample form to purchase a TTY is included as ATTACHMENT J-1.


March 2008                   Attachment J, Page 1
        Disability and Communication Access Board


Can I use any telephone with a TTY?


The best telephone for TTY use is the regular office telephone with the old style “U” shaped receiver. Cordless telephones can be used with a TTY if they have a signal of 900 MHz or larger. Cellular telephones are usually not large enough to couple with a TTY, although some older versions may fit.


When you receive your TTY, connect it with the adapter plug into an electrical outlet. Leave the TTY plugged in (with the power turned off), near the telephone so that it is ready for use at any time. Refer to the manual that comes with your TTY for any special instructions.


How do I know when someone is calling from or answering on a TTY?


You will often recognize an incoming TTY call by its beeping sounds. TTY sounds should not be confused with a FAX machine which emits a high pitched, continuous tone, rather than an irregular beeping sound. If you answer the telephone and hear nothing, it may be that a TTY user is at the other end, waiting patiently for you to respond by typing on your TTY. If you receive a “silent call,” or hear beeping sounds, always check by turning your TTY on, putting the telephone on the TTY and typing out your greeting and waiting for a response. It does take a little time for the transmission to get through the telephone lines, so please wait a few seconds for a response before hanging up. If there is no response, it is probably not a TTY caller, and you can go ahead and hang up your telephone and turn off your TTY.


How do I answer a TTY call?


After you have put your telephone receiver on the TTY, type in your usual greeting, followed by the letters “GA.” GA is the abbreviation for the words “Go Ahead,” which means that it is the other caller’s turn to start typing. If you or the caller is asking a question, it is customary to type the question, then type “Q GA.” It is not possible to interrupt a caller while they are typing, so watch and respond after you see the letters “GA” on your machine. This is the caller’s message to you that it is now your turn to talk.


How do I complete a TTY call?


After you have completed your conversation, it is customary to ask if there is anything more, and then type in the phrase “GA to SK.” “SK” is the abbreviation for “Stop Keying.” The other caller will respond with either more information or “Bye to SK.” Your response should then be “SKSK,” and the other caller will respond with “SKSK,” signaling that the call is finished and that person is now hanging up. You can then hang up your own telephone and turn off your TTY.


March 2008                   Attachment J, Page 2
        Disability and Communication Access Board


What if the message on my TTY is garbled or unintelligible?


If the caller’s message is coming through as a mixture of numbers, symbols or letters that don’t make sense to you, hit your space bar a few times. This will sometimes correct the signal and the message will start coming across clearly. If pressing the spacebar doesn’t work, wait until the caller has stopped typing and then type in “MSG GARBLED, PLS RPT,” or “AGAIN PLS.” This will let the caller know that the signal was faulty and that person will repeat the message. If you get the above message on your TTY, please repeat what you have just typed, even though it seems clear on your machine. If the message is still garbled, try checking your connections, using another telephone line, or hanging up and calling again. Always type “MSG GARBLED, PLS CALL AGAIN SKSK” before hanging up so that the caller will know that there is a problem and will try calling you back.


Will my answering machine work with a TTY?


Some commercial answering machines cannot work with TTY messages. When you buy an answering machine, you may want to check this out. Some machines are especially made to take both voice and TTY messages or only TTY messages. Check with the operating manual if you are not sure. Some TTY machines are designed to take only TTY messages.


How do I know if a number I am calling is a TTY number?


Sometimes you will see “V/TTY” in telephone listings. This means the telephone number can be answered by voice (V) or TTY. The telephone number followed by a “TTY” takes only TTY calls, while “V” means voice calls only.


Are there any ways to make the TTY call shorter? Are there any ways to show emotion while using a TTY?


March 2008                   Attachment J, Page 3
        Disability and Communication Access Board


The following are some abbreviations which are commonly known to TTY users, as well as some terminology which expresses emotion:

































  Because   CUZ   Are   R
  Hold   HD   See you later   CUL
  Oh, I see   OIC   Please   PLS
  Question   Q   Pause (thinking)   HMMM
  Enjoy comment   SMILE   Laughing   HA or HA HA



What about telephone amplifiers for the hard of hearing person?


There are different types of amplifiers listed in order of quality:


Amplifier built into the telephone base or handset. This may provide up to thirty percent additional power for the listener with a hearing loss. Not all amplified handsets are compatible with personal hearing aids.


Removable external amplifier that can be attached using modular plugs between the base and handset of modular telephones.


Small portable amplifier that can be slipped over the handset to provide increased amplification. This can be especially useful for persons who cannot find a pay telephone with the amplifier handset, but who cannot manage telephone calls without such amplification. However, portable amplifiers do not work with all telephones.


March 2008                   Attachment J, Page 4
        Disability and Communication Access Board



Attachment J-1



Example of a State Telecome Request Form



March 2008                   Attachment J, Page 5
        Disability and Communication Access Board