Attachment K Relay Services




      HOW TO USE



What is the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS)?


The Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) is a communication system which provides telephone communication access to persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or speech-impaired. The TRS enables two-way communication by wire or radio between an individual who uses a TTY and an individual who does not use such a device. A TTY (Teletypewriter) is sometimes referred to as a TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf), or a Text Telephone. TTY is the abbreviation preferred by persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or speech-impaired. Sprint Relay Hawaii currently provides TRS for Hawaii.


How do I use the TRS if I am hearing?


If you are a person who is hearing and do not have a TTY and wish to talk to someone who does, call 711, which connects you to a Communication Assistant (CA). Then you tell the CA the number you are calling, and the CA dials the number. The CA will then let you know if the number is ringing, busy or disconnected. If the telephone you are calling is answered, the CA will start typing on a TTY, identify that this is a TRS call, and inform the person who answers that you are on the line. Communication is carried out through a three-way process in which you speak to the CA who types what is said so the person called can read the message on the TTY. Then the person called types in a response, which the CA reads aloud to you. All communication is done as if the CA were not part of the conversation.







graphic example of how the flow of the TRS works for a hearing person



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How do I use the TRS if I am deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, or speech-impaired?


If you are a person who is deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or speech-impaired using a TTY to communicate with a hearing person who is without a TTY, call 711. Communication is the same, with you typing in the information to the CA and the CA reading the information aloud to the person who is hearing. The TRS has also installed special equipment to allow computer users with modems to access the TTY lines.


At what times can I make TRS calls?


The TRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is no time limit on the length of the call, or on the number of calls made. TRS is available on all islands by using the same telephone numbers given above. No charges are made for local TRS calls. Toll calls through the TRS are charged at the regular long distance rate.








What if I can speak but can’t hear?          


This is referred to as Voice Carry Over (VCO). Communication is handled by using the TRS to type the message to you from the person without a TTY. You then pick up the telephone and respond directly to the person. The CA will then type the person’s response to you and the conversation will proceed as described above.


graphic example of the flow of communication with the TRS for a person who can speak but not hear



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graphic example of the flow of communication with the TRS for a person who can hear but not speak


What if I can hear but can’t speak?        

This is referred to as Hearing Carry Over (HCO). It is the reverse of the process described above. The CA will read your message on the TTY to the other party. You then lift the receiver to hear the response directly from the other party.



Are TRS calls private?


The CA is required to keep all information confidential and cannot interrupt either caller unless the CA needs to clarify a message. The CA is also required to inform either party of background noise, conversations and anything that could be heard by either party, as though both were hearing.


Are there any helpful tips to make the TRS call easier?



  • Speak slowly and clearly so that the CA can accurately convey your message.

  • Don’t interrupt the CA, but rather wait until you hear or see the letters “GA” before responding to the other party. Let the CA know that you are finished speaking by saying “Go Ahead” or typing “GA” at the end of your message. The CA will then type or say “GA,” and the other party will know it is his or her turn to respond.

  • TRS calls do take longer than regular phone calls, so have all materials that you may need handy in order to keep the call as short as possible.

  • There are also some clues which you could say or type, such as “HaHa,” “Huh,” “Ugh,” “Umm,” “Smile,” or other indications of your feelings so that the other party will get an idea of your state of mind (e.g., if you are being sarcastic) during the conversation.

  • When you are ready to end your phone call, it is polite to say or type “GA to SK,” meaning “Go Ahead” to “Stop Keying,” which lets the other caller know that the conversation is over and that both parties can now hang up.


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What is the Video Relay Service (VRS)?


It is a telephone communication service for a person who has a hearing or speech impairment.  The VRS is the video counterpart of a TTY relay service, in which the user types on a terminal, and the relay operator speaks the messages to the recipient.  In a VRS system, a videophone is used, and the user dials a VRS operator who is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL).  The operator dials the recipient’s telephone, views the signing over the videophone, and converts it to speech.  The operator also converts the spoken responses back to ASL for the VRS user.








For more information, contact
            Sprint Hawaii Telecommunications Relay Service
            925 Dillingham Blvd.  Room 126
            Honolulu, HI  96817
            (808) 847-9012 TTY; (808) 847-9508 Fax


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Disability and Communication Access Board