For Hearing Callers

Who can use Relay Texas?

Relay Texas is a free public service that provides a communication link between standard telephone (voice) users and persons who are deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing and speech-disabled using text telephones (TTYs), captioned telephones (CapTel) or personal computers via the Internet.

How do I contact Relay Texas?

It's simple. Just dial 7-1-1 to reach a relay operator. The free 7-1-1 access number is available anywhere, anytime. CapTel users dial the 10-digit number directly; however those people calling Captel users must dial an 800 number in order for the Captel user to receive a text transcript of the conversation.

How do I access relay service in another state when I am traveling?

You can connect to relay service by dialing 7-1-1 anywhere in the United States.

What is a relay operator?

A relay operator serves as a confidential, transparent link between people who are hearing and someone who is either deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind and/or speech impaired. Relay operators voice the conversation to hearing users and type the conversation to TTY users.

Can I still use the old relay toll-free numbers (e.g., 1-800, 877, 888)?

Yes. You can continue using the 10-digit toll-free numbers. Also, you can use the numbers when you are unable to place a 7-1-1 relay call.

When dialing 7-1-1, I am unable to make a relay call. Why?

If you have problems with 7-1-1 when calling through your switchboard (which usually is a PBX telephone system), you will need to contact your PBX administrator to have the system reconfigured to allow 7-1-1 out-dial or dial using the 10-digit toll free number. Information on how to set up and/or reconfigure your PBX system(s) can be obtained from the PBX administrator or vendor. PBX telephone systems are usually at hotels, businesses, agencies, and offices that have extension numbers.

If you are not using a PBX telephone system and cannot access Relay Texas when dialing 7-1-1, call a customer service representative at your local telephone company, in order to verify that your local telephone company has set up 7-1-1 outdial.

How much does it cost to use Relay Texas?

There is no extra charge to use Relay Texas. Long distance relay calls are billed at the regular rate normally charged to customers dialing from the same location to the same call termination location. Long distance calls can be billed to your preferred long distance provider by providing the relay operator with your long distance service provider's information when placing the call. If long distance provider information is not provided, the long distance call will be billed to Sprint, the current Relay Texas provider.

Is there a time limit on how long a call can last?

There is no time limit on the calls; the relay operator will relay the conversation until the call is completed.

How do I call a person who uses a TTY (Text Telephone or TDD), if I do not have one?

Call Relay Texas by dialing 7-1-1 and give the relay operator the phone number including the area code and/or extension of the person you are calling. The relay operator will place your call to that person, typing your spoken words to the TTY user you have called and voicing the TTY users typed words until the conversation ends.

Voice users may experience high pitch beeps or tones when dialing Relay Texas. Please just stay on the line and the relay operator will voice to you within a few seconds.

Remember to say "go ahead" when you have finished your part of the conversation. When you hear “go ahead”, it is your turn to continue the conversation. The relay operator is not a part of the conversation and must type everything heard, including background noises. They also must voice everything typed to the hearing person, even what is typed in parentheses. Speak directly to the person and do not use third party terms such as "Tell him”...or “Ask her...".

Are relay conversations confidential?

Yes. Federal law requires that all relay calls be kept confidential. No records are kept and conversations are automatically erased from the computers after the end of each call. Relay Texas operators are required to sign a code of ethics agreement and monitored to ensure strict adherence to the confidentiality requirements.

How do I connect to Relay Texas when the line keeps ringing?

Relay Texas has a delay call announcer that will be played in either TTY or voice when the relay center is busy and unable to take your call right away. After 30 seconds of ringing, TTY users see an automated message that says, "Welcome to the relay center. Please wait for the next available relay operator." It then keeps ringing until your call is answered. Calls are answered in the order that they are received.

If I use Relay Texas to call people with Caller ID on their telephones, what number shows up on their display when I call?

If the person you are calling through Relay Texas has Caller ID, your telephone number will appear on the Caller ID display (not any of Relay Texas's toll free numbers).

Why does my number show up on Caller ID when I placed a block on my phoneline in order to prevent my number identification?

When a call is placed through Relay Texas, the call comes through an 800 number; therefore, Relay Texas is unable to detect if your number is blocked. If you would like your number to be blocked when placing a relay call, inform the relay operator to enter the information into your Customer Profile.

How do I use a calling card to place a relay call?

To place a call through Relay Texas using a calling card, give the relay operator the following information: the 1-800 (or 866, 877, 888) toll-free number (usually on the back of the card), the calling card number (sometimes requiring a PIN) and the telephone number you wish to call.

Are languages other than English and Spanish offered by Relay Texas?

At this time, only English-to-Spanish, Spanish-to-English and Spanish-to-Spanish relay service is available.

Why do people sometimes hang up on a TTY user placing a relay call?

Sometimes, people hang up on relay calls because they are not familiar with Relay Texas and think the caller is a telemarketer. The relay operator makes the following announcement when they are connected with voice users, "Hello! A person is calling you through Relay Texas. This is relay operator XXXXM. Have you received a relay call before?"

If the voice person says no, the relay operator explains the relay service by saying, "The person on the line is using the relay service to communicate with you. The caller is typing their conversation which will be read to you. When you hear the words “go ahead” it will be your turn to speak. Please speak directly to the caller. One moment for your call to begin."

Relay Texas users may request the relay operator not announce and/or explain the relay service in which it is the users responsibility to inform the other party voice user that the call has been placed through Relay Texas.