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What is Telecommunications Relay Service and How Does it Work?

Thanks to Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS), people with speech and/or hearing disabilities can use standard voice telephones to call friends and family, and never be left out of any conversation.
XFINITY Voice subscribers with speech and/or hearing disabilities can still use standard voice telephones to place TRS (Telecommunications Relay Service) calls. It’s a free service that’s available for local and long distance calls in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories.

How it works

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted use of the 711 dialing code for access to TRS. TRS permits persons with a hearing or speech disability to use the telephone system via a text telephone (TTY) or other device to call persons with or without such disabilities. For more information about the various types of TRS, see the FCC’s consumer guide, or visit the website of our Disability Rights Office (DRO).  For more information, visit the FCC website at www.fcc.gov/.

Typically, a person with hearing and speech disabilities will dial 711 to contact a TRS communications assistant, who will facilitate the call with the other party. The caller will use a text input device to give the assistant the number he or she wants to call. When the other party answers, the assistant will ask, “Hello, this is the relay service. Have you received a relay call before?” The assistant then acts as an intermediary, relaying the text of the caller in voice to the other party, and converting back what the other party said to text for the caller.

Under Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act, all telephone companies must provide this service throughout the US, Puerto Rico and all US territories. And by law, assistants cannot disclose the content of any conversation.

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