Relay Services allow anyone who may
have a hearing or speech loss to communicate with almost anyone in the
world on the phone. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, speech disabled,
or even a hearing person wanting to communicate with deaf, hard of
hearing or speech disabled friends, this service is for you.
How does it
work? Relay is for anyone who is deaf,
hard-of-hearing, late-deafened, or speech disabled, and who uses a TTY/TDD
or standard telephone to communicate. The message is skillfully relayed
by a Communications Assistant (CA), word for word, to the hearing person
on the other end of the line. The CA types what the hearing person has
said back to the TTY user. By law, each conversation is handled with the
strictest confidentiality. There is no charge to access Relay Services.
Hearing-impaired retirees may obtain
Relay Texas (RTX).
These services are free of charge. See the Texas
Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing web site for full
details of this program.
7-1-1: A NEW way to make calls through Relay Texas!
Now it is even easier for people who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing to use
their TTYs, VCO phones, HCO phones and other assistive
telecommunications equipment to contact the rest of the world - and for
the world to contact them! Now, all you need to do to reach any Relay
Texas operator is just dial 7-1-1 from any phone. It's the same free,
easy-to-use service as before, and it just got easier to use! For
additional information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO Participant's process for reaching TI Benefits Center
The participant calls Relay Texas (dial 711) and communicates their
needs to the relay service representative. The participant and relay
service representative use a text telephone machine to communicate. The
relay service representative calls the TI Benefits Center via TI
SmartLink (800-890-2600, then press *0) and speaks with an associate.
The relay service representative serves as a translator between the
participant and the TI Benefits Center, communicating with a text
telephone machine with the participant and verbally with the TI Benefits
From the TI Benefits Center perspective, there is no change in call
handling procedures. Security is handled the same way and the TI
Benefits Center records all of the calls.
Specialized Telecommunication Assistance Program (STAP)
The State of Texas passed a law providing hard of hearing, deaf, and
Texas residents with other disabilities with financial assistance to
obtain special equipment to enable them to communicate on the telephone.
You can obtain an application from the Texas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Fill out the application and attach a copy of proof of Texas residency, such as your driver's license or voter registration card.
Indicate the equipment you are requesting: Amplified Phone, TTY, VCO or
HCO Phone, TTY with Large Visual Display, modem, Cochlear Implant Patch
Cord, artificial Larynx, flashing Ringer Signaler and Telebraille (for
deaf-blind persons). Equipment for persons with mobility impairments and
persons with cognitive impairments is also available. Mail the
application to Texas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (TCDHH).
A voucher will be mailed to you along with a list of vendors where you
can take the voucher and exchange it for the equipment you have
Equipment ranges in price from $169.00 to $6,000.00, depending on the
equipment you need. For more information about available technology, or
to find out which equipment is right for you, contact our Technology
Center. Another source for equipment availability is Harris
DAC Technology Center
Center has a Technology Center where you are welcome to come and try
out the various equipment, make calls and receive training in using
Relay Texas. Their service is free of charge, and the Coordinator of
Hard of Hearing Programs or the Hard of Hearing Program Assistant will
be happy to help you. For an appointment, call 214-521-0407 voice or
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires the use of a relay or
similar service. Relay is a service that provides a translation link
between hearing people and TTY users. The process of using a relay
service is very familiar for the deaf, hard-of-hearing, and speech
impaired and is available throughout the United States.
The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) was authorized to establish
Relay Texas by the Texas Legislature in 1989. The PUC, which is
responsible for overseeing the provisions of the relay service, has
contracted with Sprint to provide the relay service since 1990. The
Relay Texas Advisory Committee of the PUC receives ideas from people to
set goals for the service and to make policy recommendations for future
improvements and actions. The advisory committee is made up of
representatives of various groups including deaf, hard-of-hearing,
speech impaired, deaf-blind elderly consumer and telephone industry
representatives. Relay Texas is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a
year, with no restrictions on the length or number of calls placed.
Sprint provides Texas users with a full range of features from the
company's state-of-the-art relay service platform. Those include the
ability to communicate in Spanish, the use of a customer database for
quicker, more efficient service, last number redial ability, error
correction, directory assistance, several billing options, voice
carryover and hearing carryover capabilities, and many others.