Home > Relay Calls

How to Make a Relay Call 

 As a person who may be deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities, you can use California Relay Service (CRS) to communicate by telephone.

This section explains how.

 

You can make a relay call from or to a TTY including Voice Carry Over (VCO) and Hearing Carry Over (HCO), computer, Web cam, or video phone.

  

To avoid scrolling, click a topic below:

 

  Basics of a Relay Call 
When you receive a relay call, the Communications Assistant (CA) (aka Relay Operator) will usually ask, “Have you received a relay call before?” If you have not, then the CA will give you a brief introduction on what to do during a relay call. 

 TTY Relay Service
A TTY is a small telecommunications device with a keyboard for typing and a screen or paper for reading conversations.

 Voice Carry Over (VCO) Relay Service
VCO is for people who are deaf or hard of hearing but who wish to speak directly through the telephone receiver to be heard by the other party. In addition to VCO, there is also Enhanced VCO, or Captioned Telephone Service.  

  Hearing Carry Over (HCO) Relay Service
HCO is for people who can hear but who have difficulty speaking clearly and wish to directly hear the other party.

 Internet Protocol Relay Service (IP Relay)
IP Relay is a Web-based service for text-users who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities.This is a free, federally reimbursed service and not part of CRS.   

 Video Relay Service (VRS)
VRS is for people who use American Sign Language, and use a Web cam and the Internet or a videophone and high-speed Internet access.This is a free, federally reimbursed service and not part of CRS. 

 Emergency Call Handling Procedures
In an emergency, TTY users should directly dial 911. Tap the space bar several times to indicate to the Communications Assistant that you are making a TTY call.

  Ten-Digit Numbering As of November 12, 2009, all VRS and IP Relay users are required to register and have a ten-digit local phone number assigned. 

 

Basics of a Relay Call  

  

When you receive a relay call, the CA usually will ask, “Have you received a relay call before?” If not, the CA will give a brief introduction on what to do during a relay call. This may include the following:

Speak more slowly: The CA has to type everything that the voice caller is saying.

Speak directly to the other person: The CA is on the line to relay the call, but not involved in the conversation. Speak as if the CA is not there and directly address the other party.

Use “go ahead” (GA) to indicate you are finished speaking: To let the other person on the call know that it is his or her turn to speak, say or type “go ahead” or “GA.”

Use “stop keying” (SK) to indicate you would like to end the call: The conversation continues back and forth until both parties conclude the call. Both parties can signal that they are ready to hang up by saying or typing “stop keying” or “SK.”

TTY Relay Service  

A TTY is a small telecommunications device with a keyboard for typing and a screen or paper for reading conversations. A TTY is often used by people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-disabled.

 

TTY Relay Service English 2012 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TTY Relay Service 

From Standard Telephone to TTY 

From TTY to Standard Telephone 

Dial a voice CA at 711:

or call:

1-800-735-2922 (English)

1-800-855-3000 (Spanish)

Dial a TTY CA at 711:

or call:

1-800-735-2929 (English)

1-800-855-3000 (Spanish)

Give the CA the area code and TTY number you wish to call.

The CA will voice what the TTY user says to you and type to the other party what you say.

The CA will type what the other party voices to you, and voice to the other party what you type on your TTY.

Find CRS dedicated provider TTY numbers.   

Voice Carry Over (VCO) Relay  

VCO is for people who are deaf or hard of hearing but who wish to speak through the telephone receiver directly to and be heard by the other party. It requires a combination of a TTY and a standard telephone or a special VCO phone that has both keys and a receiver.

Voice Carry Over (VCO) Relay English 2012 

  

  

From Standard Telephone to a VCO User 

From VCO to Standard Telephone 

Dial a voice CA at 711:

or call:

1-800-735-2922 (English)

1-800-855-3000 (Spanish)

Dial a CA at 711:

or call:

1-800-735-2929 (English)

1-800-855-3000 (Spanish)

Ask the CA for VCO Relay.

Give the CA the area code and phone number you wish to call.

You will hear the VCO user's voice directly, and the CA will type what you say.

The CA will type what the other party says, and you will speak/ respond directly to the other party.

Find CRS dedicated provider VCO numbers. 

Two-line Voice Carry Over (VCO) Relay (2LVCO) 

A two-line VCO is similar to the VCO described above but uses two telephone lines: One is used with a TTY for incoming text from the CA to the VCO user, and the other line is used for voice from the VCO user who speaks directly to the other party. The line used for voice requires conferencing or three-way calling capability from the telephone company.

 

Two-line Voice Carry Over (VCO) Relay English 2012 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hearing Carry Over Relay (HCO)  

HCO is for people who can hear but have difficulty speaking clearly and who wish to directly hear the other party. It requires a combination of a TTY and a standard telephone or a special phone that has both keys and a receiver.

Hearing Carry Over Relay (HCO) English 2012 

  

Hearing Carry Over (HCO) Relay 

From Standard Telephone to an HCO User 

From HCO to Standard Telephone 

Dial a voice CA at 711:

or call:

1-800-735-2922 (English)

1-800-855-3000 (Spanish)

Dial a TTY CA at 711:

or call:

1-800-735-2929 (English)

1-800-855-3000 (Spanish)

Ask the CA for HCO Relay.

Give the CA the area code and phone number you wish to call.

The CA will voice to you what the HCO user is typing, but the HCO user can hear you directly.

You will hear what the other party is saying directly, and you will type what you say.

Find CRS dedicated provider HCO numbers.    

Internet Protocol Relay Service (IP Relay) 

IP Relay Service is a Web-based service for text-users who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities. This is a free, federally reimbursed service and not part of CRS. Text users who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-disabled can initiate a relay call using a computer or wireless phone with Internet access. IP Relay Service English 2012 

 

For more information about IP Relay, please visit the FCC Web site.

 

 

Video Relay Service (VRS)  

VRS uses a Web cam and the Internet, or a videophone and high-speed Internet access. A Video Interpreter (VI) who is fluent in sign language can see and be seen by the calling party. This is a free, federally reimbursed service and not part of CRS. VRS is often preferred by people who wish to use sign language and/or lip read what the Video Interpreter  is saying. The Video Interpreter relays conversations back and forth between VRS users and people who use standard telephones. 

Video Relay Service English 2012 

 

For more information about VRS Relay, please visit the FCC Web site. 

 

Emergency Call Handling Procedures  

In an emergency, TTY users should directly dial 911. Tap the space bar several times to indicate to the Emergency Call Operator that you are making a TTY call.

Calls made directly and immediately to 911 can save valuable time in emergency situations.

Emergency services (911) can be accessed through CRS; however, directly dialing 911 is faster.

Ten-Digit Numbering As of November 12, 2009, all VRS and IP Relay users are required to register and have a ten-digit local phone number assigned. With that number, a hearing caller can directly dial a VRS or IP Relay user. Another benefit of the registration is that the user's address is on file in case of an emergency. For more information visit the  FCC Web site.

 

Please take a look at this FCC Video about Text to 911