TTY-based Telecommunications Relay Services permit 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.
To make using TRS as simple as possible, you can dial 711 to be automatically connected to a TRS communications assistant. It’s fast, functional and free. Dialing 711, both voice and TTY-based TRS users can initiate a call from any telephone, anywhere in the United States, without having to remember and dial a ten-digit access number.
Dial 711 using private branch exchanges and VoIP
FCC rules require all telephone companies that operate private branch exchanges (PBXs) – a private telephone system within an organization – to implement three-digit 711 dialing for access to TRS. This includes wireline, wireless and payphone providers. PBX operators are required to modify their equipment to enable 711 dialing to ensure everyone has easy access to TRS.
Callers from locations served by PBXs may be required to dial 9 or another prefix before entering the 711 code or placing an outside call.
Providers of interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service also must offer 711 dialing service.
The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that people with disabilities who use TTYs or other devices have direct, equal access to emergency response services. In the event of an emergency, TTY users should call 911 directly and not make a TTY-based TRS call via 711.
Other forms of TRS
711 dialing access does not work for Video Relay Service (VRS), Internet Protocol Relay (IP Relay), or IP Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS) calls, because such calls are initiated through the Internet. Individuals calling a VRS, IP Relay, or IP CTS user should call their party directly, and a communications assistant will be automatically connected to the call.
711 dialing access also does not work for Captioned Telephone Service (CTS). Individuals calling a two-line CTS user should call their party directly. Individuals calling a one-line CTS user will need to dial a toll free CTS number before connecting to the user.
More information on TRS
For more information about the various types of TRS, see the FCC’s consumer guide (www.fcc.gov/guides/telecommunications-relay-service-trs) or visit the website of our Disability Rights Office (www.fcc.gov/accessibility).