Using IP-Relay, people who are deaf or hard of hearing who have an Internet connection – using a computer or other Web-enabled device, such as a pager – can connect to an IP Relay service communication assistant (CA). The CA connects IP Relay calls with people who communicate by telephone. The CA converts voice-to-text and text-to-voice, similar to traditional TTY relay services. The text is displayed on the user’s computer or other Web-enabled device. No TTY or special telephone is required.
Using a computer screen and keyboard may be easier than using a TTY. IP Relay permits much faster typing and allows users to see more of the conversation on their computer screens than they can see with a TTY. Many IP Relay services offer features such as choice of font, size, and color. Many IP Relay systems also allow users to save or print conversations. Transmission quality may also be faster with IP Relay than with a traditional TTY relay service. Using IP Relay, people can choose to communicate with or without the traditional TTY “go ahead” (GA) or “stop keying” (SK) turn-taking cues.
IP Relay is also invaluable for a special reason – with a mobile Web-enabled device, such as a laptop or pager, and a wireless Internet connection – IP Relay enables mobile communication, just like cell phone users enjoy today. With a mobile Web-enabled device, you can place or receive an IP Relay call when you are away from home or away from the office.
IP Relay also simplifies placement of Voice Carry Over (VCO) calls for people who are deaf or hard of hearing who communicate by speaking, if their computer does not tie up their phone line to connect to the Internet.
Users can choose any of the available IP Relay service providers and are not limited to their state’s selected relay providers. IP Relay providers compete for consumers, which often results in enhanced service features and quality.
There are no additional costs to use IP Relay beyond a computer or other Web-enabled device and an Internet connection.