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Disability & HR: Tips for Human Resource Professionals

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Relay Service

Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) enable standard voice telephone users to talk to people who use a TTY (also called a TDD, TT, or text telephone). Under Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act, all telephone companies must provide free relay services either directly or through state programs throughout the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and all of the U.S. territories. Relay calls are facilitated by highly trained operators called Communication Assistants, or CAs. During a relay call, a CA will voice everything typed by the TTY user and type everything said by the telephone user. In this way, the relay allows people who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing or Speech Disabled to have a telephone conversation with anyone, anytime, even if the other person does not have special equipment! Conversations are relayed in real-time and CAs are not permitted to disclose the content of any conversation. Relay callers are not limited in the type, length, or nature of their calls.

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