A person who is deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, or has a speech disability uses a TTY to type their conversation to a Relay Operator, who then reads it aloud to a person using a telephone or mobile phone. The Operator types every heard from the telephone/mobile user to the TTY user.
7-1-1 is a free service. It is a simple, easy-to-remember number to access state relay services. State Relay Services, provided through a contract with Sprint Accessibility, are used to bridge the communication gap between people who use text telephones (TTYs) and people those who use standard telephones. Specially trained Relay Operators facilitate communications between the two callers. Every call is handled in strict confidence.
7-1-1 is easier to dial and remember than typical 800 numbers for relay access. It creates a more user-friendly environment for less experienced users, such as businesses and friends or family members of TTY users. 7-1-1 is NOT an emergency code and should not be confused with 9-1-1. HOWEVER, if you use a TTY and cannot obtain emergency services on 9-1-1, you may call 7-1-1 and tell the Relay Operator you have an emergency. The Relay Operator will then relay your emergency to the appropriate authorities.