A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, or speech-disabled uses a TTY to type his/her conversation to the relay operator who then reads the typed conversation to a hearing person. The Relay Operator relays the hearing person's spoken words by typing them back to the TTY user.
7-1-1 is a free service - simple, easy-to-remember number to access that state relay services. The State Relay Service, provided through a contract with Sprint, is used to assist communications between people who use text telephones (TTYs) and people who use voice telephones. Specially trained operators facilitate communications between the two callers. Every call is handled in strict confidence.
However, 7-1-1 is easier to dial and easier to remember than the typical 800 numbers for relay access. It will create 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 situation. The operator will then voice your emergency to the appropriate authorities.