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Frequently Asked Questions

Oklahoma Relay provides the answers to frequently asked questions about relay services for deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, speech-disabled and hearing consumers.

Should you have any further questions, please consult our contact page.

If you are Hearing, click here

If you are Hard-of-Hearing, click here

If you are Deaf, click here

For Hearing Callers...

NOTE:
If you want information on CapTel, please click here.

Who can use Oklahoma Relay
Oklahoma Relay is a free public service that provides a communication link between standard telephone (voice) users and persons who are deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing and speech-disabled using text telephones (TTYs), captioned telephone (CapTel) or personal computers via the Internet.

How do I contact Oklahoma Relay?
It's simple. Just dial 711 to reach a Communication Assistant. The free 711 access number is available anywhere, anytime. CapTel users dial the 10-digit number directly.

Can I still use the old relay toll-free numbers
(e.g., 1-800, 877, 888)?

Yes. You can continue using the 10-digit toll-free numbers. Also, you can use the numbers when you’re unable to place a 711 relay call.

When dialing 711, I am unable to make a relay call. Why?
If you have problems with 711 when calling through your switchboard (which usually is a PBX telephone system), you will need to contact your PBX administrator to have the system reconfigured to allow 711 outdial. Information on how to set up and/or reconfigure your PBX system(s) can be obtained from your PBX administrator or vendor.

If you are not on a PBX telephone system and cannot access Oklahoma Relay when dialing 711, call a customer service representative at your local telephone company. It is possible that your local telephone company many not have set up 711 outdial.

PBX telephone systems are usually at hotels, businesses, agencies, and offices that have extension numbers. A way around this issue would be to dial the 10-digit toll-free number.

How much does it cost to use Oklahoma Relay?
There is no extra charge when using Oklahoma Relay. Long distance relay calls are billed at the regular rate that is charged between the point from which you are making the call and the point where the call terminates. Long distance calls can be billed to your preferred long distance provider. Give the Communication Assistant your long distance information when placing the call. If you do not provide a specific company, the long distance call will be billed to Sprint, the provider of Oklahoma Relay.

Is there a time limit on how long a call can last?
There is no time limit on the calls. The Communication Assistant will relay the conversation until the conversation ends.

How do I call a person who uses a TTY (Text Telephone or TDD), if I do not have one?
Call Oklahoma Relay by dialing 711 and give the Communication Assistant the phone number with the area code and/or extension of the person you are calling. The Communication Assistant will place your call to that person and will type your spoken words to the person you have called who uses a TTY; then, the Communication Assistant will voice the typed words from the other person to you until the conversation ends. Don't hang up! Voice users may experience high pitch beeps or tones when dialing Oklahoma Relay. Please just stay on the line and the Communication Assistant will voice to you within a few seconds. This sometimes happens when a switchboard is used at your location or during the first time you dial 711 instead of the original 1-800 number.

Remember to say "go ahead" when you have finished your part of the conversation. When you hear this, please remember it is your turn to continue the conversation. The Communication Assistant is not a part of the conversation. They must type everything heard, including background noises. Speak directly to the person, not use third party terms, "Tell him... Ask her..."

What is a Communication Assistant ?
A Communication Assistant is the confidential, transparent link between hearing and deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind and/or speech impaired callers. The Communication Assistant voices conversation to voice users and types the conversation to TTY users.

The Communication Assistant is not a part of the conversation. They must voice everything typed to the hearing person, even what is typed in parentheses. Also, they must type everything they hear, including background noises. Remember to talk directly to the person, not use third-party terms such as "Tell him... Ask her..."

Are relay conversations confidential?
Yes. Federal law requires that all relay calls are kept confidential. No records are kept. Conversations are automatically erased from the computers after the end of each call. Communication Assistants working with Oklahoma Relay adhere to the confidentiality requirements by signing the code of ethics agreement.

How do I connect to Oklahoma Relay when the line keeps ringing?
Oklahoma Relay has a delay call announcer that will be played in either TTY or voice when the relay center is busy and unable to take your call right away. After 30 seconds of ringing, you will see an automated message that will say, "Welcome to the relay center. Please wait for the next available Communication Assistant." It will then keep ringing until your call is answered. If you hang up and call again, you will be placed behind the people waiting.

If I have Caller ID on my telephone and call a person through Oklahoma Relay, which number will show up?
If the person you are calling through Oklahoma Relay has Caller ID, your telephone number will appear on their Caller ID (not any of Oklahoma Relay's toll free numbers).

Why is my number showing up on Caller ID when I have already placed a block?
When a call is placed through Oklahoma Relay, the call comes through an 800 number; therefore, Oklahoma Relay is unable to detect if your number is blocked. If you would like your number to be blocked when placing a relay call, inform the Communication Assistant to enter the information into your Customer Profile.

How do I access relay service in another state when I am traveling?
As of October 1, 2001, all 50 states are required to have 711 relay access. You can dial 711 anywhere in the United States.

How do I use a calling card to place a relay call?
When using a calling card to place a call through Oklahoma Relay, please give the Communication Assistant the following information: the 1-800 (or 866, 877, 888) toll-free number (usually on the back of the card), the calling card number (sometimes requiring a PIN) and then the telephone number you wish to call.

Are languages other than English and Spanish offered by Oklahoma Relay?
At this time, Oklahoma Relay offers only English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English translation services as part of its Spanish Relay service that also provides Spanish-to-Spanish dialogue.

When I attempt to make a relay call, the person hung up on me. Why?
Sometimes, a person hangs up on relay calls because they are not familiar with Oklahoma Relay and think the caller is a telemarketer. The Communication Assistant makes this announcement when they are connected with voice users, "Hello! A person is calling you through Oklahoma Relay. This is Communication Assistant XXXXM. Have you received a relay call before?"

If the voice person says no, then the Communication Assistant will explain the relay service by saying, "The person on the line is using the relay service to communicate with you. The caller is typing their conversation which will be read to you. When you hear the words “go ahead” it will be your turn to speak. Please speak directly to the caller. One moment for your call to begin."

Oklahoma Relay users can request that the Communication Assistant not announce and/or explain the relay service. When electing not to announce and/or explain the relay service, it is your responsibility to inform the voice user that you're calling through Oklahoma Relay. See sample conversation below.

Oklahoma RELAY 6789F NBR CALLING PLS GA
PLS CALL MY DR S OFFICE AT 360-555-XXXX DO NOT ANNOUNCE OR EXPLAIN RELAY THANKS GA
DIALING 360-555-XXXX RINGING 1...2...(F) DR SMITH S OFFICE HOW MAY I HELP YOU Q GA
HELLO THIS IS JOHN CALLING THROUGH RELAY TO MAKE AN APPT COULD WE DO THAT PLS Q GA

If you have experienced repeated hang ups by the same person/office/store, please fill out a "Please Don't Hang Up" complaint form by clicking on the link here: Report. Oklahoma Relay will attempt to educate the person or place of business regarding the relay service.


For Hard-of-Hearing Callers...

NOTE:
If you want information on CapTel, please click here.

Who can use Oklahoma Relay?
Oklahoma Relay is a free public service that provides a communication link between standard telephone (voice) users and persons who are deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing and speech-disabled using text telephones (TTYs), captioned telephone (CapTel) or personal computers via the Internet.

When using the relay, I have trouble with interactive recordings and Communication Assistant redialings. Why?
Because of the way the relay center computers are set up, when a Communication Assistant reaches a recording and needs to enter a number, they have to hang up and redial to enter the number. You can avoid the delay if you know ahead of time where/what/who you are trying to reach. Before the Communication Assistant dials out, you can tell them you want to talk to a live person or customer service; this would minimize the need for the Communication Assistant to redial repeatedly.

What products are available for people who are hard of hearing?
Amplified telephones and Voice-Carry-Over (VCO) telephones have features of a standard telephone and a TTY. VCO users can speak directly into the phone and the Communication Assistant then types the response from the other person back to the VCO caller, allowing him or her to read the spoken comments on the telephone's text display.

The captioned telephone (CapTel) displays word-for-word captions of everything the caller says. It works like any other telephone with one important addition. It displays every word the caller says throughout the conversation. CapTel users can listen to the caller and read the captions on the CapTel’s display window. Learn more about this option.

Why should I use Oklahoma Relay? I benefit from a hearing aid or cochlear implant and can use an amplified telephone?
Approximately 10% of Americans have hearing loss, from mild to profound hearing. Some are capable of using their telephones with assistance of hearing aids/cochlear implants and telephone amplifiers. Others are not able to hear enough to use their telephones; they use a Text Telephone (TTY) to type and read words.

Some people who are hard of hearing have difficulties in understanding many words spoken, even with hearing aids and amplified telephones. Those who are “on the fence” might be reluctant to use a TTY and Oklahoma Relay. Eventually, they will find it much more convenient after making a few Oklahoma Relay calls.

CapTel or Voice-Carry-Over (VCO) is a popular feature for hard of hearing Oklahoma Relay users because it allows them to speak directly to other persons. To obtain more information about Oklahoma Relay and CapTel or Voice Carry-Over (VCO), please call Oklahoma Relay Customer Service at 1-800-676-3777 (TTY/Voice) or email at Sprint.TRSCustServ@sprint.com.

Why are Communication Assistants sometimes unable to process my request to place a toll-free (1-800, 877, 888) or collect call?
If you are placing an out-of-state call, it may be that the number you are trying to connect does not accept out-of-state (or out of region) calls. If you are trying to call collect to an individual, there may be a "block" (requested by the person you are calling) that prevents collect calls from being accepted.

Why was I billed by Sprint for making long distance calls through Oklahoma Relay when I use a different long distance provider?
Oklahoma Relay will honor requests by users to be billed through their preferred long distance carriers. Oklahoma Relay users need to inform the Communication Assistant to bill their calls to a designated long distance carrier. If the user does not make this request to the Communication Assistant, the long distance call will be billed by Sprint as a default long distance carrier.

For more convenience, Oklahoma Relay users can create their Customer Profiles and lock in their long distance carrier. This will prevent other long distance carriers from billing Oklahoma Relay users. To sign up for your Customer Profile, you can either download the document here or call the Oklahoma Relay Customer Service at 1-800-676-3777 (TTY/Voice) or email at Sprint.TRSCustServ@sprint.com.

For more information, go to the Customer Profile webpage

Why doesn't Oklahoma Relay accept my new long distance carrier?
The number of long distance carriers varies from year to year. Oklahoma Relay strives to have them on the Carrier of Choice listing. Major long distance carriers are on the listing. If your long distance carrier is not on the listing, please have your long distance carrier send an e-mail to Oklahoma Relay Program Manager at our contact page

What is the Customer Profile?
Individual preferences (long distance carrier, frequently dialed numbers, type of relay call, relay service announcement/explanation, etc.) in the Customer Profile are automatically displayed on the screen of the Communication Assistant. This helps reduce set-up time and makes relay call more customized.

Customer Profiles will work from residential lines. It will not work from restricted lines such as coin payphones or PBX telephone systems (usually at hotels, offices, agencies that have extension numbers). You can print the Customer Profile form here and simply follow the return instructions.

For more information, go to the Customer Profile webpage

What are my rights as a relay user?

What do I do if the Communication Assistant who handles my call does not follow the proper procedures?
If you have a problem with a Communication Assistant, you should record the operator’s four-digit number (e.g., 4902M) and ask to speak to a supervisor or you can call the Oklahoma Relay Customer Service at 1-800-676-3777 (TTY/Voice) with your complaint. If a Communication Assistant does a great job handling your call, you can also let us know. All feedback is beneficial and appreciated. Click here to go to Feedback Online.

Who do I call if I have problems making a relay call?


For Deaf Callers...

NOTE:
If you want information on CapTel, please click here.

Who can use Oklahoma Relay?
Oklahoma Relay is a free public service that provides a communication link between standard telephone (voice) users and persons who are deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing and speech-disabled using text telephones (TTYs), captioned telephone (CapTel) or personal computers via the Internet.

How do I call Oklahoma Relay?
It's simple. Just dial 711 to reach a Communication Assistant. The free 711 access number is available anywhere, anytime. CapTel users dial the 10-digit number directly.

Can I still use the old relay toll-free numbers, 1-800, 877, 888?
Yes. If you are unable to place a relay call when dialing 711, you can use one of the 10-digit toll-free numbers. The old relay toll-free numbers do not gain access to CapTel.

When dialing 711, I am unable to make a relay call. Why?
If you have problems with 711 when calling through your switchboard (usually a PBX telephone system), you will need to contact your PBX administrator to have the system reconfigured to allow you to reach 711. PBX telephone systems are usually at hotels, businesses, agencies, and offices that have extension numbers. A way around this issue would be to dial the 10-digit toll-free number.

If you are not on a PBX telephone system and cannot access Oklahoma Relay when dialing 711, call a customer service representative at your local telephone company. It is possible that your local telephone company many not have set up 711 outdial.

How much does it cost to use Oklahoma Relay?
You will never be charged extra when using Oklahoma Relay. Long distance relay calls are billed at the regular rate that is charged between the point of call made to the point where the call terminated. Long distance calls can be billed to your preferred long distance provider. Give the Communication Assistant your long distance information when placing the call. If you do not provide such information, the long distance call will be billed with Sprint, the provider of Oklahoma Relay.

Is there a time limit on how long a call can last?
No time limit for relay calls. The Communication Assistant will relay the conversation until the users end the conversation.

How do I call a hearing person through Oklahoma Relay?
Call Oklahoma Relay by dialing 711 and give the Communication Assistant the phone number with the area code and/or extension of the person you are calling. The Communication Assistant will place your call to that person and will speak your typed words to the hearing person you have called; then, the Communication Assistant will type the voiced words from the other person to you until the conversation ends.

Remember to type “GA” (go ahead) when you have finished your part of the conversation. When you see “GA” please remember it is your turn to continue the conversation. The Communication Assistant is not a part of the conversation. They must read everything typed to the hearing person, including what is typed in parentheses. The Communication Assistant is not permitted to make judgmental comments on how the hearing person feels during the relay call. However, you may ask how loud the voice sounds.

What is a Communication Assistant?
A Communication Assistant is the confidential, transparent link between hearing and deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind and/or speech impaired callers. The Communication Assistant voices conversation to voice users and types the conversation to TTY users.

The Communication Assistant is not a part of the conversation. They must voice everything typed to the hearing person, including what is typed in parentheses. Also, they must type everything they hear including background noises. Remember to talk/type directly to the hearing person instead of using third party terms, such as "Tell him... Ask her..."

Are relay conversations confidential?
Yes. Federal law requires all relay calls to be made confidential. No records are kept. All conversations are automatically erased from the computers after the end of each call. Communication Assistants working with Oklahoma Relay adhere to the confidentiality requirements by signing the code of ethics agreement.

How do I connect to Oklahoma Relay when the line keeps ringing?
Oklahoma Relay has a delay call announcer that will be played in either TTY or voice when the relay center is busy and unable to take your call right away. After 30 seconds of ringing, you will see an automated message: "Welcome to the relay center. Please wait for the next available Communication Assistant." It will then keep ringing until your call is answered. When you hear this message, please stay on the line and wait. Your call will be answered in turn. If you hang up and call again, you will be placed behind the people waiting.

If I have Caller ID on my telephone and call a person through Oklahoma Relay, which number will show up?
If the person you are calling through Oklahoma Relay has Caller ID, your own telephone number will appear on their Caller ID, not any of Oklahoma Relay's toll-free numbers.

Why is my number showing up on Caller ID when I have already placed a block?
When a call is placed through Oklahoma Relay, the call comes through an 800 number, therefore, Oklahoma Relay is unable to detect if your number is blocked. If you would like your number to be blocked when placing a relay call, inform the Communication Assistant to enter the information into your Customer Profile.

For more information, go to the Customer Profile webpage

How do I access relay service in another state when I am traveling?
As of October 1, 2001, all 50 states are required to have 711 relay access. You can dial 711 anywhere in the United States.

How do I use a calling card to place a relay call?
When using a calling card to place a call through Oklahoma Relay, please give the Communication Assistant the following information: the 800 (or 866, 877, 888, etc) toll-free number (usually on the back of the card), the calling card number (sometimes requiring a PIN), and the telephone number you wish to call.

Are languages other than English and Spanish offered by Oklahoma Relay?
At this time, Oklahoma Relay offers English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English translation services as part of its Spanish Relay service that also provides Spanish-to-Spanish dialogue.

When I attempt to make a relay call, the person hung up on me. Why?
There are times when voice users who do hang up because they are not familiar with Oklahoma Relay. Sometimes, they may think that it is a telemarketing call. The Communication Assistant makes this announcement when they are connected with voice users: "Hello! A person is calling you through Oklahoma Relay. This is Communication Assistant (number). Have you received a relay call before?"

If the voice person says no, then the Communication Assistant will explain the service by saying: "The person on the line is using the relay service to communicate with you. The caller is typing their conversation that will be read to you. When you hear the words “go ahead” it will be your turn to speak. Please speak directly to the caller. One moment before your call begins."

Oklahoma Relay users can request that the Communication Assistant does not announce and/or explain the relay service. When electing not to announce and/or explain the relay service, it is your responsibility to inform the voice user that you're calling through Oklahoma Relay. Below is an example.

OKLAHOMA RELAY 6789F NBR CALLING PLS GA
PLS CALL MY DR S OFFICE AT 360-555-XXXX DO NOT ANNOUNCE OR EXPLAIN RELAY THANKS GA
DIALING 360-555-XXXX RINGING 1...2...(F) DR SMITH S OFFICE HOW MAY I HELP YOU Q GA
HELLO THIS IS JOHN CALLING THROUGH RELAY TO MAKE AN APPT COULD WE DO THAT PLS Q GA

If you have experienced repeated hang ups, please fill out a "Don't Hang Up" complaint form by clicking on the link here: Report.

Oklahoma Relay will attempt to educate the person or place of business regarding the relay service.

When using the relay, I have trouble with interactive service recordings. The Communication Assistant hangs up and redials. Why?
Because of the way the relay center computers are set up, when a Communication Assistant reaches a service recording and needs to enter a number, they have to hang up and redial to enter the number. You can avoid the delay if you know ahead of time where/what/who you are trying to reach. Before the Communication Assistant dials out, you can tell them you want to talk to a live person or customer service; this would minimize the need for the Communication Assistant to redial repeatedly.

What products are available for people who are hard of hearing?
Amplified telephones and voice-carry-over (VCO) telephones have features of standard telephones and TTYs. VCO users can speak directly into the phone and the Communication Assistant then types the response from the other person back to the VCO caller so he/she can read it on the telephone's text display.

The captioned telephone displays word-for-word captions of everything the caller says. It works like any other telephone with one important addition. It displays every word the caller says throughout the conversation. CapTel users can listen to the caller and read the captions on the CapTel's display window. Learn more about this option.

Why should I use Oklahoma Relay?
Approximately 10% of Americans have hearing loss, varying from mild to profound. Some are capable of using their telephones with assistance of hearing aids/cochlear implants and telephone amplifiers. Others are unable to hear enough and prefer to Text Telephones (TTY) to type and read words.

Why are Communication Assistants sometimes unable to process my request to place a toll-free (800, 877, 888) or collect call?
If you are placing an out-of-state call, it may be that the number you are trying to connect does not accept out-of-state (outside of region) calls. If you are trying to call collect to an individual, there may be a block (requested by the person being called) that prevents collect calls from being accepted.

Oklahoma Relay will honor requests by users to be billed through their preferred long distance carriers. Oklahoma Relay users will need to inform the Communication Assistant to bill their calls to a designated long distance carrier. If the user does not inform the Communication Assistant, the long distance call will be billed by Sprint as a default long distance carrier.

For more convenience, Oklahoma Relay users can create their Customer Profiles and lock in their long distance carrier. This will prevent other long distance carriers to bill Oklahoma Relay users. To sign up for your Customer Profile, you can either download the document here or call the Oklahoma Relay Customer Service at 1-800-676-3777 (TTY/Voice).

Why doesn't Oklahoma Relay accept my new long distance carrier?
The number of long distance companies change every year. Oklahoma Relay strives to have them on the Carrier of Choice listing. Major long distance carriers are on the listing. If your long distance carrier is not on the listing, please have your long distance carrier contact the Oklahoma Relay Account Manager by e-mailing. The contact info is found in the Contact page

What is the Customer Profile?
When putting caller preferences in the Customer Profile (long distance carrier, frequently dialed numbers, type of relay call, relay service announcement/ explanation, etc), the preferences are automatically displayed on the screen of the Communication Assistant. This helps reduce set-up time and makes relay calls more customized.

Customer Profiles will work from residential lines. It will not work from restricted lines such as coin payphones or PBX telephone systems (usually at hotels, offices, agencies, etc. with extension numbers). You can print the Customer Profile form here and simply follow the return instructions.

For more information, go to the Customer Profile webpage

What are my rights as a relay user?

What do I do if the Communication Assistant who handles my call does not follow the proper procedures?
If you have a problem with a Communication Assistant, you should record the operator’s four-digit number (e.g., 4902M) and ask to speak to a supervisor or you can call the Oklahoma Relay Customer Service at 1-800-676-3777 (TTY/Voice) with your complaint. If a Communication Assistant does a great job handling your call, you can also let us know. All feedback is beneficial and appreciated.

Who do I call if I have problems making a relay call?

 

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