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For individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, telephone communication involves communicating by text rather than by voice, typically using a teletypewriter (TTY), also known as a TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf). A basic TTY consists of a keyboard, a display screen, and a modem, which operates over standard telephone lines.
If the individual is communicating with another TTY user, both users send and receive text.
If the individual is communicating with someone who doesn't have a TTY, they will use the national Telecommunication Relay Service (TRS), in which relay operators provide two-way translation between spoken word and typed text.
If TTYs are unavailable, public telephones should at a minimum include a port into which a TTY user can plug their own personal device.
The following AccessIT Knowledge Base article may also be of interest:
For additional information, contact your region's ADA & IT Center at 1-800-949-4232.