TTY Services

TTY USER NOTIFICATION PROTOCOL

Introduction

The Americans with Disabilities Act, amended 2008, (ADAAA) requires that where public entities, such as the University of New Hampshire (UNH), communicate by telephone with applicants and beneficiaries, text telephones (TTY), or equally effective telecommunications systems, shall be used to communicate with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing or who have speech impairments. An equally effective alternative to having a TTY in UNH offices is to make use of the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) that is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories for local and/or long distance calls. Relay calls are free and ensure real-time communication by telephone for people with hearing and speech disabilities.

Why is TTY access through the Telecommunications Relay System important at UNH?

We want anyone who uses a TTY to be able to reach us and we want to be able to reach them. Standard voice telephones do not respond to TTY calls. In addition, TTY users are likely to experience a hang-up when calling a UNH call center or the automated attendant system on the UNH general number. These technologies do not recognize a TTY signal but they do recognize a relay call as easily as any other voice call. The relay operator will interact with the automated attendant system on behalf of the TTY caller.

How does TRS work?

We all have access to Relay New Hampshire which is part of the nationwide Telecommunications Relay System and is considered to be equal to TTY use in effectively communicating with individuals with hearing and speech disabilities. TTY users and those communicating with TTY users can call Relay New Hampshire to talk with each other through a relay operator 24/7, 365 days for free anywhere in the world. Relay operators follow established protocols to ensure accuracy and confidentiality. No record of calls is maintained.

A TRS call may be initiated by either a person with a disability, or by a person without such a disability. When a person with a hearing or speech disability initiates a TRS call, the person uses a TTY or other text input device to call the TRS relay center, and gives the operator the number of the party that he or she wants to call. The operator in turn places an outbound traditional voice call to that person. The relay operator then serves as a link for the call, relaying the text of the calling party in voice to the called party, and converting to text what the called party voices back to the calling party. This works in reverse as well. An individual using a voice telephone can use TRS to make a call to a TTY user.

Implementation

Effective immediately, to ensure equal access to real-time communication by telephone per the Americans with Disabilities Act, departments are asked to provide the following notification on all electronic information (eg: websites, notices, forms, email signatures, publications) wherever contact information is listed. On all print information, please update your contact information as reprints are ordered:

TTY Users: 7-1-1 or 800-735-2964 (Relay NH)

For outgoing calls to TTY users:

Call 7-1-1 or 800-735-2964 (Relay New Hampshire) when you are placing a call to a TTY user.

Departments who maintain an active TTY may choose to directly communicate with a TTY user without Relay NH. Please continue to list your TTY number in addition to the above notification.

For more information on Relay New Hampshire:
http://www.ndhhs.org//services/relay.html http://www.relaynewhampshire.com/about.html

If you experience any problems or have questions please contact:

Wendy Beckwith, M.Arch
EEO/ADA Compliance Officer
Affirmative Action and Equity Office
University of New Hampshire
Thompson Hall 305, 105 Main Streeti
Durham, NH 03824-3547
V 603 862-2930
TTY 603 862-1527 or 7-1-1 or 800-735-2964 (Relay New Hampshire)
wendy.beckwith@unh.edu


source: http://www.unh.edu/sites/www.unh.edu/files/departments/affirmative_action_and_equity_office/Policies_Protocols_Practises/tty_user_notification_protocol.pdf, 10/2014