NEW YORK - It is now easier for Connecticut's text telephone (TTY) customers to reach the state's telecommunications relay service. All they'll need to do is dial three digits -- 7-1-1.
Relay Connecticut, the state's relay service, allows people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech-impaired and who use text telephones to communicate with people using standard telephones.
Connecticut joins numerous other states with 7-1-1 access to relay service. In states without 7-1-1 relay access, residents and businesses must dial an 11-digit, toll-free number. Every state in Verizon's Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions will have three-digit access to relay service by the end of the year.
The deaf and hard-of-hearing community has asked for a simpler way to access telecommunications relay services. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reserved the 7-1-1 three-digit number for that purpose and eventually all states will provide 7-1-1 access to relay service.
Calls made using relay service are answered by communications assistants who connect a person using a TTY with a standard telephone user. Similarly, standard phone users rely on the relay service to call friends, relatives, business associates and others who communicate with a TTY.
A Relay Connecticut communications assistant ''relays'' the conversation between the two calling parties. The relay communications assistant is trained to help conversations flow accurately and with ease, and all calls are handled with the strictest confidentiality. There is no limit on the number of times someone can use the service, which is available free of charge 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The current Connecticut relay numbers, 1-800-842-9710 (TTY) and 1-800-833-8134 (Voice), will continue to be available for calls within the state.
This initiative is further evidence of Verizon's long-standing national leadership in developing innovative solutions for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.
For more information about Relay Connecticut and 7-1-1, customers may call the Relay Connecticut Customer Service Line at 1-800-676-3777 (Voice and TTY) or visit the Web site at www.relayconnecticut.com
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