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Relay Services

Providing specially-trained operators to relay telephone conversations back and forth between people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-disabled and all those they wish to communicate with by telephone.
Apply Now to QualifyHow do I qualify?
  • A black man wearing a gold long sleeve shirt wearing a headset and microphone device to communicate with others.
  • A female young adult wearing rainbow tie dye sweatshirt, looking afar from her wheelchair, holding an iPad device in her hand.
  • An Asian man with black-rimmed glasses and hair, long sleeve plaid shirt and a green t-shirt, listening through a device and smiling.
  • A white Deaf man wearing a gold hat and gold-rimmed glasses. The man is wearing a tan t-shirt and has a flower tattoo on his left neck.
  • A blind Black woman wearing a white turtleneck shirt and blouse sitting on the couch, holding a white phone to her ear, listening to the caller on the other end of the line.
Our Relay Services provides the full range of services such as: TTY, Voice Carry Over (VCO), two-line Voice Carry Over (2LVCO), Hearing Carry Over (HCO), Speech-to-Speech (STS), Visually Assisted Speech-to-Speech (VA STS), ASCII, Voice, Enhanced Voice Carryover (Captioned Telephone or CapTel), and Remote Conference Captioning (RCC). Although not provided through our Relay Service, Internet Protocol Relay (IP Relay), Video Relay Services (VRS), and Web CapTel are also available as federally reimbursed services.

Hamilton Relay provides traditional Relay service including captioned telephone services in California. For more information go to: https://hamiltonrelay.com/california/index.html.


English
TTY
Voice
VCO
HCO
ASCII
STS
VA STS
Customer Service
STS User Training Line

1-800-855-7100
1-800-855-7100
1-800-855-7100
1-800-855-7100
1-800-855-7100
1-800-855-7300
1-800-855-7400
1-877-632-9095
1-877-632-9095 (ask for STS UTL)
Spanish
TTY
Voice
VCO
HCO
ASCII
STS
VA STS
Customer Service
STS User Training Line

1-800-855-7200
1-800-855-7200
1-800-855-7200
1-800-855-7200
1-800-855-7200
1-800-855-7200
NA
1-877-419-8440
1-877-419-8440 (ask for STS UTL)

To ensure best customer service, Relay Service users are encouraged to identify their customer preferences through a Customer Profile.

You can let your Relay Service provider know exactly how you want your calls handled.

Your options include:
• Language
• Modality
• Gender of Communications Assistant (CA)
• Speed Dial of frequently called numbers
• Long Distance Carrier
• Slow Typing
• Customized Greetings/Messages

Please contact Hamilton Relay if you have any questions as to whether your customer preferences are handled correctly, including long distance carrier for toll calls.

If you have a problem with the Communications Assistant (CA) or the services provided by the Relay service provider, call the Customer Service number for your Relay Service provider.

If you are unable to resolve your problem, please contact one of the following numbers:

Contact the DDTP Consumer Affairs Specialist at:
Voice: 1-877-546-7414
TTY: 1-800-867-4323
FAX: 1-510-268-4758
Email: info@caconnect.org

If you are still unable to resolve your problem, you can contact the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

Contact the CPUC Communications Division at:
Tyrone Chin, CPUC Communications Division
Voice: 415-703-5888
Email: ddtp@cpuc.ca.gov

Further appeal may be made to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) at the FCC website.

Additional contact information:
Phone: 1-888-225-5322
TTY: 1-888-835-5322
ASL Videophone: 1-844-432-2275
FAX: 1-866-418-0232

Address:
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street SW
Washington, DC 20554

There is no cost to place or receive calls through the Relay Service. If you make international calls or operator assisted calls, charges may apply.

Please complete a Customer Profile so that we know your preferred carrier for these types of calls by calling 1-877-632-9095 or going to https://hamiltonrelay.com/california/index.html.

As a person who may be Deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities, you can use the Relay Service to communicate by telephone.

This section explains how.

You can make a Relay call from or to a TTY including Voice Carry Over (VCO) and Hearing Carry Over (HCO), computer, webcam, or videophone.

When you receive a Relay call, the Communications Assistant (CA) (aka Relay Operator) will usually ask, “Have you received a Relay call before?” If you have not, then the CA will give you a brief introduction on what to do during a Relay call.

TTY Relay Service
A TTY is a small telecommunications device with a keyboard for typing and a screen or paper for reading conversations.

Voice Carry Over (VCO) Relay Service
VCO is for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing but who wish to speak directly through the telephone receiver to be heard by the other party. In addition to VCO, there is also Enhanced VCO, or Captioned Telephone Service.

Two-line Voice Carry Over (VCO) Relay (2LVCO)
A two-line VCO is similar to the VCO described above but uses two telephone lines. One is used with a TTY for incoming text from the CA to the VCO user and the other line is used for voice from the VCO user who speaks directly to the other party.

Hearing Carry Over (HCO) Relay Service
HCO is for people who can hear but who have difficulty speaking clearly and wish to directly hear the other party.

Internet Protocol Relay Service (IP Relay)
IP Relay is a Web-based service for text users who are Deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities. This is a free, federally reimbursed service and not part of the Relay Service.

Video Relay Service (VRS)
VRS is for people who use American Sign Language and use a webcam and the Internet or a videophone and high-speed Internet access. This is a free, federally reimbursed service and not part of the Relay Service.

Emergency Call Handling Procedures
In an emergency, TTY users should directly dial 911. Tap the space bar several times to indicate to the Emergency Call Operator that you are making a TTY call.

Ten-Digit Numbering
As of November 12, 2009, all VRS and IP Relay users are required to register and have a ten­ digit local phone number assigned.

Basics of a Relay Call
When you receive a Relay call, the CA usually will ask, “Have you received a Relay call before?” If not, the CA will give a brief introduction on what to do during a Relay call. This may include the following:

Speak more slowly: The CA has to type everything that the voice caller is saying.

Speak directly to the other person: The CA is on the line to relay the call, but not involved in the conversation. Speak as if the CA is not there and directly address the other party.

Use “go ahead” (GA) to indicate you are finished speaking: To let the other person on the call know that it his or her turn to speak, say or type “go ahead” or “GA.”

Use “stop keying” (SK) to indicate you would like to end the call: The conversation continues back and forth until both parties conclude the call. Both parties can signal that they are ready to hang up by saying or typing “stop keying” or “SK.”

TTY Relay Service
A TTY is a small telecommunications device with a keyboard for typing and a screen or paper for reading conversations. A TTY is often used by people who are Deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-disabled.

TTY Relay Service
From Standard Telephone to TTY:
Dial a voice CA at 711 or call:
1-800-735-2922 (English)
1-800-855-3000 (Spanish)

Give the CA the area code and TTY number you wish to call.

The CA will voice to you what the TTY user says to you and type to the other party what you say.
From TTY to Standard Telephone:
Dial a voice CA at 711 or call:
1-800-735-2922 (English)
1-800-855-3000 (Spanish)

Give the CA the area code and TTY number you wish to call.

The CA will type what the other party voices to you, and the voice to the other party what you type on your TTY.

Voice Carry Over (VCO) Relay

VCO is for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing but who wish to speak through the telephone receiver directly to and be heard by the other party. It requires a combination of a TTY and a standard telephone or a special VCO phone that has both keys and a receiver.

Voice Carry Over (VCO) Relay
From Standard Telephone to VCO User:
Dial a voice CA at 711 or call:
1-800-735-2922 (English)
1-800-855-3000 (Spanish)

Ask the CA for VCO Relay.

Give the CA the area code and phone number you wish to call.

You will hear the VCO user’s voice directly, and the CA will type what you say.
From VCO User to Standard Telephone:
Dial a voice CA at 711 or call:
1-800-735-2922 (English)
1-800-855-3000 (Spanish)

Give the CA the area code and phone number you wish to call.

The CA will type what the other party says, and will speak/respond directly to the other party.

Two-line Voice Carry Over (VCO) Relay (2LVCO)

A two-line VCO is similar to the VCO described above but uses two telephone lines. One is used with a TTY for incoming text from the CA to the VCO user and the other line is used for voice from the VCO user who speaks directly to the other party. The line used for voice requires conferencing or three-way calling capability from your phone service provider.

Hearing Carry Over Relay (HCO)

HCO is for people who can hear but have difficulty speaking clearly and who wish to directly hear the other party. It requires a combination of a TTY and a standard telephone or a special phone that has both keys and a receiver.

Hearing Carry Over (HCO) Relay
From Standard Telephone to a HCO User:
Dial a voice CA at 711 or call:
1-800-735-2922 (English)
1-800-855-3000 (Spanish)

Ask the CA for HCO Relay.

Give the CA the area code and phone number you wish to call.

The CA will voice to you what the HCO user is typing, but the HCO user can hear you directly.
From a HCO User to Standard Telephone:
Dial a voice CA at 711 or call:
1-800-735-2922 (English)
1-800-855-3000 (Spanish)

Give the CA the area code and phone number you wish to call.

You will hear what the other party is saying directly, and you will type what you say.

Internet Protocol Relay Service (IP Relay)

IP Relay Service is a Web-based service for text users who are Deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities. This is a free, federally reimbursed service and not part of the Relay Service. Text users who are Deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-disabled can initiate a relay call using a computer or wireless phone with Internet access.

For more information about IP Relay, please visit the FCC website.

Video Relay Service (VRS)

VRS uses a webcam and the Internet or a videophone and high-speed Internet access. A Video Interpreter (VI) who is fluent in sign language can see and be seen by the calling party. This is a free, federally reimbursed service and not part of the Relay Service. VRS is often preferred by people who wish to use sign language or lip read what the Video Interpreter is saying. The Video Interpreter Relays conversations back and forth between VRS users and people who use standard telephones.

For more information about VRS Relay, please visit the FCC website.

Emergency Call Handling Procedures

In an emergency, TTY users should directly dial 911. Tap the space bar several times to indicate to the Emergency Call Operator that you are making a TTY call.

Calls made directly and immediately to 911 can save valuable time in emergency situations.

Emergency services (911) can be accessed through the Relay Service; however, directly dialing 911 is faster.

Please take a look at this FCC Video about Text to 911.

Ten-Digit Numbering

As of November 12, 2009, all VRS and IP Relay users are required to register and have a ten-digit local phone number assigned. With that number, a hearing caller can directly dial a VRS or IP Relay user. Another benefit of the registration is that the user’s address is on file in case of an emergency.

For more information visit the FCC Website.

When you dial 711, your call is automatically routed to the Relay Service provider and answered in English as a voice call. When appropriate, the call will be switched to the appropriate modality and language. But you can do more.

Establishing a Customer Profile gives you more control over how your calls are handled.

Please note: As of December 2, 2015, “711 Choice” is no longer available. Hamilton Relay has converted all 711 Choice information into Customer Profiles. This ensures that your call is answered in the language and modality (e.g. TTY, VCO, HCO) of your choice.

Set up a Customer Profile
When you set up a Customer Profile, all calls to the Relay Service from your registered telephone number will be handled automatically according to your preference(s).

Your options include:

Language

Relay your calls in English or Spanish
Mode of Communication

Automatically connect to your mode of communication: TTY, VCO, 2LVCO, HCO, STS, VASTS, ASCII, or Voice.
Call Blocking

You can choose to not allow pay-per-use calls and/or up to five (5) specific numbers to be dialed from your phone number.
Caller ID Blocking

You can prevent your phone number from being displayed on the phone of the person you call.
Delayed Response

If you need more time to read the TTY output, request extended response time so your call will not be disconnected while you are still reading.
Delayed Response

If you need more time to read the TTY output, request extended response time so your call will not be disconnected while you are still reading.
Gender

Choose a male or female CA to relay your call.
Long Distance Carrier

You can pre-select the carrier you want to use for international and toll calls.
Message

You can create a standard message you want left when you reach a telephone answering machine, e.g., this might include identifying yourself by name, requesting the person call you back, and providing the phone number of the California Relay Service, and your number.
Speed Dial

You can set up a list of most frequently called names and numbers. Later, you just state the name you want to call and the CA will dial that phone number.
Delayed Response

If you need more time to read the TTY output, request extended response time so your call will not be disconnected while you are still reading.
Text Buffer

If you have difficulties following the typing speed of a CA, you can request to have the output on your TTY slowed down to between 10 and 45 words per minute.
Other

Specify other preferences in how your conversations are conveyed. For example, requesting that the CA not describe background noises.
To set up a Customer Profile, call 711 or the Customer Service number for the California Relay Service provider.

Watch our Relay Service User Tips Video below:

Captioned Telephone Service
California is currently providing captioned telephone service to eligible persons who are California Connect certified and have completed a California CapTel agreement. CapTel serves hard of hearing persons and other persons who can benefit from word-for-word captions of everything said by the other party in a telephone conversation. These word-for-word captions are generated by a CapTelCommunications Assistant (CA) using the latest voice-recognition technology. At the same time, the other caller’s voice can be heard via an amplified handset. Users with intelligible speech who are Deaf or hard of hearing speak directly to the other party. The call flows like a regular telephone conversation with the added benefit of having captions. The captions appear on the bright display screen a few seconds after the other party has spoken.

 

How do I apply for a Captioned Telephone?
If you are interested in participating, you must mail, fax, or bring your completed California Connect application to a nearby Service Center for an in-person CapTel assessment.

Trained staff will demonstrate the Captioned Telephone and ensure it is the best telephone for you; if you are unable to go to a Service Center, please call the California Connect Contact Center, at one of the phone numbers listed for further assistance.

Both the captioned telephone equipment and services are available at no cost to those who qualify.

How do I make a Captioned Telephone call?
When captioned telephone users place an outgoing call, they are automatically connected to the Captioning Call Center. When people call a captioned telephone user, they first have to dial the number of the desired captioning service:

To make a captioned telephone call:

Directly dial the party you are calling using your captioned telephone (with the captions button “on”; the phone automatically connects to the captioning service).

After you are connected, continue the call as you would do on a standard telephone.
To receive a captioned telephone call:

People calling a captioned telephone user need to dial the captioning service first, then dial the ten digit phone number of the captioned telephone user being called.*

English captioning service: 1-866-399-9050
Spanish captioning service: 1-866-399-9090

If you have a second telephone line, callers do not have to dial the captioning service first, they can directly dial your telephone number.

After you are connected, continue the call as you would do on a standard telephone.

* When prompted, a non-captioned telephone caller enters the captioned telephone user’s telephone number, and waits briefly for the service to be connected. At that point, the conversation begins.

Please Note: The Spanish captioned telephone service currently does not operate 24 hours a day. Currently, the hours of the Spanish service are: 5AM to 9PM.

Using speech-to-text software, a specially-trained Communications Assistant (CA) repeats everything the caller says. A computer converts this to text which is sent to the CapTel user’s screen at the same time the caller’s voiced conversation is heard via the handset by the CapTel user. The CapTel user responds using his or her voice, which is heard in real-time by the other caller, just as in a traditional phone call.


Two-line Captioned Telephone Calls:
With a two-line captioned telephone, hearing users directly dial the CapTel user’s telephone number. They don’t have to call the captioning service first or remember a separate toll free number to reach CapTel telephone users. With two-lines, captioned telephone users will see captions on any call at any time.

Two-line captioned telephone service can work on all captioned telephones. However, the captioned telephone user needs a second telephone line with its own telephone number (not just an extension line).

Updates to California Captioned Telephone Service (CapTel)

Extended CapTel Customer Service Hours and Profiles
As of June 2010, California CapTel Customer Service is available in English and Spanish 24 hours a day. A new California CapTel Profile Form will allow California CapTel users to choose calling preferences, activate call blocking, and register their preferred long distance provider. California CapTel users can dial the following numbers 24 hours a day for assistance:

California CapTel Customer Service in English 1-888-402-4018

California CapTel Customer Service in Spanish 1-877-330-0156

 

Making all callers aware of the presence of a third party
A California Captioned Telephone user is legally responsible to inform all parties on the Captioned Telephone call that there is an operator present on the call. This is to comply with California privacy law, which prohibits unidentified persons, such as a captionist, from listening to a telephone call without the knowledge of all parties on the call. There is a text reminder at the beginning of each call reminding you that “California law requires that you inform the other parties that there is an operator on the call.” The people you call will not hear this message.

You may use your own words to inform the people you call. Some examples of words you might use are:

  • An operator/captionist is on this call.
  • An operator/captionist is assisting me with this call.
  • A communication assistant is listening on this call.
  • A communication assistant is captioning this call for me.

Long Distance Charges
There is no cost to place or receive calls through California Relay Service. If you make international calls or operator assisted calls, charges may apply. Please complete a Customer Profile so that we know your preferred carrier for these types of calls. To identify your carrier of choice for billing purposes, please contact California CapTel Customer Service: English 1-888-402-4018, Spanish 1-877-330-0156

New Service Provider
On June 2, 2010, Hamilton CapTel became California’s new provider of captioned telephone (CapTel) service. This change does not require you to do anything different. Please continue using the service as you do now.

Contact Information
With questions, please get in touch with the Contact Center or visit a Service Center.

To purchase a second captioned telephone you can send an email to info@caconnect.org or call toll free:

Voice: 1-800-806-1191

TTY: 1-800-867-4323

FAX: 1-510-268-4758

For more information about captioned telephone (CapTel) service or making a call please visit the CapTel website or contact:

California CapTel Customer Service in English 1-888-402-4018 (available 24/7/365)

California CapTel Customer Service in Spanish 1-877-330-0156 (available 24/7/365)

National CapTel Customer Service 888-269-7477 (available 24/7 excluding holidays)

What is STS?
The California STS service enables people whose speech is difficult for others to understand to communicate by telephone. With this service, you can make calls by yourself, independent of the availability of your assistant or caregiver. When you make a call using STS, a specially-trained STS Communications Assistant (CA) will be on the line with you to assist you during your call. The CA can repeat what you are saying for the person on the other end. You and the person on the phone with you can decide how much of your speech will be repeated: only particularly difficult words or every word you say. No special equipment is needed. You may use your own voice or a Speech Generating Device (SGD). People can also make a call to you through the STS Relay Service. There is no charge to use this STS service; you pay only for the cost of the call from your phone service provider, if any. The California STS service is part of the Relay Service, a program of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

Learn more about STS

VA STS is an enhancement to the traditional Speech-to- Speech (STS) service. With a VA STS call, the STS caller must use a webcam or videophone with SkypeTM in addition to the basic phone call to the Relay service, to connect with the Communications Assistant (CA) at the Relay call center.

Learn more about VA STS

Remote Conference Captioning (RCC) offers real-time captioning through the use of Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) service, allowing individuals who have difficulty hearing what’s being said over the phone during conference calls to read text of what all participants are saying. This service provides a clear understanding of what’s said and allows the individual with hearing loss to participate in conference calls in a more effective manner.

Learn more about RCC

Interested or need assistance?

For more information or assistance on services and how we can assist you or those that you care about, please call us or fill out the form below.
Call 1-800-806-1191
A younger masculine-presenting individual showing an older feminine-presenting individuals how to use their phone.

Contact

Contact Center
P.O. Box 30310
Stockton, CA 95213
Phone/VP: 1-800-806-1191
Email: info@caconnect.org
Fax: 1-800-889-3974

About

Welcome to California Connect, also called the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program (DDTP), which provides communication access for Californians with hearing, vision, cognitive, mobility, and speech-related disabilities. The program of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) includes accessible communication equipment and devices, relay service, and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices.
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