RTT is primarily designed to benefit individuals who face communication barriers, such as those who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities. However, it can also be a valuable resource for our agents when interacting with clients who prefer or require text-based communication. By using RTT, you can ensure that every client receives the highest level of service, regardless of their communication preferences or needs.
For more information check out the guide on the Federal Communications Commission website.
In addition to improving accessible emergency communications, RTT has several advantages over TTY:
- RTT can eliminate the need to purchase specialized devices, such as TTYs, to send text in real time over wireless phones.
- Calls using RTT can be initiated and received using the same ten-digit numbers used for voice calls.
- Both parties to an RTT call can send and receive text in real time at the same time, unlike TTYs, which requires turn-taking.
- RTT is more reliable than TTY technology over IP networks – this means there will be less garbling and fewer drop-offs on calls.
- RTT provides callers with more characters for typing than TTYs do. For example, with RTT, you can use the “@” key, alphabets in multiple languages, and emojis, allowing conversations using the full “international character set.”
- Both RTT and voice can be used, either at the same time or interchangeably, during the same call.
With RTT, you can call:
- Other RTT users, regardless of the network or device they use
- Emergency services by dialing 911
- Relay services by dialing 711
- TTY users, including individuals, businesses, and government agencies
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) encourages service providers and manufacturers that support RTT to provide accessible call indicators to inform callers about audio activity that takes place during phone and incoming RTT calls. This is to ensure that people who cannot hear know when their outgoing calls are answered or when they reach a busy signal – just as ringtones and aural busy signals provide such notification to people who can hear.
Also, the FCC encourages inclusion of the following features and capabilities typically available to voice telephone users:
- Latency and error rates that are functionally equivalent to real-time voice telephone communications.
- The ability for callers to use teleconferencing, caller ID features, interactive voice response systems and to transfer calls.
- The ability for callers to control text settings, such as font, size and color.
- Making RTT a pre-installed feature of wireless devices that is enabled by a default setting – so RTT is readily available without the need to turn it on.