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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.
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There are five circular photos with yellow lines connecting five individuals. Photo descriptions from left to right: 1) A woman sitting on a couch next to a wooden table. The table has a photo, lamp and a landline telephone with enlarged dial pad. The woman has dark skin, medium length hair, is wearing a white turtleneck top and is smiling while holding the telephone to her ear. 2) A girl with fair skin and strawberry blonde medium length hair is looking up to her left, away from the camera. She is wearing a tie-dyed sweatshirt. She has a feeding tube taped on her cheek. She is holding a tablet in both of her hands. 3) A man with dark skin and shaggy medium hair is looking away from the camera to his right. He is wearing a yellow shirt, silver necklace with pendant and a cordless headset phone. 4) A woman is sitting in front of her desk with a blue wall and a frame behind her. On her desk is a landline telephone and flowers. The woman has fair skin and red hair. She is wearing a pastel peach color buttoned up shirt and a black blazer. She is holding the telephone to her ear and is smiling. 5) A man with dark skin and short hair is smiling away from the camera to his right. He is wearing glasses, an orange shirt and a plaid buttoned shirt that is left open. He also is wearing a hearing device around his neck.

Real-Time Text

Enable Real-Time-Text on your smartphone device today and engage in real-time conversations.
  • 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.

What is Real-Time Texting (RTT)?

Real-Time Texting (RTT) is a text communication technology that allows individuals with a hearing or speech disability to send and read text messages as it is being written and respond simultaneously during text conversations. Think of it as an advanced version of TTY but better using your smartphone tailored to enhance your synchronous communication. One can also have multiple RTT calls going on at the same time.

Who Benefits from Real-Time Texting (RTT)?

RTT is designed to benefit individuals who are deaf, deafblind, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities to communicate with people they call with their smartphones. RTT allows individuals to communicate in real-time through any combination of speech and text.

For more information, refer to the guide on the Federal Communications Commission’s website.

A younger masculine-presenting individual showing an older feminine-presenting individuals how to use their phone.

Comparing Teletypewriter (TTY) and Real-Time Texting (RTT):

Teletypewriter (TTY)

TTY is a communication system that allows individuals with hearing or speech disabilities to communicate via text with other parties. It uses a specialized device with keyboards and displays to exchange text messages over telephone lines. TTY requires both parties to have compatible TTY devices for communication.

Real-Time Text (RTT)
RTT is a technological improvement on TTY, allowing instant text communication on the internet without specialized equipment, which works on wireless phones, tablets, and computers. It allows users to see messages as they are being written – making conversations more simulating. RTT users can see real-time pauses, corrections, and changes in written conversations. Most major wireless companies offer RTT at no cost.

RTT offers several advantages over traditional TTY.
For example, RTT:

  • Eliminates the need for specialized equipment,
  • Uses the same ten-digit numbers for both voice and RTT calls,
  • Enables real-time, simultaneous text exchanges,
  • Is more reliable over IP networks, reducing garbling and drop-offs, Provides more characters for typing, including special
    characters, multiple languages, and emojis; and
  • Allows concurrent use of RTT and voice during a call.


RTT Calling Capabilities

Making calls using RTT can make everyday calls and emergency calls more accessible with a few simple updates to your smartphone. RTT is compatible with calls to:

  • Other RTT users on any network or device
  • Emergency services (911)
  • Relay services (711)
  • TTY users (individuals, businesses, government agencies)

How to Setup Real-Time Text on Your Smartphone

Apple (iOS):
1. Open Settings:

2. Accessibility Settings:
     a. Scroll down and tap on “Accessibility.”

3. Hearing Devices:
     a. Under the “Hearing” section, tap on “RTT/TTY.”

4. Enable RTT:
     a. Toggle the switch to enable “Software RTT/TTY.”

5. Set RTT Mode:
     a. Choose between “Automatic,” “Manual,” or “TTY Only,” depending on your preferences.

6. Adjust Settings:
     a. You can customize additional settings, such as Call Audio Routing and more.

1. Open Phone App:

2. Access Settings:
     a. Tap the three dots (menu) or go to “Settings.”

3. Accessibility Settings:
     a. Depending on your device, look for “Accessibility” or “Hearing” settings.

4. RTT/TTY Settings:
     a. Locate and tap on “RTT/TTY” or a similar option.

5. Enable RTT:
     a. Turn on the RTT/TTY option.

6. Adjust Settings:
     a. You may find additional settings like “TTY Mode” where you can choose options like “TTY Full”, “VCO”, or “HCO.”

* Please note that the steps might vary slightly depending on the device model and the version of the operating system. Some Android smartphones automatically provide RTT. If you’re unable to find these settings, you may want to refer to your device’s user manual or the manufacturer’s website for specific instructions.


Get Support With RTT

Are you looking for more information on RTT? You can reach out to our support team to learn more about how to set it up on your phone, how to make calls and more at the following:

You can also download these helpful resources for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

RTT is an accessibility feature offered on most smartphones that allows callers to use a combination of text and voice to make calls. You can think of RTT as TTY for your smartphone, but with more features. Users can see messages as they are typed or voiced.

RTT calls can be used to make calls to other RTT users, TTY users, 711 and to emergency services like 911. You can use RTT to call people who uses a different wireless service provider than you.

No, RTT is a free feature offered on smart devices.

Yes, you can dial both 911 and 711 using RTT. To contact 911 using RTT, you have two options:

  • Dial 911 using your smart phone and select the RTT option, and you’ll be able to participate in a real-time voice-to-text conversation.
  • Using NG911, you can type 911 into your text message recipient field and send your message.

Yes, you can call a person who uses a TTY through RTT. However, you will both be limited to the functionality of a traditional RTT including character limits, speed of transmission, and use of special characters.

RTT set up differs slightly depending on which phone you use. You can always go to your general settings and search “Accessibility” or “RTT” and the settings should show up.

To set up RTT on your iPhone, first open your settings, then navigate to:

  • Accessibility Settings: Select “Accessibility.”
  • RTT/TTY: Tap on “RTT/TTY.”
  • Enable RTT: Toggle the switch to enable “Software RTT/TTY” and “Answer RTT Calls.”
  • Set RTT Mode: Choose “Answer All Calls as RTT/TTY.”

To set up RTT on your Android Phone, first open your settings, then navigate to:

  • Accessibility Settings: Depending on your device, look for “Accessibility” or “Hearing” settings.
  • RTT/TTY Settings: Locate and tap on “RTT/TTY” or a similar option.
  • Enable RTT: Turn on the RTT/TTY option. Some Android smartphones automatically provide RTT.

Yes! If you need more information on how to set up and use RTT you can contact California Connect at the following:

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 Center
P.O. Box 30310
Stockton, CA 95213
Phone/VP: 1-800-806-1191
Fax: 1-800-889-3974


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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