Types of Relay Calls

Thousands of Floridians depend upon Florida Relay every day to make both personal and business phone calls. Here are examples of how the specialized telephone equipment and services work.

Voice (for a hearing caller)

Standard telephone users can easily initiate calls to TTY users. The relay operator types the hearing person's spoken words to the TTY user and reads back the typed replies.

  1. Dial 7-1-1 for the Florida Relay Service.
  2. You will hear, "Florida Relay Operator (number), may I have the number you are calling please?"
  3. Give the Relay operator the area code and telephone number you wish to call and any further instructions.
  4. The Relay operator will process your call, relaying exactly what the TTY user is typing. The Relay operator will relay what you say back to the TTY user.
  5. When you finish the conversation and are ready to hang up, don’t forget to say "SK" which stands for “stop keying” (which alerts both the Relay Operator and the other party that you are ready to end the conversation ) then hang up. 

 Voice to TTY diagram


Text Telephone (TTY)

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, or speech-disabled uses a TTY to type his/her conversation to a relay operator, who then reads the typed conversation to a hearing person. The relay operator relays the hearing person's spoken words by typing them back to the TTY user.

  1. Dial 7-1-1 for the Florida Relay Service.
  2. The Relay operator will answer with "Fl Relay OPR 8234" (for Relay operator identification), "F" or "M" (for Relay operator gender) and "GA." ("GA" denotes "go ahead.")
  3. Type in the area code and telephone number you wish to call and then type "GA."
  4. The Relay operator will dial the number and relay the conversation to and from your TTY. Type in "GA" at the end of each message.
  5. When you are finished with the conversation, type “SK” for "Stop Keying" then hang up

TTY to Voice diagram

Voice Carry-Over (VCO)

Voice Carry-Over is an ideal service that enables a hard-of-hearing or deaf user to use his/her voice to speak directly to hearing person. When the hearing person speaks to back, the Relay operator serves as the "ears" and types everything that is said on a TTY or text display.

  1. Dial the Florida Relay Service VCO number 1-877-955-8260.
  2. The Florida Relay operator will answer "FL OPR 8234M (For relay operator identification) "F" or "M" (for Relay operator gender) GA".
  3. Voice  the area code and telephone number of the party you want to call.
  4. The Relay operator will type the message "VCO ON" as your cue to start speaking. You speak directly to the hearing person. The Relay operator will not repeat what you say, but only type to you what the hearing person says. You both need to say "GA" at the end of your response.

Voice Carry-Over diagram

Hearing Carry-Over (HCO)

Hearing Carry-Over (HCO) allows speech-disabled users with hearing, to listen to the person they are calling. The HCO user then types his/her conversation for the Relay operator to read to the standard telephone user.

Hearing Carry-Over diagram

Speech-to-Speech (STS)

Speech-to-Speech (STS) allows speech-disabled persons to voice their conversation. A specially trained Florida Relay Operator will listen and repeat the speech-disabled user's dialogue to the called party. No special telephone equipment is needed to use this service. A STS call can be made from any standard telephone.

Speech to Speech diagram


The CapTel phone is ideal for a hard-of-hearing individual to use his/her own voice to speak directly to hearing person. When the hearing person speaks back, the CapTel user can read the response on a text display. CapTel allows users to place a call in the same way they would when using a traditional phone - by dialing the number directly. The CapTel™ phone automatically connects to the Captioning Relay Service when the number is dialed. When the person answers, you hear everything that he/she says, just like a traditional phone call.

Here's how to make a CapTel call:

  1. Get a special CapTel phone at no-cost from FTRI.
  2. When dialing out, simply dial the number of the person you want to call.
  3. Your CapTel phone will automatically connect to both the captioning service and the party you wish to reach.
  4. A captionist transcribes everything the party says to you into written text (captions) using the very latest in voice-recognition technology.

Here's how to receive a call using a CapTel :

  1. The voice user calling you should first dial 1- 877-243-2823 (toll free).
  2. Once connected, the voice user then enters your area code and phone number followed by the # symbol.
  3. Whether it's an incoming or outgoing call, everything the voice user says to you is transcribed into captions that display in an easy-to-read window on your CapTel phone
Captel diagram