|Telephone Typewriters (TTYs)|
|Monday, 04 September 2006 19:00|
You often see the initials ‘TTY’ used in position vacant ads and on government and other websites in reference to communication, but what does it mean?
The telephone typewriter (TTY) allows people who are Deaf or hearing impaired to communicate by telephone. Messages are sent using telephone lines. The Deaf/hearing impaired person types their message on the TTY keyboard.
When different keys are pressed different tone signals are sent over the telephone line. These tones can be "decoded" by a TTY at the other end of the telephone line and displayed as a written message.
TTY users can call people who do not have a TTY by using the National Relay Service provided by the Australian Communication Exchange (ACE). This allows the Deaf person to send or receive messages from ordinary 'voice' telephones.
The person without a TTY uses a voice telephone and talks as normal. The NRS operator types what is said and transmits it to the TTY user and that person, in turn, types messages and the operator reads them to the voice telephone user. The NRS service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is available to everyone at the same price as a normal phone call. For further information about this service, see www.aceinfo.net.au/Services/NRS/..
Ranging in price from $800 to $1,200, TTYs are an expensive proposition for many working carers or their care receivers. However, you can rent a TTY from Telstra at the same cost as a standard phone – see www.telstra.com.au/disability/catalogue/apply.htm for details of eligibility.
Other telecommunications providers generally have similar plans. For information on the range of equipment available from Telstra, see www.telstra.com.au/disability/catalogue/equipment.htm#teletype or you can call Telstra’s Disability Equipment Program toll free on 1800 068424.
Congratulations to Toby of Lismore who has won the fun pack of large-scale playing cards for the vision impaired.
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