Relay Services

What is Maine Relay Service?

Maine Relay Service is a free statewide service that connects voice telephone users with individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened or have a speech disability. The service allows consumers to use specialized equipment (such as captioned telephone, TTY, VCO or HCO) to communicate with standard voice telephone users through specially trained relay operators (RO).

Stay connected with family, co-workers, and friends! It has never been easier with Maine Relay. Relay services use specially trained relay operators to connect calls between TTY or VCO users and standard telephone users. Maine Relay Service is available 24 hours a day, every day, 365 days a year. All calls are confidential. No records of any conversations are maintained.

Learn more about Maine Relay Services:

Maine Relay Phone Numbers

  • Voice: 800-457-1220
  • TTY: 800-437-1220
  • Voice Carry-Over (VCO): 866-479-7565
  • Hearing Carry-Over (HCO): 800-437-1220
  • Speech-to-Speech (STS): 888-890-9256
  • Video-Assisted STS (VA-STS): 888-890-9256
  • Spanish-to-Spanish: 888-890-9255
  • Spanish-to-English: 888-890-9255
  • International: 605-224-1837
  • Relay Conference Captioning (RCC): MaineRCC.com

Maine Relay Customer Support

  • TTY/Voice: 800-270-9709
  • TTY/Voz Espanol: 800-676-4290
  • Speech-to-Speech: 877-787-1989
  • Voice Carry-Over: 866-931-9027

Just Dial 711

Dialing 711 automatically connects to a relay operator, without having to remember and dial a ten-digit access number.

To use Maine Relay, follow these simple steps:

  1. Dial 711 or the appropriate 1-800 number listed above.
  2. A specially trained Maine relay operator will answer and identify themselves by their Operator number.
  3. Give the relay operator the phone number of the person you are calling.
  4. The operator will connect you with the person you are calling and assist you with communication.

Note: 711 is not an emergency number and should not be confused with 911. However, if you use a TTY and cannot obtain emergency services on 911, you may call 711 and tell the relay operator you have an emergency situation. The operator will then relay your emergency to the appropriate authorities.

Image of TTY to Voice Relay systemTTY Relay

Maine Relay allows an individual with hearing loss or a speech disability to place and receive calls via TTY through specially trained relay operators. The TTY user types their conversation to the relay operator, who then reads the typed conversation to the other party. When the other party speaks, the relay operator relays the other party's spoken words by typing them back to the TTY user.

How does TTY Relay Work?

  1. Simply dial 711 to connect with a relay operator. Maine Relay will answer.
  2. The relay operator will dial the requested number.
  3. The TTY user types their conversation. The relay operator voices the typed message to the other party. After the TTY caller types "GA" (short for “Go ahead”), it is the other party's turn to respond.
  4. The relay operator types what the voice caller says.
  5. The TTY user reads what the voice caller just said.

Photo of VCO TTY TerminalVoice Carry-Over (VCO)

Voice Carry-Over (VCO) Direct is a service that enables an individual with hearing loss to use their voice to speak directly to a hearing person, and then receive responses in typed form. In this case, the other caller hears the VCO caller's voice directly while still providing typed responses back to the VCO caller.

For individuals who have difficulty hearing over the phone, VCO is an excellent communication solution.

How Does VCO Work?

  • The individual with hearing loss speaks to the caller directly.
  • The caller speaks to the relay user. The relay operator types everything the caller says, word for word, to the relay user.
  • The relay user reads on a TTY screen what the caller is saying.

VCO options:

VCO to TTY

The relay operator types what the VCO user says to the TTY user. Whatever the TTY user types goes directly to the VCO user's TTY or text display equipment.

VCO to VCO

The relay operator serves as both parties' "ears", typing what is said on both ends of the call.

Two-Line VCO

Two-line VCO makes it possible for both parties - the individual who is deaf or hard of hearing (VCO user) and the hearing person - to speak to each other. At the same time, the VCO user is also able to read what the hearing person says. Two-line VCO allows an individual with two telephone lines to use one line for speaking directly while the other line is used to receive typed responses simultaneously. This feature provides a more natural flow of conversation without the pauses of single-line calls.

Two separate phone lines are needed for 2LVCO, one of which must have three-way calling service provided by your local phone company. Because two lines are used, the relay operator hears everything but types only what the hearing party says to the VCO user.

How do I place a Two-Line VCO call?

  1. Dial 711 or 1-866-479-7565
  2. Type “TWO LINE VCO PLS CALL ME BACK ON [provide the telephone number of line #2, your voice phone).”
  3. The relay operator will call you back on the number you provide. Answer by speaking and check that the relay operator can hear you.
  4. Press the flash button or switch-hook to obtain a second dial tone. Dial the hearing party.
  5. Press the flash button or switch-hook to reconnect the relay operator. Begin your conversation.

Hearing Carry-Over (HCO)

Hearing Carry-Over (HCO) users can hear their call placed through relay, while the Relay Operator serves as their voice. Callers may request a male or female operator, if they so choose. To use HCO, a TTY (text-telephone) is required. Hearing Carryover (HCO) services are useful to persons with speech disabilities.

How Does HCO Work?

  1. The HCO user types the conversation to the relay operator.
  2. The relay operator voices the typed message to the other party.
  3. The other party speaks directly to the HCO user. Carry on the conversation.

Maine Relay offers four HCO options for individuals making or receiving calls. For information on those options, please click here.

Speech-to-Speech (STS)

Are you tired of struggling to be understood over the phone? Want to be free to communicate anytime from anywhere? Try Speech-to-Speech (STS) relay service.

What is Speech-to-Speech?

Speech-to-Speech (STS) Relay is a free service for people with a speech disability. Maine Relay STS provides one-on-one support for telephone calls. A specially trained STS operator simply listens to the conversation and repeats your message, whenever needed.

Speech to Speech services are:

  • Free and confidential
  • Available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week
  • Spanish language is also available.

STS Customer Care: call 877-787-1989 or email access@t-mobile.com

Video-Assisted Speech-to-Speech (VA-STS)

Video-Assisted Speech-to-Speech (VA-STS) allows a person who has a speech disability to use both a telephone line and a video device to make relay calls.

What is VA-STS?

VA-STS provides the STS relay operator with visual communication cues from the STS caller via a one-way video conference connection. These cues may include lip reading, spelling in the air, facial expressions, and other physical movements.

STS Customer Care: call 877-787-1989 or email access@t-mobile.com

Video-Assisted STS requires a telephone line, a video device and Zoom web-conference software. For more information check out this instructional guide (PDF).

T-Mobile IP Relay

T-Mobile IP Relay allows individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disability to make and receive calls. The user types what they want to communicate. The operator relays the message to the caller and types their response back to the relay user.

This service requires an internet connection, a computer or mobile device and a relay operator. 

For more information, go to: https://www.tmobileaccess.com/iprelayinfo

Photo of woman using RCC service on a tablet computerRelay Conference Captioning (RCC)  DEMO

RCC is a free service available for Maine residents who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability to actively participate in multi-party teleconference calls or web conferences by reading live captions through a web browser on a computer or mobile device.

Relay Conference Captioning (RCC) is available from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM local time, Monday through Friday; Saturday 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM local time.

Benefits

Users can adjust font color and size, including background color. RCC is available via any web browser, a computer, tablet or smartphone. There is an option to receive a text transcript of the conversation for your records. Read captions   of what is said during teleconference calls on your laptop, tablet, or mobile device. There is an option to print, email or save transcripts. If your business or organization has employees who are deaf or hard of hearing, RCC allows active participation in meetings or conference calls.

Request an RCC Event Go to: mainercc.com

Schedule at least 48 hours (two business days) in advance to guarantee service. Cancellations must be submitted 24 hours in advance of your scheduled meeting.

 

Interested in seeing a demonstration of Maine Relay? Want a virtual staff training or presentation?

Contact: Debra Bare-Rogers, TRS Outreach Advocate
Disability Rights Maine
207-797-7656 ext. 113 (Voice/CapTel)
207-766-7111 (VP)
email: drogers@drme.org