frequently asked questions
1. What is Relay Utah?
Relay Utah, serving Utah since 1988, is a free speech translation service to facilitate communication between Utah’s hard of hearing, deaf and speech-disabled communities and to help these communities communicate more independently with the hearing community.
Relay Utah also provides access to hearing assistive equipment and telephone relay translation services, through Hamilton Relay, to provide these individuals more efficient communication.
2. How do I use Relay Utah?
Using Relay Utah’s toll-free, in-state 7-1-1 or Spanish-language 888-346-3162 phone numbers, a individual can easily place a call and communicate with another individual who is hearing- or speech-impaired over the telephone.
Relay Utah has partnered with Hamilton Relay to answer the calls coming into these numbers. When a caller dials a Relay Utah number, they will provide the Communications Assistant (CA) with the name and phone number of the individual he or she would like to reach. The CA then contacts the desired individual and translates or “relays” the conversation between a caller by typing a voice caller’s message to the receiving party’s text telephone, or TTY, or reads the TTY caller’s message to the party using a standard voice telephone.
Is there a time limit on how long a call can last?
There is no time limit on the calls; the CA will relay the conversation until the parties desire to terminate the conversation.
3. Is the Relay Utah service free?
Calls placed through Relay Utah’s 7-1-1 and 888-346-3162 phone number are free to all Utahans.
4. Can someone out of state call 7-1-1 to reach me?
Because each state is assigned its own toll-free, in-state Relay number, people outside of Utah may not place a call through 7-1-1. Individuals outside of Utah should contact their state’s Relay office to determine the toll-free Relay number appointed to their location.
5. Is the Relay Service offered for languages other than English and Spanish?
At this time, Relay Utah offers only English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English translation services as part of its Spanish Relay service. However, Relay continuously assesses the needs of Utahans who are deaf, hard of hearing, and speech disabled in an effort to provide them with a range of quality telecommunications services.
6. Does Relay Utah offer other services?
Individuals who qualify for Public Assistance and who meet specified guidelines are eligible for hearing assistive equipment with no out-of-pocket costs. See the specific qualification guidelines listed on www.relayutah.gov. Those who are not eligible for subsidized equipment but want to purchase Relay equipment can contact the Utah Deaf Center (UAD). All workers at the UAD bookstore are deaf. Callers can dial 7-1-1 and then the number 801-288-2159.
7. What are the eligibility requirements for Relay Utah products and services?
Individuals who qualify for Public Assistance and who meet specified guidelines are eligible for Relay Utah equipment. Click here for eligibility requirements.
8. Where can I purchase Relay Utah products?
Individuals who are not eligible for subsidized hearing and communication assistive equipment, but who are looking to purchase Relay equipment can contact the Utah Deaf Center (UAD). All workers at the UAD bookstore are deaf. Callers can dial 7-1-1 and then the number 801-288-2159.
9. What products are available for the hard of hearing?
Amplified Telephones, and Voice carry-over (VCO) Telephones that has the features of both a standard telephone and a TTY. VCO users can speak directly into the phone and the Relay Communications Assistant (CA) then types the response from the called party back to the VCO caller so they can read it on the phone’s text display.
CapTel Telephones, scheduled for introduction in during fall of 2003, provide both an amplified phone and TTY in a single unit. The user has the option to both carry on a voice conversation and read a captioned version of the conversation which becomes of aid if part of the conversation is not heard.
10. What products and services are available for Utah’s deaf and those who have difficulty with speech?
Text Telephones, or TTYs, that have a keyboard to type messages and an LCD display that displays incoming typed messages
Hearing Carry Over (HCO) Telephones designed for individuals who can hear but who are speech disabled. HCO users type their messages on the phone’s keyboard, which is then voiced by the Relay Communications Assistant (CA) to the other party. The HCO user hears the other person’s voice as in a standard telephone conversation.
Video Relay Service (VRS) makes it possible for individuals communicating in American Sign Language (ASL) to more easily communicate with a hearing individual. Using a high speed Internet connection and a video camera, an individual using ASL contacts a Communications Assistant (CA) who can view the individual who is signing. The CA then interprets the sign language and relays, by voice, the message being signed to the other party.
FAQ’s for CapTel Users
I don’t know how to use my CapTel. Is there anything I can do?
You can contact the Public Service Commission for assistance on using your CapTel. Contact the Commission toll-free at 1-866-772-8824 (V/TTY). An individual training session can be scheduled to instruct you on how to use your CapTel phone.
When the incoming call comes in and the people talk slower than normal my parents can keep up with them, otherwise goes too fast for them. What can they do?
Your parents could request that the caller speaks more slowly. There is an ability to review captions during or after a call because approximately 500 lines of conversation can be reviewed in memory after hanging up.
My eyes are getting bad, and the printing is hard to see. Is there anything I can do?
There is now a CapTel phone available with an optional USB port that allows you to connect to a computer to view large-sized captions on a computer monitor, but the USB option must be requested at time of order.
I have a cochlear implant. Can I use the CapTel?
Yes, the CapTel is compatible with cochlear implants. A person with a cochlear implant may have to adjust the placement of the handset to get the best results.
What is 2-line CapTel?
The State of Utah does provide 2-line CapTel through the relay service, so as long as an individual has two telephone lines then this service is available. 2-line CapTel gives you live captions of everything your caller says during a phone conversation. You can hear the caller and read captions of what they say. With 2-line CapTel, the conversation is carried on one telephone line and the captions are provided on a second line. This gives 2-line CapTel users the ability to caption any phone call – incoming or outgoing – at any point in the conversation. Two-line CapTel also supports enhancements that users have purchased from their telephone service such as call-waiting.
I have no outgoing captions. What should I do?
Contact CapTel Customer Service:
By CapTel Phone or voice dial 1-888-269-7477
En Espanol dial 1-866-670-9134
By TTY dial 1-800-482-2424
By FAX 1-608-238-3008
Email at CapTel@CapTelMail.com
By mail: Ultratec, Inc.
Attn: CapTel Customer Service
450 Science Drive
Madison, WI 53711
If there is something wrong with your CapTel, and it was issued to you through the Public Service Commission, then please contact the Commission toll-free at 1-866-772-8824 to arrange repair or exchange of the equipment.
What if something is wrong with my CapTel phone after talking with CapTel Customer Service?
If you were distributed a CapTel through the Utah Public Service Commission, then please contact the Commission toll-free at 1-866-772-8824 in order to arrange exchange of the CapTel equipment.
When people call me, why don’t I get any captions on my screen?
Calls made from the CapTel phone automatically connect with the captioning center. This is not the case with incoming calls. Your caller must follow certain steps in order for you to receive captions:
1. Dial the captioning center toll-free at 1-877-243-2823.
2. A recording will prompt the caller to enter your telephone number followed by the # sign.
3. You will begin receiving captions when the incoming call is connected to your telephone line.
Can I use the CapTel with hearing aids?
Yes, you can use hearing aids, but it is especially helpful to have hearing aids with a T-coil switch.
Why might I hear an echo on the line?
The CapTel handset mouthpiece may seem to cause an echo effect because it may pick up amplified sounds coming out of the handset. To fix this echo, try holding the handset mouthpiece further away from your face.
If someone calls me long distance via CapTel Relay Service, who gets charged for the call?
The caller who dials 1-877-243-2823 to place a long distance call to a CapTel user will be charged for the call from the moment he connects to the CapTel user.
I get no sound at all and the Relay people go home at 5:00 p.m.
Please contact Ultratec or the Public Service Commission to address any equipment issues. The CapTel captioning is available through the relay service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
What do I do if my CapTel phone keeps disconnecting?
If you have Call Waiting on your telephone line, then that must be shut off in order for the CapTel phone to function correctly. You may need to contact your local telephone company or check your area phone book. In order to deactivate Call Waiting, use the CapTel phone menu bar and refer to your instruction manual. Call disconnect can also occur if someone picks up another extension in your location during a CapTel call.
Can I call 9-1-1 using my CapTel?
Yes, you can use the menu bar to switch the phone to Voice Carry Over mode (check your instruction manual).
How do I call another CapTel user from my own CapTel phone?
1. Dial 1-877-243-2823 from your CapTel phone.
2. You will hear, “Thank you for calling the captioned telephone service. Please enter the area code and phone number of the person you wish to call followed by the pound sign (#).”
3. Enter the telephone number as instructed.
4. Both parties receive captions during the call and proceed as usual.
What can I do about people who won’t wait for the pause and just hang up?
An option is to use the signal meter which is a square graphic appearing in the CapTel display screen and lights up to indicate sounds on the line. When a call begins, if you see the meter moving, regardless of hearing a voice or seeing captions, you could say something like, “I am on the line and will be with you shortly,” in order to let the other party know that you are there. You could even explain that you are using a captioned telephone and might experience a slight delay in responding due to reading captions of the conversation.
What do I do if we are disconnected?
Place the call again. There may have been trouble with the line or the person may have hung up. If it was a hang up then try to take control of the call by announcing that you are on the line using a captioned telephone as stated in the preceding question and answer.
Why are the calls so slow?
Delays are generally kept to a minimum, but there is typically a 3-5 second delay between the time the CapTel operator transcribes the other end of the conversation and the time until it appears on your display screen as captions. Delays can be longer depending upon the speed and complexity of the conversation, or there could be problems on the line interfering with the rate of the captions being displayed.
Can I use an answering machine or voicemail with the CapTel?
If you already have an answering machine, then you just need to have it close to the CapTel. There is a “MENU” button where you can choose the function “Caption External Answering Machine Messages” on the display. Press the button next to “OK.” Then you pick up the CapTel handset and place the mouthpiece next to the answering machine speaker in order to hear the message(s) as played aloud. The CapTel will automatically dial the captioning service. When the CapTel display shows that a connection is established, then start playing the voice messages aloud on your answering machine. Watch the display to see captions of the voice messages.
CapTel also helps you check the messages left on your voice mail system from which you must subscribe to from your local telephone company. Simply call into your voice mail system as a remote caller and follow the voice mail prompts to retrieve your messages. You can press the number buttons at any time. You do not have to wait for the captions to finish before pressing your selection.
What should I do if I change my long distance carrier?
If you initially set up your CapTel service with a particular long distance carrier and then changed carriers at a later time, then please contact CapTel Customer Service in order to inform them of this change as well to avoid any difficulties with billing.
What if I go on a trip or winter several months of the year in another state?
You may take the phone out of state with you for a trip. If you are leaving the state for an extended period of time, then please inform the Utah Public Service Commission and then let CapTel Customer Service know the phone number and long distance carrier to be used (if different from home). Inform Customer Service that it is a “snow bird” account.
FAQ’s for Prospective CapTel Users
What type of telephone line is required?
Telephone lines for CapTel must be analog and this is the same type of line used by a standard telephone or a stand-alone fax machine.
Does CapTel work with a digital line?
No. Digital lines are not compatible with the CapTel and may damage the phone. If you are installing the CapTel in an office setting, then check with the telephone system administrator to ensure that an analog port is available. A digital subscriber line (DSL) may be used if an appropriate analog filter is installed.
How do I make a call using a CapTel phone?
CapTel phone users place a call exactly the same way they do when using a traditional phone by just dialing the telephone number directly. The CapTel phone automatically connects to Relay Utah’s captioning relay center as you dial. You hear everything that the person you are calling says just like a traditional phone call. But behind the scenes, there is a specially-trained operator at the CapTel relay center who is transcribing everything the other person says to you into captions, or written text, using voice-recognition technology. The captions appear on a display window built into the CapTel phone. The captions appear just slightly after the person is speaking, so CapTel phone users can understand everything that is said – by hearing it, reading it, or a combination of both.
How do I answer a call using a CapTel phone?
In order to receive captions on incoming calls, then the person calling you must first dial the CapTel Relay Service toll-free at 1-877-243-2823 and then enter your phone number. Calls received through the CapTel Service, and standard voice telephone calls, are answered the same way as a CapTel phone by simply picking up the handset.
Can I get captions on my own phone?
No, the CapTel phone is equipped with a display screen which is specialized to handle voice and text over the same telephone line. Captions cannot be displayed on a regular telephone.