Faq and etiquette tips

Some of the tips suggested are similar to new E-mail users, which many more Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing persons are using in favor of the TTY. More and more Deaf and HH (Hard of Hearing) users are opting for wireless messaging pager systems which allows the user to send and receive email, TTY messages, faxes, text-to-speech and speech- to- text messages, and a text message to any one-way alphanumeric pager. More cellular phones are now compatible with the TTY and hearing aids and as they become less expensive and easier to use, its use will be more widespread.

What is the proper term to use when noting TTY numbers – is it TDD, TT, TTD or TTY and why? (note that TTY is capitalized). The proper notation is TTY (teletypewriter) and it doesn’t matter whether you are using an older model (teletypewriter) or the newer model (telecommunication device for the deaf-abbreviated as TDD).


TTY is the culturally preferred term and is used by most Deaf and HH users, as it is a term, which includes hearing users. TDD implies that only deaf people use the device when in fact there are also hearing users.

How do I know whether I am getting a TTY call? This feature known as Auto ID, in the Ultratec models, alerts hearing people that you are calling from a TTY. It alerts the person by sending several audible tones over the telephone line every few seconds. Also, it helps emergency services such as 911 detect you are calling from a TTY. Auto Id comes on when you turn on your TTY and continues until you start your conversation, and starts up again if no TTY activity for a few minutes.

However, new TTYs have a direct connect feature, which means you do not need to use the TTY coupler. If you picked up your phone and hear the series of electronic beeps, you can simply turn on your TTY and hang up your phone and begin typing your greeting.

• Flickering red light: A hearing person answered by voice. Press the space bar a few times to let him/her know it’s a TTY call. signal, or ringing by corresponding light patterns. The light remains on for the length of the sound and goes off when there is no sound. For example, the light flashes rapidly and rhythmically with a busy signal.

How can I speed up my TTY conversation? Use common abbreviations such as those that are used in e-mail messages. Do not type punctuation or number symbols because this requires you to use 2 keys, which is time-consuming. You may omit punctuation symbols and spell out numbers. Some words such as articles and linking verbs are often omitted in TTY conversations.

Yes, if you are getting garbled messages or numbers and can’t read the message, interrupt by typing "STOP PLS" or XX STOP STOP CAN’T RD U XX" or "HD HD HD" and wait for the other person to respond. Then type something like this: "SORRY I MISSED UR MSG IT WAS GARBLED PLS TYPE AFTER I MEET U AT QQ" or "PLS REPEAT" or "I CAN’T RD U CAN U RD ME Q".

Why is it that I seem to communicate more with a Deaf person via TTY or e-mail than in face-to-face conversations? If the hearing person doesn’t know sign language, it is often easier and less stressful for both hearing and Deaf/HH persons to communicate this way to make sure communications are clear. Be aware that for some Deaf and HH TTY users, English is their second language and they may not be comfortable with the TTY either as they may feel they can express themselves more clearly in ASL.

TTY calls take longer than a voice call. Therefore, most Deaf and HH people prefer to keep their calls short to get needed information such as making or canceling an appt., or finding out when and where a meeting will occur. Detailed conversations are saved for face-to-face meetings.

DON ‘T: A: I WANT TO LET YOU KNOW THAT THERE IS A MEETING TOMORROW FOR DEAF AWARENESS WEEK ACTIVITIES AND IT WAS DIFFICULT TO GET EVERYONE TOGETHER I CALLED BOB AND HE HAD A CONFLICT WITH A FAMILY GATHERING THEN I CALLED SUE AND SHE HAD A CONFLICT BLAH BLAH BLAH

Can I save the TTY paper print-out? If you keep it, you should have the other person’s knowledge and consent. This is similar to a hearing person’s phone conversation being recorded. Therefore, it may be an unethical invasion of privacy and illegal if the other person doesn’t know you’re keeping the paper printout. TTY printouts may be used as admissible evidence in the courtroom. If there is important information on the printout such as a date, address or phone #, copy it and then destroy the TTY printout.