Using a TTY
TTY / TDD / Text Telephones | Who Uses a TTY | TTY Etiquette | When To Type | American Sign Language and English | Ending a TTY Call | Making Errors
Abbreviation Examples | Punctuation | Emotions
TTY / TDD / Text Telephones:
They are all the same! TTY stands for Tele Type writer. TDD stands for Telecommunication Device for the Deaf. Text Telephones are TTYs. Ironically, the government has agreed that all TTYs were going to be called TDDs, but most Deaf individuals, active in the Deaf community will continue and prefer to use the term TTY when referring to their telecommunication device.
Who Uses a TTY:
The majority of users are Deaf, but commonly, a TTY is also used by Hard of Hearing, Speech Impaired, and even Deaf and Blind individuals. Hearing individuals communicating with a Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Speech Impaired, or Deaf and Blind individual will almost always prefer to use a TTY (instead of going through an interpreter often called a Relay Service)
TTY communication differ from normal telephone communication, but with a few pointers and a little practice, you will do just fine.
When To Type:
When you use a TTY, only one person can type at a time, and you should not interrupt the other. Keep your sentences short and right to the point. If at all possible, have a printer to facilitate your life. Try to avoid asking too many questions at once. At the end of every idea / discussion, you need to let the other person know that it is their turn. To do this, just type: GA (see abbreviations on the next page). You will notice that the other person will do the same for you.
Example: HELLO TTY TDD STORE DOLORES SPEAKING HOW CAN I HELP YOU PLS GA
American Sign Language (ASL) and English:
You must remember that most Deaf use ASL to communicate. It is their language, and in most cases, their first language. The grammar and syntax differ from English, but nonetheless, ASL is a language full of culture. The point being that in some cases, you may find it difficult to communicate with a Deaf person, and vice-versa. Keeping your sentences short and right to the point may help in improving communication.
Ending Your TTY Call:
When you are done talking, and ready to get off the TTY, you will need to type the following: GA OR SK (go ahead or stop keying). This will tell the caller that they can go ahead and type, however, this also let's them know that you are ready to hang up anytime they are. In turn, when the person is ready to hang up, they will say good-bye and then type SK several times (usually 3 or 4 times) and you will only need to confirm by typing SK once. Makes sense? Let's take a look at some examples:
Person A) I HAVE TO GO NOW BUT I WILL SEE YOU AT 4PM TALK LATER TAKE CARE GA OR SK
Person B) GREAT (SMILE) SEE YOU THEN SKSKSK
Person A) SK
Everyone makes mistakes, even when we try not to. There will be times when perhaps, it will happen to you as well. Type "XXXX" to erase the last word or last phrase. Let's look at the example:
CAN YOU REPEAT TOM'S ADRISSXXXX ADDRESS QQ GA
Making the most out of your TTY is important. Below are some of the most frequently used abbreviations:
BTW: By the way
GA: go ahead (your turn to type)
GA or SK: go ahead and type or Stop Keying (talk to me or tell me good bye)
I M: I am
IM: I am
OIC: Oh, I see
QQ: that was a question (remember, your listener cannot hear the intonation in your voice)
SK: stop keying (stop typing)
Note that punctuation is almost NEVER used in a TTY communication.
Emotions should NOT be omitted though, and must be keyed in so that they can be understood. Never assume that the other party is aware that you are happy or upset
let them know. Examples: SMILE, HMMMM, HAHAHA, SIGHT, GRIN, GIGGLE, GEE, etc...
If you have additional questions, Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
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