Speech-to-Speech is especially useful for individuals who have a difficult time speaking or being understood on the phone.
Speech-to-Speech (STS) is a type of Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) that enables individuals with speech disabilities and/or who have difficulty being understood on the telephone to communicate on a telephone call through the assistance of a specially trained Communications Assistant (CA). The CA serves to facilitate the communication back and forth between the person with the speech disability and the other person on the call. The CA is trained to understand a variety of speech disorders and will clarify what is said by repeating or re-voicing in a manner that is more easily understood by the other person. No special equipment or special type of telephone is required to use this service.
STS can be used by individuals who have cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, aphasia, dysarthria, Parkinson’s disease, and individuals who are coping with limitations from a stroke or traumatic brain injury. Individuals with speech disabilities can use their own voice or use an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device to communicate. Additionally, anyone who wishes to call someone with a speech disability can use STS.
Video-Assisted Speech-to-Speech is now available. Please see the PDF brochure here. http://relay.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/UT_STS-Flyer_2020.pdf
How to make a Speech-to-Speech Call
Dial 1-888-346-5822 if you can’t reach 7-1-1 directly.
Give the Speech-to-Speech Communications Assistant (CA) the number you wish to call, plus any special instructions.
The CA will work closely with you to ensure your entire conversation is understood.
Tips for Speech-to-Speech Users
- Give the CA as much information as possible about your call prior to the CA dialing.
For example, if you know you are calling an automated system that requires you to select from a number of options, let the CA know which options you want before the call is placed. If you reach an answering machine, the CA will get your full message and then call back to leave that message. You have the option of having the CA play an active role or a passive role. In the active role, the CA will revoice everything you say. In the passive role, the CA will only revoice those parts of the conversation that are not understood. You control how you want your call to proceed.
- Once the call is connected, everyone on the call will hear each other.
- The CA will revoice three- to four-word segments unless you request differently.
- The CA will clarify anything that is not clear before revoicing.
- It is helpful if you pause until the CA finishes revoicing.
- There is no time limit on calls.
- You or the person you are calling may request that the CA remain in the background. If you need the CA to begin revoicing at any time during the call, you must request the CA to do so. This is especially helpful when calling family, friends, or others who are familiar with your speech.
- Say “GA” or “Go Ahead” when you are finished speaking and ready for a response.
- You may make as many consecutive calls as you want.
You are in charge of your call. You may request a male or female CA, and as long as one is available, your request will be honored.
Additionally, Relay Speech-to-Speech users may request to have their voice muted at any time during a STS call. This option can also be a standard feature of your Relay customer profile.