Internet relay registration, and making and receiving a call - FAQs

See also our general FAQs on internet relay.

Registration

1  Do I need to register?
2  Are there any other benefits from registration?
3  Once I’m registered what do I do?
4  Can I be notified that someone is calling me?

Geting started

5   How do I make an internet relay call?

6   Why is the ‘captcha’ or word verification necessary?
7   What happens if I have a visual impairment and can't decipher the word verification letters?
8   Should I enter the letters as capitals or lower case?
9   What if I forget my special word?

During the call

10   Can I provide instructions to the relay officer for my call?

11  I am very slow at typing. Is it possible to store some key messages and instructions and insert them into an internet relay message?

12   What is the maximum number of letters I can type in the conversation box?

13   Can I retrieve my answering machine or voice mail messages?

14   Why can't the text be sent as I type it just like on a TTY so that the relay officer and I can both see each other's text when we type?

15  Can I use emoticons (e.g. smileys) during an internet relay call?

16  I am used to using a TTY. Do I use the same contractions when I use internet relay?

17   I am used to using SMS. Do I use the same contractions when I use internet relay?

18   Can I change the colours or the size of the text on my screen?

19   During a call, can I type a message, press ‘Send' and continue to type and send?

20  Can the relay officer see my instant messaging user name?

21   Can the NRS provide a transcript of a call?

22  Why has the ‘Save as text’ / ‘Save as HTML’ function been removed from internet relay?

23  Why do you allow TTY users to continue recording their conversations?

 

Registration

1  Do I need to register?

No. You can make calls without registering.

However if you want to receive internet relay calls you will need to register. This is a simple, once-only online procedure.

 

2  Are there any other benefits from registration?

Yes, once registered, apart from receiving calls, you can:

  • develop, use and manage an online list of contacts with phone numbers (‘My contacts’)
  • make calls without having to enter the security captcha letters
  • change any of your registration details (‘My details’).

 

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3  Once I’m registered what do I do?

Once you are registered you just login using the phone number you registered with and your password. You can then receive and make calls and use your address book (‘My contacts’). See more on managing your contacts.

Remember that you can always make calls without logging in.

 

4  Can I be notified that someone is calling me?

Yes, although it depends on your browser and the type of device you are using. See more.

 

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Geting started

5   How can I make an internet relay call?

6   Why is the ‘captcha’ or word verification necessary?

Word verification is needed to stop calls from computer ‘robots' making repeated spam on the NRS call page. These robots might be generating ‘calls' for prank or possibly fraudulent purposes. Thus the call page has a box where you need to enter four (six if you are using AIM) randomly generated letters and numbers that are shown in an image above the box.

 

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7   What happens if I have a visual impairment and can't decipher the word verification letters?

If you have a visual impairment and cannot read the letters or numbers in the word verification image, you can click the orange refresh icon nearby to get a new set of characters. If this isn't any better, contact theHelpdesk and request a ‘special word'. This will simply be a unique group of four characters you can enter in the word verification box each time you make a call. The special word will be unique to the NRS internet relay user and can be used any number of times.

 

8  Should I enter the letters as capitals or lower case?

Word verification is not case sensitive. So it doesn't matter if you enter an upper case (capital) 'M' or a lower case 'm'. However the letters shown in the image are all lower case, so make sure you don't think that an 'l' (as in 'lion') is a large 'I' (as in 'Iron'). It will always be the former.

 

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9   What if I forget my special word?

Just call the Helpdesk and we will give you another special word.

 

During the call

10   Can I provide instructions to the relay officer for my call?

Yes. Once connected to a relay officer you can give instructions by typing them in the message window. It is clearer for the relay officer if you put any instructions in brackets.

 

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11  I am very slow at typing. Is it possible to store some key messages and instructions and insert them into an internet relay message?

Yes. Depending on your computer setup and skills, there are various things you can do. One of the simplest is to:

  • type a particular instruction or message into a WordPad or Word document before you start the internet relay call
  • copy the text
  • start the internet relay call
  • paste the text into the message panel at the appropriate time.

12  What is the maximum number of letters I can type in the conversation box?

You have 200 characters including, spaces, questions marks etc. If you type more than 200 characters, the extra will not be sent to the relay officer. The message screen has a counter that ‘counts down' the number of characters you have left as you type.

 

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13   Can I retrieve my answering machine or voice mail messages?

Yes. As with other NRS calls, the relay officer can help you retrieve messages from your answering machine or voice mail. Just type your instructions to the relay officer including the code for accessing messages. Provided your phone line is not busy, the relay officer will retrieve your messages and relay them to you through the relay display screen while you wait.

 

14   Why can't the text be sent as I type it just like on a TTY so that the relay officer and I can both see each other's text when we type?

Internet relay works differently from TTYs. The text is not delivered to the other party until the 'Send' button is clicked. This allows you to check or amend the text before sending it if you want to.

 

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15  Can I use emoticons (e.g. smileys) during an internet relay call?

No, because there no fixed meanings for most emoticons, so relay officers will not always know how to relay them as voice. 

 

16  I am used to using a TTY. Do I use the same contractions when I use internet relay?

You can use contractions in an internet relay call just as you would for a TTY.

Particularly it is a good idea to use:

  • Brackets for comments/questions to the relay officer
  • ‘SKSK' (stop keying) when you are finishing

You can also use 'GA' (go ahead) when you have finished a section of the conversation. Although, unlike a TTY, you have a Send button that tells the relay officer you have finished your section of the conversation it is still helpful for the relay officer if you use ‘GA'.

 

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17   I am used to using SMS. Do I use the same contractions when I use internet relay?

Please don't use SMS contractions. The role of the relay officer is to relay your words. The relay officer may not be able to voice your words if you use contractions that don't have a clear, unambiguous meaning.

 

18   Can I change the colours or the size of the text on my screen?

Yes. Click the ‘Change your display' button on the call page and you can change the font size, and font and background colour for your part of the conversation or the text you are receiving. You can make these changes at any time during the conversation and your changes will be saved for future calls. Note that the ‘Change your display’ button is not visible until you have actually started the call. 

You can always return to the default font size and colours by clicking 'Reset to default'.

 

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19   During a call, can I type a message, press ‘Send' and continue to type and send?

This would mean you are sending new text while the relay officer is reading out your previous sentences. It is not advisable to do this because there is a third party, the relay officer, in the middle of the conversation who will have trouble keeping track of overlapping conversation threads.

 

20  Can the relay officer see my instant messaging user name?

No.

 

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21  Can the NRS provide a transcript of a call?

No, the National Relay Service is not permitted to save/store/record any customer conversations except for short-term training purposes.

 

22  Why has the ‘Save as text’ / ‘Save as HTML’ function been removed from internet relay?

The NRS is required to provide people who are deaf, or who have a hearing and/or speech impairment with access to a standard telephone service on terms comparable to other Australians.

The NRS reviews its practices from time to time and needs to make sure they stay in line with requirements for standard telephone services. The ‘Save’ function effectively allowed an internet relay user to keep a transcript of the call.  Users of standard telephone services are generally unable to keep transcripts of their calls.

If you need to note any details from your call for future use, such as a name or a phone number, you can do that from the conversation text on your screen before the call has ended. Note that the record of the conversion will be removed from your screen as soon as either you or the relay officer finish the call.

23  Why do you allow TTY users to continue recording their conversations?  

The TTY Superprint model can provide a paper record of the conversation. However, this is part of the technology of that particular TTY and not something provided or facilitated by the NRS. The NRS does not supply TTYs nor endorse the recording of any conversation.

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