Calling an NRS user

How it works

diagram of calling an NRS user

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Step-by-step

Calling an internet relay user 

Many NRS users use internet relay. These users type their side of the conversation to you through a browser on their computer, tablet or smartphone screen. A relay officer speaks their words to you then types your words back to the NRS user who will read them on their screen.

If someone has asked you to ring them through the NRS and asked you to ring them on
1300 553 467 then they will be using internet relay. All you need to do is:

  • ring the NRS on 1300 553 467
  • when prompted, enter the other person’s phone number including area code and press #.

The relay officer will check that the internet relay user is available to take your call, connect you, and then relay the call.

Speak to the relay officer as if you are speaking directly to the other person.

Calling a captioned relay user

Some people use captioned relay. These NRS users speak to you directly but your words are captioned by a relay officer and appear on the user’s computer or phone screen. Captioned relay is the NRS call option closest in speed and feel to an ordinary call.

If someone has asked you to ring them through the NRS on 1300 318 850 then they will be using captioned relay.

  • Ring the NRS on 1300 318 850
  • Enter the other person’s area code and phone number then press #
  • The relay officer will then relay the call.

Calling an SMS relay user

Some NRS users make calls on a mobile phone using SMS. If someone has asked you to ring them through the NRS and has provided a mobile number then they will be using SMS relay.

  • Ring the NRS on 133 677.
  • When prompted, enter the mobile number you wish to call.
  • The relay officer will ask you for the message you want to send.
  • You speak your message to the relay officer who will relay it to the NRS user.

Calling a video relay user

Some deaf NRS users make calls through video relay where they carry out their side of the conversation using Australian Sign Language (Auslan). 

If someone has asked you to ring them through the NRS and has provided a Skype contact name (usually in the form joe.blogs), then they will be using video relay.

  • Ring the NRS on 1300 149 715 and request the person's contact name.
  • The relay officer will relay your speech to the other person as Auslan and relay their Auslan to you as speech.

Calling a TTY user

  • If the person you want to call uses a TTY then you can contact them by ringing the NRS on 133 677. You will be asked to dial the number you want to call and then transferred to the relay officer.
  • The relay officer will tell you when your call is connected. You just begin your conversation and the relay officer will relay your words to the other person.
  • Depending on the call type and the hearing/speech needs of the NRS user, the relay officer will relay their text into speech, your speech into text, or both. The relay officer will stay on the line to relay all or part of your call as needed and generally help the call to go smoothly.
  • You can also contact someone who uses a TTY through internet relay using your computer, tablet or smartphone. All you need is an internet connection. You can also make the call through AOL Instant Messenger (AIM).

Calling a Speak and Listen user

Some people with speech impairments or difficulties rely on the NRS for their calls because their voice is sometimes difficult to understand on the phone. They make their calls with an ordinary handset and a relay officer stays on the line to re-speak all or part of what they say to the other person. This is known as a Speak and Listen call.

If someone has asked you to ring them through the NRS on 1300 555 727 then they will be using captioned relay.

  • Dial 1300 555 727.
  • You will be connected to a relay officer.
  • Start talking to the other person as in any ordinary call.

Equipment

pic of girl calling an NRS user

You don't need any special phone or equipment. You just make an NRS call using the same phone or mobile that you do for ordinary calls.

If your hearing and speech are fine but you would like to call someone who is deaf, hearing-impaired or speech-impaired, you can make a call to them through the NRS. You might have a friend or family member who uses the NRS, or someone might have left you a message and asked you to ring them back through the NRS.

In a typical relay call the relay officer will relay your words where required, and relay the other person's words to you. There are variations depending the hearing or speech needs of the NRS user.

Call costs  Standard calls to an NRS user through the NRS cost about the same as a local call. See more on call costs.

Some tips to help your calls go smoothly

See our short video on Tips for talking to an NRS user.

Make an internet relay call Make a captioned relay call

24-hour relay call numbers

  • TTY/voice calls

    133 677

  • Speak & Listen

    1300 555 727

  • SMS relay

    0423 677 767

Make other relay calls
– all the numbers you need
I have a friend who is deaf. Until we discovered the NRS last year, it was almost impossible to converse or keep in touch with her. We now have lengthy conversations about friends, the weather, grandkids etc. The NRS makes a huge difference to her life and to those of us who cannot jump into a car to visit her."

Anne

Armidale, NSW