First you need to work out which relay call option is most appropriate for your circumstances.
If you cannot hear or cannot speak clearly over the phone, then you will need to have:
- a TTY (also known as a teletypewriter or a textphone) to make a TTY call, or
- internet access through a computer or mobile phone to make an internet relay call or
- an ordinary phone if you can speak but may be difficult to understand.
A TTY is the most common piece of equipment used by NRS users.
It is a type of phone with a keyboard where you can type your side of the message, and a small display screen where you can read what the other person has said to you.
There are two main models of TTYs:
- Superprint (above) which provides a printout of the conversation and which is usually the preferred TTY for Type and Read users, or
- Uniphone (right) a combined TTY and phone which is usually better for Type and Listen and Speak and Read users since it includes a handpiece or receiver to either talk into or listen to..
In most cases NRS users can rent a TTY for about the same cost as an ordinary phone through the disability equipment programs offered by phone companies.
Internet relay calls are an alternative to TTY relay calls.
All you need is a computer with an internet connection. You can even use some models of mobile phone. You can even make a call now. Internet relay is a form of Type and Read call where you use text to converse, via a relay officer, with any voice or TTY user.
As well as this website, you can also make internet relay calls through MSN and AOL messaging. With internet relay you have more mobility and are not restricted to using a TTY
See more on internet relay.
See the pros and cons of the different equipment options - TTY or internet relay - which is best for me?
If your speech is difficult to understand on the phone but your hearing is fine you can make a Speak and Listen relay call using an ordinary phone.
Calling an NRS user
If you want to make a call to an NRS user through the NRS, you do not need any special equipment. You just need an ordinary phone or mobile. See more on calling an NRS user.
If you have difficulty dialling or using a standard phone or TTY you might consider:
- a big button phone (see right) - for easy dialling
- a speaker phone - so you don't have to hold the receiver while you talk and listen
- visual alert that flashes when the phone rings
- a phone with a single large button (switch) attached. Press the button to dial the NRS number using Telstra's Delayed Hotline service
- memory buttons - if your phone has a memory button you can store the NRS number for easy dialling
- a phone which can be controlled by an infrared remote control
- a keyguard which can assist by helping you hit only one key at a time – if you have difficulty typing.
Please talk to your specialised technology expert for more information. Alternatively, check the details of specialised technology people or organisations in your area. You can also talk to these services to find out if there is funding assistance available for this equipment.
Please note that some but not all of this additional equipment is available through the subsidised disability equipment programs run by phone companies.