Appendix B

How to Use a TTY

  1. Check the power source.
    • Battery/Electric power

  2. Turn on the TTY.
    • The red on/off indicator light should be on.

  3. Place the telephone handset on the cradle of the TTY.
    • For most TTY's, the correct placement is with the phone cord on the left.

  4. Dial the number you wish to call on your telephone.
    • You will notice that the red light beneath the on/off light will begin to flash. This light is sound sensitive. Each sound that the TTY picks up is translated into this flashing light. 
    • A, long consistent flash sequence means the phone on the other end is ringing.
    • Short, consistent flashes mean the line is busy.
    • If the light is flashing in a strange, inconsistent manner, this may mean that either a hearing person has picked it up and is talking, or you have reached a voice answering machine.

  5. Communication and TTY etiquette:
    • Talking with someone on a TTY can sometimes be compared to using a walkie-talkie. The person on the other end doesn't know if you have completed your thought or are just pausing unless you cue them. In using a walkie-talkie you would say, "Over" to let the other person know you are finished and it's their turn to talk. With a TTY, you should say "GA", which means "Go Ahead".
    • So, the first thing you might see on the screen when a connection is made is: "HELLO GA". It is proper to identify yourself as soon as possible. For instance: "HELLO THIS IS JOHN DOE FROM THE DOWNTOWN LIBRARY   IS SUE SMITH THERE   GA". 
    • Notice the lack of punctuation in this example. In using a TTY, the emphasis isn't on perfect punctuation, spelling, or grammar; it is on communication. If you make a spelling or grammar error, don't worry about it. In context, most things can be easily understood. If not, the person will ask you to repeat the part they missed, and you should do the same. Sentences should have a few spaces in between them to show a break in a thought. 
    • Abbreviation is used often in a TTY conversation. Some common abbreviations are:
    Go Ahead
    Hold on
    Stop Keying
    GA OR SK
    Go Ahead Or Stop Keying
    • "SK" should be used as a closing only. This lets the person know that the call is complete from your side. When both parties have typed "SK", then the call is finished and you can hang up.

    • "GA OR SK" means that you are done on your end, but the other person may wish to say something else.

  6. Hang up by turning the power switch to "off" and replacing the telephone on its cradle.