Typetalk was introduced in 1991 and is the national telephone relay service for people with communication difficulties. The service is managed by RNID and funded by BT.
It is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are charged at standard telephone rates (depending on the service provider)
A textphone is the equipment that a deaf or speech-impaired customer would use to type and read conversations with family, friends or an organisation, like the HA, to communicate via a phone line.
A Textphone user simply dials 18001 followed by the full telephone number of the person they wish to call. The call will be diverted directly to another Textphone or if the call is answered by a hearing person a Typetalk Relay Assistant will join the line to relay the call. The text user can type or speak their conversation to the hearing person, the hearing person will speak their part of the conversation and the Typetalk Relay Assistant will type exactly what is being said.
The same happens in reverse. It is either textphone to textphone or if a hearing person wishes to call a textphone user they would dial 18002 followed by the full telephone number and a Typetalk Relay Assistant will join the line to help with the call. This would allow HAIL advisors to call a customer back, if required.
If another hearing person answers the call, an Operator will not be involved and the call will continue as normal.
For further information or instructions about this service please visit the RNID Typetalk website.