Star2Star has evaluated the options for communications with deaf users and outside contacts while using the Star2Star systems. The following recommendations are presented to help users with hearing disabilities get the best productivity from their Star2Star service.
The recommendations are divided into methods for communicating with an external deaf contact and methods for an internal deaf user.
Communications with external deaf contacts
Outgoing calls to a deaf contact
Calls to a deaf contact are typically performed through the use of a TTY Relay service. The Star2Star user calls the TTY relay number for your state. This number can be looked up in the following list: https://www.fcc.gov/general/telecommunications-relay-services-directory
This number may be programmed to allow you to dial the national “711” code to dial the TTY Relay service as an external number in your system. Ask your reseller or call Star2Star Support for assistance.
The TTY Relay operator will answer. They will ask you if you need instructions for TTY Relay calls, and guide you on the operation if needed. The relay operator will place a TTY call to the deaf person and translate between you and the other party. Follow the operator’s instructions and ask for assistance as needed.
Incoming calls from a deaf contact will functions similar to any other call. The TTY Relay operator will assist the external deaf caller with menu navigation and other functions. When you answer the call, the operator will explain that the call is from a deaf caller and will instruct you on how to use the relay.
Communications with internal deaf users
Star2Star has recommendations for deaf users of Star2Star systems. The Star2Star system uses technology that is not compatible with traditional TDD devices. However, there are alternate options available to deaf users. Deaf users will have a good understanding of the general options available to them. For deaf users, Star2Star recommends using an IP relay service. If a TDD device must be used then an analog line can be installed from the local phone company that is compatible.
IP Relay for Deaf users
SprintIP operates a federally funded IP Relay for the deaf. The service provides a web interface for incoming and outgoing calls. SprintIP also provides free phone numbers for incoming calls. See more information at http://www.sprintrelay.com.
To place an outgoing call as a deaf user, use your computer or smartphone to access the Sprint IP Relay at https://www.sprintip.com and follow the instructions to place the call.
The Sprint IP Relay service will assign a free 10-digit phone number for people to reach you through the IP relay. Register for this number on the sprint web page https://www.mysprintrelay.com/. The SprintIP site will provide current information for registering and setting up your service. Once registered, login to the web service in order to receive calls.
Once you have your 10-digit phone number, you can integrate the service with your Star2Star system, by creating an external destination that calls your IP Relay number. You can place this external number in your Find-me-Follow-me rules.
Analog POTS line for TDD users
If IP Relay is not acceptable, an analog phone line from the local phone company may be installed to use your TDD. This line will connect directly to your TDD or use an acoustic coupler via an analog phone. This line will have its own 10-digit phone number and can be integrated as with the IP relay number, above.
Analog Captioning phone for Hearing Impaired users
2-Line Caption Phone
Some 2-line caption phones use one line for the conversation and the other to connect to the captioning service. For this type of device, an ATA on the StarBox could provide the phone calls to the phone. A phone company analog line would connect on the other line and be used to connect to the captioning service on each call. See http://www.harriscomm.com/captel-840-analog-captioned-phone.html and http://www.captel.com/phones.php for examples.
1-Line Internet captioning phone
As above, the StarBox is connected via an ATA. In this case, the Phone connects to the captioning service through an Internet connection. See http://www.captel.com/phones.php for examples.
Web searches can identify other options.
NOTE: This has not been tested with a Star2Star system and should get SE assistance to determine compatibility and configuration. Web searches can identify other phone options.