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Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc. Facts about Florida Residents. State population : 18 – 19 million Florida follows national average 16% of population has hearing loss (approximately 3 million are Deaf and/or Hard of Hearing).

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Facts about Florida Residents

  • State population : 18 – 19 million
  • Florida follows national average 16% of population has hearing loss (approximately 3 million are Deaf and/or Hard of Hearing).
  • Estimated that another 2-5 % of the population is Speech disabled.
federal legislation americans with disabilities act ada
Federal LegislationAmericans with Disabilities ActADA
  • 1990
  • Title 4 (Telecommunications) Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf/Blind, Speech Disabled
  • Relay Service
relay service
Relay Service

TTY User

Voice User

Relay Operator

1. TTY user dials 711 to connect to the Relay service and then types his/her message

3. Voice user listens and then speaks back for his/her reply

2. Operator reads and voices the typed message and then listens and types the spoken message

florida legislation telecommunications access system act tasa
Florida LegislationTelecommunications Access System Act (TASA)
  • 1991
  • Chapter 427 Florida Statute….“All persons have the right to basictelecommunication services at reasonable affordable costs”
  • Administrator
  • Funding
tasa funding
TASA Funding
  • Monthly surcharge
      • All telephone landlines in Florida
      • Businesses pay on the first 25 lines
  • Surcharge collected by local telephone companies.
  • Money sent to Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc. (FTRI) to pay for
    • Florida Relay Service … 46%
    • FTRI … 54%
      • Equipment ... 29%
      • Distribution/Training ... 11%
      • Administration ... 8%
      • Outreach ... 6%
example of telephone bill
Example of Telephone Bill



July 1, 2009


SERVICE – July 1 - Aug 1










* Surcharge is set by FPSC annually.

** Description on phone bill will vary depending on local telephone company.

who is ftri florida telecommunications relay inc
Administrator of TASA Law (F.S. 427)

A private not-for-profit organization

NOT a state agency

Governed by Board of Directors.

Located in Tallahassee.

Create awareness, educate public and promote the Florida Relay Service.

Distribute specialized telephones to Florida residents.

Who Is FTRI?Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc.

Florida RelayWhat is it?

  • Communication Link
    • Connects people who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf/Blind, or Speech Disabled to standard telephone users and vice versa.
  • Calls are processed by a Relay OPR
    • Operator interfaces between caller and receiver to relay the message.
  • All calls (conversations) are strictly
  • confidential
    • No phone records are kept.
  • Available 24 hours, 365 days a year.

Florida RelayHow is it used?

  • Personal and business calls
  • Made every day by thousands of people throughout
  • Florida.
  • Local calls
  • At no charge.
  • Long-distance calls
  • Billed by the individuals long-distance carrier
  • (provider).
  • No limits and restrictions
  • On the number or length of calls.

Florida RelayHow to Access?

Dial …711 to use the relay anywhere.

(711 is the national number for Relay)

Or, dial the appropriate direct access number.

1-800-955-8770 (Voice) 1-800-955-8771 (TTY)

1-877-955-8260 (VCO)* 1-877-955-5334 (STS)*

1-800-955-1339 (ASCII) 1-877-955-8773 (Spanish)

1-877-955-8707 (French Creole) … 8 a.m. - 2 a.m. daily

* Recommend direct-dial


Florida RelayAccess Numbers to Remember

711… Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS).

411... directory assistance for both local and long distance numbers. Charges may apply when using directory assistance.

911… emergency assistancein case of an emergency, Relay users should call 911 directly, not the Relay Service for emergencies. This will save valuable time in urgent emergencies


Florida RelayTypes of Customers

    • Is for individuals who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf/Blind, or Speech Disabled.
    • Allows a person to type his or her own conversation through the relay OPR who then voices aloud the typed conversation to a hearing person.

Florida RelayTypes of Customers

  • Voice Carry-Over (VCO)
  • VCO allows deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals who prefer to use their own voice to speak directly to the party they are calling.
  • The operator will type the voice responses back to the VCO user who reads the typed message across the text screen

Florida RelayTypes of Customers


(enhanced VCO)


Florida RelayTypes of Customers

  • Hearing Carry-Over (HCO)
  • HCO allows people who are speech disabled to use their hearing abilities to listen directly to the other party
  • The operator then voices the typed responses from the HCO user to the hearing person, who then speaks directly to the HCO user

Florida RelayTypes of Customers

  • Speech-to-Speech (STS)
  • Speech to Speech allows individuals with speech disabilities to use their own voice, while utilizing the assistance of specially trained operators to make their calls.
  • When spoken words become difficult to understand, the operator assists verbally, making communication between both parties as clear and personal as possible

Florida RelayProducts and Features

  • Translation Service available
    • English … from ASL-based text
    • Spanish … bilingual service to support Spanish to Spanish and/or Spanish to English translation
    • French Creole … bilingual service to support French Creole to French Creole and/or French Creole to English translation

Florida RelayConfidentiality

  • Privacy Concerns
    • Relay OPRs cannot, by law, disclose content
    • of any conversation
    • Relay OPRs may not intentionally alter a conversation
    • Relay OPRs must relay calls word for word
  • All conversations are confidential
    • No records are kept

Florida RelayBusiness Partnership Program

  • Educational program for businesses to use the Florida Relay Service
  • Provides telecommunication access for all people
  • Supports consumer interaction
florida relay keeping kids in touch
Florida RelayKeeping Kids in Touch
  • Educational program for kids grades 3-5 to use the Florida Relay service
  • Brings about diversity awareness to range of students that are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf/blind or speech disabled
  • Free teacher’s kit that correlates with the Sunshine State Standards, FCAT, and ESOL

The Communication Challenge

Equipment Distribution Program

ftri equipment distribution program edp
FTRIEquipment Distribution Program (EDP)
  • Who is eligible?
      • Deaf
      • Hard of Hearing
      • Deaf/Blind
      • Speech Disabled
ftri edp eligibility requirements
FTRI EDPEligibility Requirements
  • Be a Florida resident.
  • 3 Yrs of age or older
  • Be certified with a hearing loss or speech disability.
ftri edp who can certify
FTRI EDPWho Can Certify?
  • Deaf Service Center Director
  • Hearing Aid Specialist
  • Audiologist
  • Licensed Physician
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Appropriate State/Federal Agency Representative
  • State Certified Teacher for the Hearing Impaired

or Visually Impaired


FTRI –Tallahassee/

RDC #23

RDC #24

RDC #5

RDC #25

RDC #14

RDC #4/ #15

RDC #9

RDC #22

RDC #18

RDC #10

RDC #20

RDC #12

RDC #19

RDC #13

RDC #16

RDC #21

RDC #3

RDC #17

RDC #2

RDC #7

RDC #8/ #26

FTRI Regional Distribution Centers

RDC # 2 – League for the Hard of Hearing (Ft. Lauderdale)

RDC # 3 – Deaf Service Center of Palm Beach County (West Palm Beach)

RDC # 4 – Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services (Daytona Beach)

RDC # 5 – Independent Living Resource Center (Jacksonville)

RDC # 7 – Center for Independent Living in Broward County (Ft. Lauderdale)

RDC # 8 – Center for Independent Living of South Florida (Miami)

RDC # 9 – Citrus Hearing Impaired Program Services (Crystal River)

RDC # 10 – Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services of Pasco/Hernando (Port Richey)

RDC # 12 – Deaf & Hearing Connection for Tampa Bay (Seminole)

RDC # 13 – Community Center for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Manatee/Sarasota Co (Sarasota)

RDC # 14 –Center for Independent Living of North Central Florida (Gainesville)

RDC # 15 – disAbility Solutions (Daytona Beach)

RDC # 16 – Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services of the Treasure Coast, Inc. (Jensen Beach)

RDC # 17 – Deaf Service Center of SW Florida (Fort Myers)

RDC # 18 – Center for Independent Living of Central Florida (Winter Park)

RDC # 19 – Central Florida Speech & Hearing Center (Lakeland)

RDC # 20 – Space Coast Center for Independent Living (Rockledge)

RDC # 21 – Hearing Impaired Persons in Charlotte County (Punta Gorda)

RDC # 22 – Deaf Service Center of Lake & Sumter Counties (Leesburg)

RDC # 23 – Area Agency on Aging (Tallahassee)

RDC # 24 – Center for Independent Living Disability Resource Center (Pensacola)

RDC # 25 – Disability Resource Center, Inc. (Panama City)

RDC # 26 – Hearing and Speech Center of Florida (Miami)

*Hours of operation may vary from RDC to RDC.


ftri edp amplified telephones

Clarity XL-40 (40 dB)

ClearSounds CSC-40 (40 B)

Clarity W425-Pro (38 dB)

Clarity XLC2

(48 dB)

Clarity XL-50 (up to 60 dB)

FTRI EDPAmplified Telephones
  • VCPH… Volume Control Phone for the Hard of Hearing
      • Makes incoming speech clearer.
      • Includes a volume control adjustment.
ftri edp specialized equipment
FTRI EDPSpecialized Equipment
  • ILA … In-Line Amplifier (40 dB)
      • Connects to a standard telephone.
      • Increases the volume and makes incoming speech clearer.
      • Provides more amplification.

ClearSounds’ CS-IL40

Clarity’s HA-40

ftri edp specialized equipment1
FTRI EDPSpecialized Equipment
  • VCO … Voice Carry-Over Telephone
      • Allows a person to receive a text message through a relay service and verbally reply to the caller with his or her own voice.

“read and talk phone”


CapTel User

Other Party

1. You talk to the other party…

2. …who talks back to you to hear.

5. …for you to read on the CapTel display.

Captioning Service

3. Everything they say also goes through a Captioning Service…

4. …who re-voices what is said to a powerful voice recognition system which transcribes the words into captions…

ftri edp specialized equipment2
FTRI EDPSpecialized Equipment
  • HCO … Hearing Carry- Over Telephone
      • Allows you to listen to the caller and type a reply on the telephone keypad.
      • Used as a standard telephone, VCO, HCO, or TTY
ftri edp specialized equipment3
FTRI EDPSpecialized Equipment
  • TTY… Text Telephone
      • Used to type a message to another TTY user or a person using a standard telephone through the Relay service.
      • Built-in flasher that lights up when the phone rings.

Ultratec’s 4400

Ultratec’s 425

ftri edp specialized equipment4
FTRI EDPSpecialized Equipment
  • VCPS … Volume Control Phone for the Speech Impaired (26 dB)
      • Provides more volume when speaking.
      • Also provides 40 dB incoming volume adjustment
      • Ring volume up to 95 dB.
ftri edp specialized equipment5
FTRI EDPSpecialized Equipment
  • ARS… Audible Ring Signaler (95 dB)
      • Plugs into a jack away from the telephone.
      • Or connects directly to the telephone.
      • Rings when the telephone rings and allows you to adjust tone and volume.

Clarity SR-200

ftri edp specialized equipment6


Sonic Alert TR75

FTRI EDPSpecialized Equipment
  • VRS…Visual Ring Signaler
      • Connects to a lamp.
      • Makes lamp flash on and off when the telephone rings.
      • Has a remote receiver that allows a lamp to flash in other rooms.
ftri edp specialized equipment7
FTRI EDPSpecialized Equipment
  • TeliTalk… Speech Aid Telephone for individuals who have had laryngectomy surgery
      • Provides phone-powered speech aid
      • Speaker phone
      • Head set
      • Memory dialing
ftri edp specialized equipment8
FTRI EDPSpecialized Equipment
  • RC 200… For individuals who are hearing or speech-impaired and mobility impaired.
      • Voice activated answering
      • Speaker phone
      • Remote control
      • Head set
      • Air switch
ftri edp specialized equipment9
FTRI EDPSpecialized Equipment

Deaf/Blind Communicator

  • 32 cell refreshable Braille display
  • Available in either Nine-key Braille keyboard or Qwerty keyboard
  • Speech output
  • Effortless thumb navigation by line, sentence, or paragraph
  • One-handed mode for people with limited mobility
  • Context sensitive help and indexed user guide
  • Serves as a Braille display for PC's screen reader
  • Weight: 1.3kg / 2.9lb
  • Dimensions: 25cm x 15.5cm x 5cm / 9.9” x 6.1” x 2”

Tactile Ring Signaler

  • Vibrates when the phone rings


FTRI Office

1-800-222-3448 (Voice)

1-888-447-5620 (TTY)

FTRI Outreach Department

1-888-292-1950 ext. 232

1820 E. Park Avenue, Suite 101

Tallahassee, FL 32301

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