TELUS Relay Service
Learn more about our Relay Service for persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or with speech disabilities
In this article
TELUS Relay Service (TRS) enables clients who are deaf, hard of hearing or experience difficulty with speech – and who use a Teletypewriter (TTY) – to communicate with standard telephone users. TRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
There is no charge for using the TRS to place local calls.
Calls placed through the TRS are also entirely confidential. TELUS Relay agents are professionally trained and follow a strict code of ethics. No record of conversation content is retained.
TRS access numbers
There are 3 different access numbers, depending on the type of call you’d like to make.
- 711 (TTY to Voice)
- 1 800-855-0511 (Voice to TTY)
- 1 800-855-1155 (TTY to TTY) for Operator Assistance and to bill your long distance call to another number
How TRS works for TTY users
A person who is deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired uses a TTY to type his or her conversation to a TELUS Relay agent, who then reads the typed conversation to the other party. The TELUS Relay agent then types the other party’s spoken words back to the TTY user.
Make a TRS call (TTY user)
- Dial 711 from your TTY device (either standard or plugged into your mobile phone)
- The TELUS Relay agent will answer by typing "TELUS RELAY SERVICE, THIS IS (agent's name & number)", followed by GA (for "go ahead")
- Type in the area code and number you would like to call, then type GA
- The TELUS Relay agent will dial the number and will let you know how the connection is progressing e.g. (ringing 1...2...3...), inform you when someone answers, and then give the person’s name (if provided) or gender in brackets (e.g. (f) female, (m) male)
Tips for TTY users
- Giving the agent your name or the name of the person you are trying to reach helps the agent connect to the person you are calling. Also, let the agent know if you would only like to communicate with a specific person at the called number. Operator handled rates apply
- Give TRS the call recipient’s area code, even when it’s a local call
- When calling a business with multiple departments, advise the TELUS Relay agent which department you wish to reach when possible
- You may leave messages on answering machines or voicemail systems through TRS. When you leave a message, provide your area code and phone number. The agent will provide the TRS voice to TTY number (1-800-855-0511)
- If you wish to retrieve messages from voicemail or an answering machine that requires an access PIN code, please provide the code to the TELUS Relay agent
How TRS works for voice users
Standard telephone users and TELUS Mobility users can easily initiate calls to TTY users using the TELUS Relay Service. A TELUS Relay agent will type your spoken words to the TTY user and read back their replies.
Make a TRS call (voice user)
- Dial 1 800-855-0511. The TELUS Relay agent will answer saying, "Hi, this is the TELUS Relay Service for the deaf and hard of hearing. How may I help you?"
- Provide the TELUS Relay agent the area code and number you would like to call
- The TELUS Relay agent will dial the number and keep you informed, as you will not be able to hear the line ring
- The TELUS Relay agent will tell you when the TTY has answered and read what is typed, followed by GO AHEAD, which is your cue to begin speaking
- Always finish by saying GO AHEAD so the TTY user will know it's their turn to respond
Tips for voice users
- Remember to speak directly to the TTY user, not to the TELUS Relay agent
- Speak a bit more slowly than usual as the TELUS Relay agent is typing word for word what you’re saying
- Spell names
- Always say GO AHEAD when you are finished speaking
- Always wait for the TELUS Relay agent to say GO AHEAD before speaking.
- Let the TELUS Relay agent know at the beginning of the call if you are familiar with the service
- Giving the agent your name or the name of the person you are trying to reach helps the agent connect to the person you are calling.
Rates & billing
Applicable long distance and/or directory assistance charges apply for incoming and outgoing calls. If using a mobile phone to access TRS, airtime rates apply.
Voice Carry Over (VCO) Calls
If you can speak clearly but must use a TTY to see what the other person is saying, you may request Voice Carry Over (VCO). VCO allows you to speak for yourself, while the TELUS Relay agent will type what the person says to you.
Placing a VCO call
- Dial 711 and watch the ringing indicator light
- When the Relay Service answers, you will see "TELUS RELAY SERVICE, THIS IS (agent's name & number)” followed by GA (for 'Go Ahead')
- Press your phrase key for "VCO ON PLEASE GA"
- The Relay agent will type back to you "VCO IS ON GA." Now they are ready to hear you speak
- Tell the Relay agent the name and number of the person you are calling and then say GO AHEAD
- After the Relay agent hears your "GO AHEAD," he or she will type back to you "THANK YOU, PLEASE HOLD"
- The VCO remains off until the Relay agent connects you to the person you are calling
- The Relay agent will update you on the status of the call (e.g. ringing, busy, and who has answered) by typing to you
- When the Relay agent has the person you have called on the line, he or she will type "(name) IS ON THE LINE, VCO ON GA"
- When you see the GA, it is your turn to speak. Remember to say GO AHEAD when you are done speaking
Receiving a VCO call
- The Relay Service will be identified as "TELUS RELAY SERVICE" on your call display
- Answer the call and immediately send out your phrase "VCO ON PLEASE GA"
- This will alert the Relay agent that you are ready to speak. The agent will type "THIS IS THE TELUS RELAY SERVICE. I HAVE A CALL FOR (name, if provided). VCO IS ON GA"
- Respond to the Relay agent by speaking and say "GO AHEAD" when you are done
- The Relay agent will type what the caller is saying and you will see "GA" when it is your turn to speak
Hearing Carry Over (HCO) Calls
If you can hear, but must use a Teletypewriter (TTY) to type what you need to say, you may request Hearing Carry Over (HCO). HCO allows you to hear what the other party is saying while the TELUS Relay agent speaks for you by reading what you type to the other person.
Placing an HCO call
Please note that you will be communicating via only text until the agent gets the person you are calling on the line.
- Dial 711 and ensure that the handset of the telephone is inserted into the TTY handset receptacle
- When the Relay Service agent answers, you will see "TELUS RELAY SERVICE, THIS
- IS (agent's name & number)” followed by GA (for 'Go Ahead')
- Type HCO ON PLEASE followed by GA. The TELUS Relay agent will request the number you wish to dial and will update you on the status of the call (e.g. ringing, busy, and who has answered) by typing to you
- When the agent has the person you have called on the line, the agent will type (name) IS ON THE LINE, HCO IS ON GA
- When you see the GA you can begin typing. The agent will read your text to the person you have called. Remember to type GA (for Go Ahead) when you are done
- Lift the telephone handset off the TTY (if applicable) and listen to the other person's spoken response. When they say GO AHEAD, place the handset back down on the TTY and type your response
- Type GA to SK (stop keying) when you are ready to end the call
Receiving an HCO call
- Answer the call (identified as TELUS RELAY SERVICE on your call display)
- Immediately place the handset on your TTY (if applicable), type your greeting and HCO ON PLEASE, followed by GA
- The TELUS Relay agent will type who they have on the line to speak with you and also type HCO ON GA
Note: You will be communicating only via text until the TELUS Relay agent initiates HCO.
4. Type your response, followed by GA. Lift the handset off the TTY (if applicable) and listen to what is said. When you hear the caller say "Go Ahead", place the handset back on the TTY and type your response
5. Type GA to SK (stop keying) when you are ready to end the call