[Athen] TTY numbers -- still a thing?

Madeleine Rothberg madeleine_rothberg at wgbh.org
Mon May 2 06:38:01 PDT 2016

More information on the transition from TTY, from the FCC.

On April 28, 2016, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Notice) to seek comment on proposals to replace FCC rules requiring support for TTY technology with rules requiring support for real-time text (RTT) technology. The Notice is designed to ensure that millions of Americans who are deaf, hard of hearing, speech disabled, and deaf-blind who rely on text-based communications are able to access communication over Internet Protocol (IP) networks and services. RTT allows individuals with and without disabilities to communicate directly with one another, using text on a voice line without the need to buy a stand-alone device like a TTY.

Some of the issues in the Notice include:

* Proposed requirements for interoperability (so that any RTT user can connect to any other user, over any covered provider or device used by either party to the call);
* A proposed requirement for RTT communications to be backward compatible with TTYs for a period of time, so consumers who still use TTYs can communicate with RTT users;
* Whether to require specific features (e.g., conference calling, access to 911, the ability to call and be called using 10 digit numbers) so people with disabilities have accessible and effective text-based communications service, and
* A proposed deadline of December 31, 2017 for larger wireless service providers (and a request for comment about an appropriate timeline for smaller providers).

We will announce the public comment due dates for the NPRM when these become available.

Links to the Press Release:
Weblink: https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-adopts-real-time-text-proposed-rulemaking
Word: https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-339100A1.doc
PDF: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2016/db0428/DOC-339100A1.pdf
Text: https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-339100A1.txt

Links to the Notice:
Weblink: https://www.fcc.gov/document/real-time-text-nprm
Word: https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-16-53A1.docx
PDF: https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-16-53A1.pdf
Text: https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-16-53A1.txt

For more information about RTT, please contact Suzy Rosen Singleton at Suzanne.Singleton at fcc.gov<mailto:Suzanne.Singleton at fcc.gov>.

From: Kathy Cahill <kcahill at mit.edu<mailto:kcahill at mit.edu>>
Reply-To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at u.washington.edu>>
Date: Thursday, April 28, 2016 10:17 AM
To: Access Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at u.washington.edu>>
Subject: [Athen] TTY numbers -- still a thing?

Hi Colleagues,

We recently had a discussion with our Telecommunications staff who were trying to track down the former sites of all TTY devices that were on campus. A lot of them have been disconnected and or gotten rid of since they are an older technology. However, I would like to ask how your university is handling this issue. Do you have any TTYs on campus? Are they advertised on the university contact page? I know that Video Relay is much more in use as well as email by deaf/HOH users but I would like to know if there are any good reasons to retain TTYs, perhaps for consumers who have older technologies they still use for communication.


Kathleen Cahill
MIT Assistive Technology Information Center (ATIC)
77 Mass. Ave. 7-143
Cambridge MA 02139
(617) 253-5111
kcahill at mit.edu<mailto:kcahill at mit.edu>

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