Alabama Relay
Why Relay Services?
7-1-1 Dialing
Relay Numbers
Outreach Program
Advisory Council














At a Quick Glance

Don't Hang Up

Alabama Relay
Customer Profile


















Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you are Hearing, click here

If you are Hard-of-Hearing, click here

If you are Deaf, click here


If you want information on CapTel, please click here.

Who can use Alabama Relay?
Alabama Relay is a free public service that provides a communication link between standard telephone (voice) users and persons who are deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing and speech-disabled using text telephones (TTYs), captioned telephone (CapTel) or personal computers via the Internet.

How do I call Alabama Relay?
It's simple. Just dial 7-1-1 to reach a Relay Operator. The free 7-1-1 access number is available anywhere, anytime.
CapTel users dial the 10-digit number directly.

Can I still use the old relay toll-free numbers,
1-800, 877, 888?

Yes. If you are unable to place a relay call when dialing 7-1-1, you can use one of the 10-digit toll-free numbers.
The old relay toll-free numbers do not gain access to CapTel.

When dialing 7-1-1, I am unable to make a relay call. Why?If you have problems with 7-1-1 when calling through your switchboard (usually a PBX telephone system), you will need to contact your PBX administrator to have the system reconfigured to allow you to reach 7-1-1. PBX telephone systems are usually at hotels, businesses, agencies, and offices that have extension numbers. A way around this issue would be to dial the 10-digit toll-free number.
If you are not on a PBX telephone system and cannot access Alabama Relay when dialing 7-1-1, call a customer service representative at your local telephone company. It is possible that your local telephone company many not have set up 7-1-1 outdial.

How much does it cost to use Alabama Relay?
You will never be charged extra when using Alabama Relay. Long distance relay calls are billed at the regular rate that is charged between the point of call made to the point where the call terminated. Long distance calls can be billed to your preferred long distance provider. Give the Relay Operator your long distance information when placing the call. If you do not provide such information, the long distance call will be billed with Sprint, the provider of Alabama Relay.

Is there a time limit on how long a call can last?
No time limit for relay calls. The Relay Operator will relay the conversation until the users end the conversation.

How do I call a hearing person through Alabama Relay?
Call Alabama Relay by dialing 7-1-1 and give the Relay Operator the phone number with the area code and/or extension of the person you are calling. The Relay Operator will place your call to that person and will speak your typed words to the hearing person you have called; then, the Relay Operator will type the voiced words from the other person to you until the conversation ends.

Remember to type “GA” (go ahead) when you have finished your part of the conversation. When you see “GA” please remember it is your turn to continue the conversation. The Relay Operator is not a part of the conversation. They must read everything typed to the hearing person, including what is typed in parentheses. The Relay Operator is not permitted to make judgmental comments on how the hearing person feels during the relay call. However, you may ask how loud the voice sounds.

What is a Relay Operator?
A Relay Operator is the confidential, transparent link between hearing and deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind and/or speech impaired callers. The Relay Operator voices conversation to voice users and types the conversation to TTY users.

The Relay Operator is not a part of the conversation. They must voice everything typed to the hearing person, including what is typed in parentheses. Also, they must type everything they hear including background noises. Remember to talk/type directly to the hearing person instead of using third party terms, such as "Tell him... Ask her..."

Are relay conversations confidential?
Yes. Federal law requires all relay calls to be made confidential. No records are kept. All conversations are automatically erased from the computers after the end of each call. Relay Operators working with Alabama Relay adhere to the confidentiality requirements by signing the code of ethics agreement.

How do I connect to Alabama Relay when the line keeps ringing?
Alabama Relay has a delay call announcer that will be played in either TTY or voice when the relay center is busy and unable to take your call right away. After 30 seconds of ringing, you will see an automated message: "Welcome to the relay center. Please wait for the next available Relay Operator." It will then keep ringing until your call is answered. When you hear this message, please stay on the line and wait. Your call will be answered in turn. If you hang up and call again, you will be placed behind the people waiting.

If I have Caller ID on my telephone and call a person through Alabama Relay, which number will show up?
If the person you are calling through Alabama Relay has Caller ID, your own telephone number will appear on their Caller ID, not any of Alabama Relay's toll-free numbers.

Why is my number showing up on Caller ID when I have already placed a block?
When a call is placed through Alabama Relay, the call comes through an 800 number, therefore, Alabama Relay is unable to detect if your number is blocked. If you would like your number to be blocked when placing a relay call, inform the Relay Operator to enter the information into your Customer Profile.

How do I access relay service in another state when I am traveling?
As of October 1, 2001, all 50 states are required to have 7-1-1 relay access. You can dial 7-1-1 anywhere in the United States.

How do I use a calling card to place a relay call?
When using a calling card to place a call through Alabama Relay, please give the Relay Operator the following information: the 800 (or 866, 877, 888, etc) toll-free number (usually on the back of the card), the calling card number (sometimes requiring a PIN), and the telephone number you wish to call.

Are languages other than English and Spanish offered by Alabama Relay?
No, but Alabama Relay offers Spanish-to-Spanish translation services as part of its Spanish Relay service.

When I attempt to make a relay call, the person hung up on me. Why?
There are times when voice users who do hang up because they are not familiar with Alabama Relay. Sometimes, they may think that it is a telemarketing call. The Relay Operator makes this announcement when they are connected with voice users: "Hello! A person is calling you through Alabama Relay. This is Relay Operator (number). Have you received a relay call before?"

If the voice person says no, then the Relay Operator will explain the service by saying: "The person on the line is using the relay service to communicate with you. The caller is typing their conversation that will be read to you. When you hear the words “go ahead” it will be your turn to speak. Please speak directly to the caller. One moment before your call begins."

Alabama Relay users can request that the Relay Operator does not announce and/or explain the relay service. When electing not to announce and/or explain the relay service, it is your responsibility to inform the voice user that you're calling through Alabama Relay. Below is an example.


If you have experienced repeated hang ups, please fill out a "Don't Hang Up" complaint form by clicking on the link here: Report.

Alabama Relay will attempt to educate the person or place of business regarding the relay service.

When using the relay, I have trouble with interactive service recordings. The Relay Operator hangs up and redials. Why?
Because of the way the relay center computers are set up, when a Relay Operator reaches a service recording and needs to enter a number, they have to hang up and redial to enter the number. You can avoid the delay if you know ahead of time where/what/who you are trying to reach. Before the Relay Operator dials out, you can tell them you want to talk to a live person or customer service; this would minimize the need for the Relay Operator to redial repeatedly.

What products are available for people who are hard of hearing?
Amplified telephones and voice-carry-over (VCO) telephones have features of standard telephones and TTYs. VCO users can speak directly into the phone and the Relay Operator then types the response from the other person back to the VCO caller so he/she can read it on the telephone's text display.

The captioned telephone displays word-for-word captions of everything the caller says. It works like any other telephone with one important addition. It displays every word the caller says throughout the conversation. CapTel users can listen to the caller and read the captions on the CapTel's display window. Learn more about this option.

Why should I use Alabama Relay?
Approximately 10% of Americans have hearing loss, varying from mild to profound. Some are capable of using their telephones with assistance of hearing aids/cochlear implants and telephone amplifiers. Others are unable to hear enough and prefer to Text Telephones (TTY) to type and read words.

Why are Relay Operators sometimes unable to process my request to place a toll-free (800, 877, 888) or collect call?
If you are placing an out-of-state call, it may be that the number you are trying to connect does not accept out-of-state (outside of region) calls. If you are trying to call collect to an individual, there may be a block (requested by the person being called) that prevents collect calls from being accepted.

Alabama Relay will honor requests by users to be billed through their preferred long distance carriers. Alabama Relay users will need to inform the Relay Operator to bill their calls to a designated long distance carrier. If the user does not inform the Relay Operator, the long distance call will be billed by Sprint as a default long distance carrier.

For more convenience, Alabama Relay users can create their Customer Profiles and lock in their long distance carrier. This will prevent other long distance carriers to bill Alabama Relay users. To sign up for your Customer Profile, you can either download the document here or call the Alabama Customer Service at 1-800-676-3777 (TTY/Voice/TeleBraille), 1-866-931-9027 (VCO), or 1-877-787-1989 (STS).

Why doesn't Alabama Relay accept my new long distance carrier?
The number of long distance companies change every year. Alabama Relay strives to have them on the Carrier of Choice listing. Major long distance carriers are on the listing. If your long distance carrier is not on the listing, please have your long distance carrier contact the Alabama Relay Customer Relations Manager by e-mailing. The contact info is found in the Contact page

What is the Customer Profile?
When putting caller preferences in the Customer Profile (long distance carrier, frequently dialed numbers, type of relay call, relay service announcement/ explanation, etc), the preferences are automatically displayed on the screen of the Relay Operator. This helps reduce set-up time and makes relay calls more customized.

Customer Profiles will work from residential lines. It will not work from restricted lines such as coin payphones or PBX telephone systems (usually at hotels, offices, agencies, etc. with extension numbers). You can print the Customer Profile form here and simply follow the return instructions.

What are my rights as a relay user?

What do I do if the Relay Operator who handles my call does not follow the proper procedures?
If you have a problem with a Relay Operator, you should record the operator’s four-digit number (e.g., 4902M) and ask to speak to a supervisor or you can call the Alabama Customer Service at 1-800-676-3777 (TTY/Voice/TeleBraille), 1-866-931-9027 (VCO), or 1-877-787-1989 (STS) with your complaint. If a Relay Operator does a great job handling your call, you can also let us know. All feedback is beneficial and appreciated.

Who do I call if I have problems making a relay call?

If you are Hearing, click here

If you are Hard-of-Hearing, click here