What if a 911 caller is deaf or hearing/speech impaired?

Teletypewriter (TTY) or Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD)

If you use a TTY or TDD you should:

  • Stay calm, place the phone receiver in the TTY, then dial 911.
  • After the call is answered, press the TTY keys several times. This may help shorten the time necessary to respond to the call.
  • Give the call taker time to connect their TTY. If necessary, press the TTY keys again. The 911 call taker should answer and type "GA" for Go Ahead.
  • Tell what is needed; the police, fire department, or Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Give your name, phone number and the address or location where help is needed.
  • Stay on the telephone if it is safe. Answer the call taker's questions.

Video Relay Service (VRS) or Internet Protocol (IP) Relay

If you use a VRS or IP Relay you should:

  • Register and provide your address with the relay provider of your choice. Keep your address updated.
  • Be aware that relay calls may take several minutes to connect. If you hang up, your call may not be connected to 911.
  • Be prepared to provide your location information using an address, cross streets and/or landmarks, since relay calls may not display your location.
  • Answer the call taker's questions.
  • You may need to be transferred to another 911 center. Stay on the call if it is safe.

If You Don't Have Access to a TTY/TDD

If you do not have a TTY/TDD or access to Relay services, you should dial 911, preferably from a landline/home phone. Do not hang up, keep the line open. With 911 calls made from a home phone, the caller's address is displayed on the call taker's screen, the call taker can listen for background noise, and help will be sent to the location displayed. As a last resort, call from a cell phone and leave the line open, your approximate location may be displayed.

Show All Answers

1. What if a 911 caller is deaf or hearing/speech impaired?
2. What happens when you dial 911?
3. How do I dial 911?
4. What is Enhanced 911?
5. What is selective routing?
6. When should you not use 911?
7. Why should I have Enhanced 911?