How Those with Hearing Loss Can Get Started with Relay South Dakota

How Those with Hearing Loss Can Get Started with Relay South Dakota

As we age, we evolve. We grow stronger, knowledge turns into wisdom and practice creates new skills. It’s balanced out as other abilities start to fade: our vision might grow blurry, and our ears might not be as sharp.

Age-related hearing loss is perfectly normal. In 2021, it was reported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders that approximately 15 percent of American adults (37.5 million) aged 18 and older report some kind of trouble hearing.

But loss is just another opportunity gained. For more than 30 years, Relay SD has focused on providing those with hearing loss or speech-disabilities with telephone access.

Relaying Our Services

Utilizing our no-cost services allows you to connect with your loved ones in ways you always have before. Through relay services, you can connect with others by dialing 711.

This is possible thanks to a variety of services available to South Dakotans:

  • Text Telephone (TTY)
    • Individuals with hearing loss or a speech disability can use a TTY to type their side of the conversation. A relay operator reads aloud what is typed for the receiving party to hear. The receiving party then speaks their response for the relay operator to type back to the individual using the TTY. A seamless conversation makes connecting effortless.
  • Voice Carry-Over (VCO)
    • Callers can speak to a hearing person directly, and a relay operator types back the hearing caller’s responses for viewing on a TTY device.
  • Hearing Carry-Over (HCO)
    • Callers with hearing capabilities and speech disabilities can type responses to fellow callers via a relay operator who vocally relays responses.
  • Speech-to-Speech (STS)
    • This service that helps bridge that gap and requires no equipment for use. When you call the relay center, a specially trained relay communications assistant listens to the call and will serve as the caller’s voice and revoices what’s said as needed.

Starting is Simple

Before you call, be sure to check out the devices available to decide which Relay SD equipment best fits your needs. Some individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing and/or have speech disabilities will need to secure equipment first before dialing 711 to most effectively communicate with a Relay Operator and, subsequently, their intended recipient.

When you select your equipment, you then have the option to apply through the TED program to determine if you qualify for equipment at no-cost. To be eligible for the TED Program, you need to live in South Dakota and have hearing loss or a speech disability that limits your standard telephone use.

It all starts by dialing 711.

Yep. It’s that simple. It’s fast, functional and there is no-charge to place and receive relay calls. Need support figuring out what would work best for you? Give us a call too.

While hearing might fade, the solution is easier than ever through our Relay services. Not only providing you a way to communicate effectively, but also to nurture your valued connections.

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