IP-Relay is a public service that allows communication between the deaf community/hard of hearing/speech-disabled and voice parties. Well, it isn’t really that hard to use it but if you don’t have a basic know-how on what the processes are in doing these calls, you might end up getting confused or both of you (caller and called party) won’t understand each other.
As with any conversation, you take turns in talking right? It basically is a turn-based conversation however this time; you have an operator in between who relays the messages. Now always remember the words “go ahead”. This will signify that you’re ending your turn and it is now the voice party’s turn. As much as possible, do not try to interrupt unless it is very very important. This way, you would have a smoother and more organized conversation and the operator won’t have a hard time relaying your messages. You don’t have to type the words themselves. All you need to type is “ga or GA”. A good conversation will have smooth “go ahead” flow. Caller GA voice GA caller GA and so on.
With relay, it is not required to punctuate your messages. Just relay the words or sentences you want to send to the voice party and it will be just fine. But it can be helpful though since it would be easier for the operator to relay it in voice (proper pacing).
If you make a mistake, just type xxx. Let’s say you type “hlelo” instead of “hello” just type xxx after “hlelo” and it will be understood as a correction. Just try to type it immediately after the word you need corrected as much as you can so it can be relayed properly.
If you have a question, type “qq” or “q” instead of a “?”. This is to signify that your message is a question. So if you want to ask, “you’re in love?” type in “you’re in love qq”. Otherwise, if you don’t put a “qq” it will be treated like “you’re in love.”
When you are ending the call, type “sk” or “sksk” which means “stop keying”. This will prompt the voice party and the operator that you are ending the conversation. Alternatively, you can type “gask”, “skga”, “ga to sk” or “sk to ga” if you want to say “I’m saying goodbye now unless you have something else to say?”
Now, on the other hand, if you are the one who is being called, speak at a slow pace. Remember that the operator needs to type what you are saying and saying it slowly will make sure that the accurate message is relayed. It is imperative that the messages are relayed 100% accurately to avoid any miscommunication. Say “go ahead” when you’re done with your message and wait for the “go ahead” from the operator before speaking again.
It may be confusing at first but it won’t take long before you get used to it. But again, just use it if you really need it. Remember, it is designed to broaden the communication for the deaf community. Thanks and God bless.