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Florida State Seal State of Florida
Public Service Commission


11/21/2006 Contact: 850-413-6482

Florida Relay Becomes More User-Friendly

TALLAHASSEE — On Tuesday, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a change to the Florida Relay Service (Relay) aimed at making the calling service more user-friendly. Relay operators will now be able to inform the called party (who can hear) that a person who is deaf or hard-of-hearing is calling.

The change should help reduce the number of calls that can't be completed because the hearing person is not familiar with a relay call. In the past, people unfamiliar with how Relay works would often hang up when receiving a call from the Relay operator thinking it was a solicitor call. The PSC anticipates that the change will also provide customers with a more friendly and warm interaction with Relay operators. 

Florida Relay is a service that allows a deaf or hard-of-hearing person to contact a hearing person through a specialized operator.  A deaf or hard-of-hearing person uses a teletype machine to type and receive text messages from the operator while the operator voices the conversation to the hearing person. The specialized telephone equipment and ring signaling devices provided through this program are loaned to all qualified permanent Florida residents at no charge.