Home > Deaf History > Do you still use the phone?

Do you still use the phone?

August 13, 2007

Written By Bug

Many Deaf people cut their phone service down. Because the telephone and TTY are the old fashioned. The spiders are happy to build the webs around TTY since you stop using it. Deaf people who prefer to communicate using American Sign Language could soon be having their phone conversations relayed using webcams or videophones and an interpreter. Almost everyone has computer, sidekick, blackberry, Treo, etc. so they depend on them more than they use the regular telephone. It’s a great toy for all of us to keep in touch with anyone such as doctor, family, or just order the pizza. I disconnect my phone service last year because I rarely use it so I use my sidekick 3 and videophone more often. I don’t know what I should do with my old TTY and telephone. Any suggestion? What did you do with your old phone?

Categories: Deaf History
  1. mother goose
    August 13, 2007 at 7:01 am

    The old fashioned tty can be a great toy for the little kids to play. =)

    We let our little toddler boy play with a old cell phone and a old keyboard. He pretends talking on the cell phone and typing on the keyboard.

  2. JustJodi
    August 13, 2007 at 9:04 am

    I haven’t had a TTY in 6 years since there is really no need for one in Holland ( who the heck can I call?? LOL ) My partner and I have 3 cell phones, and we use our PC to communicate with people outside europe,,we also are thinking of doing away with our phone service completely ( since we get maybe 5 calls in a year .. hardly worth spending 45 euros a month for ) Our computer ISP is thru our cable TV service,, so who knows,, maybe one day I can use VRS…


  3. August 13, 2007 at 9:11 am

    I suggest that you keep old phone with push button or rotary dial in case. NOT digital phone that won’t work because it require a plug to outlet. Do you know that phone line is alive and only for 911 while your service is no longer? It is. If tower for sk or cellphone or whatever broke down, your chance is phone line which is alive for 911.
    For tty, you can check with your deaf community called a service to give the poor deaf people who need. My local area called Leadership through Education and Advocacy for the Deaf. I had donated some items to them then they will give them what they need. It is good thing to donate.

  4. August 13, 2007 at 9:41 am

    I planned on returning the TTY back to the company where I orginially got my TTY… PacBell. I thought they might benefit from reusing it (parts of TTY or whatnot) and recycling the rest…
    I am not sure if the new TTY has changed from what I got– which is a pretty common product.
    I do plan to keep one TTY (my husband and I combined and ended with two TTYs– unnecessary) for emergency calls, but I haven’t researched on how to get a landline for free since my hubby and I *wont* appreciate paying 50$ monthly to keep our phone line open for spammers and telemarketers to call. If landline is installed for free, it ONLY works with 911, and no other numbers.
    That’s fine by us, we prefer video interpreters without any of TTY lingos (GA, SK) et cetera…

  5. Lisa C.
    August 13, 2007 at 11:04 am

    We are keeping our phone and tty for 911 use.

  6. mat
    August 13, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    I keep my tty machine has been replaced and for my second daughter have a asthma. I cannot cut off the telephone bill. Due to fast speed to contact 911 dispatcher.

    In Seattle, if I call 911 .. They really fast to answer quickly for tty user.

    AT H.S.D.C., Hearing Speech Deafness Center who handle with 911 dispatch issues and I told her about remove tty machine because Sorenson of the owner told deaf user to keep their tty machine with you all the time. because Sorenson has not able to connect yet. They are working on to additional for 911 dispatcher.

    Please don’t threw away the tty machine, PLEASE!!!

    I called 911 with tty machine really fast than waiting for Sorenson. Important to keep for any kind of emergency.. sometime someone call me for tty relay service .. I have told everyone to changed to Sorenson. but they don’t getting .. I keep my tty machine forever or until technology successful in few years from now I don’t know how soon they will successful with Sorenson or new technology.


  7. Lisa Marie
    August 13, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    I remember that my friend gave away their old fashioned tty to a poor , deaf lady. But one day the Video Phone system was down, they needed to make an important call but they are stuck with no tty. So, they went to the next door to have the hearing person to call for them.

    We still use our tty for only 911 and in the case if VP system was down. I’d be more pleased if we have a free line for 911 only. Then if it is so, I would buy a new blackberry and I will close the phone line…just keep a free line for 911 in the case if we need.

  8. JFLMad
    August 13, 2007 at 3:10 pm


    I love TTY very much..I still use it everyday! It’s best of all than any pagers or cell phones out there. Landlines is very reliable and is always “on” with full service while the pagers such as sidekick, blackberry, treo, etc depends on the satellite signal outside and it’s not always in the service 100%…that sucks and you all are fool!

  9. smokey
    August 13, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    My at the landfill, maybe it will be discovered by archealogist a few thousands years from now.

  10. August 13, 2007 at 4:20 pm


    YOU better not filling old tty machine in landfill. Please preserved it for 911 or you might will dead if you have no way to contact if your pager died or replaced over and over. the bettlebug would chewing the tty machine and he will send you back and it might not found by archealogist in extra 30 years. Bettlebug can carry the old tty machine to your house.
    I rather to save those tty machine for back up! Than Sorry.. Then keep TTY machine. Until inventory is boom.. Wait and Wait for extra 30-50 years from now.

    Not yet? Fifty years We will not turn ailen?


  11. August 13, 2007 at 4:23 pm

    JFLMad Says he/she prefer to use tty machine.

    I have the similiar feel that I prefer to use ttymachine because of getting to evidence to print out. MOst police or lawyer knew nothing about Sorenson Video relay service.
    As long we are keep new tty machine for my daughter or one of us need to emergency calling. It is really my favorite is TTY Machine. it is our old habit to use tty machine for almost 30 years.


  12. M
    August 13, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    Just love my TTY which allows me to converse with my hearing friends in English. Need it to keep in touch with my family. All of us can type fast so no problem. Also need it for 911 purposes. The 911 agency here has the full list of all TTY users, obtained from the phone company. Not many have a videophone or pager here, but more and more are getting a videophone preferring to use sign language to English.

  13. Lisa Marie
    August 13, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    my hearing parents said that they really liked Sorenson VP better than relay TTY service because sometimes a relay operator asked my parent how to spell the word..so my parent had to spell over the phone….like ” b u t t e r f l y “

  14. August 13, 2007 at 8:07 pm

    Lisa Marie,

    I agree with you that most my family prefer to use Sorenson Video Relay because of face expression. but not tty relay service.

    Agree with all of you. but negative that I could not able to straight the person who is “verbal-abuse” so I can use Relay service for ADA and against the person and I am still file against one of clinic were abused. So It will be only my beneifit if they are not friendly attuide.

    My bad expereinced that time I don’t have a Sorenson Video RElay service I have been long lists. One day I asked my Husband to call the clinic. The clinic refused to answer because front desk prefer to use Sorenson Video Relay Service. I told them that we are still on long list because it was too many to ask for requested new video relay Service. The lady got trouble because they refused to set up an appointment for doctor .. Postive to use TTY machine through Relay Service.

    Negative: Often people misunderstood communicate with deaf’s grammar are not accurated.

    I agree Lisa Marie’s comment. TTY Relay Service often not training as ASL frequent.


  15. August 14, 2007 at 12:43 am

    Thanks to all of you for sharing. Honestly, I didn’t really know that phone line is still open for 911. Thanks to Dennis and others for letting me know. I guess I need to give my TTY a really good bath! It’s very dusty …

    lol @ Smokey

    JFLMad, you love TTY? Sure…sure….sure….I believe you.


  16. M
    August 14, 2007 at 1:35 am

    You are right about the text relay service. The operators are required to read a deaf person’s text verbatim (exact words). In other words, they are not allowed to convert “Deaf” English into grammatically correct English for the hearing customer. A lot of hearing people find poor English irritating.

    My hearing family has a TTY machine. So do some of my hearing friends so no need for the text relay service. I don’t have a TTY printer. No paper here. No hassles at all.

    As well, my good English makes it much easier to communicate well with hearing persons (with no TTYs) via text relay service.

    Using the video relay service means that I must use sign language which is converted into English. A lot of misunderstandings can happen if you meet a new interpreter you don’t know. Once, I met an Hawaiian interpreter on one of the video relay services, I think, IP. She had trouble understanding my regional signs. No thanks…

    The bottom line is that there should be choices for everyone.

  17. GarfieldCat
    August 14, 2007 at 10:09 am

    Wow I have seen that old fashioned big TTY at NTID lobby back in the 1980’s. I remembered I used it once to make a call. I think I ordered a pizza or something. it was so hard to press letter on the old fashioned big tty machine. It was not comfortable. The newer TTY (almost flat surface from the last 20 years) are more comfortable to use than the old fashioned big tty like you seen in the picture. I haven’t use TTY for a pretty long time. I mostly use email, Instant messenger and nextalk to commuicate with someone over the net. Save wear out my TTY lol. I still have it here and I will use in case of emergency or the internet is down or my computer is no work.

    It is good idea to have one back up like real phone line with TTY.

  18. August 14, 2007 at 6:21 pm


    I know you did not realized TtY still use it through 911 dispatcher and In Seattle, They are working on to change the systems. Police/ Fire or 911 employer want Sorenson Video RElay service if they can ask you to switch Sorenson they will be happy to call you back. if no serious with 911. They did quickly call you back fast. I was surprised because of ADWAS,Abuse Deafness Women Advocay Service trying to change,too..

    Think about to keep old tty for 911 only..


  19. GarfieldCat
    August 15, 2007 at 10:57 am

    ** EDIT ** from comment #17

    I still have it here and I will use in case of emergency or the internet is down or my computer is no work.

    Should be read…………..

    I still have it here and I will use in case of emergency or the internet is down or my computer is not working.

  20. Lisa Marie
    August 15, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    Cool, I like the way you do…edit

    I should do that..I make some errors in my own English ;)))

  21. GarfieldCat
    August 15, 2007 at 1:05 pm

    Lisa, yeah, LOL cuz there is no edit here so I had to repost šŸ™‚

  22. August 15, 2007 at 1:37 pm

    GarfieldCat, do’nt worri aout yur eNglish. If it deont heip u two heel better….I well brieng u a dish of milk. šŸ™‚

  23. Lisa Marie
    August 15, 2007 at 10:11 pm

    yoe is so CuTiE!!

  24. August 18, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    I still use TTY everyday. I don’t trust VRS because VRS sometimes misunderstand me what I say.


  25. Dianne
    August 30, 2007 at 8:57 am

    Yes I still have big ,green Old m-28 modal sitting in corner. I wonder will it become valuable as an angitue for Deaf History?

    Hey thank you for advice, I will keep it for using 911 only!

    If not, umm I may use it for toy for grandkids? or donate to poor deaf person.

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