Teletypewriter (TTY)

(Contributed by: Megan H.)

Technology: TTY

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Inventor: Robert H. Weitbrecht [1]

When was it invented: 1960’s [1]

What purpose does the technology serve:

  • Gives Deaf or Hard of Hearing people the ability to use the telephone by typing instead of speaking
  • Can be used on a regular phone line [2]
  • Creates equal access to communication for all
  • Used both domestically and commercially
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing can now call for emergencies
  • Saves time; don’t have to personally go to the persons house to deliver a message

How does it work:

To communicate from TTY to TTY a person would pick up the phone, dial the number of the person’s TTY they are trying to reach, and then put their phone on an acoustic coupler modem which holds the telephone. When the person they are calling sees the phone ringing, he or she picks it up and puts it on the acoustic coupler modem. After both of the phones are hooked up to the machine the conversation will begin by someone typing. To communicate back and forth the users would simply type what they wanted to say. [3]

There is also certain lingo involved when using a TTY to make the process of communication easier. Listed below are some examples that were used while communicated through a TTY.

“GA Go Ahead (your turn to type)

GA TO SK, GA SK: Go Ahead or your party is ready to hang up

Q, QQ: Question Mark

SK: Your party is ready to hang up

SKSK: Hanging up or Hung up

TDD: Telecommunication Device for the Deaf

TTY: Teletypewriter” [4]

1.) National Association of the Deaf. (n.d.). Retrieved December 3, 2014, from http://nad.org/issues/telephone-and-relay-services/relay-services/tty

2.) Robert Weitbrecht – Inventor of the TTY. (n.d.). Retrieved December 3, 2014, from http://deafness.about.com/od/peopleindeafhistory/a/weitbrecht.htm

3.) TTY and TDD Definition. (n.d.). Retrieved December 3, 2014, from http://www.nchearingloss.org/tty.htm

4.) Glossary of Abbreviations for TDD/TTY Use. (n.d.). Retrieved December 3, 2014, from http://www.nzrelay.co.nz/Data/Resources/13052010042054.pdf

5.) Google Images. (n.d.). Retrieved December 3, 2014, from http://images.google.com/

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