Speech-to-speech (STS) is one form of Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) that allows persons with speech disabilities to access the telephone system to place and receive telephone calls. STS enables persons with a speech disability to make telephone calls using their own voice (or an assistive voice device). STS uses specially trained operators, Communications Assistants (CAs), to relay the conversation back and forth between the person with the speech disability and the other party to the call. STS CAs are trained in understanding a variety of speech disorders, which enables them to repeat what the caller says in a manner that makes the caller's words clear and understandable to the called party.
Often people with speech disabilities cannot communicate by telephone because the parties being called cannot understand their speech. People with cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson's disease, and those who are coping with limitations from a stroke or traumatic brain injury may have speech disabilities. People who stutter or have had a laryngectomy may also have difficulty being understood. In general, anyone with a speech disability or anyone who wishes to call someone with a speech disability can use STS.
A special phone is not needed for STS. You simply call the relay center by dialing 711, and indicate you wish to make an STS call. You are connected to an STS CA who will repeat your spoken words, making the spoken words clear to the other party. Persons with speech disabilities may also receive STS calls.
Sprint also offers wireless plans for customers who have speech disabilities.