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Washington Relay: STS (Speech-to-Speech)

Washington Relay: STS (Speech-to-Speech)

Speech-to-Speech (STS) is especially useful for people who have difficulty speaking or being understood on the telephone. STS involves specially trained Communication Assistant (CA) who are familiar with the speech patterns of a wide variety of individuals who have difficulty being understood.

Placing Calls

  1. Dial 711 or the toll-free STS number for your state.
  2. Provide the STS RO the number you wish to call, plus any special instructions.
  3. The RO will ask the person you are calling if he/she is familiar with STS. If the person is not, the RO will explain how STS works before the conversation begins.
  4. The RO will repeat your part of the conversation, in short phrases, unless you request otherwise. The RO will work closely with you to ensure your entire conversation is understood.
  5. Say “Go Ahead” or “GA” each time you are finished speaking and are ready for a response. The conversation will proceed in this manner until the call is complete.
  6. To end your call, say “GA to SK” or simply say “Goodbye.”

Helpful Tips

  • Establish a Customer Profile to store helpful information about your calls. This will allow the RO to process your calls more efficiently.
  • Give the RO as much information as possible about your call prior to the RO dialing. For example, if you know you are calling an automated system that requires you to select from a number of options, let the RO know which options you want before the call is placed.
  • If you reach an answering machine, the RO will request and verify your full message and then call back to leave that message.
  • It is helpful if you pause while the RO repeats your part of the conversation.
  • You or the person you are calling may request that the RO remain in the background. If you need the RO to assist at any time during the call, you must request the RO to do so. This is especially helpful when calling family, friends or others who are familiar with your speech.
  • There is no time limit and you may make as many consecutive calls as you want. You should not be concerned with the length of time a call may take.
  • You may request a male or female RO and as long as one is available, your request will be honored.

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