Voice Carry Over (VCO) allows individuals with significant hearing loss to use their own voice to speak directly to hearing people and read text from the other caller. When a hearing person speaks to you, an operator serves as your “ears” and types everything said to your TTY or VCO phone.
VCO with Privacy
If a VCO user chooses to do so, they can request that the relay operator not hear anything they say. When the VCO user connects to the VCO number, they may instruct the operator that they want “VCO Privacy”. The relay operator will not hear their voice, only the person who speaks to the VCO user will be heard so the relay operator can type their response to the VCO user.
Two-line VCO allows a relay user with two telephone lines to have a more natural conversation with whomever they are calling. One of the lines must be able to have conference calling, or “3-way calling” capability. One line with conference call capabilities will be used for speaking directly to the called person, while the second line is used to receive their responses typed through the relay user’s TTY or other text phone. There is no need to say GA or SK because both callers can talk at the same time if they want to.
There are a few ways you can go about doing this, but the generally accepted way is to have 3 way calling on the line that you will use for voice, and a standard line for your TTY:
- Call the VCO number from your TTY line.
- The relay operator will answer with their ID number and gender. They will ask you to type or voice the number you want to call.
- Tell the relay operator that you want “2 line VCO, call my number at” and give your home voice telephone line.
- The relay operator will call your 2nd line. Pick up the phone and answer with a greeting like, “Hello, operator, can you hear me okay?” The relay operator will acknowledge on the TTY that they have connected to you.
- Inform the operator that you are connecting your call. Use your 3-way calling option to connect to the person you want to call.
- When the caller answers, press the “flash” or “switch hook” to bring the relay operator into the 3-way call. The relay operator will type what they hear and you can speak directly to the person. There is no need to say GA or SK.
- When you are done talking, hang up the call on the 2nd line. The operator will now only be connected to you by your TTY.
- At this point, you may choose to hang up the TTY, or make another call.
VCO to TTY
When a VCO user wants to call a TTY user, the VCO user can enjoy having the ability to talk instead of simply typing the whole conversation onto the TTY. The relay operator will type everything you say to the TTY user. Whatever the TTY user types will go directly to your TTY or text equipment. When you are ready for the other person to talk, simply say “GA” and it will be their turn to communicate.
VCO to VCO
When a VCO to VCO call is made, the relay operator will act as the ears for both parties. The relay operator will type everything they hear from one caller to the other. Only what the other person is saying to you will appear on your TTY or text device. Only one person may speak at a time, so when you are ready for the other person to talk, say “Go ahead” or “GA” and it will be the other person’s turn to talk.