Types of Relay: VCO or Voice-Carry-Over

Voice-Carry-Over Banner




What is MassRelay?
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MassRelay is a free service for the residents of Massachusetts. It enables people who are deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened, or speech disabled to communicate over the phone.
Is this for me?
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If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or late-deafened, Voice Carry Over (VCO) is for you. VCO is designed for people who can speak clearly, but may have difficulty hearing. You can use your own voice to speak directly to people who you call, and read their reply when the Relay Operator sends it to your screen. This makes it possible for you to stay in touch with your friends and family, set a doctor's appointment, or even order a pizza!

Free. Simple. Confidential.
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MassRelay is a free service available 24 hours a day. You only pay for any long distance charges. You have the freedom to communicate with anyone who has a telephone. All calls are confidential.

How do I get a VCO Phone or a TTY?
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Massachusetts Equipment Distribution join in logo

To make a VCO call, you can either use a
Text Telephone (TTY) or a phone made
specifically for VCO calls. Contact the
Massachusetts Equipment Distribution
Program to find out if you qualify for free or
low-cost equipment at 800-300-5658 (V/TTY)
or learn more at MassEDP


Make a call using a TTY.
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• Place your handset on the TTY and call MassRelay at 711 or 866-887-6619. Español: 866-930-9252
• When the operator answers, type "VCO PLS GA." (You can skip this step by setting up your Caller Preferences.)
• The Operator answers by typing "VCO ON GA."
• Pick up the handset and speak the area code and phone number you want to call and say "GA." Place the handset on the TTY. (Example: 508-555-1234 GA) "GA" stands for "go ahead," meaning you are finished and it is the other person's turn.
• The operator will connect the call and type what is said when the phone is answered.
• When you see "GA" pick up the handset and speak to the other person. Say "GA" when you are ready for the other person's response and Place the handset on the TTY.
• The operator types the other person's response and your conversation continues.

Make a call using a VCO phone.
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• Using your VCO phone, call MassRelay at 711 or 866-887-6619. Español: 866-930-9252
• When the operator answers, press the button that sends the message "VCO PLEASE GA" to the operator.
• The operator answers by typing "VCO ON GA."
• Speak the area code and phone number you want to call and say "GA." (Example: 508-555-1234 GA) "GA" stands for "go ahead," meaning you are finished and it is the other person's turn.
• The operator will connect the call and type what is said when the phone is answered. When you see the "GA" you can begin speaking. Say "GA" when you are ready for the other person's response.
• The operator types the other person's response and your conversation continues.

You don't have to be a technical whiz! It's an easy, step-by-step process. You'll be making calls in no time.

Make things easier with Caller Preferences
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To make calls easier and faster, customize your call preferences. The Relay Operator can use your Caller Preferences every time you make a call.
You can:
• connect your call faster
• add people who you call often to your speed dial
• customize your call greetings
• select your long distance carrier, and more

Set your preferences online or by call 800-720-3480 (TTY).

Calling Tips
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• Before speaking, wait for "VCO ON GA" to appear on the screen.
• Watch for a "GA" to know when it is your turn to speak. The operator turns off VCO while the other person speaks, and cannot hear you until the VCO feature is on again.
• When you receive a call, inform the operator you want to use VCO. Type "VCO PLS GA" or press the button that sends the message on your VCO phone. You can avoid this by setting up your Caller Preferences.
• Complete a Caller Preference form for faster calls.
• Call Customer Service if you have questions or comments about your call at 800-720-3480 (TTY).