Using a TTY

Image of TTY To receive training in how to use a TTY please call DSS at 786-4536 or email

A TTY (teletypewriter) is a device that allows deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech impaired people to communicate over the phone with another TTY user by keying in responses and reading what the other person types back. When a person makes a call using a TTY you will hear a series of beeps that sound different than fax machine beeps. This is your signal to place the phone in the cradle of the TTY, which looks like a small typewriter. Several offices on the UAA campus have TTY as well as Voice listings and need to be able to respond to a TTY call. DSS has a video called Using Your TTY that can be viewed for training purposes

1. Identify your office and yourself. Example: disability support services sally here ga

2. ga ga stands for "go ahead." It is a turn taking signal. The person on the other end of the line will not reply until you tell them your message is complete by using "ga."

3. q or qq q or qq represents the asking of a question. To receive an answer, you must be sure to signal the end of your message with a "ga". Example: what time is the meeting q ga *Note: for the most complete and accurate information, only ask one question at a time.

4. Abbreviations Typing conversations takes longer than speaking. To be efficient, several abbreviations are commonly used:

  • ans = answer
  • cd or cud = could
  • cuz = because
  • hd or hld = hold
  • ltr = letter
  • msg = message
  • nbr = number
  • pls = please
  • r = are
  • rpt = repeat
  • shd or shud = should
  • tmw = tomorrow
  • u = you
  • ur = your
  • wd or wud = would

5. sk sk stands for "stop keying." It signals the end of a conversation. Both parties must signal "sk" for the conversation to be over. Example: i think i have all the info thank u for calling ga to sk (this indicates you are ready to end the conversation, but if the other person has more to add, they can at this time.) - ok what time will the interpreter be there q ga - as soon as i find out i will call u ga - great thanks ga to sk (now the other party is ready to end the conversation as well.) -sksk -sk

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