Communication Technology & Outreach Program
Disability Rights Maine's Communication Technology Outreach Program travels statewide speaking at hospitals, community groups, law enforcement agencies and various businesses about Maine Relay Service (MERS) and hearing-loss related topics.
Maine Relay Service is a service that makes it possible for anyone with a hearing loss or speech impairment to communicate by telephone. Maine Relay also allows businesses and service providers to connect with everyone in their community, improving access to services for all.
If you know an individual who has a barrier to using a standard telephone – whether they are D/deaf, hard-of-hearing, or late-deafened, or have a speech, cognitive, memory or physical disability - there may well be a specialty phone that can work for them. The application for specialized adaptive equipment through Maine’s Telecommunication Equipment Program (TEP) is relatively easy, requiring proof of disability and income. Individuals meeting the income guidelines often receive equipment at no cost, and most qualify for low cost. Low income seniors over 65 may qualify to choose the hearing aid option instead.
We’d love to reach out to YOUR organization. If you’d like to schedule a training, a ‘Lunch and Learn’ or presentation about hearing loss, Maine Relay Service (MERS), Maine’s adaptive Telecommunication Equipment Program (TEP), Civil Rights or more please contact us 207.797.7656.
Assistive Technology for Effective Distance Communication
In this webinar, participants will learn about:
- Maine Relay and the variety of services that help people with disabilities use the telephone.
- How Maine’s Telecommunication Equipment Program helps low-income Mainers stay connected.
- The National Deaf-Blind Equipment Program and the
equipment, training, and support that is available for low-income
Mainers who experience a combination vision and hearing loss.
- Debra Bare-Rogers
- Lisa Penney
- Scott Murray
Maine Relay Service - Using Maine Relay is Easy...
...AND IT’S FREE!
What is Maine Relay Service?
Relay Service is a communication service that connects people who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech disabled that may use specialized telephone equipment to people who use standard telephones.
How do I call Maine Relay?
Simply dial 711 and a Relay Operator will answer your call. The 711 access number is toll free and it can be used nationwide, anytime.
What does a call from someone using Maine Relay sound like?
You phone will ring. When you answer it, you will hear “Relay Operator 1234. Have you ever received a relay call before?” The most important thing to do at this point is to not hang up, because this person is calling to speak with you. If you tell this operator that you have never had a relay call before, the operator will quickly explain how it works and connect you with the relay user.
Can I call someone who uses a TTY/TDD (Text Telephone/Telecommunications Device for the Deaf), if I don’t have one myself?
Yes, call Maine Relay by dialing 711 and give the relay operator the phone number with the are code of the person you are calling. The operator will place your call to that person and will type your spoken words to the person you have called who uses a TTY; then, the operator will speak the typed words from the other party to you.
If I have Caller ID on my phone and call another party through Maine Relay, what number shows up?
If the person you are calling using Maine Relay has Caller ID, your phone number will appear on their Caller ID.
Who do I contact if I have problems making a relay call?
- Sprint/Maine Relay Customer Service
877.787.1989 (Speech-to-Speech only)
- CapTel Customer Service
- Or, you can contact DRM Deaf Services
For more information about a specific relay service, visit the Telecommunication Relay Services website: https://www.maine.gov/trs/
Trainings & Upcoming Events