TTY Protocol

University of North Carolina at Pembroke

P.O. Box 1510

Pembroke, NC 28372-1510

Phone: 910.521.6000


Teletypewriter (TTY) Protocol/Tips


  • When taking a phone call from a deaf or speech impaired individual via a TTY phone, upon answering the phone, you will hear beeps or nothing at all.  Place the receiver on the TTY machine. (Follow the picture on top of the TTY to make sure the receiver is placed correctly.  If it is not positioned on the machine properly the TTY will not function suitably.)


  • Begin by typing ‘Hello this is UNC Pembroke’, include the department and identify yourself.


  • If you make a mistake while typing it is okay to leave the mistake if it is understandable.  If not instead of hitting the backspace just type “XXX” to let the caller know to ignore the preceding letter, word, sentence, or concept.
  • It is okay to use abbreviations especially if you are a weak typist.


  • When getting addresses and numbers it may be necessary to repeat what you have just read to make sure it is correct.


  • GA means “Go Ahead” and is a separate key on the TTY.  GA needs to be used after each exchange to notify the caller that you are done keying and are ready for them to reply.  You should wait until the caller signals GA for you to begin typing again.  


  • HD means that you are going to put them on hold.  If it is going to be a long time, continue to type, “HD I am checking or she will be with you or etc…”


  • SK means “Stop keying”.  It is proper TTY protocol to allow the individual who made the phone call to initiate ending the call with SK.  Upon seeing SK, you should hang up the phone. (SK is comparable to the hearing word ‘bye’). 


  • After each call please remember to turn the phone off and then back on again.


  • Last but not least, remember that there will be a printed copy of whatever you typed for both you and the caller.  It may be beneficial to keep a copy of the phone call for back-up purposes.  The printed copy may fade with time so you may want to copy it and place it in the clients file.