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Relay UK

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How do I call a deaf or speech-impaired person using Relay UK?

Using your phone or mobile you can now easily call someone who can’t hear or can’t speak over the phone.

While you talk, a Relay Assistant on the call types what you say so the deaf person you’re speaking to can read it and respond. Or they’ll tell you what a speech-impaired person is typing in response to what you say.

1. Call 18002 or their TextNumber

Many Relay UK app and textphone users have TextNumbers. These are unique numbers that connect callers to the deaf or speech-impaired person and a Relay Assistant without having to dial 18002 first.


TextNumbers start with 03306 or 07777.


If the number does not start with either of these, dial 18002 followed by the full phone number (including the dialling code).

2. You’ll connect to a Relay Assistant

You'll hear an automated message to let you know that the other person has connected while you wait for a Relay Assistant to join.


When the Relay Assistant is connected, they'll act as a relay between you and the deaf or speech-impaired person.

3. Can the person you’re calling talk?

If the person you're calling can talk but can't hear, they may choose to speak to you directly and read your responses as the Relay Assistant types them.

4. Start the conversation

When it's your turn to speak, talk directly to the deaf or speech impaired person.  The Relay Assistant will type everything you say and that's everything so please don't speak too quickly.


It's just like a normal conversation except you pause while the Relay Assistant types what you've said and the other person types their reply. 

5. Finish the call

When you've finished your conversation just hang up as normal.

Tips for talking to people using Relay UK

Know your caller

If the caller lost their hearing later in life, they may be able to speak but just can't hear you. If they were born deaf, they may not have any speech either.

British Sign Language (BSL) users

British Sign Language has a different grammar to English. BSL users tend to get straight to the point and don't pad out conversations with unnecessary words. 

The Relay Assistant
will help

If there are too many interruptions and the conversation is difficult to understand, the Relay Assistant (RA) will step in and help both parties manage the call better.

How to call 999, get help, use the Relay UK app, and make it easy for people to call you