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TRS – Captioned Telephone Service (CTS)

CAPTEL icon

A Captioned Telephone works like any other telephone with one important addition: it displays every word the other party says throughout the conversation. CTS customers place a call in the same way they would when using a traditional phone. The captioned telephone device automatically connects to a contracted CTS provider as you dial. When the person you are calling answers, you will hear everything that he/she says, just like during a traditional phone call. You also will see and read everything that he/she says on the display screen of those few caption telephone devices that connect with CTS. There is no customer charge for using CTS itself regardless of which state the person lives in. However, CTS customers are responsible for their own in-state and out-of-state long distance calls.  

Benefits of CTS

  • Calls are made in a natural manner. Simply dial the telephone number for the person you are calling.
  • Users enjoy natural telephone conversations, and can check captions for added clarity.
  • Everyone can use the captioned telephone -- simply turn off the captions feature to use it as a traditional telephone.
  • Captions appear almost simultaneously with the spoken words.
  • The captioned telephone also includes an amplified handset and tone control for clarity.

To learn more about CTS.

Captioned Telephone Service in Washington State:

Washington Relay Services has a specific CTS provider, CapTel®, Inc., through a contract with Sprint Relay. Washington residents need to have a specific CapTel telephone that is provided for this service through a full cost, direct purchase from Weitbrecht Communications, Inc., the manufacturer, or through the ODHH Telecommunications Equipment Distribution program for little or no cost, depending on income.

To apply for a captioned telephone in Washington State.

After receiving a CapTel® telephone, users can make a call through the Washington Relay CTS provided by Sprint Relay:

  • When dialing out, simply dial the number of the person you want to call.
  • Your captioned telephone will automatically connect to both the captioning service and the other party you wish to reach.
  • The relay operator transcribes everything the other party says to you into written text (captions) using the very latest voice-recognition technology.

Here's how to receive a call from the other party via Washington Relay CTS through CapTel® services:
One-Line Service

  • The other party calling you dials 877-243-2823 (toll free) to connect to CapTel®.
  • Once connected, the other party then enters your phone number on the dial pad.
  • Whether it's an incoming or outgoing call, everything the other party says to you is transcribed into captions displayed in a bright, easy-to-read window on your captioned telephone.

Two-Line Service

  • The other party dials your phone number directly.
  • Once connected, you press the "caption" button on the captioned telephone to connect to Washington Relay CTS through CapTel® (via the second telephone line).
  • Whether it's an incoming or outgoing call, everything the other party says to you is transcribed into captions displayed in a bright, easy-to-read window on your captioned telephone.

To reach a CapTel® user:

  • Dial 877-243-2823 (Español - 866-217-3362) between 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM PST every day.
  • Listen for the short message.
  • Enter the area code and phone number of the CapTel® user and then press pound (#).
  • Speak when the call is answered.

Captioned telephone CapTel® Telephone Instruction Sheet.