CTS - Captioned Telephone Service

Image Description: A CapTel phone, in black, top box blank screen, bottom box shows receiver and key buttons with a bubble with text in black "CAPTEL."


Dial 7-1-1 or 877-243-2823

Captioned Telephone Service (CTS) is used by individuals with a hearing loss but has some residual hearing. It uses a special telephone that has a text screen to display captions of what the other party to the conversation is saying. A captioned telephone allows the user, on one line, to speak to the called party and to simultaneously listen to the other party and read captions of what the other party is saying. There is a "two-line" version of captioned telephone service that offers additional features, such as call-waiting, *69, call forwarding, and direct dialing for 911 emergency service. Unlike traditional TRS (where the Communication Assistant CA types what the called party says), the WATRS CA repeats or re-voices what the called party says. Speech recognition technology automatically transcribes the WATRS CA's voice into text, which is then transmitted directly to the user's captioned telephone text display.

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:

WATRS has a specific CTS provider, CapTel®, Inc., through a contract with Hamilton 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.

Click the following link: To apply for a captioned telephone in Washington State.

After receiving a CapTel® telephone, users can make a call through the WATRS CTS:

  • 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 WATRS CA 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 WATRS 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.

If you have CTS service issues, please contact the WATRS Customer Care at 974-1548 V/TTY or email at warelay@hamiltonrelay.com

​For quick reference, the following Telecommunications Relay Service Brochures are available for download: