The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a proposal to replace text telephones (TTY devices) with real-time text; to ensure that people with disabilities can communicate and have accessible and efficient telephone access.


Beginning in December of 2017 for carriers and IP-based landlines in the future. The new technology would enable someone with a disability to send a message while it is being typed, without even having to press send.

The system would support full 911 emergency communications, function consistently with low error rates, and be compatible with current technologies. According to an FCC news release, "911 call center personnel, for example, would be able to receive even incomplete messages".

The proposal is in consultation with different Disability Advisory Committees, and many of those features are recommended by them for inclusion.

Also, "many of these features were recommended for inclusion in the NPRM by the FCC’s Disability Advisory Committee, which includes both industry and consumer stakeholders."

This is a much-needed upgrade to TTY, which has been in place since the 1970's.

For more information visit the FCC’s Disability Rights Office.