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Re: TTY and the phone

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2000 10:48:35 -0500
Message-Id: <200011111518.KAA362116@smtp2.mail.iamworld.net>
To: "R. Neff" <rneff@bbnow.net>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 09:41 PM 2000-11-10 -0600, R. Neff wrote:
>On the web there is a phone number to place orders but no TTY capability is
>not listed. However, if a person using a TTY device calls, they are
>automatically forwarded to an operator that will take the order.  this
>operator is not part of the call center but a service offered by the
>telecommunication carrier.
>what is the proper way to describe a process without offending anyone?
>for example, would you say.  For customer orders call 800-123-4567 (TTY
>in the future we will have TTY capability from the call center.
>thanks, rob neff

I would give you your choice of how to say it.  Actually, you should go
straight to SHHH and/or other consumer-advocacy groups for advice on this as
well, and not stop with WAI.

This is a rule that applies to print advertising of the TTY-enabled phone
number as well as to advertising this capability on the Web.  And the issue is
what will the TTY-user community recognize, not anything web-technical.

The range of options that make logical sense include:

[Separate entries, because that is what the text telephone (TTY/TDD) users


For orders call 800-xxx-yyyy

Text telephone (TTY/TDD) users, call this number as well.

[end example]

[Integrated listing. -- three examples]

For orders call 800-xxx-yyyy.  Note: this number will get you to text
service (TTY/TDD) as well.

For orders call 800-xxx-yyyy (text telephone (TTY/TDD) users, call this

For orders call 800-xxx-yyyy (TTY OK).

-- end of examples.

I lifted the language 

Text telephone (TTY/TDD) users

out of the telephone book.  This is verbose but probably the phone company as
the omnibus monopoly utility has been under the closest scrutiny and pressure
to say it clearly.  So how they say it is probably a good way to say it.

The word 'enabled' is too geeky.  'TTY-capable is better plain English, but
still on the pointy-headed side of popular argot.  I would like to see
something very brief like "TTY OK" emerge as the code word for this
because during the transition, it is going to have to go on _lots_ of
numbers in print and other text-bearing media.  But that should be OK'd by
consumer representatives adn/or representative consumers before it's promoted.

Received on Saturday, 11 November 2000 10:18:14 UTC

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