The National Relay Service
If you have difficulty hearing or speaking to people who use a phone, the National Relay Service (NRS) can help. DVConnect can still help you, you just need to contact us via the National Relay Service.
The National Relay Service (NRS) is an Australian Government initiative that enables people who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impediment to make phone calls in the same way as anyone else. People use the NRS when they need to talk to a hearing person who is using a phone. A call through the NRS is known as a relay call.The NRS is free and confidential. There is no extra charge for making a relay call. You just pay your regular data or phone costs to make your call through the NRS. All calls are confidential—your privacy is protected by law. It’s simple. The NRS Helpdesk can assist you to get started, give you tips on making the most of your call, and help you with any call problems.
A relay call allows you to communicate with a hearing person who is using a phone even if you can’t hear or don’t use your voice. The NRS has specially trained staff called relay officers who are the central link in each relay call. The relay officer converts voice to text or text to voice. Sometimes they convert from sign language to English. Relay officers stay on the line throughout each call to help it go smoothly, but don’t change or interfere with what is being said. Depending on your hearing and speech, you can choose from one or more relay call channels.
If you are deaf, hearing impaired or have difficulty speaking, we can help you.
Call us anytime 24/7 through the National Relay Service.
Auslan interpreted videos:
What is the cycle of violence?
Making a call in an emergency
Here is how to connect to emergency services through different NRS call channels:
- Internet Relay – ask for Triple Zero (000)
- Captioned Relay – ask for Triple Zero (000)
- SMS Relay – text 0423 677 767 and include 000 in your first message
- Ordinary phone – dial 1800 555 727 and ask for Triple Zero (000)
- TTY – dial 106
For step by step instructions on how to make emergency calls using different NRS call channels, see the instruction sheets on the NRS Emergency calls page in Accesshub.
Tips for emergency calls:
- Always ask for the particular emergency service you need – police, fire or ambulance
- Don’t hang up. Wait for the relay officer to connect you with the emergency service so they can help you
- Be ready to state or confirm your location. This will help to quickly connect the call to the closest Emergency Services Operator
- Be ready to explain the emergency
- The relay officer will stay on the line to relay your conversation. The emergency service will ask you questions and decide on the best way to help you
Internet Relay and SMS Relay
- You type your side of the conversation through the NRS app or website, and read the other person’s responses on your screen.
- The NRS app has extra functions.
- You need: a computer, tablet or smartphone and access to the Internet.
- You text your side of the conversation and read the other person’s responses texted to you by the relay officer.
- You need: any mobile phone.
- If you don’t hear well but can use your voice
- You talk directly to the other person and read their words on your screen.
- You need: a phone plus an internet connection—for example a phone plus a computer, or just a smartphone.
Speak and Listen
- If you have difficulty being understood on the phone
- Speak directly to the other person and listen as well. The relay officer will re-speak any of your words not understood by the other person. The
- NRS app has extra functions.
- You need: any phone.
- If you want to use Auslan—Australian Sign Language
- The relay officer communicates with you in Auslan and speaks with the other person in English. Available in limited hours.
- You need: a good internet connection, and a tablet, a smartphone or a computer with a webcam.
- If you don’t use a computer or mobile phone you can use a teletypewriter (TTY) to make relay calls.
- A TTY is a specialised fixed-line phone that has a screen and a keyboard.
- You read what is said to you if you can’t hear, and type what you want to say if you can’t speak.
- The TTYs are an old technology. Instead of using a TTY to make relay calls you could use internet relay if you have an internet connection, or SMS relay if you have a mobile phone.
- If you need to contact emergency services, just ring 106 on your TTY and follow the prompts.
Blind or vision impaired?
If you are blind or vision impaired, you can read the text on this website using a screen reader. On this page you will find further information on how you can access other parts of our service if you have a disability or speak a language other than English.
If you have a disability
If you have a disability and a partner or carer stops you getting support, that is violence or abuse. It is not okay. Contact us, or our friends at 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 for information, referrals and counselling, available to everyone in Australia, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.