TTY Phone Pal Program - PPP
This Operational Information Document (OID) introduces a program that will assist PSAP managers in their efforts to ensure equipment functionality and enhance call taker proficiencies where it concerns utilizing TTYs (also known as TDD – Telecommunications Device for the Deaf). In addition, this document provides the framework and outline format for establishing this type of program.
The term "Phone Pals” was coined in Texas some years ago for their TTY testing program, but, like many brand names, the words have become a generic description of any program where the PSAP works with the Deaf community. So no matter what it is called in your area, or what you want to call it – this paper is addressing the need for the PSAP to reach out to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, and assure them that 9-1-1 works for them. And it helps the PSAP to do a better job.
From one agency that implemented the Phone Pals Program (PPP) - "Our staff got extra training in TTYs and our hearing impaired community gained the confidence that both their emergency and non-emergency calls would be answered and handled as any other call.” Regardless of whether you are a two-position PSAP or are responsible for a bigger 9-1-1 network with multiple PSAPs…. this program can work for you!