Solutions to improve the quality of life

Textphones - FAQ

Please can you advise on talk type (typetalk) telephones and how does one go about getting one connected? This machine would be for a gentleman who is profoundly deaf and can not use a standard telephone. Phones that just increase sound do not work. Loops are no good. Contact with the outside world is necessary and we have been told this would help.

Does the receiver of a call need to have similar equipment? Please send details of how we obtain information. Please respond to this e-mail address.

Textphones (often known as Minicoms) are widely used by deaf people who cannot hear on a conventional or amplified telephone. You type on the textphone keyboard and read the reply on the screen. It is also possible to speak to the other person, rather than typing, and read the reply - this is known as 'voice carry-over'.

You can make calls from one textphone directly to another. However, you can also make calls to a hearing person by using the RNID Typetalk Relay Service. An operator will speak what you have typed to the other person and type back their reply for you to read. This is a free service funded by BT and run by the RNID. You can also call the emergency services using a Textphone via a special Typetalk number. For information about how to use Typetalk, you can visit their website (

Any of the textphones in the Connevans range can be used with Typetalk (see here on our website:) There are several different models, including those with printers, large visual displays and text answerphones. Most textphones can be plugged into the phone socket are some can be used by placing the handset of an ordinary telephone on top.

Textphones are principally designed to be used at home so cannot normally be plugged straight into an office phone system. To use a textphone at work you will need to ask the people who maintain the telephone system to provide a Plain Ordinary Telephone (POT) socket - this is the same type of socket that would be used for a fax machine.

To find this FAQ again, search for: FAQTEXT01



If on telephone calls you can't hear the other person's voice or don't catch all that they're saying, or they can't understand what you're saying, the Next Generation Text (NGT) Service can help.

More information can be found here

To find this FAQ again, search for: FAQTEXT02


Connevans Limited
Bridge House
1 Nutfield Road
Merstham, Surrey, RH1 3EB
United Kingdom
Customer Service
01737 247571
01737 644016
01737 223475
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