Deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind individuals utilize relay services (whether TTY, IP-based, or video) to communicate over the phone. Relay services, mandated by the American With Disabilities Act, Title IV and provided at no cost to callers, allow deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind individuals to have conversations over the phone via a trained operator and/or assistive devices. For more information about Relay Services, go to www.fcc.gov.
Unfortunately, many businesses hang up on relay calls, mistakenly thinking they are scam or marketing calls. Relay calls are from customers wanting to utilize services or products from your business, and it’s important to be aware of relay calls and the potential of lost sales or business being lost via hang-ups. If you think this doesn’t directly affect your business, consider the following.
In 2010, nearly 1.2 million North Carolina adults had hearing loss — that’s more than 16% of the state’s population. This number is projected to increase by 41% in 2030 — and translates to thousands, if not millions, of dollars in sales for businesses in North Carolina. That’s why we established the Relay-Friendly Business program.
The Relay-Friendly Business (RFB) program for businesses, companies, and organizations to learn about different type of relay services and products for deaf or hard of hearing people and people with speech disabilities.
To become certified as an RFB, just take our test found in Modules & Online Training link. Once RFB-certified, your business is then listed on our page, and also receives a decal for your office. This helps inform customers that your business is familiar with relay services and products.
When your business receives the RFB certificate, you will receive the following :
Free online training materials
Your business will be listed on the Relay NC and STS NC websites
An announcement will be posted on the Relay NC and STS NC social media such as Facebook spotlighting your business
Receive a certificate and a decal to display at your place of business