Michigan Relay Center
What is a Relay Representative?
A Relay Representative is, in short, a communication link. they are the facilitator between a voice and TTY caller, and provide the skills for deaf, hard-of-hearing, or speech impaired persons to communicate with the hearing community.
To qualify as a rep, a person must first pass a typing and written test. To pass, a typing speed of 60 wpm or better and a qualifying score on a written test must be acquired.
After passing the typing and written tests, training begins. Training consists of two days of deaf culture classes and five days of technical equipment training.
Deaf Culture classes are necessary so that the rep will understand the world of a deaf person. Some ASL instruction is available at this time and is very helpful in communicating with co-workers and understand the language. Because ASL is quite different from the English language.
Technical training is quite extensive. A rep must know how to process all types of calls. These range from local calls to Intralata to Interlata. Knowing how to process all types of billing from station to station, collect, or calling card. Besides knowing how to process the call itself, a rep must understand the equipment he or she is using. Calls into the MRC can be from both voice and TTY customers, and this also entails a lot of knowledge on the rep's part.
Once training is complete, the rep's job begins. For a new rep, this is very difficult because there is a lot to remember. But the most important thing to remember is that the rep has a role to play, and should always stay in the role while facilitating a call. Once a call has come onto the rep's board, the rep is responsible for the proper billing, initiation of the call to the called to party, announcing the call itself and explaining how the relay works if necessary. After the call is in place, the rep enters the role as the TTY customer, and is responsible for providing all pertinent information to the TTY. This includes anything that keeps the TTY customer informed on what is going on. It may include comments a person is making, inflection of a person's voice, or background noises.
A rep's job can be very tedious at times and also very rewarding. There is happiness and sadness in everyone's lives and a rep will encounter it daily. But after the day is done, knowing that you were able to help so many people in their lives is very rewarding. Without relay, persons who may be deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech-impaired would not be able to communicate with family friends or co-workers.
MRC is designed to provide you with quality connections and flexible communication that will make using the relay a positive experience. Our reps give each call their complete attention to ensure relay conversations take place with efficiency and ease.
** Facts you want to know but never asked **
What is the procedure for leaving a message on a voice answering machine?
The Rep will dial the number and type to you that you have reached and answering machine. Then they will ask if you would like to leave a message. After you type the message the rep will inform you when the message has been completed. You will only be billed for the first time the rep called the number.
Does the rep do the billing for my calls?
No, the rep does not bill you long distance calls. The rep will ask you who your long distance carrier is to make sure your call is billed to the correct provider.
How long can a rep hold for me while I look for another number?
MRC's rep can hold for 30 seconds if you need look for another number. This helps us to serve our customers who may need to make relay calls and not have to wait.
What does it mean when I get a recording that says "the number you have reached is not in service?"
Recordings such as this are put on by local providers. It may have been changed or disconnected for a variety of reasons. It does not mean there is a technical problem with MRC system.
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