Voice Carry-Over, Hearing Carry-Over & Speech-To-Speech

Voice Carry-Over

Voice Carry-Over (VCO) is for people who can speak clearly, yet have hearing loss significant enough to keep them from understanding what is being said over a standard telephone. Using a VCO phone or TTY (text telephone), VCO users can speak directly to the person they are calling.

Hearing Carry-Over

Hearing Carry-Over (HCO) allows people with significant difficulty speaking to call anyone who has a standard telephone - and vice versa. During an HCO call, the person who has difficulty speaking types his or her side of the conversation on a TTY or similar device and the Virginia Relay Communications Assistant (CA) voices the typed words to the other person. When the other person speaks, the HCO user listens directly to what is being said.

Benefits of HCO & VCO

  • Simple to use - just dial 7-1-1
  • Call any standard phone user
  • Available 24/7 (including holidays)
  • Automatic caller preferences
  • Confidential and secure
  • Simple to use - just dial 7-1-1
  • Call any standard phone user
  • Available 24/7 (including holidays)
  • Automatic caller preferences
  • Confidential and secure
Photo of woman using Hearing Carry Over

Speech-To-Speech

Speech-To-Speech (STS) is for people with mild to moderate speech disabilities who can hear clearly over the phone. During an STS call, a specially trained Virginia Relay CA listens to everything the STS user says and re-voices it verbatim to the other party. When the other person responds, the STS user listens directly to what is said. STS with Video Assist is also available with a SKYPE account.

Speech-To-Speech Options

Since CAs are skilled at listening to a variety of speech disorders, STS users can communicate with their own voice, voice synthesizer, voice enhancer or other assistive voice device. Users can also choose to have their voice muted to the other party (STS with Privacy) or request that the CA assist only when needed. No typing or special equipment is required. STS for Spanish speakers is also available.


Photo of Speech-to-Speech user

Speech-To-Speech is ideal for people with speech limitations due to:

  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Stroke
  • Stuttering
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Laryngectomy