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

Voice Carry-Over

Voice Carry-Over (VCO) allows deaf or hard of hearing users to speak directly to hearing people. When a telephone user speaks to you, a “Communication Assistant” serves as your "ears" and types everything said to your TTY or VCO phone.


The “Communication Assistant” types what the VCO user says to the TTY user. Whatever the TTY user types goes directly to the VCO user's TTY or text display equipment to be read.

Advanced features for Relay users:

Virginia Relay offers state-of-the-art features designed with the users' needs in mind.

Hearing Carry-Over

Photo of woman using 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 Communication 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.

Photo of Speech-to-Speech user


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 is ideal for people with speech limitations due to:

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