September 6, 1995
Some UW departments and work units have begun using automated voice answering systems. These systems offer a menu of choices for the caller; e.g., "if you are calling about xyz, press 1," and can make more efficient use of employee time. However, automated voice menu systems are often not compatible with TTYs (a.k.a. TDDs or Telecommunication Systems for the Deaf). When one phone line serves both the voice (standard) phone and a TTY, the TTY caller depends on a live person being able to determine that a call is a TTY call and to respond accordingly. As of this writing, there is no known automated answering system compatible with TTYs that also works with the university's centrex system, but research is underway to determine how TTYs and voice answering/menu systems can be compatible. A few systems compatible with TTYs are just now coming on the market.
Because the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires equal access to programs and services offered by the UW and other government and private entities, an automated voice answering/menu system which is incompatible with TTYs could deny equal access to individuals who rely on TTYs for communication. As a result, and until a TTY-compatible system is available for our centrex system, we recommend that those departments or units with TTYs who have begun to use or who anticipate using an automated voice answering and menu system consider the following:
File last updated: May 14, 2002