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TDD/TTY and Nextalk

Category: Telecom

​A TDD/TTY (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf/Text Telephone Yoke) unit is essentially a physical device that looks much like a simple computer terminal and uses graphic communications in the transmission of coded signals. Nextalk/Textnet services enable PCs to function like a TDD/TTY unit and allow callers to be routed to any user within an agency or at other agencies. Callers may leave messages that can be forwarded through email and outgoing calls can be typed through the PC.
All State agencies are required to be able to communicate with the deaf and hard of hearing so it is expected that each agency would have at least one unit to communicate with such a caller.
BCCS telecommunications services are available to all state agencies, boards, commissions, universities, offices of the Illinois House and Senate, and Constitutional Officers.


Shared Services  Unit of Measure  Service Rate
Toll Free Number  


  Install Per Users $75.00
  Per User $5.00
TDD-TTY Rates (June 2011)

What is Included?

Standard Offering

  • Statewide availability of TDD/TTY and Nextalk service
  • TDD/TTY units constitute a 1-time purchase offered with a 1-year warranty. There is no maintenance provided on the equipment
  • Nextalk/Textnet consists of a computer-based application
  • Nextalk service carries 2 monthly charges: a monthly toll-free usage charge and a monthly service fee per user in addition to an installation charge

Non-standard Offering

  • Amplified telephones for users with a mild hearing loss.
  • Voice Carry-Over Amplified telephones for users with severe hearing loss.
  • Answering machines are available to provide for both sound and printed messages.
  • Keyboard-adaptive products provide useful interactive and visual features designed to give the optimum telecommunication information for hearing-impaired users.
  • In-line telephone amplifiers to amplify regular telephone conversations.
  • Portable amplifiers and headsets

What Should You Expect?

  • Nextalk service requires a toll free number which Nextalk provides. This number allows for toll free access to the service.
  • 24 x 7 x 365 availability of service
  • Ordering services are performed during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m
  • CSC Communications System Specialists (CSS) are dedicated to providing price quotations and low-cost alternatives, clarifying order information, monitoring order status, and updating billing information. They also help with the analysis and development of the appropriate product and service mix to fulfill specific short and long term customer needs.
  • Integrated ordering, inventory, and billing in a shared database accessible to customer Telecom Coordinators to enable service order tracking, usage reporting and billing review. Customer Telecom Coordinators also receive automatic Service Bulletins announcing changes in equipment offerings, price, and procurement procedures
  • Automated agency billing - included in monthly call detail provided by CMS Business Services
  • A single point of contact for reporting and monitoring repair and maintenance issues through successful resolution
  • Coordination of training in the efficient use of products and services
  • Notification of manufacturer discontinued equipment

How Can You Help?

  • Agencies must provide a dedicated line for TDD/TTY installation (line fees charged monthly)
  • Perform a routine review of billing for errors, underutilized service, special features and equipment
  • Provide a designated agency contact and related contact information for BCCS to interface with when needed
  • Perform an annual reconciliation to ensure accurate assignment