Telecommunications Access of Maryland

Telecommunications Access of Maryland (TAM), under the Maryland Department of Information Technology, administers the following programs and services:

Maryland Relay - When a person has a hearing or speech disability, the standard telephone is often a barrier to communication. In 1991, Maryland Relay was established to allow TTY (text telephone) users to communicate with anyone, anytime through standard phone lines. TTY users may be Deaf, Deaf-Blind, hard of hearing or speech disabled. Those who have cognitive or mobility concerns may also benefit from Maryland Relay.

To use the Maryland Relay, simply dial 7-1-1 from anywhere and give the operator the number of the party you wish to reach. Once the connection is made, the operator relays the text conversation to voice and the voice conversation to text. Strict confidentiality is maintained, and there is no limit to the length or number of calls. Best of all, local calls are free, and reduced charges may apply to long distance calls going through the Relay.

Captioned Telephone Service - The Captioned Telephone is ideal for anyone who has difficulty hearing over the telephone by allowing them to receive live captions of their telephone conversations. These users can experience telephone calls that are nearly functionally equivalent to traditional voice calls by enabling them to enjoy phone conversations with the same ease, speed, and confidence as telephone callers everywhere. The caller’s voice can be heard, and the captions are there for clarity if needed.

Internet Protocol Relay – This feature permits individuals to make Relay calls using their computer, web phone, smart phones, or any other Internet-capable device. Users also must have an Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Maryland Accessible Telecommunications (MAT) - The MAT program provides free amplified and captioned phones, ring signalers, hands-free phones, TTYs and other assistive devices to qualified applicants who have functional difficulty using the telephone. Recipients who currently receive Social Security, SSI, SSDI, TDAP or TCA may qualify and apply to the program. Please see the MAT application for additional information regarding financial eligibility.

Recipients of assistive telecommunications equipment may retain the devices so long as they continue to reside in Maryland. Training on use of the equipment is also provided, if necessary, to maximize recipient’s comfort in using the equipment.

NFB-Newsline® - NFB-Newsline® provides access to over 200 daily newspapers and two magazines for the Blind and Print Disabled. This service provides computerized audio information through a toll-free phone number to persons eligible for service from the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. To register for this service, call 1-888-882-1629.


Contact Maryland Relay Customer Service

Additional Services Provided in Maryland but NOT provided by TAM:

Video Relay Service (VRS) Provides a communication tool that allows the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community to communicate effectively and naturally with others through use of American Sign Language (ASL). VRS uses the Internet to provide an audio/video link to a certified Video Interpreter who interprets between the visual language of ASL and the auditory language of a hearing person. Using VRS, an individual with a computer, a low-cost web camera, and a high-speed Internet connection (cable, DSL, T-1 or ISDN) can contact hearing people anywhere through a standard dial-up telephone number.