Voice Carry-Over, or VCO, is a Maryland Relay service for people who can speak clearly, yet have significant difficulty hearing what is being said over a standard telephone.
How It Works
The VCO caller uses a VCO phone or a TTY (text telephone) to speak directly to the other person.
- As the other person responds, a Maryland Relay Operator types the response.
- The VCO user reads the response on the text screen of his/her phone.
To Make a VCO Call
- Dial 7-1-1 or 888-826-9673.
- The Maryland Relay Operator’s greeting, including the Operator’s identification number, will display on your TTY or VCO phone.
- Type ”VCO PLS GA” (VCO Please. Go Ahead.) to indicate a VCO call. (You can also set up a Customer Profile, which automatically connects you to the appropriate Operator and lets him/her know your calling preferences.)
- The Operator will notify you that the VCO feature is on and prompt you for the number to dial. Speak or type the number you wish to call.
- When the person you are calling answers, speak directly to him/her. Say “Go Ahead” each time you are ready for your caller’s response.
- If you would like to make another call, do not hang up. The Operator will remain on the line, ready to assist you, the moment your conversation ends.
VCO-to-VCO and VCO-to-TTY calling options are also available. To learn more about making and receiving VCO calls, download detailed instructions now, or call 800-552-7724 or 410-767-6960 (Voice/TTY) or 443-453-5970 (Video Phone) to request VCO user training.
VCO with Privacy
VCO users can ask their Maryland Relay Operator for VCO with Privacy when a call begins. With this feature, the Operator is unable to hear when the VCO user speaks to the other person.
This feature enables VCO users with two telephone lines to use one line for speaking directly to the other person, while the other line is used to receive the text responses. This allows the VCO user to interrupt the other person, and to experience a more natural, spontaneous call. Download detailed Two-Line VCO instructions.
Apply for a VCO Phone Provided by the State
VCO phones and other assistive telephone devices are available through the Maryland Accessible Telecommunications (MAT) program for qualified Maryland residents. Learn more about the MAT program.