Captioned Telephone (CapTel®)

Captioned Telephone (CapTel) eliminates the struggle of using the phone due to difficulty hearing and allows you to understand every word that’s said to you during telephone conversations.

Developed by Ultratec and available through Georgia Relay, the CapTel phone works like any other phone—with one important difference: every word your caller says is displayed on the phone’s built-in display screen. You speak directly to the other person, and when the other person responds, you can listen while reading what’s said. During your conversation, a specially trained operator at the CapTel captioning service* uses the latest in voice recognition software to convert everything the other person says into captioned text. Captions appear just moments after the other party has spoken. By law, CapTel operators maintain absolute confidentiality regarding all conversations.

You can benefit from CapTel if you are:

  • Hard of hearing
  • A late-deafened adult
  • Deaf with understandable speech
  • An amplified phone user
  • Someone with a cochlear implant
  • A Voice Carry-Over (VCO) user


CapTel is a registered trademark of Ultratec, Inc.

The CapTel Phone

To make a Captioned Telephone call, you will need a CapTel phone, telephone service and standard electrical power. Internet-based CapTel model phones are also available and require telephone service, standard electrical power and a high-speed Internet connection.

All CapTel phones are equipped with a special storage feature that enables you to re-read parts of your conversation after your call has ended (up to 500 lines of text can be stored). The CapTel phone also provides amplification up to 40 decibels, a built-in answering machine that captions your messages, adjustable font sizes and colors, a one-touch button to reach customer care, and other helpful features.



1-line CapTel mode (one telephone line connected to your CapTel phone):

In order for you to receive captions, callers must first dial the toll-free captioning service 877-243-2823 (English) or 866-217-3362 (Spanish) and then enter your phone number. When your CapTel phone rings, with the CAPTIONS button on, simply answer the phone and the captions will appear shortly thereafter.

2-line CapTel Mode (two telephone lines connected to your CapTel phone):

Incoming calls are automatically captioned. Callers simply dial your phone number directly. When your CapTel phone rings, with the CAPTIONS button on, simply answer the phone and the captions will appear shortly thereafter.

To use 2-Line CapTel, you need two separate phone lines, each with its own number. The jacks for both lines need to be side-by-side or close together.

CapTel 840 Phone (Analog Model)

The CapTel 840 requires one telephone line (can be a standard analog line or DSL with filer) and standard electrical power. All outgoing calls you make are automatically captioned. For incoming calls, you may choose to receive captions in either 1-line or 2-line mode.

CapTel Internet-Based Phone Models

Internet-based CapTel phone models connect you and your callers automatically to the CapTel captioning service. That means that your friends and family can dial you directly–there’s no need to dial the CapTel captioning service first. Models include:

CapTel 840i

For people who like the size and feel of a traditional home phone and prefer traditional buttons when placing calls and navigating on-screen menus.

CapTel 840i phone

CapTel 2400i

For people who prefer touch-screen technology, this model features a large, tablet-like, touch-screen display as well as dial-by-picture capability.

2400i CapTel Phone

Check out the Choosing a Phone Guide from Hamilton Relay (Georgia Relay’s contracted service provider) to learn more about each of these options.

How to Obtain a CapTel Phone

CapTel phones are available at no cost through the Georgia Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Program for those who qualify medically and financially.

Georgia residents can also purchase a CapTel phone for just $75! 

Making a CapTel Call

  • Using your CapTel phone, dial the number you wish to call. (As you dial, your CapTel phone will automatically connect to the captioning service.)
  • When the person you are calling answers, you can listen—and respond—directly to him or her. Behind the scenes, a specially trained operator at the captioning service uses voice recognition technology to convert everything the other person says into written text by repeating what they say.
  • As the other person speaks, a text version of his or her words will appear on the display screen of your CapTel phone. You can voice your response at any time (with CapTel, there’s no need to wait for cues from the operator).
  • The conversation will continue in this manner until the call is finished.

NOTE: All calls are strictly confidential and no records of any conversations are maintained.



Receiving a CapTel Call

  • If you are using a CapTel 840i or 2400i phone, callers can simply dial your number directly. If you are using a CapTel 840 phone, the person calling you will dial 877-243-2823 to reach the captioning service and enter your phone number when prompted.
  • Your CapTel phone will audibly ring and the display will flash.
  • Pick up the handset. There will be slight pause while the captioning service connects to your CapTel phone (during this time your display will read, “Waiting for Captions”).
  • Begin speaking when you are prompted to do so.



Calling a CapTel User (Hearing Users)

  • If you are calling a CapTel 840i or 2400i user, simply dial their phone number directly. If you are calling a CapTel 840 phone user, dial 877-243-2823 first to reach the captioning service, and when prompted, enter the phone number of the person you wish to call.
  • Wait until the call is connected to begin speaking.
  • The conversation will continue just like a standard phone call. The person you’re calling will be able to listen and respond directly to you.



Learn More

To learn more about CapTel service or to request a Georgia Relay CapTel brochure, call 866-694-5824 (Voice/TTY) or e-mail



FEDERAL LAW PROHIBITS ANYONE BUT REGISTERED USERS WITH HEARING LOSS FROM USING INTERNET PROTOCOL (IP) CAPTIONED TELEPHONES WITH THE CAPTIONS TURNED ON. IP Captioned Telephone Service may use a live operator. The operator generates captions of what the other party to the call says. These captions are then sent to your phone. There is a cost for each minute of captions generated, paid from a federally administered fund.