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NexTalk Service (NTS)

Getting Started

To order or inquire about this service, please contact the NIH IT Service Desk.

Service Hours: Monday-Friday, 8AM to 5PM

More Info

Related Services

NexTalk (NTS) is an Internet-based, live-text communication system with special provisions for the communication needs of people who are deaf or hard of hearing. It is valuable for NIH offices that interact with members of the public who use TTY. NTS is a comprehensive electronic TTY solution that operates directly from the computer desktop to enable anyone to communicate "live" with TTY and Relay phone calls and instant messaging. It provides a text answering machine, incoming and outgoing TTY and Relay calls, TTY conferencing (among multiple NexTalk users), and custom phone books - all on the desktop.

NIH, with the help of CIT, is improving communications by providing access to its Institutes and Centers (ICs) for all citizens - including people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired. NIH communications offices and call centers that communicate frequently with the public find this service valuable, easy-to-use, and time-saving, and it eliminates the need for a separate TTY-type device. NTS is certified as Section 508 compliant.

Customer Benefits

NIH staff who use TTY can use a single phone number at the office and while teleworking without needing a TTY device. 

NTS provides an easy-to-use,  Section 508-compliant solution for call centers and NIH offices that need to communicate with people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Call centers can have one dedicated TTY phone number that can be answered on multiple computers, which allows for the first available person to answer. This resolves the issue  of having a single person responsible for all TTY calls, and enables TTY answering from home and other telework sites.

Customer Market

This service is available to all NIH customers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I get NexTalk?

A: You will need a computer running Windows 2000 or higher and a connection to the NIH network (VPN if you are teleworking). You can register for NTS services by contacting the NIH IT Service Desk. The NTS administrator will set up your NTS account, establish your NTS TTY phone number, and contact your desktop support staff to have NexTalk installed on your computer. Once installed, use your regular NIH username and password to access the software. 
Q: I already have a TTY phone number, can I keep it?
A: You can keep your current number, however please note that there is a two-week processing time and a charge of $75 to your IC to have your number transferred to NTS.
Q: How do I call a TTY or relay service?
A: You can enter an 11-digit phone number in the Text Call window of the program, or use the phone book feature and click on the entry you want.
Q: What happens if someone calls and I am not online?
A: You must be logged in to participate in a conversation. If someone tries to contact you while you are offline, they will be asked if they would like to leave a message for you. You may access your messages the next time you log in. If there is unread mail in your mailbox, the Details Bar on the main toolbar will show the number of messages in the square brackets next to the word Inbox. Read these messages by selecting the Viewer icon from the toolbar.
Q: Can I save or print my conversations?
A: When a conversation has ended, a window will open and ask if you would like to save your conversation. You can read conversations at a later date by selecting the Viewer icon from the toolbar.

You can print your conversation while it is in progress by clicking the Print button from the toolbar.  You may also print saved conversations by selecting Print in your messages window.
Q: Can I use NexTalk on a Mac?
A: Currently, NexTalk does not support the Mac OS, but will run on Windows for the Mac. 

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This page last reviewed: March 09, 2011