Useful services for people of different abilities, including Directory enquiries, NGTS, InterpretersLive! and Emergency SMS.
These services are designed to make communication easier for different people. If you want to know more, you can contact our dedicated Accessibility team.
If you need emergency assistance in the UK you can send an SMS to 999. The text will then be converted and passed to the appropriate emergency service.
You’ll need to register your phone by texting the word ‘register’ to 999 before using this service. You should then receive SMS messages about the service. See
www.emergencysms.org.uk for more information on how to register.
It's important to remember that from time to time things don't go according to plan. In exceptional circumstances this service may not be available and until you get a reply to your emergency message you should try to use other ways to contact the Emergency Services such as dialling 18000 on a textphone, using the Next Generation Text Lite App or asking a neighbour, friends or passer-by to dial 999 – please see below for more information on text relay.
Don’t forget, as this is a UK-only service, it won’t work while abroad and in these circumstances, you should try other ways to contact the local emergency services, such as asking someone with you or a passer-by to dial the local emergency services if needed (if within Europe, the local number will be 112).
We offer a free directory enquiries phone service to our disabled customers on 195. Before you can use it, you’ll need to register for Three’s Accessibility services and the 195 directory enquiries service by contacting us.
You won't be charged for calling 195 and you can ask for multiple searches for UK residential and business listings. If you ask the operator to connect you, once you're connected, your call will be charged at the standard rate for your price plan, or come out of your allowance. This applies if you’re a Pay As You Go customer with an Add-on too.
InterpretersLive! the video relay service.
You can use InterpretersLive! to contact us through a sign language interpreter.
When accessing the service for the first time through a tablet or phone, contact InterpretersLive! for your free app invitation.
- A Windows, Mac, Android or iOS device
- a webcam or inbuilt camera in your device
- a broadband upload speed of 1MB
- Adobe Flash Player.
InterpretersLive! will work on Google Chrome version 46+, Firefox version 45+ and Opera version 39+. If you’re using Safari 9 or Internet Explorer 11, download the plug-in when asked. You’ll only need to do this once, next time you’ll be taken straight to the call button.
If you want to talk to InterpretersLive! or are having problems with their service you can:
If you have difficulty hearing or speaking, you can use a Minicom textphone to make calls. It has a keypad and a small screen that lets you type what you want to say and read what the person on the other end of the phone is typing back. To buy a Minicom textphone visit Action Hearing Loss, where you’ll also find devices, advice and other resources.
To contact us using a Minicom textphone, dial 0800 3586799. This service is available Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 6.30pm.
Text Relay and the Next Generation Text Service (NGTS).
We support the Next Generation Text Relay Service for customers who need to make calls where some or all of the call is made or received in text.
If you can’t speak or hear on the phone, or you prefer not to, Next Generation Text lets you have conversations by using the internet or a textphone. You can also download the Next Generation Text Lite app onto your smartphone or tablet to use it on the go.
Text direct access prefixes are the codes you need to dial before dialing the number of the person you are calling. These are:
- 18001 for Text to Voice
- 18002 for Voice to Text.
To use this service when contacting Emergency Services, dial 18000 using your textphone.
How you use Next Generation Text depends on your needs. The options available are:
- Type and Read (for those who can’t hear and don’t use their voice).
- Speak and Read (for those who can’t hear but can use their voice).
- Type and Hear (for those who can hear but don’t use their voice).
- Speak and Hear (for those who have some hearing and do use their voice).
There are many different ways to use Next Generation Text. You can use a landline or mobile phone for the voice part of the conversation and a PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet to see the text if you choose to. If you have a smartphone which lets you use the internet at the same time as using the phone, you can hear, read and speak using the smartphone. These are just two ways you can use the service.
You can also now make calls to international numbers from the UK. To do this, just dial 18001 (from the phone you linked to NGT), followed by the full international number starting with 00. For example, 18001001 for a number in the USA or 180010049 for a number in Germany.
Relay assistants only speak English, so won’t be able to translate in calls between different languages.
For more details and for more information on the service and how it works, please visit www.ngts.org.uk.
Standard UK calls through the Text Relay and Next Generation Text service are free. Non-standard UK calls will be discounted.
Emergency text relay.
To use the Text Relay service when contacting Emergency Services, dial 18000 using your Next Generation Text Lite App or textphone.
Please note that this service is not designed for use outside of the UK as it only connects you to the UK Emergency Services. Other ways of contacting the local Emergency Services when abroad should be used instead, such as calling 112 (if in Europe) or the relevant local emergency services number directly if possible or asking someone with you or a passer-by for assistance in calling Emergency Services.