As a deaf person telephones are not an easily accessible option for me. While there is a service called Next Generation Text Relay which puts an operator in the call to speak what I type and type what is said to me, the quality and speed of that ‘relaying’ is often very poor in practice.
If I must use a telephone I would prefer to use a textphone (aka minicom) number which means I am typing directly to the other person who is also typing. No operators involved.
However, it is very rare for organisations’ published textphone numbers to actually work.
Most textphone users I know, no longer even try textphone numbers.
Legally an organisation providing a textphone service is providing an auxiliary aid or service as a reasonable adjustment for disability under the Equality Act 2010. By not checking them or ensuring they are in good working order, they are failing in this duty.
I have decided to follow Anna’s advice by complaining to companies who publish broken textphone lines whenever I come across them.