Captioned Phones

For people who are living with hearing loss, captioned phones can be an excellent tool to aid in communication with friends, family members, and professional contacts. Telephone conversations are often difficult for people with hearing loss, as they are not able to rely on lip reading and contextual cues to obtain meaning from conversations. Captioned phones are important because they can add a visual cue!

Telephones typically do not transmit the full frequency range of speech, which can present a significant challenge for those whose speech understanding is already compromised. Many people with hearing loss shy away from using the phone or rely on others, often isolating themselves, which can contribute to loneliness, depression, and other negative health effects.

Captioned telephones have a built-in screen that displays text captions of the conversation during a phone call in near-real time. When a call is made, the captioned phone automatically connects to a Captioned Telephone Service (CTS). When the other person answers the phone, the caller hears whatever they say just like with a traditional telephone call. At the same time, the words are transcribed into captions that appear almost simultaneously on the phone’s display.

Anyone with a hearing loss that impairs telephone use may be an eligible candidate for a provided captioned phone. FCC regulations prohibit the use of captioned telephone services by people who do not have a hearing loss that necessitates it. For more information, contact our clinics at 816.478.3008.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990 ensured people with hearing loss had the same access to telephone use as others.

Author
Anna Grashoff, AuD, CCC-A, FAAA

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