Let’s Talk About Hearing

More information about Free Phones – I received some emails this week from some friends about the “Free Phones” column.  It is nice that they read the columns.  And, it is especially great when they give me additional information.

Hearing Loss

One friend said there are “three requirements for a CaptionCall phone. 1. Internet Connection 2. Analog (plain) telephone line 3. Hearing loss.  The phone is no cost with a signed Certification form from an audiologist, a Hearing Instrument Specialist, or General Practitioner physician. The phone enables the user to keep the SAME phone number. There is no 1-800 number that needs to be dialed.”   Captioning assistants and voice recognition software is used and what the incoming caller is saying is captioned, or typed onto the person’s phone with 97% accuracy. The phone also has an amplification feature where can customized with the frequency boost of the incoming callers voice. The user must have an internet connection in order to qualify for the phone. The amplification is a wonderful bonus!

“CaptionCall is proud to announce a mobile option, as well. This is an FREE App that can be downloaded from the iTunes Store and a CaptionCall Installer will come to the individuals home to help them turn their iPad into a Mobile Captioning device. The hard of hearing individual may have a CaptionCall landline phone AND use the Closed Caption Mobile APP for FREE with Professional Certification.”

For the program run by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, other professionals such as Massachusetts Rehabilitation Counselors can sign the authorization forms.  These phones are designed to people with vision problems and mobility problems.   The main purpose of the program is to give more people access to phones that are helpful to keep communication open for families.

Another option for telephone use is Bluetooth streamers or transmitters that will stream or send the conversation from a person’s cell phone or Bluetooth landline phone to their hearing aids.  Most hearing aids today have the capability to receive a Bluetooth signal.  Some streamers must be plugged into the cell phone.  Most landline Bluetooth phones just stream or send the signal to the hearing aids.  Most manufacturers of hearing aids have their own system to work with their hearing aids.  Sometimes these options are included in the purchase of aids, but most of the time they are extra.  But, it is great technology to help hard of hearing individuals stay in touch with their family and friends.

Written and Submitted by Loleata Wigall, M.S. CCC-A, FAAA, President of Atlantic Audiology, Inc. 781-246-0305 lwigall@gmail.com