Difficulty understanding telephone callers? Captioning phones might help you stay connected

By Martha Robinson
Resident Writer

If it is difficult to understand telephone callers, a captioning phone, provided through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) might help you stay connected with family and friends and able to conduct business.

A caption phone is like any other telephone in that it connects to a telephone line, you talk and listen to your callers. You dial and answer calls the same way. Similar to captioned TV, advanced technology is used to quickly convert and show everything your caller says, as it is being said, on a large, easy-to-read screen beside a big-button keyboard. The phone also maintains a list of recent calls as shown in the photo. Regular phones in the home continue to work as usual.

The captioning phone needs to connect to the Internet the same way a computer connects.  The Internet connection is the link to the free captioning service. Installation and customer service are also free, paid through a fund administered by the FCC. This fund was established to fulfill the mandate of the American Disabilities Act to provide functionally-equivalent communications to people with hearing loss.

Eligibility for a free captioning phone is a certificate of hearing loss signed by a physician, audiologist, hearing related professional, or government/veterans program.

The captioning service used by the resident writer of this news item can be checked out at http://www.CapTel.com. The Medical Center audiologist is familiar with this type of equipment and service. When another model did not link to the Internet, Riderwood Connect personnel recommended use of this brand.


Martha Robinson discovered the caption phone and other hearing assistive devices after a sudden hearing loss made phone conversations impossible with family, friends, banks, doctors’ offices, and computer tech services.


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