Devices for the Deaf (TTY/TDD/TT) are like electronic typewriter
keyboards with a telephone carriage built in. The typed message
is displayed in an area above the keyboard. They allow people to
communicate with another by phone by typing messages. There must,
of course, be one of these machines on each end of the line. There
are several different models at varied prices. In some areas there
are programs to assist in their purchase. They are used in schools,
homes, and in many areas where equality in the domain of public
access is a priority.
Telephone Amplifying Devices are mostly
standard telephone receivers that are useful with hearing aids. These
phones are called “hearing aid compatible”. The option
on the hearing aid is called a telecoil. The telecoil is automatically
activated on some hearing aids and manually activated on others.
Basically, the telephone and the hearing aid’s telecoil communicate
with each other electromagnetically, allowing the hearing aid to
be used at a comfortable volume without feedback and with minimal
Cell Phones can be used with most
hearing aids. It is important to note that digital phones may
create constant noise or distortion with digital hearing aids.
It is best to check with your audiologist and to try out several
different phones to see which one works best with your hearing
Telecommunication Relay Service (TRS) is a
service provided by each state to its consumers who are deaf, hard of hearing
deaf-blind, and/or speech impaired. It is a third party service, which provides
text-to-speech, speech-to-text, and speech-to-speech services. Each state
contracts with a service provider to offer these services to individuals
who are disabled.
Voice Carryover (VCO) Telephone is a versatile
phone in that it has powerful amplification, is a hearing aid compatible
phone, and allows the use to make VCO calls. For people with severe or profound
hearing loss or who are deaf by can speak, VCO calls are calls made through
the state’s Telecommunication Relay Service (TRS). VCO allows the caller
to speak to the other party and read their incoming message, which is transmitted
via TRS, on the VCO phone’s visual display.
A CapTel Telephone is an amplified telephone
that shows the written, word-for-word captions of everything that is received
on the telephone. It works like any other phone with the addition of displaying
the written text of everything that is received by the user, word-for-word,
throughout the conversation. The CapTel user can list to the caller, just
like with any other telephone, and can also check the written captions on
the phone’s display window. The user does not dial up TRS; instead,
when the handset is lifted up and the number is dialed, connection will automatically
be made with a captioning company. A certified captioner will use voice recognition
software to print out, in English, what is spoken at the other end of the
call. Check with your state to see if it is provided through their TRS Contract.
Wireless Messaging is a 2-way wireless communication
system that allows the user to communicate via email, TDD, fax, alphanumeric
paging, and voice messaging using a small keyboard-like device that has a
Closed Captioned Television Devices have
made a large portion of television programming accessible to those
with hearing losses. When built into, or attached to, the television
set, they produce a printed version of the spoken words. These devices
have proven to be a tremendous aid to the development of reading
skills. All television sets, 13 inches or larger and made in the
US made after July of 1993, are required to have decoding technology
built in. They are used anywhere a television is available.
TV Listening Systems are designed
for listening to TV, radio, or stereos without interference
from surrounding noise or the need to use very high volume.
Models are available for use with or without hearing aids.
TV listening systems allow the family to set the volume of
the TV, while the user adjusts only the volume of his/her listening
Direct Audio Input Hearing Aids are hearing
aids with direct audio input connections, usually using wires, which can
be connected to the TV, stereo, audiocassette player, CD player and/or radio
as well as to microphones, auditory trainers, personal FM systems, and other
BTE-FM is a behind-the-ear FM auditory trainer.
It functions similarly to other auditory trainers. However, it does not have
a receiver or cords. It can also function as a personal hearing aid.
Modified Earmolds can provide a small boost in user receptions effectiveness.
Although slight, this increase can make a difference to some hearing aid
users. Your audiologist can tell you more about these earmolds.
Wrist Vibrators are sometimes used to provide
a tactile sensation of speech and other sounds. While these have not been
used much with children, they may be of some value to some children. In the
same way, many children with a hearing loss like to place their foot or hand
on the speakers of televisions, radios, and stereos as they “listen”.
Speech Visualizers are electronic devices
that can represent different aspects of speech like pitch and volume.
They have proven to be helpful in speech production.