Some people find using the telephone a great pleasure and an asset. In today’s world, hardly anyone is without a mobile phone.
We have transitioned quickly, in the space of twenty years, from mostly having house phones or landlines to having billions of people that have access to Smartphones or new cell phones.
Parents buy phones for young children so they can always be in touch. People buy the latest models, so that they can always follow the latest trends.
And some people buy these devices, because it is a necessity.
Technologically, the gadgets keep improving and they have new features and new apps. Before, new cell phones were just for talking. Now, you can do a multitude of activities. For example, texting, browsing the internet, downloading applications, doing research, playing games and video chatting with loved ones.
Phones for People with Hearing Loss
However, with these improvements, come an even greater ability to be inclusive. They are more flexible and accommodating enough for people with hearing loss. We now have phones strictly for the hearing impaired.
Generally, those who suffer from a hearing impairment would have great difficulty using a mobile phone for conversations. But today, there are phones that work well with a hearing aid and can eliminate any external noises.
What is an Assistive Hearing Cell Phones?
So, you might be asking yourself, how is this possible. Well, man continues to develop great modern marvels. But these assistive devices enhance the phone conversation for a person who is hearing impaired.
After the creation of the Hearing Aid Compatibility Act of 1988 by the Federal Communications Commission, all manufacturers of mobile phones had to design their models to be companionable with a hearing aid. By 2003, this was further adjusted to include mobile phones.
The Hearing Aid Compatibility Act of 1988
According to the Compatibility Act, “the Commission shall require that all essential telephones, and all telephones manufactured in the United States (other than for export) more than one year after the date of enactment of the Hearing Aid Compatibility Act of 1988 or imported for use in the United States more than one year after such date, provide internal means for effective use with hearing aids that are designed to be compatible with telephones which meet established technical standards for hearing aid compatibility.”
It further states, which phones must adhere to the regulations. These include:
- “telephones used with public mobile services;
- telephones used with private radio services;
- cordless telephones; and
- secure telephones.”
Cordless telephones would refer to cell, mobile or Smartphones.
How Are You Listening to the Phone Conversation?
The right hearing impaired phone for you will depend on how you are planning on listening to your phone conversation. Because the phone you use, must be compatible with your type of hearing device.
You can opt to listen with a telecoil feature or you can listen acoustically.
1. Telecoil Coupling
If you have a greater degree of hearing loss, then this is probably the best option for you.
This telecoil option works by conducting the electromagnetic energy that is transmitted from your phone. It sends it to the hearing aid processor, rather than directly through the hearing aid microphone.
This can be a manual or an automatic process. It depends on your hearing aid. Because generally, the hearing device sometimes picks up the electromagnetic field transmitted from the assistive hearing cell phones. If not, then it will require that you switch to the telecoil or “T” mode yourself.
To know which option you have, just ask your hearing healthcare provider.
2. Acoustic Coupling
This is a simplified approach. The person who is wearing the hearing aid just needs to place the receiver of the phone to the hearing aid microphone.
Generally, people with a moderate case of hearing loss can do this. Because you will not only hear the person speaking on the phone, but you will also hear any background noises as well.
Features of Assistive Hearing Cell Phones
Assistive listening devices have additional features. Again, these are in keeping with the Hearing Aid Compatibility Act of 1988 by the Federal Communications Commission.
1. Volume Control
Assistive hearing cell phones have features to adjust the volume upwards or downwards. It is a necessary component to work along with an individual’s hearing aid.
The controls are not just for listening to the phone conversation. But, it is to adjust the ringer as well.
In addition, you will have another general feature, which is the ability to alter your ringtone. People will prefer a certain kind of ringtone, because it is easier to hear.
2. Incoming Call Alerts
There are other elements that will make the owner of the phone more aware that a call is coming in. This includes vibration and flashing lights. You will find this helpful, if you are in a noisy environment or if you are listening to something else with the volume turned up.
For example, your television programming.
3. Speaker Phone
A speaker phone is helpful on phones for hearing impaired persons. This is because it helps to eliminate any interference that might occur between the phone device and the hearing aid.
Get an Assistive Hearing Cell Phone Today
If you are struggling with finding the right device, because you suffer from hearing loss, just ask or visit a phone retailer.
All brands are required by law to have a suitable model for your use. They have many great features including speech to text, volume control, flashing lights and a variety of call alerts. And they look no different from the everyday mobile phones.