Individuals with hearing loss can receive free assistive technology for captioned telephone service from participating providers on their home phones, mobile phones, and other communication apps. Real-time transcriptions of communication are a vital service for those who rely on their phones to stay connected with family and friends and to communicate with health care professionals and emergency responders.
Veterans of all ages can benefit from captioned telephone service, as they are disproportionately affected by hearing loss. Hearing loss is not just due to degeneration from aging; Veterans are 30% more likely than non-Veterans to have a hearing impairment.
What is Captioned Telephone Service?
Captioned telephone service enables people with hearing loss to speak during a phone call and then read the other person’s response in real-time as transcriptions appear directly on their telephone or an app. This service is known as Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS), and it uses a combination of automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology and skilled transcribers, or ASR technology.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that captioned telephone service be “functionally equivalent” to communication technology used by individuals without hearing loss. This service is overseen by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
How to Get Free Captioned Telephone Service
Several providers offer captioned telephone service. When registering for this service with providers, the FCC requires individuals to self-certify that they have hearing loss necessitating telephone captioning. Some providers may require professional certification from a physician, audiologist, or other hearing-health professional.
CLICK HERE for a list of captioned telephone service providers.
Click here to access the original article by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs