FREE Telephones for the Hearing Impaired
Telephone use can be a very stressful situation for people with hearing loss. First, not all acoustic information comes through over the telephone so you are getting LESS information than if you were talking to someone face to face. Secondly, without being able to see someone’s face you don’t have any opportunity to lip-read – something we ALL do unconsciously. You also can’t “faceread”, meaning you wouldn’t be able to take contextual cues from a person’s facial expression during conversation.
So, in addition to your hearing loss making it just plain harder to hear, you are getting less acoustic information, you can’t lip read, and you are not getting any facial contextual cues. See? Stressful!
There are a couple of ways to try to overcome this. AMPLIFIED TELEPHONES have been around for a while and are just that – phones that amplify the other person’s voice. This is great for people to use WITHOUT their hearing aids, or to use in conjunction with hearing aids if you turn the phone down to an appropriate level. Remember that hearing aids have a ceiling where they will not amplify beyond a certain point. This is to protect your hearing and to help prevent sounds from getting uncomfortable. If you wear hearing aids and also turn the amplified phone up all the way, all that you will get is distortion.
Another option is a CAPTIONED TELEPHONE. A captioned telephone works just like a regular telephone, but it also has a very helpful feature for those of us that need it. Similar to TV captioning, the speaker’s voice is sent through a voice recognition program and then transcribed to written word. This written word is displayed on a large, easy to read digital display on the phone itself. The only thing you need is a power supply, phone jack and an internet connection – they even come to the house and install it for you. Imagine having a conversation on the phone where you can READ the other person’s response! How helpful do you think that would that be for someone with hearing loss?
Best of all is that both of these options are FREE to residents of the state of Florida! Simply contact us for a hearing evaluation so we can verify that a hearing loss is present. What a wonderful gift for a loved one – a free and easy option to help make all of our lives easier.
Contact us today for more information.