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Telephony for the Hearing Impaired

Telephony for the Hearing Impaired

As the old commercial states “reach out and touch someone,” but as we age phoning a friend or family member can become a little more difficult. Hearing loss can make everyday conversations, watching TV, or simply calling a grandchild a very frustrating endeavor. Depending on your level of loss, there are plenty of technology aids to help you communicate with your loved ones.

Telephony for the Hearing Impaired

What Causes Hearing Loss?

We can’t completely blame hearing loss on old age (while it does contribute) there are many reasons for our hearing loss. The way our ear works is that sound waves enter our ears and these sound waves vibrate the eardrum and three small bones in the inner ear. The vibrations are then passed through fluid in the cochlea where nerve cells translate these vibrations into electrical impulses that travel to our brain. According to mayoclinic.org, there are several reasons for our hearing loss that include:

  • Damage to the Inner Ear: When loud noises or aging interferes with the transmission of these sound waves into electrical signals to the brain, hearing loss occurs.
     
  • Earwax: As earwax builds up, it hampers the transmission of any vibrations therefore creating muffled sounds that impair hearing.
     
  • Ear Infection/Abnormal Bone Growths/Tumors: Whether it’s in the outer or middle ear, these impediments can impede the transmission of sound vibrations into electrical impulses.
     
  • Ruptured Eardrum: When ruptured, the eardrum cannot vibrate and therefore not allow any sound vibrations to pass through to the cochlea.

Some reasons for hearing loss can be temporary, while some can be permanent and even hereditary.

When You’re Being Called

Telephony for the Hearing ImpairedMany who suffer from hearing loss have a hard time hearing the phone when it rings. Technology can help!! The use of amplified ringers as well as flashing lights can alert someone to an incoming phone call. The ClearSounds CR200 ClearRing Amplified Telephone Ring Signaler simply connects to your existing telephone line and when a call comes in, a strobe light and amplified ringing tone at 95 dB activates, which is sure to get your attention. Since a flashing light is a great way to grab our attention, the Geemarc Telephone Ringer and Flasher utilizes bright LED lights to get your attention and can even be connected to a Sonic Alert Shaker Bed Vibrator for sound sleepers. For someone that needs a little extra, the Sonic Boom Alarm Clock and Telephone Signaler with Super Shaker produces an astounding 113 dB to either wake you up or alert you to an incoming phone call. Through the use of a 9 V battery this can work even during a power outage. A simple way to alert you of any incoming call is with a Future Call Loud Ringer Light Box which is wall mountable and doesn’t require a power source, so as long as the phone rings you are connected!!

Reach out and Touch Someone

The hearing and physically impaired may have a difficult time placing a phone call to their loved ones, friends, or even 911. The ability to amplify sound may be just what you need. The ClearSound UltraClear Portable Telephone Amplifier canTelephony for the Hearing Impaired increase the volume up to 40 dB and is still compatible with digital office phones as well as voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) phones. For those who are also suffering from vision loss, the Geemarc Large Screen Amplified Corded Telephone for Vision Loss has a max ringing volume of 80 dB as well as a large screen and a talking caller ID. It is even compatible with hearing aids and is wall mountable as well as being tabletop assessable. A design that has T Coil hearing aid users in mind, as well as being un-tethered, is the Geemarc Amplified Cordless Telephone. It’s equipped with a flashing ringer option and an adjustable volume control. It offers the user superb clarity and minimal interference with digital or even older hearing aids. One way to amplify your telephone signals by up to 35 times is with the Krown In-Line Amplifier. It connects easily between the phone base and handset and can even adjust high-frequency sounds to your desired level. One way to incorporate your hearing aids into your communication system at home is with the Amplicom NL 100 Induction Neckloop for Power Tel Series. It allows users to receive incredible sound directly through their T coil hearing aids. It works with corded, cordless, and cellular telephones so keep in touch with everyone!!

Telephony for the Hearing Impaired

TTY

You may have seen TTY when it comes to telephones for the deaf. It stands for Text Telephone and allows deaf folks to communicate with their family and friends. The Ultratec Minicom IV TTY Telecommunication Device uses Turbo Code to enjoy real-time conversations with other turbo code TTY’s. This is perfect for all your basic communication needs!! For people who are just hard of hearing, deaf, or have normal hearing you can now share one phone. The Ultratec Uniphone 1140 Voice Carry Over TTY Telecommunication Device allows you to speak directly to the other person or read their typed responses on the display with this amplified phone and TTY all in one. No more excuses, we can now talk to those annoying family members whenever they call or when we need them.

 

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