Is this really possible? You may seem to wonder. Yes, it is. Our advancement in technology has made almost anything possible, and this includes the hearing impaired being able to enjoy the benefits of speaking over the phone. Here is just some of the telephone equipment that the hearing impaired can use or buy:
TTYs or Tele-Typewriters. Hearing impaired people use TTYs to make and receive calls at home. Sending messages over TTYs is like sending short messages over cellular phones. The receiver of the message should have a compatible device to receive the messages. In some countries, human relay operators receive the messages from the hearing impaired's TTY and relay it to a hearing person through the standard telephone. TTY messaging can also be made through a personal computer using special software.
Amplified telephone equipment. Amplified telephones, whether cordless or corded, are used by the hearing impaired at home. In this equipment, the sound is amplified making it more understandable to the hearing impaired person. Amplified telephones have special features like notification systems and digital answering machines. Most amplified telephones can go as high as 50 decibels. This makes a hearing impaired person's hearing capacity to be almost similar to a hearing person. An amplified telephone can be bought as a whole and is linked to the regular phone line or a small amplifying device can be attached to any regular landline phone. The small amplifying device makes it easy for the hearing impaired to feel free to use any telephone outside the home.
Special mobile phone and accessories. In the past, the hearing impaired had problems using cellular phones because the radio signals interfere with their hearing aids. Nowadays, the T-switches of their hearing aids are used as receivers for calls received on their mobile phones. There are wireless looped headsets that are already compatible with Bluetooth enabled mobile phones. This is very important, especially in driving. The Federal Communications Commission gave an order to all wireless carriers to provide mobile phone services to the hearing impaired in 2002.
- Ringer amplifiers and signals. Although there are amplified telephones for the hearing impaired, there may be times that they are having trouble knowing that someone is calling. Here is where ringer amplifiers and signals come in handy. Ringer amplifiers amplify the ringtone to a specified decibel so that the hearing impaired person can hear it clearly even from a distance. A ringer signal is a small piece of telephone equipment that is hooked on the amplified telephone that lights up when a call is received. Other models do not only light up but also display a "call" sign on a small screen.
Being hearing impaired should not be a reason to not be connected over the telephone. At least, this is how it is in nowadays. Gone are the days when the hearing impaired is left out in terms of communication technology. They are fortunate somehow that there is already telephone equipment available for them.