The WVU Speech and Hearing Clinic offers a wide variety services for clients, including its new Caption Call program, which provides captioned telephones to anyone with hearing loss or a hearing aid.
Caption Call phones are funded by the Federal Communications Commission through the Americans with Disabilities Act, making the phones free for all who qualify.
“This is amazing and free assistive technology,” said Janet Petitte, a clinical instructor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. “Some of our clients say that they couldn’t live without the phone.”
The phone features a screen that displays a real-time transcript of every phone conversation, making it easy to follow conversations and to rewind or repeat portions of the transcript. The phone’s volume, text size, screen brightness and decibel level can all be adjusted to fit the needs of individual users.
“Even with hearing aids, it’s difficult to talk on the phone,” Petitte said. “It can be very isolating. Caption Call phones allow individuals with hearing loss to talk on the phone much more easily.”
In order to qualify for the free phone, individuals must have a professional certification form through a participating provider like the WVU Speech and Hearing Clinic. The Clinic is equipped to offer automatic referral for those who qualify.
Caption Call phones will only work in homes with both a landline and a high-speed internet connection. Once an individual has met all approval guidelines for a Caption Call phone, someone will come to their home to install the phone within two to three weeks.
For more information about services offered by the WVU Speech and Hearing Clinic or to schedule an appointment, individuals should contact Melissa Mitchell via phone at (304) 293-6817 or via email at Melissa.Mitchell@mail.wvu.edu.