People with hearing difficulties could have a hard time understanding telephone conversations. That could lead to frustrations for the caller and callee — or worse, open the caller up to scams.
There is an option for Southwest Valley hearing-impaired residents, and it comes with no cost. Faye Cluthe, a Surprise resident, is regional sales manager for ClearCaptions, an agency that provides phones that include readable captions of a caller’s conversation.
“I have been working to have a presence for ClearCaptions in the Greater Phoenix area for the past 2.5 years,” she stated in an email. “I finally was able to get transferred here with my husband and we have settled into Surprise.”
Caption telephones are provided at no cost to qualifying residents through the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The service is available for anyone in the U.S. who speaks and reads English and has hearing loss that necessitates the need for captions on the phone. The service is also available to minors who meet the above.
“Anyone is entitled to the Caption Telephone at no cost as long as they have hearing loss, over the age of 16 and can read and speak English,” Ms. Cluthe explained.
She believes the service is even more needed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There are many seniors and others at home, isolated from friends and family, and not allowed to have visitors,” Ms. Cluthe stated. “Think about this, hearing loss already causes isolation, not only to have the overlay of a pandemic causing additional isolation, it doesn’t get much worse or depressing does it?”
Ms. Cluthe works from home and ventures into the field to install phones and train residents to use them. The phones can be shipped or delivered.
“We have been creative with doing installs due to some people that can’t have visitors in their homes and apartments by doing remote installs, sometimes with the support of family or caregivers, but we can also do in-person installs and we take the precautions of masks and other safety procedures to be as safe as possible,” Ms. Cluthe explained.
The ADA, signed into law in 1990 by President George Bush, included the Telecommunications Relay Service Fund, which requires all telecommunication providers to pay a fraction of their fees into that fund. That is how ClearCaptions gets paid, according to Ms. Cluthe.
“If anyone ever experiences hearing loss where captions would be helpful for them, they are entitled to the telephone,” Ms. Cluthe stated. “They own the telephone, and it has a lifetime warranty so that if anything ever happens to the telephone, we just replace it.”
Call 480-865-4865 or email email@example.com for information about qualifying for the device.
ClearCaptions was founded in 2011 with a driving force to serve the hard-of-hearing community, according to Ms. Cluthe. Since its inception, the California-based company strives to bring value and improve the lives of customers, she added.
“Making communication easier is our passion,” Ms. Cluthe stated. “We believe in providing the highest levels of service and products to our customers. Words Matter to us at ClearCaptions.”
ClearCaptions also has a new app available for the iPad for those having difficulty hearing on the phone.
“This is helpful for those that might have struggled with dexterity issues or reading the smaller print on the iPhone,” Ms. Cluthe stated.
News Editor Rusty Bradshaw can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @SunCitiesEditor.