Devices Offering Great Solutions (DOGS)

Telephone Equipment

 

Phones that meet your needs.

 

About Telephone Equipment 

 

Adapted equipment is available to help people with disabilities place and receive phone calls. There are many kinds of phones, as well as accessories and services that can help.

Interested in learning whether you qualify for a free adapted phone? Ask about TechOWL’s Free Special Phone program or find your state’s program.

What kinds of telephone options are there?

Big Buttons

Phones with large buttons can be both easier to see and easier to press.

Amplification

If you have trouble hearing, increased speaker and ringer volume might help. Companies like Clarity and Serene Innovations make amplified landline phones. They also make amplifier handsets that pair with your mobile phone.

Many of the Clarity products also have the option to make your own voice louder for the person you are talking to. This is called amplification of outgoing speech. If you only need this feature, a telephone voice magnifier from Hearsay is another option.

Captions

CapTel makes landline phones that display written captions. Many cell phones have a live caption feature or you can use an app for that.

Nonverbal Calling

Many people place video calls on their tablet or smartphone. This can be especially helpful if you use American Sign Language to communicate. Services like Sorenson Relay will interpret for you if the person you are calling does not sign.

For landline calling, a device called a TTY or text telephone lets you send written messages. The person you are calling must also have a TTY device, or you can use a relay service. The relay operator will read your words out loud to them and type their responses back to you. Companies like UltraTec make these devices.

Hands-Free Calling

Place landline telephone calls hands-free by using a voice-activated or switch-accessible dialing system. One example is the Vocally Freedom Voice Dialer.


Related Apps

 

  • Innocaption provides captions for calls placed on your smartphone. It is free for people with hearing loss.
  • Vibrating accessories like the Sonic Bomb pair with an app to notify you of incoming calls, texts, or alarms.
  • Do you use an AAC app to communicate? TouchChat and Proloquo2Go can be used to place calls over FaceTime.
 


How can I find out what’s new?

Technology changes all the time. To find out about the latest options for these, you can type keywords into a search engine such as Google, Safari, Firefox, or Bing on a computer or tablet. These are the keywords for this type of item:

 

  • amplified telephones
  • captioned telephones
  • Deaf telephone equipment

 


How do I find out more?

If you live in the US outside of Pennsylvania, you can find your state’s AT program.

If you live in Pennsylvania:

  • you could contact TechOWL to work with a specialist. We can meet with you and sometimes demonstrate this equipment. We can also help with different ways to get one for your own.
  • you might borrow this equipment to try out.

Are these in Pennsylvania’s AT Lending Library?

 YES