Often, a hearing impaired person has great
difficulty using a telephone because they
cannot hear the sound generated by the small
speaker in the receiver. Furthermore, if
the volume is loud enough, hearing aid users
frequently find it more comfortable to use
a telephone without using a hearing aid.
To help them, there are a number of specially
designed amplified telephones.
When comparing amplified telephones,
are some features to consider:
- Amplification - look for a phone with variable amplification,
especially if the phone is used by two or
more people. Amplified phones generally boost
the incoming voice from 25 to 55 dB, which
is useful for mild to moderate hearing loss
(the higher the dB, the more the amplification).
If the phone is used by someone with normal
hearing, you'll want to look for the ability
to shut off the amplification; similarly,
if the phone is always used by someone who
is hard of hearing, then an "always
amplified" phone is preferable. If the
user has trouble speaking, you may also want
a phone that amplifies the user's voice.
- Tone - Many times, loss of hearing is really
a loss of hearing in particular frequency
ranges. A telephone that can shift the frequency
(making the voice higher or lower) can result
in better clarity and thus more easily heard
conversations than simply boosted volume.
In addition to the above and
the usual features
to consider when buying a telephone,
may also want to consider these
- Loud ringer setting, flashing light, or vibrating
ringer, including the handset if it is portable,
to make it easier for the user to know when
a call is coming in.
- Large buttons to make dialing easier
- Emergency buttons for one button dialing
in case of an emergency