Find out if you may qualify for a no-cost phone with captions.
To our readers: While the term “hearing impaired” is not a preferred reference in the hearing loss community or our company culture, you will find a few mentions in this article to help those using it in their online search access this information. We assure you that our limited usage in this piece does not reflect our values, views, or conduct. Respectfully, The CapTel Team
For people with hearing loss, access to communication tools like hearing impaired telephones can lead to a better quality of life. Phones for people with hearing loss can include various benefits like hearing aid compatibility, live call captioning as included with all CapTel phones, and other helpful features.
Recognizing the importance for everyone to be able to communicate over the phone, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that telephone services be accessible, which has resulted in several Federal and State-level programs that support the telephone needs of people with hearing loss.
These programs make it possible to provide hearing impaired phones at no cost or at a reduced cost:
- With a certification of eligibility
- For federal employees with hearing loss
- For veterans with hearing loss
Some of these programs are available nationwide in the U.S., while others depend on the state you live in. Learn more about each program below to determine whether you qualify for a no-cost hearing impaired telephone.
To be clear, CapTel captioning service is part of a federally-funded program, so there is no charge to people with hearing loss to use this service. Whether you receive a CapTel phone through a program or purchase a CapTel phone directly, there are no ongoing costs beyond what you already pay for your current telephone service.
Hearing loss phones with a certification of eligibility
CapTel telephones are available at no cost to anyone with hearing loss who needs a captioning service to communicate effectively via phone. You’ll need to contact your doctor, audiologist, or other hearing health professional so they can sign and date a Third Party Certification of Eligibility form, confirming your need for a captioned hearing impaired telephone. You can print the form before your appointment, and then fax or mail the signed copy afterward.
If you are not able to visit your doctor’s office in person, you can fill out the form at home and provide it to your doctor – either by email, by fax, or via U.S. Mail. Many offices can even certify your form electronically. You do not need to schedule an office visit to receive certification.
Once your hearing health professional has signed your certification, you can choose from any CapTel Internet-based phone models that work with a high-speed Internet connection. Note: The CapTel 840, an analog model, is the only CapTel model not available through this program. Learn more about the third-party certification program here.
Hearing loss phones for federal employees
Through the Federal Relay program, active federal employees who are deaf or hard of hearing can request a Federal CapTel phone at no cost. Submit requests through the Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP), which you can learn more about here.
Not a federal employee? Many state equipment programs work to provide hearing impaired telephones at no cost to residents of their state. View CapTel programs by state here.
Hearing loss phones for veterans
Some national and statewide technology assistance programs provide no-cost hearing impaired telephones to resident veterans. Heroes for Hearing Loss is one organization that provides veterans with CapTel captioned telephones at no cost through their program.
For statewide assistance options, find your state in our program list to explore offerings and eligibility.
To learn more about our captioned phones for hearing loss, call (800) 233-9130 today.