Handling Delays with the CapTel Phone
CapTel makes using the telephone as fast and easy as using a standard telephone. Ideally, this means that delays are kept to an absolute minimum, but there typically is a 3 to 5 second delay between the time a CapTel Communications Assistant (CA) transcribes the other end of the conversation until the time it appears on your display screen as captions. Occasionally, delays may be longer, depending on the speed and complexity of the conversation, or problems on the line that could interfere with the rate at which captions are displayed. To make sure that the other person knows that you are there during these delays:
Use the Signal Meter
This square graphic appears in the CapTel display screen during a captioned call (outgoing and incoming) and lights up to indicate sounds on the line. When a call begins, if you see the meter moving, whether or not you hear a voice or see captions, you may want to say something like, “I’m on the line, I will be with you shortly,” to let the other party know that you are there. Many CapTel users simply let the other person know that they are using a CapTel phone. You may choose to explain, “I am using a captioned telephone for this call. You may experience a slight delay before I respond while I read the captions, OK?”
Avoid Awkward Pauses
Inform your callers that you are waiting for captions so as to avoid any “awkward pauses” during conversations. For example, if someone with whom you were speaking asked an emotionally weighty question, and there was nothing but silence on the line for a longer-than-normal period of time, it could be misconstrued as a negative response, when in fact you were simply waiting to find out what the question was. When appropriate, you may want to make small acknowledgements such as, “Uh-huh,” or “Hmm,” while waiting for captions to appear. Alternately, you might simply say something like, “One moment, I’m reading captions.”
Ask Them to Slow Down
If you notice sizable delays in the captions, you may ask the other party in your conversation to slow down slightly if it appears that they are speaking faster than their words can be captioned, or to spell out complicated words or names, to insure the most accurate CapTel experience possible.