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Caption Phones

Audio To Text Devices

What You Should Know About Caption Phones

  • According to National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, nearly 1 out of 4 Americans aged 65-74 deal with hearing loss, and 1 in 2 aged 75+ have hearing issues. 
  • A caption phone provides instant on-screen text for those who struggle to hear during phone conversations and offers a way for the hard of hearing to stay connected with family and communicate for help when needed.
  • Caption phones and related installation and services are free of charge, covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS).
  • Patients must qualify to receive a caption phone by working with their doctor and contacting a caption phone supplier.

How We Chose The Best Caption Phones

  • Captioning Capability: Only a few companies offer telephones with actual working captions to help people with hearing loss. Whether it’s through a captioning agent or speech recognition software, the phone device must be capable of providing word-by-word transcriptions of what the person on the other line is saying.
  • Costs and Availability: Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, caption phones and related services are free of charge for eligible individuals. To consider the company, they should have a streamlined application process and accessible customer support. Bonus points if the company offers fast and free installation.
  • Ease of Use: Since we’re making a list of caption phones for seniors, one of our top criteria is how easy it is to operate the device. Senior users should be able to operate the phone and use its features without assistance. 
  • Relevant Features: The more features catered towards people with hearing loss, the better. Features such as a volume amplifier, tone adjuster, and a loud speakerphone can go a long way in providing a better experience for deaf and hard-of-hearing seniors.
  • Service and Support Quality: All devices must not only have a working captioning feature, but the transcriptions should also be accurate and with little delay as possible. In addition, the companies must offer live customer support via chat, email, and phone.
CapTel 840
CapTel 2400i
CapTel 880i

How Do Caption Phones Work?

Ideal for people with some degree of hearing loss, caption phones work just like a standard telephone with one crucial additional feature: it shows every word the other person says during the phone call. With caption phones, seniors can listen to the person from the other line and read the written captions displayed through a bright, easy-to-read screen.

Dial the other person’s contact number precisely the same as you would with a standard telephone to start a call. Once a number is dialed, most captioning phones will automatically connect to a Captioned Telephone Service (CTS). The service will be facilitated by a captioning agent or an automated speech recognition program, or both.

At this point, the senior will simply talk on the phone like usual as the captioning service transcribes the other person’s dialogue. The captions will then appear through the built-in screen for the senior caller to read.

In some caption phone models, the caller can directly dial the other person’s number, which will be captioned without further steps. However, in some models, the caller has to dial the captioning service’s toll-free number first, then dial the other person’s number.

If you want to learn more about the best caption phone for seniors click here, or contact us now!

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a caption phone work?

Most if not all captioning services use a combination of advanced speech recognition technology and live operators to provide written captions of every word the other person is saying on an easy-to-read screen.

Caption phones with internet capabilities enable you and incoming callers to simply dial the contact number to connect to the captioning service. For landline-only models, incoming callers may need to dial a toll-free number to make sure the recipient can read the caption.

Do all caption phones need an internet connection?

Most caption phones require a high-speed internet connection since a free online service provides the captions generated on the screen. In some models like CapTel, both high-speed internet and a home telephone service are required.

If you want a model that doesn’t require the internet, you should consider the CapTel 840, which only requires an analog telephone line and standard electrical power.

Are my conversations private?

Yes. Captioning services are regulated by the FCC and are bound to strict obligations for confidentiality. As soon as you hang up the phone, the captions will disappear from the live operator station. Also, in keeping with FCC regulations governing Relay Services, none of your calls are recorded or saved by the captioning assistants.