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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Allo', Allo'?

I know it's an odd title. It's a British Comedy that I used to love to watch on BBC(it is so sinful that I could not recommend anyone watch it, but the title is now stuck in my head forever!) and I needed a title to go with what I had to show you today.

My husband just received his new phone! It is called a CapTel Phone. Now I am guessing that everyone has seen those TTY phones that look like a typewriter with a phone dock on top. That is how deaf people would communicate by phone, and it was such a blessing, though not so easy if you can't type. My husband types about three words a minute and is miserable doing it. When we started to realize we were going to need something other than the specialty phone with the VERY high decibel range (you don't want to try and use one of those if you have normal hearing) I was afraid we would be stuck with a TTY and he would therefore not be able to communicate effectively. I had researched some things online and then called the operator to see where you begin with phone services for the hearing impaired. She said the first step was purchasing a phone, and that there were newer option out there.

One of the newer phones I found on the website she showed me was a one-way TTY, so the people calling us would talk, the operator would type their words, and Gary could read them and respond vocally. This way he wouldn't have to type at all. The cost was $240 plus shipping, but you know he is worth any cost! I also found an even better (in my opinion) option, which is the CapTel.
This phone has a screen that displays what the caller is saying to you as well as allowing you to hear the conversation. Since Gary is not completely deaf yet, this would give him a chance to hear if someone is yelling, or laughing (assuming they do it loud enough) and give the conversation a lot more meaning than just a script. I was saddened to see a price tag pf $499 plus shipping, but there was a side-note that if your state was listed in this red box area, they would give you the phone for $99 since they were trying out the new CapTel service lines. And guess what?!? There was Ohio!!!!!!!! So we got his new phone, which is the best phone we could have gotten, and we got it for less than $100! Go Ohio! (and those three other states- don't remember what they were)

This phone works in two modes. In mode one, you can call anyone and have captions appear. The down side is that someone calling you has to first call the CapTel line to be connected to the voice transcription software or there will be no captions. The other mode requires a second phone line, but any call can be captioned because the second line connects to the software. The down side of that is paying for a second phone line. We're still trying to decide which to use. In the meantime, Gary can call anyone and have captions. The phone is hard to read if it is lying down, though, so I came up with the idea to give Gary my cookbook stand. I took the phone plate, screwed it to the cookbook stand, and attached the phone. Now it is the perfect height and angle for Gary to read the screen while he is on the phone (he always has his special phone on his side of our bed). Yeah again!!!

1 comment:

a soldier's wife said...

That's wonderful that you found such a good phone and for such a great price!