Previous 1 2 Next 26 Replies Latest reply: Sep 19, 2007 9:36 PM by SLAPSHOTW
HearingExchange Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
*iPhone's non-compatibility with hearing aids and cochlear implants is a huge disservice to deaf and hard of hearing consumers.* Often, this segment of the population relies on cell phones as their device of choice for telecommunications. Electronic landline phones don't offer the same clarity and quality of sounds. For many with hearing loss, it can be a fine line between speech discrimination and lack thereof.

It is unfortunate that *Apple has chosen to ignore the millions of people with hearing loss when developing their "revolutionary" iPhone.* The national advocacy organization, *Hearing Loss Association of America has already filed a complaint with the FCC.* Hopefully, Apple execs will heed the call of this special population and rectify this situation soon.
  • 4n6doc Level 4 Level 4 (2,305 points)
    I think that you should bring this important issue to the attention of Apple's PR department. Their phone number is (408) 974-2042.
  • HearingExchange Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks so much for the info! I'll be passing it on to others as well.
  • An Inconvenient Carbon Credit Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Well known radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, or "El Rushbo" employs Cochlear Implants and owns an iphone. He likes it so much that he bought 40 iphones for his staff and close friends.
  • HearingExchange Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    That's great for Rush but many people with hearing aids and cochlear implants need to use the "t-switch" or telecoil feature which blocks out background noise when they're on the phone and allows them to hear only the speaker on the other end. Without the telecoil compatibility the phone is useless to them.

    Can you send me the link about Rush? Would love to read it. Thanks.
  • SLAPSHOTW Level 3 Level 3 (745 points)
    iTunes now supports closed-captioning though (and I think the iPod Touch does as well, which means the iPhone will as well most likely), which is a step in the right direction.
  • HearingExchange Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I haven't heard anything about this. How does the closed captioning work?
  • SLAPSHOTW Level 3 Level 3 (745 points)
    You can read about it in the iPod touch feature guide:

    http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/iPodtouch_FeaturesGuide.pdf

    I don't see why this wouldn't come to the iPhone.
  • iphonechik Level 2 Level 2 (210 points)
    There is always the TTY Setting on the iPhone which assists the "Hearing Impaired"! With that setting you can get an adapter for $19.00

    *iPhone TTY Adapter*

    *This adapter lets you use your iPhone with standard TTY devices. Just plug the cable from your TTY device into one end of the iPhone TTY Adapter, then plug the other end of the adapter into your iPhone.*

    That's always another option..:)
  • LongTimeUser2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have read the threads on iPhone incompatibility with hearing aids and there is some comparing of apple((s) no pun intended) and oranges if you will. The issue of telecoil/T-switch use on a hearing aid is a separate issue from closed captioning. As a hard of hearing person with a digital hearing aid, my preference is to hear a television as opposed to watching captions on it. The same would be true of a cell phone use even if captioning were available on it. The matter is one of accessibilty and fairness. I have met and "tested" other manufacturers cell phone with their initial attempts to make them compatible, and many have; it's a fifty cents telecoil to put in from what I understand.

    I just returned from an Apple store Sat. and every salesperson attempted to give me a TTY connector as the "solution". I'll call Apple PR on my compatible cell phone. Listen up Apple, there are almost 30 million of us with hearing loss, mostly older and with the money to buy. I did say money, right? Oh, that's only a tenth or so of the US population.

    As a long-time Mac user-Apple 2E, a professional working with people with hearing loss and hearing aid wearer myself, this is HORRIBLE. Who wants my money! And to top it off, I bought a not insignificant number of Apple (APPL) shares Fri. before I found out about this. Guess I would like to know how many other shareholders are hard of hearing Maybe one works in the FCC? I'm MAD!

    I love you Apple but this one has to be rectified. Let's do it the easy quiet way. I'm sitting on $300 or so wanting an iPhone. You want it?
  • LongTimeUser2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    My apology this is posted twice; just noticed how things are following chronologically and the first post of the below is in the middle of the others and I didn't want it overlooked:

    I have read the threads on iPhone incompatibility with hearing aids and there is some comparing of apple((s) no pun intended) and oranges if you will. The issue of telecoil/T-switch use on a hearing aid is a separate issue from closed captioning. As a hard of hearing person with a digital hearing aid, my preference is to hear a television as opposed to watching captions on it. The same would be true of a cell phone use even if captioning were available on it. The matter is one of accessibilty and fairness. I have met and "tested" other manufacturers cell phone with their initial attempts to make them compatible, and many have; it's a fifty cents telecoil to put in from what I understand.

    I just returned from an Apple store Sat. and every salesperson attempted to give me a TTY connector as the "solution". I'll call Apple PR on my compatible cell phone. Listen up Apple, there are almost 30 million of us with hearing loss, mostly older and with the money to buy. I did say money, right? Oh, that's only a tenth or so of the US population.

    As a long-time Mac user-Apple 2E, a professional working with people with hearing loss and hearing aid wearer myself, this is HORRIBLE. Who wants my money! And to top it off, I bought a not insignificant number of Apple (APPL) shares Fri. before I found out about this. Guess I would like to know how many other shareholders are hard of hearing Maybe one works in the FCC? I'm MAD!

    I love you Apple but this one has to be rectified. Let's do it the easy quiet way. I'm sitting on $300 or so wanting an iPhone. You want it?
  • HearingExchange Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I understand people are trying to be helpful, but there are some misconceptions here about what people with hearing loss need from cell phone technology. A person who is deaf or severely hard of hearing who is unable to use a telephone is a candidate to use a TTY or an Internet relay service. (A TTY is a device that allows the person to read what is being said by the person they are speaking to.)

    People who are deaf or severely hard of hearing who are able to hear on telephones, for example, many who are successful cochlear implant users, use cell phones using their cochlear implant processors or hearing aids. They can listen and speak on their own and don't use TTY technology. These are the people (and there are many) who may use cell phones exclusively because they can hear better on them than on landline phones. The telecoil feature is something built in to the phone, by the manufacturer, that makes the phone compatible with their hearing aid or cochlear implant processor. Thus, they don't get the feedback noise that they would without it.

    Also, a captioning feature does not solve the problem for people who actually do their own listening on the phone. Captioning on the iPod is similar to captioning on the television. These are pre-made captions for the lyrics to songs and are not done "live" as would be needed for a phone converstation. That's what TTY and Internet relay services do.

    Deaf and hard of hearing people who are telephone users should not have to go out and buy adaptive equipment to make their phones compatible. It is the law in the U.S. that phones be equipped with the telecoil feature. This is why complaints have been filed with the FCC against Apple.

    Paula Rosenthal
    HearingExchange
    Blog and Resources for People with Hearing Loss, Families and Professionals since 2000
    <edited by host>

    Message was edited by: HearingExchange

    Message was edited by: Brett L
  • romad Level 3 Level 3 (590 points)
    HearingExchange wrote:





    Deaf and hard of hearing people who are telephone users should not have to go out and buy adaptive equipment to make their phones compatible. It is the law in the U.S. that phones be equipped with the telecoil feature. This is why complaints have been filed with the FCC against Apple.





    Well, since the iPhone had to be APPROVED by the FCC BEFORE it was released, then they saw that it already met the law's requirements. The use of adaptive devices is one of the APPROVED ways of complying with requirements.
  • w7ox Level 4 Level 4 (2,385 points)
    HearingExchange wrote:
    *iPhone's non-compatibility with hearing aids and cochlear implants is a huge disservice to deaf and hard of hearing consumers.* Often, this segment of the population relies on cell phones as their device of choice for telecommunications. Electronic landline phones don't offer the same clarity and quality of sounds. For many with hearing loss, it can be a fine line between speech discrimination and lack thereof.

    It is unfortunate that *Apple has chosen to ignore the millions of people with hearing loss when developing their "revolutionary" iPhone.* The national advocacy organization, *Hearing Loss Association of America has already filed a complaint with the FCC.* Hopefully, Apple execs will heed the call of this special population and rectify this situation soon.


    What is the source of the "facts" stated above. I know folks with hearing aids using an iPhone and know of no technical reason there should be any incompatibility.

    But, if this is true, there are many more cell phone choices out there: It is Apple's loss if (as is alleged) they do not address this market.

    Please provide factual basis statement so we can know if this is credible or trolling. If true, I am sympathetic -- since I am deaf in one ear. But unsupported allegations serve no purpose.

    Phil
  • HearingExchange Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    You're absolutely right, I should have cited my source. In the September 10th issue of their newsletter, the Hearing Loss Association of America (formerly known as SHHH) said:

    *Apple iPhone Not Hearing Aid Compatible*

    +*The iPhone arrived amid much hype and secrecy. HLAA met with Apple and AT&T representatives to play with and test out the phone. In addition to learning how the various technological innovations such as the touch screen work, obviously we were eager to know how accessible the phone is to people who use hearing aids and cochlear implants. What we learned was very discouraging. The bottom line is that the phone is not hearing aid compatible either on microphone or telecoil settings.*+

    +*Complaints have been filed with the FCC because HLAA believes that Apple, when designing the phone, could have tested it for hearing aid compatibility implemented standards to make it accessible to hearing aid and cochlear implant users.*+

    This info was printed in their email newsletter and is not on their website yet, which is at http://www.hearingloss.org.

    Message was edited by: HearingExchange
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