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iPhone Non-Compatibility with Hearing Aids and Cochlear Implants

16813 Views 26 Replies Latest reply: Sep 19, 2007 9:36 PM by SLAPSHOTW RSS
  • Tim Yates Level 2 Level 2 (175 points)
    Apparently the phone meets the standards set forth by the FCC, they approved the device. Maybe this information from Cochlear's website will be of value to you.

    *What can I do when my cell phone isn’t compatible with my implant?*
    If you’re not ready to trade in your existing cell phone for a new one, there are some accessories that can help reduce noise and distortion:

    Hatis®: The Hatis headset lets you use a phone “hands free” and provides access to phones that are not otherwise compatible with implants. For ESPrit 3G recipients, there’s an earpiece that fits behind the ear and a cable that connects to a cell phone’s headset jack. (Please note: Your processor must be switched to the “T” setting when using a Hatis.) Or, if you have a telecoil accessory, the Hatis has a flat piece called a silhouette that can be placed next to a telecoil. Visit www.hatis.com for more information.

    *Cellular Headsets:* Purchase a headset with a large, padded earpiece. Place the earpiece over your implant’s microphone. If the headset is telecoil compatible, activate the telecoil to deliver sound via magnetic induction. To determine whether a headset is telecoil compatible, test it with your telephone and activated telecoil. Visit www.plantronics.com or www.radioshack.com for more information.

    *Custom Patch Cables:* Custom patch cables provide a direct connection between the cell phone and your implant’s speech processor. They connect to phones with a headset jack. Their clip-on microphone also lets you use phones “hands free.” For more information, contact businesses that sell custom patch cables for cell phones: www.soundbytes.com or www.cihais.com.
    15" MBP, 2.16 CoreDuo, 2GB, Mac OS X (10.4.8), iPhone 8GB
  • LongTimeUser2 Calculating status...
    The FCC has not approved the iPhone; it is a watchdog agency mandated to ensure compliance. The manufacturer is responsible for complying with the law. Apple is out of compliance and thus the coming complaints to the FCC.
    Below is an excerpt taken from the website:

    http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/accessiblewireless.html

    For manufacturers of digital wireless handsets for use or imported for use in the United States:
    • By September 16, 2005, each such manufacturer had to offer to service providers at least two ANSI U3 or M3-rated hearing aid-compatible handset models for each air interface offered.
    • By September 18, 2006, each manufacturer must offer to service providers at least two ANSI U3T or M3T-rated hearing aid-compatible handset models for each air interface offered.
    For both digital wireless service providers and manufacturers:
    By February 18, 2008, fifty percent of all handsets must meet the ANSI U3 or M3 hearing aid-compatibility requirement for each air interface offered.

    For additional information about the FCC's actions with regard to hearing aid-compatible wireless phones and other steps the Commission has taken to ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to telecommunications services, please go to www.fcc.gov/cgb/dro. You may also contact the FCC's Consumer Call Center at 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY
    MacBook Pro 17", Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • Bontemps Calculating status...
    Just a note without getting into technical aspects. I am "profound" in my hearing loss, and I get by with these digital hearing aids. I find that the best use of the iphone is just using it normally and I can usually hear just fine. But, if there is a large amount of background noise, I usually take the hearing aid off and put the iphone to my ear. The phone is usually loud enough that I have no problem holding a conversation with it. I appreciate all that is done in the name of the hearing impaired population and I wanted to chime in that there are some that do not have real problems with the iphone.

    Now, I wish they could bluetooth my hearing aids to work with the iPhone.
    emac ati, extreme wireless, Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • LongTimeUser2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Check this out! http://www.elihearing.com/

    I have the smallest blooth device in the world that connects to your hearing aid if you have inputs (mine on on the back side of the aid and you'll see what appears to be "golden" contacts. You will need an adapter as one would use with an FM system...see your hearing professional. Also, I suggest your next hearing aid have the telephone switch. Just hit that and all you hear is the phone; hearing people give the the phone for me to answer at noisy places because it's too loud for them.

    Good luck.
    MacBook Pro 17", Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • Nathan C Calculating status...
    HearingExchange,

    The FCC has to approve any wireless device prior to it being available for sale in the U.S..

    Apple has created a website, and contact group to address accessibility issues.

    The can be reached via this link:
    http://www.apple.com/accessibility/

    Hope this helps,

    Nathan C.
    iMac G5 (work), Mac OS X (10.4.10), Home Built Athlon XP 2300+ 1 GB DDR XP Home SP2
  • LongTimeUser2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    The FCC does not approve nor do they physically look at any new phone that comes onto the market for "approval". The FCC is a watchdog agency that takes complaints for non-compliance with the law. The manufacturer is responsible for following the law.

    I listed the website for the FCC in my prior post so you might want to look at it as related to hearing aid compatibility. The website reference you gave for Apple does nothing towards giving insight into hearing aid compatibilty. Other supports such as TTY support noted in the website does not absolve Apple from being off the hook for hearing aid compatibility issues. Should you unfortunately find yourself in need of a hearing aid tomorrow and in need of the compatibility, I'm certain you would do a more thorough check of your rights.

    For those of in need of the compatibility, do us a favor and expend some of your energy calling the FCC and filing a complaint on our behalf, and perhaps, someone else's future need.
    MacBook Pro 17", Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • Ansuz82 Calculating status...
    I don't want to sound like I hate the hearing impaired or anything, but is it the law that ALL manufacturers of cell phones have to include this feature?
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.9), iPhone 8gb
  • LongTimeUser2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hello Paula and Ansuz:

    First for Ansuz: Go to the website of the FCC that I posted before in this forum and you will find exactly what is required.

    For Paula: I agree with you that it is the manufacturers' responsiblity to bear the burden....in a perfect world. The reality is that we have all sorts of laws on the books....take the Lemon Law. The people responsible for addressing Lemon laws do not go out to car dealerships looking for compliance. It is the consumer that must contact them.

    And so it goes in this case; we should not have to complain but the FCC doesn't go out looking for trouble. We need to make sure government does it's job....in our imperfect world.
    Unfortunately, sometimes it even takes the power of the courts to enforce laws.

    Thanks for writing.
    MacBook Pro 17", Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • SLAPSHOTW Level 3 Level 3 (745 points)
    The FCC does not approve nor do they physically look at any new phone that comes onto the market for "approval".


    That's not true. Without taking a side on how much in compliance with the law Apple is here, the FCC must inspect and approve every phone before it goes on the market. That's why Apple announced the iPhone so far before releasing it, because (as Steve said) the FCC is notorious for leaking pictures of phones while they're in inspection.
    Core 2 Duo MBP, 8gb iPhone, iPod nano 4GB, iPod 40GB Clickwheel, 20" Cinema D, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • LongTimeUser2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    You are wrong and cite your sources please.
    MacBook Pro 17", Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • SLAPSHOTW Level 3 Level 3 (745 points)
    Read the first sentence of the last FAQ here:

    http://www.fda.gov/cellphones/qa.html#36a

    Which says the FCC must approve all phones before they are marketed. Also, see this:

    https://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/oetcf/eas/reports/ViewExhibitReport.cfm?mode=Exhibits& RequestTimeout=500&calledFromFrame=N&applicationid=268052&fccid='BCGA1203'

    which is Apple's actual filing with the FCC, for the iPhone, after it was announced and before release.

    Also see this:

    http://www.engadget.com/2007/05/17/fcc-thinks-different-grants-approval-to-apple -iphone/

    That was Engadget's story on the FCC approving the iPhone for sale before it was sold.
    Core 2 Duo MBP, 8gb iPhone, iPod nano 4GB, iPod 40GB Clickwheel, 20" Cinema D, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
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