Company looks to make calls clearer for hearing impaired residents
A company that specializes in clearer phone communication for those who have problems with their hearing is bringing its free phone product from the West Coast to the Charles County region.
On July 6, Rupali Dewan, ClearCaptions territory manager, introduced a free product to Indian Head residents and Indian Head Town Council that will help local citizens who cannot hear very well, to improve their communication with their family and loved ones.
In her presentation, Dewan explained that ClearCaptions provides text of phone conversations for people with hearing loss and is certified as a caption telephone provider by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). ClearCaptions offers innovative communication services on a variety of platforms, including personal computers, mobile devices and home phones. The ClearCaptions phones are provided free with call Log displays previous conversations, speakerphone offers hands-free calls, and digital amplification boosts a customer’s voice up to 50 decibels.
“I am reaching out to all communities and aging divisions in Charles County and Prince George’s County areas because I want to educate and let seniors know there is another option for communication and there is technology available to them so they would not be cut off from their loved ones and family members,” Dewan said. “I have seen it happening with people who say their grandkids cannot hear them because their phones are not clear. This means a lot for those people especially.”
“I contacted ClearCaptions to make sure it wasn’t a scam and it is very helpful for the hearing impaired local resi- dents,” said Councilman Curtis Smith. “The town council said we would do new innovative things while in office and I actively seek innovative ideas especially that are free to the residents. It is important that the town provides services that will better the lives of our residents and I think the additional information from ClearCaptions was well received, so we plan to inform more residents about it.”
Dewan said ClearCaptions customers have two options when using the Ensemble phone. They can either pick up the handheld part of the phone or they can turn on the speaker. Customers can also receive their voicemails as a text massage on the screen. She said one of the best parts about this phone is that installation only takes 15-20 minutes.
“The phone works with a customer choosing a high pitch or low pitch level for their phone call, and the pitch is measured in decibels,” Dewan said. “Its clarity is so good that it helps people who are hard of hearing, at any age.”
After receiving your phone, customers are asked to sign an authorization form so that they can get their hearing tested afterwards as requested by ClearCaptions. A doctor will need to diagnose the customer’s hearing impairment and ClearCaptions can be used as a referral for those who cannot afford a visit to the doctor.”
The ClearCaptions phone is a captioned phone that displays the text of conversations in seconds on a large color touchscreen while also amplifying a customer’s voice. Customers will see and hear what callers are saying and the phone will help ensure that they get the whole conversation, Dewan said.
Dewan said that residents who do not have hearing loss but still would like to have the phone, can go online to purchase it through ClearCaptions for $75, compared to the actual market price of $500.
According to ClearCaptions, in 1990 cable companies had to contribute a certain amount of money toward this phone product, by law. Since 2014, ClearCaptions has been helping people of all ages, especially senior citizens, to communicate with their loved ones.
“Just because people have difficulty hearing, does not mean they don’t deserve to stay connected to their family and loved ones,” Dewan said.
“It’s good to know that the ClearCaptions program is out there,” said Mayor Brandon Paulin. “People with hearing loss can use the phone for free just like many of the programs made available by the federal government. I’d like to see on the town website so that more people will utilize this technology.”