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FCC Wants All Cell Phones Hearing Aid Compatible

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Nov 19, 2015, 12:11 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

The FCC today expanded the scale of hearing aid compatibility in cell phones to include IP-based communications, such as WiFi and VoLTE. AT&T and Verizon Wireless recently sought and received waivers to offer WiFi calling along with an alternate to the legacy technology called RTT (real-time text). The rules require handset makers to design phones that comply with both current and future technologies. The FCC wants phone makers to consider hearing aid compatibility as early as possible during the design process. The FCC also issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to help define a path toward making all phones accessible to people who use hearing aids or have cochlear implants. Right now, phone makers only have to make a small selection of their handsets accessible to hearing-impaired persons. The FCC wants to see such people offered the same range of devices that are available to all consumers. The FCC is seeking comment on its proposal, which was developed together with consumer and industry representatives.

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Nov 19, 2015, 7:36 PM

iPhones are not deaf friendly

My Grandma was so deaf she had to use a voice relay service. I had to switch to an Android phone because Apple uses their own visual voicemail service and, with Apple's, if the caller doesn't start talking within 2 seconds of the beep they get cut off "ARE YOU STILL THERE?" Well the 5-10 second voice relay delay always prevented my Grandma from leaving a message which greatly complicated our lives at times.

My point is deaf and hard of hearing people are always overlooked so I'm happy to see some progress being made in this field but I hope Apple finally fixes their voicemail issue too because I'm sure there are many other families who experience the same problem my Grandma and I once did.

Also, I would have loved to see my Grandma w...
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