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Amplified Phones

Updated on February 27, 2018
RuthCoffee profile image

I have worked with individuals with special needs for over 20 years and acted as my mother's care giver as well.

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Finding the Right Amplified Phone

If you have a hearing impairment or know someone who does maybe you should consider an amplified phone to make communication easier and more effective.

There are a number of models on the market with various features to aid those who have hearing loss and some that provide options for the deaf. Primarily we are talking about landline phones, but there are a few options for those needing an amplified cell phone.

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General Phone Features

There are many features to consider when selecting amplified phones. Just as with any telephone you should decide whether you want a corded phone or cordless. Cordless obviously provides more mobility. Speaker phones are also available for those who prefer these models. There are even a few cell phones with amplification, some are simple phones built for "seniors" and others are rugged phones built for construction sites and so forth.

Also like other telephones you need to determine whether features such as caller ID, answering machine functions, and so forth are desirable.

How Much and What Kind of Amplification?

Amplified phones boost volume. Check the phone you're considering to see if the volume will be adequate. Some will increase volume by 10 dB while others can increase it by up to 50 dB.

Another important consideration is tone control. For many with hearing loss, higher frequency sounds are more difficult to hear than lower frequency sounds. If the phone allows users to amplify particular tones or frequencies it may be more effective.

In many instances having an amplified ringer or some type of visual indicator (such as a flashing light) to alert the user of an incoming call is critical for those with a more significant hearing loss. It is also possible to purchase amplified ringers and handsets versus an entirely new phone.

For those with hearing aids, it's also important that the amplified phone be hearing aid compatible with at least an M3/T3 rating.

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Features For Motor or Visual Problems

There are other features to consider when choosing an amplified phone. Sometimes a user can benefit from larger buttons or single button dialing/speed dialing or perhaps voice dialing to compensate for any difficulty using the tiny buttons on regular phones.

For others with visual impairment, amplified phones with Braille are necessary.

Features For Those with Profound Hearing Loss

In some instances an amplified phone may not be sufficient. A TTY phone, or TDD, offers such individuals the ability to place and receive calls via a keyboard and display for printed text. VCO phones are another alternative. Learn more about them below.

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Voice Carry Over Phones

VCO phones look like traditional amplified phones but they also have a screen to type messages to display. These phones allow severely hard of hearing and deaf people to communicate over the phone using their own voice.

The call goes through a VCO service so that when the receiver of the call responds, their message is typed by a VCO assistant for the HOH or deaf person to read on their phone.

These phones allow faster and more natural communication than a TTY.

Who Makes Amplified Phones?

Amplified landline phones are made by a number of companies. Panasonic, Clarity, and ClearSounds are among the most well known and respected.



Cell Phones With More Volume

There are some cell phone models that are designed with amplified sound. One example would be some of the phones that are designed specifically for elderly individuals. Phones like the Jitterbug FLIP, Jitterbug SMART, and the Snapfon ezTWO are examples of this.

Some of the rugged cell phones also offer increased volume, especially with a louder speakerphone function for those who work or play in noisier environments. The Sonim XP7 is an example.

Related Resources for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Assistive devices cost money, here are some links to get you started in finding some financial assistance.

© 2008 Ruth Coffee

Amplified Phones: Did You Find What You Needed? Let Us Know!

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    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: I think igs a great work done. http://www.stylomart.com

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Very helpful lens for those who need this kind of phone.Blessed by a Squidoo Angel on 2/4/2011.Have a great day!

    • profile image

      Ladyclodine 8 years ago

      The products specified above are well differentiated, thanks to technology but i prefer owning a disposable hearing aids, expensive but would give you comfort using them.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      I did not realise that there were so many different varieties - like the others I hope I will not be needing this info for awhile!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Wonderful lens!

      Good information about amplified phone. I have lens rolled this lens ans check this out as shortly I will be getting one such phone.

      checkout my the hearingaidguide blog

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 9 years ago from USA

      Wonderful lens full of really helpful information that I too hope I won't need for a while but I'm glad it's here, just in case!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 10 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Good information that I hope I won't need for awhile, but I've added it to my SquidBoomers lens and blog for future reference. Love the bed shakers - I could have used one of those for a certain son of mine who shall remain nameless!

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