Apple computer refuses HOH/Deaf Senior ask for accommodation - fair?

At 66 years old, with Meniere’s and hearing loss rated severe-to-profound, I am not able to use voice telephony easily, so conduct business over SMS, chat or email. And as I’m late-deafened, I’ve never used TTY and don’t consider it a communication option suitable for me.

A recent purchase from Apple—a new M1 computer—proved to be defective, and required return to the company. This is where things got ugly: although Apple’s chat service is my preferred method of communication, Apple required me to either use TTY or voice phone to complete this return.

I pointed out that, as I am late-deafened, I have never used TTY, and that to use it would require me to find, install, configure and learn to use TTY to finish our transaction.

And I was VERY pointed about phone use requiring assistance from a hearing person: not acceptable. If you take Deaf money, you need to talk with Deaf people.

Like a broken record, I kept asking for accommodation, and was refused. No exceptions, no matter how much I asked. And if I shared the screenshots, you‘d see the disrespect. I was urged to “find a friend or neighbor to help you”, and was told that other customers installed TTY and found it worked just fine. Not one Apple chat agent responded appropriately to my repeated requests.

ALL OF THIS OCCURRING OVER APPLE’S CHAT LINE! I was using a communication method that is appropriate for me, and Apple can provide it—yet I could not complete my transaction on that platform.

Finally, the last chat agent stated that I was either going to have to call in over TTY or voice telephony to resolve my problem. The agent then announced that they were terminating the chat, and switched me off even before I could respond.

Skip to ending: even Apple’s support team couldn’t get my iPhone connected to Apple via TTY. I had to call a friend to come to my house and assist me.

Total time invested in SIMPLY GETTING IN TOUCH WITH THE RIGHT PERSON: over 8 hours. I spoke with at least 25 different agents over chat on this matter, but the decision-makers refused to communicate via that channel. Only phone.

Here’s my question: is this okay?

Apple’s position seems to be that by providing TTY options, they’ve done all they have to do for HOH/Deaf customers.

But what if, like me, it’s not a technology you can use? If I had gotten connected, I would have had to use my THUMBS to conduct these negotiations, using a tiny phone screen I can’t read. As this was a tense negotiation involving about $1800, that is NOT acceptable.

I’m mad as a wet hen. Sent in a complaint to, and got no response. Am I out of line? Is Apple entitled to do this?



Apple do what they want. ADA lawyers are too busy with those in wheelchairs and accessibility . Is ADA affective ? Not really unless you're a priority. Find some pictures of those that did you wrong. Put a black bar over eyes for copyright protection. Give credits (fair act) to the owner of the picture which helps narrow down that person. Then make illustrations with that picture. Like abandonment, violating ADA, kicking disability out hanging up. shocking sorts of things. Can't be against the law if you publish it as your true experience . Can't lie about it. Tell your story and pay to advertise to selected groups of people. CEO and board types of readers. Show us what a wet hen you are. Perhaps I can do all that for you or we all can group together and protest. Viral stories about your experience ain't pretty to Apple folks. They loose stock, money, customers till they get it. You're the only one with password to turn your viral stories off. Wet hens say, "Work with me and I might stop crashing your business". If not, tell 'em, "Good luck". Passwords goes to the grave with me. Put out more viral facts. Over time Samsung will thank you. they might pay for it all and give you a free phone. Do what trump and his idiots did, Tell folks to go to apple and protest, peacefully of course , wink wink. Wikileaks may have something on Apple.

Jane B.

Well-Known Member
Cynthia as the original poster in this thread it appears that you can type on a computer keyboard. A full size TTY has a keyboard like a computer which you can type on. Or connect the TTY in line with a voice phone (landline) and use Relay to call their voice line using what is called Voice Carryover where you use your voice for your side of the conversation and the Relay Operator — also known as a "communications assistant" or CA — types what the other party on the call says for you to read on the TTY screen.

States have programs that will provide TTYs free to those that live there. The details of each state's program differ from state to state. They will also help you learn how to use it.

I am also a senior citizen and have use the TTY/Relay combination since it come out. Once in a while you still may get some hang-ups because of inpatient people (you have to read what they are saying on the TTY screen) but generally it just WORKS. If you get one I think you will find yourself using it for other calls as well.

You may also be interested in using a cell phone (either an iPhone or one that uses the Android operating system) with an app such as InnoCaption. That provides a really seamless captioning service of what is being said to you. See their site at They have a lot of information online and I will not attempt to choose what you will be most interested in because it is also toooooo long to write here. Please do feel free to post additional questions in this thread.


Active Member
TTY is the legal option for a Company to be able to talk to a deaf. If you typed into this forum square and hit post typing into Sprint IP Relay (Which is what I use for 20+ years to make very difficult phone calls including to 911) Its seamless.

The TTY you are thinking of requires a land line. Its not true anymore. That is old and obsolete. No one keeps land lines anywhere unless they have to (Medical life alert etc) My last land line traditional phone to my home was almost 200 a month here in Arkansas A ripoff so I dont use them. Back to relay online. You can do this from any computer and ANY INTERNET enabled smart phone to get to it online.

You can pretty much forget the idea of deaf money or some other money money as being somehow different than legal tender in the USA. That old way of thinking is passed decades ago. Again technology has caught up to where you can do Relay faster than you can do a voice call the hard way. Its even more important to have a relay account now because Arkansas is going (Finally) to 10 digit dailing which means for domestic calling its one plus areacode and then the number. Where I am we have three seperate sets of numbers making some of those new dailing long haul calling believe it or not. I absolutely understood the old concept of "Taking deaf money" that was a form of seperating among hearing who discriminated against deaf student of age (16 or older) to buy cigerettes and over 21 for strong drink) 18 is age of majority. In Canada it used to be 14. So things are different among different peoples.

ANYWAY. I have not had used a TTY device in almost 40 years. I used to call my GF down in DC area at the library in town and they were more than gracious as its all long distance, pretty pricey in those days which was one of he first things they disposed of and went to new internet relay online. All of us in America pay something like 40 cents to support that.

If I had to make a call it's relay on the computer, again with sprint I have a assigned number that is a special quiet number that never takes calls. There is nothing on it for anyone to call. But it was a formal number. Just special. When I sit down and do relay on this computer, laptop spare or through the smart phone google go (Android) its over the internet to the Sprint people who do all the work on their end to make the call work well. My local lawman in town knows from my calling in the past exactly everything about me via relay. So if for some reason the call isnt completed then they are going to be coming through my door really quick. Its a small town. Everyone knows everyone, especially the deaf.

We don't mob citizens as the Law here. Here in the South its alot of common sense. So they usually call out what they think is needed for me. MSD in frederick invested alot of training in using the phone and associated tech of the time, calling Amtrack railroad to get a ticket arranged from DC to Seattle via Chicago. The call center there knows ahead of time its a deaf training call so we treated it in every way a real call. That kind of training can come a little harder to some who probably never in the past were put into a position to set up something really important over the phone.

Occasionally as a trucker in dangerous rest areas, (Highland Chicago IL, Monmouth NJ and others) that had some services for those from overseas or handicapped will come to the desk and speak the words "Gaw-Boleece" in a voice not suited for hearing. I instantly know that this one is a deaf and I get involved very fast and we go from there. I don't interperet very well but if a crime has been done against a deaf or wahtever that person has a heck of alot of help coming fast.

PRobably because our Hearing Family kept us deaf from "Playing" on the phone as much as possible in those days, they pretty much ruined a chance to teach some deaf how to use it to communicate. Now we are way past those old phones of those days.

Thats the other side of it. Anyone in my past wanting to visit will not have any problem making it happen. We are not that many deaf here. Mainly because there are certain things still happening here as happened and ended back in the 60's era (Sheltering etc, you have no freedoms which is itself a whole another topic)

As part of that freedom is to make deicsins for yourself and make your own relay calls to anyone you want to. Some will have to be taught what relay is before you call them (Auto shop for example, I got all 5 tother and explained my relay to them so they dont hang up and treat me badly as a scammer etc. So far its perfect.