So what are the must-haves?

glickchick

Member
Hey everyone,

Newly deafened gal from NYC here. I'm hoping to get advice on what are the technologies and products that I absolutely must have to make my new life easier. I already got an alarm clark with a really bright flashing light, and am looking into trying to change my iPhone to a texting only plan.

Any other ideas?

Thanks,
-Lauren
 

Lily7

Member
One thing that I find absolutely necessary is using a Captel service to make phone calls. This is especially useful for people who aren't yet fluent enough in sign language to use video phones.

Basically with Captel services, what the person on the other end of the line is saying is typed out for you on a screen so you can read it, but you are still able to use your voice and talk to that person. You don't need to be able to hear them, you can just read them and talk back to them like you always did, the only difference is the conversations will be slower and people you talk to will need to know to wait a few seconds for your response after they say something, to give it time to be typed out for you.

There are several options for captel, first of all you can try it out right now if you want to by using the web interface, it is free, you only have to register to use it and have a regular phone handy to use with it (landline or cell works). https://www.sprintcaptel.com/webcaptel.asp

That will at least give you the experience of captel if you haven't tried it yet. If you find you like it, you can actually buy landline phones that are made for that, and there is an app you can download for Android phones to use it that way - with the app on the Android phones you even get your own phone number to use just with the captel that is separate from the phone number for your cell phone. People can call this personal number and it will always come through the captel app and be captioned for you. I am not sure if they have this app on iphone yet or not though.
 

dorothybaez

New Member
I love the CapTel also....I use the web version, and recently downloaded the Android version.

I don't use a doorbell flasher because the dogs usually let me know when someone's at the door, plus I live in a big house and really don't want to bother putting up a bunch of them.
 

Dixie

Farting Snowflakes
Premium Member
I didn't know there was a web version of CapTel. The other must haves are vibrating/flashing alarms, cell phone with texting, IP relay, CaPTel phone, CC on your tv, subtitled DVDs, flashing doorbells and smoke alarms with carbon monoxide detection and where possible sign up for apps that give you weather alerts on your phone either trough the weather channel or from a local news station that has an app of its own available. If you are a student look into CART or having a note taker. Oh yeah and definitely email! I hope this helps.
 

TWA

New Member
Premium Member
I use Captel, but I find the delay (at least 2-3 seconds, sometimes as much as 5-10) in the on-screen printout, coupled with the sometimes inaccurate decoding can be a real drag. The system uses an automatic voice recognition program, which is watched over by a real person who makes corrections. That person is usually inept at their job.

I only use it when absolutely necessary, like when I have to call the bank or order delivery. To have a conversation with someone, it's useless. I recently used it to do an over-the-phone interview for a job. It didn't go very well. I think the interviewer was frustrated by the delay, and I think I gave an answer that didn't make any sense because the decoder wasn't accurate.

This is my experience, however. I use it coupled with a Magic Jack. That could be the problem.

Anyone else notice similar burdens with Captel?

I'll be switching to voice carry over VRS soon.
 

Lily7

Member
I use Captel, but I find the delay (at least 2-3 seconds, sometimes as much as 5-10) in the on-screen printout, coupled with the sometimes inaccurate decoding can be a real drag. The system uses an automatic voice recognition program, which is watched over by a real person who makes corrections. That person is usually inept at their job.

I only use it when absolutely necessary, like when I have to call the bank or order delivery. To have a conversation with someone, it's useless. I recently used it to do an over-the-phone interview for a job. It didn't go very well. I think the interviewer was frustrated by the delay, and I think I gave an answer that didn't make any sense because the decoder wasn't accurate.

This is my experience, however. I use it coupled with a Magic Jack. That could be the problem.

Anyone else notice similar burdens with Captel?

I'll be switching to voice carry over VRS soon.

I had a CapTel phone a couple of years ago along with Magic Jack, and they did NOT play nicely together, nor did the web version. For me, it was so bad it was unusable.
 

Dixie

Farting Snowflakes
Premium Member
I should also add a new one that I just discovered. A NOAA radio with readouts of the warnings on the screen. I am told most NOAA radios have an input for a strobe to get your attention, so this is a must if you are able to get it. The NOAA radio is called REECOM I believe.

I hope this helps.
 

ap

New Member
I love my vibrating alarm. Without it, I don't think I'd get up in the mornings!

This is what I have:

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From here
 

Roca

Member
Glickchick,

I'm also a CapTel user.

Here in VA,I was able to test it for 1 month before my "purchase" became permanent. My income was also low enough for the state to pick up the cost.
I also have the option,4 years from now,to upgrade my equipment if new technology comes out. Check with your state's rehabilitative services or
deaf/hard-of hearing services to see if you qualify income-wise.

The only drawback I had was that the CapTel's call history/caller id wouldn't give me the callers' phone numbers but gave all other info. Ultratec,CapTel's parent company,solved the problem by sending me an Emerson Model EM60 Caller ID. Hell,it even announces the phone numbers (voice feature) and shows length of calls!

It can be set up for 1 line or 2 line mode. I have 1 line mode (DSL). My
outgoing calls automatically caption but incoming callers have to dial an 800
number,depending on language,state,or relay service.

Of course,some hearing people get pissed off having to dial 2 numbers to
allow me to have captions but that's their problem,not mine.

Several months ago,I bought an internet capable tv,the Sony NSX 24GT-1. It uses the Google browser (preset) and the Droid web browser can
also be downloaded from the apps page. You might need a router (I do) to bring out the internet potential of a Sony Google TV@.

The CCs on said Sony tv are fully customizable re: colors,styles,backgrounds,and size. If I default to the "as broadcast" mode,the captions sprawl across the bottom or top of screen. In the "custom" mode,CCs go to the bottom left or top left of the screen,allowing you to see more of the picture. CCs are also visible in the picture in picture
mode,which allows one to websurf and watch tv at the same time. (You can
drag the tv picture all around the screen.)

Best tv I ever owned! The price has come down since I bought it.

I hope you find whatever assistive equipment you might need.

Good Luck,

Roca

P.S.-Captioning on CapTel telephones is also customizable.
 

LDNanna

New Member
Premium Member
I like HOVRS relay rather than captel. I used Sprint online captel. It just stops working. Never worked correctly. It did not translate my late brother's drawl at all. I gave up. Relay seems to be the best for me. I have been lucky enough to find great operators every time. They even describe tone and background information. My P3 says it has VCO option there but I do not know how to use it at all. Besides, voice - ech. Hovrs means I dont have to do hair or anything. lol
 
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