R&D Blog

The R&D Blog is a forum for manufacturers to share their latest research and news, but more importantly is a place for readers to comment and discuss new developments with them. Above all, it is a forum for opinions, questions, and discussions about hearing aid technology between manufacturers and hearing healthcare professionals. Submit an article for the R&D Blog by sending it to the editor at HJ@wolterskluwer.com. Articles should be no more than 1,500 words, and will be reviewed and edited before posting. Readers may submit comments, which will be moderated, by clicking the link below.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Free or Low-Cost Telecommunications Equipment Offered to Hearing Impaired

By Jan Sheehan


Qualified consumers with hearing loss now have access to the best in amplified telephones from Amplicom, which are approved by and part of special state programs in Iowa, Kansas, Georgia, and Tennessee. Amplicom is known for its practical approach to telephone communications for those with hearing loss. The company’s PowerTel series of corded and cordless amplified telephones and accessories have met and exceeded the TIA-1083 standard for superior hearing aid compatibility developed by the Telecommunications Industry Association. Based on the most advanced technology, these phones are known for their excellent induction level and exceptionally low distortion and interference versus conventional amplified phones. They are also fully compatible with hearing aids and cochlear implants. 

“We are proud to be part of these state’s efforts to bridge the hearing loss gap by making the most advanced yet user-friendly communications devices both accessible and affordable,” said Michael Abramowitz, the president of Amplicon.“We look forward to being part of many more such programs across the United States and to working closely with the audiology community to direct consumers toward these services.” 

Through Telecommunications Access Iowa, the telecommunications equipment distribution program of the Iowa Utilities Board, eligible residents may receive a voucher for approximately 95 percent of the average cost of specialized telephone equipment from approved providers, which now include Amplicom. Visit www.relayiowa.com/tai for more information.

The Kansas Telecommunications Access Program provides specialized equipment at no cost to Kansas residents with disabilities or impairments to access basic home telecommunication services. Residents who meet eligibility requirements may receive a voucher to cover the cost of equipment that is chosen from a list of approved items. Visit www.kansastap.org for more information.

Georgia residents with hearing or speech impairments that prevent them from using a landline telephone may benefit from the Georgia Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Program, which was enacted by the Georgia legislature. The program offers equipment, training, and warranty repair services to eligible applicants free of charge. One must apply for the program by completing an application form and providing the required documents to determine eligibility. Visit www.gachi.org/gatedp for more information.

Tennessee’s Telecommunications Devices Access Program is designed to distribute appropriate telecommunications equipment so that disabled persons may effectively use basic telephone service. Devices are issued as permanent loaners on a first-come, first-served basis. Residents who meet eligibility requirements will receive an appropriate device matched to their specific needs by program administrators. Visit http://tn.gov/tra/consumerfiles/tdap.shtml for more information.

The Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Program is a service of the New Mexico Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The program lends telecommunications devices at no cost to qualified New Mexico residents who need assistance in communicating on the phone. Devices include amplified telephones, teletype and speech-generating devices, alarms, neck loops, and silhouettes. Visit www.cdhh.state.nm.us/TEDP.aspx for more information.   


Ms. Sheehan is the creative director at Light Years Ahead in Los Angeles, which is the public relations cousel for Amplicom. Visit www.amplicomusa.com for more information.