There are a lot of people in the world who are deaf, hard of hearing, or otherwise hearing-impaired.
Phone calls are such an integral part of business and day-to-day communications, and sometimes there’s no way to avoid them. Is there a solution for those who aren’t able to hear properly – or able to hear at all?
There are a number of tools that can be used to allow accessibility for the hearing-impaired. From multiple ways to run phone calls to text-based voicemail, UCaaS allows anyone to access communication services.
TTY stands for text-telephone. It’s typically used by individuals with hearing impairment. It allows them to communicate by typing messages over the phone instead of talking.
Here’s how they work: TTY devices are plugged into a phone line directly. They have a small screen and keyboard.
Once your call connects, you’re able to type out messages which are sent over the phone line and displayed on the other person’s TTY screen. They send messages back the same way. It’s simple and easy-to-use – with no audio involved.
UnitedCloud supports the use of phones like the Ultratec Uniphone 1140 (shown above), a TTY phone that also has a receiver for making regular phone calls. It’s an all-in-one device!
If you are using a TTY and need to call someone who’s using a regular phone (or vice versa), the Telecommunications Relay Service enables you to communicate with one another.
The phone user speaks like they would in a typical phone call, and an operator transcribes their message into text, which is displayed on the other person’s TTY screen.
On the other side, the TTY user types in text, which is read out loud by the TRS operator. This system allows for communication without requiring special equipment on both sides.
TTY and TRS are great for communication during a call, but what about voicemail? How can someone receive voicemail messages without hearing them?
UnitedCloud offers a voicemail transcription service that solves this problem easily. Once it’s set up, all incoming voicemail messages are transcribed into text form and sent to your inbox as an email to read. Super convenient and helpful!
Since a ringer is useless to someone who can’t hear, many phones have the option for flashing lights or a vibration feature, alerting the user to a call without needing to use sound.
If the user isn’t completely deaf but only hard of hearing, a telephone amplifier can allow them to hear and communicate without a TTY system by increasing the volume of the call to be as loud as necessary.
These tools aren’t alternatives for one another, but act as a toolkit allowing those who are hearing-impaired to deal with any situation that requires the use of a phone.
If you’d like to learn more about the accessibility tools we have to offer here at UnitedCloud, we’d love to get in touch. Contact us today!
Before we get started, let’s define what a softphone is. The term softphone is a combination of the words “software” and “phone” – and that’s exactly what it is. A desktop softphone is an application for your desktop computer that allows you to make calls over the internet, rather than using a traditional phone line. […]Read more
Text-to-speech seems like a simple tool, but there are far more benefits to it than most people realize. You can increase the reach of your business, reach out to new people, improve employee training, and make productivity easy with this great service! Accessibility for people with disabilities There are a huge number of people who […]Read more
IVR, short for “Interactive Voice Response,” is a system that you probably come across often in your day-to-day life. When you call the local department store, you may be met with a pre-recorded voice that tells you to press a button on your keypad to connect to the department you want. That’s an IVR system. […]Read more