3 UCaaS tools for the Hearing-Disabled

  • May 18, 2021
  • Author: Keith Young

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.

1. TTY technology

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!

2. Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS)

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.

3. Voicemail Transcription

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!

Other Accessibility Tools

Signaling Devices

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.

Telephone Amplifiers

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.

Putting everything together

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!

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