Using the Cellular Telephone as a Hearing Aid
Original Publication Date: 2003-Mar-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Mar-31
The Hearing Aid Compatibility Act of 1988 (HAC Act) requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ensure that all "essential" telephones are hearing aid compatible. "Essential" phones are defined as "coin-operated telephones, telephones provided for emergency use, and other telephones frequently needed for use by persons using such hearing aids." These might include workplace telephones, telephones in confined settings (like hospitals and nursing homes), and telephones in hotel and motel rooms. Currently, many people who use hearing aids or who have cochlear implants have difficulty finding a digital wireless mobile telephone that functions effectively with those devices because of interference and compatibility problems. Requiring public mobile service devices to be made compatible with these devices would ensure that people with hearing disabilities would be able to enjoy the same access to wireless communications that other consumers do.