Wednesday, November 16, 2011

TTY-compatible Cell Phones for Seniors

Hello everyone! I hope that those of you who have been following this blog are having a great week. For the last feature for this week, we will look at a cell phone feature that can serve the needs of seniors and those who have speech and hearing disabilities. It's a feature called TTY or Text Telephone / Teletype Terminal / TeleTYpewriter.

So what is it? TTY is a technology that is designed to cater to the needs of people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-impaired. It allows users to use a cell phone to communicate by enabling them to type text messages.

Now, here's an interesting question. Why is it different from text messaging? Well, TTY is more like text version of a phone call. It's a form of synchronous communication through text.

So how does it work? How can a senior use a TTY-compatible cell phone?

First one needs to connect the handset with a TTY-machine. This is usually done via a headset jack. The TTY machine will then connects to a relay service, which converts incoming speech to text for the person using the TTY. The relay service will then convert the outgoing text from the TTY machine to a spoken voice for the person on the other end of the conversation.

Here are a video that illustrates how it works:

Here here are links to TTY-Compatible cell phones that can help seniors who are hard of hearing:

We hope that this post can help the elderly and folks who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-impaired. Stay tuned as we feature more cell phones for seniors and related topics.

Image Credit: United TTY

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