Closed Captioning for Your Cell Phone

I’ve gotten to the point where I have a really hard time understanding people on the phone.  So, I usually request text or email.  I can access email all the time since I can just check it on my iPhone.

Verizon’s frequency causes my hearing aid to make an obnoxious buzzing sound when I put it in the t-coil setting.  The t-coil setting basically shuts out everything around me, and allows me to use headphones to watch TV, listen to music, o talk on phones other than my cell phone.  I absolutely love this setting, and I think it is the greatest invention in hearing aid technology there is.

If you can’t avoid phone calls, there are two iPhone/Android apps that work pretty well for the deaf and hard of hearing.  They’re closed captioning services that transcribe what the caller is saying, so you can read the conversation in real time.

They are called Hamilton Captel and Clear Captions.  I haven’t quite grasped Hamilton.  You have to dial from it, then it calls you, then you have to get back into it in order to see the transcript.  If the caller wants to call you using Hamilton, they have to dial a bunch of extra numbers.   When it comes to that situation, you can always call them back in Hamilton after they’ve called you.  Clear Captions is easier to use.

There have been so many times when I want to scream in frustration because I can’t understand people on the phone.  This is a relatively new issue, partly with recently loss of hearing, and partly because I switched from Alltel to Verizon 2 years ago.  I’m glad that smartphones are around to make the captioning services available.  That way, I don’t have to rely on TTY.

I wish the smartphones didn’t have to come with that expensive monthly data package.  More people would have access to these awesome apps.

While I’m on the topic of transcription, I wish there was some kind of device that could transcribe lectures in real time, so I can follow along, and have a transcript to refer to later.  I thought this would make a great iPhone app, but currently the iPhone’s recorder is not strong enough.



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