A study conducted by Sergei Kochkin, PhD, explores the importance of Captioned Telephone Service in meeting the communication needs of people with hearing loss. “Today’s hearing aids do an excellent job of helping people meet many of their communication needs. However, sometimes there are situations where additional assistive listening devices (ALDs) are needed.” Dr. Kochkin goes on to suggest that telephones and hearing aids are not always “perfect partners.” He states that ALDs often function as a necessary supplement to hearing aids in important listening situations, and that captioning telephones play an important role in helping people with hearing loss communicate effectively by phone. “For many people, listening on the telephone can be a frustrating experience as the signal produced by most telephones is not 100% intelligible.

Even people with normal hearing often need to ask for certain names and other information to be spelled out or repeated. People with hearing loss experience even more difficulty for two reasons: 1) Due to the hearing loss, the telephone signal is softer and therefore less intelligible, and 2) Unlike face-to-face communication, there are no visual cues to help with understanding.” In his research, hearing aid owners and people with hearing loss who do not own hearing aids were presented with a list of 19 listening situations and asked to rank them in terms of importance. Communicating on the telephone was ranked as the second most important listening situation behind one-on-one communication. 57% of people with hearing loss indicated communicating on the phone was “very important” to them. He reports that a significant number of people with mild, moderate, and severe hearing loss are dissatisfied with their hearing aids on the phone:

  • Just over half of consumers are satisfied with their hearing aids on the phone.
  • Consumers report that hearing aids provide on average only 55% benefit during phone conversation. (Benefit appears to be independent of degree of hearing loss.)
  • When surveyed, approximately 8 out of 10 consumers rate the need for improvements in hearing aid telephone utility as being highly desirable.

Dr. Kochkin concludes that people with hearing loss are at a distinct disadvantage compared to normal-hearing people when communicating on the telephone – even with hearing aids. Captioning phones offer a valuable functional solution for many hearing aid users and non-users who experience difficulty using the phone. He estimates that approximately 16 million people in America today would benefit from Captioned Telephone Service. To read more… click here!

CaptionCall is an ambassador for hearing health and an advocate for people with hearing loss. We encourage everyone to actively manage their hearing health through regular hearing evaluations and to seek early treatment when hearing loss is identified. We are obsessed with helping those with hearing loss stay socially engaged for a longer, happier, healthier life. To learn more about CaptionCall and if you can qualify for no-cost CaptionCall Phone Service, visit www.captioncall.com. Study commissioned by CaptionCall, manufacturer of the revolutionary CaptionCall phone and the leading captioned telephone service provider in America. To learn more about CaptionCall and how to get started, visit https://captioncall.com/professionals/. Written by Jeff Bradford, Marketing Director