Low-cost captioning telephone available nationally

Seniors with difficulty hearing on the phone and their aged care service providers are being urged to take advantage of a subsidised service featuring a telephone that amplifies sound and displays word-for-word captions of everything the other person on the call says.

Seniors with difficulty hearing on the phone are being urged to take advantage of a subsidised service featuring a telephone that amplifies sound and displays word-for-word captions of everything the other person on the call says.

The CapTel handset

Otherwise similar to a traditional telephone, the CapTel handset has big buttons and a large built-in screen that displays captions provided through the National Relay Service.

The captioning service is fully-funded by the Federal Government and handsets can be rented across Australia for $55 a year plus a $50 refundable deposit.

Anyone who struggles to hear on the phone should sign up for this free national service, said Richelle South, general manager of AccessComm, which distributes the CapTel telephone.

“Users get amplified sound first and if they miss what is being said they can read the words on the bright display screen,” Ms South told Technology Review.

“We have many users throughout Australia, mostly seniors, who can once again communicate with their families giving them independence and their families a sense of security knowing they can be reached and communicated with,” she said.

AccessComm launched an advocacy and in-home support service this year for CapTel, which has been available in Australia since 2012, to help increase uptake of the technology, Ms South said.

Currently operating in Queensland, NSW and the ACT with training underway in Victoria, support teams are available to install the phone in the user’s home and provide training on how to use it at no additional cost. CapTel community officers are also available to make presentations to community groups or retirement villages at no charge.

Technical and service information

  • CapTel amplifies the caller’s voice by 40db when captions are on to assist in using any residual hearing the user may have
  • the phone is not amplified and works like a regular telephone when captions are off for those in the home that don’t need it
  • the handset requires an internet connection for the captioning service, but data usage is extremely low
  • for those without internet, AccessComm can offer simple solutions for basic internet specifically for the telephone
  • internet usage and telephone calls are charged at the standard call rate through a user’s telecommunications provider
  • there is a 90-day money back guarantee on the rental fee to enable a trial of the service
  • the $50 deposit is refunded whenever the phone is returned

Go to www.accesscomm.com.au or call 1300 107 546 to order the service, arrange a community presentation or find out more.

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Tags: AccessComm, CapTel, hearing-loss, news-ccrn-4, news-trn-1, Richelle-South,

18 thoughts on “Low-cost captioning telephone available nationally

  1. I am interested in this phone for my elderly mother who lives alone and has trouble hearing on the phone. Do you have a representative in Perth (Wanneroo) I can contact for a demonstration or an address I can attend? Regards John Deal.

  2. I have a cap el phone my problem is after the power went off last week my tone button wont stay on high The family can hear if any one rings but not me have to rely on captions . Is there anyway this can be fixed

  3. I am very interested in the Captel Telephone.

    I am very interested in cost and access. I live in Brisbane.

  4. I sent an SMS to your Rep on the Gold Coast Queensland, who also handles Northern NSW. As we live at Iluka, Northern Rivers NSW, it is a bit out of her way to travel. I need to know the part the Internet plays in this phone, as we did have ADSL Internet to our home, and it used to have reasonable speed, but I wouldn’t call it ‘Fast’, and that’s what we pay Telstra for each month. Currently, however, we are not receiving the ADSL Internet whatsoever. I have repeatedly asked for someone it check it out. Personally I think that Iluka Telephone Exchange box is possibly antiquated, and needs upgrade. Also the 3000 road workers on Pacific Highway upgrade would be making their presence felt. As we are both hard of hearing at over 80yrs – I wear a Cochlear implant, I am just wondering if pressure could be brought to bear on some authority to have our landline service checked out. We are in no financial position currently to pay to have Telstra technician check the phone out. We both definitely need your phone.

  5. hi i am intrested in this telephone system, my hearing is too law, how to apply and can i get in sydney nsw i am with optus speed dial up planreply soon.

  6. Hello,

    I picked up a brochure at my Hearing place. States it is a free service. Above states there are charges $55.00 & $50.00. What really are the costs.

    I am very deaf & wear Hearing Aids which are not much use.

    What is the procedure for getting one of these phones. I have tried phoning but never get a response.

    Ken Coleman

  7. I wear 2 cochlears and at present use the Telstra phone but have been advised by ESIA in Subiaco to get this phone which will help me in many ways.

  8. I also have rung twice with no response. I would like to inquire about getting a captel phone for my mother who lives in Bundaberg, Qld. What is the process please?

  9. Have had a captel phone since the free trial now it has stopped working and is completely dead how do I get it fixed or get a new one. I live in the Blue Mountains.

  10. I was very happy with my phone until recently when it just lost all commmuncations no dial tone no nothing .Irang my service provider they fiddled their end but was unable to fix my problem hoping you can help when i ring the help line no number ???

  11. Hi i want to get a similar ph for my mum who is deaf.
    This would ideal for her.
    Who do i speak with?

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