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Posted by Positive Aging SourceBook on 06/15/2022

Strengthen Community Connections: Captioned Telephone Service can help

Strengthen Community Connections:  Captioned Telephone Service can help

For people who have difficulty hearing, the simple act of using a telephone is often a challenging and frustrating experience. Whether it’s conducting business, speaking to doctors, making appointments, or keeping in touch with family and friends, the ability to communicate via telephone affects almost every aspect of a person’s day-to-day life. That’s why Pennsylvania Captioned Telephone Relay Service provides a service that makes communicating by telephone easy, accessible and reliable. 

What is Captioned Telephone Relay Service (CTRS)? 

Captioned Telephone (CapTel®) is designed for individuals who have difficulty hearing over the phone. CTRS allows users to listen while reading captions of what’s said to them on the display screen of a CapTel phone. Captions are generated in near real-time, making it easy for the user to follow the conversation. 

What equipment is required to use CTRS?

A CapTel phone and phone line are required to use the service. Certain models also require a high-speed internet connection.

Who should use a CapTel phone?

CapTel is especially ideal for adults with age-related hearing loss, allowing you to maintain independence and stay connected with family, friends and businesses by phone. 

How do individuals obtain a CapTel phone? 

CapTel phones are available at no cost through the Pennsylvania TechOWL Free Special Phone Program for those who qualify medically and financially. For more information, please call 800-204-7428 (Voice) or visit www.techowlpa.org/tddp.   

If a Pennsylvania resident does not qualify through the TechOWL Free Special Phone Program, they may purchase a CapTel phone. To order, please call 1-800-233-9130 (Voice/TTY) or visit www.weitbrecht.com/captel-pennsylvania.html.

Can captioned telephone be used on a mobile device?

Yes! You can access captions of phone calls using a smartphone or tablet. Hamilton® Mobile CapTel® is now available for download on iOS and Android™ devices through the Apple App Store or Google Play! This brand new, fully featured mobile app delivers the same, trusted captioned telephone experience as a CapTel phone—while on the go! For more information on how to download the app and register for a Hamilton CapTel account, visit www.HamiltonCapTel.com. 

How do I get more information?

For more information about CapTel, or to request a free CapTel demonstration, please visit the Pennsylvania CTRS website at www.pactrs.com or contact Pennsylvania Relay’s outreach coordinator, Amy Strawser at amy.strawser@hamiltonrelay.com. 

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