Providing Accessible Cell Phones for People with Special Needs
It All Starts with Communication
The purpose of this page is to provide a brief overview of the various solutions available for hard of hearing cell phone users. In general this site will stick to providing a general rather than detailed overview without much opinion offered, leaving it up to the person who is interested to pursue further research on their own. When opinions are given, they are just that, opinions.
Handsets that receive a hearing aid compatibility rating of M3 or M4 have met or surpassed the ANSI hearing aid compatibility standard as adopted by the Federal Communications Commission.
The higher the M-rating the handset has the lower the Radio Frequency emissions level and higher signal quality the handset will have. If there is no M-rating then the handset does not meet the ANSI standard. The handset's M-rating along with a hearing aid's M-rating will assist customers in finding a handset that will work best for them. The hearing aid must be in microphone mode in order to replicate the mode that was used with the handset when the rating was achieved.
Rating information can be found on the handset description card at your local Verizon Wireless store and on the Verizon Wireless online store. The M-rating, and a brief description of what the M-rating means, will be on the outside of the handset box and included with the information inside the box.
Handsets that receive a telecoil rating of a T3 or T4 have met or surpassed the required standard as adopted by the Federal Communications Commission.
The telecoil rating is in reference to telecoils in some hearing aids, the telecoil is a small device that is built into some hearing aids for use with the telephone as well as assistive listening devices. Not all hearing aids have telecoils. To use the telecoil, generally, either the hearing aid is switched to the "T" position or a button on the hearing aid is pushed to select the telecoil setting.
The telecoil picks up magnetic fields generated by telephones and converts these fields into sound. Telecoils are particularly useful for telephone communication because they permit the volume control of a hearing aid to be turned up without creating feedback or "whistling," and background noise can be reduced, especially when using cell phones in noisy places.
Those handsets that are both compliant for the microphone rating and the telecoil ratings will have both ratings on the handset box and its owner manual. If compliant to both standards it will appear as M3/T3 or M4/T4.
A707 Gray AT&T
A707 Red AT&T
A707 Blue AT&T
|Motorola||V3xx Dark Gray
V3xx AT&T Dark Gray
V3xx Gold AT&T
V3xx Bubble Gum Pink
|Sony Ericsson||Z310a Black
|RIM||Curve 8310 Titanium
Curve 8310 Red
|Sony Ericsson||W580i White
|Samsung||A747 SLM Brown
A747 SLM Blue
|LG enV TOUCH||M4/T4||High|
|LG VX 8360||M4/T4||Low|
|Motorola Entice W766||M4/T4||Mid|
|Motorola Krave ZN4||M4/T4||High|
|Motorola Moto VU204||M3/T3||Low|
|Motorola MOTO W755||M4/T4||Low|
|Motorola Rapture VU30||M4/T4||Mid|
|Nokia Mirage 2605||M4/T4||Low|
|Nokia 7205 Intrigue||M3/T4||High|
|Nokia Shade 2705||M4/T4||Low|
|Samsung Alias 2||M4||Mid|
|Verizon Wireless Blitz||M3||Low|
|Verizon Wireless Razzle||M4/T4||Low|
|BlackBerry Curve 8330||M4/T4||Business|
|BlackBerry Curve 8830 World Edition||M4/T4||Business|
|Blackberry Pearl Flip 8230||M4/T4||Business|
|BlackBerry Storm 9530||M3||Business|
|HTC DROID Eris||M3/T3||Business|
|HTC Touch Diamond||M4||Business|
|HTC Touch Pro2||M3||Business|
Low Tier: Voice centric phone that supports messaging. Has small displays and works mostly on the 1XRTT network.
Mid Tier: Improved camera features, greater then 1 Mega Pixel with better resolution with at least QCIF display. Works mostly on the 1XRTT and EVDO networks.
High Tier: Improved camera features, greater then 2 Mega Pixel with better resolution (QVGA or better). A touch screen that works mostly on the EVDO and or EVDO-Rev A networks.
Business: Devices that support operating systems like RIM, MS (Micro-Soft) or Palm. These devices support both data and voice functions.
A neckloop is a "handsfree" accessory. The most basic ones plug into the phone's audio port. They are also widely available in Bluetooth wireless versions, i.e. no wire plugs into the phone. They work on the same principle described above in the Telecoil Standard section, the main difference being that you don't have to hold the phone up to the hearing aid when wearing a neckloop as with a T-rated cell phone. There are lots of models available now on the market.
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