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Thursday, October 4, 2012

CaptionCall Phone - Call Me!

Today is the day!

Today, James, my CaptionCall representative, came to install a wonderful new captioning phone in my house. For some of you who have visited my home, you know I have four extensions spread out throughout the house, though you may not know why. For one, they are there so I don't have to run from any particular room to another to get the phone, but also, because I deal with SSD - Single Sided Deafness. With multiple extensions, I don't have to guess or wonder if the phone is ringing.

I have dealt with SSD or unilateral hearing loss almost all of my life, but lately, it has become a frustration with which I have lost patience. To hear family members while at a get-together, to hear all of the conversation when out with friends at a neighborhood pub or restaurant, to attend a outdoor festival or exhibit opening; all these types of events have become harder and harder for me to enjoy. I find myself avoiding large gathering, even though my passion for disability awareness demands I deal with events. How I dealt with it as a child, I don't remember exactly, but I do know I avoided the lunch room at school and stayed with a small group of kids on the playground, choosing quieter games than the noisy, crowd-related ones. There wasn't very much volleyball or softball for me.

[Description: Cubicle with welcome mat, flowers and paper at the front]
As an adult, I chose jobs that didn't have a lot of background noise, favoring assignments and positions where I had my own cubicle or office. But, meetings were and are still hard. I am about to be fitted with a hearing device that may help me soon, but today, it was all about making phone usage easier.

Two years ago, when I had a virtual contract job, as overjoyed as I was to work at home, I knew I needed a headset to make the experience of talking to our vendors and bankers easier. I bought a Plantronic T10 and a Fanstel Amplified phone. Both had their uses and I enjoyed using both. But, I quickly outgrew the Plantronic and accidentally dropped the Fanstel, which caused several features to stop working. So for the last year, I have been without a desk phone.

Since the goal is to start a non-profit this year, I knew I had to change this situation. I believe I found out about the CaptionCall phone through an Facebook affiliate, CCAC Captioning. After filling out a form, James contacted me and set up an appointment to install the phone.



The CaptionCall phone works by quickly relaying the voice of your caller through a voice-recognition and transcription service, sending back the written transcript of the conversation. I can scroll throughout the written part, while still hearing my caller.  We have ATT U-Verse, so James connected the phone to our router and even though my router wanted to give him a hard time, the service was up and ready in a short time.

[Description: CaptonCall Phone in black on desk]
[Description: Lighted screen on phon
First off, I LOVE the screen! It is large enough that I don't have to squint or lean over to read it. The type is large and back-lit which works for me. I admit my visual impairment is not severe, so this may not work for everyone. The handset is comfortable and the stylish black unit fits in with my large flat-screen monitor and CCTV. It can hold 200 contacts and allows me to change speaker volume, switch ringer tones as well as amplify the ringer.

I will let you know in a follow-up post if there are any complications, but so far, so good. When my youngest son called to tell me he was on his way home, the accuracy was above 90%, and I enjoyed being able to scroll back over our conversation. There is a momentary delay, but remember, the caller's voice is sent through voice recognition and a transcription service, and it is minimal.

The CaptionCall phone will help me immensely to stay productive as my phone load increases. It will allow me to follow a conversation as well as clarify anything I may miss. I cannot tell you how much this phone will make a difference in my productivity!

And, if that were not enough, right now, the phone and the service are FREE. This is a limited time offer that includes a free CaptionCall phone, free delivery and installation assistance, and ongoing free captioning service funded by the FCC.  There are no hidden charges and no out of pocket expenses. And, the only requirement to participate in this offer is that you have difficulty hearing on the phone due to hearing loss.

So, if you think you can use this product or know someone else who can, please feel free to:
  • Use promo code: CBS67503
  • Go to www.captioncall.com
  • Click on green "Request Info" link at the top of the page
  • Enter the promo code and your information.
Someone will get in touch with you, talk to you about the phone and set up a time for an installation. As long as you have a phone line and the Internet, you are good!

Now, it is your turn. Do you have the CaptionCall phone already? How is it working for you? Feel free to send in your experiences and suggestions. I am looking forward to "hearing" from you!


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