AM Buffalo


New York Relay Captel

Posted at 5:29 PM, Mar 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 17:30:02-04

Shakeenya Carter accessibility relationship manager from New York Captel says Captel is short for caption telephone and is designed for people in Buffalo with hearing loss. So, just like the captions on your television you can have captions right on your phone. Captel converts everything the caller says to text, in other words captions, so you can hear what you can and read what you miss. Some of the benefits to this service is that it restores connections to family and friends and allow people to maintain an independent lifestyle with confidence.

Carter says right now, everywhere you go people are wearing masks and this has “unmasked” hearing loss. They are finding people who are experiencing hearing loss on the phone for the first time. They come to them for help and Captel provides them with great solutions. Carter says another example is her client Mary. Mary is one of her senior clients who shared with her that she has essentially stopped using the phone because of her hearing loss. She went from completely avoiding the phone to reconnecting with family and friends. She said Captel literally changed her life overnight.

How does it work? When you place a call, it rings directly to the person you are calling. It also adds an agent with voice recognition technology to convert the conversation to captions on the screen. Only the person with hearing loss knows that they are using the captioning service and the conversation just flows naturally.

There are four phone models each tailored to meet different user needs. They are all amplified phones. They also offer internet or non-internet phones for landline users. It is fairly easy to acquire one of these devices. If you want an internet based Captel phone, they have a simple form on their website that you take to your health care provider to certify your hearing loss and the phone is made available at no cost. If you don’t have internet services, no worries, the phone is available to purchase for a one-time charge of only $75. There is no cost for the service and no contracts because it is Federal or State funded through the Americans with Disabilities Act.

For more information visit by clicking here or you can call them at 1-877-217-7006.