Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC)

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Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC)

The FCC provides information about hearing aid compatibly on their website. They say:

Hearing aids operate in one of two modes – acoustic coupling or telecoil coupling. Hearing aids operating in acoustic coupling mode receive and amplify all sounds surrounding the user; both desired sounds, such as a telephone’s audio signal, as well as unwanted ambient noise. Hearing aids operating in telecoil coupling mode avoid unwanted ambient noise by turning off the microphone and receiving only signals from magnetic fields generated by telecoil-compatible telephones … .

A telecoil is a small, tightly-wrapped piece of wire inside the hearing aid that, when activated, picks up the voice signal from the electromagnetic field that leaks from compatible telephones. While the microphone on a hearing aid picks up all sounds, the telecoil will only pick up an electromagnetic signal from the telephone. Thus, users of telecoil-equipped hearing aids are able to communicate effectively over the telephone without feedback and without the amplification of unwanted background noise … .

Many people report feedback (or squealing) when they place the handset of the telephone next to their hearing aid. When placed correctly, telecoils can eliminate this feedback because the hearing aid microphone is turned off and the hearing aid only amplifies the signal coming through the telecoil. Some hearing-aid users may need to place the ear-piece slightly behind the ear rather than directly over the ear to obtain the clearest signal.

A telephone that is hearing aid compatible has an internal feature that allows the use of telephone compatible hearing aids. Thus, telephones can be used effectively by persons with hearing aids.

Source: www.fcc.gov

HLAA Supports 100% Hearing Aid Compatibility of Cell Phones in Comments to the Federal Communications Commission

Jan 29 2016

HLAA filed comments in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC) Wireless Phones. We were joined by the Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI), and the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) (the “consumer groups”) and the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Technology Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (DHH Tech RERC).

HLAA Works on Greater Access to HAC Phones

Dec 10 2014

In November 2014, representatives from HLAA, TDI, and Gallaudet University met with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) staff in the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau to discuss hearing aid compatible (HAC) wireless phones. At that meeting we were able to report on the results of our HAC Survey: “Can You Hear Me Now, Revisited,” as well as compare that to a similar HAC survey released in 2011. 

FCC Seeks Comments on HAC Mobile Phones

Dec 5 2012

The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (Bureau) seeks updated comment on the operation and effectiveness of the Commission’s rules relating to hearing aid compatibility of wireless handsets.

HLAA Files Comments on HAC Phone Standards

Jan 17 2012

Hearing Loss Association of America (“HLAA”) and the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Telecommunications Access (“RERC-TA”) along with the Association of Late-Deafened Adults, Inc. (ALDA) Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI), National Association of the Deaf (NAD), Deaf and Hard of Hearing Consumer Advocacy Network (DHHCAN), and Hands & Voices filed comments with the FCC January 12, 2012 regarding the standards for testing mobile devices for hearing aid compatibility. The FCC expects to issue address other issues regarding hearing aid compatibility in the near future, so HLAA will continue to watch notices issued by the FCC on this issue. HLAA thanks all the organizations who supported us by signing onto these comments.

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