by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
The CaptionCall phone is one of my favorite phones. They used to be free to qualified hard of hearing people. Then, in October, 2013, the FCC stepped in and said that too many were being given to non-qualified people, and it was depleting the federally-funded captioning fund. As a result, they slapped a minimum price tag of $75.00 on these phones.
CaptionCall filed a “Stay Request” in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. This was granted until the case is decided by the courts this summer (2014).
Therefore, until this case is decided one way or the other, you can once again get a CaptionCall phone free of charge if you don’t already have one. (Note 1: there are no monthly charges and no hidden costs for this service. Note 2: You must be a resident of the USA to take advantage of this offer.)
The “catch” this time is that you have to have a form signed by a qualified health care professional declaring that you have a hearing loss that requires a captioned phone.
The following professionals are permitted to sign this form: audiologists and hearing instrument specialists (hearing aid dispensers); ENT doctors, family physicians and GPs (general practitioners; specialists in gerontology, pediatrics and internal medicine; physician’s assistants (PA) and nurse practitioners (NP).
If you want to take advantage of this free phone offer, follow the instructions in my revised article here.