Prepared by the American Academy of Audiology and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Captioned telephone services (CTS) are designed to assist persons with hearing loss to place and receive telephone calls. CTS allows a person with hearing loss to speak directly to the called party and then listen and concurrently read captions of what the other party is saying. CTS is a state and federally funded-program that is provided free of charge to persons with hearing loss. The American Academy of Audiology and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association support the availability of the CTS, including the Internet Protocol CTS, to allow individuals who have the degree, type, or configuration that prevents traditional telephone use, to still be able to access telephone services. These same organizations also understand the necessity to restrict this service only to persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing and support efforts to reduce the use of the service by those who do not have hearing loss in order to preserve the service.
The following suggested best practices have been developed:
- Individuals seeking CTS should have communication impairment that significantly affects speech understanding, even when using amplification devices and a conventional phone.
- Individuals being considered for CTS should undergo an appropriate, comprehensive assessment to determine the need for assistive communication technologies, including CTS.
- The patient history should include questions designed to determine the disability associated with telephone use and the availability of existing telephone technologies (e.g., smartphone, visual communication options such as FaceTime, availability of amplified systems, etc.), and desired patient outcomes.
- The patient assessment should include procedures designed to determine need for assistive technologies, including CTS. This assessment may include, but not be limited to, auditory, vision, dexterity, physical, and/or cognitive function. Additionally, the appropriate technological options available to the patient should be considered.
- Should the assessment determine that the patient would benefit from a captioned telephone, patients should be presented with the range of technological options available to enhance the ability to communicate via the telephone, including modifications to their own phone system or an amplified telephone.
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