In the coming weeks, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be releasing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS). This means the FCC is writing rules that everyone will have an opportunity to weigh in on regarding captioned telephone service that relies on the internet. Whether you have a captioned phone on your kitchen table or at your desk at work, or an IP CTS captioning app on your smartphone, you have a stake in what the FCC will be saying about how you are able to receive and use this service.
HLAA will be meeting with FCC staff to let them know what concerns us about the current IP CTS service and what we hope will be available in the future. We want to be sure the FCC understands and gives us access to captioned phones and apps that are so important to people who cannot make a successful phone call without them.
We know that as more people age into significant hearing loss, the need for these captioned phones will only increase. We want to see a service that provides fewer errors, whose lag time between voice and text is minimal, that provides a complete version of the conversation, and we don’t want consumers to have to jump through too many hoops to receive these devices and apps. After all, relay services are provided under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), making it not just a nice service to have, but a civil right.
If you have thoughts about your captioned phone or captioning apps for your phone, contact Lise Hamlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.