Remember that old oxymoron, “I am from the government and I am here to help you?” Well, in this case it is so true.

The Federal Communications Commission and the American Disabilities Act have teamed up with the CaptionCall company to provide telephones for the hearing impaired free of charge. This is one of those offers that is refreshingly bona fide.

The reason there is no charge to the recipient is because essentially it is already paid for by all those tiny charges and surcharges on everyone’s monthly telephone bill.

The high-quality telephones have a 7 inch  diagonal touch screen with so many features it is impossible to list here. The cutting edge technology uses voice recognition and transcribes it on to the easy-to-read screen nearly instantly. There is a slight delay while the messages are sent back and forth to the Utah service center for translation through a high-speed internet connection.

These phones are a joy to people who have stopped talking to friends and relatives because they simply cannot hear on the telephone anymore. Also it is so much easier to understand doctor’s calls or when utility and household services need to be contacted for service help. What a relief it is for someone to know they can understand phone calls that were once just a bunch of noise. For someone living alone it could be a life-saving device.

The only thing needed is a high-speed internet connection, a normal 120 volt AC power wall plug-in and a phone jack.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University graduate, Jennifer Canfield is a CaptionCall Trainer for all of Northern Arizona. Canfield logs hundreds of miles a week to install and instruct individuals how to operate their new phones. Canfield says she enjoys helping people bring their lives and families back together. She feels great about being able to aid persons who need assistance who would otherwise be pretty much isolated because of hearing problems.

Donald Rice of Cottonwood received his CaptionCall telephone this past month and said, “It is great! I appreciate being able to understand when someone calls me. It really helps when I need to speak to the doctor or pharmacist. I wish I had gotten my CaptionCall phone sooner.”

Prescott Valley resident, Earl Carberry can now talk on the phone with his out-of-state sons and brother. Before he had his CaptionCall telephone installed it was nearly impossible to have a phone conversation. Carberry says, “It is a real comfort to know I can connect with my family.”

If you or someone you know is hard of hearing and can benefit from this free service please contact


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