How to Make a Telephone Hearing Aid Compatible

Written by ehow electronics editor
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The FCC ruled that all phones, including cell and digital models, made after 2005 need to be equipped with the technology to make them hearing aid compatible. Phones that fall into this category employ the use of magnetic signals, which are representative of an audio signal. The magnetic signal, in turn, syncs up with hearing aids that have T-Coil capability. Finding a hearing aid compatible phone isn't difficult, but making an existing phone compatible is a little bit harder.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Hearing aid equipped with a T-Coil
  • Compatible telephone or headset

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    Check Your Equipment

  1. 1

    Confirm that your hearing aid has the technology to make it work with a hearing aid-compatible telephone. Only hearing aids that have an induction coil (or "telecoil") inside that allow you to switch from the normal microphone setting to a "T setting" are compatible with such phones.

  2. 2

    Check to see whether the speaker in your telephone ear-piece is driven by a magnet, which would make it hearing aid compatible.

  3. 3

    Check with cell phone providers to confirm whether a specific model is hearing aid compatible.

    Purchase a Hearing Aid-Compatible Headset

  1. 1

    Buy a hearing aid compatible headset to use if your current telephone isn't hearing aid compatible.

  2. 2

    Choose a headset that goes over, not in or on your ear, to be comfortable with your hearing aid. Though many manufacturers produce headsets that adhere to FCC standards, only a company called Hearing Aid Telephone Interconnect Systems (HATIS) makes headsets specifically designed to attach to a hearing aid (see Resources below).

  3. 3

    Purchase a headset adapter if you have an analog telephone.

    Use a Hearing Aid-Compatible Headset

  1. 1

    Install the headset adapter on your analog phone by removing your handset from your telephone and plugging the modular connector on the adapter into the handset jack on your telephone.

  2. 2

    Plug your headset into the 2.5-mm headset jack on your phone or on the adapter.

  3. 3

    Position the ear hook of the headset between your head and your hearing aid. Place the hook over the top of your ear to hold it in place.

  4. 4

    Switch your hearing aid to the "T" setting.

  5. 5

    Adjust the volume on the headset as necessary.

Tips and warnings

  • FCC-compliant handsets are required to have clearly marked packaging as well as include detailed user instructions.
  • The T-Coil (telecoil) technology in hearing aids is also used in movie theaters, sports stadiums, museums and televisions.

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