(Good Things Utah) There are more than 290,000 individuals in the state of Utah that are hard of hearing or deaf. In all, this amounts to roughly 1 in 10 people who are experiencing some level of hearing loss.

Being hard of hearing, or deaf can severely limit a person’s independence, while also giving them a feeling of isolation from friends and family. Simple tasks like making a call for reservations, appointments, or even food orders become complicated ordeals when interpersonal communication is strained.

I lost my hearing when I was 6 years old… I grew up without independence. When I received my cochlear implant, and was able to start using some of our products, I became a whole new person… The program means so much to me because I’m able to pass on that experience to others.

Jodi Goodenough, Telecommunications Specialist with Relay Utah

Established with hearing-challenged individuals in mind, Relay Utah is a state-sponsored program managed by the Public Service Commission. The program’s mission is to provide no-cost hearing-assistive phones and amplifying technology to those who have difficulty socializing due to hearing loss or speech impairment.

As a result of the cutting-edge technology integrated into each device, Relay Utah is hoping to help the hard of hearing communicate, while also regaining their independence and sense of connection.

Louder is not always better. People tend to yell at a person with hearing loss. That actually changes how words come across.

Jodi Goodenough

The devices themselves are designed to boost sound tones, caption conversations in real-time, slow down live speech, and even amplify the audio quality on existing cell phones (see product requirements). This equipment also features a flasher — making incoming calls easy to spot for those with reduced hearing abilities.

Because this program is funded and fully paid for by the state, the equipment provided is completely FREE to any hard of hearing or deaf Utah residents whose income qualifies. Most who already qualify for public assistance programs are eligible.

For more information about qualifications and device options, go to Relay.Utah.Gov

RELAY UTAH: Hearing-Assistive Equipment


Panasonic KX-TGM450S

“Loud and clear with Volume Boost control for amplified caller voice volume up to 50 dB, includes six voice Tone Settings and a loud base unit Ringer. Slow Talk to slow the speed of speech in real time and when checking voice messages. Large white backlit LCD, enlarged Touch Dial Keys and controls, plus bright red LED visual ringers on base unit and handset enhance visibility and calling convenience. Noise Reduction to suppress background noise interference for clearer, more comfortable conversation. Includes Power Backup, Talking Caller ID, Talking Keypad and Phonebook, 9 Speed Dials, 250-number Call Block.”

Recommended for moderate to severe hearing loss.

Clarity XL7BT

“Connect your cellphone or smartphone to the Clarity XLC7BT wirelessly, by Bluetooth. Then use the Clarity XLC7BT handset to make and receive calls harnessing your cell service. The Clarity XLC7BT gives you all the benefits of a home phone – excellent amplification, large keypad, easy-to-hold handset, and more – while using your cell service to make and receive calls. The Clarity XLC7BT also works with traditional, landline services – use it with your landline, cell phone, or both.”

Recommended for moderate to severe hearing loss.

Clear Sounds CSC600

“This model combines superb design, ergonomics, and functionality with exceptional amplification and tone management technology.  Talking keypad, hearing aid compatible handset, large backlit keypad. Up to 50 decibels amplification.”

Recommended for moderate to severe hearing loss.

CapTel 2400i

“The new CapTel 2400i makes it easy to enjoy phone conversations, confident you’ll catch every word. The phone uses voice-recognition technology to display the words being spoken on a digital display. You can read the conversation and/or clearly hear the conversation. The CapTel also includes an amplified handset and tone control to maximize clarity.” 

Recommended for severe to profound hearing loss. High-speed Internet and a landline are required for use with the CapTel 2400i.

Serene HearALL SA-40

“Cell Phone Amplifier, you will hear every word, loud and clear. No more muffled words or straining to hear. Your caller’s voice can be amplified up to 100 times louder (up to 40dB). Pairs to virtually any Bluetooth(R) cell phone. Use as a handset or speakerphone. A visor clip is included for “hands-free” conversations in cars. Special Tele-Coil Mode sends clear, crisp sound direct to your T-Coil Hearing Aids without annoying cell phone static/interference.”

*NOTE: Older style flip  cellular phones may not be compatible with the HEARALL.

Products courtesy: Relay Utah

**This segment contains sponsored content