SALT LAKE CITY, Utah(ABC4 News) An important event is coming up that will help the hard of hearing, and deaf, in Utah regain their independence. Jodi Goodenough, with Relay Utah, joined Nicea Degering to explain how, and how you can help.
Relay Utah is a state program managed by the Public Service Commission that was created to help provide the hard of hearing, and deaf, in our state with hearing assistive phones and technology for cell phones to help them communicate and regain their independence.
Utah is home to more than 290,000 individuals that are hard of hearing or deaf. That’s about 1 in 10 people who have some level of hearing loss.
One thing Goodenough says we often don’t think about with hearing loss, is the isolation from friends and family, and the loss of independence to call and make a dinner reservation, doctor appointment, or order a pizza.
Relay Utah provides hearing assistive phones to help the hard of hearing communicate and regain this independence and connection.
One type of phone Relay Utah provides is the CapTel captioning phone. It helps the person hear what is being said while also reading the captioned text on the screen. They offer many different types of phones, because there are many types of hearing loss.
An amplified phone is the first phone available that can slow down live speech. Another feature of the amplified phones is that they don’t just make things louder. Louder isn’t always the problem. They have tone control that allows you to adjust how the caller’s tone of voice sounds. One example is a female voice vs. a male voice. You can easily adjust the high tones and low tones making it easier to understand the caller. It also has a flasher so you can see and hear the phone ring, it offers a loud and clear speakerphone, large high contrast keypad that is easy to see and press.
Goodenough says they have many other options for people to try. Relay Utah has a demo center in Salt Lake City where you can come in to meet with her. You can try the different type of phones to find which one works best for your hearing needs.
The demo center is open by appointment Monday-Friday. It’s located at 168 N. 1950 W. Ste. 103 in Salt Lake City.
Call 801-715-3470 to schedule your appointment.
Relay Utah is free service. Hearing assistive phones are provided to any hard of hearing or deaf Utahn whose income qualifies. Most people who already qualify for public assistance programs are eligible. All the qualification information is on RelayUtah.gov.
It’s important to know that Relay Utah doesn’t sell any products or services. If your income doesn’t qualify to receive a phone, Relay can provide you with information on possible options of obtaining a phone.