IPAT is here to help if you or a loved one have a mild to severe hearing loss and can no longer enjoy the freedom and independence a telephone provides. The Telecommunication Equipment Distribution Service (TEDS) provides specialized phones that help people with a hearing loss gain the ability to once again hear and communicate using a telephone. Most phones provided through the TEDS program come equipped with some level of amplification. Beyond that, each phone has its own unique set of features. (Such as a flashing ringer, large print buttons, or memorydial buttons.)

Once a TEDS application is approved, Assistive Technology (AT) Consultants determine what type of phone the applicant needs by examining their audiogram and other details provided. Often, AT Consultants need more information about the individual than is provided on their application.

Below are questions commonly asked of TEDS applicants to help determine what features are needed to assure the end user will enjoy, and successfully use, their new telephone equipment. Use these questions to better understand how the TEDS program can help you or a loved one best utilize specialized telephone equipment. (And to better help you fill out a TEDS application.)

Questions for hearing aid users:

  • Do you currently use your hearing aids? If no, why?
  • Are there times you do not use your hearing aids? When? Where?
  • Are your hearing aids equipped with Bluetooth or telecoil capabilities?
  • Do you currently use your hearing aids while talking on the phone?

Questions to consider about your home environment:

  • Are you able to hear the phone ring?
  • Are you able to hear the doorbell ring, or someone knocking at the door?
  • Are you able to hear storm alarms, fire alarms, or other emergency alerting services or devices?
  • Are you able to hear all of the above mentioned when you are asleep or not using your hearing aids?

Which of the following features are needed in your telephone?

  • Memory dial buttons
  • Large buttons with large print
  • Back-lit keypad buttons
  • Talk-back keypad buttons
  • Answering machine
  • Caller ID screen
  • Speakerphone
  • Corded phone
  • Cordless phone
  • Loud ringer volume
  • Flashing light indicators
  • Visual ringer signaler
  • Tactile ringer signaler
  • Volume control
  • Tone control
  • Captioned telephone services
  • Out-going speech amplification
  • Hands free telephone


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