Contacting the Federal Communications Commission
If you are upset or concerned about the changes to captioned telephone services, we encourage you to contact the FCC directly. It is important that they hear from people like you who rely on this service.
If you would like to send the FCC a letter, click here to start that process.
Government Plans to Limit Access to CaptionCall Service
The Federal Communications Commission(FCC) is about to make changes to telephone captioning service that affect you and anyone you know who is hard-of-hearing.
CaptionCall is strongly opposed to these changes because they are not in the best interest of our customers and the millions of hard-of-hearing Americans who rely on telephone captioning services for everyday communication. The FCC believes that many people are receiving captioned telephones and using captioning who don’t need it. Thus, the agency is trying to reduce the use of telephone captioning services by making it harder to have access to it.
We, along with national organizations like the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), disagree with the FCC’s assumptions and we have communicated with the agency many times about these issues. Unfortunately, the FCC has not listened to any of us. However, we hope the FCC will listen to people who use and rely on CaptionCall. We encourage you to write to the FCC and your members of Congress to let them know what you think about these changes.
Detail About the FCC’s Changes
If you received your captioning telephone for free, you risk losing access to your CaptionCall service.
If you currently have a telephone provided by CaptionCall, you will be required to provide a doctor’s note certifying your need for captioning services. Under these proposed rules, if you don’t provide doctor certification, CaptionCall will not be able to continue to provide captioning service to you.
New customers who do not yet have a special captioning telephone will be required to pay at least $75 for this equipment in order to receive captioning services. New customers will not have the option of providing a doctor’s certification to receive a free or reduced-cost captioning telephone.
If you don’t want to reset the captioning function on your phone every time you use it, you will have to provide proof of a physical or mental impairment.
The FCC requires all telephone captioning service providers to provide their phones with captioning in the default “OFF” position. The FCC plans to no longer make any exceptions to this rule. It does not matter that you are hard-of-hearing or if you live alone and are the only one using the captioning phone or if you have a standard telephone that hearing members of your household use. Every person who is hard-of-hearing and uses a telephone captioning service will be required to reset the captioning to “ON” every time they use the telephone.
Under the proposed rules, the only way for CaptionCall to set the default on your phone to captioning “ON” is for you to provide a doctor’s certification that you are either mentally or physically unable to do this yourself.
Time is Running Out.
If you are concerned about the changes to telephone captioning service, you should contact the FCC and your members of Congress. It’s important that they hear from you directly.