Accessibility information for the major mobile device carriers

Mobile device

Here’s a quick list of links to the various accessibility pages for the four main mobile device carriers:

AT&T

Sprint

T-Mobile

  • (I could not find anything online about pricing but did come across this provider that seems to have good prices – Fuse Wireless)

Verizon Wireless

There’s information for individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, vision impaired or non-verbal including what types of technology are available – for example, which cellphones are hearing aid compatible (HAC), which have the ability to connect to a TTY, which ones have front-facing cameras,  which ones can have enlarged fonts, flashing screens, etc.

My favorite place to search for a phone with a variety of accessibility options is at Phonescoop.   Be sure to click on “Show All Options” under the
“Simple” tab to see features such as hearing aid compatibility.   You can also search by features such as carrier, style, keyboard, size, data network, etc.

I would also recommend going into a brick-and-mortar store and talking to a salesperson and trying out devices.  That way you can see, hear and touch the various devices and make sure it doesn’t interfere with your hearing aid or cochlear implant, or can be seen with your corrected vision.

Here are some questions to ask:

  • What is the return policy on your products?  (how many days?)
  • What is the fee for re-stocking?
  • Can I return for a full refund or only for an exchange?
  • Do you have any special pricing plans for those who are deaf/hard of hearing/blind/vision impaired/non-verbal? (this is not very clear on the various websites above)

Finally, keep in mind that even after you have picked the perfect phone, with all of the features you want and need…it’s up to the coverage area and this may dictate which carrier you HAVE TO use.   Be sure to talk to people that use mobile devices in the areas you are looking at to see if coverage is good or spotty or non-existent.   This is especially true in more rural areas.

Name that CI processor and part!

Have you ever wondered what that thingamajiggy is REALLY called on your cochlear implant?

Do you know the name of your CI center? How about your audiologist?

If your car were to break down, would you ever have a conversation like this?

You:               Hi, I need your help. My car just broke down at the gas station.

Mechanic:      Yeah? What kind of car do you have?

You:                Ummmm…I don’t know. It’s a car. It’s red?

Well, there have been times when I’ve met people and they don’t know the manufacturer or the model of their cochlear implant. They’ll say, “I don’t know. It’s my cochlear implant!” 

Students that I work with often don’t know the name of their CI center or their audiologist.

Just as with the car example above, those vague answers would not really be very helpful if you have to do some troubleshooting! How would you know where to start looking?

Test your knowledge and maybe even make a game of it by learning its true name! Here are some tools:

First, I created a page with pictures of the various manufacturers and models of processors so you know their name (click on a picture and go straight to the User Guide). There is also a page with all of the CI manufacturers side-by-side with information and resources that they offer.  You can find all of this at http://illinoisdeaf.org/Outreach/CI.html

Second, I’ve designed some simple worksheets for you to use with your patients (adult and pediatric). They have places where you can not only fill in the name of the manufacturer/model but also a place to fill in information like the name of the CI center and audiologist!

Happy learning!

NOTE: Updated 01/19 with more recent CI models