IP CTS Helps Businessman Connect with Customers

For years, when Marcia Viezens got home from her 12-hour shifts as a nurse at an Arizona hospital, her husband Harry would be waiting—along with a long list of phone calls he wanted her to return.

The origins of Harry Viezens’ hearing loss began at birth, when there were complications and doctors had to perform a caesarean. Despite his partial hearing loss, Harry built a business appraising and selling high-grade firearms, such as antique Winchester rifles. The only problem was that he couldn’t talk to customers on the phone because he couldn’t hear them.

Harry Viezens talking about a caption phone.

That changed a few years ago, when Harry got a new IP CTS, or caption phone. The phone allows people with hearing loss to speak to the other party and read a real-time transcript of what the other person says. Using this service, Americans with hearing loss can better communicate with family, friends, health care providers and customers or co-workers.

“You’ve got to understand that for years I never used the phone,” says Harry. “Things have changed since I had this service in the sense that I can deal with the customer direct.”

IP CTS service is available to Americans with hearing loss for free thanks to a federal program overseen by the Federal Communications Commission. The agency is concerned about the growth in the program, which has become more popular thanks to the growing population of Baby Boomers with hearing loss as well as veterans who have suffered a loss of hearing during their service. The FCC is considering changes to the program which could make it more difficult for people with hearing loss to access this vital service.

Clear2Connect is a coalition of advocates, providers and interest organizations doing working to preserve the ability of Americans with hearing loss to access IP CTS services.

Harry Viezens talks on a caption phone. Play

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