Captel Phone

Since the state of Texas had a special offer on Captel phones for its residents at $99, I got one. It’s great for making calls, but receiving calls are a pain.
Making calls: Just pick up the phone and dial the number while ensuring the caption button is lit up. You can also hear the person speak, something that I’ve never been able to do in the past as it would just be TTY beeps from the operator. It’s a wonderful way to practice listening on the phone since the captions follow the person’s voice and speeds things up if I figure out what the person says.
There is still a delay between the person speaking and the words appearing on the screen. After all, typing is slower than speech. But I recommend the phone for those who like using Voice Carry Over and plus it helps those with a cochlear implant practice listening on the phone with help.

As for receiving calls, it requires the caller to dial an 877 number and then entering my number or using the two-line method (below). Giving out two phone numbers is always a pain. That’s why I prefer using the relay service through AOL instant messenger (AIM). I only have to give out one phone number and it reaches me through AIM. The drawback is that I don’t get to use my voice.
Just discovered Captel has 2-Line CapTel Service available to Federal CapTel users. With 2-Line CapTel:
* You can turn captions on / off at any point in the conversation.
* Callers dial your number directly (they do not have to call through the Captioning Service first).
This is how:
1. First, make sure your state offers 2-line service (Texas does) and that you have a second analog telephone line available. Plug the second telephone line into the right telephone jack on the bottom of the CapTel phone.
2. Then, using the “Menu” key, scroll through the CapTel menu options until you see “2-Line Mode?” on the CapTel display. Press the button next to “ON” to activate 2-Line capabilities.
3. If you do not see “2-Line Mode?” in the CapTel menu system, please contact CapTel customer service for assistance. Refer to the 2-Line CapTel User Guide that came with your CapTel phone for more details.
Note: There is an initial delay between the time you answer the call and the time that captions begin, because it takes time for the phone to connect to the Captioning Service and initiate captions.
I have two lines and finally can put it to real use beyond the fax machine. Will set it up and see how it goes.
I hope speech recognition technology will mature enough to capture many voices as they speak.


    • Alicia on November 15, 2005 at 6:57 pm
    • Reply

    Thought you might like to know that VCO video relay service is now available for users who lipread and don’t use sign language. News release is here:
    This service also lets you have a single phone number (with an extension).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.