Have learned about a new device called Captel (captioned telephone) and debating whether or not I should use the Texas STAP program to try to get one or use the program to get a Sidekick II whenever more are in stock.
Captel “displays written, word-for-word captions of everything the caller says.” However, I am not sure how accurate the system is as I haven’t seen a demo. I’ve emailed the company who promptly replied. In asking how the captioning is done, the rep replies:
“When making a captioned call using the CapTel phone, the CapTel automatically connects to the captioning service. The captioning service is a separate center from the traditional relay center. At the captioning service, a specially trained operator transcribes everything the other party says into written text, using the very latest in voice-recognition technology. At the traditional relay center, the operator types what the other person is saying. At the captioning service, the operator revoices what the other party is saying. When using CapTel, the operator can be thought of as “invisible,” so to speak, because the captionist does not have any direct communication with either party.”
In asking if there is an on / off switch so that hearing users can use it, she replies:
“The CapTel phone can be used with captions or without captions. When the light above the caption button is lit, the phone is ready to make a call with captions on the screen. When the light above the caption button is off, the phone can be used without captions, or in other words, as a regular phone. People who use the CapTel as a regular phone may need to adjust the tone control and the volume control accordingly.”
To see a demo, go to the availability page and click on your state. Contact the individuals from that state to find out where you can see a demo.


    • ed nixon on September 20, 2004 at 11:51 am
    • Reply

    Did you ask them how much they charge for the their “invisible” voice activated service? In Canada, the Bell Relay system is free of charge. Will this Captel device use the telsys relay service at your option or are you locked into the Captel service?

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