Hearing Aid Compatible Cellphones: Findings From the Annual Survey of Consumer Experiences, 2006-2008By Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies (Wireless RERC)
(Pages: 17) Publication Date: May 2009
Report summarizes findings from the annual Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) survey conducted by the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies (Wireless RERC). The survey was initiated in 2006 to measure the impact of FCC requirements mandating that manufacturers make available mobile phone models with lower radio frequency emissions as these emissions interfere with hearing aids. Cellphone satisfaction increased dramatically from 2007 to 2008; however, substantial percentages of survey respondents continued to be less than satisfied with their cellphones from 2006 to 2008, and difficulty in finding a compatible cellphone improved modestly. Cellphone satisfaction was higher among 2008 respondents who changed cellphones in the previous year compared to the rest of the 2008 respondents. Sales persons and the Internet were the most commonly consulted sources of information on hearing aid compatibility, and consulting a sales person was strongly related to lower levels of difficulty finding a compatible instrument, although there was no correlation found as regards cellphone satisfaction. Among those who changed phones in the past year, there was a modest relationship between difficulty finding a compatible phone and using the Internet as a source of information. Recommendations from family, friends, and hearing professionals were sought by fewer respondents in 2008 than in 2007, and packaging was the least commonly consulted source of hearing aid compatibility information. In general, use of assistive technology in addition to hearing aid or cochlear implant, notably neck loop use, was strongly associated with greater difficulty in finding a compatible cellphone and lower levels of satisfaction.
Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies (Wireless RERC) (Website:http://www.wirelessrerc.org)
This publication is included in the library of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC), accession number O17633