Save Captel captioned phones for hard of hearing

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In October  of this year the Morrison Government will be contracting the National Relay Service (NRS) (which Deaf and  Hard of Hearing people with communication disabilities depend on for phone communication), to an overseas US provider Concentrix. 

The Government will also axe the CapTel phone service I and thousands  of other hard of hearing people rely on.  To keep the costs at a capped $22 million Concentrix have confirmed that they will NOT be supporting the NRS to Captel Captioned phones.The Captioned Telephone, or CapTel, works like any other telephone with one important addition: it displays every word the caller says throughout the conversation. CapTel phone users can listen to the caller, and can also read the written captions in the CapTel’s display window. This decision will affect myself and over 4000 other Captel users not to mention the aged care community who need an accessible phone and benefit from being able to both read the words and hear the caller 

I have a severe-profound hearing loss, I cannot hear on a normal phone without captioning, I do however have clear speech having grown up in the hearing world and becoming progressively deafened after my 20s.

I am not alone with this as 1 in 6 Australian people have  some form of hearing loss. Hard of hearing phone  users depend upon the CapTel Phone which uses the NRS service. Should it be cancelled, we will be put at a severe disadvantage, would lose my independence, and,  our ability to communicate with the outside  world.  We love the ease of it being just like a normal phone and love the familiar features enabling us to easily and quickly contact emergency services, social arrangements and to make doctors appointments, amongst many other things.

The  government proposes to transition us to use captioned relay on alternative devices such as TTY or iPad or Computer however these devices are unfamiliar and complex for those who have grown up in the hearing world and not technology knowledgable 

We need the relevant politicians to please reconsider their decision.

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