I work for CaptionCall who is a provider of captioning for those who are hard-of-hearing, and I feel that the new FCC proposed regulations will severly impact the deaf and hard-of-hearing community and the ease with which they are able to place phone calls. If the proposals being considered by the FCC are enacted, then the vast majority of hard-of-hearing customers will lose the ability to receive captioning for their telephone calls. These proposals are in violation of Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the functional equivalance portion of the Act that the FCC is required to provide.
You should be aware that the FCC is proposing additional difficult regulations for CaptionCall, our customers, and any individuals who have not yet discovered IP CTS. We need your help to protect this valuable service.
By signing this petition, you agree that the proposed regulations are not in the best interest of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.
Below is what my company is trying to make sure is communicated to all:
We are asking you to express your concern regarding three new FCC proposed regulations being circulated regarding Captioned Telephone Service that are not in the best interest of people with hearing loss:
First, the FCC would like to prevent anyone from receiving a captioning telephone for free. Instead, everyone would be required to pay a minimum of $75 to receive a captioning telephone and participate in this service. IP CTS customers are already required to pay for long distance telephone service and broadband Internet access in order to use the captioning service, as well as for any non-captioning phones they already have. The $75 fee seems like an additional tax on the elderly and hearing impaired, especially because you cannot use captioning without a special phone. It will definitely be a barrier for many who need it to participate in this valuable service.
The FCC would also require any CaptionCall customers who have already received a CaptionCall phone at no cost to provide certification of hearing loss from a hearing care professional or other medical professional in order to continue using it. This will confuse, frustrate, and alienate many seniors who are enjoying captioned telephone service today.
Lastly, the FCC is still pushing to require captions be set to the “OFF” position at the beginning of each call, even when a hard-of-hearing consumer lives alone or only with other hard-of-hearing people. As proposed, the only way for CaptionCall to set the default on a customer's phone to captioning “ON” is for the user to provide a doctor’s certification that they are either mentally or physically unable to do this.