In entering the mainstream, digital cell phones have provided consumers with enormous benefits, including feelings of safety and security and unprecedented convenience. Unfortunately, many of the more than six million people who use hearing aids or cochlear implants cannot use certain digital wireless phones. For them, the nearness of the devices creates audible interference, such as frequent static or buzzing, which makes understanding speech difficult and communication by cell phone annoying if not painful.
To make digital wireless phones more accessible to people with hearing aids or cochlear implants, the Federal Communications Commission issued regulations in 2003 and 2008 that require mobile wireless carriers and manufacturers to gradually increase the number of hearing aid-compatible digital phones they offer to consumers.
Cell Phones and Hearing-Aid Compatibility: Policy
Hearing-aid compatible phones
The Federal Communications Commission should ensure full and prompt implementation of its hearing-aid compatibility rules to increase the number of wireless phones that can be used effectively with auditory aids.