The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Wireless Technologies (Wireless RERC), Atlanta, and CTIA – The Wireless Association, Washington,  have released a new consumer education video series, "Hearing Aid Compatibility: Choosing a Cell Phone That Works For You."

The videos may help wireless consumers who use hearing aids identify and choose a hearing aid-compatible (HAC) wireless device that meets their needs.

Each video outlines the key information consumers need to choose a HAC wireless device, according to the organizations. The first segment presents general HAC and wireless device information as told by a certified audiologist. The second segment demonstrates a suggested "try and buy" process between a customer representative and a consumer at a wireless carrier’s retail store.

"Wireless manufacturers and carriers are improving the availability of hearing aid-compatible devices," says Michael Jones, PhD, co-Director of the Wireless RERC. "Still, many hearing aid users have difficulty identifying compatible products. We expect this video series to be a big help to both customers and the industry."

CTIA’s hosts the video series, which is accessible to visitors through captioning, audio description, and high- and low-resolution versions. The video series may also be used by wireless carriers as
a training tool for sales and customer support staff. 

The video series was produced by the Wireless RERC with the support of the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions, AT&T, Audiological Consultants of Atlanta, CTIA – The Wireless Association, Gallaudet
University’s Technology Access Program, the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), Nokia, Research In Motion (BlackBerry ®), Samsung, and T-Mobile USA Inc.

The Wireless RERC promotes equitable access to and use of wireless technologies by people with disabilities and encourages the adoption of universal design in future generations of wireless devices and applications. The RERC is guided by the Georgia Institute of Technology and Shepherd Center. The Wireless RERC is sponsored by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) of the Department of Education under grant number H133E060061. The opinions contained herein do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Education or NIDRR.

CTIA – The Wireless Association’s provides wireless consumers with information to help them select the wireless devices to meet their accessibility needs. It is the international association for the wireless telecommunications industry, representing carriers, manufacturers and wireless Internet providers.

[Source: Wireless Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (based at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Shepherd Center in Atlanta)]