July 20, 2007

The Hearing Industries Association (HIA) has notified the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) its members will voluntarily include information about hearing aid compatibility with digital cellular telephones (HAC) in materials that accompany the sale of certain hearing aid models.

This collaboration has involved the FDA, the cell phone manufacturers, the FCC, and HIA.
In a letter to Linda Kahan, Deputy Director of FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), HIA provided the language that hearing aid companies will supply regarding immunity to digital cell phone emissions. HIA also advised the Agency that the information below will be included in the user brochure.

In announcing the voluntary information program, HIA Chairperson Cathy Jones, president and CEO of Phonak US, noted: "We have a shared goal of providing equal access to consumers with hearing disabilities. We are pleased that our hearing device wearers will be able to use this information and the phone labeling mandated by the FCC to match the function of their hearing instruments and cell phones successfully.

"Both industries are innovating at a very rapid rate. Ongoing collaboration is a must. We will strive towards continued improvement in all communication channels for the hearing impaired.”
The wireless industry is providing similar information in a brochure available at phone retail outlets and is training retail sales staff to assist hearing aid users with instrument awareness in the purchase of appropriate phone models.
Source: Hearing Industries Associaton