Carsten Trads, president of Clarity.

A look of surprise and delight, a tear in the eye, that is the measure of success for the employees of Clarity, of Chattanooga, Tenn. “Our products help change people’s lives,” says Matt Hutchinson, director of marketing for Clarity. “The number of people who experience difficulty hearing continues to increase year after year. Our work here is a reflection of that growing need in society and also about impacting somebody’s life.” Clarity, a leading supplier of amplified telephones and assistive listening devices, has been in business since 1969.

4289 Bonny Oaks Dr, Ste 106
Chattanooga, TN 37406
Phone (866) 525-2748
          (423) 622-7793
Fax     (423) 622-7646

A hallmark for Clarity is a total commitment to the customer and their needs. And this commitment has developed a customer cadre that is just as devoted to the company and its products. This is because, says Hutchinson, the product is designed with the end user in mind from the very first day of discussions in our office. “Our entire team believes developing relationships built on functional solutions is paramount to Clarity’s success,” he explains.

Improving Their Product
Clarity amplified telephones do more than just amplify sound, says David Lashley, director of engineering for Clarity. “For years in telephones, all people were really doing was taking a standard telephone, amplifying the voice, providing volume control in a convenient place, and selling that phone to the public,” he says. “Clarity engineers have years of audio engineering experience and constantly improve the performance of their circuits, but the division really excels at getting the big picture right. We make sure that all the little features are there to satisfy someone who needs our type of product. From extraloud ringers to buttons that are easy to use, we are constantly striving to make our products more feature rich, while maintaining the ease of use our customers have come to expect.”

The C440 will be unveiled this fall.

But for all its commitment to its customers, Hutchinson admits that there is not one Clarity amplified phone for everyone. “One size does not fit all,” he says. “We have to be extremely aware of the difficulties our customers face. It may be something as simple as a grandfather being unable to hear his granddaughter say ‘I love you’ over the telephone. It may seem simple, but that really means the world to people—that ability to communicate. And when a person loses their ability to hear high frequencies due to noise-induced hearing loss, illness, or trauma, they tend to lose the ability to hear telephone conversations.

“That’s the nice thing about Clarity products,” Hutchinson explains. “Anyone can walk into RadioShack or a local special needs distributor and find the Clarity product that is right for them. And if we can help people get back their sense of community and understanding, then we have done our job here at Clarity.”

Being the Best
Clarity was founded as Walker, in 1969, by Wesley Walker, a former engineer for Southern Bell. The company’s first amplified phone was developed in 1975. In 1986, the company was acquired by Plantronics Inc, a provider of handsets to telephone companies and the business community. Walker competitor Ameriphone was acquired by Plantronics and merged with Walker in 2002. As a member of the 2,500-person-strong Plantronics Inc, the company also has access to the resources of its parent, leveraging those where and when needed.

The PL100 will be introduced this fall.

In 2004, Walker Ameriphone changed its moniker to Clarity to unify its brand and complete the integration with Ameriphone. Then in February, it was announced that the company’s Chattanooga location would serve as the division’s global headquarters. Official dedication of the headquarters took place in August 2004.

It is this combination of a reliable product, customer support, and a good work force that makes the company stand out in the market.

In the end, Clarity offers a product that is much more than just an amplified telephone. “That product becomes a lot more than a telephone for [our customers],” says Hutchinson. “Our products can improve the overall quality of life for someone who may have withdrawn from their family and friends as a result of hearing loss. We are making it comfortable and easy for people to communicate on the phone again. We are reuniting grandparents with grandchildren and parents with their children. It allows people to maintain their independence. When you have a product that can make that kind of difference in a person’s life, you know you can have something special. It is a great feeling knowing that the work we do can profoundly impact the lives of the people who use it.”