Why is CaptionCall Free?
You already know that you receive the CaptionCall service for free, but do you know why? Relay services, like CaptionCall, are provided to all qualified users thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA requires that people who are hard-of-hearing have the option to communicate by telephone just like someone without hearing problems. The telecommunications industry meets this requirement through relay services and CaptionCall provides a specific form of relay called Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IPCTS). CaptionCall transmits the hearing party’s speech to a communications assistant who converts it into text for the hard-of-hearing user in real time.
How is CaptionCall Funded?
The costs of relay services are funded through payments by telephone companies, an expense that is typically passed through to telephone users as a surcharge. The funds go into the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Fund, which pays for multiple relay services, including the CaptionCall service, and is supervised by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The CaptionCall phone is not covered by the TRS Fund, but is provided by CaptionCall to all CaptionCall users for free so that anyone who is eligible for captioning is able to access the service.
Who can use CaptionCall?
The CaptionCall service is available only to individuals who have a medically recognized hearing disability necessitating their use of the service. All CaptionCall calls must include a hearing-impaired person. People who do not have a medically recognized hearing disability, including individuals who are in the same household as eligible CaptionCall users, or who do not need captions to utilize the phone fully, are prohibited from using the captioning. Captioning can easily be turned off by pressing the Menu button and selecting “Off” under “Captioning.”