Deaf or severely hearing impaired people have historically found communication difficult using traditional technology. More recently, s a variety of hearing aids and assistive devices have been developed that focus on providing hard of hearing and deaf people with opportunities to benefit from telephones, mobile and smartphones, watching TV or recognising doorbell ringing or fire alarms. These advances have substantially improved the quality of life of this group and helped them cope more easily with their daily routine and socialise with friends and relatives or be alerted in case of emergency. There are various phones and other devices that are specifically designed for people with a hearing impairment, e.g. amplified phones, amplified doorbells, vibrating pads, extra loud alarm clocks, videophones, textphones, etc. Many of those also have vibrating and flashing features to indicate when a call or a message is incoming or when the doorbell rings. For the completely deaf, these functions are extremely beneficial as they are the only means they can use to recognise a signal. Fortunately, an abundance of choices exists that fit any preference and budget. For the deaf community there are amplified phones both landline and mobile that have multiple functions that can be of assistance and with the help of a relay service (such as the Text Relay offered by Action on Hearing Loss) to allow a normal conversation. Another choice takes the form of a textphone or videophone. Many modern smartphones offer video conferencing and text options as a part of their regular functions. As they are small, they can be worn on a strap or in the pocket, thus indicating calls via vibration. In addition, there are many mobile applications available providing and facilitating communication for the hard of hearing.
Flashing corded phones: At hearingdirect.com, you can find a wide range of amplified phones that come with a flashing light to indicate a message or an incoming call. That makes them suitable for people with different degrees of hearing impairment (as the volume and ringer level can be adjusted) as well as for the deaf. Such a telephone is the Amplicom BigTel 48 or the Geemarc CL100. Both phones have extra bright ringer indicators and large enough backlit buttons to be helpful for those with visual problems as well such as the elderly.
Flashing cordless phones: Cordless phones are also a popular option as they are very flexible and can be located in every room, the balcony or garden. The Geemarc AmpliDect 295 with its handset shaker function is a good choice along with the Geemarc AmpliDect 350 featuring a vibrating and flashing ringer option. There are also additional assistive devices available that you can attach to a phone, a doorbell or an alarm to indicate ringing via bright flashing lights. Those include Amplicom Ring Flash 100 that is compatible with the whole Amplicom PowerTel Series or the Sonic Alert TR-75 Visual Telephone Signaler with a lamp on/off button.