My name is Frieda and I am hearing impaired. Here, you will find stories of my life growing up and what it is like for me to be a wife, a mom of two boys, and hearing impaired.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

CaptionCall Phone

I just got this today ...

It is a CaptionCall phone!

My son called me from Ohio and this is what came up.  It uses a voice recognition software to caption everything the caller on the other end says.

As you can see, it is not perfect, but better than the alternative... Border reviews is actually, "Board of Reviews," but I understand the meaning.

Anything in GREEN has been changed by a real person, who reviews what is being captioned and corrects the word(s) that the voice recognition software may have entered incorrectly.

Get this:  if I have a cell phone message, I can hold the message to the speaker and have CaptionCall translate it for me ~ cool, huh? 

There is a $100 installation fee, but it was waived through a special promotion on  This promotion is good until the end of the year.

Does it cost me anything to use this phone?  No.  The service is provided through FCC fund that compensates telephone companies, making this service FREE to ANYONE who is deaf or hard of hearing.  That includes anyone who is late deafened or wears a hearing aid.  Cool!

The phone belongs to CaptionCall, and doesn't charge me anything to have it in my home.

I'm not sure how often I will use it, because I rely on my cell phone/text messaging more often.

I'm still figuring out how to use this.  If I find out any cool features, I'll be sure to let you know!


After having this for a couple of years, I found that it doesn't work for me. The captioning is very delayed and often the autocorrect feature drives me nuts. If the person editing the captions can't hear or the voice is distorted, the conversation becomes difficult to follow. The software needs to be better in order for the service to be better. I returned the CaptionCall with no questions or pressure to keep it.

For now, I have no land line and use my cell phone for all my calls. I rely on TEXTING, which has been WONDERFUL for me.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I'm Not Stupid

I love to read the comics and love Real Life Adventures; however, this particular comic struck a nerve.

Several years ago, I ran up some outside stairs, missed one stair and my knee landed on cement.  I had some swelling, no bruising, but had difficulty walking.

After a short trip to a local clinic, the doctor could not find anything on my x-ray and referred me to an orthopedic specialist, hoping he could find a hidden fracture.

I brought my husband with me, and I'm glad I did.

All three of us were sitting in the exam room and the doctor began talking while looking at my file and x-rays.  I was having trouble understanding what he was saying because he was not looking at me.  I glanced at my husband, who was listening intently.

After a few moments, I finally spoke up and said, "I'm sorry.  I'm hearing impaired and I'm having trouble understanding you.  Can you look at me so I can lip-read you?"

Oh, I'm sorry.  I thought you were playing stupid.

Everything he said after that faded away.  I was shocked.  I looked at my husband and shot him a glance.  He was still looking at the doctor and listening to what was being said.

Did I really just hear him say that?  I'm pretty sure he said that.  What else could he have said?  Was he being sarcastic?  I don't know....

I was still reeling, replaying the conversation in my head while we headed out the door to the receptionist's desk and made an appointment.

As soon as we got inside the car, I asked my husband, "Did he really say, 'I thought you were playing stupid?"

My husband's shoulders dropped and he looked down at his lap.  "I was really hoping you didn't hear that," he said regretfully.

Well, I don't want to see him again.  Why would I want to see a doctor like that?

My husband quickly got out of the car and said he'd be right back.  Five minutes later, he came back, saying that he had cancelled the appointment .... and ...

he told the doctor why.

To his face.    *gasp*

What did you say?

I told him something along the lines that he was rude, unprofessional, and never should treat anyone, even if they didn't have a hearing loss, like that.

What did the doctor say?

Oh, that he was just joking around; he has cousins with hearing loss....etc, etc.  I told him that it didn't matter and that we weren't coming back.

My husband, my hero.