What is IP CTS?
Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS), also known as captioned telephone service, allows people with hearing loss use their residual hearing and speak during a phone call and read captions on a specialized telephone or mobile app when the other person responds. Cutting-edge speech recognition technology, along with skilled transcribers, are used to provide this live service. Users get real-time, accurate transcriptions of conversations on their phone, which is vitally important to ensure effective, reliable communication and sharing of information.
How does IP CTS work?
When someone with hearing loss picks up a captioned telephone (or uses a mobile app offered by an official IP CTS provider) to make a call, the call is automatically routed through a call center. There, an operator uses advanced technology to provide accurate captioning of everything the other party says and sends the text back to the person’s phone or app in real-time. This service enables Americans with hearing loss to use residual hearing to easily engage in conversations and ensures they understand what the other party is saying.
How is IP CTS funded?
Captioned telephone service is available to Americans with hearing loss and funded by a small charge on consumer phone bills.
Who uses IP CTS?
Currently, nearly 500,000 Americans with hearing loss use captioned telephone services. While seniors account for the majority of users, younger Americans with hearing loss also benefit from the services. In fact, many captioned telephone users are veterans, among whom hearing loss is now the second most prevalent service-connected disability.
Why is the Clear2Connect Coalition concerned about IP CTS?
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is concerned about the increasing costs of IP CTS and is considering changes to reduce them. These changes would not only infringe upon the rights of Americans with hearing loss, but also create serious safety concerns.