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Old Sep 16, 2007, 02:34 PM   #1
Joedy
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The next iPhone update will be Feb, '08 - To address Hearing Aid Compatibility by FCC

It is amazing that Apple makes such an effort to accommodate such a diverse user base and releases a product that customers who rely on hearing aids cannot use.

The iPhone is not hearing aid compatible!

Even more amazing is that the deadline to meet the FCC wireless phone hearing aid requirement is coming up in Feb of 2008 - just five months away.


Since I rely on hearing aids to function day to day, my decision to purchase an iPhone has been delayed indefinitely in light of discovering that the iPhone is not hearing aid compatible.

And it REALLY stinks that the latest incarnation of the iPhone, iTouch and iTunes now supports Closed Captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing.

This oversight is very much like when a building was opened with great fanfare to show how much it met and exceeded the Americans With Disabilities Act.... only to discover that the handicap bathroom stall doors were not hinged outside. Wheelchair users could enter the stalls, but could not close the doors!

Releasing an iPhone that doesn't meet the FCC Hearing Aid requirement mandate in less than a year away is just poor planning.

Here's a source quote:
Quote:
Mobile phone manufacturers have one year to comply with a U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandate requiring mobile handsets built or used in the U.S. to comply with the American national standard for cell phone-hearing aid compatibility.

Issued in 2003, the mandate is intended to ensure that new mobile phones available on the market are accessible to individuals using hearing aids.

According to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), mobile phone manufacturers and service providers will have to ensure that at least 50% of all handsets marketed in the U.S. meet the requirements of ANSI C63.19:2006 - Methods of Measurement of Compatibility between Wireless Communications Devices and Hearing Aids by Feb. 18, 2008.

Approved as an American national standard in 2001, ANSI C63.19 was developed by the ANSI Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) C63 on electromagnetic compatibility, a group administered by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

A measurement standard for hearing aid compatibility with wireless communications devices, ANSI C63.19-2006 aims to achieve an acceptable level of performance between cell phones and hearing aids by reducing the interference of radio frequency emissions.

The standard defines emissions and immunity-to-interference requirements, as well as test methods to determine the level of interoperability between the devices. The standard is intended to apply to all types of hearing aids with acoustic output.

According to ANSI, an estimated 28 million Americans have some degree of hearing impairment; by 2030, this number is expected to double. The Hearing Aid Compatibility Act of 1988 (HAC Act) directed the FCC to ensure that all telephones manufactured or imported for use in the U.S., and all "essential" telephones - including phones provided for emergency use, coin-operated phones and phones in the workplace, hospitals, nursing homes and hotel rooms - be hearing aid-compatible.

The increasing reliance on wireless mobile phones for business and personal use, coupled with the growing number of technologically-savvy baby boomers, led the FCC to put pressure on wireless carriers and equipment manufacturers to increase the number of hearing aid-compatible wireless phones available on the market.
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Old Sep 16, 2007, 03:01 PM   #2
sbrownla
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Red face Yes well...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joedy View Post
It is amazing that Apple makes such an effort to accommodate such a diverse user base and releases a product that customers who rely on hearing aids cannot use.

The iPhone is not hearing aid compatible!

Even more amazing is that the deadline to meet the FCC wireless phone hearing aid requirement is coming up in Feb of 2008 - just five months away.


Since I rely on hearing aids to function day to day, my decision to purchase an iPhone has been delayed indefinitely in light of discovering that the iPhone is not hearing aid compatible.
The iPhone is a luxury item, and I don't know that luxury items are considered to fall under ADA jurisdiction. Restrooms are one thing, toys are another.

You bring up a great issue though, and since Apple is so "great" to their constituents, we'll see if they come through for those of us who are hearing impaired and still wish to use their audio entertainment products.
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Old Sep 16, 2007, 03:06 PM   #3
psychofreak
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This is especially odd considering how Apple is touting accessibility as a great Leopard feature...
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Old Sep 16, 2007, 03:06 PM   #4
ps49556n
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Sorry if this comes off the wrong way but the market for a hearing aid compatible iphone is EXTREMELY small.....I would not hold your breath for this type of support.
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Old Sep 16, 2007, 03:11 PM   #5
bbydon
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doesn't this require only "new" handsets made or released after feb 18
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Old Sep 16, 2007, 03:12 PM   #6
FreeState
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According to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), mobile phone manufacturers and service providers will have to ensure that at least 50% of all handsets marketed in the U.S. meet the requirements of ANSI C63.19:2006 - Methods of Measurement of Compatibility between Wireless Communications Devices and Hearing Aids by Feb. 18, 2008.
So Apple will update the iPhone because it has .02% of the current market with a plan of having 1% by the end of 2008. Im fairly certain that AT&T has more than 50% already meeting the requirement (thats the service provider its referring to). I hope Apple remedies this sometime soon but they have no legal obligation to do so.

Last edited by FreeState; Sep 16, 2007 at 03:18 PM.
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Old Sep 16, 2007, 03:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ps49556n View Post
Sorry if this comes off the wrong way but the market for a hearing aid compatible iphone is EXTREMELY small.....I would not hold your breath for this type of support.
It has nothing to do with marketing...it has to do with requirements.

Like network tv shows are required to have Close Captioning by the FCC.
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Old Sep 16, 2007, 03:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by FreeState View Post
So Apple will update the iPhone because it has .02% of the current market with a plan of having 1% by the end of 2008. Im fairly certain that AT&T has more than 50% already meeting the requirement (thats the service provider its referring to). I hope Apple remedies this sometime soon but they have no legal obligation to do so.
Yep AT&T probably does have it covered.
I thought it only said manufacturer but it includes provider as well.
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Old Sep 16, 2007, 07:25 PM   #9
Joedy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ps49556n View Post
Sorry if this comes off the wrong way but the market for a hearing aid compatible iphone is EXTREMELY small.....I would not hold your breath for this type of support.
Actually, many people have this presumption, but it is not true.

As the Baby Boomer generation becomes older, all those years of loud music and ignorance on their part to protect their hearing have led to a steadily increasing demographic that rely on hearing aids.

Now that hearing aids have become smaller and less obtrusive, more people are inclined to wear them.

The aging Baby Boomer market is one of the most highly desired demographics sought after. Not only are they generally financially secure, they are retiring earlier and are taking advantage of their high standard of living by indulging in "luxury" items. If you've ever chanced upon a Harley Davidson rally, you will see that these rabidly devoted fans are by and large members of the Baby Boomer generation. It's readily apparent that they are in a financial position to spend excess cash.

In addition, part of the outcry against cell phone manufactures and the issue concerning hearing aid compatibility was driven largely in part of the steadily growing numbers of citizens who are increasingly reliant upon hearing aids for day to day living.

As our telecom infrastructure continues to become more dependent on wireless technologies and devices, ensuring that the largest potential market can be reached becomes a strategic corporate decision which helps to minimize production costs and increase profits.



For years the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) has lobbied for online captioning on the internet. In addition, the NAD has petitioned Apple to implement Closed Captioning on their portable media devices. In the past, Apple's comments that Closed Captioning on the iPods Video was not feasible nor practical to implement turned out to be the proverbial pie-in-the-face; programs like Handbrake allowed deaf and hard-of-hearing iPod owners to hard-code the subtitle stream onto ripped movies, which effectively proved that a crude form of captioning using subtitles is not only quite usable on the iPod Video, it also proved that deaf and hard-of-hearing users could fully use and appreciate the iPod Video. In another words, deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals suddenly had a compelling reason to purchase an iPod; not only could the iPod display sign language Videocasts, it could also serve as a portable movie player as well.

Simple accommodation and suddenly a whole group of new customers and revenue streams are realized.



Now that Closed Captioning is now officially supported on the new iPods, it seems strange that while deaf users can purchase an iPhone (aka "best iPod ever made") and watch iTunes movies with full captioning support, users who use hearing aids cannot use the same device in order to make a phone call.

While I commend Apple for implementing Closed Captioning support on the new iPods as well as within Quicktime, I cannot fathom their shortsightedness in overlooking accommodation for a significant portion of the population who would be considered customers only if the products actually worked for them.


I've read the FCC mandate again in detail. It applies to both service providers as well as manufacturers. I don't see how Apple will be excused from the requirements, especially if all of the other brands are bound by the same FCC mandate. Apple only makes a single iPhone model now; they have no avail to the 50% hearing-aid-compatible clause after Feb, '08.

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Old Jan 31, 2008, 12:10 AM   #10
crmhere9
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Iphone hearing aid issue

we are working on it. as one user has pointed out already, its a small market share, but we do care about all our customers. We will bring you hearing aid support on iPhone, granted, we are waiting for last min. I have not been informed as to why we are waiting soo long to get you this support that you will need. we are also going to try to get you MMS.
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Old Jan 31, 2008, 12:35 AM   #11
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Old Jan 31, 2008, 12:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crmhere9 View Post
we are working on it. as one user has pointed out already, its a small market share, but we do care about all our customers. We will bring you hearing aid support on iPhone, granted, we are waiting for last min. I have not been informed as to why we are waiting soo long to get you this support that you will need. we are also going to try to get you MMS.
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^^^ Who are you? ^^^
It should be noted that all Apple employees are required to sign a NDA, and as such are strictly prohibited from posting on these forums, at risk of losing their job.

I would take that comment with a grain of salt.
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Old Jan 31, 2008, 12:41 AM   #13
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That's why I was asking.... was just random for someone to bring up this random thread from the grave
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Old Jan 31, 2008, 01:58 AM   #14
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Haha, why would this person revive such an old thread to try and cause a ruckus?
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Old Jun 22, 2008, 03:44 AM   #15
crmhere9
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who i am

i am a worker at apple, but i didn't have to sign anything. because in my department, we don't have to follow the same rules as the others. but i should agree. do take all comments on this place with a grain of salt (among other things)
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Old Jun 22, 2008, 04:31 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by crmhere9 View Post
i am a worker at apple, but i didn't have to sign anything. because in my department, we don't have to follow the same rules as the others. but i should agree. do take all comments on this place with a grain of salt (among other things)
Thanks for the MMS, pal.
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Old Aug 18, 2008, 03:39 PM   #17
B Peacock
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What's the latest? Anyone know?

I just called Apple to ask if they could give me a hearing-aid compatibility rating for the new iPhone 3g (released in May...after the February compliance deadline), and the customer service rep acted as though I was asking her how I might play the phone as a flute. But seriously, she was totally stumped. I agree that this is a real issue for so many of baby boomers now wearing hearing aids. (I happen to be 42 and have worn them most of my life, so there's yet that segment of the population as well.) Anyway, I've always been able to find out what cell phones are best for hearing-aid wearers (nearly every company rates their phones with us in mind), and I've bought my phones accordingly. I'm very disappointed that Apple isn't interested in the diversity of their audience. I do hope to hear some good news about this soon.
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Old Aug 18, 2008, 04:06 PM   #18
samab
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The law doesn't apply to small cell phone manufacturers that produce limited number of cell phone models. Therefore Apple is exempt from this law.

http://forums.wirelessadvisor.com/wi...date-08-a.html
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