Cell phones display amazing versatility- MassLive.com

Cell phones display amazing versatility- MassLive.com

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

We are living in a world filled with technology. It seems as if everyone has laptops, iPods, PDAs and cell phones. Many people consider these items necessary for everyday survival.

It wasn’t until I met my husband, an electronics gadget wizard, that I became interested in the advances in technology. We always say that it was technology that brought us together.

Cell phones are used daily for both personal and professional settings. It is amazing what you can do with a cell phone, such as text messaging, surfing the Internet, playing games and taking pictures and videos. Our favorite is using the Bluetooth connectivity to transfer files to each other’s phone and computer.

However, for people with hearing loss, it can be very difficult to hear with cell phones since the sound can be very low or have static. This is why my husband and I depend on text messaging instead of talking to each other on the cell phone. However, since we can’t always depend on text messaging for all calls, we had to find the best phone for us to use.

My husband, the technology expert, knew to look for cell phones that had M3 or T3 rating. A cell phone with M3 rating means it can work with a hearing aid or cochlear implant microphone, while a cell phone with a T3 rating works with a telecoil that couples with a phone handset. Many phones have both ratings that comply with American Standards Institute hearing aid compatibility guidelines.

In July 2003, the FCC ruled that national cell phone carriers such as T-Mobile, Cingular, Verizon and Sprint must sell 5 percent to 20 percent of phones with the M3/T3 rating and make them available nationwide, while manufacturers must provide two of their phones with the required rating. On Feb. 8, 2008, all providers and manufacturers of cell phones must produce 50 percent of their phones with the M3/T3 rating.

They will also require stores to let customers try out the phones before purchasing them.

A few phones with the ratings are the Motorola Razor v3/v3xx, LG CU 400, and the Samsung 309/319. Besides making sure I can hear on the phone, I also look for phones with large key pads, screen and numbers, making it easier for me to see.

In order to keep up with the age of electronics, we must make sure it is accessible for everyone.

You can learn more about Carrie Barrepski at her Web site, www.carrie writes.net She can be reached at cbarrepski@carriewrites.net

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