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Making appointments

Androgen Community member Posts: 86 Courageous
edited March 2019 in Sensory impairments
I see a lot of different medical people for various things, but even when I fill in the online referral things (if it's an option) and state that I'm hearing impaired and can't use a phone, I get a letter saying that I need to call them to make an appointment...
I've also had my housemate call for me before, tell the people I can't hear anything on the phone, and they still insist on talking to me to give permission for her to talk on my behalf - I have no idea what I'm agreeing to since I can't hear, but everyone these days seems to insist on everything being done by phone

Does anyone else have this issue?


  • Ami2301
    Ami2301 Community member Posts: 7,944 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Androgen I have these problems sometimes too as I have hearing difficulties. My mum is my appointee so she always speaks on my behalf. She always makes sure that I understand what the person on the phone is saying before I give her an answer.

    It can be annoying!
    Disability Gamechanger - 2019
  • Antonia_Alumni
    Antonia_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,780 Pioneering
    Hi @Androgen sorry to hear about your experiences with this. Hopefully more of our members will be able to share their experiences with you soon. 
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,671 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Androgen
    I found this information on the Action For Hearing Loss website:

    A textphone (sometimes called a minicom) allows you to communicate by text over a telephone line. It will suit you if your hearing loss or speech impairment makes using a telephone difficult.

    A textphone allows two-way conversation by text. You type your message on a keyboard and you read messages and responses on a display screen. Like a telephone it plugs into a standard (BT) phone socket.

    To call another textphone user dial 180015, then their full telephone number, including their area code. When they answer, anything they type will appear on your screen and anything you type will appear on theirs.

    When you receive a call on a textphone it will ring (like a telephone) and flash a light. You can also use a flashing-light telephone call indicator.

    It is important to take turns typing the messages. Use GA (go ahead) to tell the other person it's their turn.

    Textphones have been in use for many years; but newer technologies, such as Next Generation Text (NGT) (see below) is making them less common (there is currently only one textphone model available in the UK)..

    Text Relay

    You can use a textphone to make and receive calls from telephone users, via a Text Relay assistant. If you make a call to a hearing person the relay assistant will re-speak your text message. They will also type what the hearing person is saying and this will appear on your textphone screen.

    To access Text Relay you need to dial a prefix. To make a call from a textphone, via Text Relay, dial 18001 and then the main number. To make a call to the emergency services dial 18000.

    A hearing person can make a call to a textphone user via Text Relay. They need to dial an 18002 prefix.

    Next Generation Text (NGT)

    Next Generation Text replaced the old text relay service (BT Text Relay) in 2014. NGT works with textphones, smartphones, tablets and Windows computers (desk-top and laptop).

    NGT Lite app

    The FREE NGT Lite app(lication) works with Android and iOS devices and Windows PCs. You can used it in one of four ways:

    • Type and read – if you can’t hear and don’t use your voice.
    • Speak and read – if you can’t hear but do use your voice.
    • Type and hear – if you can hear but don’t use your voice.
    • Speak and hear – if you need NGT to communicate with people who have hearing loss.

    For more information about NGT, go to

    Most smartphones have key accessibility features for people with sight loss, hearing loss and difficulties with their dexterity. Hearing loss accessibility features include enhanced audio for phone calls and for hearing aid wearers; there will be a loop/telecoil function on the device (it may be referred to as the hearing aid setting instead of loop or telecoil).

    These settings are not switched on automatically; you'll have to activate them. Go into your device’s 'settings' function – you'll find all the different features in the accessibility folder. If you have trouble finding the folder, you'll be able to find out how to access it in the phone’s user manual.

    Some of the newer hearing aids also have the 'made for iPhone' (MFi) technology. This means that your hearing aids can connect directly to your smartphone and you can hear all audio from your device directly into your hearing aids. You can also control the settings of your hearing aids through your phones app.

    The technology is called MFi as it was developed with Apple but this feature can also be used on Android. Be aware, however, that the app has limited features for controlling the hearing aid settings on Android apps and audio can't be streamed directly into hearing aids from Android devices either. For hearing aids that don’t connect directly to your smartphone, you can use a compatible Bluetooth streamer which will act as an intermediary to connect your two devices. These will also often have an app to control the settings of your hearing aids.
    Smartphones also have several apps that can help you with everyday tasks and situations.

    You could get in touch with Action for Hearing Loss to find out more.

    Information Line 
    Our Information Line offers free confidential and impartial information on a whole range of subjects relating to deafness, hearing loss and tinnitus.

    Telephone: 0808 808 0123 (freephone)
    Textphone: 0808 808 9000 (freephone)
    SMS: 0780 0000 360

    Senior online community officer
  • Androgen
    Androgen Community member Posts: 86 Courageous
    Sorry for the (really) late reply to this (been quite busy)

    We looked into getting a textphone, but they are quite expensive (over £300, which we can't afford unfortunately)

    We do use the NGT app for some things, but the idea of giving personal information to a complete stranger is a little unsettling, and also quite strange that it's more acceptable (especially for things like benefit claims) that a stranger should deal with things, even if I've got someone with me willing to do all of it (and who already knows everything anyway) 
  • Waylay
    Waylay Community member, Scope Member Posts: 973 Pioneering
    My ex-housemate had the same problem on a regular basis. I often made calls for him and then repeated what the person on the phone said so he could read my lips and chime in when appropriate. It drove him nuts. 
  • dolfrog
    dolfrog Community member Posts: 441 Pioneering
    I have the temporal type of auditory processing disorder (APD), the brain having problems processing the gaps between sounds, I am phone phobic, my family have to answer any phone calls.
    The only phone calls I will make any attempt to reply to are those who call the old APDUK help line, calls made by those wanting to understand more about my communication disability, and who will have some understanding of my problems when using a phone. 
    My coping strategies to work around my APF limitations are visual lip reading and reading body language, which s not possible wiuen using a phone when you are having problems processing the meaning of sound. 
    Currently most so called medical professionals are ignorant regarding all sound based disabilities and expect all to act as is they do not have these types of disability. 
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