What is Captioned Telephone (CapTel)?
Captioned Telephone (or CapTel) is a telephone technology that allows people to receive word-for-word captions of their telephone conversations. It is similar in concept to Captioned Television, where spoken words appear as written text for viewers to read. The CapTel Phone looks and works like any traditional phone, with callers talking and listening to each other, but with one very significant difference: Captions are provided live for every phone call. The captions are displayed on the phone’s built-in screen so the user can read the words while listening to the voice of the other party. So if the CapTel Phone user has difficulty hearing what the caller says, he or she can easily read the captions for clarification.
How does CapTel work?
The CapTel user dials the number of the person they wish to call on the CapTel Phone. By clicking on the Captions Button to activate captions, the call is transparently connected to a captioning service that provides the captioning. At the CapTel service center, a specially trained operator uses the latest in voice-recognition technology to transcribe whatever is being said by the other party. The voice recognition system generates the operator’s voice into captions, which are bundled with the speaking party’s actual voice and sent directly to the CapTel Phone. When the CapTel Phone receives this combined information, the voice and captions are split so that the voice goes to the earpiece of the phone and the captions go to the display screen.
The CapTel Captioned Telephone is designed for people who have difficulty hearing over the phone. People who do not require captioning support for their telephone calls should only use the CapTel Phone with the CAPTIONS featured turned off. The CapTel Phone is intended to facilitate telephone communication between two or more parties on a telephone call. Any other use of the phone is considered a violation or misuse of the service.
Can I get captions on my current telephone?
Captions cannot be displayed on a regular telephone but with the addition of a PC/Mac, Smartphone or Tablet you may receive captions for your calls. However, the CapTel Phone includes a customized, built-in screen for displaying captions as well as a combination of sophisticated electronics and software to handle both the voice and captions simultaneously.
What equipment do I need to receive phone captions?
A CapTel Phone connected to a telephone line (i.e. analog or digital telephone line), internet connection and a power adapter are required to receive captions.
For alternative options of using Hamilton CapTel with your current phone, using a PC/Mac, Smartphone or Tablet, see what’s required:
- PC/Mac: A Hamilton CapTel Account, computer, phone (i.e. home, office, cell phone or smartphone)
- Smartphone: A Hamilton CapTel Account, compatible smartphone, voice and data capability, and the Hamilton CapTel App.
- Tablet: A Hamilton CapTel Account, compatible tablet with Internet connection, a phone (i.e. home, office, cell phone or smartphone), and the Hamilton CapTel App.
Where can I get a CapTel Phone?
Order your CapTel Phone online or simply call 888-514-7933.
Can I receive captions in Spanish?
Yes, Spanish captions are available 7am to 11pm CT, 7 days a week. Spanish CapTel users must enable the Spanish captions option from the menu by clicking the “Phone Settings” option then select “Spanish Captions”. Select “Enabled” and click the “Yes” button to enable this feature.
If I don’t use the caption feature, does it affect the amplification gain?
Yes. When captions are off, the maximum amplification gain is 18dB. When caption are on, the maximum amplification gain is 40dB.
What happens to the CapTel Phone when it is unplugged or power is lost?
The CapTel Phone will not function if it does not have electrical power. In addition, any saved conversations and call history will be deleted. However, all CapTel Phone Settings are saved even when power is lost.
I’m experiencing difficulty connecting to Hamilton CapTel service. How do I know if there’s an service interruption occurring?
Please visit the Service Notifications page for information about current service interruptions Hamilton CapTel may be experiencing.
Why do I need to register my CapTel Phone?
Per a recent ruling by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), new customers of IP captioned telephone services must register as part of the FCC’s efforts to protect the captioning service from potential misuse by individuals who do not need captioning support.
Who needs to register?
New customers who have obtained one of the following CapTel Phones:
- CapTel 840i
- CapTel 800i
- CapTel 880i
- CapTel 2400i
What happens if I don’t register my CapTel Phone?
Per FCC requirements, the Captions feature on your CapTel Phone will not be activated until the phone is registered. You will still be able to use the phone to make and receive calls, however, no captions will be available.
What does Hamilton CapTel do with my registered information?
All information gathered is secure and confidential in accordance with FCC requirements. Your information is not used for marketing or promotional purposes unless you have specifically opted-in to receive information from Hamilton CapTel.
Why am I required to register my Date of Birth and the last four (4) digits of my Social Security number?
The FCC works to protect captioned telephone service from potential misuse by people who may not need captioning assistance. Your registration information confirms that you are at least 18 years of age, and are a US citizen. All information provided is treated, by law, as confidential.
What is the User Registration Database (URD) and what does it have to do with me?
IP CTS Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information
The Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") has established the Telecommunication Relay Service ("TRS") User Registration Database ("URD") which is intended to ensure that Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS) is used by verified users only. The FCC is in the process of requiring all IP CTS providers, including Hamilton, to collect required information from Hamilton CapTel users which will then be verified for accuracy as a component of registration with the URD. The following required information will be submitted to the URD and made available for review by the FCC, the TRS Fund Administrator, their respective agents and any person or entity designated by either of them for access to the URD:
- user's full name;
- user's full residential address;
- user's telephone number;
- a unique identifier such as the electronic serial number (ESN) of the user’s IP CTS device, the user’s log-in identification, or the user’s email address;
- the last four digits of the user’s social security number or Tribal Identification number (or alternative documentation, if such documentation is permitted by and has been collected pursuant to FCC Order, 30 FCC Rcd 1093 (CGB 2015));
- user's date of birth;
- users Registered Location (if applicable);
- IP CTS provider name;
- date of service initiation and (when applicable) termination;
- a digital copy of the user's self-certification of eligibility for IP CTS and the date obtained by the provider; and
- (for existing users only) the date on which the IP CTS user last placed an IP CTS call.
By granting consent, you are consenting to Hamilton collecting, storing, and transmitting your required information to the URD; and you are acknowledging that the required information is being provided to the URD to ensure the proper administration of the TRS Program. Hamilton is required to keep a copy of your consent on file. You are required to provide your consent – failure to provide consent will result in denial of service.
If you have questions about the URD process, you can press the blue Customer Service button on your phone, or contact Hamilton Customer Care at 877-455-4227, email firstname.lastname@example.org or choose our Live Chat feature. If you have questions or concerns about the FCC requirements for the URD, you may contact the FCC by calling 202-418-2517 or emailing DRO@fcc.gov.
Can I turn the captions on/off anytime during the call?
Yes. Simply press the captions button to turn captions on or off at anytime during your call. When the captions button is illuminated red, captions are activated.
Does Caller ID work with the CapTel Phone?
Yes, as long as you subscribe to the Caller ID feature through your telephone service provider.
I subscribe to Caller ID. How do I check my Call History?
You may check your Call History by going to the main menu. Select “Call History” option and press the “Yes” button. A list of calls will be displayed.
Can I change the font size, font color and background color?
Yes. All of these settings can be managed in the Options Menu under the Display Settings selection.
Can I review the captions (scroll up or down) while still on the call?
Yes, the scroll feature works at anytime during the call process.
Can I save and review the captions of a conversation after the call has been disconnected?
Yes. Your CapTel Phone comes with the Save Conversations feature enabled, letting you view conversation captions after you’ve hung up the phone. From the Options Menu select “Review Conversations” to see your saved conversation. Please note that the CapTel Phone saves up to 480 lines of captions. As new captions are received, earlier/older captions are erased.
Can I save telephone numbers to a directory on my CapTel Phone?
Yes, the CapTel Phone has a “Phone Book” feature that allows you to easily store up to 97 names/telephone numbers.
Does the CapTel Phone have a speakerphone option?
This feature is available on the CapTel 2400i model. If you have a 2400i and the feature is not available to you, please make sure you have the latest software update on your phone.
The CapTel 840i and 880i do not have built-in speakerphone capability, however an external speaker can be connected to these models in order to provide speakerphone capability. Users of the CapTel 840i or 880i can connect an external speaker into the appropriate 2.5 mm or 3.5 mm audio jack and enjoy speakerphone capability. Should you have additional questions about such, please call: 866-990-4499.
Is the CapTel Phone hearing aid compatible?
Can I access the menu options during a call?
At this time, it is not possible to access the menu options during the call. It is recommended that you set your call preferences prior making and receiving calls.
Can I adjust the Ringer Volume on the CapTel Phone?
Yes, you may adjust the ringer volume by selecting the “Phone Settings” menu option.
Can I adjust the Ringer Pitch on the CapTel Phone?
Yes, you may adjust the ringer volume by selecting the “Phone Settings” menu option.
Can I set the Captions Default to on or off?
Your CapTel Phone comes with the Captions Default set to OFF. Simply press the captions button to turn captions on or off at anytime during your call. When the light around the captions button is red, captions are activated.
How do I delete saved captions from the CapTel Phone?
You can delete saved captions in the Conversation Options Menu.
Can deleted captions be recovered?
No. Once the “Delete All Captions” is selected and the “Yes” button pressed, the deleted captions cannot be recovered.
Can the CapTel Phone save the captions of all my conversations?
Your CapTel Phone comes with the Save Conversations feature enabled. From the Options Menu select “Review Conversations” to see your saved conversation. Please note that the CapTel Phone saves up to 480 lines of captions. As new captions are received, earlier/older captions are erased.
How do I update my phone with the latest software?
800i, 840i, and 880i
To determine whether you have a software update available, you will need to access the Options on your phone. With the handset placed on the phone, press the “Yes” button. Use the down arrow to move the highlight, and select “Settings”. Select “Phone Settings”, then select “Update Phone”. Follow the instructions on the screen.
To determine whether you have a software update available, you will need to access the Settings option on your phone. Select the “Settings” icon, then select “About” and “Update”. If there is an update available, your phone will begin to load the update, which will also reboot your phone. Once the update has been made, you can use the phone as you normally would.