Introducing the CapTel 840i

  • Aug 21, 2012
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  • publicrelationsdept

The newest innovation in CapTel® technology is now available from Virginia Relay: the CapTel 840i. Like its predecessor, the CapTel 800i, CapTel 840i allows individuals to call a CapTel user directly, without having to dial a toll-free access number first, making the entire process more similar to a regular phone call.

The CapTel 840i hooks up to your phone line like any other phone, but it also connects to your high-speed Internet access to automatically display captions of everything your caller says on all incoming and outgoing telephone calls.

Other new features and benefits of the CapTel 840i include:

  • The ability to work with either WiFi or Ethernet connections
  • Captions appear automatically on all calls – incoming and outgoing
  • Extra-large, easy-to-read captions window with adjustable font sizes and colors
  • Built-in answering machine – takes voice messages and shows you captions
  • Adjustable volume control for captioned calls
  • Captions can be turned on or off at any time during a call
  • One-touch access to CapTel Customer Service available 24 hours a day/7 days a week
  • Easy-to-follow menu system with Yes/No questions
  • Phone book allows you to easily store and dial more than 95 names and phone numbers
  • Speed dial keys for one-touch dialing of frequently called numbers
  • Caller-ID capable – shows you who is calling on the display screen (Caller ID service is required)
  • Captions AES-encrypted for ultimate security

To use the CapTel 840i, you need telephone service (digital, DSL, VoIP or analog) and high-speed Internet access (WiFi or Ethernet cable).

CapTel 840i phones are available to Virginia residents through Virginia Relay for the exclusive discounted price of just $99. To find out more about CapTel, call 1-800-552-7917 (voice/TTY) or visit

Later this year, phones will be available at no cost to qualifying individuals through the VDDHH Technology Assistance Program. To find out if you qualify, contact the VDDHH outreach office nearest you. For a list of office locations visit or call 1-800-552-7917 (voice/text).

CapTel is a registered trademark of Ultratec, Inc.

Virginia Relay recently selected Dina Ayad, a student from Douglas S. Freeman High School in Richmond, as Virginia’s recipient of the 2012 Hamilton Relay High School Scholarship. As this year’s winner, Dina receives $500 to use towards her college education.

The scholarship opportunity is available to high school seniors who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or have difficulty speaking. A recipient is selected within each of the states where Hamilton Relay is the contracted service provider and is one of several ways the company gives back to the communities they serve.

“Hamilton takes pride in promoting education and outstanding leadership across the country,” said Virginia Outreach Coordinator, Marta Cagle, “We are excited to have the opportunity to contribute to furthering Dina’s education and wish her success in reaching her personal and professional goals.”

Dina Ayad was awarded the $500 Hamilton Relay High School Scholarship after completing an application and writing an essay on the topic of communication technology. Dina plans to attend Liberty University in Lynchburg this fall.

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  • CapTel, Events, Virginia Relay

Virginia Relay and Hamilton Relay recently announced that Linda Wallace of Richmond is the 2012 recipient of the Hamilton Relay Better Hearing and Speech Month Recognition Award. Each year, the award recognizes an individual for their involvement in their local deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

As president of the Hearing Loss Association of American (HLAA) Greater Richmond Chapter for more than 10 years, Linda is an outstanding advocate for the hearing loss community. Her position as an advisory board member for the NewWell Sensory Fund, as well as a General Assembly advocate allow her to campaign for affordable equipment for all those hearing-impaired, regardless of age or income.

Linda also serves the hard-of-hearing community through education and mentoring. She has taught coping strategies for hearing loss and has served as a presenter and speaker with the Chesterfield County Adult Education program. Through education and peer building, Linda advocates the importance of hearing screenings and other preventative measures to protect hearing.

“In honor of the national celebration of Better Hearing and Speech Month, this award recognizes those individuals who are hard of hearing, late-deafened or have difficulty speaking who have been a strong influence in their state,” said Marta Cagle, Virginia CapTel Outreach Coordinator. “This year, we are happy to celebrate Linda Wallace for her efforts to improve life for those in Virginia’s hard-of-hearing community.”

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  • CapTel, Events, Virginia Relay

Virginia Relay would like to remind you that you can enjoy the convenience of CapTel wherever you happen to be with Hamilton Mobile CapTel for smartphones. Mobile CapTel allows you to read captions of what’s being said to you during conversations, providing word-for-word transcriptions displayed on your mobile device, similar to captions on a television. Mobile CapTel is free to use, available 24/7 and only requires two simple things:

1)    A compatible smartphone with a speaker phone or a hands-free headset that works with hearing aids/cochlear implants

2)    An account with Hamilton Web CapTel – requires a simple, one-time registration at

With a wide variety of Android, Blackberry, and iPhone smartphones available on the market, Hamilton now provides a convenient Smartphone Selector to determine if your phone is compatible with Mobile CapTel. Just visit, select your wireless network provider and your phone, and you will find all the information you need to get started with Mobile CapTel.

The newest offering from Mobile CapTel is an app that is optimized for Android Tablets, allowing you to use your Android Tablet to read captions of your conversation while you listen and talk over the phone. To use the app, you will need to use your Android Tablet to download the Hamilton Mobile CapTel app from the Android Market and make sure you have registered for a Hamilton Web CapTel account. Once installed, you will be able to use Mobile CapTel to place and receive calls with your Android Tablet and any telephone (i.e. landline, office, cell phone or smartphone).

To learn more about Mobile CapTel, the Smartphone Selector, or Mobile CapTel for Android Tablets, please visit

CapTel Showcased on The Balancing Act

  • Dec 15, 2011
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  • publicrelationsdept

David Blanchard and Anne Girard from Hamilton CapTel recently appeared on “The Balancing Act” on Lifetime to share a heartwarming story of how captioned telephone changed the life of a little boy and his grandpa. Click here to watch the clip.

To find out how CapTel could help you or your loved one, visit

Meet Virginia Relay CapTel Specialist Marta Cagle

  • Jul 19, 2011
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  • publicrelationsdept

Virginia Relay would like to welcome Marta Cagle as Virginia’s new CapTel® Outreach Specialist on behalf of the Virginia Department for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH). Originally from Christiansburg, Va., Marta provides outreach support and education services for the entire commonwealth of Virginia.

A specialized technology developed by Ultratec®, CapTel allows people who are hard of hearing to read a captioned version of their conversations on the text screen of their phones and listen to the voice of the person they are calling at the same time. CapTel is ideal for late-deafened adults, people who are deaf and can speak clearly, Voice Carry-Over (VCO) and amplified phone users and people with cochlear implants. There is no fee to access the captioning service.

As CapTel Outreach Specialist, Marta hopes that she will be able to reach sectors of the community that don’t know about the services offered. “I hope I can change people’s lives by educating caregivers and medical professionals because they see people that may not have ties or access to resources to learn about CapTel services,” said Marta.

Marta has worked in the healthcare field with medical equipment and high-end rehab for over 10 years. The most rewarding part of the new position for Marta is “helping someone keep or regain their independence with our services, and also explaining that this service is here to help and is free of charge.”

Marta attended Radford University and is currently working on her business degree in human resources management. In her spare time, Marta enjoys hanging out with family and friends, reading, and visiting the beach. She is also a board member for the Virginia SIDS Alliance.

State provided services help hard of hearing use phones

  • May 31, 2011
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  • publicrelationsdept

In honor of Better Hearing and Speech Month, Virginia Relay was featured in Sunday’s edition of the Suffolk News-Herald. Here’s the article:

State provided services help hard of hearing use phones

By Emily Collins

Picking up the phone and calling a family member seems like an easy task, but it’s quite the opposite for someone who can’t hear the person on the other end of the line.

During Better Hearing and Speech Month in May, the Virginia Department of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has been spreading the word about services that make the telephone more accessible.

“It’s an opportunity for the public to learn about the communication needs of the deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind and speech disabled,” said Clayton Bowen, the relay and technology programs manager for VDDHH.

There are three state-run services that Virginia provides for the deaf and hard of hearing. “Relay services serves as their access to the telephone network. Otherwise, they would not be able to use the network to call their families or call businesses,” Bowen said.

In 1991, the Virginia Relay became the first state-run service to improve telephone communication for people with hearing and speech problems.

The service provides users with the ability to type and read their phone conversations using a TTY telephone with a keyboard.

By dialing 711, an operator will read the user’s words to a hearing recipient and then type what the person says back.

Bowen said traditional relay has expanded rapidly since its inception, and there are now several relay call centers in the state.

In addition to the traditional services, there are two others available.

CAPTEL, which stands for captioned telephone, became available in 2004 but has gained popularity in recent years.

CAPTEL phones, which have screens, use voice recognition technology to show a transcript of the conversation to the user.

“That is particularly popular with seniors and adults who have lost their hearing, but they can still speak very clearly,” Bowen said. “For a senior, it’s much like the same experience they had with using the phone before they lost their hearing.”

Another service, Video Relay also makes for a more natural conversation, but in this service, the user has a web camera or videophone and signs to an interpreter who relays the message to the other person.

Bowen said deaf people usually like this service because it does not require them to speak.

He added its popularity has increased over the years because the technology has become more widely available.

“It has become more and more popular as Internet is more accessible to the public now,” he said. “The price of video phones and webcams has become more reasonable.”

Video Relay requires an Internet connection and special software that is free of charge when you sign up for the service.

Additionally, traditional relay and CAPTEL required special telephones, but many users can receive the TTY and CAPTEL phones for free or at a discounted rate through the Technology Assistance Program through VDDHH.

Bowen said anyone interested in the services for themselves or for someone else should contact the VDDHH.

For more information, visit or call 800-552-7917.

(Courtesy of the Suffolk News-Herald)

Virginia Relay wants to remind everyone that the latest models of CapTel phones, CapTel 800 and CapTel 800i, are available to people who have a hearing loss or speech disability and qualify financially through the Technology Assistance Program (TAP). Developed by Ultratec®, CapTel allows people who are hard of hearing to read a captioned version of their conversations on the phone’s display window while listening to the voice of the person they are speaking to at the same time. CapTel is ideal for late-deafened adults, people who are deaf and can speak clearly, Voice-Carry-Over (VCO) and amplified phone users and people with cochlear implants.

The Captel 800 works just like a traditional telephone with a standard analog telephone line, but also shows the written captions of the conversation on a brightly lit screen. People who also use high-speed Internet access may consider the Captel 800i, which connects to the Internet to relay the written captions during telephone conversations.

Offered by the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH), TAP provides telecommunication equipment to those whose disabilities prevent them from using a standard telephone. To qualify, you must be a Virginia resident who is deaf, hard of hearing, Deafblind, or speech disabled and meet income eligibility requirements (based on household income and family size). Those who qualify will be provided equipment on a Loan-to-Own (L2O) basis. After a 30 day trial period, recipients can retain ownership of the device if they decide that it has provided a positive impact on their telecommunication needs.

In addition to CapTel 800 and CapTel 800i phones, other assistive devices available through the TAP L2O include:

  • TTYs (text telephones)
  • Amplified telephones
  • Voice Carry Over (VCO) phones
  • Outgoing speech amplifier phones
  • Signalers for the phone and door
  • Hearing Carry Over (HCO) phones
  • Other devices available by special request

All devices distributed through TAP carry a one-year manufacturer’s warranty and training is available for the equipment. TAP participants can apply for new equipment every four years.

To apply for a device through TAP, contact the VDDHH outreach office nearest you.  For a list of office locations, visit or call 1-800-552-7917 (voice/text).

(March 25, 2011)

Hamilton Relay announced today that they have been selected as the new provider of Captioned Telephone (CapTel) service in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH) declared that Hamilton CapTel has been awarded the contract to begin providing CapTel service to Virginians on April 1, 2011.

With this new contract, CapTel users in Virginia can look forward to the technological innovations that Hamilton CapTel provides in accessing the service. With Hamilton CapTel, individuals with hearing loss can listen and read captions of what is said to them on the display screen of a CapTel phone, much like reading captions on television. Residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia can purchase a CapTel phone or qualify to obtain one at no cost through Virginia Relay.

Hamilton CapTel is thrilled to expand its service to the users in Virginia and is currently seeking applicants for the position of Virginia Captioned Telephone Service Outreach Coordinator.


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  • CapTel

Calling 911: What You Need To Know

  • Oct 21, 2010
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  • admin

When calling 911 in an emergency, every second can be crucial – especially for people who are deaf or hard of hearing and may find it difficult to quickly communicate their message. To address this, the FCC has introduced some simple regulations and procedures to ensure that people who are deaf and hard of hearing can place 911 calls quickly and efficiently. No matter what type of telephone or device you use to make telephone calls, become familiar with the procedures below and save yourself precious time in the event of an actual emergency.

CapTel 200 and CapTel 800

If you call 911 from a single-line CapTel 200 or CapTel 800 phone, in order to process your call more quickly, your call will be sent directly to your local 911 center instead of through the captioning service. Your call will be treated as a Voice Carry Over (VCO) call, meaning the 911 operator will be able to hear everything you say and will type responses back to you that will appear on your CapTel display screen.

Lift the receiver just as you would for any other call and dial 911. You will see the light on the “caption” button go out. When the 911 operator answers, speak into the receiver as you would on any other call. The 911 operator will hear everything you say, but you may not be able to hear the operator. If you cannot hear and need captions, press either the button next to the message on your screen (on the CapTel 200) or the “Yes” button below your screen (on the CapTel 800). The 911 operator will instantly receive a text message stating that you need captions. The operator will then type their instructions to you and they will appear on your CapTel display screen. Be aware that the operator may not be able to hear you while they are typing. When you hang up with 911, your CapTel 200 or CapTel 800 phone will stay in VCO mode in case 911 needs to call you back. To turn your captions back on, just press the “Caption” button.

To see a 911 call being made from a CapTel 200, click here:

To see a 911 call being made from a CapTel 800, click here:

CapTel 800i or 2-line CapTel

If you are calling 911 from a CapTel 800i or a 2-line CapTel (2-line meaning that you are connected to two different phone lines), your call will function just like any other CapTel call. You can speak into the receiver and the 911 operator will hear you. The 911 operator will speak back to you and the captions will appear on your display screen. To see a 911 call placed from a 2-line CapTel phone, click here:

Text Telephone (TTY)

When you call 911 from a regular telephone land line using a TTY, your call will automatically connect to a 911 call center and your address and phone number will appear on the computer screen of the 911 operator, even if you don’t type or say anything. If calling from a wireless phone however, you will need to provide the 911 operator with your location.

VRS/IP Relay

Under the FCC’s emergency call handling rules, VRS and IP Relay users can make an emergency call directly through their default Relay service provider to a 911 center. Just dial 911 as you would dial any other phone number and you will be connected to a 911 operator. Emergency 911 calls made through VRS or IP Relay receive priority attention over all other non-emergency calls and are answered by the first available 911 operator. If you have registered your 10-digit phone number and physical location information with your service provider (see below), the 911 operator will automatically receive this information when they answer your call and you will not have to relay it.

Don’t forget to register your 10-digit phone number and location!

For IP and VRS users, you must register your 10-digit phone number along with your up-to-date and accurate physical location information with your default Relay service provider. This will ensure that whenever you call 911, the 911 operator will instantly know your physical location and will be able to dispatch help to you as quickly as possible. Please remember to update your location information with your provider any time you move or change locations, whether it is from one apartment to another within the same complex or if you are moving across town.

Prepare yourself for an emergency situation by familiarizing yourself with these procedures. In any emergency, always remember to stay calm and make sure to keep your registered location information up to date with your current service provider.

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  • CapTel, TTY