Who knew I would have to be a speed reader to enjoy watching television. But with my hearing loss, closed captions have been a lifesaver - so I can actually follow the intricate plot lines of my favorite British mysteries.
But are there times when you wish there were closed captions for your telephone? Well there is, and the service is called CapTel which is short for Captioned Telephone.
The Captioned Telephone service from Oregon CapTel offers the ability for anyone with hearing loss to hear and read captions of everything being said by the other person during a telephone conversation. It is a 24-hour-a-day service offered at no cost to users if their audiologist or hearing aid specialist can certify their hearing loss - but they are responsible for their own long-distance or Internet charges.
How does the system work? Let’s say you are calling your grandson. When you dial his number, and before he answers, the phone call automatically connects to a captioning service. While your grandson talks with you, the CapTel operator is listening and transcribes your grandson’s words into text by using voice recognition technology. You then can read the transcription of your grandson’s conversation on the caption telephone’s CapTel display screen.
I personally tried an iPad with the CapTel software installed and it worked fine. I would recommend anyone with hearing loss to give an iPad or caption phone a try. It was easy to order and once again free if an audiologist or hearing aid specialist can certify your hearing loss.
But when I did use it, I found one drawback: there is a delay between the spoken words and the captions. For me it wasn’t worth the effort to adapt to that inconvenience since my hearing loss isn’t that severe – yet. But I have heard there are landline phones that use Bluetooth technology to connect to your Bluetooth enabled hearing aids, avoiding the need for captions, which I hope to try.
If you receive a phone call, and you have to ask the caller to repeat what they just said, (“Now what do I have to do so the cops won’t come to my house and arrest me?”); and you actually DO want to hear what the caller is saying, you will want attend the Center’s 11:00 Wednesday Lecture on May 30th. Susan Kirk from Oregon Relay will explain the different available options, so you can communicate with friends and family over the telephone. And if I have whet your appetite, you can learn more at or .
Here’s a new service offered this summer. From June 2nd through October 13th, the LINK, our local public transit provider, will be offering FREE transportation to the Dalles Farmers’ Market thanks to the sponsorship by PacificSource Community Solutions. To reserve a ride, call LINK at 541-296-7595 and tell them where you want to go and when you want to be picked up. For best availability, you will want to schedule your ride at least 24 hours in advance. LINK will pick you up at your door and take you to the Farmer’s Market at The Dalles City Park, and then return to pick you up and take you home or wherever you need to go.
The name of the oil derived from a plant native to Southeast Asia with a dark, musky-earthy aroma, that was associated with the “counterculture” movement of the 60’s is Patchouli Oil. (I received correct answers from Sandy Haechrel, Sue Ortega, Dave Lutgens and Ron Nelson who is this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. And a raffle ticket also goes to Dave Lutgens whose answer I missed last week.)
For this week’s “Remember When” question, let’s go back to the classic television shows from the 50’s and 60’s. Who was the host and star of the American radio and television variety show which ran on CBS from 1946 until 1958; featured "talent scouts" who brought their discoveries onto the program to showcase their talents; and the winner was determined by an applause meter. Email your answer to email@example.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a picture of a past contestant such as Connie Francis, Roy Clark or Jonathan Winters.
Well, it’s been another week, enjoying the last weeks of spring. Until we meet again, drive carefully, and stay safe during this traditional travel season.
“Blindness separates us from things, but deafness separates us from people.” Helen Keller