HLAA Exhibits – Part One
By Cheryl Heppner
Editor: One of the best things about the HLAA convention is the opportunity to see all the latest and greatest technology. For those who can’t make it to the convention, Cheryl Heppner does an OUTSTANDING job of reporting on the exhibits.
– Hamilton Relay
My first stop was with Panasonic, which has its booth located right inside the entrance to the Exhibit Hall. It was great to reconnect with Tony Jasionowski, Sr. Group Manager for the company’s Accessibility Technology Liaison and Alliance Group. Tony introduced me to some of the company’s newest line of digital cordless phones whose boxes all displayed the logo for meeting TIA standards for hearing aid compatibility.
The models on display included the KX-TG6441 with one handset at $69.95 retail and the 2-handset KX-TG6432 model at $79.95. Panasonic’s cordless line now has lots of options with features such as conference capability, Ringer ID, lighted handset keypad, speakerphone on handset, handset locator, handset intercom, and Call Waiting Caller ID. There are 27 different cordless phone choices. All have DECT 6.0 (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunication), which operates on the 1.9GHz frequency and is designed to offer excellent sound quality, reduced interference, long range and extended battery life.
Panasonic is one of the companies I have pestered to make it easy to access captions on their line of televisions by having a caption button on the TV remote control, as well as one on the TV itself in case the remote is lost or the battery dies. Tony proudly showed me the remote for the sleek 42″ Panasonic TV that the company has donated for a drawing here at HLAA, and even more proudly handed me the remote control. There in the top row of buttons was a clearly marked “cc”. Of course that merited a big hug! The cc button’s addition to the remote has now become a company standard. If you’re as delighted as I am, you can send your thanks to Tony at email@example.com.
Hamilton Relay was featuring the new CapTel Model 800i, which is designed for people who have high speed Internet access, telephone service and standard electrical power. This phone has been eagerly awaited for some of its advances, particularly the ability to have a second phone line without paying the monthly charge for a land line. A major advantage of the second line is the ability for people to call you directly without having to first dial a toll-free number for the captioned telephone service.
Some of you may remember Hamilton’s Mitchell Levy from his days working for Virginia Relay. He was my guide in exploring this exciting new CapTel, walking me through feature after feature. Here are some things I found:
– The display screen is sharp with clear text, and you can choose from three sizes – small, medium or large.
– There are choices for color of both background and text, with the ability to preview what the choices will look like before you select them.
– Call History allows you to see a Caller ID for missed calls.
– You can save over 95 phone numbers and you can edit them whenever you want.
– You can choose to save a conversation, review it or delete it.
– There is an answering machine and voice mail capability.
– Ringer volume and pitch can be adjusted.
– You can select either tone or pulse dialing.
– When software upgrades are available, you can push a button to download them.
– A distinctive blue button can be pushed to connect with customer service at any time.
– You can mount the phone on the wall if you desire.
– There are speed dial keys for one-touch dialing of frequently called numbers
– Captions can be turned on or off at any time during a call.
– Volume can be adjusted up to 40 dB
And the best news: Hamilton Relay has a special offer right now. For $99 you can pre-order a CapTel 800i. Shipping is free and they even throw in a Starbucks gift certificate. To sign up: http://www.hamiltoncaptel.com/800i/index.html
(c)2009 by Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC), 3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130, Fairfax, VA 22030; www.nvrc.org. 703-352-9055 V, 703-352-9056 TTY, 703-352-9058 Fax. You do not need permission to share this information, but please be sure to credit NVRC.