iOS accessibility for hearing

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iOS devices running iOS 4 include a number of features that improve access for Deaf or hearing impaired users. They include:

  • Support for closed captions, open captions and subtitles through iTunes, and captioning tools and applications
  • Mono audio, which combines the sounds of the left and right stereo channels into a single sound to be played in both earphones
  • TTY support
  • Audible, visible and vibrating alerts
  • Instant messaging chat via the download of apps from the App Store
  • Chat with MMS, allowing you to send multimedia video attachments in text messages (only available on iPhone)
  • Visual voicemail (only available on iPhone)
  • FaceTime, which allows video calls to be made between iOS devices (excluding iPod 3G S) over a Wi-Fi connection. This is useful for people who are Deaf or hearing impaired to be able to have sign conversations.
  • The inclusion of two microphones – the main microphone is for calls, voice commands and memos, while the second is for Face Time calls and improving you’re the quality of your phone calls (only available on iPhone 4)

Several add-on products compatible with iPhone are also available that can help those with hearing disabilities, including a hearing aid-compatible induction ear loop from TecEar, wireless remote headset from Oticon and others.

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