Caption Telephones and Cell/Mobile Apps

In News by ALDA News

Phone and Cell Phone Captioning Tools for the Late-Deafened,
Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing and our Hearing Allies


Thanks to captioned phone calls and/or mobile apps, the days when people with hearing loss are unable to stay connected is a thing of the past. Today, not only hearing people, but the Late-Deafened, Deaf, and Hard-of-Hearing individuals can communicate effectively using captioned telephones and cell phone apps.  Like captioning for movies and TV shows, captioning on a home phone or using smartphone apps provides a transcript of what the person on the other end of the call is saying in real-time – allowing for seamless phone calls no matter how bad your hearing is. Using these products, people with hearing loss can remain connected with anyone in the world at any time – safely, quickly, and effectively.

As we stay home to stay safe, everyone is forced to deal with the issue of isolation. Social distancing from the people we care about can lead to loneliness, depression and other negative health effects, not just for people with hearing loss but for our hearing friends and allies too. To help mitigate these effects, ALDA, Inc. is providing a list of captioned telephones and Apps for use on smartphones.  Please note this list provided is not intended to be all-inclusive and your suggestions and feedback are welcome and appreciated.

ALDA, Inc. will continue to provide information to keep you connected with family, friends, co-workers…everyone.  Stay connected and know that ALDA, our volunteers, sponsors, and those who donate are here for you.

Capture What is Being Said!

Captioned telephones open the doors to communicate with friends, family members, and professional contacts through a simple process to read what is being said by the person on the other end and respond via voice on any phone call. With so many keeping their distance, the demand for these services continues to grow.  As a result, there may be some delays in response or access to captioning, so have patience. Whether you already have a phone or get one today, it is worth the wait!  Here is a list of options:

  1. CapTel This phone is easy to use and works the same way you’d use any other telephone complete with volume control and, if you can’t hear what someone says, an easy to read screen to read the captions.  The phone displays every word the caller says throughout the conversation directly on your phone!

It works just like any other phone. You simply dial the other person’s number and, while you are dialing, the phone automatically connects to a free captioning service. And you may respond verbally during the course of conversation. Just like a traditional call!   The phones include the following:

  • No Cost Captioning Service: CapTel is part of a federally-funded program that supports telephone accessibility for people with hearing loss.  No costs for the Captioning Service are passed on to consumers – no monthly fees, no service agreements no change in your monthly phone bill.
  • Free Installation Support: Set up can be as simple as connecting a phone line and plugging it in! Or we can come install to work with your high-speed Internet service. We are here to help.
  • 24/7 Help Line: One-touch access to CapTel’s customer support team provides access to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • State Programs: Some states offer special programs to get a CapTel phone at no cost or at a reduced rate. Learn more about programs in your area by clicking here. 

How you see the captions on incoming calls will depend on your choice of CapTel models. With some models, people call your number directly, with other models, callers dial the captioning service first and enter your phone number.  Your phone options include:

CapTel 840i

This phone is designed for people who are comfortable with a traditional-style telephone, the CapTel 840i features a large easy-to-read display with built-in answering machine. Learn More Here

CapTel 2400i

For people who prefer touch-screen technology, the CapTel 2400i has a large colorful display, dial-by-picture capability, and a built-in answering machine. Includes Bluetooth ® connectivity and speaker phone.

CapTel 880i

Ideal for people with low vision, who have difficulty viewing standard-sized captions, the CapTel 880i has extra large font sizes & display options for easy reading.

CapTel 840 – Analog Mode

Designed for people without high speed internet access, the CapTel 840 works with a standard analog telephone line. Both the captions and the voice parts of the conversation are carried over the telephone line.


  1. Sprint CapTel: * With a Sprint CapTel phone, you will hear what you can and read what you miss on calls. Read captions of everything your caller says, in real-time. No more asking someone to repeat themselves or waiting for a quiet room to make a call. Even better, you may qualify to get your phone at no cost.*

Sprint CapTel 2400i

With its easy-to-use touchscreen and dial-by-picture feature, the 2400i makes every conversation easy to follow.

Sprint CapTel 880i

With its extra-large font sizes and crisp display, the Sprint CapTel 880i is perfect for people with low vision.*

Sprint WebCapTel

If you need to make or take a call away from home – No problem! Sprint WebCapTel service works with any telephone (landline, office phone, cordless phone, mobile phone) and a computer. It’s secure and accurate, with no special equipment required. Simply register for a Sprint WebCapTel account to get started.

  • No special equipment or software to download and no charge for service
  • 24/7 service availability for PC and Mac
  • No limits to length or amount of calls
  • Secure and confidential
  • Available in English and Spanish


  1. Hamilton CapTel is here to help. Hamilton provides the option to: *
  • Listen and read captions of everything said on all incoming/outgoing calls.
  • Integrated answering machine “captions” your voice messages.
  • Free captioned telephone service available 24/7, nationwide.

Hamilton CapTel 2400i

Touch-screen navigation for on-screen menus, easy access to Customer Care, speaker phone capability and Bluetooth connectivity.

Hamilton CapTel 880i

This phone is designed for those with low vision or who have difficulty reading standard-sized captions. The extra-large display screen provides easy reading to catch every word of what’s said over the phone. The phone includes the on/off button for captioning and an answering service to caption messages.

Hamilton Business Phone

For those needing a Captioned Phone at Work.  Click on the picture below to learn more: 

Web CapTel

Now you can see what is being said on your phone – directly from your computer!

No software to download:  Hamilton Web CapTel is a web-based service and is used through your Internet browser.  To learn more, click here.

Your Hamilton CapTel contacts available anywhere:  Hamilton Web CapTel includes a “Contacts” tab in the main menu. Your personal phone book to add/edit for one-click dialing.


  1. CaptionCall is another option to read what is being said and the following options:   
  • Patented SilkScroll® technology smoothly captions and displays what your callers say on a large, easy-to-read screen.
  • Volume adjustment and frequency to fit your hearing needs.
  • Use the built-in answering machine or one you already have.
  • Speakerphone options and CaptionCall RealSound audio processing minimizes voice distortions.
  • The option to save and look back at appointment times, directions, and favorite calls.
  • Touch the screen to dial recent calls or saved contacts.


ClearCaptions: If you are experiencing hearing loss that inhibits your phone use, you may qualify to receive a ClearCaptions phone at no cost to you! ClearCaptions offers real-time phone captioning that allows you to see every word said on the call.


CapTel Mobile and Computer (Web)

CapTel provides captions on your Mobile Calls!  Mobile apps makes it easy to get CapTel captions on your mobile devices!

Visit WebCapTel to learn more!  Mobile Partner:  Hamilton CapTel



Get Captions on your Web Browser!  WebCapTel lets you enjoy telephone conversations with the convenience of online captions.

Visit our WebCapTel to learn more:  WebCapTel Partners:  Hamilton CapTel and Sprint CapTel


Sprint IP Relay

ipad with text

Sprint IP Relay allows people who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf-Blind or have a Speech Disability to use an internet connection, a computer or mobile device and a relay operator. You type what you want to say to the operator, then the operator relays the message to your caller and types their response back to you.

Apple App Store

Google Play Store


Hamilton® CapTel® App!

Hamilton CapTel is compatible with many of the latest smartphones and tablets, on most wireless networks. Don’t have a smartphone? See every word a caller says on your iPad or Android tablet when using the mobile app in conjunction with any phone.

Apps for iPhone and Android Smartphones

Read captions of what is being said during phone conversations while you listen and talk with people on the go

iOS/Android 8

Use your iPad or Android Tablet with any telephone (i.e. landline, office, mobile phone) to place calls with the
Hamilton CapTel App. Captions of what’s said appear on the tablet screen.


InnoCaption has been innovative to enable faster and lower latency data communications over cellular network for the hard of hearing and Deaf around the country.  They took the skills of highly trained stenographers to create a live mobile captioning service. You can use Automatic Speech Recognition, ASR, to caption your calls.  Visit the Innocaption website to learn more.


Look what you can do:  It dials like a regular phone and CaptionCall Mobile and CaptionCall Mobile for iPad have a dial screen or you can select from recent calls.  CaptionCall includes a patented SilkScroll ® technology smoothly captions and displays on your iPad what your callers say.  Voicemail with captioning and the option to save conversations to keep track of dates, call details, and reminders.


ClearCaptions Mobile lets you enjoy captioned calls when you’re on the go.

Stay connected and confident, wherever you are.




*Disclosure:  Federal law prohibits anyone but registered users with Hearing Loss from using Internet Protocol (IP) Captioned Phones with captions turned on.  IP Captioned Telephone Service may use a live operator. The operator generates captions of what the other party to the call says. These captions are then sent to your phone. There is a cost for each minute of captions generated, paid from a federally administered fund.

From All of Us at ALDA, Inc.

We hope you find the above information useful and fun
as you pass the time staying safe.