U.S. Cellular® is committed to offering the latest technology to its customers with disabilities and providing accessible services and device options. We understand that your phone is a lifeline to your friends and family, and if you utilize a hearing aid, you need the most compatible device possible. So we offer numerous phones that meet your specific needs in addition to this page to help answer any of your questions. If you have any additional questions, please visit a store near you or call 1-888-944-9400.
Text telephone devices (TTYs) allow persons with speech or hearing disabilities to communicate over traditional voice wireless networks including the ability to make 911 calls. U.S. Cellular currently operates a voice network that is compatible with mobile TTY service. However, our network continues to evolve and we are in the process of migrating even more voice traffic to new IP-based calling protocols, commonly known as Voice-over LTE (VoLTE) and Wifi calling (VoWifi). Customers should be aware that mobile TTY does not work on calls that are placed over VoLTE and VoWifi at this time. In certain scenarios, a customer's network access may be limited to only VoLTE or VoWifi and this means that TTY calls, including TTY calls to 911, cannot be made. Customers with communication disabilities who need to call 911 while accessing VoLTE or VoWifi should use IP Relay, Video Relay, or IP Captioned Telephone Service to reach emergency personnel or to place any assisted calls. Also, you may send a text message to 911 directly (in areas where Text-to-911 is available across VoLTE) from your wireless device.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has wireless handset hearing aid compatibility requirements. These requirements deal with handset operations near hearing aids which operate in either acoustic coupling or inductive coupling mode.
Hearing aids operating in acoustic coupling mode receive and amplify all signals, such as a telephone audio signal, as well as unwanted ambient noise. Hearing aids operating in inductive coupling mode avoid amplifying unwanted ambient noise by turning off the microphone and using a telecoil to receive only audio signal based magnetic fields generated by telecoil compatible telephones.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has established technical standards to measure wireless phone handsets for "compatibility" with acoustic and inductive hearing aids and have been adopted by the FCC. These standards are known as Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) ratings.
An "M" rating measures compatibility with acoustic hearing aids while a "T" rating measures compatibility with induction hearing aids. So the higher the number (e.g., M3, M4 etc.) the more compatible the handset. Generally, handsets rated "M3" or "T3" by ANSI or better are considered compliant with FCC requirements.
We strive to make the phone selection process for our customers with hearing aids as easy as possible. U.S. Cellular categorizes phones into three different categories based on their levels of functionality: Basic Phones, Android™, and Apple® iOS®.
These are voice and data-capable wireless devices (i.e. converged) that integrate voice calling, email access (corporate and personal), web browsing and PIM (calendar, contacts, tasks) all in one device. These devices use Google's Android™ operating system. For additional information on accessibility solutions in the Android marketplace for persons with disabilities, please visit http://www.google.com/accessibility/products/.
These are voice and data-capable wireless devices (i.e. converged) that integrate voice calling, email access (corporate and personal), web browsing and PIM (calendar, contacts, tasks) all in one device. These devices use Apple's iOS operating system. For questions regarding accessibility on an iPhone®, please see: https://www.apple.com/accessibility/.
Basic phones are those that are primarily used for voice calls and texts.
Below is a list of U.S. Cellular devices and their hearing aid compatibility (HAC) rating
Hearing loss and hearing aids are highly individualized, so if you use a hearing aid we invite you to try hearing aid compatible phones at any U.S. Cellular owned and operated stores.
For more information about mobile devices and innovative ways to communicate, especially for people who may have a disability, please visit the FCC's Accessibility Clearinghouse at http://ach.fcc.gov/ or www.AccessWireless.org, a CTIA-The Wireless Association® and wireless industry created website designed to help people with disabilities, seniors and their families to find a cell phone and service.
For information regarding hearing aid-compatible and non-hearing aid-compatible devices, please visit Gari.info, http://gari.info/.
To learn more about the wireless hearing aid compatibility rules and service providers' obligations, please reference the FCC web page at: https://www.fcc.gov/hearing-aid-compatibility-wireless-telephones