What is Captioned Telephone (CapTel)?

Captioned Telephone (or CapTel for short) is a new telephone technology that allows people to receive word - for -word captions of their telephone conversations. The CapTel phone looks and works like an traditional phone, with callers talking and listening to each other, but with one very significant difference: Captions are provided live for every phone call. The captions are displayed on the phone's built in screen so the user can read the words while listening to the voice of the other party.

Is this a relay service?

Yes, CapTel Captioning service transcribes the caller's spoken words into written captions, using voice-recognition technology. The captioning service is free to users; its cost is covered by the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) fund as part of Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

CapTel user graphic

How do I know if CapTel is for me?

CapTel is for a very specific audience and will not work for everyone. The person that can benefit the most is:

A person who is late deafened but is very familiar with using voice carry over relay.
A person with some residual hearing that needs amplification and then the reinforcement of reading the captions.

A person that can cope with the redundancy of both hearing the voice of the person talking and then seeing the captions come across the screen a few seconds later.

A person that fully understands that this is a relay service and that there is a third party involved.

How do I apply for a CapTel phone through the Massachusetts Equipment Distribution Program (MassEDP)?

You can obtain an application for MassEDP by downloading it or you can call our office at 800-300-5658 Voice/TTY. Fill out all of the information on the application and bring the completed form to your doctor so they can certify your disability. Once you have completed the form and it has been signed by your doctor return the application to one of the Commissions listed based on your disability. For more information on the application process please visit the Qualify and Apply page on the MassEDP website.

What if I'm already a member of the MassEDP program but want to "swap" my current phone for a new CapTel phone?

No. The same guidelines apply to CapTel as with any other equipment in MassEDP. If you received a telephone and it is working for you, then you cannot "swap" it for a CapTel phone.

What if the phone I currently have through MassEDP is not working and is no long in the warranty period, can I get a CapTel phone?

If the phone you currently have is not working and it is no longer in the warranty period please contact MassEDP at 800-300-5658 V/TTY and speak to a Customer Service Representative to discuss your options.

Can I get a CapTel phone if the phone I currently have through MassEDP no longer meets my needs?

If there has been a change of or within your disability and your current equipment no longer meets your needs, please contact MassEDP at 800-300-5658 V/TTY and speak to a Customer Service Representative to discuss your options.

If I do not qualify for a CapTel phone through the MassEDP program, can I purchase one on my own?

Yes, you may contact WCI customer service directly at 1-800-233-9130 V/TTY or email CapTel@Weitbrecht.com. You can also visit their website at www.weitbrecht.com for more information. However, please be advised that MassEDP is not responsible for assisting you with the connection, setup or maintenance on any telephone not obtained through the program.