I am a doctor, and I am deaf. A deaf person is someone who cannot hear most things. For example, I cannot hear your voice on my cell phone, but we can still talk on the phone!
If you need to talk to a deaf or hard of hearing person on the phone, it is important to ask him or her what is the best way. We may have a special phone number for you to call.
Some people use a special phone like a TTY/TDD or a Captel phone. You can call on any regular phone, and a person in the middle will type what you say on their special phone, so the deaf person can read it.
If the deaf person knows sign language, it is popular to use a video relay service. During a video relay call, you will talk to a sign language interpreter on your phone. The interpreter shows up on a video camera to the deaf person, and will sign what you said. I can use this app on my cell phone!
Through this phone technology, deaf people can call the doctor and talk to family. They can also call 9-1-1 in an emergency. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can use these services for free.
The Rochester Institute for Technology has a How To Guide about Video Relay Service (PDF)