Cisco works closely with partners to provide solutions that complement the Accessibility and usability of Cisco Products and Solutions.

Real Time Captioning on Cisco IP Phones

Tenacity partnered with Hamilton Captel offers Internet Protocol (IP) Captioned Telephone Service that provides captions directly on the Cisco phone. Businesses can seamlessly integrate captions into their Cisco VoIP network, providing employees with hearing loss the efficiency and effectiveness of using their existing office telephone.

Captions are displayed in real-time, directly on the Cisco phone. Users can use existing features of the Cisco phone including transfer and conference. No need for analog lines supporting 3rd party phones that exist outside of Cisco Unified Communications Manager. The service includes a scalable virtual server that forwards audio to a Hamilton CapTel Captioning Assistant then sends text back to the Cisco phone. The deployment is quick and simple. Visit the Tenacity website for more information.

Cisco-ZVRS Partnership transforming lives with visual communications

ZVRS changes the way deaf individuals communicate long distance with high-definition video. ZVRS provides an improved communications experience for deaf individuals. Rather than using TTY, deaf individuals can communicate using sign language and expression through high-definition (HD) video from Cisco DX70. ZVRS provides a more engaging communication experience for deaf individuals with video relay services.

ZVRS differentiates itself with 100 percent certified interpreters, 24-hour relay service, and HD video with flexible options to meet the needs of individual users. ZVRS chooses to provide its users with the Cisco DX70 for its comfortable display size as well as the reliability and stability of the video experience.

“With the DX70 and a Cisco network backbone in our call centers, we don’t have to worry about lost connections, connecting our customers in less than 30 seconds on average,” says Sherri Turpin, Chief Executive Officer. “We also are drawn to Cisco for the level of security it provides our business customers.” Click here to read more about ZVRS's Case Study.

accessaphone and ipTTY

accessaphone™ software applications engineered by Tenacity, an effective leader within the field of accessible telephony, provide a comprehensive list of Section 508 compliant communication interface options to control Cisco Unified IP Phones. Tenacity's Microsoft Windows® applications, include, but are not limited to, accessaphone and accessaphone ipTTY.

  • accessaphone with integrated text-to-speech provides audible status for features of the Cisco IP phone, keyboard, and speech recognition controls for individuals who are blind / low vision / mobility impaired. Employees who prefer to use another screen reader may use accessaphone's text-to-speech for audible caller ID only. accessaphone is an enhanced interface for the Cisco IP Phones and does not replace the Cisco soft phone or desk phone.
  • ipTTY includes TTY compatibility, real time text and audio for individuals who are deaf/hard of hearing. ipTTY helps businesses save money because end users are afforded the opportunity to communicate via TTY using the existing Cisco infrastructure without the need for additional analog lines, modems, or other equipment and barriers traditionally associated with TTY communications. The application communicates through IP and uses standard session initiation protocol (SIP) registered as a third-party SIP endpoint on Cisco Communications Manager. This soft client enables virtually every user on the telephony network to communicate with customer TTY machines, without the need for text relay service. Additionally ipTTY supports audio and real-time-text via RFC 4103; the future in real time text communication.

All accessaphone applications incorporate intuitive hotkeys to support individuals with cognitive impairments as well as alternative input devices for people with mobility impairments. For the organization, enterprise licensing creates a single entity-wide solution, with each individual's unique assistive technology (AT) needs matched by accessaphone built-in product/feature options. Visit the Tenacity accessaphone website for more information including Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPATs).

Visual and Audio Emergency Notification Through the Phone

Overhead paging often does not reach deaf employees, which compromises safety. Singlewire InformaCast helps ensure the safety of all employees by simultaneously sending an audible broadcast and text message to Cisco IP phones. In this way, the organization helps ensure that all employees have equal access to vital information about emergencies or network outages, for example. Administrators can select a prerecorded message or record a live broadcast, and send it to all phones or selected groups. Visit the Singlewire website for more information.

Handset Inline Amplifiers

All Cisco IP hardware phones meet the US FCC Part 68 requirement of at least 12 dB of adjustable volume gain above the default call sound volume. But some users, such as those with significant hearing loss (even with the use of hearing aids) want more volume increase. In that case, Cisco recommends the use of third party "inline amplifier" that goes in the handset cord between the phone base and the handset. The best model currently for sale, based on our experience, is the Clarity HA40. Visit the Clarity website to get more information.