TIA and Hearing Aid Compatibility
TIA and Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC)
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is responsible for adopting rules to ensure that consumers with hearing loss are able to access communications services without experiencing disabling radio frequency interference or other technical obstacles. These rules are set seperately for wireline and wireless equipment.
Among their numerous lines of business, TIA member companies design, produce, and deploy wired and wireless devices subject to the Commission's Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) requirements. TIA also develops standards to address HAC. TIA's Accessibility Working Group (AWG) and User Premises Equipment Division (UPED) coordinate activities related to the creation of TIA standards to test cordless phones for HAC (TIA-1083, TIA-4956, etc.) and TIA membership in other standard-setting efforts. TIA's AWG and UPED also regularly liaise with representatives of the disabilities advocacy groups, other industry groups, and government stakeholders. These important efforts have served to highlight the willingness of the cordless telephone industry to identify and resolve HAC issues.
TIA has long held that "safe harbor" technical standards are an effective tool to ensure consistency and transparency for entities seeking regulatory compliance, and we strongly support the use of voluntary, consensus-based and open industry standards be used to provide guarantees of compliance with regulations where possible, though not in lieu of more general performance objectives. The AWG and the UPED serve as a policy interface for TIA Engineering Committee TR-41's (User Premises Equipment) continuing efforts to address the problem of digital cordless telephones creating interference when magnetically coupled to hearing aids. In concert with representatives from Gallaudet University and others, TR-41.3 (Analog and Digital Wireline Terminals) has developed a measurement procedure for characterizing the undesired magnetic noise called "Conversational Gain" based on hearing aid users' experiences with various digital cordless telephones. We urge you to review a TIA August 2011-delivered presentation to the FCC on Conversational Gain if you would like further information.
TIA is also a member of ANSI-ANS C63. C63 developes standards for wireless handset HAC and on testing for compliance with FCC HAC rules. TIA's goal as a participant in this process is to (1) represent industry consensus positions within this valueable multistakeholder process and (2) to ensure that unnecessary occurrences of duplication of standardization efforts in establishing testing procedures for cordless phone HAC compliance are avoided. We continue to closely monitor and engage on all legislative and regulatory issues that affect member companies' HAC compliance, and encourage you to contact us with any questions or concerns.
TIA HAC-Related Filings
- TIA files Petition for Rulemaking with the FCC Requesting that Wireline Telephone Equipment Hearing Aid Compatibility Volume Control Standards be Updated (10/25/12)
- TIA files Comments to Proposed Changes to FCC Form 655 (Hearing Aid Compatibility Status Report) (9/28/12)
- TIA Reply Comments to the FCC on the Proposed Adoption of the ANSI C63.19:2010 Hearing Aid Compatibility Standard for Wireless Devices (1/30/12)
- TIA Files Comments Wwith FCC Supporting the Proposed Adoption of the ANSI C63.19:2010 Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) Standard for Wireless Devices (1/13/12)
- TIA Comments Filed With FCC on Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) (2/14/11)
- TIA Comments on Amendment of the Commission's Rules Governing Hearing Aid-Compatible (HAC) Handsets (10/25/10)
- TIA Files Comments on Mobile Phone Accessibility for People who are Blind, Deaf-blind, or Have Low Vision (9/13/10)
- TIA Ex Parte Response to FCC Questions Raised during October 20, 2009 Workshop on Disability Access (11/16/09)
- Joint TIA-CEA Comments on Broadband Accessibility for People with Disabilities in Advance of FCC October 20, 2009 Workshop (10/6/09)
- TIA Accessibility Comments on the National Broadband Plan and Questions Raised during the FCC's "Broadband Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities" Workshop (9/15/09)
- TIA Letter to President Obama Detailing Accessibility Initiatives (1/16/09)
- TIA Comments on American National Standards Institute's (ANSI) Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) C63 Petition to Institute the Latest Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) Standard (12/21/07)