The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires wireless phones and wireline telephones to be compatible with (do not cause interference with) hearing aids, and requires wireline telephones to provide sufficient volume. Without these hearing aid compatibility (HAC) rules, if someone with a hearing aid were to pick up a telephone or cell phone to make a call, they could experience substantial unwanted interference (e.g., noise), or they may not receive sufficient volume. When certified under the HAC rules:
- wireless phones and wireline telephones should provide minimal interference;
- wireline telephones should offer sufficient volume control; and
- wireless phones and wireline telephones should be compatible when interacting with the magnetic coils of hearing aids.
The HAC rules also apply to the use of cochlear implants. For simplicity, this web page refers generically to “hearing aids.”
The wireline rules apply to wireline telephones connected to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), and to advanced communications services (ACS), such as VoIP. The wireline telephones connected to ACS are referred to as “ACS telephonic CPE.”
For more information about the rules applicable to each type of handset, select one of the following: