for Wireless Telephones

Note: This page provides information about the hearing aid compatibility requirements for wireless phones. For information about hearing aid compatibility for wireline telephones, visit Hearing Aid Compatibility for Wireline Telephones. For information about hearing aid compatibility for wireline ACS telephonic CPE (such as VoIP phones), visit Hearing Aid Compatibility for Wireline ACS Telephonic CPE.

Mobile wireless service providers and device manufacturers first "are required" to offer handsets that are compatible with (do not cause interference with) hearing aids and cochlear implants.

How does the FCC determine whether a wireless handset is hearing aid compatible?  There are two measures used.  First, all digital handsets have a rating for their ability to reduce interference with hearing aids operating in acoustic mode – from M1 to M4, with M4 being the best.  Handsets are also rated – from T1 to T4 – for their ability to operate with hearing aids that contain a telecoil (a tightly wrapped piece of wire that converts sounds into electromagnetic signals) and operate in inductive coupling mode.  The FCC considers mobile handsets to be hearing aid compatible if they are rated at least M3 for acoustic coupling and at least T3 for inductive coupling.  A specific number or percentage of the handsets sold by handset manufacturers and mobile wireless service providers must meet these ratings.

Handset manufacturers file Hearing Aid Compatibility Status Reports annually (FCC Form 655), which contain information on the hearing aid compatible handsets that they offer. Service providers filed these annual Status Reports through January 2018, but are no longer required to file the Status Reports. Going forward, service providers must submit an annual certification of compliance with the rules (FCC Form 855), and provide, on their websites, additional information regarding the hearing aid compatibility capabilities of the handsets they offer. For more information on viewing and filing reports and certifications, visit Filing Hearing Aid Compatibility Reports and Certifications.

Consumer Guide / Fact Sheet

Small Entity Compliance Guides

Rules

Section 20.19

Orders and Notices

8-8-19
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Announces Opening Of Filing Window For Hearing Aid Compatibility Certifications And Compliance Date For New Rules (WT- Docket No. 17-228) (DA 19-759)
Public Notice: Word || PDF || TXT

11-16-18
Revisions to Reporting Requirements Governing Hearing Aid-Compatible Mobile Handsets (WT Docket No. 17-228) (DOC-355106; FCC 18-167)
News Release: Word || PDF
Report and Order: Word || PDF

3-06-18
FCC Announces Effective Date of Certain Hearing Aid Compatibility Rules (CG Docket No. 13-46, WT Docket Nos. 07-250 and 10-254) (DA 18-216)
Public Notice: Word || PDF

FCC Commission Meeting

Adopting New Hearing Aid Compatibility Standards for:
Wireless Phones, Wireline Phones, and Wireline ACS Telephonic CPE
October 24, 2017

10-26-17
FCC Modernizes and Improves the Ways that Americans with Hearing Loss Can Access Wireline and Wireless Communications Services (CG Docket No. 13-46, WT Docket Nos. 07-250 and 10-254) (DOC-347380; FCC-17-135; DOC-347848)
News Release: Word || PDF
Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration: Word || PDF
Erratum: Word || PDF

9-27-17
FCC Seeks Comment on a Potential Exemption to the Commission’s Wireless Hearing Aid Compatibility Status Reporting Requirements (WT Docket No. 17-228) (DOC-346894; FCC-17-123)
News Release: Word || PDF
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Word || PDF

7-11-17
FCC Grants Southern Linc’s Request for Limited Waiver of Wireless Hearing Aid Compatibility Requirements (WT Docket No. 07-250) (DA 17-665)
Order: Word || PDF

 

 

 

FCC Commission Meeting

Adopting Benchmarks for Hearing Aid Compatibility of Wireless Phones
August 4, 2016

8-5-16
Improvements to Benchmarks and Related Requirements Governing Hearing Aid Compatible Mobile Handsets (WT Docket No. 15-285) (DOC-340636; FCC 16-103)
News ReleaseWord || PDF
Report and Order: Word || PDF

1-11-16
Fourteen-Day Extension of Time to File Comments and Reply Comments on Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Hearing Aid Compatibility Benchmarks (WT Docket No. 15-285) (DA 16-26)
Public Notice: Word || PDF

1-4-16
Announcement of Comment and Reply Comment Deadlines for Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Hearing Aid Compatibility Standards (CG Docket Nos. 12-32 and 13-46, WT Docket Nos. 07-250 and 10-254) (DA 16-5)
Public Notice: Word || PDF

11-20-15
FCC Updates the Scope of the Wireless Hearing Aid Compatibility Rules and Seeks Comment on Additional Measures that Would Ensure Greater Deployment of Hearing Aid Compatibile Handsets (WT Docket Nos. 15-285 and 07-250) (DOC-336415; FCC 15-155; DOC-336705)
News Release: Word || PDF
Fourth Report and Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Word || PDF
Erratum: Word || PDF

10-30-15
FCC Proposes to Update Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) Standards, Make the Wireline HAC Rules Applicable to VoIP, Adopt a Wireless Handset Volume Control Rule, and Streamline HAC Standards Setting While Providing for Consumer Input (CG Docket No. 13-46, WT Docket Nos. 07-250 and 10-254) (FCC 15-144; DA 16-1201)
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Word || PDF
Erratum: Word || PDF 

1-12-15
FCC Partially Grants a Joint Request for an Extension of Time for Comments and Reply Comments Regarding the Commission’s Wireless Hearing Aid Compatibility Rules (WT Docket Nos. 10-254 and 07-250) (DA 15-46)
Order: Word || PDF

12-23-14
Comment Deadlines Established for Request for Updated Information and Comment on Wireless Hearing Aid Compatibility Regulations (WT Docket Nos. 07-250 and 10-254) (DA 14-1890)
Public Notice: Word || PDF

11-21-14
Request for Updated Information and Comment on Wireless Hearing Aid Compatibility Regulations (WT Docket Nos. 10-254 and 07-250) (DA 14-1688)
Public Notice: Word || PDF

11-27-12
Comment Deadline Extended for Public Notice Seeking Updated Information and Comment on Review of Hearing Aid Compatibility Regulations (WT Docket No. 10-254) (DA 12-1898)
Public Notice: Word || PDF

11-1-12
Updated Information and Comment Sought on Review of Hearing Aid Compatibility Regulations (WT Docket No. 10-254) (DA 12-1745)
Public Notice: Word || PDF

8-14-12
FCC Grants the Petitions for Reconsideration of NDNC, i wireless, and South Slope Wireless; Denied the Petitions of UBET Wireless, CTC, Blanca, Farmers Cellular, SLO Cellular, and EU (WT Docket No. 01-309) (FCC 12-89)
Order on Reconsideration: Word || PDF

5-30-12
FCC Grants Hand Held Products, Inc.’s Request to Withdraw Its Hearing Aid Compatibility Petition (WT Docket No. 01-309) (DA 12-843)
Order: Word || PDF

4-9-12
FCC Amends Parts 2 and 20 of the Commission’s Rules Governing Hearing Aid Compatible Mobile Handsets (WT Docket No. 07-250) (DA 12-550)
Third Report and Order: Word || PDF

12-28-11
FCC Notifies NEP Cellcorp, Inc., of Its Apparent Liability for Forfeiture in the Amount of $25,500 for Failure to Provide the Required Number or Percentage of Hearing Aid Compatible Handsets (File No. EB-11-SE-058) (DA 11-2079)
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture: Word || PDF

11-1-11
FCC Requests Comment on Adopting the Most Current Hearing Aid Compatibility Technical Standard for Mobile Handsets into the Commission’s Rules (WT Docket No. 07-250) (DA 11-1707)
Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Word || PDF

6-29-11
FCC Grants CTC Telecom d/b/a Mosaic Telecom a Temporary Waiver of the Hearing Aid Compatibility Requirements (WT Docket No. 07-250) (DA 11-1122)
Order: Word || PDF

12-28-10
Comment Sought on 2010 Review of Hearing Aid Compatibility Regulations (WT Docket No. 10-254) (DA 10-2388)
Public Notice: Word || PDF

12-14-10
Public Information Collection Approved; Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Reminds Wireless Service Providers of Their Obligation to Report on the Status of Compliance with the Commission’s Hearing Aid Compatibility Requirements by January 18, 2011 (WT Docket No. 07-250) (DA 10-2353)
Public Notice: Word || PDF

10-12-10
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Requests that Comments in Hearing Aid Compatibility Proceeding Address Effects of New Legislation (WT Docket No. 07-250) (DA 10-1936)
Public Notice: Word || PDF

9-8-10
Comment Cycle Established for Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Rules Governing Hearing Aid Compatible Mobile Handsets (WT Docket No. 07-250) (DA 10-1702)
Public Notice: Word || PDF

8-5-10
FCC Takes Steps to Empower Consumers with Hearing Loss by Encouraging Handset Device Innovation (WT Docket No. 07-250) (DOC-300703; FCC 10-145)
News Release: Word || PDF
Policy Statement and Second Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Word || PDF

1-5-09
FCC Notifies NEP Cellcorp, Inc., of Its Apparent Liability for Forfeiture in the Amount of $12,000 for Failure to Timely Comply with the Hearing Aid Compatibility Requirements for Digital Wireless Handsets (File No. EB-08-SE-1204) (DA 08-2826)
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture: Word || PDF

11-5-08
FCC Notifies American Samoa Telecommunications Authority of Its Apparent Liability for Forfeiture in the Amount of $6000 for Violating the Hearing Aid Compatibility Status Report Filing Requirements, and Admonished ASTCA for Failure to Meet the Handset Deployment Requirements (File No. EB-08-SE-143) (DA 08-2451)
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture: Word || PDF

6-5-08
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Reminds Digital Wireless Handset Manufacturers and Public Mobile Service Providers of Obligation to Designate an Agent for Hearing Aid Compatibility Issues (WT Docket No. 07-250) (DA 08-1331)
Public Notice: Word || PDF

4-17-08
FCC Acts on Its Own Motion to Modify the First Report and Order (WT Docket No. 07-250) (FCC 08-117)
Order on Reconsideration and Erratum: Word || PDF

2-28-08
FCC Modifies Hearing Aid Compatibility Rules to Improve Access for Americans with Hearing Loss to Wireless Handsets (WT Docket No. 07-250) (DOC-280525; FCC 08-68)
News Release: Word || PDF
First Report and Order: Word || PDF

11-7-07
FCC Addresses Outstanding Issues Relating to Hearing Aid Compatibility and Seeks Comment on Possible Changes to These Rules (WT Docket Nos. 01-309 and 07-250) (DOC-278009; FCC 07-192; DOC-278397)
News Release: Word || PDF
Second Report and Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Word || PDF
Erratum: Word || PDF

6-21-05
FCC Affirms, Modifies, and Clarifies the 2003 Hearing Aid Compatibility Order and Seeks Further Comment on Related Issues (WT Docket No. 01-309) (FCC 05-122)
Order on Reconsideration and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Word || PDF

3-8-04
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Announces Hearing Aid Compatibility Reporting Dates for Wireless Carriers and Handset Manufacturers (WT Docket No. 01-309) (DA 04-630)
Public Notice: Word || PDF 

2-26-04
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Seeks Comment on Petitions for Reconsideration and/or Clarification of the Hearing Aid Compatible Telephones Report and Order (WT Docket No. 01-309) (DA 04-567)
Public Notice: Word ||  PDF 

8-14-03
FCC Modifies the Exemption for Wireless Phones Under the Hearing Aid Compatibility Act of 1988 to Require that Digital Wireless Phones Be Capable of Being Effectively Used with Hearing Aids (WT Docket No. 01-309; RM-8658) (FCC 03-168; DA 03-2743)
Report and Order: Word ||  PDF
Erratum: Word

11-14-01
FCC Reexamines the Exemption Pursuant to the Direction of the Hearing Aid Compatibility Act of 1988 of Public Mobile Service Phones from the Hearing Aid Compatibility Requirements of that Act (WT Docket No. 01-309; RM-8658) (FCC 01-320)
Report and Order: Word || PDF

Updated: 
Thursday, August 22, 2019