Assistive Technology for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

There is a wide variety of technology specifically created for people who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf-Blind and Speech-Impaired.

The Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DSDHH) does not endorse any products or companies listed below.

Technology Description Providers
Alerting Systems These systems can alert people who are deaf or hard of hearing by using lights, high-frequency sounds and vibrating notifications that work by way of traditional alarms. Alerting systems can be used for alarm clocks, doorbells, door knocks, phone calls, baby monitors, weather alerts, motion detectors, smoke alarms, and a wide range of other traditional alerting technologies.

Central Alert CA 360 Notification

Safe Awake

Homeland Security


The National Weather Service

Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) ALDs assist people who are deaf and hard of hearing with everyday communication. This technology allows the user to overcome the negative effects of background noise and distance to offer the user better hearing in everyday situations. Williams Sound Digi-Wave System
Instant Messaging (IM) Instant Messaging is a form of real-time communication between two or more people based on typed text. The text is conveyed via computers or wireless device connected over a network such as the Internet.



Skype Messenger

Yahoo! Messenger

Internet Captioned Telephone Service Make and receive phone calls using a telephone that displays real-time captions of phone conversations visible on your computer’s Internet browser or on a screen embedded on the base of your telephone.


Clear Caption


Mobile CapTel

Sprint CapTel

Internet Relay (IP Relay) A telephone relay service that links your telephone with a specialized program for personal computers, laptops, mobile phones, or other devices capable of utilizing an IP Relay provider.

Sprint IP Relay

Telephone Relay Service (TRS) Allows people who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf-Blind or Speech-Impaired to place calls to standard telephone users via a keyboard or assistive device. Relay NC
Video Chat (Videophone Chatting) Interact in real time using audio and video technology by using a computer, tablet or wireless device.





Video Relay Service (VRS) Allows non-signing individuals to communicate with people whose primary language is American Sign Language (ASL). You can use video conferencing equipment and sign language interpreters, or you can use your mobile device.


Sorenson Video Relay Service


Purple VRS


Z5 for Android

Z5 for IOS

Accessibility for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf-Blind and Speech-Impaired Individuals

Accessibility Apps Description Price
AT&T CapTel A free service for hard of hearing users to enjoy telephone conversations with the convenience of nearly simultaneous online captions. FREE
Blurb A program that displays messages so that you can display it to someone else. This app also acts as a useful aid to help communicate with deaf and hard of hearing individuals. FREE
Clear Captions This app lets you hear and read what's being said, much like closed caption television. FREE
Closed Capp Closed Capp uses voice recognition software. When another person speaks into your phone, the words are transcribed live on the screen of the device. $.99
CaptionFish The Internet’s leading captioned movies search engine that shares information about open captioned, Rear Window captioned, foreign/subtitled, and descriptively narrated movies showings in the United States. FREE
Dragon Dictation An easy-to-use voice recognition application that allows you to easily speak and instantly see your text or email messages. FREE
FEMA The FEMA App (smartphone app for mobile devices) contains disaster safety tips, interactive lists for storing your emergency kit and emergency meeting location information, and a map with open shelters and open FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs). The app is free to download through your smartphone provider’s app store. FREE
Google Hangouts Video chat with up to nine friends using mobile Hangouts. FREE
Hamilton Mobile CapTel Similar to captions on television, this app makes it possible for you to see exactly what is being said to you on every call. FREE
HIMS Chat An application designed to facilitate face-to-face communication between a Deaf-Blind person and a sighted person via Bluetooth connectivity. FREE
HumanWare Communicator This application is intended to establish a text conversation between a deaf-blind person and a sighted person using a refreshable Braille display, as well as visually on the screen of the iOS device. $99.99
IP Relay Enables deaf or hard of hearing people to make and receive text relay calls using a phone number on the keypad to start a call, or using your IP-relay number to receive calls. FREE
NIXLE Use this app to receive alerts and advisories from the agencies including police, sheriff and fire departments to stay safe and informed. FREE
Purple VRS A video-based telephone relay system for deaf and hard of hearing customers that allows you to make VRS calls virtually anywhere, anyplace, anytime directly on your device. FREE
PurpleMail A video-based message system for deaf and hard of hearing customers that lets you access your PurpleMail video messages. FREE
ReadWhatISay This app serves as an aid in face-to-face communication, where the user first sees the person talking and then sees the corresponding text for better understanding. $1.99
Red Cross Mobile Apps An app that prepares you for Red Cross emergencies including tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, shelter finders and first aid. FREE
Sorenson Buzzcards An app that works like a deck of flash cards. This allows you to decide what’s written on the cards, to make them as needed, to make them in advance and you can keep them organized by category. FREE
Soundamp R Uses your phone’s microphone to amplify sound around the user, turning it into a hearing aid. $4.99
Sprint Mobile IP A free app available for people with hearing loss to place relay calls. FREE
SubtitleDroid A simple but effective way to search and download subtitles for movies and TV shows. FREE
Super Hearing An app designed to enhance your hearing by using a pair of headphones and your phone’s microphone. $.99
Tap Tap Designed to produce alerts that vibrate and flash to alert you that there's been a loud noise in your direction. $2.99
uListen A sound amplifier that makes ordinary sounds louder or softer. It’s ideal for TV sounds, amplify other person’s voice or just by simply listening to sounds around the house. $4.99
Verbally An easy-to-use, comprehensive Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) app for the iPad. FREE
VirtualVoice This application is designed to use the text to speech (TTS) and the speech recognition features of your Android device so that people who are deaf can communicate with others without the need for sign language or lip reading. FREE
ViBe An app that lets you feel who is calling you using unique vibration patterns as a caller ID. FREE
Z4Mobile This app allows you to make and receive ZVRS, point-to-point, VCOPlus and HolaVRS calls using Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G. FREE
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