Program helps those with hearing loss

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The New Mexico Commission for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the state government agency that distributes specialized telecommunications equipment, is now offering New Mexicans with hearing loss a first-of-its-kind amplified phone that allows users to read as well as hear conversations.
 Clarity — a division of Plantronics — and ClearCaptions joined together to develop Ensemble, a phone that captions conversations in real time through its seven-inch tablet display, while amplifying incoming sound up to 50 decibels.  Launched in January, Ensemble provides the most accurate phone conversation possible for people with hearing loss.
 “Our agency works to provide New Mexico’s deaf and hard of hearing community with the best possible solutions for their needs, and Ensemble is precisely what we need,” said Shannon Smith, NMCDHH’s director of Telecommunications and Technical Assistance/relay administrator. “With Ensemble, we’re bringing our program participants the latest in phone technology — precise text coupled with amplified voice—so they have the ability to communicate with friends and family, which is critical but often taken for granted by those of us who do not have from hearing loss.”

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