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June 11, 2003

Local company produces phones for the hearing-impaired

From: KUSA, CO - Jun 11, 2003

Written By: Web Producer Paola Farer

FORT COLLINS - A new technology developed by a deaf woman in Colorado promises to change the lives of 34 million Americans with mild to severe hearing loss.

Jo Waldron’s company, Fort Collins based Able Planet Inc., will sell specially equipped phones that use a wireless audio link from the hearing aid to the phone. The microtechnology will be built into telephones and hands free sets for cell phones.

Waldron said it has worked wonders for her. "I am deaf, and I have been since birth and I can now use a normal telephone and clearly hear and participate in any conversation," she said.

Brenda Battat of Self Help for Hard of Hearing People, said her group has long advocated technology that is built into phones, so users don't have to buy extra accessories.

Hyatt hotels will also install the technology in its rooms in North America.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report, Copyright 2003 by 9NEWS KUSA-TV. All Rights Reserved