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October 3, 2005

Hello? Can you hear me?

From: Compu-TYY - Oct 3, 2005

MEDIA CONTACT: John Koste, Marketing Director
(817) 738-2485 or
(817) 738-8993 Voice/TTY


Hello? Can You Hear Me?
CompuTTY has hearing loss products available for everyday life

Fort Worth, TX [October 3, 2005] – One of the most dreaded experiences for many people is picking up the phone and realizing they can't hear conversations anymore. "This sense of loss can be really traumatizing, because for so many people, the phone is such a key to independence," said Sid Ander, CEO and founder of Compu-TTY, Inc.

With an estimated 28 million people in America who have hearing loss, hearing loss isn't a rare problem. Yet it's rarely discussed or addressed in families for various reasons, ranging from shame to not being detected to simply trying to live with what is existent.

And that's where Compu-TTY comes in. The Fort Worth-based company, founded in 1982 by Ander and his wife who are both deaf, offers products and services for people who have hearing loss. In fact, people often tell Ander that his products have given them a new lease on life.

"Just recently we had a call from a woman whose mother was losing hearing slowly," Ander said. "The daughter told us that the family had given up on talking on the phone with the mother because it was so difficult trying to make the mother hear clearly. So the mother was feeling abandoned and isolated, especially since her family lived so far away." Ander and his staff recommended a few products to the daughter, including a phone amplifier.

"These products have existed for years, but so many people don't know they're out there," Ander added. "A few weeks later, after the daughter had gotten the equipment for her mother, we got a call from the mother. She called us to thank us and said that she literally burst into tears when she used the amplifier for the first time, because now she realized there was hope for her to lead a normal, regular life as she had before."

Even with hearing aids, the phone ringing, doorbell ringing or babies crying can be difficult to hear at times, especially if the television is turned up to a high volume or the radio is on. Compu-TTY provides equipment and devices available for individuals who are hard of hearing or have slight hearing losses, including phone/doorbell signaler systems, amplifiers, life-saving alert devices, and alarm systems. An especially popular product is the StarPlus 45, an amplified phone that comes with Caller ID. Mary Green, a specialist with the Utah Public Service Commission, has seen firsthand the impact the phone has made for her consumers.

"I was searching for equipment that would help our customers hear better on phone, but I could not find anything that would meet the 50 dB level we needed," Green said. "I was sent a StarPlus to test with our consumers. I began taking the SP45 with me on appointments and 9 out of 10 customers just fell in love with the SP45 versus other amplified phones they tested on. I got so used to the client saying, 'but it's so clear, the clarity is amazing' that I could almost tell them what their first comment would be."

Green remembered some of her more notable experiences with the phone. "There was a man who had not talked on phone to his best friend in over seven years. His wife commented that he relied on her for all his calls. He loved the StarPlus 45 and called his best friend and commented how clear his friend's voice was."

"But what I remember more is a woman who was profoundly deaf in her left ear and had not heard out of it in many years, and had 50% hearing remaining in her right ear. She called her sister out of state, and commented on how clear her sister sounded," Green continued. "Shortly into the conversation she switched the receiver to her left ear, 'just to see.' She actually heard her sister via her left ear and was so overwhelmed she had to put the receiver on her chest and sat there with tears streaming down her face." Utah currently has a backlog of 90 customers waiting for the phone installation.

"People often say, 'Why didn't I ever think of that?' when they see our offerings," Ander said. "So I'm really glad we're able to provide sometimes life-changing products for people who have a hearing loss. There's no reason that someone who has lost his or her hearing can't lead a life just like he or she did before."

To learn more about Compu-TTY or the products, please visit, or call (817) 738-2485 or (817) 738-8993 Voice/TTY.

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