Success: I have an Android phone that works with NGTLite

NGT Lite open on Moto G5_annotatedI now have a Moto G5, with the Android operating system (v7, Nougat), which I am using with GiffGaff (a mobile network that in fact runs on the O2 network). The app and the phone work beautifully.

I have rung friends, rung family, and rung organisations. And it works! Folk who know me are taken quite by surprise, because they do not expect to hear my voice on a mobile.

It is quite amazing to be able to use a phone ‘almost’ normally. Liberation!

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Hiatus

After a time of change beyond belief, I am only now returning to this blog that I set up so enthusiastically in January. My intention remains to share ways of coping with profound deafness and to explore the comparatively new Text Relay Service [Next Generation Text Service], which is delivered via the NGT Lite app.

But since those early days my life has changed. In February my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer and he died just four short weeks later. I nursed him at home until almost the end. I knew that I might need to call an ambulance. But using NGT Lite with a laptop can be a bit ‘clunky’ – for one thing, you have to boot up before you can start. This takes time, and it also means that it is difficult for other folk to ring me. The obvious solution was to get a mobile phone that was compatible with the app. Alas, it did not occur to me that my mobile network would cause insurmountable problems.

I got a small Android phone, downloaded the NGT Lite app and tried to set it up and tried to make a call. But it just would not work with my then network (Talk Mobile). After several web ‘chats’ with their Customer Service folk, it emerged that calls made via the app were blocked, because they needed an access code (18001 to call someone who is hearing, 18000 to call the emergency services) in front of the regular number. Their system classified these access codes as a premium service. I would therefore be expected to pay a premium rate. I queried this:

“What?” I said, “even to call an ambulance?”

“Yes, Jill,” I was told, and fobbed off with words to the effect that as it was a service ‘bought in’ the customer would be expected to pay to make any call via NGT. As far as they were concerned, that was that. I declined to pay a premium rate for phone calls of any kind and returned the phone to them.

My husband’s condition worsened by the day. When finally an ambulance was needed, a Hospicare nurse was in the house and made all the arrangements – he was admitted to a hospice, where he died just 30 hours later.

Now, nearly three months after his passing, I have changed network and have an Android phone that works. (Better late than never, one could say?) And it is my intention to make sure that all mobile networks that operate in the UK know about the Next Generation Text Service and offer it on equal terms as regular  ‘hearing’ use of a telephone. Calls made via the NGT Lite app should be part of the ‘inclusive minutes’ in a contract. I hope that might be my husband’s legacy so that no one else is ever told to pay a premium rate to call an ambulance.

NGT Lite

NGT stands for Next Generation Text and it is the latest incarnation of dear old Typetalk, which dates from the 1990s. I started using TypeTalk in 1995. Later, Typetalk morphed into the Text Relay Service and now (unlike me!) it has moved with the times and is an app.

There is lots of information on the NGT website: http://ngts.org.uk/ and a wonderful NGT lady answered my emailed queries.

I discovered that NGT Lite can be used on a desktop computer, running Windows, Mac OSX, or Linux. It can be used on a tablet running iOS or android. But best of all, it can be used on a mobile phone running iOS or android

I viewed several informative videos on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH550p9RBdbdvQg0a4HL4cg

It really was a no-brainer: NGT Lite is the way to go.

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Uniphone

uniphone1_resized-cropped

My old Uniphone 1150

I got a Uniphone 1150 textphone in the summer of 1995. Sadly, after over 21 years’ of use, it died on me the other Monday. I loved the Uniphone, which is ideal for a deaf/hearing household like mine – it functions as a textphone or as an ordinary voice telephone, so anyone can use it.

There is a small backlit screen on which I would read the caller’s words, typed at lightning speed by a Text Relay operator. Then I would press a couple of buttons to change to voice mode and speak directly to the caller. (My voice is OK.) Sure, a call made via the Text Relay Service takes a bit longer than an ordinary voice call. But the Uniphone with text relay gave me independence in telecommunications.

As you can see from the photo, the Uniphone is a corded landline phone, so has to be used near a phone socket – all rather old-fashioned in these days of cordless and mobiles.

So when the Uniphone died, I had to find out about a replacement – and discovered that

laptop cartoon character with face hands

My thanks to Classroom Clipart for this splendid fellow.

I was way behind the times. Very few dedicated text telephones like the Uniphone are now sold because the Text Relay Service can be delivered by a computer app. 

Time to catch up with the app….

 

 

But if you would like to find out more about a Uniphone, then check out this page at Connevans: http://www.connevans.co.uk/product/8171708/40TU1150/Uniphone-1150-textphone