I have been using the HATIS for two weeks now and wanted to give an update. The HATIS, can be used in conjunction with any regular cell phone that has a headset option. Most cell phones, if not all, do now. I went to Verizon to purchase a new cell phone. They were having a great sale and I bought a very nice phone — a camera phone, much to my teenagers glee — at a price lower than most of their “regular”phones. I already have a “minute plan” with Verizon so it was relatively easy to just have my old # switched to the new phone.

The HATIS was also available through Verizon so I purchased it at the store. They keep them in stock here, but I imagine it is because my little town is “home” to the School for the Deaf and many HoH people live here. The sales people said they “sell a lot of them”. The HATIS is a thin black silhouette that fits behind my BTE’s very comfortably. (I have been told HATIS does NOT consider this piece to be “silhouette”, but really that is what it is!) I put it behind my “better” ear which only has a severe loss. The silhouette is placed between the BTE and your head. About 12 inches from the silhouette, a small clip allows you to secure the HATIS to your collar or shirt itself. This is very nice, as I talk with my hands and would have thrown the device across the room if it hadn’t been secured. The clip keeps the pressure from “the jerk of a hand-talker” on the shirt or your collar instead of the silhouette. (Without this clip you’d “throw” your HATIS and BTE both!). The remaining 2-3 feet of the length of the cord plugs into the headset of any cell phone. I wear the HATIS when I’m away from home, but do not plug it into the phone unless my phone begins to vibrate indicating I have a call. I need to start running the wire down beneath my clothes and attach it to the cell phone. I miss most calls and have to check my messages as I can’t get the HATIS plugged in quick enough. I wear a neck loop most of the time with a Pocketalker and I feel like I’m so — so –WIRED! But being “wired for sound” is a good thing I suppose! TheHATIS provides a very clear sound and I hear the voices of my family very well. I simply switch the BTE that has the silhouette with it, to “t-coil”, and the other person’s voice goes directly to my middle ear and I don’t hear any background noise around me. I don’t have to hold the phone itself up to my ear, and I talk into the phone’s microphone — as if you were talking into a walkie talkie. I realize this is a very amateur and “non-technical” way of explaining it, but — there it is. When I’m away from home, I feel much more at ease about “hearing”when my family is trying to reach me. I’m still a little nervous using it, but I am nervous using ANY phone. When I answer any telephone there is a moment’s panic right before I say “hello” –Will I hear the other voice? Will I be able to understand what theyare saying? Will I have to ask them to repeat themselves?

Denise Portis
Frederick County SHHH
Any mention of opinions or products is that of Denise Portis, and not necessarily that of any organization or other person affiliated with organizations that work with those with hearing loss.
©2006 Hearing Loss Diary

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