Closed Captions

  • Closed captioning (CC) Refers to lines of dialogue or other text displayed at the bottom of the screen in films, television programs, video games or other visual media.
  • CCs can be transcriptions of screenplay, translations of it, or information to help viewers with low hearing understand what is shown.
  • These systems are available for telephones at Riderwood. (More below.)
  • Many of these devices may be helpful to those with servere hearing loss.

Captions on Xfinity TVs

  • Additional assistance for using the Xfinity remote can be found on’ Help Page > Help > TV icon, which includes help for closed captions.
  • Approaches to CC on are too numerous to elucidate here for other devices.

Telephones – Closed Captions

Free speech-to-text / caption phones are available to Riderwood Residents. These phones are optimized for individuals with hearing loss. The phones use voice-to-text technology and automated speech recognition, to transcribe conversations. The content of incoming calls appear on CaptionCall screen.
CaptionCall is federally funded under Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). See more below about closed captioning on cell phones.

Obtain a CaptionCall phone by contacting
Eli Orfan at 445-213-8677. Alternate number: 883-691-1600

Click image for Flyer (PDF)

Closed Captioning on PCs

Windows PCs – Closed captioning can convert the audio part of a TV show or video to closed captions. For Windows-10 users,

  1. Right-click or tap-and-hold anywhere on the video.
  2. A menu bar appears at the bottom of the screen. If closed captioning is available, a CC icon will be displayed.
  3. Tap or click the CC icon.
  4. Tap or click the language you want to see closed captions in. Closed captioning appear.
  • Note: If closed captioning is not available, a pop-up window will display “Not available.”
  • More info: Changing caption settings, and, more generally, get to accessibility options by:
  • Selecting   (Start) >   Settings > Accessibility > Captions.

Windows 11 – the approach is similar to that for Windows-10, Change caption settings

Linux User? Speech to Text Software for Linux

YouTube Captioning

Info on toggling closed captioning on and off for YouTube is available at How-To Geek: How to Turn On (or Off) Closed Captions on YouTube.

Speech-to-Text – Android

  • Live Transcribe , a Google app, can transcribe live speech to text in real time – one can read what is being said as it’s being said.
  • Choose from over 80 languages.
  • Save transcriptions for three days (copy / paste to move and save).
  • Available on Google Pixel and some other Android phones (see detailed info).
  • Notifications:
    • for potentially risky situations and personal situations based on sounds happening at home (for example, smoke alarm, siren, baby sounds).
    • via a flashing light or vibration.
  • Install the app from the Google Play Store
  • Screen reader with TalkBack
  • Change display; Interaction controls.
  • Braille display
  • Captions; Audio

App for Droids  and   iPhones

CaptionCall Mobile app – can be used to make and receive captioned phone calls on cellular devices. The CaptionCall Mobile app is available free to people with hearing loss, It is available on Apple iOS and Android devices. Click the link for more info, including tutorials on how to use the app.

Future Developments for Androids

  • Automatic description of images – said to be coming Summer, 2022.
  • The Explore mode, part of Lookout – reads text or describes an object in front of phone’s camera.
  • Lookout is said to have other features enabled by AI. Most are aimed at vision impaired. See a description of features:
    Lookout By Google App: What It is and How to Use It

iOS / Apple Assistive Technology

  • Many hearing assistive technologies are available for iOS / Apple devices. Availability varies between devices as well as versions of the operating system. Examples include:
  • Conversation Boost for AirPods: Conversation Boost focuses AirPods Pro on the voice of the person directly in front of the listener.
  • Sound Recognition – without hearing the sound. Notifies when a specific sound is detected with iPhones & iPads, e.g, for a doorbell or crying baby,
  • “Tune” headphones to a listener’s hearing profile – enhancing frequencies that are missed.
  • Sound processors available in consultation with an audiologist.
  • Mono Audio – combines stereo music channels into one channel to balance differences by playing both audio channels in both ears.
    • Adjust the balance for greater volume in either ear
  • Sensory Alerts – See or feel them.
    • Visual or vibrating alerts for incoming phone and FaceTime calls, new text messages, mail, and calendar events.
    • Set an LED light flash for incoming calls or have an iPhone display a photo of the caller.
    • On a Mac, have it flash its screen when an app needs your attention.
  • Real-Time Text (RTT)
    • Make and receive RTT calls.
    • RTT provides instant transmission of a message as it is being composed (support for braille displays).
    • Transcripts for RTT calls are saved in your call history (depends on cell carrier).
  • Closed Captioning – text transcription of video and nonverbal communication. Support for Apple TV.
  • Future Enhancements, recently reported in The Washington Post:
    • Magnifier for camera lens for reading.
    • Door detection – think numbers and text on and around a door and whether a turn of a knob or push of a bar is needed to open it (only on iPhones in the 12 and 13 Pro series).
    • Teach a phone to recognize specific kinds of audio cues.


Catch-All is included for those who might find this info useful. It’s not for hearing impaired but for low vision and the cotnitivly impaired.

Phones for Memory Compromised – “Rax Mobility”

  • Rax Mobility device: not for low hearing but may be beneficial to those with other disabilities.
  • Large, simple screen (looks like a smartphone), very simple to use.
  • One screen with images of up to six people – press the image to call them.
  • Scrolling allows up to thirty more people / numbers to call, if user can scroll.
  • Remote management – controls / settings can be set and managed remotely.
  • Authorized up to 30 other incoming callers but can not be called by the user. No other incoming calls authorized – no spam.
  • Auto-answer can be enabled and phone set to auto-answer, speaker phone mode.
  • User does not need to touch answer caller can just start talking.
  • Available from RAX Mobility ~$350 plus monthly cellular carrier charge.
  • Carrier can be Verizon – good for Riderwood because Verizon repeaters were installed throughout buildings.


This is, sort-of, the obverse of hearing assist: Android devices can convert text to speech to enable listening to documents. A how-to is available at Lifewire:
Text-to-Speech Feature on Android.

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