US Information Concerning the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") Requirements for Hearing Aid Compatibility with Wireless Devices

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US Information Concerning the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") Requirements for Hearing Aid Compatibility with Wireless Devices

When wireless devices are used near hearing devices (such as hearing aids and cochlear implants), users may detect a buzzing, humming, or whining noise. Some hearing devices are more immune than others to this interference, and wireless devices also vary in the amount of interference that they generate.

The wireless telephone industry has developed ratings to assist hearing device users in finding wireless devices that may be compatible with their hearing devices. Not all wireless devices have been rated. Wireless devices that are rated will have the rating displayed on the box together with other relevant approval markings.

The ratings are not guarantees. Results will vary depending on the user's hearing device and hearing loss. If your hearing device is vulnerable to interference, you may not be able to use a rated wireless device successfully.

Consulting with your hearing health professional and testing the wireless device with your hearing device is the best way to evaluate it for your personal needs.

This BlackBerry® device has been tested and rated for use with hearing aids for some of the wireless technologies that the BlackBerry device uses. However, other wireless technologies may be used in this BlackBerry device that have not been tested for use with hearing aids. It is important to try the different features of your BlackBerry device thoroughly and in different locations to determine if you hear any interfering noise when using this BlackBerry device with your hearing aid or cochlear implant. Consult your wireless service provider about its return and exchange policies and for information about hearing aid compatibility.

The BlackBerry® Torch™ 9800 smartphone is rated for use with hearing aids when it is used in the slider open position. The above warnings still apply.

How the ratings work

M-Ratings: Wireless devices rated M3 or M4 meet FCC requirements and are likely to generate less interference to hearing devices than wireless devices that are not labeled. M4 is the better or higher of the two ratings.

T-Ratings: Wireless devices rated T3 or T4 meet FCC requirements and are likely to be more usable with a hearing device's telecoil ("T Switch" or "Telephone Switch") than unrated wireless devices. T4 is the better or higher of the two ratings. (Note that not all hearing devices have telecoils in them.)

Hearing devices may also be measured for immunity to this type of interference. Your hearing device manufacturer or hearing health professional may help you find results for your hearing device. The more immune your hearing aid is, the less likely you are to experience interference noise from wireless devices.

For more information about the actions that the FCC has taken with regard to hearing aid compatibility with wireless devices and other steps that the FCC has taken to ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to telecommunications services, visit www.fcc.gov/cgb/dro.

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