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Ultratec Honored with ALDA’s Robert R. Davila Award

Ultratec Honored with ALDA’s Robert R. Davila Award

The Association for Late Deafened Adults (ALDA) has named Ultratec, Inc., the winner of its prestigious Robert R. Davila Angel Award at the association’s annual conference (ALDAcon 2014) in Norfolk, Virginia. ADLA is an association that supports the empowerment of people who are deaf or hard of hearing by providing education, resources, support, and an accepting community in which people who are late-deafened can thrive.

In presenting the award, ALDAcon Coordinator Katly Schlueter stated, "It is with honor and respect that the recipient of this award is given for their long unending support – asking for very little recognition in return. The recipient has stood steadfast with us in good time and bad, economically. ALDA is completely volunteer organization and our recipient recognizes our dedication to serving those with hearing loss and other disabilities. They continue to develop and create newer services. It is their time to be recognized. The ALDAcon 2014 Robert Davila Angel Award goes to Ultratec."

"ALDA does a tremendous amount of advocacy work on behalf of people who are deaf, much of it behind the scenes and out of the spotlight. It provides critical resources to families and individuals who face the challenge and uncertainty of hearing loss,” explained Ultratec representative John Kinstler, who accepted the award on the company’s behalf. “We are privileged to help support ALDA’s efforts to make a real difference in the lives of people with hearing loss."

The award is named in honor of Dr. Robert (“Bob”) R. Davila, a long time educator and respected member of the Deaf community who is a former Vice President of Gallaudet University and has served in the U.S. Department of Education, where he advised the President on disability issues.

Ultratec, Inc., is the leading developer of text telecommunications services and equipment that enable people who are deaf or hard of hearing to communicate over the telephone. Among the company’s numerous innovations is the CapTel® Captioned Telephone, which allows people with hearing loss to read word-for-word captions during their telephone conversations.


CapTel Captioned Telephone - National Sponsor of the Walk4Hearing

CapTel Captioned Telephone is pleased to announce its sponsorship for the Hearing Loss Association of America's (HLAA) Walk4Hearing events in 2012. The sponsorship reaffirms CapTel's dedication to raising awareness of hearing loss issues.

The HLAA Walk4Hearing is the largest walk of its kind in the country that raises funds and awareness to help promote issues and advocacy associated with hearing loss. HLAA Walk4Hearing events are held in multiple cities across the country. Since 2006, over 26,000 walkers have helped raise money for programs and services for people with hearing loss and their families. Money raised is shared between the national organization and local HLAA chapters.

CapTel has been a major sponsor of these events since they first began. In addition to being a presenting sponsor of each of the 21 Walks across the country, the CapTel team that participated in the Milwaukee Walk4Hearing on June 9th raised more than $4,000 to benefit those with hearing loss.

For more information on the Walk4Hearing or to find a walk near you, visit www.walk4hearing.org.


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Ultratec CEO to receive honorary degree

In recognition of his instrumental role in improving telephone communications for people with hearing loss, Robert M. Engelke, founder and CEO of Ultratec, Inc, is being awarded an honorary doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. In conferring the degree, the university cited Mr. Engelke's decades-long dedication to "creating extraordinary advances that have enabled deaf and hard-of-hearing people worldwide to communicate via telephone." Read Article


Ultratec Releases New CapTel 840i Captioned Telephone

May 1, 2012 - Madison, WI - Ultratec, Inc. is pleased to announce the new CapTel 840i telephone, the latest addition to the company's Captioned Telephone line of products and services that help people with hearing loss use the phone. The CapTel 840i is designed for use with high-speed Internet service, giving people the advantage of written text captions to help understand what their phone callers say.

Unlike previous CapTel models, the CapTel 840i includes a built in answering machine. The answering machine records voice messages and captions of the message that was left. This new feature ensures that users will always stay connected, even when they are not home to answer the call.

In addition to the answering machine, the CapTel 840i also features an extra large caption screen, multiple font size and color options and is the first CapTel phone designed to be WiFi compatible.

With the CapTel 840i, captions appear automatically on all calls, incoming and outgoing. There is no need for callers to dial through the Captioning Service. Captions can be turned on or off at any time during a call.

Requirements
The new CapTel 840i requires both telephone service and high-speed or broadband Internet access. The telephone connection can be any telephone service, including standard analog line, VOIP connection, DSL, or cable modem telephone service (an analog port is required for use with a digital PBX). The Ethernet connection can be any basic broadband Internet service (it does not work with dial-up connections) or a Wireless (WiFi) network. Home settings that do not have a wireless network may need a router or switch to connect more than one device to the Internet service. Internet modem and/or router should support DHCP. Users should also check if a firewall is active on either the modem or the router, as it might interfere with connecting the CapTel 840i to the individual's network.

People who do not already have Internet access should consider the CapTel 800, an alternative phone that relies on standard analog telephone lines instead of an Internet connection.

Availability
The new phone is expected to be available in May 2012.


Pam Holmes Appointed to National Council on Disabilities

CapTel Customer Service Director Pam Holmes has been appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate to serve as a Member of the National Council on Disability (NCD). The NCD works to promote policies and practices that guarantee equal opportunity for all individuals with disabilities. Ms. Holmes brings considerable experience with communication access matters and an expertise in the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) to her new role as Board Member. In addition to directing the CapTel Customer Service department, Ms. Holmes also oversees Consumer & Regulatory Affairs for Ultratec, Inc. Full press release


Ultratec Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act

Ultratec, Inc., joins with government agencies, private sector businesses, and individuals nationwide to recognize the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was signed into law on July 26, 1990.

This landmark legislation made it possible for millions of Americans to participate more fully in business, civic, and social endeavors by requiring that services, facilities, and employment opportunities be made accessible to people with disabilities. As part of its requirements, the ADA stipulates that telecommunications services must be functionally equivalent for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Today, people with hearing loss employ many telecommunications options, most of which were made possible by the ADA mandate.

"The Americans with Disabilities Act profoundly expanded the opportunities for people who are deaf or hard of hearing to use even basic telecommunications services. Many of the communication technologies we take for granted today were made possible by this momentous legislation," states Ultratec President Robert Engelke. "Ultratec is privileged to have been part of the groundswell of technological advances since the passing of the ADA. On this anniversary, it is worth taking a look back to recognize how far improvements have come for people of all abilities."

To commemorate the anniversary, Ultratec participated in a recent ADA Celebration in Washington D.C. with the FCC, White House, and Department of Commerce. Members of the Disability Community, government officials, and high-tech companies all came together to demonstrate the latest technologies available to ensure equal access for people of all abilities.


CapTel Featured on Discovery Channel Program - "The Profile Series"

The CapTel captioned telephone will be the focus of an upcoming edition of "The Profile Series", an award-winning program on the Discovery Channel that examines advancements in technology. Hosted by Lou Gossett Jr., the program highlights comments from CapTel users including Bev Sudler of New Jersey, as well as interviews with audiologists on the role that CapTel plays in helping people with hearing loss.

Airs: May 26, 2010 at 7:00am Eastern & Pacific times. Check local listings.


TDI Honors Ultratec Engineer

The national consumer advocacy organization TDI (Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc.) has named Ultratec Vice President of Engineering Kevin Colwell the recipient of the 2009 Andrew Saks Engineering Award.

In presenting the prestigious award, TDI noted Mr. Colwell's contributions to improving the lives of people with hearing loss through his various innovations with the Ultratec team, from earlier work with Baudot TTY technologies to the ongoing development and enhancement of current Captioned Telephone technology.

Named in honor of renowned Deaf engineer and businessman Andrew Saks, the award recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to improving the accessibility of telecommunications, media, and information technology for people in the United States who are deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened, or deaf blind through their efforts in design electronics or engineering. Previous honorees include Dr. Vinton Cerf, who was instrumental in the development of the Internet, and Robert Engelke, President of Ultratec.


Ultratec Announces New IP-Based Captioned Telephone Option

New model of CapTel phone provides captions over the Internet

CapTel 800i

March 31, 2009 - Madison, WI - Ultratec, Inc. today announced the new CapTel 800i® telephone - the latest addition to the company's Captioned Telephone line of products and services that help people with hearing loss use the phone. Designed specifically for use with high-speed Internet service, the CapTel 800i gives people the advantage of written text captions to help understand what their phone callers say.

Unlike previous CapTel models which rely on only an analog telephone line, the new CapTel 800i connects to both a telephone line and an Ethernet / IP connection. The telephone line carries the voice portion of the call, in the same way as any other typical telephone conversation. At the same time, the Ethernet / IP connection automatically links the CapTel 800i over the Internet to the CapTel Captioning Service. Operators at the Captioning Service use voice-recognition technology to transcribe everything the caller says into text, which is instantly transmitted to the CapTel 800i over the Internet connection. The captions appear on the phone's display screen, giving users the ability to hear what they can of the phone conversation and read what they need to in the display screen.

This seamless, behind-the-scenes connection to the Internet automatically gives CapTel 800i users captions on any call - incoming or outgoing. Captions can be turned on or off at any time during the call, so they are available to help clarify things whenever the user has difficulty hearing what a caller says.

Requirements
The new CapTel 800i requires both telephone service and high-speed or broadband Internet access. The telephone connection can be any telephone service, including standard analog line, VOIP connection, DSL, or cable modem telephone service (an analog port is required for use with a digital PBX). The Ethernet connection can be any basic broadband Internet service (it does not work with dial-up connections). People who do not already have Internet access should consider the CapTel 200, an alternative that relies on standard analog telephone lines instead of an Internet connection.

Availability
The new phone is expected to be available later this summer.


CapTel featured in Wall Street Journal

Noted Wall Street Journal columnist Melinda Beck recently singled out CapTel in the September 16 issue of the paper as, "One of the niftiest advances in telephone technology." Ms. Beck recommends CapTel and WebCapTel to people with hearing loss in her regular column on health-related issues. Read full article.


Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

CapTel President Robert Engelke and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the new CapTel call center in downtown Milwaukee, WI, in May 2007. They are joined by Milwaukee Alderman Robert Bauman, WI Deputy Secretary of Commerce Aaron Olver, WI Secretary of Administration Michael Morgan, along with other officials and CapTel representatives.