Telephone Tips

The telephone is integral to communication at home, in the workplace, and in social environments.


As a cochlear implant recipient, you can maximize telephone use through specific training, either with a phone "buddy" or a trained therapist.
Practice the following ideas with your buddy, pacing yourself for the best possible results. Also be creative with some ideas of your own!

Level 1:

  • Practice positioning the telephone receiver over the microphone on the audio processor. Using a speakerphone can be useful.
  • Discriminate between different telephone tones.
  • Practice hellos and good-byes, gender identification and caller identification.
  • Ask your buddy to use a telephone "code" to answer simple questions you ask, such as "Yes-Yes," "No," and "I Don't Know." Codes are helpful if you are not yet able to use the phone well. The number of syllables provide a clue to the answer of the question.
  • Practice simple conversational techniques:
    • Use prepared conversations with written
      text, like a section in a children's book
      or from a newspaper
    • One-item questions – "Did you go by train?"

Level 2:

Practice conversational techniques:

  • "Either/Or" questions – "Did you go by bus or car?"
  • Closed-set (limited) questions – "Which day do you want to go?"
  • Open-set questions with a clue – "Where do you want to go?"

Level 3:

  • Progress from simple to more complex conversations with random sentences.
  • Use a range of speakers with random sentences.
  • Try different types of telephones - landlines and mobile phones, with a speakerphone.
  • Practice in different listening environments.
  • Work through interactive exercises such as making an appointment or ordering a take-out dinner.

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