Interactive Voice Response…What is it?

Posted on July 12, 2011 in Advocacy, Topic of Interest, Videos | Short Link
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IVR systems are typically used to service high call volumes, reduce cost and improve the customer experience for hearing people. This system of reminders about health appointments or about health care information does not work when recipients of the calls are persons who are Deaf, Deafblind or Hard of hearing.

Learn more about it and gather better ideas for you in this brief video!

By Kate Seelman Ph.D.
Associate Dean of Disability Programs and Professor of Rehabilitation Science and Technology at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh

Automatic system voice messages on telephones:

Deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing people often receive voice message reminders on their telephones. These messages remind them of medical and dental appointments, drug store pick-ups and other important events. Often deaf, deaf-blind and hard- of- hearing people do not understand the content of these messages. These messages are generated by automatic Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems. IVR prompts on a telecommunication system are required to be accessible to be people with disabilities.

Are you receiving automatic voice messages about health and other appointments on your telephone that you cannot understand because of being deaf, deaf-blind or hard of hearing? If so you may want to do the following: request from your health provider a communications reminder mode that is appropriate for you. If the provider does not comply, you may want to file a complaint at the Federal Communications Commission and send it to Susan Kimmel, susan.kimmel@fcc.gov.

There is very little information about how many people are having problems with accessibility of IVR so you may use the website to share your experience and how you have tried to solve the problem.


If you would like to learn more about this topic or if you have resources to offer, please contact us.

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