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  • Nancy Spear

I Just Had To Ask One Question

Several years ago, I took a class at the Apple Store on Accessibility. I learned about ways to use Apple products with clients who have low vision or hearing issues. But I haven’t had the chance to use what I learned until a few weeks ago.

I have a new client in her mid 90s. At her first lesson, she learned the basic functions of the phone app. Then she told me that her iPhone was supposed to be connected to her hearing aids but she couldn’t hear it ringing. That’s when I remembered the Accessibility class. I went to Settings, Accessibility, and then I found “Hearing Devices.” I searched for “Devices” and it showed she was connected to her hearing aids … but she still wasn’t hearing her phone.

The good news is I had the Apple Accessibility phone number in my Contacts. I called and after a few moments, Vania, our Apple Technician, was there to help. She told me I was in the right place in her phone settings, but I needed to ask my client a question: “What company did you get your hearing aid from?” That’s all we needed!

The hearing aid on her phone was from Livio but the ones in her ears were from Phanak. All I had to do was tap, “Forget this Device” and the phone connected to her hearing aids.

And Vania had more advice. She suggested not to use the default ringtone; a calmer ringtone, like Harp, would be easier on her ears.

I don’t know everything, nobody does, but I did have the right resource. And I learned something new that day.

If you know anyone who could benefit from the Apple Accessibility line, here’s the number: 877-204-3930. And if you get Vania, you’re extra lucky!

Nancy Spear, Tech Tutor for Older Adults, 310-365-9951,,

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