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Used assistive-listening device: TTY/TDD

Codes and Frequencies

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HRALDTTY indicates whether the person used one of the following assistive telecommunications devices:

  • teletypewriter (TTY);
  • telephone for deaf people in which a keyboard is used to send printed messages (TDD); or
  • telephone relay service (in 2007).

Please see Comparability and Universe tabs for complete information on changes in universe between samples.

Related Variables

Other variables for assistive-listening devices are included in the survey.


These include:

  • used an assistive listening device (HRALDUSE, 1990, 1994, 1995, 2007)
  • ever recommended to use a cochlear implant (HRCOCREC, 2007)
  • now use a cochlear implant (HRCOCNOW, 2007)
  • headset or closed-captioned TV (HRALDCCTV 1990, 1994, 1995, 2007)


  • amplified telephone (HRALDPHONE, 1994, 1995, 2007)


  • amplified or vibrating alarm clock (HRALDCLOCK, 2007)


  • a sign language interpreter (HRALDASL, 1994, 1995, 2007)



  • other special equipment (HRALDOTHER, 1990, 1994, 1995, 2007)


In 1994 and 1995 This variable is part of the Disability Supplement (NHIS-D) that collects information on disability. NHIS-D included two household interviews: in Phase I all members of sample families were screened for any indication of disability; in Phase II persons with any indication of disability were followed-up for additional information. Phase I includes sensory, communication, and mobility problems; health conditions; activities of daily living and independent activities of daily living; functional limitations; mental health; services and benefits; special health needs of children; early child development; education; relationship to respondent; and perceived disability. Phase II includes four Disability Followback Survey (DFS) questionnaires: one for children, one for adults, one for elderly persons (69 years of age and over) without any indication of disability (also called the Supplement on Aging or SOA; only in 1994), and one for persons with a history of polio.

In 2007, this variable was part of a Sample Adult Hearing Supplement, (sponsored by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The hearing supplement questions were included to address the Healthy People 2010 program initiatives, including increasing access by persons who have hearing impairments to hearing rehabilitation services and adaptive devices (such as cochlear implants), increasing the proportion of persons who have had a hearing examination on schedule, and reducing adult hearing loss in the noise-exposed public. For a full list of hearing related variables see HEARING, quality of hearing.


Changes in universe limit comparability between samples.

In 1990, this question was asked to household respondents who completed the assistive devices supplement of every person in the household. Researchers should note the use of proxy reporting that year. Although self-reporting is generally more accurate then proxy reporting, it is likely that other family members can reliably report whether any other family member uses an assistive listening device.

In 1994 and 1995, this question was asked of persons in the NHIS-D Phase I sample who had a condition causing trouble hearing what is said in normal conversation, even when wearing a hearing aid (if the person wears a hearing aid), who were expected to have difficulty hearing for at least the next 12 months. HRALDPHONE indicates, besides a hearing aid, if he or she currently used amplifier for telephone for his or her hearing impairment.

In 2007 this question was asked of sample adults who have ever used assistive devices for hearing. When asking the question for this variable, interviewers handed respondents a card with eight devices and an "other" category listed on it. Respondents could reply yes or no to each of the devices.


  • 1990: Persons whose household respondent did not refuse the assistive devices questionnaire.
  • 1994-1995: Persons in the NHIS-D Phase I sample who had a condition causing trouble hearing what is said in normal conversation even when wearing a hearing aid who were expected to have hearing difficulty for at least the next 12 months.
  • 2007: Sample adults age 18+ who have ever used assistive listening devices.


  • 1990, 1994-1995, 2007