Continuing from what I started last week, "some people with true Deafblindness are "left behind" in technology options and availability".
Every time there’s a new technology advancement for the Deaf Community, the Deafblind (DB) get left behind. I'll list several of them and the differences.
* The Caption Decoder: It's been around since the early eighties, and then in the '90s CC was mandatory on all new televisions. But it wasn't until recently that the DB community could have the option to adjust font size, color and type.
* The TTY: they’ve been around since the ‘60s with their big hulking machines. But adaptations for the DB did not happen until the early ‘80s with a Braille type TTY.
* The Videophone: Well that’s pretty self-explanatory, the DB would be limited in seeing a signer on a TV screen.
* Smartphones: The Deaf Community have easier communication access with Relay apps, Face to Face Video chats, etc. Using a Smartphone is pretty limited unless you have a Refreshable Brailler attached to it to “read” everything. So a "quick" chat is unfeasible. If you think frustration with Relay because people were hanging up on you? What about DB who need more time to read & type....patience much?
* Theatre Captioning: Technology such as Rear Window Captioning & the new Captioning Glasses have been a boost for Deaf Moviegoers. No more waiting around until the movie comes out on DVD. But DB with Low Vision such as myself cannot use these, as there's no option to adjust size as well as it's too transparent to read.
* Text Relay: IP relay & Messenger Relay are shutting down services and opting more for Video Relay and now the DB who rely on text relay for communication are once again left behind.
* Signing Avatars: There's new technology coming out that features computer avatars that can sign. It may be possible for non-signers to speak or type into the program and the avatar relays the information via sign language. How are the DB going to fare? We can't use Tactile Sign Language with a computer program! I've tried to watch a few avatars but I miss a lot of information due to the non-fluidity of the program, unable to focus on the hands and shapes, and "unpersonal" feeling of the whole "person".
We need to rally support for the Deafblind Community and get them involved in ALL Deaf happenings.
It’s pretty simple to figure out if something is accessible for the DB community, look at a Technology for the Deaf, then squint your eyes to limit your vision, or close your eyes altogether. Can you use it now?
"One finds limits by pushing them" ~ Herbert Simon
Under My Fingertips
I have been Deaf & legally Blind since birth. I've been married to my hearing Husband for 15 years and we have 2 hearing children, a boy 14, and a girl 12.