SSW Blog

10 Hot Trends for 2009 in the Deaf Community

Posted on | December 19, 2008 | No Comments

There are ten top hot issues among the deaf community for the year of 2009 in relating to technology and telecommunication.

Ten Digit Numbering:

Deaf and hard of hearing people will receive 10 digit numbers from VRS or IP Providers of their choice to make videophone (VP) calls. Thanks to the National Association of the Deaf, Telecommunications for the Deaf and other advocacy organizations, the Federal Communications Commission adopted this new policy to enable users to call via VP by using ten digit numbers in conjunction with E-911. 

Visual Communications:

A growing number of deaf and hard of hearing people are using videophones via IP connections, compared to hearing people with VoIPs.  A majority of the deaf community had installed Sorenson VP200 or VP100 at home or work. Some competitive VRS providers are offering their new products; Ojo, Vpad, Z  and MVP.

Wireless Connectivity:

The demand for wireless connection has increased greatly as there are a variety of wireless technologies such as Bluetooth, Near Field Connectivity (NFC), Ultra-Wideband (UWB), Wi-Fi, WiMax and ZigBee available.  A majority of deaf people has the need for Internet connection like “broadband everywhere”. They would like to use videophones and pagers via wireless at home, work or everywhere. Cable and Satellite industries offer on-demand movies via wireless connection.

Digital Closed Captioning & E-708:

As we are nearing the deadline for Digital TV transition, we are able to watch digital closed captions in LCD, Plasma or HD TVs in spite of some standard issues. There are other features of digital captioning that are color fonts, font sizes, window colors and borders.

Video Logs (Vlogs):

More and more deaf and hard of hearing people had uploaded their vlogs on the Internet in American Sign Language (ASL) as the Deaf community’s native language. Some federal, state and local web sites had posted vlogs in ASL .

ASL speaking Movies in Theaters:

Some new films in ASL had been released as available to the public, thanks to MGW production, ASL Films, Peter Wolf , Jade Films and some more new producers. Some Deaf and hard of hearing people enjoy watching some films in ASL at some rental places such as clubs, hotels, or meeting halls.

Communication Tool Devices:

This type of tool is to enable both a deaf person and a hearing person to communicate each other effectively. Instead of writing a pen and paper, they are able to use either of two popular communication tools; UbiDuo and iCommunicator.

Closed Captioned HD Radio:

Digital radio technology made it possible for the deaf and hard of hearing community to view text broadcast in radio.  On Election Day of November 2008, captioned radio was demonstrated for a first time to the public.

Sign Language as an Official Language at the United Nation:

The most important step is to recognize sign language as an official language of the United Nations as well as encourage all countries to consider the use of sign language in the deaf and hard of hearing population. The World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) would encourage all the countries to celebrate International Sign Language Day during Deaf Awareness week that usually occurs in the third week of September every year.  This is to ensure some deaf and hard of hearing people’s right to sign language.

Communication Access in the Medical:

Some states began their involvement in assuring for access to some hospitals and medical centers where they provide interpreters and video remote interpreting services (VRI), thanks to some lawsuits in several states; Connecticut, New Jersey and other states. Some deaf and hard of hearing people are able to receive the best communication access in case of emergency care, and during doctor visits, or outpatient surgery visits.