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Editorial #32-Three Innovations That Changed America for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People

This is an adaption of a recent CNN article on “Three Innovations That Changed America.” (link)

Dr. Z came up with a variant, those that changed America for deaf and hard of hearing people.

1) Relay Services – Beginning with the TTY relay service in the 1960’s and now with video relay service (and videophones). Dr. Z believes these are the biggest impact we have had as those technological advances changed our lives, and opened up our world of communication with hearing people that we did not have before. In addition, we now can talk to our deaf and hard of hearing friends remotely, without having to go over to see them (and missing them when they are not home.) Also asking our neighbors to make phone calls for us.

2) Closed Captioning – This ranks near the top–how can we enjoy movies and television without captioning? This is unthinkable. Now we enjoy television with over 100 channels that are captioned for the most part for most of the day. The movies still have a way to go and still catching up. Over time, Dr. Z believes this will get even better with internet captioning being mandated with the proposed HR 3101 bill now pending before Congress.

3) Interpreting Services – For sign language and oral interpreting–this bridges the gap between us and hearing people in a live (face to face) setting. With certification advances developed by the RID and later, the NAD, we are seeing certified interpreters facilitating communication for us in schools, courts, hospitals and many other public places. We still have a way to go in making sure these public facilities assume the responsibility for paying those interpreters. We are now seeing those interpreters facilitating communication for video relay services.

What is interesting about the those above is they all relate to communication!

For your information, the CNN article lists the following as the top 3:

1) The interstate highway system

2) Television

3) The Internet (and the world wide web)

Anyone out there have any thoughts on the above?

Dr. Z cares about your communication access.

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