Since I was born in 1971 technology has made leaps and bounds in the medical field, and in our every day lives. If you think about Star Trek, the original series, you can pretty well pick out what has translated into new technology in our lives. We have become the technological age, whether we like it or not.
The following is a list of assistive devices, as well as technology that everyone can use or has, that has benefitted the deaf community. It includes one interesting development that was intended for the deaf, but ended up being a world wide technological development.
- The Telephone – devised by Alexander Graham Bell – he was trying to devise a device for his wife to help her hear better, and instead created the telephone. Pretty interesting isn’t it?
- Hearing Aids
- FM systems
- Cochlear Implants
- Closed Captioning Devices, and now built into our TVs and Satellite and Cable Systems
- Alarm Clock Systems for the Deaf (as well as Baby Monitors) – Google Assistive Devices for the Deaf to see more that were specifically designed for the deaf community.
- Cell phones – once Texting became a feature (Blackberry was the first cell phone that truly integrated the deaf community into the world of cell phones). I admit, I cannot live without my Blackberry LOL – but will upgrade to a better phone soon
- Computers and Tablets : Email, Social Networking Platforms, Web Cams, FaceTime and Skype to name a few mediums that are used to communicate with others
- Video Phones – still a new technology and expensive, but will arrive in the next ten years I am sure for the general market.
- Captioning in movie theatres (still limited in area, and which movies and when, but growing!)
This is not comprehensive of course, but should give a good idea of how much the technology that has grown that has benefitted everyone, including the deaf community. In fact, hearing aids and the processors for cochlear implants have adapted to existing technology by including bluetooth capability, ports for plugging in MP3 players or iPods, FM systems that are portable for use anywhere.
Everyone comments that the Smartphone is virtually an extension of me.. but it really is. It is the best means of communication for me, as I can text, check email, Facebook.. and my friends and family know that this is the best way to communicate with me. My children also know this. I hate not being able to hear them on the phone, but FaceTime, email, and texting has helped greatly in the last few years.
I wonder what technology will be available to the deaf community as well as to the hearing world that benefits all of us..
- Deaftel Makes Phone Conversations a Reality for the Deaf (twilio.com)
- Assistive Technology to assist Deaf Students (brighthub.com)
- Phone pioneer Bell’s 134-year-old letter for sale (canada.com)
- Deaf Rapper Opens Doors for Deaf Community (sopos.wordpress.com)
A fellow blogger posted about his equipment needed to hear, and it makes me think I should eventually show all my gadgets, but for now, here is the link 🙂
Batteries not included… | Inclination of the Mind