Archives for the category: SMS for Deaf/Disabilities
January 28, 2013
The Amplified Captioned Telephone by Clarity aims to help those with hearing difficulties better understand what is being said over the phone.
July 14, 2012
A smartphone designed for blind people has been launched. The BBC reports.
Georgie, as the device is known, has a voice-assisted touchscreen and offers a variety of apps to help complete tasks such as catching a bus, reading printed text and pinpointing location.
Read full article.
March 13, 2012
A computer program that translates sign language into written text could revolutionize the lives of the deaf and hard of hearing, scientists say, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
The software, which can be used on portable devices and provides near instantaneous translation, would be the first of its kind.
February 18, 2012
Imagine if smartphone and tablet users could text a note under the table during a meeting without anyone being the wiser. Mobile gadget users might also be enabled to text while walking, watching TV or socializing without taking their eyes off what they’re doing.
“Georgia Tech researchers have built a prototype app for touch-screen mobile devices that is vying to be a complete solution for texting without the need to look at a mobile gadget’s screen.
Related articles on braille technology for cell phones blogged by textually over the years.
February 7, 2012
A wonderful article on how SMS is being used to help deaf children in Uganda. By Ken Banks for National Geographic.
Kids text all the time – at school, on the bus, even when you’re trying to talk to them. It can be annoying. But imagine if a child couldn’t communicate at all – that’s when a mobile can become a lifeline. In some developing countries, children who are deaf don’t have access to special education, technology or even sign language teaching. ... Their disability is seen as a curse on the family. Others are locked up in back rooms to hide the family shame. Those that make it to a school setting are the lucky ones.
Read full article.
January 17, 2012
The Mobile Lorm Glove from The Design Research Lab in Berlin is a communication and translation device for the deaf- blind. It translates the hand-touch alphabet Lorm, a common form of communication used by people with both hearing and vision impairment, into digital text and vice-versa.
The prototype enables the deaf-blind user to compose messages via the pressure sensitive palm of the glove that are transmitted as a text message to the receiver's handheld device. Vibrotactile feedback patterns allow the wearer to perceive incoming messages. It supports communication over distance, provides access to autonomous information and serves as an interpreter for people not familiar with Lorm.
via Laurent Haug
December 15, 2011
Deaf people in the Democratic Republic of Congo say a ban on texting threatens their lives because they no longer receive warnings of violence.
The government banned SMS messages more than a week ago to preserve "public order" following disputed elections.
Read full article.
November 23, 2011
LightOn by Dreamzon immediately alerts Deaf users whenever a call or SMS is received thanks to a light based notification system cradle.
July 11, 2011
Jaybee uses various ‘triggers’ such as hand movements, touch screen, head movements and even a simple blink of an eye, to transform predictive text phrases into very realistic British voices which add character to communication.
Read full article.
December 29, 2010
A thimble takes ambient input and relays it in via an electro-tactile grid to the wearer's finger in Braille. It gets text input from an embedded camera or pulls RSS feeds, books, or presumably any other text via a Bluetooth-paired smartphone.
Watch video demo.
October 28, 2010
A 2004 research paper, Everyone Here Speaks TXT: Deaf people Using SMS in Australia and the Rest of the World, by Mary and Des Power, predicted that SMS has a similar ability to improve communications between deaf communities, and wondered whether this would extend to relationships with hearing people. Dr Pieter Streicher, MD at BulkSMS explains that technology can help. Gadget Magazine reports.
Six years later headway has been made in some countries - with organisations such as the Child Africa International School in Uganda using SMS to teach deaf children alongside hearing children - but there is still some work to do in South Africa.
Read full article.
September 20, 2010
Quietly over the last decade, phones that make text messaging easy have changed life profoundly for millions of deaf people. CBS News reports.
For the first time, a generation of deaf people can communicate with the world on its terms, using cell phones.
Read full article.
Related links to articles on how SMS is helping people with hearing impairments.
July 16, 2010
Cellphones in the classroom help break down barriers between the hearing and hearing impaired. The Vancouver Sun reports.
Julie Solberg began venturing up the peaks of Uganda's mountains focused on retrieving deaf orphans with the purpose of providing them with an education. The children had been abandoned and left homeless.
Read full article.
June 7, 2010
According to MedIndia, ringtones as loud as a pneumatic drill or a speeding train are popular with the elderly and hearing impaired.
The Geemarc Clearsound CL8200 cell phone,which has a top volume of 1,000 decibels, has been designed for the millions of elderly people who are hearing impaired.
Read full article.
March 1, 2010
Deaf people will be able to text 111 in an emergency from August. Stuff reports.
The text service will be tested and extended to the hearing impaired, and could eventually be available to everyone.
September 15, 2009
The National Federation of the Blind and Motorola Inc., announced Monday that they have entered into a cooperation agreement to promote technologies that improve the accessibility of cell phones to blind consumers.
Certain future Motorola cell phones will provide verbal readouts of information such as the time and date, battery level, signal strength, user's phone number, caller ID information for incoming calls, missed and received calls, and voice mail alerts.
Blind users will also be able to take advantage of verbal readouts and voice-command features for ring tone status, inputting and accessing contacts, and various other settings. Motorola expects these cell phones to be available in 2010. The parties have also agreed to work together to make additional phones and features accessible to blind users.
Read full press release.
September 14, 2009
Trials are underway of a UK service allowing people to contact emergency services by text message, reports the BBC.
The system is aimed at people who cannot make normal voice calls to the 999 service due to disability.
July 16, 2009
Using a mobile phone with limited vision can be a daunting task. AT&T and the American Foundation for the Blind have announced that AT&T is holding its first national training sessions to help users with vision loss use wireless phones more effectivel. Phonemag reports.
The training sessions are a public service initiative and an offshoot of the popular AT&T training sessions for senior citizens. Participants in the program bring their own mobile phones and anyone can attend regardless of what carrier they use.
June 10, 2009
Iowa's Black Hawk County, a public-safety group, is launching mobile phone texting technology that allows impaired individuals to contact a 911 dispatcher without specialized communications devices or relay centers. Information Week reports.
To establish the texting-to-911 connection, the various partners enhanced the Short Message Service to establish a text-conversation link directly between the caller and 911 dispatchers.
May 11, 2009
A national trial is being launched this autumn to help deaf people send text messages to contact the police, ambulance, fire rescue and coastguard. The BBC.
The new system will allow hard of hearing people to send a text to 999 to contact the emergency services.
February 7, 2009
The police force covering the UK's City of London has launched an SMS service, which will allow people in the City to use their mobile phones to contact the police in non-emergency situations. The SMS service is aimed mainly at people that have hearing or speech impediments but it is available to all City residents.
The new service will replace the existing typetalk and textphone services.
[via Cellular News]
January 29, 2009
It was trial by instant messenger in Northampton County Court on Wednesday -- at least for the morning. The Morning Call reports.
With the prosecutors' main witness deaf and a sign interpreter unavailable, a jury was forced to endure typed questions and answers for testimony in a case of a man accused of assaulting an Easton woman, then breaking into her apartment a week later.
October 15, 2008
Deaf campaigners fighting for equal access to the telephone are lobbying MPs at a reception in parliament. The BBC reports.
"Consortium group TAG said deaf people are being held back in their jobs and lives because phone technology is no longer easily available or affordable.
The deaf are able to communicate using phone systems which either turn speech into text and vice versa or use sign language interpreters via video link.
Another system called captioned telephony, which uses speech recognition technology to convert an operator’s voice into text, closed in December for funding reasons.
"Much better access has been shown to be within grasp, but most of the services that deliver it have folded because they are too expensive for deaf individuals."
TAG's reception for MPs is being held at Portcullis House under its campaign "Bringing Deaf Telecoms into the 21st Century".
The group represents all the main UK deaf organisations concerned with telecoms and broadcasting.
July 7, 2008
Nokia has announced the release of a new cell-phone accessory designed for users with hearing aids: The Nokia Wireless Loopset works with T-coil equipped hearing aids or cochlear implants, and slips around the user's neck.
The Wireless Loopset is compatible with Bluetooth-ready handsets, essentially transforming the user's hearing aid into a headset. The device features adjustable sidetone levels, optimized volume range, single-button calling, and a vibrating alert.
May 2, 2008
"The project intends to make traveling easier for the disabled by providing them disabled GPS-enabled mobile telephones so that they can take pictures of every obstacle they come across in Geneva.
By means of multimedia messages they create a map of the accessibility of the city on the internet.
The resulting work will be presented at the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, within a series of related live events: the “Créateurs Singuliers” week (27th May-1rst June)."
April 4, 2008
Deaf people are lobbying politicians in the UK for greater access to technology that helps them use the phone. The BBC reports.
"A mass lobby of MPs is being carried out using the same technology to which deaf people want improved access.
These systems use different means to turn sign language or text into speech to support a phone conversation.
"We want to keep pace with technology," said Ruth Myers, chair of the TAG consortium that is co-ordinating the day of protests."
January 28, 2008
The next generation of computerized aids for the blind and visually impaired will be mobile, according to Associated Press, describing a smart phone that snaps a picture of a $10 bill and a few seconds later, the phone says, "Twenty dollars."
"The Nokia cell phone is loaded with software that turns text on photographed documents into speech .It also allows users to read anything that is photographed, whether it's a restaurant menu, a phone book or a fax.
While the technology is not new, the NFB and the software's developer say the cell phone is the first to incorporate the text-to-speech ability.
The inventor plans to begin marketing the cell phone in February through K-NFB Reading Technology. The software will cost $1,595 and the cell phone is expected to cost about $500, Kurzweil said.
September 13, 2007
For those struggling to communicate with the deaf could benefit from Sisi (Say it, Sign it), a system developed as part of IBM's Extreme Blue initiative. The Inquirer reports.
"Sisi takes input from text and then converts it into BSL (British Sign Language).
The really clever bit is that the Extreme Blue team which developed Sisi has married the conversion process to existing avatar technology.
At present the technique relies on communications with a server. It then returns the results as a video clip of the avatar signing the desired message.
Sisi would enable handset users to key a message into their mobile phones and then display the results as a video clip with the avatar signing.
At present the team see the technology as being initially taken up for voicemails and instant messaging.
In future they also hope to support other languages besides English."
June 21, 2007
Text4Deaf.com, a new communications-based Web site for the deaf community and the people with whom they interact, has been officially launched, according to TMC.net.
In their own words: Text4Deaf allows users to send text messages from the Web to both individuals and groups, while enabling recipients to respond directly to the originating PC or Mac. Text4Deaf web texts can be sent from any web-enabled device worldwide to any U.S. or Canadian mobile phone.
May 14, 2007
In Stockholm, wireless technology helps blind people navigate independently, thanks to voice advisories from their mobile phones. Computerworld reports.
"The prototype system, uses a Nokia 6300 Symbian phone with earphones and a separate GPS unit linked to the phone through Bluetooth.
The complete system was tested by about a dozen sight-impaired and blind people in Sweden’s capital in late 2006. The navigation application locates the user and plots a path to the destination using a highly detailed GIS created and maintained by the city mainly for street maintenance and traffic management purposes.
The voice guide then alerts the user to upcoming turns and obstacles through early warnings, rather than instructing every move. The voice alerts (in Swedish) include phrases like “left turn in 10 meters” or “low wall on the right.” ...