In America, there are more than 28 million deaf people but there are many different services available to meet their needs. A hearing person can have a casual conversation without even realizing the difficulties that 202,613 (5.58%) hard of hearing people might face in the world (Stat. on Deafness). It doesn’t have to be so difficult for a deaf/hard of hearing person to have a conversation even if the person they are talking to is in another state. With popular services such as Maryland Relay, the TTY and various telecommunications relay services- it is now possible for deaf people to have a phone conversation.
In 1984, of the 85 million telephones in the United States and Canada, less than one percent were used regularly by deaf people (Lang). Advocates for deaf, Robert H. Weitbrecht, James C. Marsters and Andrew Saks “started the process that led to deaf people around the world having an affordable phone system they could use” (Lang). The new technology that is coming out assist deaf people is amazing and very helpful.
Robert H. Weitbrecht led the way to developing one of the most popular technology services for the deaf- the teletypewriter using shortwave radios. If more than 1/3 of the U.S. population has a significant hearing impairment by age 65, it is evident that something needed to be done to help people in the world better communicate with the deaf/hard of hearing population (Stat. on Deafness).
One advancement in the world of relay services is the teletypewriter-TTY, also called text telephones, which looks similar to a typewriter with a text screen. It enables deaf or hard of hearing people to make phone calls that they wouldn’t normally be able to make on a standard teleph...
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Overview of the Maryland Relay. (2003). Retrieved October 17, 2004, from http://www.mdrelay.org/relay/mdrelayoverview.htm
PR Newswire. "Hands on Expands Video Relay Services to include Videophone Users." Deaf Today. http://www.deaftoday.com/news/archives.html.
“Statistics on Deafness & Hearing Disorders in the U.S.” (n.d) Deaf and HOH culture information. Retrieved December 5, 2004, from, http://members.aol.com/deafcultureinfo/deafstatistics.htm.
Texas School for the Deaf goes to the head of the class...with Installation of Sprint Empowered EducationSM. (n.d.). Retrieved October 17, 2004, from, http://www.relaytoday.com/admin/previewnewsletter.php?ID=2#27
“Ultratec Public TTY Hearing Impaired Telephones -Vandal Proof Motorized or Shelf Top Units.”(n.d) Phone Merchants. Retrieved December 4, 2004, from http://www.phonemerchants.com/ulpubttyhear.html.
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