Can you hear me6 Aug 2012
Have our services kept up with the technological needs of those with a hearing/speech impairment?
For a person who is deaf or has a hearing or speech impairment communicating via the telephone has only been possible using a special textphone called a TTY or using a National Relay Service where another person speaks the information to the hearing person and types the information back to the deaf person.
The TTY service requires specialised training to use the textphone and the National Relay Service has a third party involved [a helper – who wants a helper involved when you are trying to be independent?]
Another alternative before the technological advancements to using TTY was to use faxes backwards and forwards to communicate – slow and costly.
Now with technology being so advanced other alternatives are at hand, BUT, are they being implemented so that they can be readily available for use by the hearing/speech impaired in their everyday lives and should TTY and National Relay Services still be advertised for deaf use?
The possible alternatives may include: Texting via a dedicated mobile phone service
Emailing – which is always convenient for everyone
Instant messaging or video conferencing using Skype/Messenger, etc.
The use of Iphone & Ipads
My questions are:
How can businesses update their technology so that their services are accessible to deaf/hearing/speech impaired customers?
Have you seen any great practices implemented in the services you use?
Does there need to be more advertising and awareness to what is available?