Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Device Uses Wireless Technology to Enable People Who Are Deaf-Blind to Communicate Freely

Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Device Uses Wireless Technology to Enable People Who Are Deaf-Blind to Communicate Freely

Article excerpt

The DeafBlind Communicator (DBC) is a new electronic device designed to help people who are deaf-blind communicate. The product was developed by HumanWare, an assistive technology manufacturer, in partnership with the Washington State Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Designed to be used for for face-to-face, teletypewriter (TTY), and Short Message Service (SMS) cellular telephone texting communications, DBC is made up of two separate components that communicate wirelessly with each other using Bluetooth (an open wireless protocol for exchanging data over short distances from fixed and mobile devices). The main unit is the DB-BrailleNote, which is a BrailleNote mPower braillewriter (with a Perkins Brailler or standard QWERTY keyboard) that has special deaf-blind software installed in it. The companion unit, which also uses deaf-blind software, is the DB-Phone--a cellular telephone that has a visual display and a QWERTY keyboard. With the device, people who are deaf-blind can communicate independently with others. In a face-to-face conversation with a signted person, for example, the deaf-blind person can use the DB-BrailleNote to activate the DB-Phone. …

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