Saturday, May 27, 2006

I Can See You Signing on the Phone

Mood: really good
Listening to: JIMM 49 - Kill My Pain
Eating: LaRosa's Pizza
Weather: Clear, 66 degrees F

We got a videophone for Keisha Friday. This is a useful substitute for a TTY machine. We can call other deaf and hard-of-hearing people and sign back and forth to them. In addition, we can use the Video Relay System (VRS) to call hearing people. With the relay system, we sign to an interpreter, who relays what's being said between the two parties.

One challenge for us is that our sign language is at best rudimentary, while these interpreters are really good. Keisha and I made a practice call to Jennie's cell phone, but it was weird because we weren't sure if the interpreter was talking to us or if it was Jennie. Then we realized that the interpreter was just doing her job, relaying what's being signed and said.

Our hope is for Keisha to be able to call other deaf and hard of hearing children she meets over the summer. It also serves as an alternative to talking on the phone, or Keisha trying to understand what's being said on the phone.

Speaking of the regular phone, we got an amplified receiver, and we've used it a little so far with some success. Well, if you count a 25-30 minute conversation Keisha had with her Nana - I guess it was very successful.

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