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Captioned Telephone (CapTel): This
technology allows people who can speak but have a hearing loss to receive
word-for-word captions of their telephone conversations. The CapTel phone
looks and functions like any traditional phone, with callers talking and
listening to each other, but with one very significant difference: captions are
provided live for every phone call. The captions are displayed on the phone's
built-in screen so the user can read the words while listening to the voice of
the other party.
TTY is a special device with a keyboard and a screen that lets people who are
deaf, hard of hearing use the telephone with a keyboard to communicate, by
allowing them to type messages back and forth to one another instead of talking
and listening. A TTY is required at
both ends of the conversation in order to communicate.
Also, there are computer softwares that function like a TTY.
UbiDuo: Two keyboards with screen
are used and operates on it's own wireless frequency (FCC approved) so there's
no need to get tangled with cords. UbiDuo is real time simultaneous conversation
because two, three, or four people can type and read, letter by letter, all at
the same time.
videophone, or VP, is now the most popular and preferred way for Deaf people to
make calls in American Sign Language (ASL), whether it is a direct call to
another person who uses ASL or to make a call through a Video Relay Service.
This technology requires a TV, a camera and high speed internet.
Telecommunications, Internet and Video
Deaf, Deafblind or Hard of Hearing people use relay services to make calls to
employers, service providers, and businesses.
This involves a third party service provider, in this case an interpreter
or a communication assistant to relay messages between a Deaf or hard of hearing
person and others.
Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) is a third
party service that allows people who are Deaf or hard of hearing to place calls
to standard telephone users via TTY or a CapTel.
The third party service involves a communication assistant or CA.
The CA relays the typed message to the hearing person, and types the
message spoken by the hearing person to the Deaf or hard of hearing person.
Internet Relay Service (IP Relay) functions similar
to TTY to voice services, replacing the TTY and telephone line with a
specialized computer program and internet connection. There are multiple types
of computer programs that can be used including custom Java based programs that
run in the user's web browser and instant message based services.
Video Relay Service (VRS):
Deaf people use their videophone to call people, services, and businesses
through a VRS. The deaf caller
connects with an ASL interpreter on the television or computer screen. The
interpreter then calls the number the Deaf caller wants to contact, and
interprets for both parties. The Deaf and hearing parties have a normal
conversation (using first person language) with the interpreter.
Video Relay Services (partial listing)
Other ways Deaf and hard of hearing people communicate
Deaf and hard of hearing people use instant messaging via their computers
or pagers to communicate with others.
Paging and Text Messaging:
Deaf and hard of hearing people use pagers to send and receive email and
text messages. This is an especially
useful way to alert a Deaf or hard employee of an emergency or danger.
Sign Language Interpreting
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) gives Deaf,
Deafblind or Hard of Hearing employees the right to a qualified interpreter.
Sign language interpreters are bi-lingual and bi-cultural individuals
that facilitate communication between a Deaf, Deafblind or Hard of Hearing
employee and their employers and co-workers.
Video Remote Interpreting (VRI)
Video remote interpreting (VRI) is a form of sign language
interpreting that allows people who are Deaf or hard of hearing to communicate
with a hearing person at the same site via videoconferencing equipment instead
of live, on-site interpreting. VRI
is especially useful when (1) there is a lack of available qualified
interpreters, such as at a rural location; and (2) when an interpreter is needed
immediately and there is no available interpreter on-site.
VRI is provided on a fee-for-service basis by several
interpreting agencies; costs may vary based on whether an interpreter is needed
immediately or is scheduled ahead of time.
There are three kinds of captioning: closed,
open and real time. Captions are
written texts usually seen at the bottom of a television screen, a movie, or on
Closed captions are usually seen on a television
with a decoder chip; most households have TVs purchased after 1992 with the
chip. Viewers have the option to
have the caption function on or off.
Similar to subtitling, open captions are always
visible; they are "burned" onto the videotape or DVD and no
decoder or a built-in TV decoder chip is necessary to view them.
Employment and training DVDs should have open captions.
Real-time captioning provides simultaneous
transcription and is usually provided by trained courtroom reporters.
Real-time captioning is often used for one-to-one, small group and
large meetings, trainings and conferences.
Federal and State Laws related to communication access
and Answers about Deafness and Hearing Impairments in the Workplace and the
Americans with Disabilities Act (EEOC)
Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (WFEA)
(PDF, 367 KB),
Statue 111.34 on disability, exemptions and special cases
Reasonable Accommodations for Deaf, Deafblind or Hard of
Discrimination and Reasonable Accommodation Under the Americans with
Disabilities Act (National
Association of the Deaf)
Effectively with Persons Who Are Hard of Hearing, Late-Deafened, or Deaf
Accommodation Ideas for Hearing Loss (Job
Questions and Answers about Deafness and Hearing
Impairments in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act (U.S
Accommodating through Technology: A videoclip
Speaking in Harmony: A videoclip
with Disabilities Act Resource Guide for Employers (PDF, 56 KB)
Guide for Non-Profit Organizations Americans with Disabilities Act (PDF, 60
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print portable document format (PDF) files. Learn
March 27, 2013