Saturday, August 08, 2009

Time for a Deaf Phone Tariff

Nine million people in the UK (15% of the population) suffer from permanent, disabling hearing loss.

The estimated demographic figure has ranged from 22 million deaf and hard of hearing to as high as 36 million deaf and hard of hearing worldwide. Of these, only a few million are considered "deaf" and the remainder are hard of hearing but cannot use a phone.

for 30 years this group has had to PAY for Unused "Call Time" and I for one is sick of it.

Surely for a majority of us that really dislike phones wishes a network would provide a worldwide backbone for these data only services.

A revolution is taking place in the mobile device market - Smart phones like the HTC HERO and other Google / ANDROID phones will be introduced later in the year are truly open source - this means the software is free - and thousands of developers are busy creating useful applications that would truly enrich our lives - live email - instant messengers - Live Subtitles - video on demand ....

I want to hear from DEAF Users - (especially the angry ones that are fed up with the way DEAF users are treated) by phone networks. Call centres - paying out every month for hundreds of so called "FREE TALK TIME".

Well I have had enough of 25 years of FREE TALK TIME I CANNOT USE.

I have put out calls to the Google ANDROID developers to see if they can provide as real time as possible SUBTITLES to speech. - yep on a hand-held -
Switch on the app and anything heard by microphone could be sent to a server for voice to text and squirted back to the phone. C

So All you can eat Data Plan - Pay for calls as you go. a Lovely Android Phone and best of all IF your a network it could add millions of LOYAL customers and their mothers and brothers.

Please call or write to your network - ask them if they would consider a DEAF TARIFF - it might actually be very good for business.

* Update 24th August 2009

RNID?: Yes I have written to the RNID however when it comes to technological issues the RNID seems stuck in the mid 70's

I also take issue with the Teletype service in the UK - its time it was abandoned completely. If you proposed a network for the deaf tomorrow and it required the sort of hardware available over a dial up line that only really served the deaf community and was not available to talk or communicate with external devices you would be laughed off the blogisphere.

I have also written to all the networks and virtual networks - apart from some standard reply about their commitment to equal opportunities few even acknowledged they saw the problem. You can rest assured I keep the pressure on.

None saw the vast business opportunity.

Number 10 has a petition, and every MP in the country has been petitioned many writing in to offer support.

I have also asked the ANDROID development community to consider DEAF applications for the 20 or so Android phones coming to market by year end.
Suggestions so far would offer Live Subtitles for a conversation, Lip readers could just glance at their screens rather than saying - "sorry what did you say?" - That alone could transform some peoples lives.

Im also often told text packages are cheap - and be grateful for X thousands a month.
TEXT is YESTERDAYS tech - The world communicates via social networking - Facebook - Email - Forums Instant - Messenger - Twitter, they are universal and not device dependant.

Google Android on an open network offers free software - very low cost applications and a vast range of manufacturers producing devices at all price points. So the Time Is Right!

Some people have asked why a phone at all - use an ipod touch type of device on wifi?
Well its a myth Deaf people cant use a phone - for one someone in my circle might need to make a call or in some circumstances I can reply to a message with a call- Like telling your lift the concert has finished and pick me up outside the theatre. Calling emergency services do not require you to hear the operator as long as you keep repeating there is a fire at 555 High Street and a baby needs to be rescued.


Tribute to Sylvester - By the time Sylvester died on December 16, 1988 of AIDS-related complications, he had firmly cemented his reputation as one of the most original and talented musicians to come out of the disco arena. While Sylvester represented to mainstream America the Black and gay cultural origins of disco music, his body of work included not only crucial contributions to the disco songbook, but also ballads that proved he was a versatile stylist who brought a realness and depth to all his material.