How Do Deaf People Use Telephones? What About Doorbells and Alarm Clocks?

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How do deaf people use telephones? What about doorbells and alarm clocks?

There are many everyday devises that we hearing people take for granted, among these are telephones, smoke alarms, doorbells, and alarm clocks. When we look at how members of the deaf community use these everyday items we must consider that members within the community have very different communication needs, abilities, and preferences. Hard-of-hearing people for example can use a standard telephone with the addition of a headset or amplifier, while some hard-of-hearing people may prefer a TTY deaf persons rely on it, or a relay service to communicate as we (hearing people) would on a telephone. Teletype or Teletypewriter, commonly known as a TTY come in a variety to choose from. In order to use a TTY both parties must have one. Many TTYs are portable, either battery operated, or electric. TTYs are not cheap! The most basic model will cost well over one hundred dollars, and does not provide a printout. Some states will provide TTYs free to qualified residents, but if one is looking for a model with sophisticated features, they should be prepared to pay more. Some computers have built-in TTY capacity; if your computer doesn't have this capability TTY modems are available that transform a computer into a usable TTY. With the advance of technology pocket-sized and cellular compatible TTYs are also available, cellular text messaging and text pagers are also popular but considered impractical by members of the community. There are also TTYs that are both a TTY and a voice phone so that members of an ‘intermodal' family or staff can all use the same device to communicate. The advance of the internet has had an effect on the use of TTYs with wide availability of e-mail, and real time chat programs. An internet relay service is also available, and toll-free; it connects internet ‘callers' with voice telephone parties. With a relay service the operator types what is spoken and also speaks what...
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