For the deaf, new options on the phone

This is an amazing development which should serve as quite the equalizer…

The Sorenson videophone is a breakthrough, said Genie Gertz, an assistant professor of deaf studies at California State University at Northridge, because it enables the deaf to use what many consider to be their native language – American Sign Language – with unprecedented simplicity and clarity. “This is a gigantic step for the deaf community,” Gertz, who is deaf, said through an interpreter.

The Sorenson VP-100 is a stand-alone videophone that works with a television and broadband Internet connection. It has a remote control and a flashing light that can be used instead of a ringer to signal incoming calls. Users can sign directly with another deaf person or with a Sorenson interpreter. Because of the high quality of the video, the interpreter can read the deaf user’s signing while simultaneously translating and speaking to the telephone user, and vice versa. [