Deaf-Blind Communication DevicesBy Booth, Steven; Tindell, Mike; Taylor, Anne; Braille Monitor, Vol. 49, No. 9
Publication Date: December 2006
Article provides a review of three communication devices designed for people who are deaf-blind: (1) FSTTY from Freedom Scientific, (2) FaceToFace, also from Freedom Scientific, and (3) PortaView 20 Plus, which is a hardware package from Krown. The FSTTY consists of a modem and software, which are installed on a PAC Mate. People can utilize the device’s Braille display to review text he or she enters, as well as the text others send in reply. The product is easy to use, and provides good communication options. People who have some hearing can also use the Pac Mate for assistance when using the FSTTY. FaceToFace is also compatible with the PAC Mate, as it was designed to facilitate real-time conversation during personal, face-to-face interaction between a person who is blind or deaf-blind and another who is sighted, blind, or deaf-blind. The application’s software must first be installed on the iPAQ Pocket PC and the PAC Mate prior to conversation. Typically, sighted people type on the thumb keyboard of the iPAQ, which the person who is deaf-blind writes in Braille or types on the PAC Mate keyboard. Either person in the conversation can paste content from a word processor, appointment book, or contacts. The PortaView is accessible to people who are deaf-blind for face-to-face communication, as it also serves as a TDD for placing and receiving telephone calls to and from people who are deaf or hearing. When the user types on either keyboard, the text is displayed in print on the virtual screen of the PortaView, and in computer Braille on the device’s VTouch Keyboard.
Assistive Products Discussed: COMPU-TTY PORTAVIEW AND PORTAVIEW JR (MODELS 20+ & PV-20)
Published by: National Federation of the Blind (Website:http://www.nfb.org)
Link to text: http://www.nfb.org/Images/nfb/Publications/bm/bm06/bm0609/bm060913.htm