On April 17 the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services downtown St. Paul had an Open House for Employers and Businesses. The purpose of the open house was to demonstrate technology that may improve communication and productivity in the work place for employees who are deaf, deaf-blind, and hard of hearing.
My purpose in going was1) to make that all important connection to the community, 2) to see their latest technology with regard to the deaf, deaf-blind, and hard of hearing, and 3) to inform them of what the St. Paul Public Library has to offer in the area of Assistive Technology.
The room had various vendors and service organizations that displayed: alerting devices, assistive listening devices plus their accessories, communication devices, telephones plus their accessories and one really cool miscellaneous “E-Scope II Belt Stethoscope.”
My interactive experience was with the Ubi-Duo: This was invented by a father that wanted to have a nice conversation with his son without having to use sign language and it was quite fun having a conversation with Mary on these devices.
Software I was particularly interested in was called Interact-AS. This software supports written, spoken, and typed input. Also, a transcript and voice recording of an entire conversation can be saved for future reference. With regard to this software, the most important feature that could be useful to us is the translation feature. You can write, speak, or type in English and have it translated in 36 different languages. In turn, other languages can be instantly translated into English. A drawback - the 36 languages do not include the language Karen.
I left with a good amount of information and catalogs. If you would like to learn more about Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services you can visit their website at www.dhhsd.org.