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Technology breaking down barriers between deaf and hearing communities



DesertNews - National
Mandy Morgan
July 6, 2015

When Laurence Whitworth went out to play or to school as a child, his mother couldn't enjoy the peace of mind knowing that her son could pick up a phone and call if something was wrong.

That would have been more than just a convenience, considering Whitworth is deaf

"My mom would have to let me go and basically pray that nothing happens to me," Whitworth recalled in an interview using Google Chat.

Whitworth doesn't experience that anxiety as a parent today. Whitworth and his wife Elise, who is also deaf, have two boys who can hear, and communication is the least of their challenges in the home. In fact, for the boys, ages 11 and 13, speaking into a cellphone is foreign. Texting and video messages are how they communicate with their parents most frequently.

Communication has always been key to opportunity for the deaf community. But technological advances, which have changed the way everyone communicates, and a growing popularity among college students to learn American Sign Language have removed even more obstacles to the deaf community and the hearing community connecting.
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