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Endless options for all disabilities:
SmartTV technology opens more communication lines for deaf, hard of hearing

From StarNews Online Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 4:22 by David Morrison

With the increased use of telecommunications, it is important for individuals to have access to assistive technology. A recent article by the Associated Press demonstrates the positive impact these advances can have both in your home and in the workplace. High school football coach Kevin Bella utilizes a Video Relay Service to interact with his players via a live interpreter on his SmartTV.

“It’s a huge improvement over typing messages back and forth,” said Bella, a defensive coordinator at Mission San Jose High School in Fremont, Calif. “This allows me to work with hearing players, because there’s a lot in my language that has to do with expressions. The meaning is lost if sign language is reduced to written text.”

“Bella is among a rising number of disabled people who are increasingly able to find and keep jobs, as well as engage more broadly in their communities, because of new technologies specifically aimed at helping them better communicate or complete tasks.”

On a local level, the Wilmington Regional Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing offers a wide range of services. Specifically,

The communication process for individuals who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf-Blind and Deaf with other disabilities may be aided by:

  • qualified sign language interpreters
  • tactile or up-close interpreters
  • assistive listening devices
  • real-time captioning
  • television captioning and decoders
  • computer assisted note-taking
  • oral interpretation
  • cued speech transliteration

If you are interested in learning more about these or other services provided by centers for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in North Carolina, a full list of contacts by region can be found at Locally, you may contact the Wilmington Regional Center at 910-251-5702 (VOICE) 910-777-5770 (VIDEO) or 910-251-5767 (TTY)

As always, thanks for reading!

For more articles on disability related topics, see David’s blog at http://disabilities.blogs  or become a fan on Facebook at . Have a question or comment? Reach David via email at  Want to provide public input or address disability concerns? Attend the Cape Fear Disability Commission (CFDC) The group meets the third Wednesday of the month at 10:30 a.m. at the NHC Government Center.

Next meeting: July 17, 2013

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