Tags: gadgets for the deaf

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I'm Dreaming of a Mobile Marcos - The Disabled Shop Blogging Contest Entry



Christmas. The season of carols, and reunions, where we eat and gab and eat. I wish I could eavesdrop on the aunts’ gossip and hear the babies’ babble. As for carols, I have thirteen years’ worth stored in my cranium. I sing them to myself until I’m hoarse and flatulent, and my mom or my sister hushes me (by a variety of techniques, like throwing a slipper in my direction) for being off-key.

The immutable question: What do I want for Christmas? A cochlear implant? Ninety per cent accurate lip-reading ability?

Both would be miracles. Cost-wise and possibility-wise. Gimme, gimme.

Bar miracles, I want an iPad or an iPhone.

And don’t you say ‘duh’. I have good reason.


Coolness is the Surrogate Mother of Invention~


Until recently, I didn’t care for these i-contraptions at all. They’re fads. But now I want an iPad or an iPhone the same way I wanted Harry Potter Film Wizardry. I have the latter now, thanks to my dear aunt. But the thing with fads, their price tags are so flashy as if the products are forever.

What happened recently? I discovered things from the paper and a magazine, that’s what.

An article called 25 Cool Ways to Work (Or Fake Work). Parentheses theirs.

A full spread of ‘What’s new’ in Gadget magazine, browsed at the hairdresser’s.

The things they dream up these days. Spray-on condoms. A ‘happiness hat’ that raps you a good one on the head if you stop smiling. An i-Bar that can turn into an aquarium or a touch-screen game console for your entertainment while you’re sipping a martini.

To be fair, I wasn't looking at the right place, but it would be nice if they also invent for accessibility. The Nokia 6300 has a light on the side that flashes when you receive a call or text message. Did they put that for the deaf? Maybe. Or it's simply coincidental that it works for us, too. Like the vibrate function. I love that. Very useful. But after reading about cell phones’ health hazards, I’ll opt for the Disabled Shop’s Under-Pillow Vibration Alarm Clock.

Numbers fifteen to twenty-five in the Work/Faking Work list were applications for your iPad. Because of course if you’re cool, you have an iPad. Some are tacky and tasteless (Mobile Mouse turns your iPad into a trackpad. Uh) but one stood out as genius. Dragon Dictation. Seamless voice-to-text translation.

You have something to say to me? Here, take my iPad/iPhone. Now talk.

Oh, I see what you’re saying. Yes, it’s a little weird talking AT your phone/iPad. But weirdness is in, isn’t it?


I Must Needs Parley With This Pad Thing



You talk rather than type.

Talking is faster than typing. Speed, coolness’s comadre.

Talking is also faster than fingerspelling, which is what I use along with lipreading.

I can already imagine the matrons’ faces if I bring an iPad to Mass and look at it rather than at Father Gino. I’ll tell them it’s so I can read the sermon. I bet family and friends will be talking a lot more to me, too. They won’t have to use the manual alphabet or type in their phones or reveal their ugly handwriting for all to see just to say Josh farted or ask about Onchie’s girlfriend.

They also have Dragon for pc. But you can’t always lug around your desktop or laptop, can you?

I’ve been deaf for a decade now, and I’ve been pretty happy. Call it Divine Mercy or plain luck, but there’s no better time for being deaf! This is simply a case of being given fried chicken and then wishing for ketchup.

There are amplifiers and videophones/translators but not all of us are aided by hearing aids or the ASL. Many of us rely on text, and what we have at the moment, like SMS, IM and emails are either sometimes slow and inconvenient or simply doesn’t apply to real-time, face to face conversation. So while everyone’s busy inventing for coolness, an iPad or an iPhone with a Dragon will have to do for me. When I have it.

Oh, right, a mobile Marcos. You know, a mobile voice-to-text ‘dictator’. And I wanted to alliterate in the title.

- comic from toothpastefordinner.com
PS: Dragon Dictation is a free download for a limited time! - J