Preeti ThamsuhangProfessor Marty Blankenship SLAN-111 #4411 April 5

Preeti ThamsuhangProfessor Marty Blankenship
SLAN-111 #4411
April 5, 2018
History of Deaf Technology
In 1870, Alexander Graham bell invented telephone. He wanted to bring language to deaf. His mother and wife both were deaf. He taught deaf students in Boston. He was associated with deaf people and community. In his perception, sign language was the reason deaf people were kept at lower class so he introduced oral method, lip read. After invention of the telephone, it became the major means of communication, But deaf people was not able to use the telephone which greatly impacted them. At work, many jobs were done with the phone operation so deaf were denied promotions. At home, deaf people have to do multiple work when hearing people can complete the work with a single phone call. They have to ask their friend, neighbor and co-worker to make a call for them. They were not able to call police, ambulance or someone in case of emergency. Then in 1964, Robert Weitbrecht, who was deaf, invented teletypewriter (TTY). It was a great invention of telephone deaf people. The deaf people were able to make a call to each other and hearing people. With the help of TTY, they were able to type message back and forth to one another instead of talking, listening and signing. The telephone receiver or headset was set in the coupler on TTY, before having a conservation. The TTY transmit and translate the received information into printed form via a teletype machine. A flashing light was connected to TTY which alert the receiver.
By the half of nineteenth century, a number of advance technology were available to deaf. Smaller and lighter weight hearing aids were developed. The early hearing aids in 1890’s were enormous horn shaped trumpets. The trumpet had large and open piece at the end that collected sound which tapered through a thin tube and produce sound into ear. Then in 1950 hearing aids came in large and heavy batteries with instructions on how to tuck it into underclothing. Later, small and light weight version of hearing aid which can be kept in a pocket or behind-the-ear were developed. Many other technology were developed to ease the life of deaf. Among them was closed caption. Closed caption is the process of displaying text o t, video screen or other visual display. In March 16, 1980, ABC, NBC and PBC broadcasted their closed captioned show. After ‘talkies’ films were made in 1929, hearing people applauded but the deaf people were left behind. Closed caption allowed deaf people to enjoy the talkies films which was only available for hearing people.
Not all technology invented for deaf people were accepted by all deaf community. One of that was cochlear implant. For many deaf people, it was a blessing where for some it was a . The effectiveness and risk of the implant was a major part of controversy. Cochlear implant is t=a surgery in which an electronic device is implanted in ear of a person who is deaf or hard of hearing. Cochlear implant was first introduced in 1984.