Transcription services for the hard of hearing

February 23, 2012 Samantha

Voice recognition app for the deaf and hard of hearing

A new app for the iPhone is being developed for the hard of hearing and speech impaired, called Deaftel.

This app, which is currently at early testing stage, uses technology that is pretty similar to the Siri app (currently available for the iPhone 4S). It is an innovative idea and will mean that the deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired will no longer have to use a relay service – which uses a third person as a translator – and will mean that calls can be made easily and with more privacy.

To use this app, users simply type what they want to say. This is then converted into speech and sent to the person they are on the phone to. The person on the other end can then respond with speech which is then transcribed back into text (using voice recognition software), and sent back to the other person again.

This is the first of what, hopefully, will lead to many apps that provide good quality, easily accessible products for deaf and speech impaired people. When released, (initially in Canada, USA and the UK) Deaftel should be available for all IOS devices.

As someone who provides transcription services for the deaf, I think that these kinds of ideas can be of real use to people and can be used either alone or in conjunction with other services to make lives easier for those in need.


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