Technological communication aids
Scientists and engineers all over the world are working on developing new ways to make the world more accessible to people who are deafblind. These range from low tech devices such as a vibrating doorbell or smoke alarm to more hi-tech devices such as the U2 MINI and the Lorm Glove.
The U2 MINI allows people who are deafblind to communicate with users with sight and hearing. Using the system, text sent from an iOS device (iphone or tablet) appears on the U2 Mini’s braille display; characters typed on the U2 appear on the iOS device’s screen. In addition, Sense Chat facilitates deafblind communication between two Braille Sense product users. The vibrating motor enables users to set alerts and alarms that vibrate, emit sound, or both, providing privacy and accessibility to persons who are deafblind.
The Mobile Lorm Glove is a mobile communication and translation device developed for people who are deafblind. The glove translates the hand-touch alphabet “Lorm”, a common form of communication used by people with both hearing and sight impairment, into text and vice versa.
Textile pressure sensors located on the palm of the glove enable the user to “lorm” onto his or her own hand to compose text messages. A Bluetooth connection transmits the data from the glove to the user’s handheld device. It is then automatically forwarded to the receiver’s handheld device in the form of an SMS. If the wearer of the Mobile Lorm Glove receives a text message, the message will be forwarded via Bluetooth from his/her handheld device to the glove. Initiated by small vibration motors located on the back of the glove, tactile feedback patterns allow the wearer to perceive incoming messages.