Deaf/Hearing relationship here - Usually use keyboard to chat


In a deaf-hearing relationship, and I am profoundly deaf.

Instead of sign or another form, we usually communicate by keyboard. I am a fast typist (about 140 words per minute at 5 keypresses average per word as rated by ... over two words a second, about 11 keypresses per second...getting myself myself in the top 100 list there... plus I can type TREO/Blackberry thumbboards a whopping 70 words per minute at 5 keypresses average per word). That means I can type as fast as I can talk! Sometimes slightly faster, since I have to talk slow to be clearly heard. And we never ask each other to repeat, if we're using the keyboard. So that means keyboard becomes faster than talking or sign for me because I type slightly faster than when I am talking as clearly as I can.

It also helps that we're both computer geeks -- I've got a pocket Folding Keyboard that works with a PalmPilot/PocketPC as well, plus a few keyboards, and also a WiFi connected laptop here, as well as 5 computers.

Does anybody else use unconventional methods of communication in person, such as keyboard side-by-side?

We'll eventually communicate by our hands, but we never felt the urge to learn lately just because there's so many keyboards here and we're fast typists... I've lost count of how many gadgets I have...

Mark Rejhon
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New Member
welcome mark!

I am a deaf person married to a hearing person. at first, we used PDA to type stuff... now we don't need it anymore now that he has learned ASL. i do need PDA for his in laws.......
Cool, I use the PDA for communicating too. It's great whenever I am standing up, and I use my PDA (PocketPC) a lot when I am out and the strangers cannot understand what I am saying.

Although if I let strangers such as a Walmart Helper or Restaurant Waiter communicate back to me, I have to use the drawing/Notes PDA application so that the whole screen is just like a blank sheet of paper, they don't need to learn Grafitti that way. They just treat my PDA like a sheet of paper.

For PDA chatting, my favourite hand drawing application so far, is PocketPC Notes because it automatically scrolls the screen after you fill up the screen with your handwriting and finish writing the last line of handwriting at at the bottom. If you know of any other PDA software that turns the PDA into a blank sheet of paper, and that has this neat auto-scroll feature, please let me know. I'm trying to improve upon the PocketPC Notes application (i.e. I'd like to turn off the scrollbar, people keep accidentally tapping it while writing and their writing dissappears!) Since it has the auto-scroll feature, I don't need the scrollbar, and one can use the buttons at the bottom to go back (rewind). The application needs to be like a blank sheet of paper so that people who have never used a PDA before, can write without needing a computer lesson! (just like the PocketPC Notes app I use)

For times when I sit down at a table, or elsewhere, I like attach a pocket folding keyboard -- -- and I can type over 100 words per minute straight into my PDA that way!
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bloody phreak from hell
I also have a fold-out keyboard for my PDA. It comes in handy for taking notes in class or doing quick long updates on my scheduling and address book while out of my room.

As for communicating with others, I have spoken with a couple of hearing people who use computers to communicate. One guy I know is an advisor at RIT. He frequently has deaf students come in his office so to make things easier for him, he takes time to learn a bit of sign language plus created a blank MS Word document with a set font size of 20 so the deaf students can read it from a distance. He'll type his words for long statements and use a bit of sign language for short responses such as "yes", "no", "ok", etc. I think it's nice of him to do that. It's not very often that you see faculty/staff members here at RIT like that.


New Member
I'm deaf with a cochlear implant. My boyfriend of 4 months now is hearing. I'm not an expert lip reader but i do depend on seeing the mouth to understand the words. My boyfriend has learned the alphabet and a few signs for the times i have trouble understanding. No one has ever done that before. I have never heard of the keyboard to chat, I guess that is a new thing?


New Member
I wouldn't mind doing that even though I'm hard of hearing and great at reading lips but being on the phone with guys with deep voices, forget it...So what we do when we were dating, we see each other practically everyday to talk or whatnot to make it easier for him to communicate with me. He is Haitian-American with an accent.


New Member
sounds neat. I am thinking of getting one of those but I am waiting for the one with internet access to go down cheaper........its currently 500 dollars