What will be the best future technology for the deaf and hoh to interact with the hearing world?

labyrinthian

New Member
Sorry if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that a lot of people in Deaf community have negative or (realistically) cynical views on new assistive technologies like sign-interpreting gloves or video remote interpreting.

I do understand the reasons. As many people have already pointed out, just using "gloves" doesn't make sense because ASL involves so much more than hands. Unless they develop ways to catch facial expressions and body movements, it won't work. (An alternative is to invent a new "dialect" of ASL to "translate" everything into hands movement, but I don't think most Deaf people will be willing to do that, so that's out of the question, too.)

As for VRI, I can think of at least three problems. First, it will be quite labor-intensive and probably cost a lot as a result (I mean, every time you use it, you're hiring someone--not just anyone, but a trained interpreter). Second, the lack of privacy will a problem--the interpreter will be there, listening to the whole thing. And last, I imagine that there will be misunderstandings caused by the impersonal setting, since you'll probably get a different interpreter each time.

(By the way, I got a lot of these ideas by reading comments in this forum.)

My question is: do you think a more developed technology will work?

For example, if someone somehow develops the technology that "reads" the entire ASL "speech" and mechanically translate it with an acceptable level of accuracy (losing nuances but keeping basic meanings), while keeping the whole process encrypted (thereby keeping a certain level of privacy), will it work?

Of course, the whole thing may be unnecessary, since deaf and HH people can just write or type.

P.S. I am neither deaf/hard-of-hearing nor technological expert--just inexplicably interested in the topic. Correct me if I'm too clueless or disrespectful.
 

labyrinthian

New Member
People need to learn Asl and people need to teach Asl . That simple to me
Yes, I agree that that's the ideal solution... I just can't believe it's a realistic one.
As a rule, the linguistic majority doesn't try to learn the language of linguistic or cultural minorities. I mean, I don't think average English speakers are very willing to learn Spanish or Cherokee. And learning ASL is not easier than learning any other language BECAUSE it is a full-fledged language itself. (That said, I do believe there are places that need to have ASL interpreters or some staffs with adequate ASL skills--hospitals, airports, public services, etc. I just don't think it will be realistic to expect the same thing from everybody, everywhere.)
So I thought technological advancement that actually reflects what deaf and hard-of-hearing people want might be a faster and more realistic solution for inclusion and visibility...
Maybe the whole technology-as-a-solution is not really an adequate approach. But then, what will be the less ideal but acceptable and more realistic alternative?
 

DeafNerdMommy

Well-Known Member
I think one problem is that the technology is trying to fix the problem with deaf-hearing communication. If a deaf person uses the gloves how does the other person talk back?
I think one problem is Americans are learning to speak Spanish, French, and Russia but won't learn another English bases language to talk to talk to the deaf. We try to accommodate for other languages but over look a simpler language. SL is one of the easiest languages to learn compared to all the other spoken language.
So yes tech could be helpful but it does just push the deaf aside making them feel like second class citizens.
 

Jane B.

Well-Known Member
How do you get ASL being simpler? The grammar is completely different than spoken English! It was originally developed by someone who's native language was French.
 

DeafDucky

Well-Known Member
How do you get ASL being simpler? The grammar is completely different than spoken English! It was originally developed by someone who's native language was French.

I don't think she meant "simpler" as in grammar, noun, verb and all that. I think she meant more that ASL may be a little easier and quicker to learn/pick up than many verbal languages that have their own idiosyncrasies and even more complex structures than ASL.
 

Jane B.

Well-Known Member
I don't think she meant "simpler" as in grammar, noun, verb and all that. I think she meant more that ASL may be a little easier and quicker to learn/pick up than many verbal languages that have their own idiosyncrasies and even more complex structures than ASL.
It was a long time ago (1960's or 70's) that I took a first year Spanish course at the local community college. I do not remember those types of problems with it. I liked the spelling in it; if fact, even though I am a native English speaker in the US I could spell better in Spanish. I don't remember it feeling so very backwards in word order like ASL does to me.
 

LoveBlue

Well-Known Member
It was a long time ago (1960's or 70's) that I took a first year Spanish course at the local community college. I do not remember those types of problems with it. I liked the spelling in it; if fact, even though I am a native English speaker in the US I could spell better in Spanish. I don't remember it feeling so very backwards in word order like ASL does to me.
Why do you think most kids in high school take Spanish (ok, I'm guessing most kids do it). Because it is the easiest spoken foreign language.
You only get out of a foreign language what you put into it. Hence why my ASL is as good as my high school Spanish. :p
 

Jane B.

Well-Known Member
Why do you think most kids in high school take Spanish (ok, I'm guessing most kids do it). Because it is the easiest spoken foreign language.
You only get out of a foreign language what you put into it. Hence why my ASL is as good as my high school Spanish. :p
I certainly agree with you that you only get out of a foreign language what you put into it. For that matter from any course.

My electives in high school were business courses and I was not required to take a foreign language. Thus, I did not take it until some years later as I was taking college classes on a part time basis while working as a bookkeeper. I have very found memories of that class because of the instructor and the fact that the people in that small class wanted to be there.

Even that was so long ago and only the one year that I have not been able to use it at all any more. Even later I tried ASL two different times at the same community college and did not get good enough to use it and made no contacts to get better by using it.
 
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