10%/90% Face-to-Face Communication Between Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Hearing

Isolated

Back about 12 years ago, I remember how extremely miserable I was in my job as a Financial Analyst with the Federal government.  I was totally isolated with no relationships with anyone.  I was dependent on an interpreter or a CART writer for face-to-face communication.  That happened about 5% to 10% of the time.  The other 90% to 95% of the time, I had zero interaction on the job.   I needed a way to have face-to-face communication that other 95% of the time.  I look back and wish I had the UbiDuo in that environment because I would have been able to move up like everyone else by being able to execute my tasks, roles, meetings, and activities freely without interruption through barrier-free face-to-face communication.

When I got the very first UbiDuo prototype in 2006, the first thing I did was hop in my truck and drive 1 hour to Sedalia from Kansas City to sit down across from my dad, David, and communicate with him for the first time word for word without barriers.   When the first words dad said to me came across the UbiDuo screen, I felt a jolt of freedom and knew that my life was going to be totally different afterwards.

After that 2-hour long conversation on the UbiDuo with my dad with so many topics we covered, I had a glimmer of hope that I would be able to sit across from any hearing person and interact freely at last without barriers.  On the way back to Kansas City, it seemed it was the longest drive of my life with thoughts rushing my mind.  I thought over all the struggles I have faced in sitting across from many hearing people, wishing I had a relationship with them but couldn’t due to the fact I am deaf.

Rarely Discussed

Can you ask yourself this question that you really don’t think about?  How would you sit across from a deaf or hard of hearing person and actually have a conversation without barriers?   Think about it just for a few minutes.  Picture yourself sitting across from that person and you don’t know sign language.   How will either of you communicate without barriers?

The most common answer is calling for an interpreter or a CART writer to solve that problem.   Yes, that will work in many settings, but take into consideration that most often an interpreter is only available about 5% to 10% of the time.  Interpreters play an important role, but interpreters must be scheduled in advance and that can take hours of days for that to happen.  Interpreters are paid professionals and realistically cannot be present for every hour of every day for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. In addition, after the interpreter or CART writer leaves, the need and opportunity for nonstop, face-to-face communication continues.  In a lot of cases, you have to resort to writing notes back and forth which does not enable the same level of conversation that a real-time conversation provides.

Face-to-Face Barriers Throughout the Day

What will you do to fill the other 90% to 95% of the time for nonstop communication in your environment every day at the hospital, university, agency, or at work?

The real face-to-face communication problem takes place within that 95% of the time between the deaf and hearing person in a hospital, agency, or in a job when the interpreter or CART writer is not present.  We don’t realize that during a day in any setting, the majority of our time is spent in face-to-face interactions with people around us.    When a deaf person is in a setting surrounded by hearing people, he or she is not able to just walk up to a hearing person then sit down across that person and start up a short or long conversation.   That can be the game stopper to the flow of the day between the 2 people especially in the hospital, university, agency, or job when exchange of information through communication.   Barriers to communication interrupt the ability to move freely within a day and execute tasks, roles, meetings, or activities.

Imagine a hearing employee at his or her job, working every day from 8:00 to 5:00.  He experiences 100% barrier- free face-to-face encounters with co-workers, managers, clients, and other hearing peers.  Hearing co-workers can sit down and discuss work-related issues at 9 a.m. or 1 p.m. or 3:30 p.m.  They can talk multiple times a day, every single day.  They can execute tasks, roles, meetings, or activities freely without barriers.  The majority of our time is spent in face-to-face interactions with people around us.

Now picture a person who is deaf, sitting at a desk, wanting to discuss the same work-related issues with her hearing co-worker.  A deaf person in a setting surrounded by hearing people, is not able to just walk up to a hearing person; sit down across that person; and start up a short or long conversation.  That can be the game stopper to the flow for the day.

What can you do to fill 90% to 95% of the everyday face-to-face communication problem in your setting if you can only have an interpreter or CART writer for 5% to 10% of your time?

UbiDuo Solution

The UbiDuo has become the solution to the face-to-face communication problem.

The UbiDuo 2 is a stand alone device that facilitates direct face-to-face communication which means the deaf and hearing person can sit across from each other and communicate in a natural flow through real time text.  The UbiDuo 2 empowers deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals and hearing individuals to converse face-to-face from one to as many encounters a day as they desire even up to 100% of the time.

I look back and wish I had the UbiDuo in that earlier work environment because I would have had more of an opportunity to move up like everyone else by being able to execute my tasks, roles, meetings, and activities freely without interruption through non-stop, face-to-face communication.  People like myself who are deaf, can communicate on the spot, quickly and efficiently by using the UbiDuo 2 with doctors, nurses, professors, co-workers, managers and clients.

I have been running sComm for 11 years. We engineer and manufacture the UbiDuo 2. I use the UbiDuo 2 to manage the staff and execute tasks, roles, meetings, and activities nonstop without interruption.  I have the UbiDuo placed permanently on my desk turned on at all times in my office.   It allows the hearing staff to walk into my office throughout the day anytime and have short, medium, or long conversations.  Every staff member in our company has a UbiDuo on their desk whether hearing or deaf to enable instant communication. The optimum for everyone, deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing, is to be able to experience barrier-free, communication without interruption when they choose at any time 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Again the UbiDuo 2 has become the solution to that face-to-face problem.  In general, an interpreter or CART writer can be present 5% in majority of situations between a deaf and a hearing person but we know they cannot be present the other 90% to 95% of the time.

Lastly, this is about the deaf and the hearing person having a daily relationship with each other, working together freely in any setting with the ability to exchange 100% information.

This is about making the communication setting whole with an interpreter or CART writer 5% of the time and filling in the other 90% to 95% of the time on a UbiDuo with no interruption to their tasks, roles, meetings and activities through barrier-free nonstop face-to-face communication. That’s the bottom line.

Take Action

If you are an employer, a hospital, law enforcement agency, university, or a government agency that either serves deaf or hard of hearing clients or patients or has employees who are deaf or hard of hearing, you will elevate your level of one-on-one communication with the UbiDuo 2 communication device. Being totally dependent on an interpreter or CART writer for only 5% to 10% of the time, can compromise your level of communication.

The UbiDuo 2 provides you nonstop one-on-one communication between people who are deaf and people who are hearing  The UbiDuo 2 meets ADA compliance requirements.

Take action with the ADA compliant UbiDuo 2 in your environment.