Ten years ago, the launch of the original UbiDuo created a new reality of how the deaf and hearing can communicate face-to-face without an interpreter. The first of its kind, the UbiDuo 1 provided a new path for 100% communication. (more…)
To reach the goal of having face-to-face communication 100% of the time between deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing without barriers – We can use every communication method available without fear of losing any of them.
From: Jason Curry, CEO of sComm
Some of you may not know I have been profoundly deaf since birth. I even got a cochlear implant at age 32, but it didn’t help me at all. My goal in having the implant was to have complete ease of communication with everyone around me. I have interacted with thousands of hearing people in endless face-to-face conversational situations. 99% of them do not know sign language which is the case everywhere in the real world. The outcome of those conversations has been mostly frustrating because of the communication barriers between us. I would also at times bluff through the conversation with some head nodding and smiling because I didn’t want to upset the hearing person or push them away. I wanted to build a relationship. And yet we simply could not communicate in the same way as two hearing people or two deaf people are able to communicate with each other freely without barriers. There were misunderstandings and missing pieces of information for both of us. I needed a useful tool to be able to communicate all the time. That need unfolded into developing the UbiDuo.
There are ongoing discussions among the deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing community regarding when interpreters, video remote interpreters, or CART services fit into work, medical, educational, and social settings. These are all useful methods of communication and yet each has limitations. We still have a communication problem. To solve that problem, we need to talk about it openly. We need to use every communication method available.
What we are not being open about and talking about is the fact that an interpreter or CART writer simply cannot be available 100% of the time. We know it but we seem hesitant to say it out loud. Third party interpreting services are valuable, but they can not always be there when a deaf or hard of hearing person is interacting with a hearing person wanting and needing to have a meaningful discussion right on the spot. They are not there for the nonstop face-to-face conversations that happen minute by minute all day long. There is a solution for that which is the UbiDuo. Individuals within agencies and companies have been using the UbiDuo successfully now for over 10 years. Still, there seems to have been a concern that using the UbiDuo solution will make the other solutions go away. That is simply not the case. The more solutions: The more communication.
Team Inclusion and Promotion: Removing Bluffing, Anxiety, and Misunderstanding
Trust and Confidence are the keys to a healthy and positive relationship, especially in the work environment. Having barrier-free one-on-one communication leads to a more satisfying working relationship. In many cases, people who are hearing communicating independently with a person who is deaf without an interpreter is a first-time experience. However almost 99% of the time, an interpreter is not available. Although each person is willing to communicate, there are barriers and at times, tension. Each of us reacts differently and sometimes negatively which impacts the outcome of the relationship which we want and need to develop.
Using the UbiDuo 2, two people can have a face-to-face conversation at any given time at any part of the day. It can be as simple as smiling at each other, making healthy eye contact, or a pat on the arm at the end of a meeting or as involved as solving a very complicated issue with satisfaction from everyone present. The UbiDuo 2 being a part of the environment allows the parties to have that peace of mind knowing they can have a barrier-free conversation 100% of the time when the interpreter or CART writer is not available. That 100% understanding leads to increased trust and confidence without bluffing, anxiety, and misunderstanding which builds the relationship to the next level.
People who hear get unlimited communication access however that has been difficult to achieve for people who are deaf. Job interviews, doctor appointments, or office meetings generally need to be done face-face in person. The UbiDuo 2 allows people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or late-deafened to sit across from someone who is hearing at any time with unlimited communication access.
The UbiDuo 2 provides many of the benefits of face-to-face interaction between people who are deaf and hearing. It provides the same communication ease that comes between two people who are hearing who are talking or between two people who are deaf who are signing. With the UbiDuo 2, each person is communicating in the same mode with the other. Nothing replaces the ability for two people to sit across from each other and communicate directly without a third party. When that happens everyone benefits.
On a team: If the team is only able to communicate with the team member who is deaf when the interpreter is available, it disrupts the workflow of the team and limits the immediacy of information sharing. When one-on-one discussions and interactions become routine, it enables the person who is deaf to have the same opportunities for promotion as others in the workplace.
Sometimes people who are deaf are hesitant to use the UbiDuo 2 thinking that communication can only be accomplished with an interpreter. Few employers can sit an interpreter next to an employee who is deaf 100% of the time. Everyone benefits when there is the openness to utilize the interpreter, CART writer, and the UbiDuo 2. This completes the communication picture making communication available at all times.
Moving forward with total inclusion is the goal. What can each person do to communicate when an interpreter is not available 90% of the time? What is the solution for that? The UbiDuo 2 was designed for that sole purpose: To cover that gap of nonstop one-on-one interaction in the work environment with a simultaneous real-time solution.
The UbiDuo is being utilized in hospitals, police stations, government agencies, drivers license offices, courthouses, colleges, universities, sheriff offices, social security offices, welfare offices, and employers nationwide enabling nonstop 100% face-to-face interaction between deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing people in endless situations without face-to-face communication barriers.
If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have communication difficulties and are interested in obtaining your very own UbiDuo 2 SGD communication device, you can get one for your personal use through Medicare, Medicaid, or Private insurance. It will change how you interact with hearing people everywhere in your everyday living. You will experience 100% face-to-face interaction with hearing people with zero barriers. You can contact us at any time to see if you can qualify to get the UbiDuo 2 SGD through Medicare, Medicaid, or Private Insurance.
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. All communication solutions are valuable. Being totally dependent on an interpreter or CART writer 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 and make your environment ADA compliant with the UbiDuo 2.
We have heard from people all over stating that some deaf or hard of hearing people can’t use the UbiDuo because of their lack of “Perfect English”. It is not about having perfect English, it is all about having face-to-face communication without barriers through whatever level of English.
Here are several reasons why the majority of deaf or hard of hearing people can use the UbiDuo and experience face-to-face communication freedom with anyone they interact with:
- Do we watch TV or Movies with Captioning? If so, that is a sign that we are able to comprehend what is being said and interpret what the story is telling. That is no different from a person communicating with us on the UbiDuo.
- Do we use Social Media to communicate with friends via text? If so, we are using whatever form of English to get our thoughts across as long as the other person understands them. Well, that is no different from using that same form of English on the UbiDuo to get our thoughts across to the other person.
- Do we have an Email Account? If so, once again we are using some level of English to write our thoughts into sentences filled with words? Maybe our use of grammar does not follow the rules but as long as the other person understands what is being said, that’s what is important. If that’s the case, that is no different from using those same sentences in the email to communicate on the UbiDuo with another person. Not always using exact grammar is the same whether hearing or deaf.
- Do we use Instant Messenger? If so, we all know that we are using some level of English to send text chat messages back and forth. You notice that both users are not really paying attention to the rules of grammar and shooting thoughts through the use of text without a conscious effort of perfect grammar.
- Did we use TTYs in the old days back in the 1980s and 1990s? If so, why weren’t we complaining about using our English on those devices? It doesn’t make sense that nowadays that some people are now complaining about using our English on other platforms when we used TTYs every day to make phone calls to everyone back in those old days? People might use video phones with their sign language but that does not take away the reality that we do have a level of usable English to communicate with anyone around us due to nonstop exposure to English everywhere.
- Do we have a Cell Phone? If so, we cannot argue that the person is communicating with hundreds of people in their network on a daily basis with nonstop text messages and yet can not communicate on the UbiDuo. The exchange of text communication might be shorthand but we are using some level of English to get our thoughts across to each other as long as we can comprehend each other. Also, keep in mind when a person doesn’t understand the other person, the most common thing they will say is “what do you mean?” The other person then rephrases what he or she said to get it across. That is no different from communicating on the UbiDuo.
Those were the different reasons that I wanted to use to debunk the myth that some deaf or hard of hearing people can’t use the UbiDuo due to our English. I have heard that many times and I am telling you that a majority of deaf and hard of hearing people can use the UbiDuo with some form of English.
The historic Route 66 trip over 6 days last month was an eye opener driving through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas and being able to meet hearing people from different walks of life without barriers. Jason Curry, CEO of sComm, highlights the freedom and the joy of having a face to face conversation with different hearing people – each with different lives – each with a compelling story. Talking on the UbiDuo, they shared what was happening in their lives and Jason shared what was happening in every part of Route 66. The UbiDuo allowed Jason to sit across from each one of them and exchange life experiences. Mike, social media specialist, documented every part of the trip with a GoPro camera which there are 6 different videos below for you to enjoy. The videos show how Jason communicated with hearing strangers with zero barriers especially without the need of an interpreter. Jason wanted to show the world how easy it was to travel freely on Route 66 using the UbiDuo 2, a communication device that allows a deaf person to sit across from a hearing person anywhere.
It was not making a point about the UbiDuo but about meeting America on Historic Route 66. Nothing is more Americana than Route 66 with its vintage service gas stations, vintage cars, the Mom-and-Pop stores, quaint motels, the garish and flashy billboards, and classic diners tucked away like a time capsule. Combining those historical spots with the smell, feel, and taste of food and drink found in small towns and Main Streets adds to that extra Americana dimension. Often people who are deaf or hard of hearing miss getting to hear those stories. Not this time with the UbiDuo 2.
Watch the 6 videos and observe how a deaf and a hearing person are able to interact with each other face-to-face on the UbiDuo 2 with zero barriers over a table especially without the need of a 3rd party translator.
Hit The Road
Talk to Me America: Bridging the Deaf and Hearing Face to Face Communication Gap.
sComm has a lot of firsts in our 11 year history. Here is another one!
Jason Curry, CEO of sComm, the maker of the UbiDuo 2 communication device, is set to drive down the historic Route 66 from St. Louis, Missouri to Amarillo, Texas on October 5 – October 15. He will have a UbiDuo 2 in the front seat. What better way to travel and meet people along the way than to use sComm’s UbiDuo 2 communication device for those down-to-earth conversations?
This trip is not just about driving down Route 66 and learning about America’s history but it is the opportunity to be able to talk with the people we meet who have lived and worked along Route 66. We can easily do that using the UbiDuo 2, a go anywhere, talk to anyone communication device. It is about meeting America. Nothing is more Americana than Route 66 with its vintage service gas stations, vintage cars, the Mom-and-Pop stores, quaint motels, the garish and flashy billboards, and classic diners tucked away like a time capsule. Combining those historical spots with the smell, feel, and taste of food and drink found in small towns and Main Streets adds to that extra Americana dimension. Often people who are deaf miss getting to hear those stories. Not this time with the UbiDuo 2.
The whole communication concept behind the UbiDuo 2 is simple and straightforward. It is used as a crucial communication bridge between a deaf and hearing person without the need to rely on a 3rd person to help with the communication. Some may opt using the paper and pen method but it is guaranteed to be slow with its short and impersonal conversations while each person takes turn reading and writing their responses.
With the UbiDuo 2 communication device, the communication is instantaneous while typing to each other. Communication is done in real time. No need to hit the return key to send out a response. Just sit down and type out your conversation. It becomes a genuine face to face conversation allowing each other to see their conversations in real time while watching each other’s facial responses and body language.
This is no different than seeing two hearing people talk to each other with their voices. It is the same for the UbiDuo 2 communication device when the “talking” is done in real time by typing to each other. Why use a 3rd party to help with the face-to-face communication when both the deaf and the hearing person can use the UbiDuo? Just sit down, open up the UbiDuo 2 communication device that comes in with two halves with its own screen and keyboard, turn it on, and 3 seconds later you’re ready to communicate. No Wi-Fi connection is needed. Connection is done wirelessly. It does not use the internet. It is a dedicated communication device meant for one thing, the clear, 100% accessible communication between a deaf and hearing person.
Come and join us, and follow our Route 66 adventure. Who knows what we will learn from the people who live and work on Route 66? We get to hear their stories and they have the chance to communicate with a deaf person using the UbiDuo 2 communication device for the first time in their life.
The original plan was for Jason to drive his navy blue ’67 Mustang that he bought with his paper route money back in Junior High. He has kept that Mustang to this day and is having it restored. The restoration is not complete but it will be when he begins driving another section of Route 66 next year.
But now……..follow us along and enjoy the stories of those we meet and communicate with on Route 66! The UbiDuo 2 is going to make that possible.
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.
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?
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.
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.
The next generation UbiDuo 2 Text to Speech (TTS) is finally here. sComm has advanced face-to-face communication technology again with the revolutionary introduction of the UbiDuo 2 Text to Speech (TTS). This breakthrough communication device is the world’s first communication device with real-time, split-screen text, and dual text to speech for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, late deafened, hearing, and others with communication disorders. This ultimate communication solution allows two people to communicate in real time using text, text to speech, and both at the same time.
You can learn more about the 2 UbiDuo 2 TTS version below:
We are accepting pre-orders so contact us to learn more about the breakthrough of the UbiDuo 2 TTS
at 1-866-505-7008 V, 239-214-2880 VP, or email@example.com