In the News
sComm Partners with Vermont DMV
sComm is proud to announce its partnership with the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles to provide the newly launched UbiDuo 3 communication device for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. All locations statewide will provide the UbiDuo 3 for instant communication with clients and staff. sComm CEO Jason Curry stated, "This is a wonderful and cornerstone moment in enhancing the lives of the people of Vermont. The Vermont DMV's inclusion of the UbiDuo 3 across the state shows their dedication to the wellbeing of their citizens."
Department of Motor Vehicles Launches Use of Communication Devices for People Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Montpelier, Vt. – The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) today announced that it has launched the use of new devices that will enable people who are deaf or hard of hearing to communicate easily and effectively with staff at all DMV locations.
“This is another exciting step in the modernization of Vermont’s DMV,” said Commissioner Wanda Minoli. “Our focus is always on providing superior customer service, and these devices will allow for a much better experience for Vermonters who are deaf or hard of hearing.”
The devices, called UbiDuo 3, contain two keyboards with two small screens to enable the customer and the DMV employee to communicate while opposite each other on either side of the service counter. The DMV partnered with sComm, the leading developer of the UbiDuo, to meet the Department’s goal of providing barrier-free, face-to-face customer service at all branch offices statewide. The UbiDuo enables people who are deaf or hard of hearing to communicate with others without a sign language interpreter by using two-way, simultaneous, real-time keyboards. People who are deaf or hard of hearing and hearing people can now talk to each other face-to-face and interact simultaneously by using this device.
A federal grant award from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in the amount of $22,954 was used to purchase 11 UbiDuo devices.
Flyers have been posted at all DMV locations to inform customers that the devices are available. All branch counter supervisors have completed a training on how to use the UbiDuo3.
sComm Partners with ReadSpeaker
sComm Selects ReadSpeaker to Increase Clarity and Effectiveness of Speech Generating Device Communication
ReadSpeaker’s text-to-speech technologies to power UbiDuo 3 SGD device
BOSTON-- ReadSpeaker, the most trusted, independent digital voice partner for global businesses, today announced it is has been selected by sComm, the leading developer of speech generating devices (SGD) for the deaf and hard of hearing, to power the company’s UbiDuo devices. By embedding ReadSpeaker’s text-to-speech (TTS) technology into sComm’s UbiDuo devices, the companies are improving real-time communication capabilities between the hearing and deaf and hard-of-hearing communities.
sComm’s UbiDuo SGDs enable people who are deaf to communicate with a person who is hearing without a sign language interpreter. The UbiDuo devices allow deaf and hearing people to talk to each other face-to-face and interact simultaneously. These devices are the only communication devices in the world that allow for real time, face-to-face conversation without the use of sign language. By adding ReadSpeaker’s TTS technology, these devices are now able to incorporate speech output, a capability specific to this newest generation of device.
When searching for a TTS partner, sComm evaluated several different potential providers, but ultimately found that ReadSpeaker delivered the most natural, high quality voice output. UbiDuo devices are used in a variety of settings—including medical settings— meaning high quality output was paramount. sComm needed a TTS partner that could guarantee clarity in all settings.
“The partnership with ReadSpeaker has allowed us to take our UbiDuo SGDs to the highest level of performance possible,” said Jason Curry, CEO of sComm. “With ReadSpeaker’s technology embedded into our devices, we are now confident that sComm delivers best standalone SGDs in the world. The reactions that we have gotten from users have been overwhelmingly positive, and we are proud to be delivering this level of accessibility and ease for our customers.”
“ReadSpeaker has a longstanding commitment to delivering accessibility to the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities,” said Matt Muldoon, President, North America of ReadSpeaker. “By partnering with sComm and embedding our TTS technology into the UbiDuo devices, we are enabling faster, easier and more clear communication for people of all hearing ability in a variety of settings. We look forward to continuing to be a leading technology provider in this space and are honored to have been selected as a technology partner by sComm.”
September 19, 2016
A Route 66 Adventure
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.
September 19, 2016
10% /90% Face-to-Face Communication Between Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Hearing
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.
June 21, 2016
Next Gen UbiDuo 2 Text to Speech is Finally Here
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
February 24, 2016
Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation – Positive UbiDuo Experiences
Sheila Hoover, Statewide Coordinator of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and Camille Atkinson, Rehabilitation Counselor, with Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation share the positive experience of how the UbiDuo2 has transformed their environment between individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing. The counselors find the UbiDuo2 enables nonstop face-to-face communication, privacy, and clear discussions. They use the UbiDuo2 to meet communication needs of their clients and staff in many different situations in any location.