IM this article to a friend!

December 16, 2002

SMS keeps the deaf in touch

From: Borneo Bulletin, Brunei - 16 Dec 2002

By Rosli Abidin Yahya
The advancement in information and communication technology such as Short Messaging Service (SMS) has definitely benefitted one group of the less fortunate.

Such technological progress not only makes communication faster and easier but also helps the deaf a lot.

Previously, normal people and the deaf had to learn the sign language to communicate effectively.

Now, the deaf can speak with any normal person through the SMS.

Many deaf people are now communicating with their counterparts as well as the normal people via SMS, even though they are still paying similar charges as the normal users.

Observers felt that the telecommunications company, which offers SMS, should offer a huge discount on the usage of the service by the deaf.

"Maybe a free SMS service for the deaf may be a little bit too much for the mobile phone company but the deaf should be entitled to some sort of discount, say 50 to 75 per cent off the normal charges," said one observer.

To avoid fraud, the mobile phones of the deaf should only have one service, the SMS with vibrating alert. This should be a social obligation for the company in helping the deaf in their cohesion with the community, the observers said.

Observers also suggested that there should be some sort of legislation to protect and help the disabled, including the deaf.

Such an act, they said, should be able to force buildings and public transportation to have more disabled-friendly facilities.

Copyright © 2002 Brunei Press Sdn Bhd. All right reserved.