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May 13, 2003

Devices Popular with the Deaf

From:, FL - May 13, 2003

My colleague Larry Larsen loves his " Sidekick ." It's a phone, an e-mail client, and a web browser. It also has instant messaging and even a camera attachment. It is about one-and-a-half times the size of a pager. Larry spotted this article about how these kinds of devices are becoming very popular with people who are deaf. says :

The SideKick's popularity is the latest sign that the communication revolution that began with e-mail and instant messaging isn't slowing for the estimated 20 million people in the United States who have limited or no hearing—it's accelerating as Internet connections get faster and go wireless. Technologies such as faster cellular data networks and 802.11 wireless standards have gained popularity in the last two years, and while many businesses are unsure just how to employ the new tools, deaf consumers are taking the lead.

Case in point, wireless companies say it's common to see students at Gallaudet University, a school for the deaf in Washington, D.C., instant messaging each other instead of only using sign language when they gather in groups.

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