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October 27, 2003 Launches Online Community for the Deaf; Brings State-of-the-Art Communication Technology to Deaf Community

From: Business Wire (press release) - Oct 27, 2003

LA JOLLA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 27, today launched the first online community for the Deaf. Featuring state-of-the-art videoconferencing technology, enables the signing community to easily and naturally communicate with each other. is the first service designed to provide Deaf people ease of communication with friends and family using SightSpeed's high-quality videoconferencing software that far surpasses existing technology. People can now have signed conversations with each other that are as close to being in person as you can get with just a PC, web camera and a broadband Internet connection.

"The typical communication patterns and needs of the Deaf community have largely been ignored by providers of video technology, instead they have been driven by the funding sources of the relay services," said Bert Pickell, co-CEO of "Our aim is to provide the best and easiest way for Deaf people to use this technology within the longstanding traditions of the Deaf community. We are building on the important role that Deaf clubs have played within the Deaf community and bringing that into the Internet age. aims to provide a place for Deaf people to socialize with each other and provide educational and entertainment options for the Deaf community, here in the United States and worldwide."

" is thrilled to provide easy-to-use buddy lists and one click ability to start a conversation using the natural language of the Deaf community, eliminating the need to use typed messages to communicate with each other. Finally, Deaf people will have a real-time equivalent to what hearing people have enjoyed for years with the telephone -- natural communication in the preferred language mode," says Pickell.

In addition, will feature the latest in Deaf news and a calendar of events. It also features, which offers members the ability to create their own personal homepage. They can choose news that interests them, send and receive email from their email account, track appointments and search for other members to add to their buddy list. Ultimately, the site will offer workshops and special online video programming all designed for the Deaf community.

Sign-language users with a PC, a high-speed Internet service (such as DSL or cable modem), and a web camera can use Upon signing up for the service, an automatic download of the software will take place and the user is ready to go. Adding people to your personal buddy list only requires knowing their email address (they do have to sign up as well).

"SightSpeed is pleased to be working with to provide a real-time videoconferencing service to the Deaf community," said Brad Treat, CEO of SightSpeed. "Through our high-quality service, Deaf users can leverage the Internet to quickly and easily stay in touch with each other."

About, LLC., LLC is a company formed to utilize cutting-edge technology for the Deaf community in ways that carry the traditions of the Deaf clubs into a new age. was created to provide the Deaf community the easiest way to communicate across any distance. is the brainchild of Bert Pickell, a hearing child of deaf adults, and his longtime friend Scott Nordstrom, who runs Bert's career has always been within the deaf community, working as an educator, researcher and pioneering a camp for the hearing kids of deaf adults (KODA). Combining Bert's talents in sign-language research, with the experience in video-based web sites that Scott's company offers, turned out to be a perfect mix and is now serving its best purpose at For more information, contact's corporate offices at

About SightSpeed

Based in Berkeley, California, SightSpeed offers high-quality, truly real-time desktop videoconferencing software. SightSpeed's software is easy to install and use with standard computers, cameras and a broadband Internet connection. Its revolutionary human perception-based technology is patented and based on over seven years of research at Cornell University. SightSpeed's service is accessible on Internet-connected computers, and can also be licensed for embedded commercial applications. For more information, visit


Schwartz Communications, Inc. (for SightSpeed)
Leslie Johnson, 415-512-0770
or, LLC
Bert Pickell

© Business Wire 2003