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September 14, 2004

Hearing-Impaired Using Mobile Phones And SMS.AC Services

From: SMS.AC Services - Sept 14, 2004


Text and Multimedia Messaging are Presenting New Opportunities for the Disabled

SAN DIEGO- The ability to hear is no longer a prerequisite for utilizing mobile phones. Text messaging is so simple, quick and affordable that mobile phone users are utilizing it with greater frequency-- even those that are hearing impaired. The mobile data communication company that is host to the largest community of mobile phone users in the world today announced that a growing number of members with hearing disabilities are utilizing products and services (

"People with hearing challenges want the same access as the rest of us-- anytime, anyplace connectivity to the people, information and entertainment that are important," said Michael Pousti, chairman and chief executive officer at "Text and multimedia messaging are making this a reality for our users all over the world."

Of 43,248 users that were recently polled via the Company's web site ( and through the handsets of opted-in participants, 15.4% percent said that they know someone that is hearing-impaired and is using a mobile phone for textual communications. This figure is up from an identically worded March 2003 survey that garnered 39,213 responses. In that survey, 4.8% of participants knew of someone with a hearing disability that was also text messaging.

"Only recently has it become possible for those with significant hearing impairment to utilize mobile phones as an effective means of communication," said Alison Grimes, Director of Audiology, at Providence Speech and Hearing Center in Orange, California. "Technology and mobile-related services are creating new opportunities for those with hearing impairment."

Each month, an approximated 1 million join smsClubs ( The clubs can be described as mobile chat rooms, with topics ranging from sports, religion and music, to romance, drinking and even ghosts. Currently translated into nine languages (country specific), smsClubs are text and multimedia-capable. Text messages and photographs can be delivered to photo-enabled phones, virtually anywhere in the world.

Among the more than 100,000 user-created clubs are some that are designed specifically for the hearing-impaired. Clubs like the "ASL students" (United States), "Deaf Club" (Australia), "Mumbai Deaf Group" (India), "Mbombela Deaf Club" (South Africa) and others are keeping even those with disabilities-- always connected. Rebecca Staton, a member of the "ASL Students" smsClub, says she believes that mobile applications like these are bringing together groups that ordinarily might not connect.

Because of the text messaging clubs I use at, I am getting a chance to communicate with new friends, particularly those that have hearing disabilities," said Staton. "My experiences are growing and at the same time, the world is getting a lot smaller-- and that's nice."

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About, Inc. is a mobile data communications company whose proprietary MMSbox technology enables the exchange of text (SMS) and multimedia (MMS) mobile communications across any technology platform and renders them deliverable to virtually any enabled wireless device. A demonstration of MMSbox technology is available at With more than 10 million registered users in 170 countries, is host to the largest community of mobile phone users in the world. The Company offers connectivity to more than 400 mobile networks worldwide. Through its core MMSboxTM technologies,, Inc. enables interoperable, worldwide wireless interaction between network operators, the Internet, enterprises, consumers and application/content developers. Through its global initiatives, is igniting the widespread adoption and use of wireless data. derives revenues from shared revenue relationships with mobile operators around the world, as well as from mobile marketing campaigns, technology licensing, subscriptions, sponsorships and other streams.'s consumer site ( ) is an example of the brandable web interfaces to MMSboxTM technologies available for licensing. To view the corporate web site, visit

Greg Wilfahrt
Executive Vice President & Co-founder, Inc.
+1 (619) 696-7300