Visual Telecommunications Review

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Telecommunications,
But Were Too Confused to Ask

Video Review by Chris Wixtrom     © 1999

Visual Telecommunications
VHS, 40 minutes, available in open or closed-captioned versions
From the "Now You See It" series on Visual Technologies for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People, a "home brew" videotape series by Gallaudet University's Technology Assessment Program.
Performed under a contract with the University of Delaware's Rehabilitation Engineering Center on Augmentative Communication.
Funded by the US Department of Education through its funding of both the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research and Gallaudet University. This videotape is one product of the project: "Innovative Technologies for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People" conducted at Gallaudet University. ©1992 Gallaudet University.
Project Director: Judy Harkins, Ph.D.; Producer/Writer: Barbara Virvan; Directors/Editors: Barbara Virvan, Yoon Lee

Admittedly, it is a rather dry topic. Learning about the inner workings of telecommunication equipment will probably never knock your socks off, but this video makes the process just a little easier and more fun than you may have expected. With this clearly signed, spoken, captioned and sometimes humorously dramatized presentation, you will learn the difference between "tty" and "TDD," "Baudot" and "ASCII," and many more mysterious telecommunication terms. You will also gain a better understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of each type of equipment, helping you choose among them if you are planning a purchase for home or office.

For persons who best understand American Sign Language, this video is truly accessible, because the main presentation is signed by Yoon Lee (with voice-over and captioning provided). The "heavy" technological information is interspersed with funny dramatizations, such as a wild group of musicians interfering with a TDD call and a young woman waiting so long for response to her call that her hair grays and she is shown holding a walking cane.

Although the video was developed in 1992, and it does not include updated information about technological innovations, the material on the video is still useful. If you need to learn about telecommunications used by deaf and hard of hearing people, you'll do well to start with this videotape.

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