Over five years ago when I first heard about this company I was impressed with the company's founder, Jason Curry, believing that technology is the answer to help level the playing field among those with hearing loss as seen in their mission statement on their main webpage.
Our Mission: To be the premier provider of innovative technology solutions that shatter communication barriers and empower people with the freedom to communicate with anyone, anywhere and at any time.Note their mission is to become the premier provider of innovative technology solutions. The company is all about innovation. A bootstrapper with the goal in mind to increase that communication freedom with anyone, anywhere and at any time.
Back then I realized just how serious and positive this company was in their goal to succeed I decided to blog about the company's ongoing development and watched it grow starting from 2005. Because I, too, believe that technology is the answer and that us deaf and hard of hearing people are in a better position to determine which kind of technology would be beneficial.
Technology continues to improve and expand to the benefit of those with hearing loss whether the person has a mild hearing loss or is profoundly deaf. When it comes to technology there are very few companies in the United States run by a deaf CEO. Or a company that patent, design, make and distribute their own technology products and at the same time employ deaf, hard of hearing and hearing employees. sComm, Inc fits that bill nicely.
Back in 2007 I spoke at the first ever vlog/blog convention at Gallaudet University with a conviction believing that technology will continue to increase communication access between deaf/hh and hearing people. And it will. You can see a video of my speech in Gallaudet University's video catalog (or click here to watch the video in external mode that comes with a time stamp which I recommend doing so). My speech comes with an ASL interpreter. I am introduced at the 1 minute 54 second time mark along with other bloggers. My speech begins at the 29 minute and 14 seconds time mark and ends at the 45 minute and 35 seconds mark). And a side note about this is that I was the only deaf/hh person to have spoken using my voice and I explained my reason for doing so in my 2007 blog piece. The summary of my technology speech on "Futuristic Classrooms" covered questions like:
• Is it about the ability to interact?
• Is it about communication needs and preferences?
• Is it about accessibility when it comes to the free flow of information whether coming from a computer or human being?
• Is a “futuristic classroom” on campus only?
• How about off campus?
• Is it always about classrooms? What about outside of classrooms? Can learning take place outside of the classrooms?
When it comes to technology for all deaf and hard of hearing people such a technology ought to be seamless and intuitive while providing a completely accessible and transparent communication medium.
One thing to realize about technology is that it is moving faster than ever before. Technology and performance doubles every 2 years. Technology will play a major role in how deaf and hard of hearing people will interact with anyone on and off campus, and any place whether it's for business or pleasure. This can make difference on improving the odds for deaf owned businesses to thrive and compete with anybody since many businesses do not survive past the 5 year mark. For any deaf owned companies in the technology business sector they must plan 2 to 4 years in advance and take into consideration future technology not quite ready for the market but has been demonstrated such as the flat screen panel that’s thick as a playing card you can put up on a wall. Planning ahead is about surviving.
Area of technology that is growing fast.
• More efficient (rather than faster) computer chip such as IBM's Core chips (which are very small parallel processing architectures and that parallel processing does a better job on multitasking).
• More memory for the buck such as flash or thumb drives that can be purchased at the gigabit scale.
• Cell phones such as qwerty phones seen in Blackberry phones with camera lens for video and picture taking.
• Internet connection and the meshing of video, music, and even video phone on demand.
• Voice recognition – it is widely being used today. Many cell phones have voice recognition features built into them.
• ASL or sign language recognition later on down the road.
• The integration of technology that will improve the seamless communication interaction between deaf, hearing, hard of hearing and culturally deaf people
UPDATE: Just wanted to add some additional information about my vlog/blog conference speech by including some video time stamps during a question and answer session. The first one begins at the 1 hour, 15 minute and 10 second mark and ends at the 1:19:09 mark. Another question and answer starts at the 1:23:57 mark and ends at 1:27:45 mark. And the last one at the 1:34:00 mark.