Cell Phone Companies Should Accommodate Deaf People with Data-Only Plans!

Posted on 22 October 2008. Filed under: Advocacy | Tags: , , , , , |

Cell Phone Companies Should Accommodate Deaf People with Data-Only Plans!

Fed up with being forced to pay for voice call services that we deaf people cannot use? Or, fed up with being limited to only one or two cell phone companies (Tmobile) that even offer a data-only plan? Fed up with the fact that deaf people usually have to pay more for a data-only plan than hearing people do for a voice-only plan — even though our data-only plan is the functional equivalent?

If this is you, then read on:

Jeffery Stroud recently left the following comment in another post at this blog

URL : http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=28908999596
I’ve set up a (currently small and inactive) group on facebook called “Support Deaf accomodation by Cell Phone Company”. I’m not too sure what the ADA would say about cell phone companies not providing a data-only plan for all of their data-accessible phones for the deafs. That what I intend to find out. (I’m just quite a bit busy right now getting ready to move though so right now I’m just letting peoples knows about this group)

Go check out the new facebook group.

It is pretty easy to register for Facebook if you haven’t done that before. Once you register, you would be able to view the “Support Deaf accomodation by Cell Phone Company” group in Facebook and also join this group. It’s small (with only 30 members so far), but if you alert your friends in the deaf community, or re-post this announcement at your own blog, then it could grow quickly. Group members could then work together to fight for a wider range of choices of cell phone companies for deaf customers.

Thank you to Jeffery Stroud for leaving his comment at my blog.

Help Jeffery Stroud spread the word: link to the new Facebook group from your blog, too; or alert your friends via email.

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Help Improve Cell Phones for Deaf People! (And also for Deaf-Blind People)

Posted on 22 February 2008. Filed under: Advocacy, Announcements, Audism, Deaf-Blind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Ever been frustrated that Sidekick does not have all the features you would like to have as a deaf person? (Or as a deaf-blind person, or a person with other disabilities?) Been frustrated that there aren’t more companies with a “data-only” plan? Wish there were more phones out there with the features that deaf people really need, like an easy-to-type-on interface? Want to see better cell-phone features and services for Deaf-Blind people?

Personally, one feature I’d like to see is the capability of plugging a keyboard into my cell phone. The current keyboard on the Sidekick is okay for SHORT typing. But I refuse to kill my thumbs by typing long messages. And I just don’t do live conversations because thumb typing is so much slower than touch typing. But I would LIKE to be able to do these things. The capability to plug in a light, portable, folding keyboard would give me so much liberation.

Maybe this isn’t a feature you want to see, but maybe there are other things that are very important to you as a deaf consumer.

Well, one research center is gathering information and feedback from all consumers with all disabilities WHETHER OR NOT YOU CURRENTLY HAVE A CELL PHONE. (One of their very important questions is — if you don’t have a cell phone now, why not? If you don’t have a cell phone right now, then this is your chance to explain why.) This information will be used in part to help develop better wireless technologies for deaf people and for people with all disabilities.

If you wish to see past results from their survey, you can read them at:


You can participate in the survey yourself (it takes maybe about 15 minutes) at:


This is your chance to MAKE THE NEEDS OF DEAF CONSUMERS HEARD. (Or the needs of consumers with disabilities in general.) I also hope that deaf-blind people will use the chance to make the needs of deaf-blind consumers known.

If you are very interested in this area, then at the end of the survey you also have the option to express interest in participating in future focus groups or other opportunities to share your feedback as a deaf consumer (or consumer with other disabilities). (Of course you don’t have to do this if you don’t want. You can just fill the survey and be done with it.)

Are there any deaf-blind people reading this?

I’m hailing all deaf-blind people especially because I am sure that deaf-blind people must run into enormous barriers in accessing cell phones. This survey could be your opportunity to express your views.

Remember that you do NOT need to own a cell phone in order to participate in this survey. If you don’t own one because current cell phones are not accessible, then you can say that.

You can also use the comments areas in the survey to suggest features, etc., that would be helpful to you as a deaf-blind person. What design features would make it possible for you to use a cell phone? Tell the people running the survey!

I’m guessing that probably not very many other deaf-blind people have participated in the survey so far. That makes it especially important to recruit more deaf-blind people. If you have any friends who are Deaf-Blind, please do alert them to the survey.

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