Question about/for the Deaf :-)

Bill Reese wreese01 at TAMPABAY.RR.COM
Tue Sep 18 14:51:24 UTC 2007

Web 2.0 is tending to exclude the Deaf.  I'm not sure what information 
loss would be represented by that.  Also, nearly every online video that 
provides information is not captioned - in any language, SignWriting 
included.  So I'm not sure if the divide is purely from lack of access 
to the internet.  Once on the internet, there are further divides.

However, I believe there may be a larger issue in the use of the 
internet than lack of information.  Lack of information presumes that 
the information and the act of obtaining that information are 
beneficial, when, in truth, it may prevent an individual from developing 
themselves properly.  As in anything, it may be an individual 
determination as to whether or not internet access is beneficial, 
partially beneficial, or detrimental.  As in the general population, 
benefits may be derived at different ages on different subjects and 
there are problems when there is access to information that isn't 

Because of that and other considerations, such as a blurring of cultural 
identities, a preference to internet access over local responsibilities, 
etc, it may be overly presumptuous to always attribute a negative 
viewpoint to lack of access to internet information.

On the other hand, communication access presented by the internet is 
definitely useful.  Unfortunately, as you are aware, it requires either 
a knowledge of the spoken language to be able to communicate through 
typing or sign language interpreters when using visual communication.  
Signwriting could possibly be a bridge when it's capable of being used 
in machine translations.


Rodrigo Ferreira Bagni wrote:
> Hello,
> I would like some help and I thought I could ask some questions here.  :-)
> Currently I am trying to define a topic of studying to my master of 
> science research on computer science, that is computers :-)
> I have two main corcerns with which I would like to work. The first 
> one is the problems the Deaf faces today in the society and the second 
> one is digital divide.
> Thus I'm trying to combine them. Among the Deaf there are many 
> different personalities, needs, goals, abilities etc; so I don't want 
> to exclude anybody or consider the broader set as possible.
> Digital divide for me is the constraint imposed to someone preventing 
> them from having access to information technology, mainly the 
> internet. Because of it those people cannot, as we can, develop 
> themselves learning with the content available on the internet and 
> most important, they cannot act to change the situation in which they 
> live, using what the internet offers. For exemple, what would have 
> happend with SignWrinting if we didn't have the internet?
> So, based on this I wanted to know, if someone want to help, please  :-)
> What problems do you think there are that prevent the Deaf from 
> effectively using the internet, if there is any?
> Do you think SignWriting is the solution? If it is, is it the only one?
> What about those ones that do not know any sign language and poorly 
> learnt a spoken language (English, French, German, Portuguese, etc). 
> Can the internet help them or they should learn a language first to 
> use the internet?
> If the internet had something more or were somehow different, I am 
> sure the Deaf could use it much better. What would be something more 
> or different?
> Do you think there is anything else that could be done besides working 
> with the internet? Regarding computers, please.
> Thank you very much.  :-)
> Best
> -- 
> Rodrigo Ferreira Bagni
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