Sunday, April 01, 2001

State introduces regional video conferencing for deaf

The Associated Press

        LOUISVILLE — Many hearing-impaired residents expressed excitement on Friday when state officials unveiled new technology that will allow them to communicate through video.

        During a reception at the Center for Accessible Living, state officials unveiled regional video conferencing stations in Louisville, Florence, Owensboro, Danville and Frankfort.

        “It's wonderful,” said Gerry Gordon-Brown, a hearing-impaired person who tested the technology on Friday. “If I had one of these at my house, I'd never get anything else done.”

        Each computer station is equipped with a camera, video software and an audio hookup to allow communication between people at each station or with those who have the equipment in their homes or offices.

        The purpose of the Deaf Access Stations is to help the deaf communicate with state agencies, said Bobbie Beth Scoggins, of the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. With the technology, a state employee who is not deaf could go to a station, meet with an interpreter and tap into the video conferencing system. The employee could communicate with a deaf person, either by reading captions on the screen or listening to the interpreter.


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- State introduces regional video conferencing for deaf