Deaf people and cell phones

An article about how deaf persons benefit from cell phone features in french journal Liberation has caught my interest this morning. Actually there are two important things: SMS (+IM on blackberry) that allows them to communicate and the number/caller display that easily tell them who is calling. This reminds me an australian article about this toopic: Everyone Here Speaks TXT: Deaf People Using SMS in Australia and the Rest of the World by Mary R. Power and Des Power in Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education 9:3 2004:

This article examines the extent to which Short Message Service (SMS) messages are breaking down communication barriers among deaf people and between deaf and hearing people. It is predicted that deaf texters will use SMS to increase the bonds between themselves in deaf communities, creating new opportunities to develop relationships, understanding, and intimacy with those not physically present. The most exciting question raised by this article is whether those kinds of relationships, understanding, and intimacy will develop to the same extent with hearing colleagues, friends, and intimates.

The article in Liberation also shows how the SMS syntax is different since some persons first think in sign language then translate it in french and finally in SMS ("en langage texto" as french people says):

Recevoir le texto d'un sourd peut surprendre. La syntaxe est approximative, les bouts de phrase parfois en désordre. Ainsi celui qu'envoie Yohan, 24 ans, qui passe un bac pro informatique : «Après midi qu'est ce que je peux te voir après midi 14 h ?» Des incohérences inévitables, selon Hamadi Abid, directeur du Centre d'éducation du langage pour enfants malentendants (Celem), à Paris : «Les sourds sont privés de l'apprentissage du langage, alors ils approchent l'écrit avec un décalage énorme.» Et comme l'analyse Pierrette Pouliquen, mère d'une petite fille sourde et traductrice de Yohan, «ils pensent en langue des signes, puis essaient d'écrire en français. Alors cela donne des textos compliqués, un peu à l'envers».

The 3G however seems to be a failure (bad transmission, need to hold the cameraphone in one hand...).