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ATU355 Podcast-Apps that every person who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing must have

>>Greg: Hi. This is Greg Gantt. I am the Community Outreach Director for InTrac Relay Indiana and this is your assistive
technology update.>>Wade: Okay you guys today we’re doing something super cool and a
little bit different than we have done in the past. If you looked at the
headline of the episode, you know that we’re going to talk about apps that are
important to people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and although we’ve been
transcribing our shows for a long time today is the first time we’re going to
do an ASL or American Sign Language primary interview on our audio podcast.
So I’m asking your permission if I mess this up we can they have to do it again
sometime but we’re learning a few things as we
go along here. So I reached out to one of my friends Greg Gantt who is with Indiana
Relay here in Indianapolis, Indiana and said Greg could you come in and talk
with us a little bit about apps that are important for people who are Deaf or
Hard of Hearing and he said yeah we can do that. So we started thinking about the
logistics of an ASL primary interview today and we thought we need to do a
couple of things we will obviously have the transcript of the show released at
the time or very shortly after the show comes out. We’re also going to have a
YouTube video that shows Greg interviewing in ASL primary. So if you
want to see a ASL or that’s your primary language go to the links in the show
notes to the YouTube video and you can see us in-studio and get the ASL version
of what we’re doing. I will edit the interview just a little bit there may be
some silence in the interview as we do the– as we do the interpreting process
so I made a little bit of that out, but really you won’t know because you’re
hearing it now post edit and also we are joined today by Andy Roark who’s
providing interpreting services so thank you for being with us
Andy. He will be voicing for Greg today. Okay I think that’s the housekeeping
stuff now I can actually conduct an interview so first and foremost Greg
thank you for coming and being in our studio today we’re so excited to have
you.>>Greg: oh thank you too. Thank you for the invitation and the opportunity to be
here and to be able to share information on communication technology for Deaf and
Hard of Hearing people. That’s just a pleasure to be here.>>Wade: So We’re excited to have you. Um one of the first questions I want to know is Greg people
don’t know you and I’ve known you for a number of years now, but tell us a little
bit about you your background and what you do for a living and then we’ll get
into apps and technology here in a mintue.>>Greg: Oh sure. I am I grew up here in Indiana
I’ve lived here my whole life I attended Gallaudet University where I majored in
business administration. After that I worked within the Deaf community. I
worked at Deaf Community Services for seven years and different capacities and
then I worked for the state Deaf and Hard of Hearing services as a program
director. I worked for Sprint Relay when Relay first began in 1990. I worked for
Sprint and worked there for about 10 or 11 years and then from there I went to
my current position as community relations outreach for InTrac, which is
an agency that provides Relay Indiana services and has for the past 11 years.>>Wade: So Greg not everybody in our audience is going to be familiar with Relay and
those kind of things can you tell us just a quick piece about what a relay
service is and does.>>Greg: Sure a relay service is it’s a catch-all term for a lot of different services. There are relay services out there that
provide technology access for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing people or speech
impaired people – who use regular telephones. When the Americans with
Disabilities Act or the ADA a was enacted in 1990 we had technology at the
time called a TTY or TDD which was a teletype device, that was a godsend back then. It enabled us in the Deaf community to be able to make pone calls through a third person who worked as a Relay operator. They would read what we typed and then they would voice that to a hearing person
from the hearing person. That was great back then, but as technology changes and evolves, there are different forms of Relay. Now we have what’s called video relay services and we also
have voice recognition relay and so forth. Again, for purposes of Relay services, they are to provide
communication access between a Deaf and Hard of Hearing or speech impaired
person to a hearing person via telephone.>>Wade: I want you to think back about the first time an app or technology made a really big impact on
your life tell about that the first time you went, “Wow! This technology is a
game-changer” Greg: Talking about apps- and may be a way to explain that is what what really impacted technology was text messaging. Originally there were these
Wintel devices, it was a text only pager that was a game changer for the Deaf community. Everybody got them. Over time, and now those things have fallen into apps. I would say for a signing deaf person, FaceTime definitely has been the big game changer. It’s visual, you can see
each other signing. That really changed the game and led to a lot of technologies and other
apps that go along with a video for people who sign.>>Wade:I know that in the world of assistive technology the iPhone has made a huge impact on people with disabilities but I
wonder where that fits in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities. Does the
phone that’s a smart phone whether it’s an iPhone or Android,
I don’t really care, but are there things about a smartphone by itself really
really important?>>Greg: yeah smartphones whether it’s enough high phone or an
Android I think is one of the biggest game changers not just in our lives
earing lives as well necessarily leveled the playing field but it’s made it
really close of the game it’s closed that communication gap and smartphones
on TTY rely on interpreters and there’s and it made that very pronounced very
noticeable but with texting with smartphones people don’t know that I’m Deaf. If I’m walking texting somebody or if I’m using my phone just as anybody else
would. With more and more apps that are coming out the videos apps the video apps that are coming out. speech recognition apps, all of these things have really leveld the playing field and close the communication gap.>>Wade: When you talk about just the smartphone in general, I get that. I also have a number of Deaf friends that
I hear with on social media and I’ve experienced in that, because I don’t sign my level of engagement with those friends changes on
Facebook and other social media platforms because of that more level
playing field. Has that been your experience too?>>Greg: I would definitely vouch for that. Because with Facebook or Instagram or any other social media outlets, it doesn’t matter if you are Deaf or hard of hearing. I end up talking more with hearing people, where before I wouldn’t have. I have friends who are heavily involved with modeling club that builds model and able to communication with people all over the world.
builds model evil – Kaminiwi So, yeah Facebook, Instagram all those
social media outlets have really changed the game.>>Wade: so let’s talk about apps. We said we were going to talk about a number of apps that every person who’s
Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing you should either have or know about so let’s
just start going through those give me an app that you think every person who’s
Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing should either have or know about.>>Greg: Okay I can categorize them into two different categories for signing or Deaf people or Deaf or hard-of-hearing people
who don’t sign. For signing Deaf people I think important as we’ve already mentioned is
FaceTime really change the game there’s apps that are for video relay purposes
where I can I can open up and I can call either somebody signs directly or I can
go through a relay service to talk to somebody who does assign so I don’t have
to sit here or have a standalone unit in front of me and a webcam I can call you
Wade from my phone just with the built-in camera that’s there. There are
three companies that provide video relay there’s Sprint convo and not Spring
I’m sorry. Z video Relay Service , Convo and Sorenson. Those are the three companies
or three major companies that provide video relay service and they provide
apps for that a fourth technology like that would be like FaceTime also an app called
Glide. The ironic thing about Glide when that first came out people who invented Glide envisioned it
for hearing people to talk to each other and they were shocked that the Deaf community really grabbed it and took
it as a main app to the point where the Glide administration had been involved with the Deaf community for the past few years to get
feedback just to the app. If your not familiar with Glide, it is a video where you can record yourself and sent it via message. It is not live but is rather a video that I can send to somebody else it’s rather a video message that I can
send to somebody else and then if you have Glide you can open it up see it and
then you can respond back. There is another similiar app called Marco Polo, it is a little bit newer
and Deaf people now are kind of going to both. I have them both on my phone
there’s yeah we mentioned FaceTime Snapchat is another one but that
typically be is typically for the younger generation I don’t use snapchat
as often but I do monitored snapchat and some of its possibilities but those are
pretty much the apps for the signing Deaf community. For people who are hard
of hearing we have a technology called CapTel and there’s an app that where you
can make a to a hearing person for hard-of-hearing people who can speak for
themselves but they can’t hear over the phone so when the hearing person
responds back it will have a voice recognition with a readout so they can
read the captioning there’s also another app for those who still prefer to type
through the relay service and there’s Sprint IP relay which is an app that you
can download on your phone to use the the good old typing back-and-forth
technology there are less and less stand-alone videophone units and more
and more apps that are coming out for your smart phones or your ipads for your
tablet’s CapTel still has some stand alone units for for people who
still prefer to use those.>>Wade: excellent cool so those apps are all specific to
interpersonal communication those kind of things are there any other
apps that you find that that you use every day related to to your deafness or
your sign language use that are important?>>Greg: Every morning with my cup of coffee I
get on different news outlets to see what’s going on in the world. There
are Deaf news websites. There’s one called the Daily Moth which is news
presented in American Sign Language so I do take a look at those but for me
personally I use apps the that I just mentioned for communication other people
do you know catch up keep up on Facebook and things like that and of course there
are games Scrabble which I like to play.>>Wade: do you play Words with Friends?>>Greg: exactly.>>Wade: send me a request. I’ll play you. You’ll win because I’m horrible at it, but I like to play.>>Greg: I’m equally horrible.
have several friends who are starting to question my my word knowledge.>>Wade:
so Greg where do you learn about apps? is this word of mouth, people talking about it. Is there a website that you to to? >>Greg: I learned about it to a variety of
different ways in my line of work I am often on the cutting edge of technology
that’s coming out for deaf people and communications and in my past jobs too
with sprit so I kind of know what’s on the horizon and what’s coming down the
pipeline however I also do learn from friends and through the grapevine Marco
Polo I didn’t know about until a friend of mine told me about it
so yeah this combination of both what was the other part of that questions are
websites or places you go online to look for them if you?>>Greg: I don’t think there are
any specific websites that are dedicated to Deaf apps that I’m aware of but again
Deaf people are very resourceful and we just find ways to navigate life
especially through Facebook sharing and things like that.>>Wade: It’s interesting you
mentioned Marco Polo my 21 year old daughter and my wife and her friends are
all starting to do Marco Polo so I have it on my phone as well and I get
requests but so far I’ve been ignored and I just happened to be responding to
them but I see that coming up as being more popular as well.
>>Greg: yeah for sure.>>Wade: so great what’s on your wish list for an ideal app? whether
it is Deaf related or not what is your number one wish for an app that would
really make a huge difference in your life?>>Greg: for me it’s a device or technology that
I can bring with me to where I can interact- an no offense to Andy but where I can interact with you dirctely without
having to have an interpreter or a third person. Bless all the
interpreters that are out there that are working but a lot of times that third
person can be disorienting most of the time hearing people are communicating
one-on-one and when you pull in a third person some people are fine with it
but other people aren’t. It can be awkward and uncomfortable so it would
just be nice if you and I could communicate directly without having to
use an interpreter. I’ve seen some some technology out there
at different conferences. It’s a hologram where you would have kind of an
interpreter in hologram form but it’s still in its extreme infancy but there
is potential there and there’s the idea there that you’d be able to pull up an
interpreting hologram so you and I would be able to see the the hologram signing
so there’s there is that. Another thing would be a voice to text
technology where you can just talk and it would instantly recognize what you’re
saying now the question is how would my signing be recognized to have voice so
there’s work being done out there to be able to interpret from
signing into voice. There are people who have had the the monitors on their
bodies as they’re signing. Using technology like that to
capture signing. My dream would be the ideal app whatever it looks like would
be something that would enable you and I to communicate directly without having
to use an interpreter.>>Wade: it might be worth a quick piece of
conversation here. We don’t call it language translation right is called interpreting. It’s called interpreting for a reason because it’s not directly 1 to 1. If we have audience members who are
familiar with how American Sign Language works it’s not simply the same as reading a transcript or a one-to-one
Part of the reason it’s hard to make an app that does that is
because there’s a human touch, right? There’s a linguistic piece in there that
needs to happen so tell me just a little about that, if you would.>>Greg: Yeah and you bring up a
very valid point what I just stated for that one-on-one communication and if
it’s somebody that I know that I have a business relationship with or familiar
relationship with personally yeah there’s that but then if there’s a
bigger audience if there’s more than one person you know you might need an
interpreter. If I have a doctor’s appointment and we’re talking
about some medical terms maybe having an interpreter there would be more ideal
than trying to navigate or try to capture all of those medical technologies.
Mental health counseling depending on the situation but a
presentation where there’s an audience and to be able to have an interpreter
reflect the tone of the speaker is a very valuable- that human touch. That’s something that you can never get rid of. It will always have to be an
option down the road.>>Wade: This morning in our
interaction before we started recording is a good example. You know I sign just a
tiny bit and I was able to figure out you wanted some coffee and
I was able to get that and greet you and those kind of things and you and I know
each other and have for a long time so we can sort of get by in that way with
my limited sign but for this interview no way. We absolutely have to have an
interpreter so I think that’s a pretty good example that we’ve just kind of
lived out this morning.>>Greg: exactly.
>>Wade: another quick technology. Is there a technology that is
almost there that is getting pretty good? Is there any stuff that they think is almost a game
changer? >>Greg: there’s a lot of technology out
there but there are other things that
could be tweaked or improved upon. Closed captioning for example I mean it’s such
an important tool that we use but it’s not 100% accurate. There’s so many shows
or commercials that aren’t captioned or the captioning doesn’t work correctly.
Sometimes the captioning is delayed. I mean we’re in 2018 and you know we can
put a man on the moon but we still can’t figure out a way to fix you know how to
caption things correctly. In an ideal situation everything would be
captioned all TV shows everything and I’m sure we’re going to get there I’m
sure eventually we’ll get there and it’s the same with the Internet too.
When I’m looking on the internet there’s so many wonderful things that close the
communication gap but at the same time there are things that don’t close the
communication gap at all because Internet videos are not captioned there
are some that are and I’ve noticed some improvements where there is a closed
captioning option but we’re not there yet. Looking back to
before internet before the ADA yeah we’ve definitely come a long way go.>>Wade: I think the format we’re using today is
an example of that I mean podcasts there aren’t a lot of deaf-friendly
transcribed podcasts out there and we do our best to make sure that we are
approaching that as appropriately as we can but I think that’s another example
of an area content. Or set me
straight if I’m wrong about that but there aren’t podcasts right that are
Deaf friendly?>>Greg: You’re absolutely right Podcasts are are foreign to a Deaf person’s vocabulary. I don’t think most
Deaf people even know what a podcast is because it’s audio base and most of the
time you know there may be a few there are a few out there that I commend
like NPR they have transcribed podcasts which I do take a look at but you’re
right podcasts are foreign to Deaf people and I’m so excited to be in
this situation now to have this opportunity to be part of a podcast so
not just for the hearing people out there who are listening but for deaf
people to realize that we can make this work too.>>Wade:
it’s still a fairly new word in English is there a sign for podcast?>>Greg: there is not
we fingerspell it. Sometimes we say radio podcast but now
we have to finger spell the word podcast.>>Wade:
what’s your advice for somebody who’s Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing and just doesn’t
want to embrace technology maybe as somebody who’s very young and isn’t
interested in technology or somebody who might be older but if people just say
now I’m Deaf or I’m Hard-of-Hearing and I’m not into technology what what advice
would you have for them?>>Greg: Again, there are groups of people young blow me away with their knowledge of technology I
mean cell phones have been part of their entire lives and it’s an option at their
disposal and it’s always been and there are different ways people can
communicate some people prefer snapchat some people for texting it just depends
on the person’s personal preference. I’m pretty much limited in what what I’m
willing to do but then there are those Deaf people who either aren’t interested
in technology and need to learn about it or there are people who maybe are older
in age who are trying to learn technology otherwise if they don’t
they’re gonna be left in the dust because technology is just advancing so
rapidly so yeah just basic understanding of
technology texting at the very least. I know some people who don’t text at all
they still would rather use their old TTY. I don’t know how much
more you can coach them into using technology.>>Wade:
I’m sure there are people who are going to hear this interview and be excited
about what we’re doing today and they’re going to want to reach out to you do you
have any contact information that you’d like to provide so that people can reach
out to you learn more about you ask questions those kind of things?>>Greg:
Oh sure absolutely first of all for more information on Relay Indiana you
can go to our website and there is lots of information on relay services. So if you want to reach me directly, you can reach me at 317-542-3624.>>Wade: Thank you so much for bing on the show today
us walk through the logistics of working Thanks for helping us walk through the logistics of working through AST and interpreting and those kinds of things. Thank you also, Andy Rork for interpreting and voicing for us today.>>Greg: Thank you too, Wade, for this opportunity to educate both the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the hearing
communities about these issues. Thank you so much wait for the opportunity.

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