deaf peopel can make phone calls @ your library

As you’ve seen me write a zillion times, I pretty much don’t review web sites or web apps that aren’t library specific, but I helped a patron use this one in my library yesterday and it’s worth people knowing about. is a web site put out by MCI that allows deaf and hearing impaired people a web interface to gain access to a relay operator. They type into a chat-like java applet and a specially trained operator then speaks what they type over the phone to whomever they call. There is an extra cool feature where using a video phone people can converse using sign language. A patron can sign to a video phone [for many deaf people this is their first language and English is second] and a relay operator will translate their signs into spoken English. For more information on deaf telecommunication hurdles in the US, I recommend reading A Phone of Our Own: The Deaf Insurrection Against Ma Bell by Harry Lang.