Some of you may remember Roger Ebert who was a popular movie critic. A few years ago he lost his jaw to cancer and consequently lost his ability to speak. Through technology, he now “speaks” and expresses himself.
His video “Roger Ebert: Remaking My Voice” from his presentation at TED is amazing to watch. I embeded the video below from the TED.com website because they provide captions if you need them.
And why post it here? Roger Ebert is not deaf. However, he can not speak. I was thinking during the video, “perhaps he’ll learn ASL now” and perhaps he will if there are people in his life that can read ASL.
I also thought, “I wonder if the Deaf could/would use this technology”. Perhaps. But one difference to remember: Ebert can hear the output voices so he can evaluate his own vocal communications. Though Deaf could create the output, they could not evaluate it’s effectiveness.
Either way, technology is an incredible thing and it is bringing people together faster than ever before.