When I went deaf in 1988 there was no way for me to communicate with my wife or others once I left the house. Even at home calling others was almost impossible. I had a device called a TTY but the person I called also had to have one to communicate with me. They cost about $500 and could only be used with deaf people so they were far and few between. I could use a thing called the Deaf Relay service. How that worked was that I would call a special operator with my TTY and they would call the person I wanted to talk with. The operator would then listen to the other person and type for me on my TTY. The inconvenience of doing this and having another person listening in on the conversation made this method of calling pretty much a rare thing. Since my wife is hearing I usually depended on her to make all my calls. But that did not solve the being away from home and communicating with her.
It would take about twenty years before I could call my wife. I had to wait until text messaging on cell phones was finally developed before that happened. Now with my cell phone set on vibrate mode I frequently get messages from my wife and others while on the road (but I don’t actually text on the road. I pull over to do that. 🙂
Text messaging and close captions have indeed made my deafness more tolerable. More on close captioning next time.
The picture here has nothing to do with the post. It is of a college room mate I had for one semester in the 1960’s. His name was Knute and he came over from Norway via a freighter to go to the engineering school at Purdue. Knute learned enough English that he was somewhat able to communicate but with broken English. Of course he taught me how to say a bunch of dirty words in Norwegian and I taught him the equivalent in English :). I think he went back to Norway after he graduated ? Like so many other “lost” friends I wander how he is doing now.
And the journey goes on…