Feb 152012

Released 2/7/2012 by Media Access Australia


A yet-to-be-released iPhone app called Deaftel will let people who are Deaf, hearing or speech impaired make phone calls to hearing people without a third person acting as a relay operator. By providing a service where a person’s voice is converted to and sent as text, the Deaftel app will improve the ability for Deaf and hearing impaired users to communicate on iOS devices.

Developed for iOS, the mobile operating system for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, the app uses similar technology to Siri, the in-built voice recognition software assistant for the iPhone 4S.

Deaf or hearing impaired users can type a message which is then converted to a voice message and delivered to the hearing person on the other end. Hearing users are then able respond verbally and voice recognition technology will convert and send the message to deaf or hearing impaired users as text.

The Deaftel app will be a more private alternative to relay operator services, such as the National Relay Service, which are required for Deaf, hearing and speech impaired people to make calls.

The app is currently in testing phase and has not yet been released. According to the Deaftel website the service will be available to users who have US, Canada or UK phone numbers.

– Thanks to NVRC, Fairfax