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New HumanWare iPhone App to Appeal to Deaf-Blind Individuals

HumanWare, in partnership with Institut Nazareth et Louis-Braille (INLB), has unveiled the HumanWare Communicator, the first multilingual face-to-face conversation app for deaf-blind people. This unique app will help deaf-blind individuals communicate on an everyday basis by connecting a HumanWare Braille device (BrailleNote Apex or Brailliant) with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Now a deaf-blind person can use Bluetooth connectivity to pair their HumanWare Braille device to an iPhone, iPod, or iPad. In the absence of an interpreter, the HumanWare Communicator app then facilitates a conversation. The deaf-blind person converses through the Braille device and hands his or her tethered Apple device to the sighted person who uses the touch screen keyboard to respond. The face-to-face conversation appears in real time on both the refreshable Braille display and the iOS devices' screen.

HumanWare is the leader in digital communication for deaf-blind people, introducing DBC, the first portable face-to-face chat solution in 2008. The system combined the simplicity and portability of the popular BrailleNote with a companion visual interface running on a cell phone. For the first time, a deaf-blind person had portability and independence when having a face-to-face conversation, and since a familiar cell phone keyboard was used, the sighted individual had a very small learning curve to engage in a conversation

"With the popularity and inclusion of assistive technology features in Apple's iOS devices, HumanWare has received a high demand to bring the face-to-face concept of the popular Deaf-Blind Communicator to the popular Apple devices. "The HumanWare Communicator app breaks everyday face to face communication down to its simplest form and will get everyone talking," says Greg Stilson, HumanWare product manager.

The HumanWare Communicator app will be available for standard download from Apple's app store at the end of July 2012. This app marks a major step forward in using mainstream technology to bring everyday communication to the deaf-blind population.

For more apps designed to help individuals with hearing loss, check out "The Best Phone Apps to Check Hearing," "The Best Apps for Captioning," "The Best Phone Apps to Measure Noise Levels" and "The Best Apps for Learning Sign Language." 

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