911 Call

21 09 2007

ASL Video – Approx 4:28 Minutes Long

Grant discussed about emergency 911 calls that he had bad experience from recent incident.

He mentioned that last week, he saw “hit and run” a car accidents near my house. He was ready to make 911 calls, but he could not do it – he has no way to call 911. Lucky he and neighbor stopped by their house and found out they knew about it.

He also talked about his two experiences with 911 calls.

He was mowing the front lawns during the day and saw a man hit by big branches when he is cutting the tree. (Elderly couple lives there) He ran into his house and makes 911 calls thru his TTY Modem – his only source to make calls. (He hardly used TTY machine for years) Unfortunately, he has difficult time reach 911 dispatcher center, then he ended up got TTY machine from a garage to make call. He was too late, someone already called.

Few years later, he saw small fire at a huge trash bins by public school. He was middle of nowhere except houses and school itself. He was ready to make 911 calls, but he really cannot call – it has to be TTY or voice. Five minutes later, another vehicle passed by and called 911 right away.

Again, he was disappointed; he cannot even make simple 911 calls from his cell phone. (Whether it is Blackberry, Sidekick or Treo), He expressed, we should have an alternative such as emergency call thru emails, AIM or SMS. How can we make it possible? Do we have this kind service in another area already?

Grant W. Laird Jr.

Is Xbox 360 Deaf Friendly Machine?

19 09 2007

ASL Video – Approx 2:57 Minutes Long

Grant talked about Xbox 360 console game machine but is it deaf friendly machine? He would love to know if anybody have it, too.
Apparently, most of the features are obviously deaf-friendly except few things. Read on.

1. Playing Xbox Live (online via Internet against other players) is probably one of the most disadvantages out there. Most hearing players use headset to communicate each other even it is not required. Text messenger is optional but making the message thru controller is pain in the butt. (You can use your Hotmail or MSN account.)

2. They are selling messenger (mini keyboard) add-on to wireless controller (Optional – $30 dollars) but he thinks its waste because hearing players probably won’t bother doing it anyway. Also, they have Live Vision Camera (Optional – $30 dollars) – he’s not sure if it will benefit but each player must have gold membership to have webcam capability. ($99 a year; they have monthly, quarterly plan as well)

3. Few games like F.E.A.R. game doesn’t support subtitle. Many racing games doesn’t support subtitle but it wasn’t too bad since all we do is playing the race game. You can look up http://www.deafgamers.com for more list which games support subtitle. Bonus: You can download demo game to check out before you purchase the game.

4. DVD movies (Not downloadable movies) can be watch with subtitle. Obviously, closed captioning will not work at all. Optional: HD DVD Player do support subtitle as well.

5. You can retrieve virtually any pictures, videos, and music thru another networked computer with Windows-based Zune program or Media Center Edition. (Neat stuff – you can watch vlog thru Xbox 360 (hard drive or memory card) machine but not thru Internet like DeafRead.com; Perhaps someday)

6. According to Windows Vista Blog, they said Media Center Edition will expand in near future including Internet TV shows with advertising-supported. This is where he asked about captioning – they replied saying it will happen in future.

7. Downloadable movies, video clips, etc. (Video Marketplace) doesn’t support subtitle or caption at all. This is one of the biggest disadvantages.

8. General features on Xbox 360 dashboard is not a problem.

For more information about Xbox 360, click here.

To view more vlogs, click here.

Grant W Laird Jr