Letter: Technology for hearing

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The Independent Online
Sir: Kevin Carey's article on voice- activated computer technology spells out the advantages for people with dyslexia, but omits to mention one significant group which might also benefit.

Deaf people will undoubtedly reap the rewards of advances in computer technology. Real-time transcription systems such as Palantype, the system used by Lord Ashley in the House of Lords to follow debates, have been a great step forward.

The potential of voice-activated systems, transcribing the spoken word on to a screen, will have limitless applications for deaf and hard-of-hearing people across the spectrum of work and leisure.

Just as text-telephones, and soon video phones for sign-language users, have allowed communication barriers to come crashing down, so the development of CD-Rom and voice-activated systems will bring equality a step closer for Britain's deaf community.

Yours faithfully,

STUART ETHERINGTON

Chief Executive

Royal National Institute

for Deaf People

London, WC1

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