German deaf people using text communication: short message service, TTY, relay services, fax, and e-mail.

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Nov 16, 2007

An online survey of German deaf people demonstrated that they use text communication through Short Message Service (SMS), e-mail, fax, and telephone typewriters (TTY) to communicate within communities of deaf and hearing people. SMS is used most, with more than 96% of respondents having access to a mobile phone. Most use is intrinsic and directed toward sociability (keeping in contact, and making arrangements with friends and family). However, there is some instrumental use (getting tasks or business accomplished, making appointments, and obtaining information). German survey respondents wanted a better relay service, more connectivity among the various technologies, and full interactivity in making calls by any technology. In comparison with an Australian sample, German deaf people could not rely on extensive relay services connecting people with a TTY to hearing telephone subscribers for calls of either a social or business nature.

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