Our university minicom has broken down and we are considering whether or not to get it repaired (we are happy to do this). Is it still good practice to have this facility, or is email enough to ensure an inclusive approach to deaf people? I would appreciate your advice on this issue.
An university boffin
I find telecommunications for deaf people unbelievably complicated with telecom services being offered, and then dismantled. These days most deaf students and professionals use email and text, but everyone I know still has their old minicom ‘just in case’. Sometimes minicoms are needed by a deaf person to access ‘voice over’ services – but in your case, we are talking about potential deaf students approaching you, rather than the general public? I’m stumped. Maybe a deaf person wants to get in touch about your library or research services too? This week’s guest deafauntie Ann Goldfinch has her own response:
It would be worth getting the minicom repaired. At present there are other alternatives – other forms of technology that Deaf people use to communicate with as and when needed. However, not all Deaf people have access to a computer, or are technologically competent.
I would recommend that you do repair the minicom which will enable these Deaf people to access your services. State clearly in all publicity materials that you have a minicom – people often complain no-one uses their minicom forgetting that they actually have to advertise it! (and know how to use it – ahem!)