Deafblind Telecommunications

Case Studies / Technology

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Person One

• Computer access - Braille
• TTY access - Braille
• Mobile phone access - Braille

Person Two

• Computer Access
• screen reader

Person Three

• Mobile phone access
• large fonts

Person Four

• Computer access
• screen reader
• Mobile phone access
• computer

Person Five

• Phone access
• volume control

Person Six

• TTY access
• Large Visual Display unit

Person Seven

• Phone access
• University



Case Studies

Case Study 1

Adult with acquired deafblindness.  She has a cochlear implant and can hear some speech.  Can still speak but needs Auslan for communication. and has a small amount of functional vision but prefers to read Braille.

Uses a combination of speech, magnification and Braille to maximize functionality and portability.  Has been supported by a blind friend in the configuring and installation of equipment from many different vendors.   The Brailliant is used predominantly to connect to a computer and laptop but can be also used with the mobile phone.  It is tricky to share this device across all communication devices.

“ I prefer emails as I have a good record of my conversations and I am a fast touch typist.  I also quickly get in and out of email using my Braille display. Next I LOVE SMS on my mobile phone and love having this when I am travelling although often I just rely on Magnification or speech as I cant carry the Braille display around with me everywhere.  Thirdly, I like to make phonecalls using the national relay service on MSN as I can look things up at the same time.  Fourthly, my backup is my Braille TTY for when my computer is down and that is the only way to receive incoming calls.  I loved having a braillenote when I was at University as I could read all my study notes on the train. “ 


Telecommunication - Mobile Phone

Product Name

Nokia 6120 Classic

Product Image


Nuance Talks and Zooms Software installed on the Nokia and a
BAUM Brailliant 24 connected via Bluetooth

Text Input

Nokia handset using Talks Zoom. 
Initially I learnt the keypad using a hand held magnifier.

Screen Output

Magnification, Speech, and a Braille output of speech.


No special display colours required

Ring Tone

Uses Vibration only

Initial Setup

Nuance Talks and Braille drivers were downloaded onto a computer and installed on the phone using PC Suite and the help of a blind friend.
Newer versions (7 onwards) of PC Suite are no longer accessible.


All my training was from a blind friend.

Software Upgrades

Downloads and installs upgrade to Nuance Talks via the Memory card on the phone using a Mini memory card USB Adaptor as this is easier than using PC Suite

Phone Applications

SMS, Note and Calendar and File Manager.

Can make a voice call in emergencies.

Connecting to the Mobile network is too expensive but occasionally looks at email if urgent. 

Doesnt use GPS, Music, Books or any other apps


Micro Memory card USB adaptor

Telecommunication - Computer


PC Computer and Laptop


Window Eyes and Brailliant 24


Touch type on QWERTY keyboard


Speech (loudest setting via a headset on my cochlear speech processor) and Braille


Email is most popular and Internet
MSN with friends and using the National Relay
Not yet learnt about Facebook, Twitter


Use Broadband and my blind friend does all the technical stuff.

Also have wireless connectivity at home, at ablelink and at university

Relay Service

Can make phone calls via the Relay service using MSN.  This requires initial registration with a username and password.
Is popular because client can look things up on the computer while on the phone with the relay office.
Cant be alerting to incoming calls via MSN.




Telecommunications - Braille TTY


Krown TTY with Braille Display.

Magniciation AND Braille currently not available on same unit.



This TTY is provided by Telstra as the handset for a fixed line and is provided under the Disability Equipment Program


Using the QWERTY keyboard on the phone. 
All commands are on the Krown TTY. 
Braille input not possible.


Refreshable Braille output of the display in Grade 0 only.  Most Braille devices can output Grade 2 braille which is contracted and quicker to read.

A high degree of Braille expertise is required to read the Braille as it is typed and there is no way to check what has been missed. 


Flashing light and Vibrating alert enabling incoming calls.


Not able to change the LCD Visual display colours


This provides backup when internet is down and client uses it about 5 times a week. 

Relay Service

Can make phone calls to hearing people via the National Relay Service




Telecommunications -  Braillenote

Product Name

Braillenote Computer





Speech and Braille


Keysoft Word, Calendar, Email and Internet.

Client used this braillenote when studying and love its portability and mainly used it to read HTML and Word Documents.


Ethernet connectivity but NOT wireless.


This is very expensive and was provided as a loan from the university.


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