Communication Aids11th February 2015

100 years ago Veditz envisioned the world of videophones

Deaf people solve problems and George Veditz, seemed to have solved the problem of the telephone for deaf people, 100 years ago.

by Jeffrey Beatty

George Veditz, wrote a letter to Alexander Graham Bell exactly 100 years ago today.

I wonder if you could be induced to turn your attention to a sort of television that will do for the eye what the telephone does for the ear. - G.W. Veditz Feb 10,1915

AG Bell declined.

During 1913, Veditz used film as a medium in order to preserve sign language. Veditz saw the benefits of this leap forward when he spearheaded the films. His vision is a way ahead of our time.

Transcript available - Special Thanks to Carol A. Padden, Professor; University of California

These films encouraged us to find our own eyes and hands by empowering Deaf people to control their destiny by standing up for our own American Sign Language and keeping it at the heart at the heart of our community.  

Several influential people of the time, including Bell, viewed deafness as something that should be eradicated. It was believed that with resources and effort they could teach the deaf to speak and avoid the use of sign language, thus enabling their integration within the wider society from which many were often being excluded.

During 2009, I did some research on Veditz for my upcoming iPhone video calling project; I went into this with my eyes open, but when I saw George Veditz's letter to AG Bell, it felt like yesteryear had suddenly become today. I was just holding my iPhone in my hand but didn't realise what had happen to us. Veditz had envisioned the world of videophones!

Reality: Too many hearing people take their hearing for granted. Voice calling - Voice over LTE (VoLTE).  Notice they try to avoid using video calling as they still prefer Audio FaceTime over Video FaceTime. Telecom also took this for granted too…

Now, whilst Deaf people were unable to use one piece of technology, Alexander Graham Bell’s invention - the telephone, Veditz must have known that we would be having videophones today!

"Sign language is the noblest gift God has given to deaf people." ~ George Veditz

Do not take things for granted. What you now hold hole in your hand are your rights! iPhone and other videophones and devices empowers us, allowing us to chat freely and openly with people around the world. Video calling interoperability.

Thank you! Veditz

Thank you! Steve Jobs

Article by Jeffrey Beatty

posted in Technology / Communication Aids

11th February 2015