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Mark Rejhon 09-29-2004 10:29 AM

Benefits of BlackBerry for the Deaf & Hard Of Hearing
 
As I am a hearing impaired individual, there are several benefits of the BlackBerry for the Deaf and for Hard Of Hearing. Most deaf users often go for the cheaper Hiptop/Sidekick because of instant messaging and better color screen. But today's BlackBerries are now much better and more consumer-friendly, with screen quality to match nowadays.
  • Most Stable Wireless Email and SMS
    The BlackBerry is widely known to be one of the best wireless email and SMS device. Emails are instantly received and automatically displayed on the screen pager-style. No need to check email. No need to connect. Email comes in automatically. Much more reliable than Hiptop/Sidekick email, and you receive your emails faster with no delays and no lags like for Sidekick/Sidekick2/old 950.
    Methods of Receiving Email on BlackBerry
    SMS Between BlackBerry and Other Cell Phones

  • Wireless TTY Relay Services Galore!
    Relay services are interpretor-like services that translates voice to text and voice-versa so you can use the thumb keyboard to speak; to make voice phone calls. There are several wireless relay services now exist that works on BlackBerry, including Lormar Logic, AOL Instant Messenger Relay, MCI Wireless IP Relay, and Fuse Wireless. You don't even need to buy a BlackBerry from a deaf provider anymore. No need to get Wyndtell brand; if you remember it. My favourite is MCI Wireless IP Relay, but requires an expensive telnet client called Idokorro Mobile SSH (Configure Idokorro to use hostname "wireless.ip-relay.com" and port "2510" for telnet protocol). You can do relay via WAP, via AIM, via SMS, and via telnet nowadays -- which all are possible on BlackBerry!

  • Voicemail with Automatic Voice-To-Text / Alphanumeric Paging
    Even though most BlackBerries no longer provide paging included, you can still get paging-like services from a third party. The modern service today is a voicemail box that automatically has voice-to-text. This allows you to not need to explain to other people how to call you by relay service; they just call your voicemail and leave a message. And you simply read a transcription of your voicemails.
    More About How To Get Voice-To-Text Voicemail / Alpha Paging

  • Instant Messaging, AOL, MSN, ICQ, IRC, Yahoo
    You can now do instant messaging on today's BlackBerries using VeriChat, WebMessenger and IM+.
    BlackBerry Instant Messaging FAQ

  • Better Vibrate Alert Than Most Phones
    Current BlackBerry models has a very good vibrating alert that vibrates more powerfully than most other cellphones. Vibrate alert works on everything -- emails, SMS, alarms, and calendar appointment reminders!

  • Vibrating Travel Alarm With Snooze Feature
    Your BlackBerry doubles as a vibrating pillow alarm that keeps persistently vibrating until you select Snooze. It is the most reliable travelling vibrating alarm I have ever found; even more reliable than other battery-powered vibrating alarms intentionally manufactured for the purpose of use by the deaf. If you need more powerful vibrating and are worried the BlackBerry will fall off the bed or out of the pillowcase, wear a long sock and slip the BlackBerry inside your sock before you sleep. That'll do the job!

  • Vibrating Appointment Reminder
    Turn your Outlook Calendar appointments into a vibrating appointment reminder. BlackBerry is one of the best vibrating appointment reminders. Great for forgetful deaf people.

  • More Software Than Hiptop/Sidekick
    There is more software for BlackBerry now than for Hiptop/Sidekick, including free software too. And you can even run Nokia/Motorola/Sony/Siemens Java phone software on BlackBerry now too!
    BlackBerry Killer Software Thread
    Midlets: You can use Nokia/Motorola/Sony/Siemens Java apps on BlackBerry!
    BlackBerry Web Browser FAQ

  • More Durable Than Both Hiptop/Sidekick 1 and 2
    BlackBerries are more ruggedized and will resist being dropped by clumsy guys like me. I have dropped my BlackBerry 7280 many times and it has never broken, yet. Even to cement and asphalt.

  • Smaller And Lighter Than Both Hiptop/Sidekick 1 and 2
    The recent models of BlackBerry are smaller and lighter than other wireless handhelds, making it more comfortable to carry around, which is a good bonus.

  • Faster Thumb Typing
    An experienced thumb typist on BlackBerry can easily exceed 50 words per minute after practice if you are already a fast desktop keyboard typist. (On a BlackBerry, it is possible to thumb touch type staring at the screen and not the keyboard, after some practice). The fastest thumb typist went about 84 words per minute on a thumb keyboard, in the Dom Perignon III Contest run by Fitaly Inc.

  • Longer Battery Life Than Both Hiptop/Sidekick 1 and 2
    On most modern GSM-network-based BlackBerries now, you can go away for a long travelling weekend without needing to recharge. 4 days, 5 days are not unusual for moderate always-on usage, 3 days for heavy usage with hundreds of emails and instant messages. Up to a whopping 9 days of very light usage!

  • Better Color Screen On New BlackBerry Models
    If you get a newer BlackBerry model, the Blackberry 77XX series, the 71XX series, or the 7290, the bright color screen is better looking than Hiptop/Sidekick!
Yes, Hiptop/Sidekick is cheaper. But not as good. For more information, see BlackBerry versus Sidekick.

All of this will work on all North American BlackBerries, regardless of who you buy the BlackBerry from. You may have to pay more money to purchase third-party services (i.e. you can get paging, relay, TTY, and voicemail-to-text services from another company separately from the network carrier). But the advantage is that if you ever switch between wireless devices, you can keep your existing services because they work over industry-standard methods such as emails, WAP, SMS, etc.

For more information, please feel free to read the BlackBerry FAQ link below:

Mark Rejhon 02-23-2005 12:09 AM

For more information, about MSN/AIM/ICQ/Yahoo on BlackBerry, see:
BlackBerry Instant Messaging FAQ

For other reasons about BlackBerry advantages, see:
Why BlackBerry?

For a comparision between BlackBerry and Sidekick:
BlackBerry versus Sidekick

.

dew 07-22-2005 02:04 PM

thanks for this post...it helped me out a lot. My daughter is deaf...and this is the ticket for her. Maybe I can call on you for a question or two down the road on this subject.

cooler 01-29-2006 09:05 AM

I am deaf user and would like to know what kind of aol software you use? I have tried Ramble and it has one small negative side is that when it is running in the background and someone aims me, it does not vibrate.

Please share with me your experience.

Thanks!

Mr Pink57 01-30-2006 10:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cooler
I am deaf user and would like to know what kind of aol software you use? I have tried Ramble and it has one small negative side is that when it is running in the background and someone aims me, it does not vibrate.

Please share with me your experience.

Thanks!

I would take a look at webmessenger www.webmessenger.com, this all in one messenger will work with your profiles on your BB, so it will always vib when you have a message.

Only downfall I have seen with the BB vs the Hiptop is the vib alerts, I have a friend who is def and he likes his Hiptop 2 due to different vib alerts. That way he knows what type of message he is getting without actually looking at the device.

pink

Mark Rejhon 02-01-2006 11:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cooler
I am deaf user and would like to know what kind of aol software you use? I have tried Ramble and it has one small negative side is that when it is running in the background and someone aims me, it does not vibrate.

Please share with me your experience.

Thanks!

I faintly remember I got Ramble to vibrate on incoming messages, but since I don't use Ramble anymore, I can't remember how I did it. I think it was via Profiles (if it integrated with Profiles) from the Main Screen instead of directly via Ramble. Not 100% sure.

If your Ramble can't be configured to vibrate, I know that my VeriChat, WebMessenger and IM+ does.

If you need reliability, WebMessenger seems to be the best. A bit hard to configure. You have AIM, MSN, ICQ, Yahoo in one client with several programs, but most of them are pay programs though.

DeafCeo 04-01-2006 02:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Pink57
I would take a look at webmessenger @webmessenger.com, this all in one messenger will work with your profiles on your BB, so it will always vib when you have a message.

Only downfall I have seen with the BB vs the Hiptop is the vib alerts, I have a friend who is def and he likes his Hiptop 2 due to different vib alerts. That way he knows what type of message he is getting without actually looking at the device.

pink


i noticed that a lot of threads has websites url.. so are you implying that if I want to download an application I would have to goto the website in order to get AIM?

Does BB come with iprelay? I know about yahoo but most of my contact are on AOL but that is about to change....

How the billing structure works...... Bec this cat said I would have to get buy the in messaging bundle for $10 to get 1000 text messages.. i like i thought that was part of the data plan? what gives?!?!

Katrina Niolet 04-01-2006 09:14 PM

We are still doing some testing internally right now, but IP relay has released a free dowload version for 4.0.2 and later devices. I like it just as much as the Hiptop2/sidekick2 (i carry one of these around also) version and find it easier to type. Oh, you do HAVE to have the full TCP stack to use it.

Katrina Niolet
[email address]

kurrupt_1 04-02-2006 04:43 AM

With RIMIP-Relay 1.42, I cant seem to type with predictive text or even hit a key twice to get the second letter to spell a word (ex. hello = gello). With IP-Relay 1.0.7 I can type perfectly in the bottom box but the operator does not see what I'm typing. Does anyone have a clue on either version?

titetanium 04-02-2006 05:25 PM

If you use the text version of AIM or Yahoo, you can get IPRelay to work with suretype. For those of you who prefer to do VCO calls, the instant messaging clients will log off if you try to switch to the phone app, so using the text version works nicely. I use this method when doing VCO calls on my cell, especially when I'm on the road. No extra device(s) necessary.

titetanium 04-02-2006 06:43 PM

Wireless Relay Services
 
Mark,

I have read your FAQ's with great interest, as I am deaf. However, I prefer to do VCO calls whenever possible when making phone calls, as I type pretty slow compared to speaking. I'm sure you know how that goes. Anyhow, I'm curious about your statement regarding using the Idokarro Mobile SSH/Telnet client for conducting relay calls. Can this client be used as a hyperterminal client from the BB for direct calling to any of the state relay services, especially in case I need to make a 911 call? Any advice/experience regarding that?

DeafCeo 04-03-2006 12:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by titetanium
If you use the text version of AIM or Yahoo, you can get IPRelay to work with suretype. For those of you who prefer to do VCO calls, the instant messaging clients will log off if you try to switch to the phone app, so using the text version works nicely. I use this method when doing VCO calls on my cell, especially when I'm on the road. No extra device(s) necessary.

SO U CAN DO VCO CALL ON A BLACKBERRY??? I DARN NEARLY FALL OUT OF MAH CHAIR?!?!? ARE U SERIOUS?? CUZ I BEEN LOOKING FOREVER FOR A PHONE THAT COULD DO WHAT I CAN DO WITH A LANDLINE PHONE VCO..

WHAT APPLICATION WOULD ENABLE ME TO USE MY BB AS VCO AND RECIEVE TEXT MSG FROM A RELAY OPERATOR?!?!?

titetanium 04-03-2006 01:42 AM

DeafCeo,

I'm deadly serious, matter of fact, I have done it several times last month. If you have the mobile AIM working, especially in text/sms mode, (I believe this might be t-mobile's strength, I cannot vouch if cingular does the same because t-mobile treats all IM as sms), you will be able to do VCO calls without an additional device.

1) You'll need to add my iprelay to your buddy list in aim, make sure it's in the mobile group.
2) Now, go to aim.com and register your phone nbr and turn on IM forwarding, you'll need that.
3) Send an sms shortcode to 4646 (t-mobile shortcode for aim signon), type your screen name followed by space, followed by your passward, then send.
4) Send sms shortcode to myiprelay to get an operator, and then type 2lvco call from your nbr to hearing party's nbr
5) This is important, you'll need to remain in the messages app, so when the relay operator calls you, press the green button to answer, put the operator on hold, click wheel and then scroll down and click new call, type new nbr. When you're connected to the new nbr, click wheel>join call, then press escape to home screen, click ok if you get a prompt. Then go back to messages, from then on you'll get text msgs from the relay operator, which you'll read then you respond using your voice as if your talking normally. It's a little clunky, but it works. At least I'm using some of those minutes, and not wasting them just because I'm deaf.

Have fun!

Titetanium

DeafCeo 04-03-2006 02:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by titetanium
DeafCeo,

I'm deadly serious, matter of fact, I have done it several times last month. If you have the mobile AIM working, especially in text/sms mode, (I believe this might be t-mobile's strength, I cannot vouch if cingular does the same because t-mobile treats all IM as sms), you will be able to do VCO calls without an additional device.

1) You'll need to add my iprelay to your buddy list in aim, make sure it's in the mobile group.
2) Now, go to aim.com and register your phone nbr and turn on IM forwarding, you'll need that.
3) Send an sms shortcode to 4646 (t-mobile shortcode for aim signon), type your screen name followed by space, followed by your passward, then send.
4) Send sms shortcode to myiprelay to get an operator, and then type vco call from your nbr to hearing party's nbr
5) This is important, you'll need to remain in the messages app, so when the relay operator calls you, press the green button to answer, then press escape to home screen, click ok if you get a prompt. Then go back to messages, from then on you'll get text msgs from the relay operator, which you'll read then you respond using your voice as if your talking normally. It's a little clunky, but it works. At least I'm using some of those minutes, and not wasting them just because I'm deaf.

Have fun!

Titetanium

so it only works if the carrier is tmobile??? because my carrier is verizon...i may have to contact my company rep to switch out to tmobile.......

titetanium 04-03-2006 03:06 AM

I wouldn't say it only works on t-mobile, but you can give it a shot on verizon and post your experience to see if it works or not. I do know it works with t-mobile because that's what carrier I'm with.

EricaJ1074 04-05-2006 05:47 PM

I just bought a BlackBerry 7105t and I also have a BB 7100t and a BB 7730. Which relay program works best for these models? My college disability counselor is Deaf and I need a way to contact her if I am off-campus.

Mark Rejhon 04-05-2006 06:08 PM

The BlackBerry relay program from IP-Relay is the best one so far:
www.ip-relay.com

Steve 04-06-2006 12:27 AM

Wirelessly posted (Cingular-Blue 7290: BlackBerry7290/4.0.2 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1)

Quote:

Originally Posted by EricaJ1074
I just bought a BlackBerry 7105t and I also have a BB 7100t and a BB 7730. Which relay program works best for these models? My college disability counselor is Deaf and I need a way to contact her if I am off-campus.

Did you plan on giving her one of those BB's? Why not use Blackberry Messenger (PIN msgs) from one of your BBs?

Otherwise... I'm assuming you are hearing... You should ask her which relay service/method she prefers. Could be TTY (need her phone number), AIM (need her screenname), or Video Relay Service (need her IP address). Then she can give you the relay phone number for voice callers.

You couldn't use a Blackberry Relay Service application like IP-Relay, since it is a bridge for hearing to deaf / deaf to hearing users.

Steve

EricaJ1074 04-06-2006 06:01 AM

I am hearing. My counselor doesn't have a BlackBerry so I am not sure what to use.

rickl144 04-15-2006 09:31 PM

Mark,

I am the delighted new owner of a T-Mobile 8700g. Being deaf, I am attempting to optimize it for my communication needs. Seeking a wireless relay solution, I downloaded and apparently successfully installed Wireless IP Relay for Blackberries, but am receiving error messages that say, "Disconnected: null Exception error occured, java.io.IOException: could not open tunnel - failed could no open tunnel - failed." Does this mean the software won't work with the 8700g, or is there a way around the problem? I did a search and could not find an answer.

Thanks,

Rick Lanser


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