Category Archives: Resources

Deaf Trivia

Deaf Trivia will be posted with 5 questions each month. Answers will be given with the following month’s Trivia. Good luck on answering those questions. Are you ready for Deaf Trivia?

1. Who invented the Telecommunications for the Deaf (TTY)?

A. Alexander Bell
B. Robert Weitbrechtin
C. Thomas Edison
D. None of the above

2. Where was the first Video Relay Services (VRS) started?

A. United States
B. Canada
C. Sweden
D. France

3. Who invented the first type of hearing aids?

A. Harvey Fletcher
B. Robert E Morley, Jr
C. Gerald R Popelka
D. None of the above

4. Name a deaf actress won the Academy Award in 1996.

A. Deanne Bray
B. Linda Bove
C. Amy Ecklund
D. Marlee Matlin

5. Who was the 1st recorded deaf person in history?

A. Quintus Pedius
B. Deaf son (name unknown) of Croesus
C. Hadrian
D. Princess Katherine Plantagent

What is Video Relay Services (VRS)?

What is Video Relay Services (VRS)?

VRS is a video communication services for the deaf and hard of hearing to communicate with their videophones via live certified interpreters.  It is a free service to the deaf and hard of hearing. Sweden was the first country in the world to establish the VRS in 1997. In 2002, Sorenson VRS created the vp-100 videophones. The USA became the second country to established VRS in 2003. Five years later in 2007, Sorenson VRS developed a vp-200 for improvement on new features than vp-100.

Deaf and hard of hearing in USA don’t need to pay local, long distance, & international calls thru VRS. They will need to pay their local internet provider to able to use VRS. Home and Business videophones are connected ethernet cords to the internet modem and plug wall. There are many different kinds of videophones products from different VRS companies. Below are some example for VRS companies:

Convo Relay

Purple VRS

Sorenson VRS



Telecommunication device for the deaf (TTD or TTY) is an electronic equipment connected to the phone line that has telephone headsets and keywords. It was invented by Robert Weitbrechtin in 1964. Deaf and hard of hearing are able to type messages to the Telecommunication Relay Services (TRS) to communicate with their third party calls or communicate two way street by TTY to TTY. More info about TTY at
Today, deaf and hard of hearing use their mobile videophones. It is high demanding technology in which they don’t need to depend on their home videophones. They can use their wireless devices signals by 3G, 4G, and WiFi. When there is a weak signal, mobile videophones will not be able to work. Mobile video mail messages are allowing hearing people to leave messages to the deaf or hard of hearing. They can make point to point videophone calls to communicate with their families, friends, and co-workers. Special thanks for the engineers became successful for the deaf technology.

What is Deaf Culture?

Deaf Culture: Deaf and hard of hearing people are a socially active group who use their sign language. For example: They can participate in entertainment, sports, travel, worship, and deaf events. ASL students and interpreters are also part of this group that supports the Deaf Community. There are different kind of deaf events around the world such as open-caption movies, deaf clubs, local deaf community events, and etc. ASL is the 3rd most popular language used in the USA. There are over 200 sign languages used around the world today according to info from Wikipedia.
      For example if you attend a party with hearing and deaf people. How can you get a deaf people’s attention? The best way to flip the light switch off and on to get their attention. When you see a group of deaf having a conversation, it is best to sign “excuse me” & move out of the way or join the conversation. What about signing from far away? Deaf & hard of hearing use facial expressions to show something is far away. When you see interpreter services at the front row, please don’t walk back and forth in front of them that is consider rude because deaf and hard of hearing don’t want to miss any details when a interpreter interpret at present. It is best way to move out of other way to show polite and not interrupt to them.
      Currently, the Deaf Community doesn’t accept the term hearing-impaired or deaf-mute because it is inappropriate that they will feel defensive and hurt. The bible used term “mute” in the old days. Today they preferred to be called deaf or hard of hearing. Deafness means partially or wholly lacking or deprived of the sense of hearing; unable to hear. Most culturally deaf don’t wear behind the ear aids but many hard of hearing people do. Hard of hearing people do have partial hearing, but they wear aids or have other devices allowing them to hear sounds clearly. They are able to lip read and watch facial expressions to assist in their understanding of the speaker.
      According to a Department of Health and Human Services survey which stated the percentage of deaf children born in a hearing family is 93%, 7% of deaf children are born in deaf family, more than 112,000 people have cochlear implants in worldwide and 30% of the english language is visible for lip-reading.
      Anyone who is new to the Deaf Community is encouraged to study about Deaf Culture online. Most sign language students feel awkward and have inexperiences how to communicate with deaf or hard of hearing people at the deaf events. Best way is to be active, ask questions, and let the deaf and hard of hearing know that you are learning sign language. It is important to be sensitive and show respect to the Deaf Community. Deaf & hard of hearing use facial expressions and body language to communicate as part of the grammar of ASL. It is best for ASL students to learn and improve their receptive skills by attending deaf events.
      Check out the link for more info at

What is Z4 videophone?

We encourage non-deaf ICOC members who are interested in communicating with deaf disciples or deaf friends to try Z4 PC/ MAC videophone (vp). It is available to purchase online in USA only at for a one time fee of $59.95 . It requires you to pay $9.95/ monthly Consumer Plan for Z service. You need to have laptop with build-in webcam or purchase a webcam to connect it to your laptop or PC. We recommend you to get Logitech Pro 9000 webcam or Microsoft HD Lifecam Cinema.

After you purchase the Z4, you will have your own 10 digit (vp) # then pass on to give to deaf disciples and deaf friends. It does have video conference call up to 9 people at the same time for free service. There is a 3 body icon for conference calls that allow 3 way video at the same time. It is shown on top 3rd right side near video screen. Conference calls only work for all Z videophone products except Z-Ojo and other vp from different Video Relay Services (VRS). Z4 does work all point to point videophones. You can be able to connect other vp by using your IP address. You will need to request 2 days in advance to contact Customer Care for free set-up 4 to 9 conference calls during business hours from Monday-Friday 7am-1am EST. Any additional questions, please contact them at