Hello Alon,
Thanks for your questions.  They are important for a future FAQ

On Wed, 2005-12-07 at 10:13 +0200, Alon Altman wrote:
> On Wed, 7 Dec 2005, Omer Zak wrote:
> > http://trace.wisc.edu/docs/fcc98-146/
> > The most important issues today:
> > 1. Alternate (non-hearing based) signalling of incoming Skype/Asterisk
> > calls.
>    Huh? Skype has a visual notice of incoming calls. Furthermore, why would a
> hard-of-hearing person use Skype, an application for voice calls? Why not
> use IM and/or SMS?

Alternate is not only visual signaller but also vibrator.  If VoiP
software does not already export an interface usable for activating a
vibrator or a lamp (via parallel port, serial port, USB, BlueTooth or
telepathy), then such an interface needs to be added.

Being hard of hearing does not necessarily mean that one cannot hear
(those who do not have usable hearing (for speech) are labelled as
deaf).  It does mean that environmental noise is even more problematic.
An hard of hearing person can hold voice conversation using earpieces,
but environmental noise could cause him to miss audio notification of
incoming calls.

> > 2. Upstream bandwidth, quality and delay limits of video transmission
> > via the Internet.
> How is video transmission useful for people with disabilities? People who
> cannot hear will not be able to hear the people they are talking with and
> people who cannot see will not be able to see the video.

Video transmission is important for deaf people, who utilize Sign
Langauge based communication and lipreading.  Several deaf persons in
geographical areas with fast Internet (including Israel) currently use
webcams for their communication.  The picture quality sometimes leaves
something to be desired, but people fluent in Sign Language can

Video communication is, of course, irrelevant for blind and deaf-blind

>  Why not use
> text-based communication that is accessible to both the deaf and the blind?

Accessibility technology must be tailored to the needs of the person/s
using it.  Some people cannot use text based communication (due to
illiteracy and/or dyslexia) so they need other communication
technologies (audio based and/or video based, depending upon their
                                       --- Omer
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