Sam the Deaf

Why can’t we BUY videophone?

Computer, General, I'm Deaf, Wireless

VRS have give away every deaf a free videophone. I felt its bad influence that may lead deaf become desperate for a free thing. The old quote in economy always said, “There is no such a free lunch”.

What I’m saying that we, all deaf, should be same as the hearing. They buy telephone equipment and they paid telephone service to use and call anywhere. That mean, we buy videophone equipment and we pay ISP (cable or DSL) to call. I don’t care if they can’t afford it. There is always money to earn from government such as voucher or job that pays you. If the videophone cost around $50, it should be no problem.

From what I understand that there is VRS offer free for ONLY DEAF. Can’t their hearing family or hearing friends get one to reach with them? Basic, they cannot get one until Sorenson or more other VRS does offer but it not that much. That’s kind cruel to me.

Request for video and VRS send technical supports to install for you. But they may mess or focus to change your router to accept it. I don’t like it… Should have set videophone by yourself with EASY three step, just same as computer! Anyone brought telephone or computer, you plug the line, it successful connects. Why can’t videophone do the same thing? My ideal it should be simple set by plug Ethernet and enter their name, key code and area code, and have VRS’s server regenerate the number for you. Then it’s ready for you to call whoever you want to.

Personally, I want wireless videophone. But I have laptop with built-in webcam, can’t complain that.

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  • PJ

    It can’t be free because the cost were covered by NECA! If you don’t know what it is about then you are in no business arguing.

  • Amy Cohen Efron

    I agree with you! No more freebies or handouts. It is never a good idea.

    To purchase a product, makes me a better customer. Also, I would want to invest the company who believes in their products.

    Amy Cohen Efron

  • PJ,

    I may not understand in business. Just think about it, if that happen, then we will see Sony, Nokia and maybe Apple will put in race to sell best videophone with unique features. Same as they sell mobile phone with SAME (wireless) SERVICE.

    If that happen, I want Apple videophone and easy buttons to choice any relay service.


  • Brian Guy

    I would not mind free videophones as long as there is a priced videophone for sale so I could buy some for my family and friends – bear this in mind – free videophones does not do anything for hearies who want to keep in touch with ASL or their deaf friends. Segregation in action that is the current policy of VRS companies keeping deaf people separate from hearing so the only way for them to call each other is through them – generating millions of that lovely greenbacks.

  • You need to remember how much VRS makes per minute. I know one used to make $14 per minute! Because the Deaf use the VRS to make the calls, VRS are making money to pay for the videophones and services. The Deaf clients only pay for the high speed internet. Using the videophones to make VRS calls pay for itself. It’s like the Deaf are working by using the videophone to make calls. So, technically, it is not for “free” as you think.

  • Deaf258,

    Maybe I didn’t put the clarity example… Hmm how about…

    In old day, we buy or apply vouch form to get TTY and we pay telephone service. We use relay service (711) that doesn’t charge us at all.

  • Rox

    If you want to buy a VP, there is nothing stopping you. Just head down to your local Best Buy or other electronics store, and buy it! It costs around $100, plus high-speed internet, which is more than what hearing people pay for a phone and phone service. Then we’d all be crying discrimination because we have to pay more than hearing people do for the same service! If you want a better VP, invent it! Don’t sit around whining and expecting somebody else to do it!

  • Rox,

    Every deaf paid high-speed, that’s not expensive. Videophone in current market don’t make phone number like Sorenson does. Ip-address sure sucks. And yes, I might invest, thank for remind me. 😀

  • Jody

    PJ is right abt the equipments that being paid by NECa/FCC. Sorenson dont use real numbers. they created numbers in their DB only. that means ip address is hide behind the phone numbers. Soon or later, FCC is going to fix this up by having third party Database where all customers can call each other no matter what types of vp/webcam u have.

  • Kenneth Hartman

    yeah it sucks for Ip-address. Everytime, Ip-address change number. How I can remmeber?

  • Richard Roehm

    You can buy a beamer VP at

    Eye2eye’s can be bought at

    Free lunches is and always has been a weird piece of the deaf culture puzzle.


  • Julie

    I understand your point but if you come to think of it for a minute. No such thing as a free lunch? ummm, we’re not treated equally as hearing people. Not all DVD are closed captions, not all TV shows are closed captions. Video news online does not provide closed captions. Not all colleges provide sign language interpreters. Whether we like it or not but we are still being treated as a second or even third class citizens. So why the heck not can we have a free lunch sometime?

  • Ramona Cox

    Off the subject: I am wondering why high schools offer Spanish, French, and German in their curriculum, but don’t address the language of the deaf. It seems to me that offering Sign Language instead of French or German makes better sense. There are certainly more practical applications than either French or German. Also there are many more career opportunities for interpreters, deaf educators, etc. In college, sign language is classified as a foreign language–why not in high school? I think it would enhance a school’s drama department and lend to more creative communication. The language is so beautiful.

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