Forty-three people will be without jobs at one of the country's largest deaf communications companies and new technology is partially to blame.
CSD, or Communication Service for the Deaf, is headquartered in Sioux Falls. Technology as we know it is changing constantly, especially when it comes to the way we communicate.
For the millions of people who are deaf, or hard of hearing, around the world, technology to communicate changes just as much. Due to programs becoming more outdated, CSD will be shutting down one of its relay service centers.
"It's not an exodus, but a migration of people going from one form of technology to another. As this becomes more and more outdated, there's no longer as much of a need," CSD Communications Rick Norris said.
That need was for TTY, or other text-base services, giving those who are deaf the ability to communicate with a hearing person through an operator using text.
The latest kind now involves the internet and video.
CSD receptionist Theresa Weeks is one of millions who rely on it.
"I like using video because I'm able to communicate with anyone as anyone would use their phone. I can call my doctor, my apartment manager or whatever it is. Make appointments. I don't have to rely on a hearing friend for me. I can be more independent," Theresa Weeks said in ASL, interpreted by Rick Norris.
It took awhile for Theresa to get used to the video technology, after using TTY for years, but now admits, she couldn't imagine life without it.
"I would be stuck with what I'm able to do. I'd be able to benefit from AIM and instant messaging but I wouldn't be able to use a video form like I do today," Weeks said.
For Norris, adapting to that new technology is just another part of CSD's mission.
"We'll always stay at the forefront and provide the best possible technology and use that to benefit the deaf, or hard of hearing, communities that we serve," Norris said.
He stressed there will always be a need for text-base services for people who are deaf to communicate with those who hear.
The Sioux Falls relay center will be closing at the end of June 2013.
Thursday, February 20 2014 7:42 PM EST2014-02-21 00:42:09 GMT
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