Special program environment for the deafblind

 Morse language has been chosen as a means to facilitate the communication of the deafblind. You can read more about languages [here]. The Morse language is perceived acoustically (just like the spoken language) and it is reproduced manually by the use of various keys. Morse language is perceived by the deaf-blind haptically (by means of vibration felt by the hand). While spoken languages are determined by three parameters: rhythm, energy and frequency, Morse language is determined only by the rhythm. Deaf people can attain a sense of rhythm. With a rich vocabulary learnt and maintained, it's fun to communicate using haptic Morse. Hundreds of thousands, even millions of people understand and love the Morse language. Deaf-blind people can also benefit from having this skill. People living with autism may also find it useful.

 Our first experimental haptic Morse solution has been integrated into MObile SlateTalker (MOST). Its first tester was a deaf-blind volunteer who has attained the letters, other signs, digits, whole numbers and words within an incredibly short time. There have been some minor setbacks but his persistence prevailed. After four-five months, he reached a level of being able to write and read simpler SMS text messages. Sign language interpreter Ildikó Győrffy has been of indispensable help during this learning process. She revealed that one can also write on the arms or back of a deaf-blind person. During these sessions we used this knowledge to double what's being communicated by haptic Morse. This was necessary because both of his hands are occupied while using the program: the one hand holds the device and feels the rhythmic vibration, while the other hand operates the device.

 MOST's version developed for the deaf-blind makes use of the phone's inbuilt vibrate function. When navigating in the menu or cursoring a text, the four arrow "keys" produce audio and haptic feedback. The currently navigated menu item, the cursored character or word is reported, acknowledges the performed function, signals any errors occurred. A special rhythmic pattern is vibrated when the screen turns on or off. Morse is used for text messaging, and for the reports queried by pressing the so-called info button. The speed rate of the vibrated Morse can be adjusted using a pair of small holes on the braille mask. This program version also assists with entering text in braille using haptic feedback. Vibrating Morse and vibrating braille complement each other and provide a reliable support for a deaf-blind user.

 Regarding the fact that nowadays the Morse language is spoken mostly by radio amateurs, an amateur radio transceiver station has been created  at  building 23 of KFKI's Csillebérc campus in Budapest, Hungary. The station's call sign is HA5RST, (R)ehabilitation  with (S)peech (T)echnology. RST otherwise stands for the scale rating the Morse reception quality on the air. We hope that the morse language will help the communication of more and more disabled people.

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