Hometeaching a deaf member with peer-to-peer chat

Discussions around miscellaneous technologies and projects for the general membership.
kgcrowther-p40
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Hometeaching a deaf member with peer-to-peer chat

Postby kgcrowther-p40 » Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:57 pm

I was assigned to hometeach a sister in our ward who was deaf. No one in the ward knows sign language, so I've been using some technology to chat. They didn't have Internet, or a wireless router, so I had to think of another solution. Here is what I'm doing. If anyone has ideas to make it better I'm open.

I installed openfire on my MacBook Pro (http://www.igniterealtime.org/projects/openfire/index.jsp). After you install then open up the browser and log on to http://localhost:9090. I created two users (with really simple passwords) - one for me and one for my hometeachee, then I created a chat room called "hometeaching." It was not too difficult to set up.

My other laptop runs Windows XP. I installed Pidgin (http://www.pidgin.im/). I used iChat on my Mac.

Then I used the Mac Airport (the program for the wireless card) to create a network. I guess this means I broadcast a signal. I set the other computer to connect to my Mac as a peer-to-peer connection. Once the connection is made then I just join the chat room hometeaching that I set up with openfire.

This way I can just bring two laptops and we can have a chat conversation. I usually download the Ensign to a USB drive (I would preload it to the computers, but I never have enough time.) I can then ask her to read various section and then ask questions. She has really began to think about the Gospel. She is beginning to pray again and even read her scriptures, and she is planning on coming to church next Sunday (under the condition that I bring my computers and someone types notes).

Let me know if anyone has any ideas to improve, or other cool variations.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:15 pm

If it was me, I'd probably use one laptop opened to a word processing app and take turns.

As for alternatives, I guess it all depends on the skill of the person involved. If she can lipread, then all you'd need is one laptop so she can type her "speech".

Long term, I'd suggest learning some ASL - at least enough to finger spell. You might also review the resources available here
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

techgy
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Postby techgy » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:53 pm

Another idea would be to pair yourself up with someone who knows ASL.
If you have a set of full-time missionaries in the area I'm sure that they would be happy to assist you in both learning some ASL as well as perhaps going with you on a few visits.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:56 pm

I'd certainly ask around what local resources there are. If there's a deaf group in another ward, it can probably be arranged for her to attend that ward/branch.
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:40 am

Nonetheless, I just want to make it clear that I applaud your efforts and the success you have reaped thus far because of your diligent service. It is inspiring.
Many questions are already answered on the LDSTech wiki. Check it out!

scion-p40
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Postby scion-p40 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:31 pm

That is awesome! So many people can't find the time to HT or VT. Seeking a way to communicate with her, in spite of these challenges has obviously touched her heart.

Prior to learning ASL, check to see if she knows it. Not everyone does.


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