Phonics TVphone TTY
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Phonics TVphone  TTY

Compiled by Ed Sharpe Archivist for SMECC
write in with more information  to add 
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from the patent drawing....


TVphone, possibly a prototype. - RMS Industries Inc - 824 Thayer Avenue  - Silver Spring Maryland -
  Photo from The Harry G. Lang Collection at SMECC



From The Zimet/Black Collection at SMECC




From The Zimet/Black Collection at SMECC



(TVphone Ad  -  TDI First National Conference Program  June 13,14 & 15  1974   -  From The Paul and Sally Taylor Collection at  SMECC )

TVphone™ Person to person

Direct telephone communication is important, for feeling, meaning and understanding. Unfortunately, the deaf and hearing impaired have always had to communicate through someone else. There's no reason it has to be that way anymore. Because now they can enjoy the convenience, independence and peace of mind that comes with being able to use the telephone themselves. With the TVphone™ connected to the antenna of any household television, telephone communication is provided by reading the typewritten conversation on the screen. For further information on TVphone Service and how the deaf can make full use of the telephone at a low monthly cost contact: Phonics Corporation, 814 Thayer Avenue, Silver Spring, Md. 20910. Tel (301) 588-8222








"A Field Test of Electronic Telecommunication Terminals for the Deaf"'
Raymond Wyman, Ed.D., Director
Todd Eachus, Ed. D.,  Associate Director and Project Coordinator
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01002
27 September, 1974

I. Introduction
A. Scope
B. General Features
II. Method
A. Social Communication
1. Research Design
2. Data Collection Instruments
3. Procedure
B. Business
1. System Designs
2. Procedure
C. Educational/Systems Utilization
III. Results
A. Equipment
B. Social Communication
C. Business
D. Educational/Systems
IV. Conclusions and Recommendations
A. Equipment
B. Social Communication
C. Business
D. Educational/Systems


A field test of electronic telecommunication terminals for the deaf based on the identified need for alternative communication devices for the adult deaf population. For such a field test to be conducted most effectively requires a large sampling base from the population in question. The present study was necessarily truncated due to the limited time and resources available with which to conduct such a study. It was anticipated at the outset of this amendment that the identification of variables likely to be of principal concern in further evaluations of telecommunications with the handicapped in general and the deaf in particular would be identified. The evaluation plan which was developed for this field test emphasized placement of telecommunication units in the homes of deaf adults and other locations in order to determine empirically the dimensions of telecommunications rather than to provide a definitive analysis of the long-range effects of such devices on the lives of handicapped persons.
The intent of this field test then is to be suggestive of the course of future work in the area of determining the most appropriate and effective methods and procedure for including telecommunications for the handicapped.

General Features 

The general features of the evaluation performed under this amendment include the utilization of a telecommunications device by the deaf in social communications, business uses, and educational and general data systems uses. The social communication uses of telecommunications devices received primary emphasis in this study. The vast majority of placements of instruments procured for this field test were made in homes of deaf adults in the Boston and New York metropolitan areas. Each individual who served as a participant in the field study provided data on a periodic basis before, during, and after the utilization of the particular equipment used in the study.

Several notions for examining the potential utilization of telecommunications devices in business or commercial settings were considered at the outset of this study. Ultimately, however, it was decided on the basis of time available and limitations of fiscal and personnel resources to concentrate on the utilization of a telecommunication device in a retail setting located in a region with a large number of deaf adults already possessing telecommunications devices.

Educational and general systems applications of a telecommunications device were examined in two ways. Units procured under this amendment were placed in school settings at locations where the use of educational media was relatively advanced. General systems applications were investigated by placing units at the disposal of an institution of higher education which provides educational services to handicapped and other individuals through the use of a widespread computer based instructional system.

Because of the need for expertise in survey research methods, it was determined that the resources of the Deafness Research and Training Center at New York University would provide most effective expertise in determining the sampling base development of data collection  instruments, validation of instruments, and insuring that these aspects were consistent with commonly accepted practices used in the field.



Social Communication 

During August of 1973, the Project Director met with Dr. Jerome Schein, Director of the Deafness Research and Training Center, to, determine the extent and kind of services to be contracted by the NRMCD. Subsequent to the initial meeting, further meetings were held between the staffs of the two organizations to determine the basic dimensions of the social communications research design. Several versions of the design were completed with a revised final version submitted to NRMCD by the Deafness Research and Training Center on 6 December 1973.

1. Research Design

The primary goals of the project are: first, to evaluate the TV Phone in terms of equipment utility and reliability, user reaction, and impact and the user's self-perspective; and second, to compare the TV Phone to presently used teletypewriters (TTY's) on these same criteria.
The term "user" will refer to individuals only and therefore will not include institutions. A separate research design for institutional users and for preselected government users will be prepared and implemented by the NRMCD.

A. Number of TV Phone Units
Approximately 95 TV Phone units will be supplied under contract by the Phonics Corporation to the NRMCD for evaluation. However, approximately 15 of these units will be placed with preselected individual users (such as federal government officials, who may provide little more than anecdotal information) or with institutional users which will, not be included in this part of the project.

Therefore, approximately 80 TV Phone units will be available for the thorough field testing with individual users described below.

b. Schedule
Starting November 1, 1973,approximately 8 months will remain in the project schedule--roughly7 months for selection of the user sample, for field placement of the units, and for data collection; and roughly 1 month for data analysis and preparation of the final report. We expect that the actual starting date for field placement may be .closer to December 1or to January 1 than to the suggested starting date of November 1, in order to properly select the sample of users and to adequately pretest the TV Phone before placement by members of the NRMCD staff.

c. Definition of Sample
Degree of hearing impairment is the first consideration. We recommend that units be placed only in households in which there is at least one deaf person. (For definition of "deaf person", see III A, Sample Selection.) The majority of the sample will already have TTY's in their homes; a subsample will only have the TV Phone. We anticipate that the most significant independent variable will be income (subgroups within the range of $4,000 to $25,000 annual earnings.) Other important user characteristics will be age (subgroups within the range 19-65 years), education, occupation, and marital status
and family composition.

D. Geographic Considerations
Two potential areas for field evaluation were chosen to minimize the time and expense of travel and communication between the NRMCD and the actual TV Phone users. One or both areas will be chosen by NRMCD for the actual field tests, depending upon responses from the screener questionnaire. The areas are metropolitan Boston and metropolitan New York City. Actual placement of the TV Phone units will be made wholly at the discretion of the NRMCD staff.

The project will include the standard field evaluation elements: A. Sample Selection, B. Field Placement of the Units,' C. Collection of Data, and D. Coding and Analysis of the Data.

A. Sample. Selection (7/8)

1. Population Base 
The sample of potential users will be drawn from the lists of known deaf persons in the three preselected geographic areas. For purposes of this survey deaf person is one who states he cannot hear and understand ordinary conversation through the unaided ear. The degree of impairment will be determined by means of the Hearing Scale used in the National Census of the Deaf Population. For a sample of TTY users, the Directory of TTY User& will provide the frame. All institutional entries will be eliminated. From the remainder, successive samples will be drawn from entries in the relevant zip code categories representing Boston and/or New York City. The screener will be sent to each of the addresses selected, along with a cover letter inviting participation in the field test. Follow-up questionnaires and letters will be sent until the quota is completed. For the non-TTY sample, the Deaf American list will be used (excluding verified TTY users). The procedures will be as described above.

2. Screener Questionnaire 
A screener questionnaire that will be sent to all individuals identified in the composite list described above will serve three functions :(a) When compiled, the responses to the questionnaire will provide a demographic profile of-the deaf populations identified in the three preselected areas. (b) The questionnaire will "screen out" individuals-not suitable for inclusion in the sample of users of the evaluation, for example, because they are not deaf or because they' have no telephone or television. These criteria will be established by NRMCD, based upon responses to the questionnaire. (c) The respondents to the questionnaire will form a pool of potential users from which the project participants will be drawn. 

The usual procedure is to mail a cover letter, describing the project along with the questionnaire; to wait approximately two weeks for responses; and then to mail a follow-up cover letter and questionnaire. We recommend these steps be followed in selecting the sample for this field test.

B. Field Placement of the Units (9)
Minimally, the project staff would be thoroughly familiar with the units to be field tested, and the units should be individually prechecked for possible electrical or mechanical malfunction before they are placed with the users. The users who have been selected would be notified by mail before placing the unit. At the same time, permission for access to the user's telephone bills (before, during and after the field evaluation) should be requested. In addition, for identified TTY users a short follow-up questionnaire should be administered in person to secure preliminary data on the extent of use and typical purposes of the participants' TTY use. The TV Phone units will be delivered personally by NRMCD staff experienced in the use of the units. The user will be instructed personally and in writing about the use of the TV Phone. It is strongly suggested that several trial placements of the units be made before the final field placements in order that NRMCD staff learn to anticipate possible difficulties. A formal check list should be prepared by NRMCD for these staff members.

C.. Data Collection

1. Data Collection Model 
The following discussion suggests a straightforward design for apportioning and scheduling the placement of TVPhone units in each of the three geographic areas. Modification of the design may be necessary, of course, depending upon information secured from the screener questionnaire. For example, there may not be enough potential deaf users in metropolitan Boston to fill the user quota for that area, thus necessitating adjustment of the field test sample. 

The first 20 TV Phone units will be apportioned at the discretion of NRMCD in metropolitan Boston and/or metropolitan New York City. Each of these units will remain with a single individual user for the duration of the evaluation period for about 6 months. The next 60 units will remain with an individual user for only half the evaluation period (for about 3months) before it is moved to a second user. Each unit will than stay with the second user for the remaining 3 months of the evaluation period. See Table 1.

Table 1
Alternative Distribution Plans Assignment of 80 TV Phone Units for Field Test

Approximately 2/3 of the TV Phone units will be placed with people who already have TTY's in their home. The remaining 1/3 will be placed in homes which do not have a TTY, but which include people who' are deaf or who have regular contact with the deaf community. see Table 2.



Table 2
Field Test Sample; TTY Users Vs. Non-TTY Users

6 Months
3 Months
Second 3 Months Total
TTY Users 13 40 40 93
Non-TTY Users 7 20 20 47


2. Data Collection Instruments 

(a) Screener Questionnaire 

As described above, the Screener Questionnaire will be used to determine demographic characteristics of the deaf population in each area, to screen out potential users who cannot be included in the project, and to forma pool of candidates from which the sample are chosen.

(b) Leave-Behind Questionnaire
 This questionnaire will have two purposes: First, it will be a usage log for the unit, especially for the, number, duration and time of day for local calls and whether or not the calls were user-initiated. Second, it will include the opportunity for the user to express reactions to the TV Phone itself and also to describe how the TV Phone is actually used; i.e., Does it always remain in the home? Does it use interfere with normal television viewing? Particularly important aspects are portability, quietness, absence of hard copy, reliability and cost. Opportunities for suggestions to improve the TVPhone will be provided in the questionnaire, and anecdotal information about TV-Phone use will be requested also. An essential, special supplement to the questionnaire will be a log for recording equipment malfunction (including the accessory television set) and repair of the unit. A second version of the Leave-Behind Questionnaire will be designed especially for TTY users and will be used in parallel with the version supplied to TV Phone users. 

(c) Electronic Recording Services
 Measuring devices built into the individual TV Phone units will record the cumulative time for all calls and can be monitored remotely by a master console located at NRMCD. Monitoring will proceed according to a predetermined schedule. 

(d) Telephone Bills 
Telephone bills will provide information about certain long distance calls (duration and time of day of user-initiated calls and of collect calls) and in some cities will provide the total "message units" of local calls. Comparison of telephone bills before, during and after the evaluation will indicate changes in telephone use during the evaluation period. 

(e) Final Questionnaire 
This questionnaire will repeat several key questions regarding user reaction to the TV Phone which were included in the earlier screener questionnaire. This questionnaire will also attempt to determine in a preliminary way the impact of the TV Phone ln the self-perspective of the user. As suggested by NRMCD staff, the measures of this self-perspective will include real and perceived social and economic independence, feelings of security, self-satisfaction, etc. Ample opportunity will be provided for suggestions for equipment modification.

D. Analysis of Data 
Broadly stated, the major dependent variable of the study is user reaction to the TV Phone. It can be defined according to three distinct measures, each of which should be included in the evaluation: 

To what extent does he use it?
How much does he like it?
What will he pay to purchase or lease it'?

Refinements of these three measures will be accomplished through the use of the several survey instruments already described above: the Leave-Behind Questionnaire, the electronic recording device, the telephone bills, the final questionnaire, and the repair records. We anticipate that the most important independent variable will be income, but that age, education, sex, and marital status may also provide useful correlations. The preliminary sample will consist of current TTY users and non-TTY users. The TTY users will be further divided into Group A, which will receive TV Phones and Group R, which will become the control group and therefore will receive none. Similarly, the non-TTY users will be divided into Group C, which will receive TVPhones and Group D, which will not, ( Group D will be omitted from the final data sample.)

Similar analyses of data will be performed for each of the sample groups, A, B, and C, and then the results will be compared by means of multivariate analysis, Further analysis, such as the' change in user reaction over time, will be dependent upon the nature of the collected data.


We recommend four general approaches to the study of the TV Phone:

1. Questionnaire Items
These items must be designed to elicit basic demographic information, including income, age, education, sex, and so forth. In addition, user evaluations and attitudes should be solicited. Several dependent measures should be gathered at fixed intervals, minimally at the beginning and the end of the evaluation period. The purpose is to determine user reaction to the TV Phone both at the initialcontact and after extensive use. In this way both consumer resistance and consumer acceptance can be evaluated.
:additional measures before initial contact, during the evaluation period, and after the instrument has been removed could provide further measures of these user reactions.

2. Objective Measures
Through the use of questionnaires and telephone bills a determination can be made of telephone use before, during, and after the evaluation period.

 A t test for correlated means will be used here.

Electronic recording devices on the TV Phone will be used in conjunction with telephone bills and the Leave Behind questionnaire to compare the use of the TV to the use of the TV Phone for selected users who have access to either or both during the evaluation period.

3. additional Evaluation Items (15)
These items may be solicited from the user by a combination of written questionnaires and by personal interview, probably at the very end of the evaluation period to coincide with the administration of the Final Questionnaire. Items might include: Do members of your household object to your using the television for your telephone conversations 'Do you deliberately schedule your telephone calls to avoid competition with the family for the television? Do you mind that others can follow your private conversations when it is displayed on the television "Now reliable do you believe the TVPhone is (as compared to the actual repair records)'- How can the TV Phone he improved for your use. Technical Evaluation Staff members should make extended use of the instrument. It should be tested with a full variety of commonly available television receivers and with all possible. accessories, such as audio-cassette recorders which permit permanent recordings of TV Phone conversations.

Complete records of the duration and cause of instrument malfunctions are essential as are records of repair. We strongly suggest, therefore, that all requests for repair or technical assistance come directly to the NRMCD and not to the manufacturer of the instrument. It would then be the responsibility of NRMCD to determine the nature of the malfunction and to repair the instrument or to engage the assistance of a third party to
determine the malfunction and/or "to repair the instrument.


2.Data Collection Instruments
Throughout the random sample field test of social communications, several instruments were utilized for the collection of data in each phase of the study. As described in the design section, the initial data collection instrument which was a screener, was used to obtain basic demographic data on individuals identified as deaf through the TTY directory and the national census of the deaf data housed at Deafness, Research and Training Center. The second data collection instrument provide data on users selected to participate and who elected to participate as subjects in the final sample of the study as a whole. Items on this questionnaire were concerned with subjective estimates of the worth of the instrument; items concerned with various uses of the instrument, and items concerned with self-perceptions of independence of users. This questionnaire was repeated in a changed form for each of the sample participants at the end of the usage period for each component of the sample. Because certain individuals who were initially elected to participate in the sample subsequently returned their instrument prior to the planned completion of a usage period, separate data collection instruments for early returns were prepared. In addition, a repeated measures on-line interview schedule was utilized periodically to determine changes in certain aspects of utilization of the instrument with actual use.

In addition to these basic data collection instruments utilized with the participants in the sample, there were other sources of date. Each user was polled periodically to get an electronic count of the amount of time the instrument was actually in use during the study period. Also, records were kept on the electronic and mechanical failures.

In establishing the sequence of events to complete the field test evaluation., several related steps were followed. Beginning on the date of the initial request for amendment 25May 1973, an initial conceptual design for tilt-field test was developed. This conceptual design was later refined into the actual operational steps which were followed in the evaluation project. Precise definition of independent and b dependent variables and their measures was completed in September of 1973.Becauseof tilt 4.gportance of insuring that good random population sampling procedures were followed, where possible, a consulting relationship was established on 21 September 1973 with the Deafness Research and Training Center in order to draw upon the cumulative expertise of the staff of the Center in sampling procedures among the hearing impaired. Earlier meetings with the staff of that Center had led to the development of data collection instruments and subsequent revision by 30 September 1973.As part of the consultant services provided by Deafness Research and Training Center, these instruments were then field evaluated with a control population by 5 December1973.On 6 December a revised field test design was completed and forwarded to the project officer.

The initial identification of the population sample for the study was completed on 20 September 1973.On 30 November 1973, mailing lists of the sources for the population sample were derived from subscriber lists of the publication, Deaf American, and from Teletypewriters for the Deaf, Inc., inclusive of the Boston and New York metropolitan statistical units.

From the lists of individuals Identified in the sources of information for population sampling, au initial mailing of an introductory letter, a screener questionnaire, and return envelopes was sent to all households on the mailing lists by December 14, 1973.Responses were received from this initial mailing from 15 December to 28December 1973.

On 21 December 1973 usage logs and equipment malfunction logs to bemused by all subjects of all three tests groups were developed. These logs were duplicated on January 2, 1974.

Responses from the initial screener questionnaires were tabulated and keypunched and sorted for frequency by design cells by 15 January 1974.When the sort had been completed, a set of key questions to be used during an on-line data collection process were completed and a schedule for administering these questions was made. Each household selected to serve in the final sample for the study was located geographically by the end of January. A design was completed for the placement of instruments with each household serving in the final sample.

By 4 February 1974, a written list of instructions concerning the installation and use of the equipment in the study to accompany the distribution of each piece of equipment was developed. These steps were completed by 4 February 1974.Between the Fifth of February and the Thirteenth of February, locations for meetings of study participants were identified so that initial training for installation and use of the equipment could be conducted and that questionnaire administration could be completed. By 13 February1974, letters announcing to the individuals, their selection in the sample, and the time and location for distribution meetings was completed.

(pp19) Prior to conducting the initial placement and data collection meeting son March 16th in the Boston area, and March 23rd and 24th in the New York metropolitan area, project staff had been trained to administer the initial data collection instruments and to demonstrate equipment operation and hook-up. On 16 March and 23 and 24 March, initial placement meetings were con-ducted in which each individual user completed the initial data collection process and received hands-on instruction in installing and operating the equipment to be used in the study. In addition, the calling times for electronic duration polling and on-line data collection were scheduled with each individual user. Following these meetings, those individuals who were selected for the final sample but were unable to attend the initial placement meetings were mailed the initial questionnaires and their equipment for participating in the study. This was completed by March 29, 1974.

From April 8 to July 14, electronic frequency polling and on-line questionnaire data were collected from users in all of the groups in the study. From 25 March to July 14,usage logs were collected by mail from all participants. From the time of initial placement to July 14,parti-cipants in the study were called and did call project staff concerning problems of equipment malfunction, misunderstanding, confusion, etc.

In the early phases of placement, several people selected for the final sample who did receive instruments returned them for a variety of reasons and replacement households were identified to participate in the study. On July 6 and on July 13 and 14, 1974,regional meetings were conducted in the Boston and New York metropolitan areas to collect all TVPhones and for the administration of final data collection instruments at the end of the study. By August 14 those individuals participating in the study who were unable to attend the regional meetings were individually contacted and their equipment was collected and final questionnaires were distributed. All equipment was collected from users by 19 August. Key-punching and coding of all data from questionnaires, logs, and periodic on-line questionnaires was conducted from 21 to 22 August.

Business (pp21)

Several alternatives were explored for examining the potential use of electronic telecommunications devices for the deaf in a variety of business organizations. Among the alternatives given consideration were the placement of equipment in personnel departments of organizations employing large numbers of deaf individuals in certain metropolitan areas. In addition, consideration was given to providing equipment to state departments of police and medical service agencies. Because of the short amount of time available for conducting this project, many of the possible alternatives for examining utilization of electronic telecommunications devices and business settings had to be forgotten.

1. Systems Design
One member of the National Advisory Committee on the Handicapped is representative of the business community. This individual is Ms. Katherine Breen, who is director of training for Montgomery Ward, Incorporated. After having received the description of the basic nature of the evaluation project from BEH personnel, Ms. Breen communicated with me her interest in exploring possible utilization of telecommunications equipment for the deaf by Montgomery Ward. Between 5 and 8 March an initial meeting was held between the evaluation project director and personnel  in Montgomery Ward' corporate headquarters in Chicago. It was determined that an area of exploration for which a usage system was to be developed was that of retail catalogue sales within the Chicago metropolitan area. As true of all large catalogue sales organizations, Wards provides telephone ordering services to its customers. In this case Montgomery Ward's operations are regionalized with one region serving the Chicago metropolitan area. .Catalogue sales orders are received by telephone at a central location adjacent to corporate. headquarters in Chicago proper. A staff of approximately 30 individuals receives orders on individual telephone extensions from a central system and these are processed through CRT display to a computer control ordering unit. It was determined that through the simple expedient of installing one of the electronic telecommunication devices being evaluated by this project and training Ward staff to operate it, that hearing impaired individuals could, by dialing a dedicated line, conduct their retail purchasing business through normal catalogue sales operations.

The complex issue which was involved in obtaining Ward's participation in this aspect of the evaluation study, was to insure the willingness to cooperate at the corporate vice-presidential level. The decision to participate in this evaluation was based largely on the feasibility and lack of potential disruption of ongoing operations at the regional catalogue sales office. Approval was granted by the vice president for catalogue sales of Montgomery Ward's corporate headquarters.

Proceeding from that point, a system was designed which involved the placement of electronic communication devices in the catalogue sales office to receive calls on a dedicated line from hearing impaired individuals utilizing TTY communications. Staff from Montgomery Ward's catalogue sales telephone office were trained in the installation and utilization of the communications device and a unit was placed in the catalogue sales store in downtown Chicago to provide for those hearing impaired individuals on a walk-in basis.

2. Procedures
One major concern in completing this installation was in devising means to inform hearing impaired individuals, with access to a TTY, avail-ability of this service. On the basis of zip code numbers, TTY users were listed from the TDI directory and provided to Montgomery Ward catalogue sales personnel. Each individual on the list (approximately 412 in the expanded Chicago metropolitan area) received from Montgomery Ward a letter introducing the telecommunications service and a copy of the current Montgomery Ward catalogue. In addition, the National Fraternal Organization of the Deaf was notified as were the individuals concerned with a coincidentally scheduled meeting of all TTY-users in the Chicago area.

On May 7 Montgomery Ward Public Relations Division conducted a press conference which resulted in distribution of the information about the service through newspapers, magazines and television news services (including captioned news for the deaf) in the Chicago metropolitan area.

Data on the feasibility of this type of business service to the deaf community were obtained by recording the number of calls received and orders
processed through this service.

Educational/Systems Utilization (pp24)

At the outset of this evaluation study, it was determined that effective evaluation of electronic telecommunication in educational settings could not be thoroughly evaluated in the time available for this project. Exploratory applications of the communications equipment were provided by the Media Departments at the Clarke School for the Deaf and the American School for the Deaf. Communications equipment, were placed at the disposal of these schools for study as possible educational tools in dormitories, infirmaries, study halls, tutoring in homes of students too ill to attend classes and for two-way programming over existing close circuit operations.

In addition, the State University of' New York's Instructional Technology Department agreed to examine the utilization of the equipment for possible use as an on-line computer terminal for handicapped individuals confined to home and in other applications. The technical modifications necessary to make the equipment evaluated compatible with time sharing computer systems was explored. This aspect of the evaluation study was a collaborative effort between this Center and Dr. Norbert Nathenson, and various agencies of the State University of New York system. It was felt that this application would provide implications for the general systems use of an educational nature. In addition, implications for possible applications of electronic telecommunications devices in management information systems and elsewhere would be determined.



The results of the evaluation study will be presented in several parts. The first part will be concerned with the procurement and functioning of the equipment used in the evaluation study. The second part will present the findings from the data on social communication. The third part will present information on business applications, and the fourth part will pre-sent information on educational systems applications.


Upon receipt of apps,a1 for this amendment request and the specified funds on 21 June 1973,a set of functional specifications for equipment to be field tested were developed. These specifications were completed on27 June 1973.The University initiated the competitive bid procurement process for the telecommunication equipment on 5 July 1973.Through this process, the functional specifications were distributed to prospective bidders either identified by BEH or through normal procurement channels of the University of Massachusetts. Bids were received on 9 August 1973, and the contract was awarded. to Phonics Corporation of Silver Spring, Maryland on 15 August 1973.

Following award of this contract for the purchase of 95 "TV Phones," other steps had to be followed prior to receipt of the equipment. The con-tract was awarded to purchase 95units at a price of $915 each with normal warranty. One of the units which was to serve as a master control unit included additional electronic circuitry to enable polling of the units to be placed in the field. Polling would activate on the raster a set of binary digits which would translate into cumulative running time of each unit. The electronic counter unit cost $72for each instrument. The University of Massachusetts required a performance bond by November 1973.

Of those units received, 25 of the 95were defective for one reason or another and returned to Phonics Corporation for repair. This delayed the initial placement of units due to the time required to teat fully the performance of each of the instruments prior to placement in the field. These performance tests were completed for all 95 units before 1 February1974.

One of the inherent assumptions basic to exploring the utilization of electronic rather than electro-mechanical communication devices for use by the deaf and other handicapped persons is that the reliability of electronic equipment is expected to be higher than that of electro-mechanical equipment. While no direct comparison was made of relative frequencies of repair and maintenance between the two types of equipment, the fact that 26.3 percent of the units procured with which to conduct this field evaluation arrived defective in one way or another indicates the need for further developmental work in a manufacturing processes for such equipment.

One 28 January 1974, NRMCD received a letter from Mr. Ronald G. Moyer, president of Digilog Systems, Incorporated. The letter stated that on 15 March, 1974 Digilog Systems, Incorporated entered into formal contract with Phonics Corporation whereby Digilog granted to Phonics certain licensing rights for the use of engineering plans, drawings and specifications developed by Digilog on certain telecommunications equipment. Mr. Moyers stated that:

"We hereby regret to inform you that due to certain contract violations Digilog has withdrawn the licensing privileges previously held by Phonics and until or unless these violations are corrected, Phonics (or its predecessor OS Industries) no longer has the right to sell, lease, or rent "TV Phones" equipment or any similar equipment based on Digilogs designs or subsequent improvements thereon."

The receipt of this notification caused considerable concern over the possibility of continued availability of the particular instrument with which we were concerned. In addition, questions regarding the availability of parts, maintenance and repair services for the TV Phones required resolution. In consultation with the attorney for the University of Massachusetts, inquiries were sent to the project officer, the president of Digilog Systems, Incorporated and the president of Phonics Corporation requesting clarification of the issues raised by the action of Digilog Systems, Incorporated against Phonics Corporation. The only response received to our inquiries concerning continued availability and service for TV Phones was from the president of Phonics Corporation. No response was-received concerning future proprietary interests from Digilog Systems, Incorporated nor was a response received from Bureau of Education for the Handicapped legal staff concerning contractual obligations of the University and by the University. It must be concluded that this issue remains unresolved.

Several times throughout the course of this study, instruments placed with individual users failed to function for a variety of reasons. Many times equipment did not operate effectively because of a user not following carefully the instructions provided in a printed form with their unit or at the initial distribution meetings. However, there were other problems which arose following the equipment performance checks performed by our staff. Among the component failures which occurred were the following: individual letters would not generate characters on a TV screen. In many cases this failure could not be detected in the test laboratory for equipment operated by Phonics Corporation. The switch on the TV Phones which serves to clear the screen of letters failed and had to be replaced. Diodes failed in certain units and transistors failed in pick-up microphones. In one case the circuit fuse in the TV Phone unit required rewiring.

Upon inquiry we determined that the normal service policy of Phonics Corporation is to ship a new unit to a customer upon receipt of a defective instrument. In the case of the units utilized in this study, each of which was specially modified to include an electronic polling counter, same day repair service could not be provided. Those cases where a unit had to be returned to the equipment supplier for repair or maintenance, the average turn around time for repair of the unit was approximately, two weeks.

Generally, relationships with the equipment supplier, Phonics Corporation, have required for the purposes of this study an inordinate number of telephone calls between Silver Spring and the University. Phonics Corporation licenses for assembling and repair of units, a division of the American Machine Foundry Corporation in Alexandria, Virginia. And apparently, as noted above, they have received manufacturing rights from Digilog Systems, Incorporated. In a normal course of business, Phonics Corporation can be considered a relatively small equipment supplier when compared to suppliers of more generally available electronic equipment. It is assumed that due to the size of the organization supplying the TV Phones to this study, certain disadvantages and advantages accrued to the project. Among the advantages was that direct contact could be maintained with the president of Phonics Corporation as difficulties arose in dealing with malfunctions or failures of equipment. Among the disadvantages was the fact that there is only one location in the country from which and at which the equipment can be received and repaired.

Social Communication  (pp30)

Items were included on questionnaires given to users concerning mechanical functioning of the TV Phone instruments. on the mechanical functioning of these instruments were obtained primarily from two sources: the individuals initially chosen as members of the study sample who returned the instruments prior to completion of the designated period of use, and those individuals who utilized the instrument throughout the designated period.

Of those individuals who returned their instruments early, 11categories were utilized for identifying reasons for the early return. A total of eighteen individuals did not complete the stated period of use of the TV Phone. Of those eighteen, sixteen were at the time also TTY users. By far the greatest frequency of reasons given by these individuals for returning the TV Phone appears as Item 11 in Questionnaire #5.This Item is a simple statement that they would rather use the TTY, followed by an open-ended explanation. Prior to discussing those reasons, the less frequently used categories will be described.

Item 1 on Questionnaire #5 indicated a lack of understanding of the installation of the TV Phone. Two TTY users and 1 non-TTY user indicated that this was the reason for their return of the instrument. Item 4 on the questionnaire was a statement that the TV Phone did not work properly. Three TTY users indicated that this was the reason and two non-TTY users indicated improper operation as a reason for return. Item 5, a statement of dislike for a lack of permanent record of the the conversations, was indicated by six of the TTY users and none of the non-TTY users as a reason for return. Items 6 and 7 indicating respectively, a concern over an undue increase in phone bills and a lack of individuals to call were indicated first by one non-TTY user, and secondly, by two non -TTY users. No TTY users indicated that these categories were reasons for returning the TV Phone. Item 8 was indicated by two TTY users. Item 8 expressed a concern with individuals in the family or others directly observing the conversations being held by the individual. Item 9 was .indicated by four TTY users which expressed that the family members of the user objected to having TV program interrupted while telephone conversations were taking place. Obviously, multiple responses were given for reasons for returning the TV Phone instruments.

A summary of responses to the open-ended item for early return of a TV Phone indicated some repetition of other items on the questionnaire. The major reason for preferring the TTY to the TV Phone was that the TTY supplied subjects with paper copy and the TV Phone did not supply a paper copy or a permanent record without the attachment of a dedicated cassette recorder. One subject felt the message on the TV Phone was often confusing and the inability to look back at the beginning of the conversation to reduce the confusion was seen as a disadvantage by the subject. Other subjects wanted paper copy so that they would have a permanent record of conversations to refer to in the future, to save for friends, for relatives, or to read at their leisure. Another subject noted that with paper copy, one had a record of addresses and phone numbers. Subjects also indicated that it is difficult for a deaf individual to copy this information from a TV screen because the movement of the message cannot be stopped easily. Another subject preferred the TTY because she used the punch tape attachment to record the "Deaf Messenger" and reproduce it for friends who called her.

A number of the subjects had difficulty adjusting their TV sets so that they could read easily the print produced by the TV Phone. People who did not use a separate TV for their TV Phones, found the interruption of TV programs to be a major point of complaint. Subjects complained because the unit is not self contained and therefore there are three parts to the system liable to failure; 1) the telephone, 2) the TV phone, and 3) the television set. Subjects not using a separate TV set for their TV Phones, found that they could not answer calls quickly enough because of fine tuning adjustments to the set itself that had to be made. Statements were also included in response to this item that unless solid state television sets with instant "on" capability were used, the warm up period for tube-type television sets delayed answering telephone calls. One interesting response to this item concerned the typing skills of users. Some people were concerned about the expense of utilizing the TV Phone that might be incurred due to very slow rates of typing. However, this objection would apply to any instrument requiring use of a typewriter keyboard by those individuals.

Of those individuals who completed the full period of use scheduled in the design for the TV Phone, it can safely be assumed that there was a basic satisfaction among these users with the instrument. However, certain general summary statements can be made which were drawn from the open-ended items included in the final user questionnaires. 

Only one subject reported having problems installing and with operational condition of the TV Phone. This was due to this individual's difficulty in locating a television set that would function properly with the TVPhone. This is most likely due to initial attempts to utilize an older tube-type black and white set that most likely had not had its VHF tuner cleaned for a long period of time.

A number of problems in using the TV Phone were described. One subject complained that the warm up time required by his television set pre-vented him from answering telephone calls immediately. Several subjects mentioned that the phone signal light did not work. The phone signal light is a white indicator light for status of dial tone, busy signal or phone ring. The chief complaint mentioned by most all subjects was that numbers were often received instead of or mixed with letters.

In response to the item asking users to state the thing disliked most about the TV Phones, the most common complaints centered on utilizing the television set commonly used for family entertainment. Subjects did nutlike interruptions of television programs or delay in answering calls caused by hooking up the TV Phone connector to the television set and also the warm-up period commonly experienced by users who had tube-type television sets was disliked. Many subjects had older, poorly maintained television sets which made it difficult to read the TV Phone message. Some subjects found reading a message from a TV Phone to be a subjective strain on the eyes. Almost all subjects complained about the absence of paper copy or another form of permanent record for telephone conversations. Subjects also complained about using the return key when communicating with a TTY unit in a telephone conversation, and about the lack of reliability of the instrument with respect to random generation of numeric characters intermixed with letters.

The features that users indicated which they most liked about the TV Phone centered on the compactness, portability, quietness, and ease of operation. All *subjects mentioned (whether they were current TTY users or not) that the principal advantage of the instrument was due to its basic purpose--that is, to communicate directly with deaf friends, and relatives.

The major reason given by subjects for preferring the TTY to the TV Phone was the presence of hard paper copy of telephone conversations with the TTY and that the TTY is a self-contained unit.

Several suggestions for improvement of the TV Phone were given by subjects. Among the suggestions were some changes to reduce the random generation of characters which is most likely due to phone line noise in the hertz range which activates the TV Phone. One subject suggested that the TV Phone have an 80 character keyboard instead of a60 character one, so it would be more compatible with a TTY. Some subjects thought that a clearer instruction bookie-, would bean improvement. Other subjects indicated that they would like to see some kind of paper copy produced by the TV Phone which could not be accomplished without a basic design reconceptualization of the instrument. One subject indicated a desire for some kind of answering service to be provided with telecommunications devices. Questionnaire #4 was an on-line interview which was conducted using the TV Phone during a time instruments were placed with users. A total number of 36 subjects were interviewed during the study and some of these interviews were repeated during the course of the study. A total of 84 telephone interviews were conducted. The first item in the interview concerned the repetition of the subjective estimate of the worth of the TV Phone by users. In the initial questionnaire and in the final questionnaire, as well as during the on-line interviews, subjects were asked to place a dollar value that they would be willing to spend to obtain a TV Phone had it not been loaned to them for the purpose of this study.

Thirteen point eight percent (13.8%) of the subjects responding placed a value from $0 - $100 on the TV Phone. Sixty-three point nine percent (63.9%) of the subjects placed the value between $101- $300.Twenty-twopoint two percent (22.2%) placed the value of the TV Phone in the category ranging from $301- $700.

The second item in the interview asked for a subjective estimate of the importance to the individual that a copy be available to store conversations conducted on the TV Phone. No mention was made in this item regarding the format of the copy. Nineteen point four percent (19.4%)of the subjects responding indicated that it was slightly important to have a copy of conversation. Twenty-five percent (25%) indicated that it was important, and sixteen point seven percent (16.7%) indicated that it was very important to have a copy of telephone conversations.

In order to tap subjects' perceptions of increased self-reliance and independence, two items were included as probes Item 3 asked if
subjects felt that if they owned a TV Phone would they be able to earn more money. Fifty-two point eight percent (52.8%) of the subjects responding indicated that they did not feel that they would be able to earn more money. Eight point three percent (8.3%) indicated that they would be able to earn more money and thirty-eight point nine (38.9%) of the subjects were uncertain. This large percentage in an uncertain category indicates a likelihood of change toward a "yes" category if the duration of the study had been longer.

The fourth item concerned perceptions of safety with respect to the subject providing assistance to family or friends in times of emergency. Of the subjects responding, eight point three percent (8.3%) indicated that they never felt safe. Thirty point six (30.6%) indicated that they sometimes felt safe, twenty-two point two (22.2%) felt safe, and thirty-eight point nine (38.9%) of the subjects indicated that they felt very safe in times of emergency with the availability of the TV Phone.

Two open-ended items were included in the on-line interview which were replications of prior items concerning liked most and liked least features of the TV Phone. Responses were identical with those given to questionnaire items concerning mechanical functioning of the instrument discussed above.

In the area of exploratory utilization in educational and systems settings, a total of 19 instruments were placed in settings alternative to the basic research design for evaluation of social communication among deaf adults. Before describing specific applications identified, information similar to that derived from users in the field test concerning problems, likes, and dislikes will be described for the alternative users.

The instruments were utilized in several broad categories: used by the chairman of the Connecticut State Committee on the Deaf to provide direct communication with individuals and agencies within the state of Connecticut; used as an information resource index tool for deaf professionals; used by student sat a residential school for the deaf for communication between facilities at the school and with parents; used to provide an evening news summary on a local basis; used by a PBS affiliate for a fund-raising auction; used by a field agent for the New York State Bureau for Physically Handicapped Children to provide statewide communication with various agencies and individuals concerned with the deaf and in certain other settings for area wide utilization of information systems notably at the Southern Regional Media Center for the Deaf.

In general, all alternative users complained that the performance of the TV. Phone was erratic. Many felt that all of the "bugs" had not been sufficiently resolved. A chief complaint was that, as was true with individual users, numbers were often mixed with letters. Reception was sometimes a mixture of characters that was cleared if the message sender repeated the previously typed statements.
Users found it inconvenient to have to use the return key on a TV Phone when communicating with a TTY. Only one user complained that the equipment was not compatible with other than standard model telephones and could not be used with
trimline and princess phones. Another user found that he could not get reliable recording and playback with the hardwire coupling provided with the instrument. One user complained that the keyboard stuck, particularly in humid weather.

The characteristics most liked by the alternative users were principally the ability for special information agencies and individuals to maintain direct communication with their institutions and other agencies involved in professional work. Many alternative users liked the fact that the TV Phone is smaller and quieter than the TTY. Most felt it was easier to type on a TV Phone than a TTY, possibly due to the obvious difference between a mechanical and an electronic keyboard. Some users indicated that the automatic carriage return feature on the TV Phone was a positive convenience relative to TTY. The fact that the TV Phone does not intrude on surrounding activities in business and educational settings and that a larger screen display is possible with a TV Phone than on a TTY were described as positive attributes of the instrument. Users also pointed out that the keyboard configuration on the TV Phone does not require a shift key depression to generate characters such as question marks, the number one, etc.

Among these alternative users the disadvantage of interrupting on-going use of the television set when telephone calls are received was indicated. It was suggested that in all cases the TV Phone be used with a solid state television receiver dedicated for use with the TV Phone alone. Some users disliked the lack of a permanent record of the conversation without ancillary equipment.

Several suggestions were made for other uses of the TV Phone. The major alternative use which was suggested was to provide emergency services for the deaf. It must be presumed that the availability of
an emergency notification service by the manufacturer of the TV Phone was not known to these users, or they felt that a service should be provided on a local basis. Some individuals suggested that the TV Phone be installed in public booths at transportation terminals. Other alternative uses suggested were that the TV Phone be used to provide information about news, area activity, social etiquette, health problems, and as a means to provide continuing education for deaf adults, or as a language teaching tool in Schools for the deaf.


As described in the procedure section, the primary business installation of the TV Phone was done at Montgomery Ward's Catalog Sales Regional Sales Office in the Chicago metropolitan office. The results of this application are different in kind from those obtained through the utilization of questionnaires and other data collection instruments. The involvement of a large corporate entity in
service to the handicapped normally consists in a job placement program rather than in providing a direct service to customers.

Of principle concern to the corporate decision making process throughout the course of this application was to minimize the disruption of ongoing activities directly attributable to the extension of retail sales services to a small component of the total possible retail market. The various decision makers involved in Montgomery Ward's operation found that the company required no inordinate expenditure of capital or staff time to engage in this broadened service to the handicapped. That is, functionally the only requirement placed on the operation was the addition of two pieces of equipment. Staff functions normally delegated in catalog sales remained identical to those provided for a non-handicapped market. The operation and reporting requirements for processing the catalog sales made by deaf individuals did not deviate at all from normal processing procedures.

The utilization of the service by the deaf community in the Chicago metropolitan area, as might be expected, began slowly. However, after the service was available for two weeks the impact of the efforts to
communicate the availability of the service resulted in an increasing
number of catalog sales orders being placed by t
. Beginning with approximately three orders per week being placed, the rate in-creased over the study period to a point at which eight to twelve sales orders were received each week.

An interesting sidelight from this particular operation was telephone calls received by the sales personnel at Montgomery Ward which were not directly concerned with the ordering procedure. Rather,
eaf individuals occasionally would call the Montgomery Ward sales office to simply chat with the individual manning the TV Phone. The positive affective results generated by social communication occurring enhanced measurably the understanding and appreciation of handicapped people in general and deaf individuals in particular by the staff at Montgomery Ward.


Educational Systems  (pp42)

Several exploratory applications of the TV Phone in general educational utilization were made. These applications were made in the sense of exploratory work only. Of importance from these applications were several functions which the TV Phone could be used to provide extended educational opportunities within a deaf community.

The need for opportunities for continuing educational programming for deaf adults was clearly identified. It was determined that within two metropolitan areas, hearing impaired adults could profit from courses in further language development, reading, consumer education, social studies (with emphasis on current events), and various job-related skill areas. It was suggested that schools for the deaf could be the focus for a system of continuing education and provide educational programming through the use of telecommunication instruments.

Another function that was identified as appropriate to be met by the utilization of TV. Phones in schools was to provide communication between dormitories and a teacher on duty during the evening study hours. This type of application would provide direct contact between a teacher and students to clarify, reinforce and assist students in completing their academic assignments.

Another need identified which could be met through the utilization of the TV Phone or similar telecommunication devices was to provide supplementary instructional assistance in day programs for deaf children.

A day program could, for selected students, provide an instrument such as
a TV Phone to be transported home in the afternoon and utilized for direct communication with an assigned teacher during the afternoon and evening hours.

The last need identified as appropriate for further development of telecommunications with the deaf is for providing educational activities to students confined to an infirmary or to their home during periods of illness. Ordinarily, assignments of materials and information must be transmitted by mail or through an itinerant teacher. It was anticipated that a system could be developed for utilizing telecommunication devices which would minimize the degree of staff time involved in ensuring an absence of disruption in the educational progress of deaf children due to illness.

One major area of exploration for the utilization of portable telecommunication devices in an instructional setting was to determine the possible use of such devices in conjunction with a computer assisted instructional system. In this study TV Phones were placed with the University of New York system for examination as a possible inexpensive computer terminal for use in conjunction with a time-sharing computer system. It was initially planned that this section of the report would be composed by the staff of the Center for Instructional. Resources, the State University College, New P
altz, New York. Due to unforeseen circum-stances, the Director of that Center couldn't complete in detail the evaluation of the TV Phone as a remote computer terminal. However, certain general findings were determined by his staff. 

Generally, the TV Phone in its present form could, with an ancillary
device, be utilized as a computer terminal in limited applications. There are three areas of concern in order for a commercially available telecommunications unit to be utilized in this way with respect to a large scale computer system. These areas of concern center on hard-ware computer language and available computer assisted instructional programs.

Technically the TV Phone is limited in its operational capacity relative to more expensive and elaborate computer terminals. The number and type of characters generated by the existing unit
are not in all cases directly compatible with many computer operations. Also, the hertz range for the modem presently employed in the TV Phone is different from that used by time-shared computer systems. The ancillary hardware necessary to change the hertz range of the TV Phone modem to that used by most computer systems would require an individually designed "black box" to modulate those frequencies. If that were accomplished, one additional suggestion made by the personnel of the Center for Instructional Resources was that if the units presently available were to be slightly modified, a tremendous increase in capability would be achieved. If five keys were added to the keyboard, thus increasing the available characters generated by the TV Phone,. the programming and response capabilities of the TV Phone would be more consistent with the required functions of time-shared computer systems.

The language capabilities of time-shared computer systems exceeds those possible with the TV Phone. This again is a technical limitation which would have to be reserved given that the intent of exploring the
possibility of using the TV Phone as a computer terminal is not to match
exactly the capabilities of larger or complicated terminal units. It would be a restriction in the number and complexity of computer languages able to be used with a TV Phone in its present state. For in-stance, Fortran 4 course program and Algol require additional character generation capabilities than are possible with the TV Phone. APL and other less complicated computer languages seemingly would be easily adapted to the capabilities of the TV Phone.

It was also pointed out by the Center for Instructional Resources staff that college level course programming for computer assisted instruction programs virtually requires a complex, sophisticated computer terminal. That is, courses in tests and measurements, statistics, etc., have functions in their feedback system for student response, which require the full capability of an eighty-character keyboard. However, lower level course programming such as basic informational programs, and elementary and secondary course work, do not require such sophisticated response mechanisms and seemingly would be most suitable for use with the TV Phone as a computer terminal.


 It is important to recall that due principally to time constraints, the results of this study should be. considered as suggestive of issues and variables for further study and not as a definitive' analysis of telecommunications for the deaf. It is hoped that the data presented will enable in part the development of programmatic funding efforts to determine the most effective role to be played by Federal support of such services to the handicapped.

Also it should be recognized that there was no intent throughout this study to evaluate the TV Phone apart from the general concern over dimensions of social and other communications by the deaf. The TV Phone was used here as a means to examine certain aspects of telecommunications and not as the only device available or possible for such use. Clearly, conclusions can be drawn to support certain assumptions regarding the design, manufacture, and marketing of equipment specifically to be used by the deaf population.

Historically, the initial availability of telecommunication devices for the deaf came from the adaptation of discarded teletype writers by the efforts of the dedicated professionals. Large electronics firms find prohibitive the costs necessary for the development of devices for the very limited market represented by the deaf. Equipment adaptable for the needs of the deaf will become available only as related to general technological advances. The limitations detected here with use of the TV Phone were not insurmountable and are suggestive of equipment features to include in any devices to be developed or adapted in the future.

With respect to recommendations concerning telecommunications equipment, it is clear that there has grown up in the deaf, community certain expectations.

Since the teletypewriter has been in use since the early sixties, deaf users have come to rely heavily on hard copy of telephone conversations. A great deal of user resistance to the lack of hard copy was encountered throughout this study. Several interesting features of this issue can be described anecdotally. Many of the subjects in the study were asked why they placed such value on a hardcopy. Responses were of two sorts; individuals either 


In addition to the problems of interruption of entertainment viewing and delay for warm-up periods, the need to acquire a dedicated receiver poses a great financial burden for the average deaf adult. Even the most enthusiastic subjects in this study did not indicate a willingness to spend more than $700 to purchase a TV Phone. Since the retail cost of the unit is about $1,000 and a receiver would cost an additional $100-$150
it seems that economic variables are an important and critical factor in determining the future course of telecommunications for the deaf.

Future development of equipment should be such that the devices are fully self-contained and do not require a user to acquire an additional piece of equipment to use it. It would seem that a display raster and the necessary circuitry could be incorporated into a single unit together with the keyboard and modem with little difficulty. The possible use of LED technology should be explored as well.

One issue treated during the study was that of using the equipment when traveling. The need for a portable device to enable deaf adults to utilize pay phones and telephones in hotels, etc., is clear. However, there are many problems to be resolved before deaf people can have full access to telephone communications. With the exception of local calls, all pay phones and hotel phones require operator intervention for which an oral response and hearing are mandatory on the part of the caller.

The findings from the social communication data indicate that there is a real need for broader access to telecommunication services among the deaf. The average number of days a subject had the TV Phone in the household
was 74.5 days which include the 16 subjects who returned the equipment ahead of schedule for one reason or another. The average number of hours that subjects used the instrument during that period was 90.7 which means that subjects used the TV Phone on the average of 1.2  hours each day. If those who returned the equipment early and those who had a tty available for their use, then the per day usage was 1.3 hours. This rate of usage is quite high and indicates that the availability of a telecommunication device provide a a much broader range of opportunities to deaf adults than is normally available. This can be supported anecdotally on the basis that subjects in both Boston and New York city established new friendships with other deaf people previously inaccessible. The long term social, psychological, and sociological implications of an increased range of social relationships certainly merits further study. It seems clear that social isolation can be measurably reduced through access to telecommunications.

The conclusions to be drawn from the examination of business applications are closely related to those of a social psychological nature in social communications. The specific application operated by Montgomery-Ward made available to deaf adults a retail service not previously possible. Such access to service can have very beneficial effects on the functioning and well-being of deaf adults. It would seem important to examine the long-term effects of such applications to include other services available by phone to hearing adults. It is also important to recognize that it is relatively inexpensive for a firm to provide such service to the deaf community.

Educational applications of electronic telecommunication devices for the deaf must center on the examination of broadened access to computer-based and computer associated instruction by the deaf. The technical problems identified in the study related to the specific instrument used are easily overcome.
The development of the required hardware interfaces would require not advance in state-of-the-art of computer hardware. The importance of providing equal access to technological advances in education for the deaf cannot be understated.

Overall, the suggestions stemming from this study indicate that major deficiencies in social, economic and educational opportunities for the deaf can be substantially reduced or eliminated through the increased availability of telecommunication devices which are economical, reliable, and functionally self-contained. The suggestions for further inquiry derived from the data indicate that with no major developmental effort a broad range of problems can be addressed and resolved.




See examples of the "TV Phone Evaluation Project Questionnaire"
in this  PDF file










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DOCUMENT RESUME ED 101 534EC 07/ 879 AUTHOR Wyman, Raymond; Eachus, Todd

TITLE - A Field Test of Electronic Telecommunication Terminals for the Deaf. Final Report, 1973-1974.

INSTITUTION Massachusetts Univ., Amherst

PUB DATE Sep 74 GRANT OEG-0-73-0534 NOTE.85p.

DESCRIPTORS Adult Education; Aurally Handicapped; *Business; Communication (Thought Transfer); Computers;*Deaf;*Educational Technology; Electromechanical Aids; Equipment Evaluation; Equipment Utilization;  Exceptional Child Research; *Interpersonal Relationship; Normalization .(Handicapped);*Telephone Communication Systems


Telecommunications devices for the deaf were evaluated in social communications, business uses, and educational and general data systems uses. Approximately 80 TV Phones placed in the homes of deaf adults were evaluated in such areas as equipment utility and reliability, and user reaction, through collection instruments such as user questionnaires and electronic devices for recording cumulative time fur calls. Business installation of the TVPhone was done at a Montgomery Ward's Catalog Sales Office and use by approximately 412 deaf persons in the area who were informed of the service was evaluated. Exploratory applications of the communications equipment in educational/systems utilization was done through the media departments of two schools for the deaf, and a university instructional technology department which examined its use as anon-line computer terminal for handicapped individuals confined to home. Users in the social setting reporter' advantages of the TV Phone such as compactness and portability and disadvantages such as the lack of hard paper copies of conversations (which TTYs provide). Utilization of the telephone catalog ordering service increased during the study period from approximately 3 orders per week to 8 to12 orders per week. Educational uses for the TV Phone identified included continuing educational programming deaf adults, (LS) 






United States Patent 3746793 


A keyboard entry terminal generates character codes in response to an 
operator's key selections. The code is transmitted to voice grade telephone 
lines through an acoustic coupler with a telephone receiver cradled thereon. An 
ordinary television receiver is connected to the terminal to display the 
operator's message as it is typed on the keyboard. An identical terminal is 
located at the other end of the telephone lines so that the code transmitted 
over the lines is received by the remote terminal through its acoustic coupler, 
upon which the receiving station telephone receiver is similarly cradled. Again, 
an ordinary TV receiver is connected to the terminal at the receiver station for 
the display of the incoming message. Transmission from the receiver station can 
then take place as outlined above. 


Sachs, Reynold M. (McLean, VA) 
Boutin, Henri P. (McLean, VA) 
Cicchiello, Frank (Norristown, PA) 

Application Number:


Publication Date:


Filing Date:


Export Citation:

Click for automatic bibliography generation 


Phonics Corporation (Washington, DC) 

Primary Class:


Other Classes:

345/168, 379/93.37 

International Classes:

G06F3/023; G06F3/048; G06F3/153; G09G5/22; H04L21/04; H04M11/08; G06F3/023; 
G06F3/048; G06F3/153; G09G5/22; H04L21/00; H04M11/08; (IPC1-7): H04M11/06 

Field of Search:

178/6.8 340 

View Patent Images:

Download PDF 3746793 PDF help

US Patent References:



August 1972




May 1972




April 1972




April 1972




April 1972




December 1971




October 1971




June 1971

Le Blang



March 1970




July 1969



System for recording, reproducing and communicating digital and audio signals 
with control adjuncts for operator use

December 1968



Magnetic tape recording of typewriter keyboard data

September 1968



Serial multibit magnetic recording head structure

September 1968



Digital storage and generation of video signals

October 1967



Translation system

January 1962


Primary Examiner:

Claffy, Kathleen H. 

Assistant Examiner:

D'amico, Thomas 


Wherefore we claim the following

1. A telephone communication system for the hearing impaired, the system having 
at least two communication stations, each station comprising: 

2. The structure of claim 1 wherein the counter means is incremented by OR 
gating of key strokes from the keyboard and the output from a relatively low 
frequency oscillator. 

3. The structure of claim 1 wherein circuit means are connected between the 
keyboard and an external tape recorder for effecting the recording of a message 
as it is entered on the keyboard. 

4. The circuitry set forth in claim 1 wherein circuit means are connected 
between the means for generating electric message signals and an external tape 
recorder for recording all communication transmitted and received at a station. 

5. The structure defined in claim 4 together with means for detecting the 
connection of a tape recorder in the system at said one station and issuing a 
visual warning thereof at said other station. 

6. The circuitry stated in claim 1 together with indicator means connected in 
circuit with the output of the acoustic coupler for visually indicating the 
condition of the phone lines when a call is being placed. 

7. The structure defined in claim 2 wherein the counter means includes: 



The present invention relates to telephone communication systems, and more 
particularly to communication systems utilizing electronic keyboard entry 
systems and cathode ray tube displays. 


Before the advent of the teletypewriter, the hearing impaired could only 
communicate in three ways. For persons communicating at a distance, the written 
word had to suffice. In vis a' vis communication, the most prevalent method is 
finger spelling and/or sign language. When it is necessary for a hearing 
impaired person to "listen" to another individual with normal hearing, this must 
be done by lip reading. However, it should be noted that lip reading is an 
extremely difficult talent to perfect and therefore, relatively few of the 
hearing impaired can lip read with proficiency. 

With the advent of the teletypewriter, the hearing impaired have made use of 
teletypewriters to communicate over voice grade telephone lines. The 
teletypewriters so being used do not have a standard typewriter keyboard, but 
rather a truncated, 32 key keyboard. The teletypewriter generates "hard copy" 
messages being set and received. 

However, the teletypewriter has several basic disadvantages for this use by the 
hearing impaired. The first disadvantage resides in the relatively high cost for 
a teletypewriter telecommunications system. In addition to its relatively high 
initial cost, the teletypewriter, which is electromechanical, requires continued 
maintenance and replacement of parts. Moreover, the teletypewriter requires 
installation which can only be performed by a trained, qualified electrician. 

An additional disadvantage of the teletypewriter becomes manifest in the home 
and office environment where persons are present who have normal hearing. 
Particularly, the noise generated during the operation of a teletypewriter is 
bothersome and annoying to persons who can hear the constant highly audible 
clatter of the machine. 

Lastly, due to its large size and substantial weight, the teletypewriter is in 
no sense a portable, or even mobile, unit. The teletypewriter, requiring a 
rather permanent installation, cannot conveniently be relocated to another 


The present invention is directed to a modified keyboard entry system, in the 
form of a computer keyboard terminal as described in copending application Ser. 
No. 279227 by Moyer et al. 

Basically, the terminal consists of a keyboard that generates binary electronic 
codes in response to key actuation by an operator. These signals are transmitted 
to a conventional telephone through an acoustic or inductive coupler that is 
integrally mounted to the keyboard. The generated codes are then sent over voice 
grade telephone lines to another party that has a similar terminal. The 
electronics at the receiving terminal translates the code to a signal that can 
be displayed on a cathode ray tube. During the entry of a message onto the 
keyboard, the message becomes generated upon a cathode ray tube interfaced with 
the transmitting terminal. Thus, the transmitted and received messages between 
the two communicating parties are displayed on a video medium, rather than 
through a "hard copy" printout. 

Circuitry is provided in the present invention to allow the generation of the 
video display on an ordinary television receiver, without modification or 
reconnections within said receiver. A connection is made between the keyboard 
entry terminal and the VHF antenna terminals of the television receiver. 

Accordingly, rather than employing a relatively expensive commercial CRT 
monitor, a person with a hearing impairment can employ an ordinary household 
television that he already has as his video display. 

The present terminal is entirely electronic and therefore, its operation is 
essentially noiseless. The unit can be fabricated in a small (11 inches × 9 
inches × 4 inches) lightweight (5 lbs.) and completely portable package. 

Because substantially all of the electronic devices making up the terminal 
system can be manufactured in integrated circuit form, production models of the 
invention can be made at a relatively low cost when compared with a 
teletypewriter. These savings can be passed on to the consumer. 

The above features are especially attractive to the hearing impaired, 
particularly when one is faced with the choice between a teletypewriter and a 
much more advantageous and economical system, in the form of the present 

The above-mentioned objects and advantages of the present invention will be more 
clearly understood when considered in conjunction with the accompanying 
drawings, in which: 

FIGS. 1A and 1B are block diagrams of the circuitry contained in the terminal of 
the present invention. 

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the present system including the terminal, 
television receiver video display, and a telephone. 

FIG. 3 is a logic diagram of a utilization monitor that is capable of monitoring 
usage, and terminating system operation after a predetermined time and an actual 
usage rate has been exceeded. The utilization monitor has the capability of 
being reset from a remote location or central station. 


Referring to the figures, and more particularly FIG. 2 thereof, reference 
numeral 2 generally describes the terminal package and its keyboard. By 
depressing the keys, code tones are generated and made available at an acoustic 
coupler 4 which is integrally located in the terminal 2. A telephone receiver 6 
is placed upon the acoustic coupler to allow communication between the terminal 
2 and a standard telephone 8. The code is transmitted to another similarly 
equipped station through voice grade telephone lines, and a response is made 
manifest by tones at the earpiece of the receiver 6. The acoustic coupler picks 
up the tones and transmits these tones to the terminal 2 where electronic 
circuitry decodes the tones and generates alpha-numeric characters on the screen 
of an ordinary television receiver 9. Means are provided on the keyboard 2 for 
presenting a display of the typed characters while the terminal is transmitting 
to another party and vice versa. In this way, the receiver 9 displays the 
message generated by the parties at both stations. 

Referring to FIG. 2, the acoustic coupler 4 is seen to have the external 
appearance of a telephone receiver cradle for snuggly receiving the ends of the 
telephone receiver 6. With reference now to FIG. 1, the cradle has a first-end 
with a microphone therein as indicated by reference numeral 10. The microphone 
accepts data from the earpiece end of the telephone receiver 6 (FIG. 2). This 
data is transmitted to the telephone 8 (FIG. 2) by another party at a similarly 
equipped station (not shown), via voice grade telephone lines. 

In order for the keyboard terminal to communicate data to the other station, 
FIG. 1 illustrates a speaker 12 for transmitting acoustical data, as generated 
by the keyboard. The speaker 12 is located in the opposite end of the cradle 4 
(FIG. 2) and is acoustically coupled to the mouthpiece end of the telephone 
receiver 6 (FIG. 2). Thus, data being generated on the keyboard of the terminal 
may be sent to the other station through the telephone 8 (FIG. 2) after the 
keyboard depressions have been translated to audio tones. 

The microphone 10 has an output that is delivered to the input of amplifier 14 
for boosting signal strength. The output of amplifier 14 is fed to a band pass 
filter 16 where transients and noise are filtered from the signal received from 
the other station. This signal is then further processed by a frequency 
discriminator 18 that functions to detect the presence of frequencies 
corresponding to a binary 1 and binary 0. The frequency discriminator 18 may be 
characterized as a double tuned linear frequency discriminator as used in FM 
discriminators. As an alternative, the frequency discrimination could be 
implemented by using a phase locked loop. At the junction between the band pass 
filter 16 and the frequency discriminator 18 is a carrier detector 20 that 
responds to the carrier present when data is being transmitted from the other 
station. Basically, the carrier detector 20 is a conventional threshold voltage 
detector. The output of the detector 20 is fed to an AND gate 22 at a first 
input thereof. A second input of the AND gate 22 is connected to the frequency 
discriminator 18. Thus, when a proper frequency is detected along with the 
presence of a data carrier, the AND gate 22 is enabled and data flows through 
the gate at output line 24. 

The following discussion will pertain to the circuitry required to transmit data 
generated on the keyboard of the terminal. 

A frequency shift key (FSK) oscillator oscillates at two distinct frequencies 
depending upon whether a binary 1 or a binary 0 is selected. The oscillator is a 
programmable unijunction oscillator of conventional design. Once enabled, the 
oscillator 26 will generate one or the other frequency to a band pass filter 32 
that eliminates harmonics. The output of the filter is connected to the speaker 
12 of the acoustic coupler. The speaker developes the acoustic signal 
representing the character depressed on the terminal keyboard, this signal then 
being transmitted to the other station through the telephone line. 

The following discussion is offered to explain the generation of character codes 
when keys on the keyboard are depressed. 

In FIG. 1, reference numeral 28 generally indicates the circuitry, in block 
diagram form of the keyboard. 

The binary bits of a keyboard character are generated along lead 502. The coded 
characters conform to the ASCII standard code. The bits appear on lead 502 in 
serial fashion. Lead 502 is connected to an input of the FSK oscillator 26, 
previously discussed. As mentioned earlier, this oscillator generates one of two 
frequencies depending upon whether the input on lead 502 is a logic 1 or logic 

The binary code for each character is originally generated by the closure of any 
one of 52 keyboard switches 34. A conventional type diode matrix 36 has its 
inputs connected to the key switches. The output of the matrix appears as six 
code bits or six levels of the standard ASCII code. The seventh bit is generated 
by gate 38 which has two inputs. The first input is the sixth bit of the diode 
matrix output. The second input to the gate 38 comes from keyboard gating, along 
lead 46. The keyboard gating lead is energized when certain keys on the keyboard 
are depressed. For example, the standard ASCII code contains an upper case 
character set. When certain keys are shifted, a character such as a bracket will 
be generated by the diode matrix 36. When such a character is generated, the 
lead 46 is energized and allows the gated seventh bit to be fed, along with the 
six code bits from the diode matrix 36, to a parallel to serial converter 44. 
The output of the parallel to serial converter 44 appears at the lead 502 which 
as discussed before, carries the serial ASCII code to the FSK oscillator 26. 

An additional eighth bit is transmitted to the converter 44 along lead 500. This 
bit is generated when the terminal detects the presence of a tape recorder 
jacked into the terminal at the other remote station. This particular feature 
will be discussed in greater detail hereinafter. 

In order to avoid the erroneous generation of a code upon the depression of two 
or more keys simultaneously, the keyboard circuitry includes a detector 48 
having switches 34' connected to the input thereof. The switches are 
mechanically coupled with the keyboard key switches 34. The detector 48 sums 
currents from the switches 34', and when a threshold is exceeded, the circuit 
determines that two or more keys have been depressed and as a result, the 
detector 48 issues a signal to the keyboard strobe inhibit gate 50. This gate 
transmits an inhibit pulse along lead 52 to the parallel to serial converter 44. 
When the inhibit gate generates a signal, the parallel to serial converter is 
prevented from loading and prevents additional flow of information along lead 

The parallel to serial converter 44 has an additional input from line 54 which 
carries a keyboard clock signal that determines keyboard data flow rate. The 
clock pulses appearing along lead 54 are originally generated from an internal 
fixed oscillator 504. Pulses from the oscillator 504 undergo frequency division 
by the frequency divider 60 that is fabricated in the form of an IC chip. 

The output from the frequency divider 60 forms the keyboard clock on lead 54. 

The serial to parallel converter 62 receives data from lead 502 thru OR gate 66 
which are the serial ASCII character codes as generated by key depression or via 
lead 24 through OR gate 66 which are serial ASCII character codes received from 
another party. Once received data undergoes serial to parallel conversion at 62, 
the resultant eight bit character is loaded into an eight bit register 70 which 
stores one word at a time. Before the word stored in register 70 is shifted out 
of the register, there must be a detection of a start bit in a data word at bit 
detector 72. The bit detector 72 has an input connected to the converter input 
lead 64. The output from the start of data word detector 72 is fed to the clock 
control 76 which controls the timing for shifting data out of the eight bit 
register 70. The start bit of a data word is part of the standard ASCII 
character code developed by the parallel to serial converter 44. The clock 
control 76 is reset by a control pulse appearing at 506 which is generated by 
detector 20 when a transient of longer duration than a carrier pulse's detected. 

A gate 74 is provided at an input to the serial-to-parallel converter 62. The 
gate has an input that is coupled to the keyboard clock line 54. The purpose of 
the gate 74 is to strobe the data line at the midpoint of each data bit. This 
insures proper transmission of each character between the serial-to-parallel 
converter 62 and the eight bit register 70. 

The detection of the start bit is also important when data is being received 
from the other station. This detection is done by detector 72. The detector is 
basically a counter which counts the time interval between the leading edge of 
the start bit and the midpoint. If the time interval exceeds a preselected 
value, the start bit is assumed to be valid. However, if the time interval is 
not exceeded, the start bit is assumed to be invalid and may be a transient or 
the like. The detector 72, of conventional design, is employed in a wide variety 
of data communications systems operating with the ASCII code system. The start 
bit is also detected when it is loaded in the serial-to-parallel converter 62. 
Thus, when the start bit that is originally loaded in the serial-to-parallel 
converter is detected at the output, it is known that a complete word has been 
transmitted from the converter. When the start bit of a data word is detected at 
the output of converter 62, line 78 is actuated and causes an inhibit of further 
strobing of the converter 62 through gate 74. The register 70 is then switched 
to receive the word from the converter 62. 

At the same time register 70 receives the word, a mono-stable flip-flop 80 is 
triggered due to the presence of an enabling pulse on line 78. The flip-flop 
generates a signal at the output 82 which corresponds to a valid data pulse for 
loading of the display driver, to be discussed hereinafter. Presence of a pulse 
on line 82 indicates to the rest of the circuitry that the word has been 
completely loaded. 

The circuitry for converting electrical binary signals to a video display is 
concentrated within two circuits. The first circuit achieves timing and control 
and is generally indicated by reference numeral 84. This timing and control 
circuit is coupled to a memory and video generator generally indicated by 
reference numeral 86. 

As previously discussed, the eight bit register 70 stores a single word at a 
time. Each word is represented by a six bit code appearing at output lines 88. 
These lines input to 6 × 256 bit register in the form of a recirculating MOS 
memory 90. Such a memory is commercially available and is identified as INTEL 
1402. The capacity of the memory is chosen so that eight lines of 32 characters 
per line can be stored. Each character itself is comprised of six bits to 
conform to the ASCII code. The capacity of the memory constitutes a full "page" 
in the display format. Data is fed to a line register 92, a line at a time. In 
order to store a line at a time, the capacity of the register 92 is set at 6 × 
32 bits. A line register such as 92 is commercially available and is identified 
as TMS 3112. Actually, the data fed between the bit register 90 and the bit 
register 92 must flow through the intermediate gates having a page select 
enabling input 94. Thus, for a particular "page" of data, all the illustrated 
gates are enabled in parallel. In order to generate a different page of data, a 
second bit register such as 90 is employed as a memory for this second page of 
data. The second memory unit is indicated in phantom by reference numeral 96. As 
will be seen from the figure, the memory 96 has its own output leads that are 
gated to the line register 92 through a second set of parallel gates. The 
enabling signal "page select" is different for the gates at the output of 
register 90 than it is for the gates appearing at the output of the register 96. 
Any number of "pages" can be generated as long as this "page" has its own 
memory, such as 90, 96 and the associated page select gates. 

Characters from the line register 92 are ASCII encoded characters and are 
presented in sequence to the character generator 98 which is a read only memory. 
The character generator communicates with the line register 92 via six bit lines 
that define the sequentially delivered ASCII encoded characters. The character 
generator 98 is identified by its commercial notation TMS 2501. 

The video display is constructed row by row until a total of eight rows are 
displayed on the screen. Each row contains a maximum of 32 characters each 
constructed from a 5 × 7 dot matrix. The actual construction of each character, 
per se, is similar to that of disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,685,039. As will be 
seen in FIG. 1B, three input lines generally shown at 100 provides input 
sequential addresses between binary "0" and binary "7" to address one of seven 
lines in a particular character matrix that is to be generated. 

The output from the character generator 98 represents the five dots in an 
addressed line of a generated character. The output is transmitted to a five bit 
parallel to serial converter 104 via connecting lines 102. A clock input at 106 
determines the horizontal bit rate of dots in the character matrix. Returning to 
the line register 92, a load/recirculate clock 108 is presented thereat to 
determine the flow of characters sequentially transfered from the output of 
register 92. The origin of the clock signal 108 will be discussed in greater 
detail hereinafter. 

Video data from the five bit parallel-to-serial converter 104 is transmitted on 
line 110 to a signal mixer 112 which is a conventional resistive adder where 
this signal is superimposed with a vertical synchronizing pulse 114, a 
horizontal synchronizing signal 116, and a third input to the mixer which is a 
cursor signal that is optional. The horizontal and vertical synchronizing 
signals 114 and 116 serve as framing signals. The horizontal synchronizing 
signal 116 is necessary because the video display is generated on a raster scan. 
Of course, the vertical synchronizing signal is required to generate the data 
line by line. The optional cursor is a symbol, such as an elevated hyphen which 
appears on the display as a next character position to be displayed. The cursor 
is of great value to a machine operator inasmuch as it informs the operator when 
line feed is required. The output from the signal mixer is a composite of the 
character video data, horizontal and vertical synch, as well as the optional 
cursor, fed to an RF oscillator/modulator 118 through connecting lead 123. The 
oscillator/modulator 118 shifts the frequency of the mixed signal to the RF 
range and makes the signal available at the RF output terminal 120. 

By employing the RF oscillator 118, it is possible to generate composite video 
information from the individual signals appearing at the input of the signal 
mixer and transferring them to the antenna terminals 126 of an ordinary 
television receiver for display on its screen. This is a primary accomplishment 
of the invention over the prior art. It is to be emphasized that the composite 
display can be transmitted to an ordinary television receiver without making 
connections to, or modifications of the internal circuitry of the receiver. 
Rather, a simple connection between the terminal 120 and the external terminals 
of a conventional television receiver is all that is required. 

Reference is made once again to FIG. 1 wherein the timing and control circuitry 
84 will be discussed in detail. Basically, this circuitry generates horizontal 
sync and vertical sync signals; shifts out data from the five bit parallel to 
serial converter 104; and controls the recirculating and loading of memories 90 
and 92. In terms of the circuitry employed for timing and control, a phase lock 
loop is used for master timing. 

The phase lock loop consists of a timing chain generator 134, a phase detector 
136, a low pass filter 138, and a voltage controlled oscillator 132. 

The timing chain generator 134 is a sixteen stage binary counter that generates 
sixteen bits as indicated. The right-most bit line represents the lowest 
generated frequency from the counter 134. This lead is fed back to a phase 
detector 136 where phase angle comparison is made with a standard frequency, 
such as a 60 HZ line. The detector is of the conventional demodulator type 
capable of generating an error voltage output that is fed to a low pass filter 
138 which includes a charging capacitor. The charging capacitor provides the 
input to the voltage controlled oscillator 132. This oscillator generates a 
frequency in accordance with the input presented to it, this input being 
proportional to the difference in phase between the reference voltage and the 
fed back voltage present at the phase detector. In turn, the output from the 
oscillator 132 provides a stable frequency reference to the timing chain 
generator through connecting lead 140. 

A character address counter 142 receives a first input from the data valid line 
82. The output from this counter constitutes five bits indicated by reference 
numeral 150. Another output from the counter 142 feeds an overflow detector 144 
which turns on when a particular line has been filled with characters. The 
overflow detector 144 then communicates with an input to the line address 
counter 146 to accomplish line counter incrementing. The line address counter 
146 has a three bit output as indicated by reference numeral 152. Since the 
terminal is operating in a typewriter mode of entry, counting of the characters 
entered is required so that line spillover does not occur. 

A comparator 148 compares the bits generated by the character address counter 
142 and the line address counter 146 with seven bits from the timing chain 
generator 134. The function of this comparison is to compare the address of a 
particular character on a particular line with the address of the main memory 
90. The address of this particular character at a particular line is generated 
by the eight bits from 150 and 152 from the counters 142 and 146. When a 
comparison exists, a COMPARE signal is generated by the comparator 148. The 
COMPARE signal is a first input 161 to the gate 154. The second input to gate 
154 is a DATA VALID pulse 156 that is inverted by 158. When a character is 
received from the keyboard or coupler, and a COMPARE signal exists, a pulse is 
generated on line 162 which switches the memory 90 from a normally recirculating 
mode to a load mode. 

An additional timing control is provided by the LOAD/RECIRCULATE unit 160 which 
causes shifting of memory 92 between load and recirculate modes. When in a load 
mode, data is transferred between memories 90 and 92. Shifting occurs between 
modes once for each character row because the characters are dumped by 90 and 
loaded into 92 on a character line by line basis for every sixteen traces of 
raster scan under control of RCIR signal on line 164. 

Additional features which make the present invention particularly amenable as a 
communication system for the hearing impaired will now be discussed. 

As two persons are creating messages at their respective stations, the system 
must provide a carriage return and line feed for the visual display. In order to 
effect this, a gate 508 shown in FIG. 1A has six inputs connected to the outputs 
of the eight bit latch register 70. The output from this gate is indicated at 
510 and represents a line that is actuated when a space character is detected by 
the gate 508. Line 510 is introduced as an input to the gate 511, shown in FIG. 
1B, which has two additional inputs connected to the third and fourth bit lines 
of the character address counter 142. The gate 511 detects character addresses 
that are equal to or greater than the 24th character position on a line. The 
visual display has a format of 32 maximum characters to a line. When the gate 
511 detects the coincidence of an end of line condition (the 24th character has 
been entered) and a space character is fed to the gate 511 through line 510, the 
overflow detector 144 is triggered through line 512. Triggering results in 
carriage return and line feed. 

As an additional feature, the present system can operate so as to display alpha 
numeric data from a pre-recorded tape. Also, output connections from the system 
are provided so that an external tape can be recorded with data generated from 
the terminal keyboard. Referring to the upper left corner of FIG. 1A, there will 
be seen a jack 514 which permits the system to input from an external tape 
recorder. With serially connected switch 556 closed, the data from the external 
tape recorder will enter the terminal at the input to amplifier 14. Thereafter, 
the data will be displayed as previously discussed in connection with data 
received through the microphone 10 of the acoustic coupler. The line 514 is also 
introduced as an input to the bandpass filter 32. Consequently, with switch 554a 
closed, the program material from the external tape recorder will be played out 
from the speaker 12 and then to the phone lines for receipt by the other 

It is possible to record onto tape by tapping the output of the FSK oscillator 
26. The purpose of tapping off from this oscillator is to recreate a "high 
fidelity" pulse train from data that is received through the microphone 10. The 
reconstituted pulses repeat the data. However, the individual pulses are 
reshaped to minimize signal degradation. 

A survey amongst the hearing impaired indicates a strong desire on the part of 
this population to have a visual indication when the party they are 
communicating with is recording the communication between stations. Accordingly, 
as seen in FIG. 2, a light 522 is provided for signalling this occurrence. With 
respect to the electronics for accomplishing the signal indication, reference is 
made to FIG. 1A wherein line 500 is connected to contacts 516a of the "Record 
Onto Tape Jack" 516. These contacts are closed when a tape recorder plug is 
inserted into the jack. As a result of the contact closure, the eighth bit of 
the pulse train from parallel to serial converter 44 becomes a logic 1, the 
eighth bit being subsequently transferred through converter 62 and latch 70 for 
subsequent energization of indicator lamp 522, via lead 518. The latches 70 of 
both stations are actuated so that both parties can realize the connection of a 
tape recorder by one of the parties. The physical location of lamp 522 is shown 
in FIG. 2. 

It is exceedingly important for a calling party to be given information with 
regard to the status of phone lines when he places a call. Persons with normal 
hearing rely upon dial tones, busy signals, ringing signals, and other audio 
tones to make them aware of whether a call can be completed. Because the deaf 
caller is unable to make this audio determination, he must relay upon a visual 
indication. In the present invention, a phone line status lamp indicator 528 is 
mounted on the keyboard and merely converts to light, the tone intervals that a 
normal person hears. A light 528 is illustrated in FIG. 2 to be conveniently 
placed on the keyboard for easy sighting. Circuitwise, FIG. 1A illustrates the 
lamp 528 to be connected to the output of amplifier 14 through a connecting lead 
524 and serially connected driver 526. 

From a marketing point of view, the present terminals may be leased to users on 
a utilization basis. Accordingly, it is necessary to determine the degree of 
utilization made by the terminal so that the customer can be billed in 
accordance with use. In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, 
utilization is monitored by a combination of key stroke entries as well as time 
on line. After a predetermined number of key strokes have been entered, the user 
is cautioned to call a central operator for clearance to continue using the 
terminal. When such a request is made to a central operator, she may check the 
account of the user and grant continued use. To do so, she generates a special 
code which is transmitted to the terminal and resets a utilization monitor. 
However, if a user fails to keep his account timely, after he is cautioned, he 
may make a small number of additional keystroke entries. After a second 
predetermined keystroke count, the utilization monitor causes the terminal to 
shut down. In such an event, it is not until a central operator generates the 
special code that the unit can be used again. 

Reference is made to FIG. 3 which illustrates the logic diagram for the 
utilization monitor. Reference numeral 530 indicates a conventional digital 
counter having a plurality of output bits, the number of which are defined by 
the maximum count desired. The counter is stepped by a combination of key stroke 
inputs and a time input. A switch 534 is mechanically coupled with each key on 
the keyboard for commensurate closure therewith. Thus, each time a key stroke is 
entered, a pulse input is generated for input to gate 532. Time line 536 is 
connected to a slow repetition rate oscillator (not shown) which generates 
pulses at a relatively slow rate, such as one pulse for each 1.6 seconds. Each 
time there is a pulse on the time line, the gate 532 steps the counter 530 by an 
additional increment of one. A battery 538 is connected to the counter to 
maintain power even if external power is turned off. Thus, the count in counter 
530 is non-destructible. 

When a pre-selected count is generated by the counter 530, the gate 548 issues 
an "early warning signal" on line 550. This causes a visual indicator 552 to 
display the "early warning" condition. This condition warns the user that he 
should call the central operator and obtain clearance for continued use of the 
terminal. The indicator may be a lamp, or in the preferred embodiment of the 
invention, the indicator is a meter 554 having two regions. The first region 
indicates the "early warning" condition and the second region indicates the 
terminal shut-off condition. FIG. 2 illustrates the location of the meter on the 

By using the keyboard, a user calls the central operator and requests clearance, 
whereupon the central operator will check the user's account. If the account is 
up-to-date, the operator will generate a special code which becomes stored in 
the terminal latch register 70 (FIG. 1A). The code is detected by the special 
code detect gate 546 (FIG. 3), that generates an output along the reset line 
when the special code is detected. As a result, the utilization monitor 530 is 
reset and the utilization cycle begins again. 

However, if the user ignores the early warning indicator and fails to receive 
clearance from the central operator, the counter 530 continues to count until a 
second, greater count is tallied. At this point, gate 540 is triggered to 
generate a system disable pulse on line 542 which is transferred to a second 
input of the meter 552. As a result, the delinquent terminal is inhibited from 
displaying upper case characters, necessary for communication. However, the 
terminal remains receptive to received communication thereby permitting 
clearance from the central operator at any time. When disabled, the meter 552 
indicates the disabled or shut-down condition. At the same time, a line 544 
connects the output from gate 540 to a third input of gate 532 which has the 
function of disabling the counter. 

In order to appreciate how the circuitry as illustrated in FIG. 1A disables 
generation of upper case letters when the terminal is shut-down, attention is 
directed to the flip-flop 80 that receives an inhibit pulse from line 542 (FIG. 
3). As a result, data valid signals cannot be generated from the flip-flop along 
line 82. Inasmuch as this data valid pulse from line 82 is required to operate 
the circuitry as shown in FIG. 1B, the terminal will cease displaying data. 

The present terminal may be used to record a tape while data is being generated 
by the keyboard. This has been discussed in connection with the "Record Onto 
Tape" output jack 516 of FIG. 1A. When the system is used in this mode, the 
phone is not placed on the coupler. Therefore, if means were not provided 
otherwise, the speaker 12 would generate beeps that would be annoying to nearby 
persons with normal hearing. Accordingly, a switch 554 is provided to remedy the 
situation. The switch is shown in FIG. 1A and its physical location on the 
terminal is shown in FIG. 2. 

The switch is a double throw switch which has a remote position that enables the 
terminal to operate in its usual manner. The second position of the switch 
causes the system to operate in a local mode. In this mode, switch 554 is closed 
thereby shorting the amplifier 14 input to ground. In addition, a second set of 
contacts 554a opens the connection between the filter 32 and the speaker 12. 

A switch 556 is provided on the keyboard as shown in FIG. 2. The purpose of this 
switch is to permit playback, through the system, of source material from an 
external tape recorder. The jack for this tape recorder was previously discussed 
in connection with reference numeral 514. The switch 556 is a double throw 
switch. In the first, normal position of the switch, both sides of a 
communication can be recorded from jack 516 shown in FIG. 1A. In this position, 
the switch remains normally opened. If, on the other hand, the switch is 
positioned to its play position, switch 556 is closed and the playback of 
prerecorded tape material from an external tape recorder can take place through 
jack 514. 

Thus described, it will be apparent that the present invention offers the 
hearing impaired great advantages over prior art systems. 

It should be understood that the invention is not limited to the exact details 
of construction shown and described herein for obvious modifications will occur 
to persons skilled in the art. 



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