Pierce College has upgraded the Student Services Building with the addition of a view phone in Special Services.
At the moment, there are only four view phones, which are used by deaf students to communicate via video, on campus.
Director of Special Services Norm Crozer hopes to add them in other essential areas such as the Sheriffs Department, and possibly the library.
“It would make no sense to have them everywhere,” Crozer said.
The view phones are similar to Skype, a program which allows you to see and communicate with other users on your computer.
Not only can deaf students make calls to one another on campus, but calls can also be made nationwide.
Pierce has had these phones for about a month, and it is the first community college to have such devices installed.
“It’s interesting that we’re the pioneers of it,” Crozer smiled.
It took Pierce technicians weeks to install and wire correctly. Although the cost of the view phones was free, the work of the installation was difficult.
Victoria Sanchez, a 20-year-old deaf studies major, is exited to learn how the view phones work; she is curious to see how much easier it will be to communicate with her deaf friends.
“It’s weird how advanced our technology is,” said Sanchez
Before the view phones, deaf students communicated by the use of a keyboard, and would have to call a central business line to interpret and direct their call. Now they can just dial out like any other phone.
Ashley Griffith, a 21-year-old hard of hearing student is already finding use for the view phones by communicating with her friends.
“I like it a lot better,” said Griffith.
For more information on Pierce’s view phones, see Special Services in room 48175 of the Student Services Building.
Pierce student Tony Gomez tests out the new “view phones” which were recently installed in the Special Services building on Wednesday. (Jose Romero 2011)