SBCC offers Ubi Duo technology for those with impaired hearing

KATIE JAMES, Channels Staff

Disability Services and Programs for Students provides communication systems designed for deaf students in 11 different offices on campus.

Ubi Duo technology was created by a deaf person, for deaf people to improve face to face communication. The system consists of two keyboards linked at the top with pop up screens which show what your partner is writing as they type it.

“I think it is great that SBCC offers all options from making the UbiDuo available to providing ASL or English interpreters upon request,” said Ignacio Ponce, American Sign Language instructor and staff advisor for the student club.

The President’s Office, Executive Vice President’s Office, Disability Services and Programs for Students Office, Office of Student Life, Enrollment Services, Luria Library, Learning Resources Center, Academic Counseling, Health Services, Campus Security and the Garvin Theatre are all equipped with Ubi Duo.

Writing on a notepad or texting are common ways that people who do not speak sign language communicate with deaf people but these have their drawbacks.

“The difference between this and texting is I would have to provide my phone number.” said Erik Fricke, director of campus security.

People who do not have neat handwriting may have trouble communicating with someone by passing notes.

“The UbiDuo has its own integrated wireless frequency so no WiFi is needed,” Ponce said.

“However, it can only communicate between two UbiDuos. You would also have to carry both UbiDuo devices with you all the time. They are the size of a 13 inches laptop.

“Some controversy has arisen from the fact that some hospitals, or other high-risk communication settings, have adopted this method a ‘their’ preferred communication method. This in turn has limited communication options for Deaf people, who more than often would prefer an interpreter.”