Connect, a business magazine based in New York, interviewed CEO Jarrod Musano about Convo’s contribution to the Deaf community. This article talks about Jarrod’s personal experience as a property manager, which required a lot of communication, in the days before VRS and how the rise of VRS helped him succeed in his job.

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I rose in the property management business as VRS took off. I always knew I had the potential to do and be more, but the technology had to catch up.” said Jarrod. Because he experienced the impact of VRS in his business firsthand, Jarrod is passionate about making a difference in the Deaf community with Convo.

Click here to read the full article.

 
 

On Tuesday night, July 8th, we hosted an intimate unveiling of Convo Lights in DC. We could not wait to share with the community our latest innovation which we believed would put the experience of receiving calls on a whole new level! We had huge grins on our faces (and butterflies in our stomaches) as we set up for the unveiling and our wonderful caterer, Chef Matthew O’Varanese, prepared his appetizers and wine.

Not only was the event to unveil Convo Lights, it was also to celebrate our 5-year milestone. It has been one heck of a ride, none of which would be at all possible without the support of our community, so we were grateful that they came out to celebrate with us that night.

After the guests had their fill of finger foods and mingled sufficiently, the unveiling began. The show started with Wayne Betts, Jr. reminiscing on Convo’s journey thus far, which led to this question: What is our future? Our answer was Convo Lights. This brand new feature, which incorporates Philips Hue technology, creates a seamless call experience that is integrated within your home and workspace. Convo Lights is smart technology that you can use to customize incoming calls with colors of your choosing and decide where you want the lights to brighten up in your house and workspace.

The best part of the night was when we got to see the reaction to Convo Lights firsthand!

We had a wonderful night. The positive support that we received, from the people at the event and from the response on Social Media, is what drives us to always challenge ourselves in improving the overall VRS experience, for you and us both.

We also want to thank The Signing Group for making the event at Wonder Bread Factory possible and to announce an exciting new partnership!

Our photographer of the night, Heidi McNulty, snapped many great shots. Click here to see more!

On a final note, please enjoy this video of the unveiling by iDeafNews.

p.s. Convo Lights will be available in our new Convo Mobile update starting tomorrow! Click here to learn more about Convo Lights.

 
 

We are thrilled to see this progress with FCC ‘s efforts to provide transparency for the Deaf community. If you have any questions for FCC or would like to file a complaint, you can now call them on their ASL Consumer Support Line on VP at 844-432-2275 or 202-810-0444. Click here for more information.

Thank you, FCC. We look forward to continuing to improve the communications between the Deaf community and the government.

 
 

Bex’s Meaty Art

June 29th, 2014

We caught up with Bex Freund a while ago. Since featuring her on Talking About Art, she has been a busy bee! Bex had a one-person gallery show in San Francisco and is now a part of the Deaf Artist Residency program in Minnesota on top of working on her comic book for her MFA program. To keep up with her art, subscribe to her tumblr page here.

If you missed our feature on Bex, watch it here.

 
 

If you watched Nancy Rourke in our Talking About Art series and wondered what she’s been up to since then, we have exciting news to share! Nancy has published her first book, NANCY ROURKE: Deaf Artist Series, and it will be available for preorder at NAD Conference this summer in Atlanta, GA between July 2 to 5.

Congratulations, Nancy! In celebration of this huge accomplishment, we are sharing a fun questionnaire she did for Convo.

We love the impromptu drawing she did for us, with two people holding hands across a table. The style here is so very much Nancy and it also seems to be a variation of a response to our original Talking About Art challenge to capture a moment of connection. It makes us want to watch the video below again!

 
 

The exploitation of sign language that occurred during the honorable Nelson Mandela’s memorial service was offensive to the international Deaf community and made headlines around the world. An app company, Livelens, took advantage of this situation to market their product in a commercial starring Thamsanqa Jantjie, the man known as “Fake Interpreter”. In this commercial, Jantjie is shown gesturing “I speak sign language not”, speaking alone on a podium, and dancing. No captions were provided by Livelens, thus intensifying the insult to the Deaf community by denying us access to what Jantjie was saying in the commercial.

By starring Jantjie in their commercial, Livelens gave this sign language interpreter impostor fame and poked fun at the very incident that outraged the Deaf community, making a mockery of our right to sign language accessibility. The exploitation of sign language is not a gimmick.

Convo joins others in calling for the immediate end of this commercial and for Livelens to issue a public apology to the Deaf community.