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!

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.


Through Convo Mobile

April 2nd, 2014

Imagine a world where we can create sculptures and artworks that last through time. A world where we can run a business in a booming city and serve gourmet cuisine recognized by international experts. A world where we can design technology for our own community in our own way. A world where we can create our legacy through metal, through wood, through art, through food, and through Convo Mobile.

We’ve made a tradition of playing an April Fool’s joke the past three years, but this year we decided to go 100% real, because there are so many real stories we want to share instead… You can call it a reverse April Fool’s!

Yes, it’s for real: All the artwork in the commercial were made by Deaf artists!

Sculpture by Douglas Tilden in San Francisco

Wooden stand by Ron Trumble in Mozzeria

Linocut print by David Call in Mozzeria

There are rich stories in the world of Deaf art, and Mozzeria is covered with it. The narrow restaurant features artworks by five Deaf artists, two of whom are in our Talking About Art series, Bex and Nancy!

Yes, it’s for real: Mozzeria is a Deaf-owned restaurant recently recognized by a renowned organization for their authentic Napoletan pizzas!

Mozzeria is a successful restaurant in a busy district of San Francisco. The Deaf-owned and Deaf-run business has received certification from Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, making Mozzeria only the third restaurant in San Francisco and the only Deaf-owned pizzeria in the world with the AVPN seal. Their pies are considered “true Neapolitan pizzas”, and they sure are delicious! Read more about it here.

Yes, it’s for real: The new Convo Mobile app has the Maps feature!

It used to take more than one app and oh-so-many clicks to find a restaurant in a neighborhood and then to call for reservations, but now everything’s in one place. Search for a business in Convo Mobile and simply tap the green call button to connect right there. We are proud to introduce Maps to VRS.

Yes, it’s for real: The entire commercial was shot with an iPhone 5s with an entirely Deaf team!

The technology at our fingertips today is truly amazing. As it continues to advance, we will continue to explore how it can be to our benefit. We shot this entire commercial with an iPhone 5s with an entirely Deaf team. Convo Mobile was also 100% designed by a Deaf team. From making it even easier to connect to others from your phone to bringing you new commercials shot from our phones, technology has changed the way we live. We choose for that change to be for the better.

This is our world today.