Pratt student Suhyun Kim is quite concerned about the deaf folks and wants them to enjoy technology as much as we do. Her Visual Sound is a mobile phone for the hearing impaired that converts voice input to text and text input to voice. The design features two handy pillars that scroll sideways to expose the roll-out display. To communicate, the impaired person feeds in the text onto the touchscreen display, which gets converted to voice simulation for the person on the other end of the phone and vice versa.
The only drawback that I foresee is the time taken to input the text and converting it to sound. It may deter long distance calls, but on the flipside any form of communication is better than being mum!