AOL revealed that it is now testing the first real-time instant messaging (IM) feature targeted to deaf and hard of hearing users. Built with guidance from Gallaudet University and the Trace Research and Development Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, this feature is in the latest beta version 6.8 of the popular AIM software.
The new real-time IM feature within AIM enhances instant message conversations by enabling users to see each letter that a buddy types rather than waiting for a friend to press the send button to view and read a message. This enables deaf users to respond and react to words as they are typed just as hearing people would do as words are spoken in a voice conversation.
To access this new feature, users simply click on â€œActionsâ€ and then â€œReal-Time IMâ€ from within an instant message window. A user may also highlight a buddy on his or her Buddy List and press Ctrl+R on the keyboard to initiate real-time IM. Both the IM sender and receiver must have the version of AIM that includes the real-time IM functionality to use the feature.
Originally posted on January 15, 2008 @ 3:44 pm