Posted by: Staff Writer on Sept. 22, 2014
Dear fans and followers, Pssst! Have you noticed what happened to our website? After months of scheming, debugging and tinkering, we've updated our website … and our brand! We’re now deaffriendly.com and we are open for reviews, nationwide.
So, what's new? Not only did we re-skin our masthead, change our tagline, and re-position our query boxes, we've escalated our ever-popular hashtag into new branding heights.
With support from the community, we evolved into something much bigger than just a website for consumer reviews. We found that on a subconscious level, just about everyone wants to be deaf-friendly… even if they have no idea what the ADA is, how to fingerspell their name, or have never written reviews critiquing their local barista. Opening nationwide allows us to broaden our reach.
Despite the name change, our mission to create a #deaffriendly world through consumer reviews, resources, and Community-building, is staying.
Goodbye awkward screen resolutions. Hello, responsive design for all your gadgets
Most of you are hooked on the ease of your iPhones, Androids, and tablets. After all, that’s where all your VP apps and text messages are. You check them obsessively, while dining at establishments, comparing store prices, and making doctor appointments. That’s why we’ve introduced our sleek, new look and responsive design.
That means you can write your reviews on the go and much faster than you ever could before.
We’re branching out. Big-time. Like 10,000-reviews-big-time
Before today, deaf, deaf-blind, hard-of-hearing, and hearing allies were only able to write reviews in one of 12 reviewable cities.
From the very beginning, we always knew we’d go nationwide because there are over 38 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the U.S.A – and some of them live in remote areas. Do you know the problem with remote areas? Oftentimes, they lack the infrastructure and ideas to implement deaf-friendly business practices.
We’re excited to see #deaffriendly and #deafchallenged reviews coming in from highly deaf-populated, but previously un-reviewable cities like Chicago, Denver, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Boston, Henrietta, Indianapolis, Jacksonville and Columbus among many others.
Bottom line: You can now review from anywhere in our 50 states! That’s why we’ve set a national goal of 10,000 reviews!
A focus on large corporate brands, VRS providers, and the medical industry
Small businesses are the backbone of America – they comprise 93% of all businesses. But there’s no doubt that big companies make a Walton-sized impact. Some good, and some bad.
Previously, you may have tried to review an airline or chain restaurant that wasn't in one of 12 reviewable cities. Or maybe a start-up company was so new, that even though it had operations nationwide, only its headquarter office was listed in our API database.
Case in point #1: Video Relay Service (VRS) providers
Despite being such a critical part of our everyday needs as deaf and hard of hearing individuals, there remains a lot to be said about how the VRS industry can improve their services for our community.
But up until now, only Convo (headquartered in Pleasanton, CA) and Communication Axess Ability Group (located in Houston, TX) have been reviewable. Starting now, many others – such as Purple Communications (Rocklin, CA), Sorenson (Salt Lake City, UT), and ZVRS (Clearwater, FL) now have the opportunity to receive #deaffriendly or #deafchallenged reviews.
Case in point #2: The health and wellness field
Medical technology has grown leaps and bounds in the 21st Century, but doctors and hospitals remain primitive in their understanding of what it means to be deaf-friendly.
From accepting relay calls to hiring qualified interpreters and creating an accessible environment (lighting, visibility, alert systems), hospitals and doctors have a long way to go in making their practices #deaffriendly.
Their #deafchallenged reputation has become a nationwide epidemic. While many emergency responders (law enforcement, firemen and emergency medical technicians) deserve positive reviews for interacting smoothly with deaf/hh patients, #deafchallenged interactions have resulted in just as many injuries and even death.
This is inexcusable. But now that we have a national footprint, we can get a clearer picture of what’s going on in the health and wellness field throughout the U.S.A.
Mega-thanks to our deaf tech team Cox Consulting and Satdaya Studios, for their tireless implementations and consultations that turned our dream into something you can finally use right at your fingertips.
Join us as we continue to evolve and add new features to www.deaffriendly.com Please write a review TODAY! Through consumer reviews like yours, you can help us on our mission to create a #deaffriendly world.
Yours for a more accessible world,
The #deaffriendly team