Deaf geographies, and other worlds.
Heralded as the next amazing thing, ‘snap on’ attachments for mobile phones that allow you to use the phone as something other than a phone…
… as a mobile eye-testing lab, for example.
Nice use of technology… yes. But it’ll drive my wife mad.
Why? Well, not because – as an optometrist – she’ll be out of a job. But because, all this ‘snap on’ does is is tell you what lens you need in front of your eyes to approximate correct vision.
It’s that what an optom does..? well, yes… and then they take a deeper look into your eye… and tell you whether you have heart disease, or high cholesterol, or high blood pressure, or diabetes… or macular degeneration, or anything else that might, ultimately, make you go blind… or kill you.
So, will the inability to have this stuff checked at the same time stop people from using it to self-test if they can… probably not. Most people don’t realise that optoms do all that anyway… and so the simplistic equation says that this snap-on gives you the same result but costs less than going to the opticians for a full test.
But that’s a bit like the simplistic equation that says that being Deaf is only about hearing… and if you can ‘restore’ a person’s hearing… then you’ve ‘solved’ deafness. After all, what more is there to know about being Deaf once you’ve got past the most noticeable surface thing?
But then you’d miss all the other things that you might see if you look a bit deeper… like Deaf culture, language and community, history, heritage, pedagogical approaches, politics and so on. That’s where the really interesting things lie…