When new technology arises, it often brings with it solutions for seemingly unrelated problems. This is highly apparent in Dayton, Ohio, where the increased use of web conferencing systems has led to the creation of a new type of counseling for the deaf and hearing impaired.
Drug and alcohol abuse is common in the deaf and hard of hearing community, and because of their handicap, these individuals cannot seek treatment in the same way that people with functional hearing can. To address this, Wright State University is launching a program called "Deaf Off Drugs and Alcohol." "Deaf Off Drugs and Alcohol" will allow full video conferencing suits with HD-quality images to be made available to members of the community who need help with their substance abuse problems.
Through teleconferencing, sign language and lip reading is possible. While many deaf individuals have already begun to use video phones as a means of communication, Wright State University's program allows for group counseling sessions, and provides an atmosphere that is more detailed and realistic.