Ted Hart: When I was 13 years old, I lost my hearing when I got the mumps. As you can imagine, this makes it very difficult to communicate with people. When I met my future wife she was able to communicate with me only by spelling out letters on my hand. A month later, we met again, and I found out that she had taught herself the alphabet. This was a successful strategy because we’ve been married now for 19 years. Will Lewis: Last fall Ted had come to my office to tell me about an idea that he had for adapting Skype Translator to a scenario that would actually be useful to him. Ted, being deaf, can’t make calls over Skype. But with Skype Translator, because it produces transcripts, he could actually read the response back from someone. So we sat down and talked about it for a little bit and there were some pieces missing in Skype Translator. So we needed actually do something to make it more appropriate for that scenario. COMPUTER: Ted Hart is requesting an automatically translated call. Ted Hart: I usually need to have an ASL interpreter for my meetings at work. That means that meetings have to be planned in advance and sometimes this isn’t always possible. It doesn’t replace an ASL interpreter but it gives me a lot of other options if one can’t be reached at the last minute. Will Lewis: These features were really impactful for Ted in his work life. What really hit me was the realization that there was a big impact on his personal life. Ted Hart: I realized that using Skype Translator I could call my wife directly for the first time. There are relay services that you can use, but they are inconvenient and require time to initiate the call. With Skype Translator, I just read the transcript and I understand what she is saying. It’s really cool that 24 years after she learned sign language to enter my world, I can take a more full step into hers. Jenny Lay-Flurrie: So I was sitting back thinking about this and looking at it and realizing the impact that this could have for me, for people here at Microsoft, and for our customers, for people with deafness, with hard of hearing, all over the world, technology has that power. It can empower people to do things and make things easier. It’s available now. Download it. Give it a try. And help us to make this a better and better product.