Deaf visitors at Beebe Medical Center can now call friends and relatives when a loved one is in the hospital by using a new videophone.
The videophone is located in a privacy cubicle in Beebe's Outpatient Laboratory Testing Request waiting area, near the east entrance of the hospital. The cubicle is close to the Emergency Department waiting area.
The videophone has a television screen and works much like Skype, allowing the deaf person to make calls to other deaf persons with the same kind of phone, or to a certified American Sign Language translator who then relays the message to a hearing person on a standard telephone.
The videophone at Beebe is set up to be completely private, and does not retain a record of content or the numbers that have been called.
According to Beebe, the deaf population in Sussex County is small, but the numbers swell in the summer season to several hundred.