Main Conent


Communicating with one another is central to human survival.

color photograph collection devices disability history america

Access to information not only reduces isolation but is the primary component of education, employment, and success in a community.

New forms of information or new methods of delivering it can have unanticipated consequences. The telephone, invented in the 1870s, was especially beneficial for people isolated in their homes but it created exclusion for others. The teletypewriter, or TTY, which made telephone communication accessible to people who were deaf or hard of hearing was not widely available until the 1970s.

The objects pictured here—a Braille writer and book, communication board and head stick, TTY, hearing aid, and teletouch—all ensure inclusion of people who communicate in atypical fashion.