Market Profile

In most ways, members of the Deaf community (households and individuals) are very much like other consumers in traditional markets. They own homes and automobiles, have children and pets, a passion for team sports, and travel extensively.

Most deaf people are technology consumers, owning a variety of assistive and signaling devices such as hearing aids, flashing alarm clocks and doorbells, and telecommunications devices (TTYs). They are enthusiastic about laptops, PDAs, and wireless text pagers.

As might be expected, there is a heavy saturation of visual-entertainment products within Deaf households: large-screen televisions with closed-captioning capability, VCR players, and video-game devices. Significant dollars are spent on rental and purchase of closed-captioned movies on video and DVD.

Computers have become almost a standard item in millions of American homes. This holds true for Deaf households as well. In fact, the increase of computers in Deaf homes is growing faster than in hearing households. Computers have become a primary means of communication. E-mail and Internet relay are much faster and cheaper than using telephone-relay services or calling long distance using TTYs. Videophone technology enables two or more parties to have real-time onscreen signed conversations with each other, so Deaf people are excited about the prospect of increased videophone access.

One more noteworthy fact: Deaf consumers maintain a strong brand-name loyalty.

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