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Wi-fi, which Apple's Face Time uses, promises a maximum about 1,000 times faster than a traditional phone line.Many use this increased bandwidth to share photos and videos or otherwise entertain themselves online, but the deaf community is using it to convey necessary elements of their language and communicate more naturally.

Face Time is integrated with the phone's Contacts software, and using it is as easy as making a voice call or sending a text."For example, the difference between a yes/no question and a simple declarative sentence in ASL is indeed on the face (in the eyebrows and the head tilt)," Tom Humphries, a deaf associate professor at the University of California, San Diego, and the author of many books about the deaf, wrote via e-mail."The difference between 'blue' and 'very blue' [both use the same sign] is in the eyebrows and the lips." "In other words, they are linguistic forms, not emotive/psychological expressions," noted Humphries, adding that these are not situations in which just any facial expression will do. Some deaf and hard of hearing use cochlear implants and hearing aids for spoken English, but many prefer ASL, which is an important part of deaf culture." /Parents need to know that Monkey -- have fun chats randomly connects teens with other Snapchat users for a 10-second video chat.The terms of service allow users ages 13 and older, but there's no verification of age.There are even ASL poetry slams in which poets perform their works in ASL.

"E-mail technology, pager and texting technology, and now video technology, are starting to reach the point where they can be manufactured in forms that do meet these culturally mediating requirements within the culture of deaf people—and yes, the impact has been felt," Humphries says, although he acknowledges that i Phones are not cheap and these new tools might not meet every person's needs.

Parents need to know that Monkey -- have fun chats randomly connects teens with other Snapchat users for a 10-second video chat.

They can add more time or add the person on Snapchat to continue the connection.

New video-friendly mobile devices, including Apple's i Phone 4 and HTC's EVO, have likewise helped.

Kevin "Scubaby" Payne, who is deaf, describes himself as a "travelholic" and keeps a video blog in ASL.

Because ASL relies on facial expressions as well as hand movements, texting is of limited use.