Videophone is to Deaf community as phone is to hearing people. A Deaf individual use videophone to make video calls to another Deaf person on their devices, such as mobile phones with built-in cameras.

ASL signs for 'videophone'

"What is the sign for 'videophone' in American Sign Language?"

Meaning: A telephone or communication device transmitting and receiving a visual image (motion) which people can manually and/or vocally speak to each other. It usually refers to the videophone device before phones and other devices are used as videophone.

It is a fingerspelling loan. Manual letters: "VP". Not to confuse this with "vice president" in contexts for beginners.

It can be used as a verb form. It's a common term for the concept of 'videophone' in general, especially with any devices such as tablets, iphones, etc.


Deaf Culture

Videophone is the standard telecommunication device used by Deaf people in the United States and Canada in the early 21st century; during that time frame, TTY (teletyper) was on the decline into obsolete.

First, Deaf people used the early videophones where the videophone devices sat on top of monitors for better speed and smoother motion than webcams on computers. Because, webcams back then on slow Internet connection were choppy for video chats.

Then, as the Internet speed improved, both videophones and exterior webcams were commonly used. Phones with built-in cams were on the rise.

Today in the 2020s, phones, laptops, and other devices with built-in cameras are a common form of videophone through various apps, such as Signal, Facetime, Skype, etc. for Deaf signer to signer phone calls.

For a phone call between a Deaf person and a hearing non-signing person, Video Relay Service (VRS) is used where an ASL-English interpreter translates real time between ASL speaker and English speaker which is time efficient, compared to slow process between spoken English and typed English via an operator.

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