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Three TAP employees win awards, recognition from TDI and HLAA

July 31, 2017
By Andrew Greenman, '10

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Dr. Christian Vogler, Norman Williams, ’91, and Linda Kozma-Spytek, from Gallaudet’s Technology Access Program (TAP) won awards this summer from Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc (TDI) and the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA).

Dr. Vogler with his award
Vogler, TAP director, accepted the Andrew Saks Engineering Award from TDI on July 29, 2017, which recognizes outstanding contributions to improving accessibility in telecommunications through efforts in design, electronics, or engineering. Vogler and his team played a pivotal role in the transition from TTYs to Real Time Text in 2016, working closely with consumer leaders on discovering ways of making emergency calls without relying on TTYs.

“I am humbled and honored to receive this award, sharing today with people I worked with for the past six years,” said Vogler during his acceptance speech. “This award is not only about me—it is about an immense collaborative effort that has been in the making for decades. I especially want to thank my colleagues at AT&T who reached out to us and championed RTT at a key moment. I want to thank everyone from TAP, TDI, HLAA, and other agencies, for their help and for their mentorship.”

Photo courtesy of TDI.

Norman Williams with his award
Williams, TAP senior research engineer, also received the Andrew Saks Engineering Award. In addition, he was recognized by TDI for more than 25 years of contributions in accessibility engineering, particularly in areas of text and video telecommunications. TDI recognized the work Williams took part in during the 1990’s with engineering and writing various applications, including Futura-TTY, a TTY software for PCs. Williams worked with the Cellular Telecommunication Industry Association to ensure TTYs were compatible with cellular phones. More recently, Williams developed a software prototype for faster text chat, adopted in AOL Instant Messenger, which ensures real-time instant messaging.

You can read more about Vogler and Williams’ awards here.

Photo courtesy of TDI.

Linda Kozma-Spytek with her award
Kozma-Spytek, TAP senior research associate, was selected for HLAA’s 2017 Board Chair Award, given to individuals who educate, inform, and support people with hearing loss, and who exemplify the mission of HLAA. Kozma-Spytek has served as HLAA’s professional advisor for technology and counseled various projects, such as HLAA’s N-CHATT program and the PSAP standards board. She accepted the award on June 23, 2017.

“Kozma-Spytek’s dedication as an HLAA professional advisor for technology has been invaluable to ensure we have expertise in this area,” said Barbara Kelley, HLAA executive director. “She always works with the best in mind for HLAA and people with hearing loss everywhere.”

Photo courtesy of HLAA.

31 July 2017
By Andrew Greenman, '10

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Andrew Greenman, '10

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