This section is a short overture of about the last two hundred years involvment with blind, deaf, and mute. It has a simple format, the dates of all the notes concerning deaf will be green, blind blue, and mute red.
1800: The first company to manufacture hearing aids on a commercial basis is established.
1829: Louis Braille invents the raised point alphabet that has come to be known as Braille.
1860: The Braille system was introduced to America.
1866: The first blind help centre is established in New York City.
1892: The first patent for an electrical hearing aid is filed.
1921: The first vacuum tube hearing aid is patented and manufactured.
1929: The first guide dog institution is opened.
1934: The first vacuum tube hearing aid is manufactured.
1942: US Army Signal Corps developed an electronic eye for blind soldiers
1945: The development of smaller batteries, and advances in vacuum tube technology result in the first one piece vacuum tube hearing aid.
1945: The first eye-bank is opened to preserve cornea tissue.
1947: The transistor is invented. This proves to be a fantastic invention, it is small, cheap and effective.
1952: "The junction transistor" is introduced. This transistor is a behind-the-ear aid.
1955: The first in-the-ear hearing aid is developed.
1960: The eye-bank has spread to almost every main medical centre in North America.
1969: The first hearing aid which utilizes a built-in directional microphone is manufactured.
1974: First practical use of voice prosthesis – To order pizza!
1977: First speech given with a Voice Output Communication Aid (VOCA)
1978: First speech given with a wheel-chair portable VOCA
1980: Closed Captioning is available on television for the first time
1987: The digital body-worn hearing instrument is introduced.
1984: The first familial VOCA is developed.
1988: Many programmable hearing aids are introduced.
:1989 Hearing aids are developed which are especially developed for people who suffer from noise-induced hearing losses.
1990: A solution for suppression of feedback in hearing instruments is presented.
1991: The first fully automatic hearing aid without a volume control containing two channel non-linear sound processing is presented.
1992: A Multilingual (English, Russian, and Hebrew) foot-controlled VOCA is developed.
1994: A programmable completely-in-the-canal instrument is introduced with two programs and volume control, and is controlled by a remote.
1996: A 100% digital behind-the-ear hearing instrument is designed.
1997: The new chip-set for the digital behind-the-ear instrument is introduced. The first fully digital completely-in-the-canal instrument is introduced which use a remote control and cards to store the instrument's different user programs.