German Non-Profit Facilitates Speech by Deaf Politician via HD Video Conferencing Technology

Changing the way the world communicatesAt LifeSize, our core value is to fundamentally change the way the world communicates. This single philosophy echoes in everything we do as a company, from our products and solutions, to learning enablement and support. “Changing the Way the World Communicates” is a blog series that highlights unique ways that companies, and more importantly people, use HD video conferencing and how it impacts their lives, every single day.

by Julie Zellman, Marketing Communications Coordinator, LifeSize

Kopf, Hand und Fuss (which means Head, Hands and Feet) is a German non-profit organization that supports individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Because these individuals are unable to experience sound, they value their visual sense much more and rely on sharp visual cues in almost all areas of life. For this reason, high definition video conferencing is a perfect communication medium for this community.

KHUF has many initiatives they wanted to put in place, including a lecture series in German Sign Language (DGS). Video conferencing was the ideal vehicle for this project since gestures and facial expressions are invaluable to a deaf person when signing in DGS and must be conveyed in unmatched clarity.

Martin Zierold (Photo Courtesy of

The lecture series, entitled “Consideration. Understanding. Affirmation – Empowerment of the Deaf”, showcases one individual per month who speaks in German Sign Language to promote the autonomy and determination of deaf or hard of hearing people. While they are signing, an interpreter translates the speech in spoken language. Concurrently, KUHF uses LifeSize Video Center, hosted by our German Partner AVN, to stream and record the lecture in high-definition.

In the third lecture of the series, KHUF invited Martin Zierold to give a presentation to the people of Germany via LifeSize. Zierold has been deaf since birth but has risen to the esteemed role of district council member in Berlin. In his presentation, “Participation Now: Democracy Through Citizen Participation”, Zierold delivered the entire speech in sign language and truly demonstrated the possibilities of deaf and hearing-impaired people everywhere. Zierold’s success as a deaf individual is a true inspiration and we are proud to help him deliver his encouraging messages to the people of Germany.

Here is a video of Martin Zierold signing in DGS:



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