The protests, aided by handheld mobile communications devices, were successful in their goal of eliminating Fernandes as President. A few years ago this would not have been possible. The technology that aided the students was able to catapult the need to organize into a highly efficient system of cooperation.
The devices, mostly Blackberries and Sidekicks, provided the deaf students with the instantaneous reaction and response that was necessary to carry out the movement. With this resource the students were very adept at relaying messages and focusing their efforts. T-Mobile has realized the value of these devices to the deaf as they have offered a data only subscription to their existing cellular network. Beyond the obvious use of technology to solve a problem, it also highlighted the phenomena of necessity creating excellence. Hearing students have the same technology available, but would not have reached the organizational extent that the deaf students did. This must have come as some surprise to the administration and university officials.
It would be easy to assume that the deaf students would act with a certain degree of timidity. In the past, deaf students were faced with the obstacle of uniting with the difficulty of the speed of traditional communications. As Christopher Corrigan, a 20-year-old junior, says, “Without the pagers we would have to have people running to the dorms to get people”. Yet when technology availed itself, the deaf community was able to put it to work and gain its maximum value. Hearing students would probably not have been able to focus their efforts any more precisely than the deaf students did. Technology that is taken for granted often ends up misused or neglected. In the case of the deaf students, their challenge necessitated that they appreciate and use the technology to its fullest extent.