Thursday, December 14, 2017

Teens attack Deaf Student at School

Atlanta teens have been caught on camera beating a deaf classmate. The group face suspension for attacking Jaqueline Flournoy at Maynard Jackson High School. Flournoy says they made derisive comments about her speech and boyfriend. WSB-TV has a video report.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Deaf-owned Restaurant Expanding

When Mozzeria opened in San Francisco's Mission District six years ago, it became the city's first deaf owned restaurant. "The entire staff at Mozzeria is deaf and nearly everything in the restaurant was created by people who are deaf, including restaurant’s artwork," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Now, owners Russell and Melody Stein plan to franchise their business in a unique way. Read more about it here. Below is a commercial for the restaurant.

Standardizing Astronomy Signs

The International Astronomical Union has just released a list of 47 common astronomy terms, according to Science.com. The signs are offered in a number of different languages. The team of scientists and educators says it's the "first international comparative compilation of its kind for this particular subject matter." Read more about it here.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Multiple Suits for Lack of Captioning

A deaf man is suing a dozen media outlets for not having closed captioning on their videos in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Represented by CK Lee, several companies have already settled out of court. Some are calling it a shakedown. Read more from Forbes here.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

No charges for Police who Killed Deaf Man

The Oklahoma City police officer who shot and killed a deaf man for not following the officer's command will face no chargess. We told you about what happened back in September: Magdiel Sanchez was shot outside his home. Officers say they did not hear witnesses yelling, “He can’t hear you." Read more from the Associated Press here. Below is a video report about the shooting from CBS News.

On this date: the fake interpreter at Mandela’s memorial service

During Nelson Mandela’s memorial service in Johannesburg on this date (Dec. 10) in 2013, a man pretending to interpret for the dignitaries that spoke was declared a fraud by South Africa's deaf federation. U.S. President Barack Obama was among the heads of state attending the service at the 95,000-seat football stadium when Thamsanqa Jantjie took to the stage. The incident raised security concerns and is an embarrassment for the South African government, Bruno Druchen, the National Director of the Deaf Federation of South Africa, posted a statement on its Facebook, which reads in part:
The so called “interpreter” who interpreted at the Official memorial service for late former president Nelson Mandela at FNB stadium has been dubbed the “fake interpreter” and the Deaf community is in outrage. This man is not in fact a recognised, professional South Sign Language Interpreter. He is not known by the Deaf Community in South Africa nor by the South African Sign Language interpreters working in the field... This ‘fake interpreter’ has made a mockery of South African Sign Language and has disgraced the South African Sign Language interpreting profession. The organisers of the memorial service, and indeed any event, should have contacted organisations who coordinate South African Sign Language interpreting services to secure a professional, trained experienced interpreter.
It turned out that Thamsanqa Jantjie was once charged with murder, according to a eNCA TV network that also said he has a history of lying and fraud. Jantjie admitted to being violent and claimed to have been "hallucinated during the memorial service as he was gesturing incoherently." Here's a early SkyNews report (with captions).

Happy Birthday, Thomas Gallaudet!

Born - Philadelphia on December 10, 1787

Family - Oldest of 12 children

College - Attended Yale at age 14, graduating with highest honors at 17

Ministry - Ordained in 1814, sometimes preaching at church

Deaf Interest - Became interested in deaf issues when he met a 9-year-old deaf neighbor

School - Founded The American School for the Deaf during 1817 in Hartford, Connecticut

Travels - Learned the manual form of sign language used in France when he visited

Marriage - In 1821, he married a former student and had two sons

Edward - Gallaudet's son who founded Gallaudet University in Washington, DC

Thomas - Ordained as an Episcopal priest, working to provide religious services for the deaf

Friday, December 8, 2017

45 years in Prison

In October, we told you about a San Antonio woman convicted of murder for shooting a deaf man on her porch in 2016. Yesterday, Michelle Chase was sentenced to 45 years in prison. Read more about it here.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Getting to Know.. Dr House

It was on this date (Dec. 7, 2012) that Dr. William F. House died in Oregon at the age of 89. Dr. House is credited with installing the first cochlear implant in 1961. He was told by experts the electric current he was using would destroy the ear, but that didn't stop him. He believed in what implants could do to change someone's life. Here's a little about him.
  • Known as the "father of neurotology."
  • He recieved his dotorate in dentistry from the University of California at  Berkeley.
  • Practiced medicine in Newport Beach, California until 2000, when he moved to Aurora, Oregon, next door to his son.
  • His cochlear implant was approved by the FDA in 1984.
  • When he started performing the cochlear surgery on children some claimed he was just after money.
  • His half brother, Howard P. House founded the House Ear Institute which became the House Research Institute.
  • He completed some 3,000 implants throughout his career.
  • Developed a new approach to removing tumors on the nerve that connects the ear to the brain.
  • Created a new surgical procedure for Meniere's disease, an inner ear disorder contracted by Astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American in space. He couldn't have flown to the moon had it not been for House's surgery. He wrote a memoir called The Struggles of a Medical Innovator

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Looking Back... Kitty O'Neil

It was on this date (Dec. 6) in 1976 that professional stuntwoman Kitty O'Neil set a record for land speed by a female driver in Oregon's Alvord Desert: 512 miles per hour. Born deaf, she became a champion diver at a young age. Her work later as a Hollywood stuntwoman was featured in TV shows like Quincy, Baretta and The Bionic Woman along with movies like Smokey and the Bandit, The Blues Brothers and Airport '77. She set a record for the highest stunt fall by a woman (105 feet).  She has held as many as 22 speed records on land and water. A movie was made about her life in 1979 titled Silent Victory: The Kitty O'Neil Story. You can read more about her land speed record at a Sports Illustrated article here.  The article explains that she could have broken the men's record as well and why she didn't do so.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Fallout from Fake Interpreter

Why would Police in Tampa, Florida use a fake interpreter? How could the police not know she was a fake? That's what many in the community want to know, after an "interpreter" signed gibbersih during a news conference last week. WFTS-TV in Tampa has a video report.

Monday, December 4, 2017

On this Date: Dimarco Wins Top Model

Nyle Dimarco
(image from ANTM video)
Nyle Dimarco won America's Next Top Model contest on this date (Dec. 4) in 2015. He was the first deaf contestant to do so. Afterward Dimarco told People magazine, "Being a deaf person on a television show alone is pretty groundbreaking, so it felt incredible just to be on the show – but to win it was amazing!" Read more of that interview here. Top Model introduced him with this video.
 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Tampa Police use Terp who Signs Gibberish

The Tampa, Florida Police held a news conference this past Tuesday (Nov. 28) to inform the public about the arrest of a suspect in a series of killings. Anyone watching that news conference would have been confused by the "interpreter" because she was "signing" nonsense. That's according to Rachelle Settambrino who is deaf and teaches ASL at the University of South Florida. Settambrino told the Tampa Bay Times, "She waved her arms like she was singing Jingle Bells." A rap sheet for someone who has gone by the same name given by the interpreter and who lives in Tampa suggests the woman in question may criminal history. Read more about it here.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

You can now text 911 in LA

If you live in Los Angeles County you may be able to send a text to 911 when there is an emergency. The new service is being rolled out and it's already available in 170 communities including Long Beach and Glendale. If the message does not go through, the FCC requires all U.S. phone carriers to send a note to the customer saying the text failed. One significant limitation: It's not available during roaming and only texts using written English are accepted.
For a list of which communities in LA offer the service, click here.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

US Deaf Education

Two professors tackle the issue of English literacy in the Deaf community in this TEDx video recorded at Ohio's Kent State University.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Remote Implant Options Approved

The U.S. government has given the world's largest cochlear implant maker permission to have follow-up programming sessions remotely. Cochlear Limited says the FDA approval will enable remote care for Nucleus Cochlear Implant recipients and clinicians. A Colorado audiologist says, "This approval will open the door for so many cochlear implant patients who have trouble accessing continued care because they can't travel to an implant center." Read more about the effort here.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Should oralism be promoted within the deaf community?

Should oralism be promoted within the deaf community? The BBC has a video debate here.

When a deaf singer gets death threats from other deaf people, something’s wrong

Freelance journalist Josh Salisbury makes a plea in the Guardian that deaf people "need to move beyond the oralism v sign language split." It was that divide, he tells readers, that has led to the social media backlash against America’s Got Talent finalist Mandy Harvey. Salisbury writes:
It also risks promoting a myth of a militant deaf community, acting as jealous gatekeepers of what it really means to be deaf. A casual observer reading the story about Harvey could be forgiven for thinking that the deaf community, in America or elsewhere, is far more intolerant than it really is.
Read the full story here.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Study: How the Brain Decodes Pitch may improve Implants

How cochlear implants convey pitch to users could be improved based on a new study out of the University of Washington. The research is focused on where in the inner ear a sound activates. You can read more about it here. Details of the study are in the Journal of Neuroscience here.

Friday, November 24, 2017

The Impact of Proposed Tax Code Changes on the Deaf

Congress is looking at ways to change the tax code and the bill currently before the House would impact the Deaf Community in several ways. Among the things that would no longer be tax deductible: the cost of buying, training and maintaining a service animal and improvements to a property rented by a person with a disability, such as special lighting. Another provision "would reduce the progress made over the last few decades to improve public access for people with disabilities." Read more here.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Inspired by Implant to become an Audiologist

J. Connor Sullivan
J. Connor Sullivan got his cochlear implant when he was still a teenager. He was so affected by the change in his life, Sullivan became an audiologist. He writes about what happened after the surgery:
Once I returned to school, as a freshman at the University of Oklahoma, my life was changed in more ways than I could imagine. I had made great strides with my hearing through my Cochlear Implant since my activation day. Not to mention, since getting my Cochlear Implant, my purpose for my life had revealed itself. That spring in 2011, I decided to pursue a doctorate in audiology so I can work with people who have hearing loss like myself.
Read the full article here.

The first deaf-led theatre company in the UK

Paula Garfield was frustrated with the barriers facing deaf actors. So she did something about it: Garfield started the first deaf-led theatre company in the UK. Fifteen years later, Deafinitely Theatre is still going strong. She writes:
Over the years I became disillusioned with the world of acting, and theatre more generally, having experienced a lack of deaf awareness and bullying from others in the industry. One year-long tour took a particular toll on me. As the only deaf member of the company I was ignored and poorly treated by my fellow actors and made to feel that, as a deaf person, I should be grateful I’d been offered the work in the first place.
Read her full story in the Independent here.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Beauty blogger uses ASL

Beauty Blogger Catherine Martinez
A beauty blogger is using sign language in her tutorials. Catherine Martinez says she wants to maek her video's more accessible to the deaf and hard-of-hearing, having been inspired by a deaf classmate at NYU. Read the full story here.

Big Grant for Deaf Teacher Training

The Dept. of Education is giving a Texas school nearly $150,000 to start a program combining educational psychology and deaf education. The
will use the $147,000 grant to train a dozen "new school psychologists that specialize in deaf education, and 27 teachers of the deaf in how to apply principles of educational psychology in their work with children." There's more information from the school here.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

America's deaf team

At Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., the Bison football team is tackling lessons beyond the field. CBS News has a video report on America's Deaf Team.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Deaf Singer Gets Death Threats

Some people in the Deaf community sent Mandy Harvey death threats for her appearance on NBC's America's Got Talent. She says some activists objected to her "promoting a 'hearing' activity." Harvey got worldwide attention after working her way to the show's finals. She tells the BBC, "I used to get some pretty strongly-worded letters and death threats. I got a lot of backlash from certain people in that community because I was promoting oralism." Read the full story here. Below is a video of one of her AGT appearances.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Woman raped, robbed near Gallaudet

A woman was robbed and sexually assaulted across the street from Gallaudet University in Washington, DC this past weekend. Fox-5 in DC has a video report.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Discrimination Against Deaf People In The US

Two leaders in the Deaf community sat down with KCUR, public radio from Kansas City, Missouri, and discussed the "history of persecution against people with deafness in this country — and the milestones along the path to equal rights." Gallaudet University history professor William Ennis and Deaf International co-founder Debbie Buchholz. She says:
image: http://dicommunitychurch.org
I believe that people in the minority will have to fight, probably for the rest of their life. But that it's critical not to give up but to keep fighting because everyone has a right to receive the same things. And so it's important for people to realize that this is not over. Even though it's better, it's not over.. There's so many deaf people that want to work, so many deaf people who were criticized for not having a job and they're actually looking. And they're applying within and they're being turned down because just that piece of being deaf scares employers. And so they want to work and they are looking for positions. And if the accommodations were right and proper, they would all be able to work.
Read the entire interview here
.

Friday, November 10, 2017

What's wrong with Language Gloves?

image from UCSD academic paper
published in the PLOS One journal
describing a gesture-recognizing glove
 
What's wrong with wearable technologies like the sign-language glove? Linguist and writer Michael Erard writes that the effort is "rooted in the preoccupations of the hearing world, not the needs of Deaf signers." The gesture-recogniztion glove overlooks the "intricacies of the language, as well as the needs of signers." Despite it's high cost and irrelavancy to signers, the technology has won prize money for its creators and "college students were gaining accolades and scholarships for technologies based on an element of Deaf culture, while Deaf people themselves are legally and medically underserved." Read more in the Atlantic about Why Sign-Language Gloves Don't Help Deaf People here.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

On Deafness and Music

"When I got a cochlear implant seven years ago, after being profoundly deaf for my entire life, hearing friends and acquaintances started asking me the same few questions: Had I heard music yet? Did I like it? What did it sound like?" That's how Rachel Kolb started her essay On Deafness and Music published in the New York Times. You can read it here.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Growing Up With Deaf Parents

"Many CODAs act as interpreters for their parents from a young age, and this can mean taking on responsibilities generally reserved for adults.. In sign language, there are ways you can express or say things that seem better or more appropriate in English.. We sometimes sign something because it really captures what we're thinking." Read more in a VICE Austrailia here.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Virgin Photoshops Implant out of Ad

here are the two photos in question
Virgin Active South Africa health clubs is apologizing after removing the cochlear implant from a model in a promotional photograph it posted on Instagram. Simone Botha Welgemoed got the implant before she was two years old. The ballerina was crowned Miss Deaf South Africa fives years ago and is an active deaf advocate in that country. In response to the controversy, a Virgin spokesperson said:
“We issued an immediate apology to Simone. We had a good heart-to-heart meeting with her. We 100% accept that the action of photo-shopping the image is not in line with our values as a business, nor in keeping with the welcome we extend to everyone. We got it wrong and we realise that.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Making Room for Deaf Performers in Hollywood

The New York Times takes a look at the struggles deaf actors have had in Hollywood in an article that focuses on Millicent Simmonds, who stars in the film Wonderstruck. Read it here.

Website ADA Compliance put on the Federal Gov.'s Back Burner

The Department of Justice has put the issue website compliance with ADA law on its "inactive list." New regulations had been scheduled to start next year but the issue has been set aside for now. The Pepper Hamilton law firm tells its clients, "There is no longer an imminent expectation that the DOJ will provide new guidance regarding what type of private website formatting or accommodations must be provided to users in order to comply with the ADA. In fact, the DOJ’s newly professed lack of interest appears to weigh against an assumption that the ADA applies to websites." You can read more here.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Marlee Matlin honored in Israel

Oscar Winning Deaf Actress Marlee Matlin took her first trip to Israel recently. She was honored for disability advocacy and spoke with i24 News about life in Hollywood and her Jewish roots.

Wonderstruck's Deaf Breakout Star

Sorenson VRS has put together a video about Millicent Simmonds. She's the deaf actress starring in the movie Wonderstruck. The video has no audio but there are captions.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

New Leader for DEAF Inc.

DEAF Inc. based in St. Louis has a new leader. Ernest E. Garrett III will take the reigns of the nonprofit working to improve interactions between the Deaf community and the hearing community. Garrett is the former superintendent of the Missouri School for the Deaf. He was the first deaf superintendent of the school. Read more about him here. Below is a video announcement about the appointment.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Meet the Child Star of Wonderstruck

Deaf actress Millicent Simmonds has made a big impression since her breakout performance in the new movie Wonderstruck. In the film, she plays a 12-year-old deaf girl living in the 1927 New Jersey who runs away from home. People Magazine offers "5 Things to Know about Millicent" here and offers a video interview here.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Meet Deaf Artist Bex

image from Convo Relay youtube video
Bex is a "28-year-old San Francisco Bay Area resident who believes people with disabilities face discrimination and lack of access – despite the existence of the Americans with Disabilities Act – and that people with disabilities incur additional costs that create barriers to art training," the Huffington Post reports. She says, “There is a very strong sense of abjection in my work. I believe it rises not just from being queer, but also from being disabled, as well as Jewish – the implicit knowledge that just by having the audacity to merely exist, you are loathed."  Read the full story here with a review of Bex art and some samples here or visit her website here.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Scientists say Protein may be key to Gene Therapy for Deaf Patients

Researchers say they've "developed a better way to test a specific protein that is essential for hearing" and it has to do with particular genes. They tell Oregon's Fox 12, "There's a lot of interest in this particular gene because it seems to be at the epicenter of the focus of general hearing loss. It seems to be a bit of a one trick pony in that it exclusively controls hearing and balance."

KPTV - FOX 12

Monday, October 16, 2017

Wonderstruck & the Deaf Community

Todd Haynes, director of the new film Wonderstruck did research to understand the history of Deaf culture in the U.S. He tells NPR:
It really wasn't until a leaven article that came out in 1960 that talked about sign language and described all the integrity of this language. And a new era of appreciation for what sign language was was ushered in. And I think you see in "Wonderstruck" both sides of that divide is played out in the two stories that parallel the film because Ben, the little boy in the '70s, also becomes deaf in the course of the film.
"In the movie Wonderstruck, children in different time periods embark on quests to find themselves," reports NPR. "Director Todd Haynes explains the film's artistic choices and its significance to the deaf community" in his NPR here.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Deaf Actors Sign and Sing on Broadway

NBC News spoke with Sandra Frank, lead actress in the Broadway musical Spring Awakening, a show that combines deaf and hearing actors in single roles.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Billboard campaign aims to connect deaf to religion

A Christian group in Western Michigan has launched a billboard campaign to reach the deaf with their message. But the billboards have caused some confusion. WOOD-TV has a video report.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Woman who shot deaf man convicted of murder

Bexar County Sheriff's Office
A San Antonio woman could get life in prison now that jurors have convicted her of killing a deaf man. Michelle Chase shot him on the porch of her home last year. Read the full story from My San Antonio here.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Arson at Resource Center for the Deaf

"A local resource center for the deaf has been targeted, damaged, and defaced for the fourth time this year," reports KATU-TV. Read the full story here.

Deaf comedian shares his experiences with hearing loss

image from djdemers.com
D.J. Demers says, “So many people out there don’t realize how common hearing loss is. I want to normalize it and let people in the hard-of-hearing community know that they’re not alone.” He spoke at Indiana University as part of his “Here to Hear” tour. He is giving stand-up comedy shows to students at 20 universities in 30 days. You'll find the locations here. Read more about his stop at IU in the school's student newspaper here.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Opinion: How Congress is hacking away at ADA law

Law professor Samuel Bagenstos is concerned about a bill before Congress called the "ADA Education and Reform Act. He writes in a Reuters' commentary:
Rather than protecting legitimate business interests, the bill pending in Congress would give a reprieve to enterprises that have had 27 years to comply with the law but have not yet done so. That is a betrayal of the basic promise of the ADA – that people with disabilities would be treated as equal citizens, with full access to America’s civic and economic life.
Bagenstos once led the Department of Justice’s disability rights enforcement as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. Read his full commentary here.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Deaf West brings "Our Town" to Life

image from www.pasadenaplayhouse.org
Deaf West Theatre is putting on the show "Our Town" Pasadena Playhouse through Oct. 22 in Pasadena, California. Our town first debuted in 1938 and was honored with a Pulitzer Prize that same year. It's the story of a fictional town called Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire in three acts: The first act describes the daily lives of the townsfolk, the second act is about love and marriage, and the last act concerns death. What makes these performances unique is that Deaf West splits some roles between speaking and signing actors. There's a review of the show in the LA Times here and and more information about performances
here.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Uber offers ASL app to help hearing riders

Uber is offering a new way to connect deaf and hard of hearing drivers to hearing passengers. The company launched ubersignlanguage.com this week to show users a few simple ASL signs when they are matched with deaf drivers. Just little things like hello, thank you, turn left, and turn right. At the same time, Lyft has updated its dashboard display to enhance assessability. Uber explains how the new tool works:
Riders will see a special card in the Uber feed. Once they tap it, they’ll be taken to a page where they can select the basics, like “Hello” and “Thank You,” or spell out their name. They’ll then be given a GIF with the word(s) in ASL. That way, they can better communicate with their Deaf or Hard of Hearing driver, because signing “Thank You” or “Hello” in ASL can go a long way.
Read more about the Uber effort here.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Report: Many Police Officers are Ignorant of ADA law

"In many jurisdictions, cops’ noncompliance with the law has led to strain and miscommunication with the deaf community," reports Amiel Fields-Meyer in the The Atlantic.
“Police compliance with ADA provisions is pretty poor across the board,” said Alex Vitale, a sociology professor at Brooklyn College whose research focuses on community policing. “It’s clearly not a priority for a lot of police leaders.” For the deaf, police compliance with the ADA translates to employing or contracting with qualified American Sign Language interpreters and making available remote interpreting services, among other measures.
Read the full article "When Police Officers Don't Know About the ADA" here.

Murder at Gally: 17 years ago today

It was on this day (Sept 27)  in 2000 that Joseph Mesa, Jr. beat Eric Plunkett to death in his Gallaudet dorm room. The killing put the school in a state of panic, with some students withdrawing from the school rather than living in a situation where they knew a murderer was living among them. The terror came to an end in February of the next year when Mesa turned himself into police-but not before he killed again. Mesa stabbed Benjamin Varner in his Gallaudet dorm room more than dozen times. In July of 2002, the 22-year-old from Guam pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, telling jurors he saw hands wearing black gloves that told him in sign language to kill. Jurors convicted Mesa on all counts and a Washington, DC judge sentenced him to six life terms without the possibility of parole. Mesa began serving time at the United States Penitentiary in Atwater, California near San Francisco, a high security facility.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

On this date... 26 years ago

It was on Sept 26, 1991 that first major American TV show to feature a deaf or hard of hearing actor in a lead role debuted. The NBC police drama Reasonable Doubts ran from 1991–1993 and starred Academy-Award winner Marlee Matlin as Tess Kaufman, a prosecutor who protected the rights of the accused. In 1994, she joined the cast of Picket Fences for a couple of seasons. The Seinfeld TV show made a nod to Reasonable Doubts during an episode called The Pitch. When Jerry and George visit NBC they sit under a poster showing Mark Harmon and Marlee Matlin was on the wall of Seinfeld episode.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Nyle DiMarco on OK shooting

Nyle DiMarco, the first deaf winner of America’s Next Top Model and a Dancing with the Stars alum, is speaking out about the police shooting that killed a deaf man in Oklahoma City. He says, “I have no words at all. The neighbors SCREAMED to tell the police that he is Deaf. Police still shoots. And the Deaf guy was innocent."

Deaf stepdad gets emotional over heartfelt surprise

A devoted deaf stepdad is reduced to tears when his step kids surprise him with adoption requests.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

More on the Deaf man shot by police this Week

Earlier this week we told you about a deaf man who was shot and killed by police in Oklahoma City. Now there is surveillance video of the car crash that led to the confrontation. You can see the video below. Apparently there is home video of the shooting but the police have possession of it and have not made it public. Read more about what happened in the Daily Mail. The officer who fired the shots is on paid leave.


Here is a report on the story from Oklahoma News 4, which says the man's family has hired an attorney who represented the family of a black man who was killed by a white Tulsa police officer. There is more from the TV station here.



WNYC has an audio report below (no captions).

Flirting in ASL

CUT offers a video showing how to flirt.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Meet Chance the Rapper's Interpreter

image from DEAFinitely Dope YouTube page
"Matt Maxey—who, along with his company, DEAFinitely Dope, is translating the magic of Chance shows for deaf concertgoers, writes Ashley Fetters."Maxey's ASL interpretation is an explosive, code-switching mishmash of textbook American Sign Language, pantomime, and makeshift signs he's cobbled together for slang words native to hip-hop ('molly,' for example, combines gestures for 'pill' and 'sex'); the way he signs is as worldly and wry and improvisational as he is." GQ has her full story here.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Confrontation over Service Dog in Restaurant

A woman gave a profanity-laced lecture to a veteran about his service dog when he brought the animal into a Delaware restaurant. The three minute tyrade was caught on video at Kathy’s Crab House & Family Restaurant in Delaware City. The video is posted below but there are no captions. You can read more about what happened here.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Deaf Man Killed by OK Police

Oklahoma City Police shot and killed a deaf man holding a metal pipe last night. The officers told him to drop the pipe while witnesses say they yelled that the man was deaf. Here is a news conference about the shooting (no captions).



NewsOK has a written story here and interviewed some of the neighbors on the scene and you can see that video below.

Why many Deaf Prisoners can’t Phone Home

If deaf inmates are trying to reach their deaf friends and family, the person receiving the call must also have a TTY to answer. But most deaf individuals have switched to video relay in the last several years, leaving prisoners no way to call, according to a Wired article. The magazine quotes Mary Ann McBride as saying, “I have deaf brothers and some deaf friends and they all use video phones, they no longer use TTY. Relay won’t accept to talk between two deaf people. I really need to talk to my family because I am serving a long indeterminate sentence.” read more here Wired Magazine.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

History's Deaf Astronomer

On this date (Sept 17) in 1764, John Goodricke was born in the Netherlands, though he lived most of his life in England. Goodricke only survived to the age of 21, but the deaf astronomer made a major impact on his field. Working with Edward Pigott, Goodricke learned to measure the variation of light coming from stars. This would eventually lead astronomers to figure out the distance of galaxies from the earth. While still a teenager, the Royal Society of London gave him the Copley Medal, making him the youngest person to be given its highest honor. Goodricke lost his hearing after a bout with a childhood disease, which might have been scarlet fever. He studied at the first school for deaf children in the British Isles, Thomas Braidwood’s Academy for the Deaf and Dumb in Edinburgh. Goodricke went on to study for three years at the Warrington Academy.

On this day in History.. Miss America

On this date (Sept. 17) in 1994, Heather Whitestone of Alabama became the first deaf Miss America.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

This Day in History: The 1st deaf player in the NFL

Bonnie Sloan in the NFL
On this day (Sept. 16) in 1973, the first deaf player ran onto the field for the St. Louis Cardinals against the Philadelphia Eagles. Bonnie Sloan played in four games at defensive tackle and only lasted one season, because of knee injuries, but he had made his mark at the age of 25. The 6-foot-5, 260-pounder was a 10th-round draft pick out of Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, where he was the first player to bench press 500 pounds. Sloan was an All-Ohio Valley Conference defensive tackle at the college. The City of Hendersonville, Tennessee honored him by declaring a Bonnie Sloan Day. After Sloan came defensive lineman Kenny Walker. He played college ball at Nebraska and played in 31 games for the Denver Broncos in 1991 and 1992. Seattle Seahawks running back Derrick Coleman entered the NFL in 2012, becoming the first deaf person to play offense in the league. Coleman was on the roster for the 2014 Super Bowl pitting Seattle against Denver.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Boy Gets Implant: Parents get Matching Tattoos

Two Kentucky parents got matching tattoos inked on their heads to look like their two-year-old son’s new cochlear implant. They say they didn't want him to feel different. WAVE-TV has a video report.

wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

The Man in Yellow

image from video of Sept. 8 
Manatee County news conference
A viral video shows a news conference in Manatee County, Florida as Hurricane Irma approached. What makes the video of interest is the fact that the sign language "interpreter" didn't know how to sign. Tampa's WFLA-TV reports the man, Marshall Greene, is a lifeguard who works in the county's marine rescue unit. Because he had a deaf relative, county officials assumed he could sign adequately. They were wrong. Dressed in a yellow shirt (a no-no for professional interpreters) Greene basically signed gibberish to viewers. A spokesman for the National Association of the Deaf told WFLA, “Everybody was talking about it on social media, everyone was shocked, asking leaders in the deaf community to do something about it.” There are more details of what happened here. Below is a news report from WFLA (the link will take you to a captioned version of the video).

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Court: No Website Accessibility an ADA violation

A Florida ruling says Winn-Dixie violated the Americans with Disabilities Act "because its website was inaccessible to a visually-impaired customer." Stephen Stern writes, "the court’s decision is significant because it joined the courts that have found websites can be places of public accommodation that require accessibility for individuals with disabilities" and "companies should be mindful of potential ADA ramifications when constructing their websites." In fact, the court "explained that the ADA does not limit its requirements to physical access, but to the 'full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation.'” Read the details at Lexology and the court's ruling here.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Horrible and embarrassing

The interpreter at an emergency-warning press conference in a Florida County was “horrible and embarrassing” says one certified interpreter. The Bradenton Herald reports here on what happened at the Manatee County Emergency Operations Center updates. Below is a video of his signing.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Journalism & "Inspiration Porn"

"For decades, the media has tended to portray people with disabilities (or those around them) as inspirations or heroes—a genre of reporting known as 'inspiration porn.'” writes Wendy Lu in the Columbia Journalism Review. She says, "This emotion-driven journalism is the hallmark of inspiration porn" which was "popularized in a TED talk that the late Australian activist Stella Young gave in April 2014." She pleads with journalists to "consider where a story’s newsworthiness comes from and how it contributes to overall disability coverage." Read the full article here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Annoying Questions

Cut.com asked a group of BSL users to share some of the annoying questions they get from hearing people. Among the questions: “Can you drive?” and “Can you read and write?”

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Deaf Music Fans Are Finally Starting To Be Heard

Buzzfeed takes a look at how ASL and deaf music fans have found a place at festivals and concerts in recent years in an article here.

Starbucks sign language aprons

picture of Katie Giles from Starbucks.com
Starbucks is giving its deaf employees special green aprons with Starbucks spelled out in American Sign Language. It's the idea of barista Katie Giles who works at the coffee shop in Frederick, Maryland. Starbucks says, "The aprons, recommended by Giles, serve as both a visual cue for customers and a point of Deaf cultural pride." Read more details in a Starbucks news release here.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Deaf singer makes it to ‘America’s Got Talent’ semifinals

A Colorado singer moved into the semifinals of “America’s Got Talent” after performing a song she wrote called Mara's Song. The judges stood and gave Mandy Harvey a standing ovation when she finished. Mandy Harvey lost her hearing as as teen. Here's a video of that performance.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Witnesses question use of police force on deaf man

Witnesses say San Diego Police used excessive force on a deaf man. One told KGTV,"It ends up with three men on top of him. This poor man on the ground can't even communicate, but they are forcing him down on the ground over a parking ticket." Here's a video report from the TV station.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Deaf Man Refused Service at Restaurant

A London restaurant threw a deaf man out this past weekend because he had his service dog with him. The Gourmet Burger Kitchen franchise is now apoligizing. Read the story in The Mirror here.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Name Change for SC School Foundation

The fundraising arm of the South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind is changing its name. The Walker Foundation will now be known as the SCSDB Foundation. Foundation board chair Lynne Burton says, “We have a new name but the same important mission. The school has strong support throughout the state, and our foundation needed a name that individuals could immediately connect with the outstanding reputation of the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind. The new name will provide greater clarity and more immediate recognition of our foundation’s mission. The school’s administration building, called Walker Hall and named for the Newton Pinckney Walker in the 1840s, will keep its name. Read more here.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

App Maker: Apple Earbuds can work as low-tech Amplifiers

A free app called Fennex can turn Apple’s AirPods wireless earbuds into audio amplifiers, according to the Switzerland-based company behind the app. It says the app "functions like a 'cheap hearing aid'" which "tests your hearing in each ear and uses those results to act as a personalized, adjustable amplifier." And while a traditional hearing aid will differentiate between sounds and amplify them based on their particular characteristics, Fennex only does this in a rudimentary way. MIT Technology Review has more here and the company's website is here.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Hero of a new Video Game will use ASL

A video game coming this winter to PlayStation VR features a mouse who uses sign language to give players hints. The game is called Moss where players help a mouse named Quill "as she embarks on a heroic adventure." Read more about Moss in Kotaku. Below is an interview with the art director of the game.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Deaf Man Prevented from Serving on Grand Jury

A Minnesota man wasn't allowed to serve on a grand jury because he is deaf. Mark Valimont is now suing the state. He wants the court staffed to be better trained and compensatory damages “in excess of $50,000.” Read more at the Star-Tribune here.

Lawsuit against St. Paul Police

A deaf woman says she was mistreated by the St. Paul police department. Catrina Hooper says she felt "hurt and afraid" after her encounter with officers. KSTP-TV has a video report.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Details on Apple's Cochlear Implant iPhone Accessory

Last month, we told you about Apple's plan to partner with Austrailian company Cochlear to launch the first Made For iPhone Cochlear implant. The device will be able to stream audio from an iOS device directly to a surgically embedded sound processor. Now, Wired magazine has more details on the technology here.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

NTID gets $2.6 million Grant

image of Matthew Dye
from ntid.rit.edu
A federal grant of $2.6 million will be used by the National Technical Institute for the Deaf to study the results of cochlear implants. The researcher leading the study, Matthew Dye, says sometimes the results are positive but sometimes "cochlear implant recipients never develop usable speech and oral-language skills." This research is intended to answer the question as to why the outcome varies. It's the first study of its kind to focus on college-age adults, Read more here.

1st Deaf School Super Welcomes Students

The Tennessee School for the Deaf has its first deaf superintendent and she is welcoming students back for the new school year.  WVLT-TV has a video and written report on what NancyLynn Ward is doing in her first year here.

Friday, August 4, 2017

A deaf man’s death leads to a change in NC law

Adam DeVenny Daniel Harris was shot and killed by a North Carolina state trooper after a high-speed chase. Now, a new law will go into effect in January as a result laset year. House Bill 84 allows deaf drivers to have a symbol included on their driver’s licenses. That way, when a police officer stops someone and checks their license number, this information will come up. Read more in the Herald-Sun here. Unfortunately, the Herald-Sun video posted below, does not have captions.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Terps visualize noise for deaf fans at Lollapalooza

Amber Galloway-Gallego has choosen not to use a traditional style of interpreting: Instead of avoiding movement that might distract from music performances or trying to represent the musical instruments, she and some other ASL interpreters hope to bring their work to life with a full-immersion style of communicating. Read the story here.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Deaf and the Civil War

A new book tells what deaf people did during the Civil War. Written by Harry Lang, who teaches at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, the book is called Fighting in the Shadows: The Untold Story of Deaf People in the Civil War. Lang says the book is about "how they put aside the oppression and discrimination they faced in order to join the greater conflict that was dividing the nation.” Read more at the NTID site here.

Happy Birthday Bob Hiltermann!

Deaf since the age of 4, Bob Hiltermann was born on this day (August 1, 1952) in Germany, the tenth of eleven children born. A bout with meningitis left him deaf but he wasn't diagnosed until the age of ten. Hiltermann learned ASL while attending Gallaudet University in Washington, DC and later formed MuSign (a Signing/Mime company). He acted with Marlee Matlin in Children of a Lesser God, was featured in See What I'm Saying and The Hammer, he created ASL videos called Shut Up and Sign and is drummer for Beethoven's Nightmare.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Familiy "very angry" about accident

A Gallaudet student walking in a crosswalk was seriously hurt when a dump truck hit her in Washington, DC. Bianca Butler and her family now have questions about the driver who fled the scene. He was involved in a similar accident just a couple of years ago. DC's News4 has a video report. Read the story here.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

the first Cochlear Implant made for the iPhone

Apple and hearing implant company Cochlear are partnering to first made for iPhone Cochlear implant. The "Made for iPhone" implant will be able stream audio from iPhones and iPads. It includes   controls and monitoring options for parents. ZDnet has details here.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

On this day.. the ADA was signed into law

It was on this day (July 25, 1990) that President George H.W. Bush signed the American Disablity Act into law. Senator Tom Harkin says the ADA law was inspired by his deaf brother. The Iowa Democrat says watching his brother, Frank, struggle against social barriers motivated him to push the ADA bill through the U.S. Congress. The law prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training and other conditions and privileges of employment. You can watch the signing in the video below.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Looking Back.. 14 years ago

On this date (July 23) in 2003, a revival of Big River opened on Broadway with a cast of hearing and deaf actors. Roger Miller's 1985 musical about Huck Finn was the first Broadway show to do so since the 1980's Children of a Lesser God. The show was a co-production of the Roundabout Theater Company and West Hollywood's Deaf West Theater.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Deaf Man Attacked In Robbery

Hector Reyna was walking out of a fast-food restaurant in Santa Ana, California Wednesday when he was attacked and robbed by a man with a knife. The man also attacked a responding officer. CBS-LA has a video report.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Shape of Water

A new movie hits theaters in December in which ASL plays a major role. The Shape of Water tells the story of a lonely woman who works in a high-security government laboratory. There, she discovers a secret classified experiment.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Fierce Debate Over Sign Language

Last month, we told you about a controversial new study that said using sign language when a child has a cochlear implant holds back the child's language development. Education Week has a report on some of responses here.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Deaf Comedian in Hit Film

image from Sony
Deaf comedian CJ Jones has a part in the hit movie Baby Driver. He plays Joseph, the foster father to the main character. Yahoo Movies says, "In a film full of such bold-face names as Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, and Jon Hamm, it’s the authentic, nuanced work of Jones and the touching relationship between Baby and Joseph that drive so many of the movie’s feels." Read more about Jones' work here


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Sunday, July 16, 2017

$1 Million Grant

A million dollar federal grant will be used to develop a Scientists-In-Training program for deaf and hard of hearing undergraduates at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. Read more here.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Teen allegedly killed deaf mom

A teenager in Illinois faces charges she killed her deaf mom and attempted to cover it up the death by setting the home on fire. Police say the 15-year-old waited for her mom to come home from work and told her mom to place a towel over her face before shooting her mom in the forehead. Read more details from Sauk Valley Media here. WQAD-TV spoke withe the girl's sister in the video below.

NTID's 1st Diversity Director

image from RIT.edu
The Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf has its first director of diversity and inclusion. Stephanie Smith Albert has worked at several deaf schools, the latest being the Ohio School for the Deaf. Read more about her here.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Marlee Matlin joins Battle of the Network Stars

Image from marleematlin.net
Oscar-Winner Marlee Matlin will join other celebrities tonight
for the reboot of The Battle of the Network Stars. A team of actors who played TV lawyers will face cast members who were on shows about the White House. The show orginally ran on ABC from 1976-1988. You can watch Battle of the Network Stars Thursday at 9pm, Eastern on ABC. Read more about the teams here.

More than $1 million for State School

The New York State School for the Deaf more than a million dollars for building improvements from the state goverment. The school's roof, windows, electrical, heating and ventilation systems will be improved with the funds.School Superintendent David Hubman, “The funding provided will allow us to renovate and prevent the building from further deterioration. This building is the last of the original structures.” New York state senator Joseph Griffo issued more details in a press release here.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Deaf Woman attacked at bus stop

A stranger sucker punched a deaf woman in Dallas. KDFW-TV has a video report about what happened to Cindy Tarkington. For captions and text go here.

Monday, July 10, 2017

On this Day.. Ed Dundon was born


Ed "Dummy" Dundon was the first deaf player to play baseball professionally. He was born on this day (July 10) in 1859. After attending the Ohio State School for the Deaf, Dundon went on to play several years of professional baseball. He had two seasons with the Columbus Buckeyes before retiring and becoming an umpire. During his hitch with the Buckeyes in 1883 and 1884, Dundon had a record of 9-20 and a 4.25 ERA.

On this Date... Sentenced to Life in Prison

It was on this date (July 10) in 2002 that a District of Columbia judge sentenced Joseph Mesa, Jr. to six life terms without the possibility of parole for the murders of two Gallaudet classmates. The 22-year-old from Guam was convicted of first beating Eric Plunkett to death in September of 2000 and then stabbing Benjamin Varner to death in February of 2001. Both attacks took place in Gallaudet dorm rooms. Mesa took money from both victims, but turned himself in to police a few days after killing Varners. Pleading not guilty by reason of insanity, Mesa told jurors he saw hands wearing black gloves telling him in sign language to kill the 19 year olds. Mesa's defense attorney suggested that the attack on Plunkett was prompted by rage over an unwanted homosexual advance. Mesa was convicted him on all 15 counts. Mesa is now serving time at the United States Penitentiary in Atwater, California near San Francisco, a high security facility.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Chinese man saves deaf woman

A train conductor in China saved a deaf woman "who was crossing a railway track as his train was approaching, but lost his right leg." Here is a video about it from China Global Television Network.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Hospital settles lawsuit over Terps

A south Texas hospital has settled a lawsuit out of court related to providing interpreters. The suit stemmed from complaints of a deaf couple, whose daughter was undergoing treatments for cancer. The hospital did not provide an interpreter for them and now, as part of the settlement, has agree to provide qualified interpreters when requested by patients, as required under ADA law. The Monitor has more details here.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Behind the Scenes Photos of a Beauty Pageant for Deaf People

A Romania photographer gives us a glimpse of what it's like backstage at a beauty pageant for deaf and hard of hearing participates. Take a look at the photo layout in Vice here.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Misleading PR on Implant Surgery

A recent news release about a study on cochlear implant surgical techniques called it a "breakthrough." HealthNewsReview says it wasn't a breakthrough at all. Not only that, there are conflict of interests with device manufacturers. Read more in the respected health news site HealthNewsReview here.

Why People With Brain Implants Are Afraid to Go Through Automatic Doors

“When you get an implant, they warn you about interference with devices like MRI machines. But they don’t warn you about Best Buy or Walmart,” says Gary Olhoeft. An FDA report (which you can read here) written way back in the year 2000 identified the problem of implant-interference from other devices:
The consequence of EMI [or electromagnetic interference] with medical devices may be only a transient ‘blip’ on a monitor, or it could be as serious as preventing an alarm from sounding or inappropriate device movement leading to patient injury or death. With the increasing use of sensitive electronics in devices, and the proliferation of sources of EM energy, there is heightened concern about EMI in many devices.
This problem is 'likely to grow in scope and scale unless we plan carefully," according to a Gizmodo article. Read more about the issue here.