Monday, January 22, 2018

Airline changes it Service Animal Policy

Delta Airlines plans to impose tighter restrictions on animals brought on board its airplanes. Many people have started bringing their pets with them when the travel, pretending they are service animals to take advantage of ADA law. Starting in March 1, Delta will require advance documentation before boarding animals to certify the owner’s need and the animal’s training. The annoucement also says:
Delta has seen an 84 percent increase in reported animal incidents since 2016, including urination/defecation, biting and even a widely reported attack by a 70-pound dog. In 2017, Delta employees reported increased acts of aggression (barking, growling, lunging and biting) from service and support animals, behavior not typically seen in these animals when properly trained and working.
Read the full details of the change from Delta here.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

On this date: Sorenson Dies

James LeVoy Sorenson
(image from Southern Utah University)
A driving force in the Deaf community died on this date (Jan. 20) in 2008. James LeVoy Sorenson passed away at a Salt Lake City hospital at the age of 86. Utah's richest man was estimated to be worth $4.5 billion by Forbes magazine. Perhaps best known for co-developing the first real-time computerized heart monitor and founding Sorenson Communication, his donations to Gallaudet University totaled more than $5 million.

The deaf six-year-old hoping for an Oscar

Profoundly deaf six year old Maisie Sly is the star of The Silent Child, a short film which could be vying for an Oscar. Find out more about it in this BBC video.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Lawsuit Claims School Failed to Accommodate Deaf Students

image from dcc.edu
Two deaf students are have filed a lawsuit against a Louisiana community college for not providing them with interpreters. Lee Em Bruce and Ronneka Smith says they tried to work with officials on campus but were not accomodated, so they've filed a suit against the Delgado Community College. Read the full story here.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Deaf School Leaders Want to Drop ASL Requirement for Superintendent

A deaf school wants to change a rule requiring it's leader to know sign language and have experience working with deaf children. The South Dakota Board of Regents is asking the state legisalture to make the change over the objections of parents and educators so that it will be easier to combine the leadership of the state deaf school and the state blind school. Read the full story in the Argus Leader here.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Deaf University Student hit by Truck

A deaf student at National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester was hit by a truck last night. WHAM-TV says the student had "serious injuries" and offers this video report.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Spotting Implant Users Who are Falling Behind

Some deaf children with cochlear implants still lag behind their hearing peers in educational development. Researchers are now using brain MRIs to "construct a machine-learning algorithm to predict language development," reports WTTW-TV. They hope the results will make it easier to spot the children with implants who are falling behind. Read the full story here.

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Closed Captioning rules for U.S. TV

2015 - The FCC sets “quality” standards for captioning by TV broadcasters focusing on: Accuracy, synchronicity (timing with the words being captioned), completeness (from the start of a program to the end), and placement (the captions shouldn't obscure other important information). More info here.

2016 - A new set of rules related to captioning by TV broadcasters kicks in: The FCC divides responsibility for closed captioning compliance between distributors and programmers. The Commission also identifies the proper methods for measuring closed captioning compliance and responding to consumer complaints.

Waivers - The FCC has made exceptions to the rules when the broadcaster shows captioning would cause an “undue economic burden” standard. Consumer groups have opposed the waiver requests. Some requests from churches and other organizations have been denied, mostly because a review of the group's financies shows they indeed have the funds to provide captioning and simply don't want to do so. The FCC also says captioning is not a religious freedom issue, as some have claimed.

Other FCC decisions of note:
—The FCC says TV stations captioning their news by using the telepropter text (or from news scripts) is not adequate by itself. If this method of captioning is used, known as Electronic Newsroom Technique, the station must have a designated “ENT coordinator" whose responisibility it is to make sure this service is properly conducted. There's more information here. —Live interviews and breaking news segments should include "crawls" at the bottom of the screen or other information through text. —Closed captioning must be provided for video over the internet if the programming was shown on TV in the US with captions. If the programming was aired on TV before 2013, it may be exempt until it is shown on TV again. —If an old program is shown on TV, the distributor and TV station are required to provide captions within 15 days. —Video clips, outtakes and montages of captioned TV programming posted online must be captioned. —Live programming must be captioned within 12 hours if posted online. Nearly live material must be captioned within eight hours of the conclusion of the program.

For more information, a Washington broadcast-focused law firm has links to helpful posts here.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Changing Netflix Captions on Your iPhone

image from Netflix video
You can customize the font, size, color, and the background pretty easily on most devices. But on an iPhone, the process is different. The same is true for an iPad and Apple TV. You can read a step-by-step guide as to how to do it
here.

IRS Warns of Video Relay Scam Targeting Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Every day scammers come up with new ways to steal taxpayers’ identities and personal information. Some scammers pretend to be from the IRS with one goal in mind: to steal money. Be aware that con artists will use video relay services (VRS) to try to scam deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Don’t become a victim. Deaf and hard of hearing taxpayers should avoid giving out personal and financial information to anyone they do not know. Always confirm that the person requesting personal information is who they say they are.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The tour's first deaf golfer is not giving up on his chase

Kevin Hall has spent 14 years on the PGA Tour. At one time, he won the Big Ten Championship while golfing for Ohio State. Now he toils in the sport's minors. He tells Yahoo Sports, "Golf is what I do, but in the grand scheme of things, God is using me to serve as an inspiration to others." Read the full story here.

Deaf Studies Archive receives grant to digitize rare videos

More that 60 video tapes decumenting the ASL poetry and literature movement in Rochester will be lost unless they are digitized—and now the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester has the funds to transfer the video. "The digitized videos will be one of the largest collections of online publicly accessible rare ASL literature in the country," according to the NTID. Read more about the project here.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

How Biotech is Trying to fix Hearing Loss

"At least half a dozen biotechs are working on potential breakthroughs in the way hearing loss is treated. But it’s unclear if the drugs they’re developing will be ready in time to help hearing-impaired boomers, some of whom are in their 70s," the Boston Glove Reports. David Lucchino, chief executive of Frequency, told the paper:
“There’s a fundamental transformation happening in hearing regeneration. We’re figuring out how to hot-wire the hair cells in the inner ear that die off during a lifetime of being exposed to noise.”
Read the full article here.