Friday, November 29, 2013

Hamilton Honor

Hamilton is honoring Kathy Miller as its Iowa 2013 Deaf Community Leader. She earned the award for her work at the Iowa School for the Deaf and involvement in groups like the Deaf Services Commission of Iowa and the Council Bluffs Deaf Club. She serves as president of the Iowa Association of the Deaf. Born deaf, Miller was taught the oral method as a child and mainstreamed. When she got a chance to attend the Iowa School for the Deaf, her world opened up, learning sign and meeting her husband. Find out more here.

Journey to Bilateral Cochlear Implants

Sue Vardon says, "Bilateral hearing gave me: a fuller sound; improved location of sound; increased discrimination of sound especially in noise; more enjoyable music; reduced frustration; fewer mispronunciations; the ability to always have one working ear; and two ears working together." Vardon made a presentation about her journey to Desert Cochlear Connections recently. It's detailed in the Arizona Daily Star here.

Commentator: "Why I Hope Closed Caption Typos Never Go Away Completely"

A commentator for Boston's public radio station wants closed captioning to keep making mistakes on TV programs. Rich Barlow write that he want to continue getting a "good chuckle" out from seeing mistakes. Read the full story here.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Long-term Outcomes of Implantation

Now that cochlear implant users are getting older, researchers are starting to look at the devices' long-term effects. A professor at Penn State focused a recent study on the impact of mainstreaming children with implants. Assistant Professor of Psychology Daniela Martin titled her research Long-term improvements in oral communication skills and quality of peer relations in children with cochlear implants: Parental testimony. She followed children for an average of nine years after receiving implants and says she found the oral skills and socialization of most of the children improved over time. You'll find the study here.

ADA lawsuits for profit?

Are some people taking advantage of ADA law to make profits instead of breaking down barriers? That's the question Sacramento's KXTV investigated after local businesses complained. No captions but you can read the story here.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gally gets 1st Gagliardi finalist

Gallaudet University has a football player in the running for most outstanding football player in Division III. It's the first time for the Washington, D.C. school. Senior defensive end Adham Talaat is one of the 10 finalists for the Gagliardi Trophy. The winner will be announced next month (Dec. 18). With a 3.90 GPA, there is talk that the Springfield, Va native could wind up playing in the pros.  Talaat says he is "humbled, grateful and thrilled to represent Bison Nation and the deaf and hard of hearing community as a whole. I hope I can make them all proud." Talaat racked up 46 tackles, five sacks, and six quarterback hurries for the Bison this season. Read more details here.

Monday, November 25, 2013

School Upgrades to Reflect Priorities

The "refurbished $2.5 million state-of-the-art auditorium" that was just opened by the Washington School for the Deaf highlights facility's "new educational philosophy." Read more about the school's new auditorium featuring student art at Oregon live here.

A doctor who can communicate

A Pittsburgh-area doctor is one of the few physicians in the nation who is ASL fluent. Find out why at the Post-Gazette here.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

New D-PAN ASL Music Video

The Gospel ASL Music video from the D-PAN covering The Clark Sisters You Brought The Sunshine is out. The song came out the early 80s and has been updated by the Deaf Professional Arts Network. As we mentioned in an earlier post, the new cover was shot this summer in Detroit’s Little Rock Baptist Church and includes the original track, a deaf San Francisco choir and the Detroit gospel group Larry Callahan & Selected of God. A special about the making of the video will be broadcast this coming Wednesday on the Word Network.

Video Premiere in Detroit today

A new video featuring a popular gospel song combined with ASL rolls out this afternoon. The Clark Sisters' You Brought the Sunshine came out in the early 80s and has been updated by D-PAN (Deaf Professional Arts Network). The new cover was shot this summer in Detroit’s Little Rock Baptist Church. It includes the original track, a deaf San Francisco choir and the Detroit gospel group Larry Callahan & Selected of God. A special about the making of the video will be broadcast this coming Wednesday on the Word Network. Read more details here.

Church to stream terped services

If you can't make it to your church on Sunday or if you aren't near an interpreted service, you'll soon be able to watch a Montana service online. Peace Lutheran Church in Great Falls will live stream its ASL-interpreted services starting in December thanks to a grant from the Montana District Lutheran Women’s Missionary League. Find out more at the church's website here.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

UK woman strikes back at disease with implant

After six years of hearing problems, a Meniere's disease sufferer in the London-area has a undergone cochlear implant surgery in hopes of regaining some of her hearing. here.

Bison lose playoff game

Image from Gallaudet Athletics 
Gallaudet's historic run has ended. The Bison football team lost the school's first Division three playoff game to Hobart College today by a score of 34-7. There are more details on the game here here. The games may be over for Gally, but the school received a some national attention in the media for the effort. Here's a video from ESPN about the team (captions included).

Friday, November 22, 2013

Kerry Makes Pitch for Human Rights Treaty

Secretary of State John Kerry testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today on behalf of the international human rights treaty of the United Nations called Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which you can read here. Kerry told Senators, "There are countries where children with disabilities are warehoused from birth, denied even a birth certificate, not a real person, and treated as second-class citizens every single days of their life… What we did here at home with the Americans with Disabilities Act hasn’t even been remotely realized overseas. And in too many places, what we take for granted here hasn’t been granted at all."
Video of his testimony and the text of his speech is here.

University Expands ASL Classes

Ohio's Miami University is going to offer more American Sign Language classes. Added to the single introductory course will be enough classes so that a student can complete the foreign language requirement completely in ASL. Find out more from the Speech Pathology department. Their website is here.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The US military and implants

Marine Maj. Gen. Bob Hedelund recently spoke at a Washington conference on cochlear implants recently, telling attendees that the Defense Department will play a bigger role in research and treatment in the future. Hedelund said, “Marines are serving today with prosthetic legs and arms, and yet we haven’t opened the door on the cochlear implant for somebody who has been rendered deaf, either due to loud noise or prolonged exposure,” according to the Military Times. Read the full story here.

Researchers: Breakthrough in Hearing Aid Technology

Researchers they've figured out how to cut down on the distracting background noise that hearing aid wearers have to fight through to understand voices. The Ohio State scientists say they've been able to get some test participants to go from understanding 10% of what's said to 90% with the help of a clever computer algorithm. If the technology proves effective, it could lead the way for Starkey, the manufacturer involved in the research, to advance its line of hearing aids. Details of the research are published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America and you can read about the effort here. The video below has examples of how the technology works.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Michigan's Hospital Terp Rules

New regulations about interpreting in medical situations are coming to Michigan. These new rules could be ready for publication before the end of the year. Public hearings will follow before they are put into place--at which time medical facilities will have 90 days to comply with the regulations. Some of the issues to be discussed, according to Crain's Detroit Business, include determining when is it acceptable to use a VRI (video remote interpreter) and how much education should be required. Read more about what's coming here.

What Does Rap Music Look Like In Sign Language?

Interpreter Amber Galloway Gallego says she's worked more than 300 concerts--many of them for rap artists. She spoke with Ali Wentworth of Yahoo's Daily Shot. Here's the video (captions available).

Gallaudet finds out playoff opponent

Hobart College. The New York Team will face Gallaudet's Bison in the first round of the NCAA division 3 playoffs next Saturday at noon. WUSA-TV was there when the team found out who they would meet in the playoffs (captions included).

Saturday in Tampa

A Communication Access & Technology Expo takes place in Tampa, Florida this Saturday (November 23). For more information, click here.

Gally football stumbles

The Gallaudet Bison came within one victory of a perfect season. But New York's Maritime football team had other ideas on Saturday. The Privateers beat Gallaudet by a score of 7-6. Maritime ends the season with a 5-5 record while Gallaudet finished the regular season with 9 wins against this single defeat. The Bison now move to the playoffs. The team will take part in the first round of the NCAA Division III football tournament next weekend.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Signing Bus Driver

The New York Post has labeled bus driver Edwin Cora a Hometown Hero for "learning American Sign Language to better serve deaf riders.. His ultimate dream? To become so proficient that he can stand in front at his church and interpret the service in ASL." The paper quotes one deaf rider as saying Cora "understands my deafness and deaf culture. He is a great fellow and I like him a lot.” Read more: Read the full story here.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Review of 39 Steps

New York Deaf Theater is performing The 39 Steps for a limited time. The Examiner says in its review that the signing helps the deaf in the audience but not the hearing crowd. "Although it was clear at the performance I attended that the deaf audience members found great enjoyment in the proceedings, the comedy is diminished for the hearing audience due to the silence in the room." You can read the full review here.

One year ago.. Best Prof at NTID

The Carnegie Foundation picked a NTID professor one year ago as its nationwide professor of the year out of 300 finalists. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching working with the Council for Advancement and Support of Education said  Todd Pagano, who is director of the Laboratory Science Technology program, is “a leading scholar of science education for deaf students and an advocate in the professional chemistry community for students, scientists and technicians with special needs.” A decade ago, when he first arrived at NTID , Pagano didn’t know sign language — and relied on an interpreter. But he quickly learned ASL in order to be able to better communicate with the students. Pagano is the first RIT faculty member to receive the prestigious award. He is married to Susan Smith Pagano, an assistant professor at RIT’s Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Science. To read more about Pagano's work, click here.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Deaf Flag Twirler

Kelsy Baker is part of her high school's flag line in Shreveport, Louisiana--despite not being able to hear the music. The band director says it just means she pays better attention than others. KSLA-TV has a video report (captions included).

KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Avatar and Robotics Workshop at Gallaudet

Gallaudet University is working with the National Science Foundation's Science of Learning Center, and the Petitto BL2 neuroimaging lab, to host National Science Foundation's Avatar & Robotics Signing Creatures Workshop tomorrow (Nov. 15). There will more than 40 two-minute talks about robots, education technology, sign linguistics and much more with a special focus on the deaf visual learner.

Trial for deaf defendant presented 'unique' challenges

Prosecutors say the trial of a former Maryland School for the Deaf employee presented special difficulties for the court. The Baltimore Sun reports the defendant's attorney says his client may appeal the verdict and that there needed to be more interpreters. "You saw the interpreters correct one another," Brandon Mead said. "You saw the need to have four individuals going back and forth, stopping, correcting and clarifying." WJZ-TV has a video report posted below about the verdict (no captions).here.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Guilty on Two Counts

A former employee of the Maryland School for the Deaf was found guilty of sexually abusing two middle-school girls. But the members of Clarence Cepheus Taylor III's jury found him not guilty on one count--and couldn't come to a decision of four others. Taylor denied inappropriately touching the girls while he worked at the school between 2008 and 2011. He took to the stand last week to defend himself and deny the allegations that he groped seven students. Sentencing may come at the end of January--and he faces a retrial for the counts on which the jury deadlocked.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Deaf 12-year-old competes with boys on football field

Rebecca Lee Karl's coach says, "She's one of my best linemen, plus she plays corner on defense. She's one of my best players." KCEN-TV in central Texas has a video report(captions available) on the difference she's making on her pee-wee football team. - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

Should you reveal your disability during a job interview?

The ADA law prohibits employers from asking job candidates any medical questions, and the consensus among legal experts in this field is that you're under no obligation to bring up the subject in an interview, unless you have reason to believe it could affect your ability to do your job. Since you managed to work around your condition in your last job, do you think you could do the same in a new position? ADA requires employers to make a 'reasonable accommodation' for people with disabilities but if you really believe you could not perform the job at a high level, then it would probably be better to not apply for the job in the first place. To decide this you must understand exactly what the job will entail. Ask for as many details about the daily routine as possible. Then, figure out what kinds of "reasonable accommodations" might be possible. If, for instance, it would help to be able to work from home occasionally, you can ask about that in an interview without going into detail about why you want to know. Look for employers with flexibility and focus on your abilities, not your disability. Remember, your employer cannot make reasonable accommodations if they are unaware of your situation. Ernst and Young has written a free online guidebook about this as a PDF here.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Gally Gets first ranking

Gallaudet earned its first ranking in school history in the AFCA Division III Coaches’ Poll. The football team came in at #25 after its win against Anna Maria on Saturday.

Saturday in New Orleans

An ASL Expo takes place in New Orleans this Saturday (November 16) at the Castine Center. Admission is free. You'll find more information here.

Edison & the Telegraph

Thomas Edison wrote that his partial deafness - and technology - helped him gain the affections of his eventual second wife, Mina, whom he married in 1886. The prolific inventor wrote:
“In the first place (my hearing loss) excused me for getting quite a little nearer to her than I would have dared to if I hadn’t had to be quite close in order to hear what she said. My later courship was carried on by telegraph. I taught the lady of my heart the Morse code, and when she could both send and reicve we got along much bet than we could have with spoken words by tapping out our remarks to one atooher on our hands. Presently I asked her tus, in Morse, code, if she would marry me. The word ‘Yes’ is an easy one to send by telegraphic signals, and she sent it. If she had been obliged to speak it, she might have fought it harder.”

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Gally Celebrates!

Here's a short video of the celebrations at Gallaudet yesterday when the football team won its first conference championship and playoff berth.

Deaf high school player exels on football field

The new coach of the Mt. Zion High School football team in central Illinois was first told about Chandler Hudson by an assistant. "He said, we've got a kid, he's a great athlete (who) can play on both sides of the ball for us, but we've got a little bit of a problem… he's deaf." The coach found out that wasn't a problem at all, as WAND-TV explains in this video report (with captioning)., NewsCenter17, StormCenter17, Central Illinois News-

1st Conference Championship

Gally fans stormed the field Saturday after the football team won its game against Anna Maria College by a score of 35-7. Hotchkiss Field was full of dancing, joyful supporters and players. More than 700 people showed up to see the team reach 9 wins against no loses. The win clinched the Bisons' first Eastern Collegiate Football Conference championship--automatically putting them in the 2013 NCAA Division III football championship. Before that gets underway on November 23, the Bison have one more game to win in order to complete a perfect season. Next Saturday Gallaudet visits Maritime College in New York.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Gally wins #9!

Gallaudet's football team made history moments ago by beating Anna Maria by a score of 35-7. The victory gives the Bison the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference title--and the team's first shot at the postseason.

Video: The Bison Dance

Below is a video of the Gallaudet football team continuing its dancing tradition following victories.

Bison football: We Will Dance

"The rise of Gallaudet's program is an amazing story," says ESPN writer Johnette Howard. "Better yet, it's peopled by a cast of characters who leave you happily reminded that college football isn't just about the soul-wearying payola scandals, galling excesses and petty nonsense that siphon off so much attention at the very top of the sport. College football is also about places like this tiny school of 1,117 undergrads that sits just off Florida Avenue in the District of Columbia, and the sense of excitement and community that sports can create." Read the full story at ESPN here.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Deaf school sex abuse case goes to jury

A sex abuse case involving a former employee of the Maryland School for the Deaf is in the hands of the jury. After Clarence Taylor III took to the stand to defend himself and deny the allegations that he groped seven students, both sides rested. A verdict won't be announced until at least Tuesday. There are more details about what happened today in court from the Baltimore Sun here.

ATT&T adds to phone scandal settlement

Back in May we told you about a AT&T's agreement to pay $18 million for not stopping swindlers from taking millions out of a service meant to benefit the deaf. Prosecutors claimed the phone company knowingly asked for reimbursement of calls not covered in the service. You can read the story here. AT&T is now willing to add a few million to that total--$3.5 million to be exact. The deal with the U.S. Justice Department resolves civil allegations under the federal False Claims Act. AT&T still denies the allegations, according to a Bloomberg report, but wants to settle the case.

Video Report: Gallaudet Football on the verge

Local media in the DC area are joining the Bison bandwagon. WUSA-TV has a video report on the Gally football team's shot at an undefeated season and a playoff birth.

Hearing Aids Dispensers

State-licensed hearing-aid specialists need only a minimum amount of education, but have to pass tests proving their competence to administer hearing exams, fit devices and recognize underlying physical problems. Audiologists must have at least a master's degree, though they generally aren't medical doctors. Many states require that consumers be allowed to return hearing aids within 30 days.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Special Scuba Diving Class for Deaf-Blind

Missouri's KQTV has a video report on a scuba diving class for the deaf and the deaf-blind. It's posted below on (captions available).

Deaf Woman Robbed at Gunpoint

"I could see three guys in a car pull up beside me. They're yelling at me from the car and I don't hear them because I don't have my hearing aids in..." That's what Elizabeth Melaugh told WTEV-TV happened shortly before she was robbed at gunpoint of cash and new hearing aids. Watch the full video report below (there are no captions, but you can read the story here).

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Update on Md. deaf school aid

A former Maryland School for the Deaf aide, on trial for inappropriately touching girls at the school, may take the stand on his own behalf tomorrow. During today's proceedings, prosecutors played a video of police interviewing some of the alleged victims that ran for more than four hours. The Associated Press has an update on the trial here.

Big Game at Gally Saturday

When Gallaudet's football team marches out to take the field on Saturday against Anna Maria, they will have a shot at making history. A victory would give the Bison the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference title. Along with that honor would come the team's first shot at the postseason--in fact, it would be the first for any men's program at the university. Gally had a dramatic finish last weekend, winning on the last play of the game (which you can read about and watch here). Yahoo Sports offers a summary of how the Bison program arrived at this critical place in the programs history 's article here.

LA Times: Deaf film director can finally hear soundtracks to his films

Austin Chapman
A few days ago, we told you about a deaf filmmaker who opened a Kickstarter page to fund his first feature film. You can read Austin Chapman's story here. Now the Los Angeles Times has picked up on Chapman's story. He got some national attention when he went on Reddit and posed the a question: "I can hear music for the first time ever, what should I listen to?" He received nearly 14,000 replies. You can read the full LA Times story here.

NAD: Working on guidelines for ASL use in courtrooms

Last month we told you about the Maryland judge who is limiting the use of sign language in his courtroom during a trial involving several deaf people. You can read the story about a former Maryland School for the Deaf employee accused of child molestation here. In response that decision and the publicity surrounding it, the NAD (National Association of the Deaf) is working on a set of recommendations for the use of ASL in courtrooms when it comes to spectators. The guidelines will be presented to the American Bar Association. The Maryland trial is still underway.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Limitations of Implants

The National Journal takes a look at what the cochlear implant can do--and what it cannot do for users in an article titled, "Why We Can Give the Deaf Sound, but Not Music."  Writer Brian Resnick says that could be changing, thanks to advances in pitch processing. Read the full story here.

Saturday in NJ

The New Jersey Association of the Deaf's 23rd Biennial State Conference takes place this Saturday (November 9) at Ocean County College in Toms River. For more information, click here.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Deaf filmaker Austin Chapman has created a Kickstarter page to help fund his first feature film. Chapman says Jester will show viewer his "experience growing up in a silent world and hearing music for the first time at 23 years old." You can see the Kickstarter page here and below is the short film on which Jester is based, called Eleven Eleven.

5 myths about being deaf

Justin Leblanc
'Project Runway' alum Justin Leblanc shares 5 myths about being deaf with the Chicago Tribune. Number one is that "hearing-impaired" is the preferred adjective. Leblanc says, "A lot of deaf people get offended when they're referred to as 'hearing-impaired. For me it's not an impairment. It's a way of life. I was born this way. Deaf is appropriate. I'm a proud deaf person." Read more of Leblanc's myths here.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Gally Wins #8!

Gallaudet's football team was facing certain defeat today in the closing seconds against Becker--but the undefeated Bison held on to win 40-34. With less than two minutes in the game, Becker blocked a Gallaudet punt. The Hawks took the ball down to the Gally 14 yard line. All the Becker team had to do was to kick a short field goal to win. There was just two seconds left in the game. But Gallaudet's Chris Papacek blocked the field-goal attempt, then Ryan Bonheyo picked up the ball, and ran nearly 80 yards for a walk-off score. Gallaudet now has eight wins and no losses. Next up, the Bison face Anna Maria College at home. Here's a video of that exciting last play from today's game.

Why Terps are so Expressive

Face and body movement is such an integral part American Sign Language grammar that effective ASL interpreters become very physically expressive when they are interpeting. Movements of the head and eyebrows can indicate various sentence structures and subtleties of meaning. Facial expressions can indicate shades of meaning that verbs alone cannot convey. In sign language, mouth and eye movements can serve as modifiers - adverbs and adjectives. A straight faced interpreter is only offering half the message. Of course, some facial expressions in sign languages are just facial expressions. But what may seem like excessive body language to the uninformed is really necessary in ASL in order to parrellel the nuanced information conveyed through voice inflections among the hearing. They pick up cues through the speaker's tone of voice. ASL users look to facial and body expressions for the same thing. This grammatical aspect of ASL can relay as much information as the signs themselves.

An Online Deaf Studies Library to be built

Professor Bryan Eldredge
A professor in Utah hopes to build what he says is the first online deaf studies library. Bryan Eldredge directs the American Sign Language and Deaf Studies at Utah Valley University. Eldredge has a $50,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to help make it happen. Students and those studying the deaf community will be able to read ebooks, articles, papers, take a look at photographs, and view other technology without having to travel to Orem, Utah. Eldredge says, “We have a limited slice of history because most of deaf history took place before we had video, and few deaf people could write in English,” Eldredge explained. “More and more ASL-based documents and videos will be a part of the holdings, so this will be a resource for both the deaf world and for those studying it.” Read more about the effort here.

Today in Ohio

The Ohio Association of the Deaf's Ohion DEAFair 2013 takes place today in Columbus. For more information, click here.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Saturday in Indiana

The 4th Annual Deaf Festival takes place at Allen County Fairgrounds in Fort Watyne, Indiana this coming Saturday (November 9). For more information, click here.

CAD gathering

The Connecticut Association of the Deaf is holding its 29th Biennial annual conference this weekend at Windsor Locks. For more information, click here.

Gally going for first NCAA berth

Chase Magsig
Image from Gallaudet Athletics
Gallaudet's football team is on a roll and has a shot at playing in the NCAA playoffs for the first time. The undefeated Bison are 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference. Winning a title would give them an automatic NCAA berth. Next up for the team: Becker College tomorrow (Saturday) at noon Eastern. The Leicester, Massachusetts team has only won one game this season against six loses. The conference just named Sophomore Chase Magsig the Division III Northeast Special Teams Player of the Week. Magsig kicked the game-winning field goal in the team's victory over Husson University. He also booted six punts for 249 yards--including one that went 66 yards.