Sunday, August 30, 2015

Hospital settles suit over failure to provide interpreters

A California hospital will pay $100,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by two deaf women. Arrowhead Regional Medical Center refused to provide Trixy Betsworth with an interpreter when her husband (also deaf) was struck by lightening and admitted to the hospital. Betsworth filed suit with Jacquelyn Fithian who had been a patient at the Los Angeles-area facility and didn't get an interpreter at any point during her three-day stay. Arrowhead has agreed to provide qualified interpreters and other services in the future when requested. Read more at the Disability Right Center website.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Accessibility technology in a hearing-centric world

The Verge's Top Shelf visits the Motion Light lab at Gallaudet University to find out how motion capture technology can make a difference in the reading level of Deaf children. The video also presents information on closed captioning efforts and hearing aids.

Gallaudet's new look

While Gallaudet University looks for a new president, the school
is changing its logo and website. The Washington Business Journal has more here.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

New Maryland Football Coach

The football team at the Maryland School for the Deaf has a new coach-Ryan Bonheyo. As the school gets ready to kick off the season, WHAG-TV decided to do a report on how things are going.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

New Super for Deaf School

The West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind is getting its first deaf superintendent. Martin P. Keller Jr. comes from the Indiana School for the Deaf where he served as principal of the high school and middle school. Keller starts his job in September. He has degrees from Lamar University, Gallaudet University, McDaniel College, and Xavier University. The previous superintendent, Lynn Boyer, was at the school since 2011 and retired this year. Read more here.

Deaf Dance Festival

The 2015 3rd annual Bay Area Deaf Dance Festival will celebrate the creatives talents of Deaf and Hard of Hearing fine and performing artists in the disciplines of dance, music, painting, and handcrafted artisan wares. It will include workshops on the arts. It takes place August 28-30 at the ODC Theater in San Francisco. There's more info here.

Whatever Happened to.. Jane Fernandes

image from
When the Gallaudet University Board decided to appoint provost Jane K. Fernandes as president in 2006, students protested until the board revoked her appointment. You can read about what happened in the Washington Post. Fernandes, who was born deaf, went on to became president of North Carolina's Guilford College in 2014 and will officially be inaugurated as president of the school in a ceremony on campus this coming Wednesday (August 26). You can read more about it at the Guilford website.

Friday, August 21, 2015

FCC: Video platform for ASL coming soon

The FCC is launching a video program that will make it easier to communicate with government agencies using sign language. It's called Accessible Communications for Everyone or ACE. how it will work: an ASL-user will select who they want to chat with and they will be taken to a relay service. There will likely be some creative developments over time because the code is open source. ACE is not supposed to replace the systems already in place, just provide video relay to more people in more ways. The FCC already has an ASL support line last year-something you can expect from the EEOC and the Census Bureau soon. The ACE effort is a collaboration between Gallaudet University, the Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technology Institute of the Deaf, and TCS Associates. A beta version will be rolled out later this year and a final version expected by spring. Read more about it from the FCC here and there is a recent White House press release here. Below is a video introduction to VATRP which stands for Video Access Technology Reference Platform (VATRP). You can read more about VATRP here.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

This Is How You Make an All-Deaf Music Video

The Daily Beast pays a visit to the set of the Deaf Professional Arts Network’s latest music video shows. D-PAN co-founder Joel Martin told The Daily Beast that the vibrations they produced while the music was playing “goes straight through your bones... You feel the rhythm. When you see a deaf person moving perfectly with the song and hitting every mark, you might not think that they are deaf, but it’s all through the vibrations and sensing the movement of other people.”  Read the full story here.

Deaf man charged with threatening to blow up Statue of Liberty

A deaf West Virginia man is facing charges for allegedly threatening to blow up the Statue of Liberty, reports the New York Post. Jason Paul Smith was arrested in Texas yesterday. More than 3000 people were evacuated from Liberty Island because of the threat. The FBI says Smith used the name of 1993 World Trade Center bombing conspirator Abdul Yasin and could get as much as five years in jail for the hoax. KJTV-TV in Lubbock has a video report. captioning option here).

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Deaf woman slapped with home security alarm fines

A California woman is fighting fines from the city of Vallejo, bring on because her home security company kept calling 911 when an alarm was tripped rather than checking with her first. WLS-TV has a video report.

Monday, August 17, 2015

ASL version of song 'Happy' wins award

An ASL version of Pharrell's song Happy picked up Adweek's award for Best Cover Music Award. The video was put together by Camp Mark Steven for Deaf Film Camp's rendition. The Watch Awards "highlights the best in online video content, from the hilarious to the heartfelt."Read more about the winners in Ad Week. Here's the feel-good award-winning video.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Parents: Sex Club at Deaf School

The parents of a deaf student are suing the California School for the Deaf in Riverside. They claim their son was raped as part of a sex club at the school. KABC-TV reports the "ringleader" is now at a difference school.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Welcome to Mozzeria!

San Francisco's Mozzeria restaurant is not only Deaf-owned, it is Deaf-staffed. Learn more about Melody and Russell Stein's world-class pizzeria in this remarkable six-minute short film.

The Small Business Revolution Presents: Mozzeria's Small Business Story from The Small Business Revolution on Vimeo.

Gally picking new prez

Gallaudet has narrowed it's search for a new president. The three finalists to replace T. Alan Hurwitz and take over next year all are women and all are deaf. Here is a bit of info on each of them:

Roberta "Bobbi" Cordano 
(image from 
Gallaudet University)
Roberta "Bobbi" Cordano holds a B.A. from Beloit College in Beloit, Wis., and a Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is currently the vice president of programs for the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation in St. Paul, Minn., overseeing direct community-based programs in the areas of early childhood, community mental health, school reform, among other areas. Her full bio can be found here.

Pamela Lloyd-Ogoke
(image from 
Gallaudet University)
Pamela Lloyd-Ogoke holds a B.A. from Rochester Institute of Technology and a M.A. in deafness rehabilitation from New York University. She is currently the chief of community integration services and supports for the North Carolina Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, providing budget oversight and oversight of statewide programs that enhance access, independence and outreach. Her full bio can be found here.

Annette Reichman
(image from 
Gallaudet University)
Annette Reichman holds a B.A. in psychology from Gallaudet University and M.S. in rehabilitation counseling with the deaf from the University of Arizona. She is currently the director of the Office of Special Institutions in the U.S. Department of Education, which oversees statutorily funded special institutions including Gallaudet, National Technical Institute for the Deaf and the American Printing House for the Blind. Her full bio can be found here.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Sign language education program ending

Vietnam spent millions launching an education project for deaf children. But after only five years, the Inter-generational Deaf Education Outreach is being shut down. Part of the reason for the failure? Parents "did not bring them to schools (for the deaf).They did not want their children to use sign language, but speak instead," said IDEO program manager Le Thi Kim Cuc. Read more here.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Judge: false arrest suit can go forward

A deaf woman from Staten Island, New York can go ahead with her lawsuit against the NYPD. Diana Williams says cops violated her Civil Rights, according to the New York Post. She was "locked up for 24 hours without an interpreter." The video below shows her and another man who also says his rights were violated.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Bill to get Hearing Aid Covered by Insurance

A bill working its way through Congress would require require that Medicare pay for hearing exams and hearing aids. The Medicare Hearing Aid Coverage Act of 2015 wouldn't directly affect private insurance, it might lead the way for states to address the issue, which is important to many in the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing communities. You can read the text of the bill here and read a column explaining the importance of the proposed law here.

Short Film: The Kiss

A short film about a deaf couple and a hearing couple has won several awards at Film Festivals. Charlie Swinbourne's The Kiss took Best Film and Best Script honors at the Basque Region Festival of Deaf Arts and Films.

Dad's implant tattoo

image from Facebook
The six-year-old daughter of Alistair Campbell got a second cochlear implant, so to show support for her, Campbell had a tattoo that looks like an implant placed on his bald head. The New Zealand Herald has more here.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

brothers get implants together

Elias Goutoufas had his cochlear implant turned on Wednesday, just a couple of months after his brother had his implant turned on. WFLA-TV has a video report (o captions but you can read the story here).

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Cochlear's "silence" on animal testing

Australia's implant maker, Cochlear, is coming under fire for how it's using animals to test the latest version of its "bionic ear." One commentator says the company "maimed animals" in the process. Read the full story here.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Deaf man gets $150,000 for injuries during arrest

This city of Framingham, Massachusetts will pay Jon Dresser $150,000 to settle his lawsuit. Dresser claimed during his 2010 arrest, police injured his hands. He underwent multiple surgeries afterward, suffering permanent injuries, impairing his ability to sign. Read the full story in the MetroWest here.

It's being called “WhatsApp for the deaf”

image from a Glide YouTube video
Glide was supposed to be a WhatsApp for video messages. But its creators accidentally made a “WhatsApp for the deaf.” Glide currently has 20 million registered users, of which Caras estimates about 250,000 of are deaf, according to Quartz. Glide is looking at ways to create instant subtitles for sign language, or converting text into visual graphics. Read more at Quartz here.

the first deaf contestant on 'America's Next Top Model'

image from Nyle DiMarco's Instagram account
Meet Nyle DiMarco, the first deaf contestant on America's Next Top Model. DiMarco attended Gallaudet University and will appear on the TV reality show for the first time this coming Wednesday (August 5). "It is inspiring being the first deaf participant on ANTM, knowing I am making a difference by reaching out and educating others about our Deaf Culture and teaching sign language to other cast members," said DiMarco. Maryland's Frederick News-Post interviewed him here and Gallaudet issued a news release about it you can read here.