Friday, May 22, 2015

Man charged with sexual assaulting deaf woman

A man broke into the home of a deaf Florida woman and sexually assaulted her before stealing money from her. WFTS-TV reports police caught the man and he is now behind bars.

This Musical Isn't Just for Deaf People — It's for Everyone

Deaf West Theater's adaptation of Tony Award-winning musical Spring Awakening is getting some buzz. Director Michael Arden wrote in his note to audiences, "To me, the play speaks to those who are denied a voice, to those who don't fit into the norm, to those who are questioning and experiencing the pains of growing up." In a promotional video about the production Arden says, "What better metaphor than deaf and hearing cultures?" has a full story here. Below is a preview of the show.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Review of ‘Marie’s Story’

Marie’s Story, "milks the tears in the home stretch, making little effort to hold the melodrama at bay. The result is a story that everyone can feel great about feeling terrible about," writes Michael O'Sullivan. His review of the film about a French woman who overcame deafness and blindness to learn both sign language and Braille" is in the Washington Post here.

Sign added to Song Contest

The Eurovision Song Contest is adding sign language interpreters to its broadcasts. Producers plan to employ six interpreters for the show and they will use International Sign. Eurovision released a statement that says in part, "We always say that music is a language which is understood by everyone. And we felt that we should make this word come reality, and to offer music to everyone, including deaf people." The contest draws some 180 million viewers. Read more about sign at the contest here. Below is a sample of what it will look like.

Deaf doctor makes patients feel heard

image from video
Dr. Philip Zazove writes, "My clinical years there were hard, because I depend on lipreading. It was especially difficult during rounds where people didn't face me or when I was in an operating room where everyone wore masks. I learned the material by preparing ahead of time and asking many questions after." But not only did Dr. Zazove make it through medical school, he leads a thriving practice today. "A special part of my practice is that I care for many deaf and hard of hearing persons. I understand what they are going through. My research has shown that this community has poorer health, social and educational outcomes. By providing specialized care for them, I try to provide this community with better health care opportunities. Some of my patients drive two or three hours to see me." Read more of his remarkable story at CNN.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Gally bio prof--"relentless in helping students succeed"

Image from
A Gallaudet biology professor is profiled by NPR today. Caroline Solomon says, "One thing about deaf people is, very often they're isolated. They're not part of their family conversations at the dinner table or they're mainstreamed in a public school all by themselves as the only deaf person. You just have to work to change that perspective they have about themselves. Because once you believe you can do anything, the opportunities are just everywhere." Read or listen to the full story here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Hotel staffed by deaf workers

Nearly half the staff at the Park Inn Radisson Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa are deaf. News24 spoke with the Director of sales and marketing, Brendon Hart, and with one of the deaf workers, Dale Holmes.

Auditory hallucinations

“For a long time it was assumed that sound simply enters the ear and goes up to the brain,” says Trevor Cox, a professor of Acoustic Engineering at the University of Salford. “Well, there’s actually more connections coming down from the brain to the ear than there are going back up it.” Read the full story about why silence "can make you hear things that aren’t there" in Wired.

NY woman: 24 hours of terror

A New York woman is suing the NYPD for what happened to her in 20102. Diana Williams says she called police for help but officers did not call an interpreter and she ended up getting arrested. The New York Daily news has details here and the video below explains what happened from Williams' perspective and introduces a man who also says his civil rights were violated by New York police.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Car Show at Deaf School

Pennsylvania's Scranton School for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing held its 12th Annual Car Show over the weekend. Visitors had more than 100 cars to look over. WBRE-TV has a short video report.

Terp Deemed inappropriate for Concert

A concert promotor is refusing to allow a sign language interpreter at a One Direction concert scheduled this fall in Belfast. Aiken Promotions said it wasn't "appropriate" according to a report from the Belfast Telegraph. Read the full story here.

Music and the Cochlear Implant--a work in progress

Cochlear implants help users understand speech--but do little for the experience of music because the device lacks the ability to convey pitch and timbre. Users try to make the best of it as NPR reports here. Their report includes simulations of what music sounds like through a cochlear implants.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Gally Graduation-2015!

More than 200 undergraduates received degrees from Gallaudet University during the school's 145th Commencement exercises. The Washington, DC school conferred 212 undergraduate and 176 graduate degrees. Often recognized as the "father of the Internet," Dr. Vinton Cerf was the special speaker. He was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom and received the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honors causa. Google's chief Internet evangelist, Cerf is hard of hearing. He told students:
Your interests, aspirations, creative talents and your desires will influence the markets and products of the future. By this time, you will have learned that hard work, patience and persistence really count in the real world. I hope you have also discovered that doing things that you like and are good at makes work seem more like fun and adventure. You hear often that you should discover what triggers your own passion and pursue that in your career. Do not allow others to define who you are or what your limits might be. These are yours and yours alone to discover and to extend.
Read more here. Below are some messages from seniors.

Deaf West show opens this week

photo credit: Tate Tullier
Deaf West Theatre will present Spring Awakening at the Wallis Annenberg
Performing Arts Center in Beverly Hills starting this Thursday night. The show will run from May 21 to June 7. The LA Times calls the show “an emotional triumph” filled with "goose-bumps and teardrops.” It's about the divide between deaf children and their hearing parents. The same show was sold out during a series of performances last year. The production is performed simultaneously in ASL and spoken English. Find out more, and purchase tickets here.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Deaf Girl refused Immigration to Canada

The Canadian Immigration Department says a deaf Filipino teen can't join her mother in Canada. The reason given: The girl will be a burden on the medical system because she is deaf. has a video report posted below (no captions though).

Friday, May 15, 2015

New Movie about a Deaf School

A movie about a state-run Ukrainian school for the deaf opens in the UK today. The Tribe is a Ukrainian film with no subtitles--the story is told in sign. The BBC has a review here which tells about the film and why it is controversial in the Deaf community. Since signing is a language like any other, why not have subtitles? The Guardian, which calls The Tribe a "compelling and explicit film," offers a review here. The trailer is below.

The push to allow the deaf to join the military

There's an effort underway to open the door for the deaf to serve in the military. Advocate Keith Nolan tells KFOX-TV, "The military has just a variety of specialty roles and various roles and several of those are things that deaf people and the hard of hearing can do without a doubt." KFOX-TV has a nearly 8 minute video report.

Girl Scouts Sued for Discrimination

A lawsuit against the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago is back in play. That's because an appeals court just reinstated it. It all started when Megan Runnion, who is deaf, was no longer able to participate in Girl Scout activities because the group would no longer pay for her to have an interpreter at events. Runnion and her family sued. Read the decision to reinstate the case here. KTRK-TV has a video report.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Bank Settles ADA Complaint

A New England bank has settle an ADA complaint for it's failure to accommodate deaf customers. Patriot National Bank had refused to let a woman use a relay service to conduct business. U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly said, “Individuals who have disabilities must not be denied equal access to the services offered by financial institutions simply because of their disability." Read more about the agreement at the website of the US Attorney office for Connecticut here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Deaf Actress dies

from CBS Photo Archive
One of the first deaf actresses to have a major role on a TV series has died in Fremont, California. Audree Norton was 88 years old. A founding member of The National Theatre of the Deaf, Norton appeared on the CBS show Mannix in 1968 and later on The Streets of San Francisco and Family Affair. When she was cut out of a role just because she was deaf, Norton filed a complaint with the Screen Actors Guild. John Schuchman suggests in his book Hollywood Speaks: Deafness and he Film Entertainment Industry that the decision ended her Hollywood career--but opened the door to others. Norton lost her hearing to spinal meningitis at the age of two and attended Gallaudet University. A memorial service will be held on May 20 at the California School for the Deaf. You can read her obituary here