Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Getting to Know a Deaf Farmer in Ohio

Matt Fry is a farmer in Bellville, Ohio who is deaf. He tells Ohio's County Journal, "We know of a few other deaf farmers across the state and in several other states, but there’s no formal organization or anything for us to join to gather or talk regularly.” Read the full article here

Lawsuit: Include ASL in White House Briefings

Five deaf Americans are suing the White House with the help of The National Association of the Deaf in an attempt to force President Donald Trump ASL interpreters at his Covid-19 briefings. CEO Howard Rosenblum says:

Deaf and hard of hearing Americans deserve the same access to information from the White House and the President that everyone else gets. Such information must be provided not only through captioning but also in American Sign Language, especially for government announcements regarding health pandemics.

Read more from a NAD press release here or watch the ASL video below:

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Change to Netflix playback coming

The National Association of the Deaf is applauding Netflix for its plan to allow users to speed up or slow down videos. The feature will also slowdown captions which would help people who might prefer the captions at a slightly slower speed.  Read more about the change here.

A drama based on DPN!

A drama is planned based on the book
Deaf President Now! The 1988 Revolution at Gallaudet University.
The book, written by John Christiansen and Sharon Barnartt, tells the story of what happened the week of protests at Gallaudet when the students and supporters rallied for eight days around the cry for the school to have a deaf president. The untitled show is an effort from Concordia Studio backed by Nyle DiMarco.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Meet America's top sign language news reporter

The Daily Moth, which offers news in ASL, has more than 200,000 Facebook followers.  The Christian Science Monitor spoke with Alex Abenchuchan about his successful 5-year-old online channel. Watch the video below or read the transcript here.

Happy Birthday, Bob Hiltermann!

from BobHiltermann.com
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.

Friday, July 31, 2020

YouTube is ending its community captions feature

YouTube will discontinue its community captions Sept. 28. It allowed viewers to add subtitles but YouTube says it wasn't used enough. “You can still use your own captions, automatic captions and third-party tools and services,” YouTube said in an update on its help page here.  An online petition asking Google to change the decision has gotten more than 90,000 signatures.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

The Kentucky Deaf School will start its year online

The Kentucky School for Blind and Kentucky School for the Deaf says it will start year online. The Kentucky Department of Education approved the plan which means the Kentucky School for the Deaf in Danville will begin instruction on August 24. At least the first six weeks of classes will be held online. A decision about the rest of the semester will be decided in October. In a letter to families, Principal Toyah Robey wrote: 
When we are permitted to return to campus, KSD will provide details in advance of our Healthy at School procedures to ensure the safety of our students and staff when on campus. It is critical that all comply with these guidelines to safeguard the health and welfare of everyone. 
Read the full letter here.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Marlee Matlin Implores Hiring of More Deaf Actors

Academy Award winner Marlee Matlin is working to recognize the talents of deaf and disabled actors as they struggle for work in Hollywood. She talks about it in this New York Times video.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

On this date in 1990: The ADA was signed into law

It was on this day (July 26, 1990) that President George H.W. Bush signed the American Disability 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.  The National Technical Institute for the Deaf President Gerard Buckley writes about the importance of the Act in an article here. You can also read more about the law in the article 30 Years After a Landmark Disability Law, the Fight for Access and Equality Continues and watch the signing in the video below.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Two Docus about the Deaf Community Coming to Netflix

Deaf U and Audible will be on Netflix soon. Both documentaries are about the deaf community in the U.S. Deaf U is an eight-episode series following a group of Deaf students at Gallaudet University. It will have a Netflix premiere on Oct. 9.  Audible is a 36-minute film that follows Maryland School for the Deaf high school athlete Amaree McKenstry-Hall. The film is about the pressures of his senior year—both on and off the football field.  Nyle DiMarco tweeted about the Deaf U series yesterday:

Thursday, July 23, 2020

VA School for the Deaf and the Blind planning to reopen

The Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind plans to meet in the classroom five days a week—starting next month. Read more about it from WHSV-TV here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Harvard Law School’s first deaf-blind graduate: 'My disability was never my barrier'

Harvard Law School’s first deaf-blind graduate speaks out on ableism in a video for Yahoo Life. Haben Girma says: 
People often ask, ‘Is disability a barrier? How has deaf-blindness been a barrier?’ And then I ask people, ‘Why are you assuming that a disability would be a barrier?’ That's an ableist assumption. We need to move away from thinking ‘is disability a barrier’ and instead move toward thinking, ‘how do we make our service accessible, how do we make our schools accessible? 
Watch the video of the author, lawyer, and disability rights advocate here.