Thursday, December 18, 2014

One year ago today.. Long-time Gally prof killed

A former Gallaudet professor was killed a year ago today when she was hit by a car leaving a parking garage where she lived in Washington, DC. Peggie Parsons was 90 years old and had spent her life setting up schools around the world that would teach sign and voice and wrote several books. She taught art history and retired from Gallaudet in 1988. Here is a video report from WRC-TV.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Gally Student arrested

A Gallaudet student ended up behind bars after he drove recklessly through campus this past weekend. Roy McCall of Auburn Hills, Michigan is facing charges for hitting a firefighter during his wild ride. Police say McCall had to be peppered sprayed during his arrest. More details are in the Washington Post here.

3-D Hearing Aid

image from Colorado State
A Colorado State student has printed a hearing aid with a 3-D printer. Megan Aanstoos is working on her Ph.D in biomedical engineering and is hard of hearing herself. Find out what motivated her to do it and where her project may lead in an article from the school's website here.

Happy Birthday, Curtis Pride

Image from Gallaudet University
Today is the 46th birthday of Curtis Pride. He was born on Dec 17, 1968 in Washington, D.C. The only deaf player in the major leagues during the modern era, Pride played for 11 years in the majors as an outfielder and pinch hitter and a dozen more in the minors. He hit 20 home runs in his 421 major league games with such teams as the Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox,  Atlanta Braves,New York Yankees, and Los Angeles Angels.  He was mainstreamed as a child, played multiple sports in high school, and graduated with a 3.6 GPA. Pride now coaches the Gallaudet University baseball team. He told Parade Magazine in 1994, "I never let my deafness hold me back. I never feel sorry for myself. Never. I know I have a disability. I've accepted it. I can't worry about it. I want to make the most of my life. And I am."

Monday, December 15, 2014

DC sign slang

Sign language has subtitles depending on the age of the signers, their culture, and especially their region. The Washington Post takes a look at some signs you may see around Washington, DC but not elsewherehere.

Deaf School Hoops Tourney Results

Kentucky won a basketball tournament for Deaf schools over the weekend. The Kentucky School for the Deaf boys didn't lose a game (3-0) at the Spartan Classic taking place at the Ohio School for the Deaf. Participating teams included Rochester, St. Rita, Ohio, Western Pa, and Kentucky. Read more results here.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

6 days-no terp

Sally Doering spent six days in a UK hospital without an interpreter. NHS Tayside has apologized for what happened to the deaf woman at Perth Royal Infirmary. She didn't know why she was in pain and what doctors did to her until she returned home. And this isn't the first time it has happened to Sally. Read more at the BBC here and the Herald here.

Regional Academic Bowl

The New York State School for the Deaf is hosting the Northeast Regional Academic Bowl this weekend. The winner moves on to the national competition at Gallaudet in Washington D.C. WFXV-TV has a video report.

North Korea's deaf soccer team

Did you know North Korea has a deaf soccer team? Not only does the isolated nation have one, the team is in Australia to play it's "first international friendly game" in Syndey this weekend. The coach gives orders using sign language and the referee uses a flag instead of a whistle, according to the Australia's ABC news. striker Ri Kuk Jin is quoted as saying, "We are people with disability. We are all deaf but we will work hard to improve our football skills through this opportunity so that we can repay our government's policy for protection of people with disabilities." Read more details here.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Jacobs visit PA school

image from ESU website
A former Gallaudet professor spent last weekend talk about his research and books at a Pennsylvania University. Paul Gordon Jacobs particularly focused on his autobiography novel called Neither-Nor. Jacobs is oral deaf, doesn't use sign and left Gallaudet because "he felt his views differed from the professors who taught there." The Pocono Record has more on his visit to East Stroudsburg University here.

UK Terp fraud a whopping £900,000

Shahab and Shehnaz Reza along with their son could be headed to jail soon. A jury found the deaf UK couple guilty of scamming the government out of some 900,000 pounds "involving fake invoices for sign language interpreters." It was almost exactly one year ago when we first told you about the couple here. You can read how the trial is going in the Daily Mail here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

On this day one year ago… the fake interpreter at Mandela’s memorial service

During Nelson Mandela’s memorial service in Johannesburg on December 10, 2013, a man pretending to interpret for the dignitaries that spoke was declared a fraud by South Africa's deaf federation. U.S. President Barack Obama was among the heads of state attending the service at the 95,000-seat football stadium when Thamsanqa Jantjie took to the stage. The incident raised security concerns and is an embarrassment for the South African government, Bruno Druchen, the National Director of the Deaf Federation of South Africa, posted a statement on its Facebook, which reads in part:
The so called “interpreter” who interpreted at the Official memorial service for late former president Nelson Mandela at FNB stadium has been dubbed the “fake interpreter” and the Deaf community is in outrage. This man is not in fact a recognised, professional South Sign Language Interpreter. He is not known by the Deaf Community in South Africa nor by the South African Sign Language interpreters working in the field... This ‘fake interpreter’ has made a mockery of South African Sign Language and has disgraced the South African Sign Language interpreting profession. The organisers of the memorial service, and indeed any event, should have contacted organisations who coordinate South African Sign Language interpreting services to secure a professional, trained experienced interpreter.
It turned out that Thamsanqa Jantjie was once charged with murder, according to a eNCA TV network that also said he has a history of lying and fraud. Jantjie admitted to being violent and claimed to have been "hallucinated during the memorial service as he was gesturing incoherently." Here's a early SkyNews report (with captions).

Happy Birthday, Thomas Gallaudet!

Born - Philadelphia on December 10, 1787

Family - Oldest of 12 children

College - Attended Yale at age 14, graduating with highest honors at 17

Ministry - Ordained in 1814, sometimes preaching at church

Deaf Interest - Became interested in deaf issues when he met a 9-year-old deaf neighbor

School - Founded The American School for the Deaf during 1817 in Hartford, Connecticut

Travels - Learned the manual form of sign language used in France when he visited

Marriage - In 1821, he married a former student and had two sons

Edward - Gallaudet's son who founded Gallaudet University in Washington, DC

Thomas - Ordained as an Episcopal priest, working to provide religious services for the deaf

Monday, December 8, 2014

Arrest in ALA murder

Prosecutors in Mobile, Alabama have arrested Myles Xavier Smith for killing a deaf woman. WALA-TV has a video report.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Looking Back... Kitty O'Neil

It was on this date 38 years ago (Dec. 6, 1976) that professional stuntwoman Kitty O'Neil set a record for land speed by a female driver in Oregon's Alvord Desert: 512 miles per hour. Born deaf, she became a champion diver at a young age. Her work later as a Hollywood stuntwoman was featured in TV shows like Quincy, Baretta and The Bionic Woman along with movies like Smokey and the Bandit, The Blues Brothers and Airport '77. She set a record for the highest stunt fall by a woman (105 feet).  She has held as many as 22 speed records on land and water. A movie was made about her life in 1979 titled Silent Victory: The Kitty O'Neil Story. You can read more about her land speed record at a Sports Illustrated article here.  The article explains that she could have broken the men's record as well and why she didn't do so.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Suit over Musical in Maryland

A deaf Maryland woman is suing because the producers of a theatrical musical tdid not provide captioning. Jessica Gill, with the help of the NAD, has filed against Key Brand Theatrical Group, the Hippodrome Foundation and the Maryland Stadium Authority for not providing captions at the Hippodrome of the show Newsies. The show did provide interpreters and hearing devices, but Gill does not sign though she does have a hearing aid. Read more on the story here.

New Law Would Create Tax-free Savings Accounts

Congress is considering a bill that would give Americans living with disabilities tax-free savings accounts for long-term expenses. The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act is sponsored by Republican Ander Crenshaw of Florida who is Chairman of the House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee. In the video below, Rep. Crenshaw speaks to his colleagues on the floor of the House about ABLE.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

FCC forming committee on deaf issues

The FCC is creating a Disability Advisory Committee. The Committee's job will be to gather public response on issues like 911 response, closed captioning, video descriptions, etc. Nominations will be accepted until January 12 and each member will serve for two years. For more information, check the FCC's site here.

What Life is like for a Deaf Rabbi

image of Rabbi Yehoshua Soudakoff from
Yehoshua Soudakoff is "just a handful of Deaf rabbis in the world." He led the "first public Chanukah menorah-lighting ceremony last year at Gallaudet University" and will be part of the Rochester Deaf Chanukah Celebration taking place December 22 at the University of Rochester. Read more about Soudakoff and the Deaf Chanukah Celebration planned in Rochester here.