Sunday, June 26, 2016

Profile of Deaf race car driver

Chris Kennedy and most of his pit crew are deaf. He's won dozens of titles as a kart and sprint car driver. WHTM-TV has a profile.

On this date in 1889

The statue of Thomas Gallaudet that greets visitors to the university in the nation's capital that bears his name was unveiled on this date--June 26 in 1889. The work of sculptor Daniel Chester French, the bronze statue shows Gallaudet teaching a little girl, Alice Cogswell. She holds a book to her heart, with the alphabet running across the page. They are practicing the letter “A” of American Sign Language. She was a neighbor of the Gallaudets in Connecticut. Thomas noticed Alice did not play with the other children and inquired about her. After discovering she was deaf, Thomas Gallaudet asked to become her first teacher, which he did. This was the first in a series of events that lead to the founding of the first permanent school for the deaf in America and the establishment of what is now Gallaudet University.

Some believe there are mistakes on the statue, but university officials say this is not the case. The chair has only one arm and one straight leg. This was a type of chair common in Gallaudet's day. The chair is not hollow underneath, in order to support the weight of the statue's plaster model. However, the statue was delivered late because French found several mistakes he wanted to correct, including making Gallaudet's legs too short. The text on the statue includes a reference to the "United-States." It was not uncommon for a hyphen to be used at the time, though was considered old fashioned, even in 1889. However, the statue is not consistent because the phrasing on the other side does not include a hyphen. Also, there are periods included in some of the text that is not included on other parts of the statue.

Happy Birthday Signmark!

Today is the birthday of deaf Finnish rap artist Signmark. He was born Marko Vuoriheimo in Helsinki on June 26, 1978. He's now 38
years old.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Deaf Teacher's Quest Inspires Student

image from Maryland Governor's office
of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing
Students at the Maryland School for the Deaf are silently marking Keith Nolan's attempt to join the armed services. He's been told "no" for more than a decade because he is deaf. His determination has led to passage of a House bill bearing his name — the Keith Nolan Air Force Deaf Demonstration Act of 2015, which called for a demonstration program, according to the Associated Press. Read the full story here.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Scam seeks donations for deaf students

Someone is going around several Michigan communities and asking for donations to "help send kids from the Michigan School for the Deaf to play football in Washington, D.C." But "police and school officials say the fundraiser isn’t real and an alleged scammer or a group of people bent on fraud has been raking in the cash." Read more here.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Getting to Know... The Father of the Internet

Vinton Cerf
It was on this date (June 23) 1943 that Vinton Cerf was born in New Haven, Connecticut. In 1997, President Clinton presented the U.S. National Medal of Technology to Cerf and his colleague, Robert Kahn, for founding and developing the Internet. In 2004, the pair were given the ACM Alan M. Turing award, which is sometimes called the "Nobel Prize of Computer Science." In 2005, President George W. Bush awarded Cerf and Kahn the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award given by the US government. Cern now works for Google as its chief Internet evangelist, looking for and promoting new technologies and services. What many do not know, is that Cerf was partly motivated by his frustration with communication with other researchers. He is quoted as saying, “In creating the Internet with my colleagues, in part I wanted to help people with hearing loss as well as other communication difficulties. Written communication is a tremendous help for me, and so when electronic mail was invented in ’71, I got very excited about it, thinking that the hard-of-hearing community could really use this.” Cerf has hearing loss as does his wife, who had hearing loss due to spinal meningitis at the age of three. She received her first cochlear implant in 1996 and a second implant in her other ear nearly a decade later. They met at the office of a hearing aid specialist and married in 1966. Read more about her experience here.  Cerf joined the Board of Trustees of Gallaudet University in 1997.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Police fail to provide Terp

Minnesota cops refused to provide an interpreter after making an arrest in 2013. Alan Read, who was born deaf, wanted one but Oakdale police would only write notes to him. Now they will pay $30k to settle his complaint, according to Minnesota Public Radio. Read the full story here.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

What’s it like to be deaf in the workplace?

TotalJobs, a UK employment site, spoke to two deaf people about their employment experiences. One said she tried an experiment where she rewrote her resume "to remove any references or clues about my deafness and to appear as if I was hearing person who just happens to know sign language." This "resulted in immediate success with getting through to the second stage/interviews." Read the full story here.

Bride Signs Lyrics to Father-Daughter Dance Song

An Ohio bride "decided to sign the lyrics to the song she chose for the father-daughter dance." The CODA told Inside Edition, "I think I was signing before I was talking. When I am at a loss for words in English, I know exactly what to sign. I even dream in sign language sometimes." There's more in the video below. No captions but you can read the story here.

A young Syrian girl is left deaf and hopeless

Maram Lahham is going deaf but "a government siege of her home town of Darayya has prevented the seven year old from receiving medical care and enough food to eat," reports the New Zealand Herald. Her mother is quoted as saying, "You can't imagine how hard it is to watch this happen to your daughter and not be able to do anything about it." Read the full story here.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Court Papers: Principal tried to cover up sex assault scandal

Image from HawaiiNewsNow video report
The former principal at the Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind was told many times about sexual assault allegations, according to newly released court records. But Hawaii News Now reports that she did not act while "dozens of students were robbed, raped and even gang raped by other students." Taxpayers ended up paying nearly $6 million to settle lawsuits linked to the crimes while some students were convicted of crimes. Hawaii News Now has the details. here. Hawaii News Now has a video report

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Body of Deaf Mother of 4 Found

(image from Scotland Police)
The body of Kirsty Aitchison has been found in the River Clyde in Scotland after an intense search. The deaf mother of four disappeared after leaving a Glasgow bar a week ago. Police say they are not treating the death as suspecious. Read more from the BBC.

Pharmacy Program Graduation

Not only is Samantha Hert the first doctor in her family, and the first to attend graduate school, she's the first deaf person to graduate from South College’s School of Pharmacy in Knoxville. WATE=TV has a video report.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

ex-NFL Deaf Player Pleads not guilty to hit-run, vehicular assault

Former Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman pleaded not guilty today to felony hit-and-run and vehicular assault, reports the Seattle Times. After an October car crash, Coleman fled barefoot down the block and did not call 911. Read the full story here or watch the video report below from Seattle's KIRO-TV.

Cuts at State Schools for Deaf and Blind

The Mississippi schools for the blind and deaf are facing major budget cuts for this coming year. The Clarion Ledger reports state lawmakers are cutting $332,264. Read more details here.

Woman pleads guilty to attacking deaf lesbian couple

Shaunda Lane pleaded guilty to attacking a deaf lesbian couple with a baseball bat in California a few months ago. KESQ has more on the story here.

North Dakota woman sues police over arrest

Christine Stein says police in Jamestown, North Dakota wrongly put her in jail last year. She called 911 using a relay service to tell officers about a suicidal man. When police arrived, they arrested her and she was denied an interpreter, according to the suit. WDAy-TV has a report here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Equipment returned

A four-year-old in Indianapolis got the equipment back for his cochlear implant after the items were stolen. WTHR-TV has a report.