Thursday, October 30, 2014

Review of "Visible Language"

While Visible Language lacks a certain polish, and is in need of editing and focus.. it is an important and enlightening work of theater, and for those unfamiliar with the Deaf experience, it offers a good introduction to a whole new world. That's what Broadway World has to say about the production taking place now at Gallaudet University called Visible Language.  Read more of the review here.

Hearing Moms speak differently when one child is deaf

If a family has twins where one child is deaf and the other is hearing, the mother will speak differently to both of them. That's the finding of a new study out of Indiana University's School of Medicine. Researchers say the mother will speak slower, use fewer syllables and use shorter sentences. Details of the study are in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

On this date in 2006

Eight years ago today: On Oct 29, 2006, Gallaudet University's board of trustees voted to revoke the appointment of incoming president Jane Fernandes following protests from students and faculty. Dick Kinney, an investment adviser from Milwaukee, later told the Chronicle of Higher Education that the board decided to commission a study to find who would meet three criteria: The candidate needed to have experience in higher education, an earned doctorate and significant hearing impairment. Only 27 people in the world fit all three criteria, he said. That’s part of why the board ended up going with an unpopular internal candidate, Gallaudet University provost Jane Fernandes who did not learn sign language until she was an adult. She now holds the same position at UNC Asheville. The trustees made Robert Davila interim president until 3 years later, when T. Alan Hurwitz took the position permanently. Hurwitz previously served as president of New York's National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID).

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

New board members for RSD

There are four new members on the Rochester School for the Deaf board of directors.

  • Alum Judy Annis-Donovan who works as a medical technologist at Rochester General Hospital
  • Alum Lori DeWindt who is a psychotherapist at the Deaf Wellness Center at the University of Rochester
  • Pediatrician Scott Smith who is also an assistant professor
  • Architect Philip Wise

Read more here.

Monday, October 27, 2014

25th Silent Sunday

The Arkansas School for the Deaf held it's 25th Silent Sunday Fundraiser in Little Rock hoping to raise more money to fund new technology equipment for the school. KARK-TV has a video report.

Terp video goes viral

A video has gone viral because of the interpreter at the New York Mayor's news conference on Ebola. Some viewers have speculated that the terp is a fake because his facial expressions are so animated. But Jonathan Lamberton is certified. He's just doing his job. The Friday news conference including Mayor Bill de Blasio and health officials regarded updates on the city’s first case of Ebola.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Suit: Hospital didn't provide terps

Denver's Rose Medical Center is facing a lawsuit that accuses the hospital of not providing qualified interpreters for deaf patients. Ronald Zapko and John Towery say a Video Relay Interpreter set up didn't do the job.Read more about the suit in the Denver Post here.

Gallaudet football feels the love

Even though Husson beat Gallaudet last weekend, the Bison football team got some attention for the passion the team plays with. Here's a video report from WCSH-TV.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Roller derby player files complaint

A roller derby player says she wasn't picked for a national team because she is deaf, reports New Zealand's TV3. Marcia Taylor is asking the national Human Rights Commission to look into why coach posted an offensive remark about her on Facebook. Read the story or watch a video report here. No captions.

Video of Deaf-Blind man pushed on railroad track

We told you yesterday about the deaf-blind man pushed on a railroad track. Two men are going to prison for the attack. Below is the security video of what happened in Chelmsford, England.

Speech vs Sign: Bell vs Gallaudet

A new musical opening tonight explores the conflict over teaching methods for the deaf between Alexander Graham Bell and Edward Gallaudet more than 100 years ago. Visible Language features a cast made up of deaf and hearing actors, and offers a combination of ASL and spoken English. Gallaudet was the first president of the college that bears his last name while Alexander Graham Bell is known for having invented the telephone. Gallaudet approved of sign language while Bell discouraged it in favor of lip reading and attempts at spoken English among the deaf. The musical hopes to get past traditional views in the deaf community of both men and let the facts speak for themselves. Visible Language can be seen now through November 16th at Gallaudet University's Gilbert C. Eastman Studio Theatre in Washington, DC. There's more information here. The video below shows construction of the set in time-lapse photography.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Deaf-Blind man thrown on train tracks

"Two men have been sent to prison for throwing a deaf blind man and his brother on to railway tracks," reports the BBC. A detective says, "This is one of the most appalling incidents I have investigated." Read the story here.

Silence on the Grid Iron

El Paso's Burges High School junior varsity football team has three players who are deaf. KAMR-TV gives us a closer look at how it has affected the Mustangs. No captions but you can read part of the story here.

The deaf connection to the World Series

Luther "Dummy" Taylor
There is a connection between the two teams playing in Major League Baseball's World Series--and it's a deaf one. Luther Taylor, who was known as Dummy Taylor, played fo the San Francisco Giants when they played in upper Manhattan and then the Kansas City Royals in the early 1900s. He not only "bridged a gap between hearing and nonbearing athletes" he "remains a unique link between Kansas City and the Giants." Read the full story at the New York Time here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tablet case as virtual interpreter

The makers of a tablet case claim it will recognize and translate sign, according to Wired Magazine.
MotionSavvy, an Alameda, California-based startup that’s developing a case for tablet computers that can serve as a virtual interpreter for the deaf. Known as UNI, the case uses gesture recognition technology developed by Leap Motion to translate sign language into audible speech. It then merges this with voice recognition technology to convert spoken word to text. Because there are a variety of signs for any given word, users can upload new signs using a feature called Sign Builder. The system learns how individual users sign, while also distributing each new sign to every UNI device.
However, Wired points out that UNI has a long way to go: It "recognizes only 300 signs, and its voice recognition component remains unreliable."  Read the full story here and watch an introductory video below.


Gally Freshman

This year's freshman class at Gallaudet University are a diverse group. Here's a breakdown as to where they come from:

  • 29 are from California 
  • 25 are from Maryland 
  • 18 are from Virginia 
  • 12 are from Canada 
  • 5 are from China 

Read more at the Washington Post on how the numbers compare to other schools in the DC area.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Bison lose to Husson

Gallaudet's football team lost its third game of the season to Husson over the weekend. The Bison are now 2-3 overall and 2-1 in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference. The win puts the Bangor, Maine school atop the conference with a record of 4-1 overall and 3-0 in the conference.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Remembering Paul Miller

You may not know the name Paul Miller, but you know his work. He became a leader in the enforcement of ADA law. He graduated at the top of his class from Harvard Law School and yet he couldn't get a job because he was born with a form of dwarfism. He served as an advisor to President Clinton and President Obama. Paul Miller died on this day, Oct 19, 2010 at the age of 49 from cancer.