Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Helen Keller once flew an airplane!

It was 75 years ago, during June of 1946 that deaf-blind disability rights advocate Helen Keller flew a plane. The story is recorded in a newspaper article archived by the American Foundation for the Blind. She piloted the airplane for 20 minutes as it flew over the Mediterranean ocean. Her companion, Polly Thomson, is recorded as saying:
She sat in the co-pilot’s seat with the pilot beside her, and I relayed to her his instructions.The plane crew were amazed at her sensitive touch on the controls. There was no shaking or vibration. She just sat there and flew the plane calmly and steadily.
Read more here
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Tuesday, March 16, 2021

The first Network TV Captioning

On March 16, 1980—41 years ago today—that the network TV channels ABC, NBC and PBS debuted closed-captioned television shows, in which the show’s dialogue and soundtrack appeared as text on-screen as the action proceeded. The first shows to be aired with captioning were The ABC Sunday Night Movie, Disney’s Wonderful World and Masterpiece Theatre.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

A new year and a new look for Deaf News Today!

You will find new posts for Deaf NewsToday at

Monday, January 4, 2021

An opportunity for Deaf Writers


Alternating Current Press publishes an anthology on deafness called Here & Now. Submissions from D/deaf and hard-of-hearing writers are welcome though the publisher will consider "work by people directly affected by D/deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals (an interpreter, a parent of a D/deaf child), but the connection or perspective must be unique and important." The material could be "poetry, fiction, hybrid, and nonfiction that touches on D/deafness in some way (however slight)." There are more details here.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

On this date: Grace Coolidge was born



Grace Anna Goodhue was born on January 3, 1879, in Burlington, Vermont. She's known to history as the wife of the 30th president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge. What many people don't know is that she was a teacher of the deaf. As first lady, she worked hard to educate the public and invited Helen Keller to visit the White House. Helped by the President, Mrs. Collidge raised $2 million for the Clarke School for the Deaf. 

Read more about her life here

Thursday, December 31, 2020

On this date at the South Pole

(image from NASA)
Ian Berry became the first deaf man to walk to the South Pole on this day (Dec. 31, 2009). The UK native dragged a sled across 112 miles of ice to raise more than $40,000 for the National Deaf Children's Society. The 43-year-old reached the pole on New Year's Eve as part of a five-person team.  

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

All Californians will soon be able to text 911 for help

Every dispatch center in California must accept text message requests for help starting Friday. The new 2021 law (AB 1168) will make California’s 911 emergency dispatch system more robust to serve the deaf as well as those in rural parts of the state. Some counties do not have the option in place yet but are working on changing their system. Other Counties already have such a service in place, such as Sacramento County which set up a text-to-911 service in 2018. You can read the text of the bill here.

A film called CODA

A film called CODA will debut at the next Sundance Film Festival. The director and screenwriter is Si├ón Heder and the film is about a hearing child--the only hearing person in her deaf family. When the family’s fishing business is threatened, Ruby finds herself torn between pursuing her love of music and her family's reliance on her to be their connection to the outside world. Emilia Jones plays the hearing girl and Marlee Matlin is one of the co-stars. CODA will debut on Jan. 30 and tickets for the film festival, which has been moved online, go on sale on Jan. 7 and you can buy them here. Below is a preview.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Saved by a mask

A Virginia man says his face mask may have saved his life. When someone started shooting at Roanoke’s Valley View Mall Saturday night, employees at one of the stores saw that Clint Colquhoun’s mask identified him as deaf. That is when the pulled him to safety. Read more from WDBJ here.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

The promises and pitfalls of Neurotech

Neurotech attempts to "connect human brains to machines, computers and mobile phones." The goal is to develop therapies for neurological diseases and mental illnesses. Examples include cochlear implants for the deaf and hard of hearing, and deep-brain stimulators that assist people with Parkinson’s disease to regain functional mobility. But there is a problem with this advancing technology. As Scientific American puts it:
There are no widely accepted regulations or guardrails yet when it comes to neurotech’s development or deployment. We need them—we need them bad. We must have principles and policies around neurotech, technology safeguards, and national and international regulations.
Read more here.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Meet two Amazon Deaf employees

Two Deaf employees are thriving at an Amazon facility in Albany, according to an article in the Times-Union. One is from Brazil and one is from the Phillipines. They are among the half dozen deaf employees at the company’s Schodack facility. Read more here.