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.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Transcense App

The makers of a new app called Transcense say it can accurately translate in real time so the deaf and hard of hearing can take part in conversations with the hearing who do not know sign. While the app is being tested and is not yet available, the trio who created it are trying to raise funds through an Indiegogo campaign which you can see here. The guys behind the app include Thibault Duchemin, Pieter Doevendans and Skinner Cheng. Duchemin is a CODA and Cheng has been deaf he was a toddler.There's more information at the Transcense website here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Traffic Stop Tips

KOTV in Oklahoma has produced a video offering some tips for police when they stop deaf drivers and tip for deaf drives who are stopped by law enforcement.

NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Monday, October 13, 2014

EEOC Looking for Witnesses for FedEx Lawsuit

Over the weekend we told you about a lawsuit filed against FedEx for it's treatment of deaf workers. The EEOC, which filed the suit, is now looking for potential witnesses to the company's failure to provide reasonable accommodations. Find out more and see an ASL video here.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fake Lottery Email Targets Deaf

Scammers will try to make people believe they have won a jackpot from the USA Deaf Lottery--but there is no such thing. WWBT-TV in Richmond has a video report about the phony email. Captioning available.

NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

FedEx Sued for Discrimination

FedEx has discriminated against deaf workers and the deaf who have applied for jobs for years, according to the EECO. While FedEx Ground hired a number of deaf employees as package handlers, FedEx has not offered adequate accommodations, according to a lawsuit filed in Maryland by the EEOC. The suit claims there are no training videos with ASL or captioning, no tour, orientation, or staff meetings with interpreters present for new employees. FedEx is responding to the complaint by saying it has fair and equal treatment for all of its employees and that these claims are misleading. This suit is the result of 19 charges filed with the EEOC across the country. EEOC Supervisory Trial Attorney Maria Luisa Morocco said, "The law is clear: Employers have to provide reasonable accommodations to ensure that deaf and hard-of-hearing job applicants and employees are afforded equal employment opportunities--which includes the full benefits and privileges of employment, such as being informed of performance expectations and safety requirements." See the EEOC information here.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Hit for Deaf Theatre

Deaf West Theatre has a hit on its hands with its new production, says public radio's KPCC. The Los Angeles radio station takes a look at Sring Awakening, being peformed at Deaf West Theater in an article here.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

TV captioning facts

  • TV stations and cable and satellite operators have been required to have closed-captioning since 1998.
  • Stations much provide 1350 hours of captioned programming each quarter. That works out to about 16 hours a day.
  • Captioning pre-recorded shows runs between $400 and $1000 per half-hour. Live programming can cost 5 times that amount.
  • There are only about 400 people nationwide work as broadcast captioners.
  • It’s a projected that 1,000 to 3,000 more captioners will be needed in the next few years
  • Captioners earn about $50 to $75 an hour.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The history of Japanese Sign

The first Japanese school for the blind and deaf was established in 1878 in Kyoto. Teachers used sign language for instruction. Thereafter, a number of organizations were set up around the country for the deaf and for those wishing to learn the language. The Japanese Federation of the Deaf in Tokyo eventually published a lexicon in 1969 called Watashitachi no Shuwa (Our Sign Language), the first attempt to catalog common sign language expressions used nationwide.

Getting to know... BSL

British Sign Language or BSL is used by most signers in the UK - a group numbering between 50 and 70,000 people. The earliest British account of signing dates back to a wedding in 1575, where the groom used signs during the ceremony. Samuel Pepys's account of the great fire of London in 1666 refers to a 'dumb' boy who describes the fire using "strange signs". This 'home signing', as it is known, was an ad hoc gesturing system developed by deaf children which would not have been passed down generations or across deaf communities. In 1760, Edinburgh teacher Thomas Braidwood started Braidwood's Academy for the Deaf and Dumb which is considered the first school for the deaf in Britain. The sign language he used later became British Sign Language.