Friday, November 9, 2018

Deaf Football Team tries something new

The Alabama School for the Deaf football team is trying something new—they are playing with the Alabama School for the Blind. WIAT-TV has a video report on the Silent Warriors.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Deaf State House candidate Loses Race

Chris Haulmark
A Ī©legislative candidate in Kansas lost his race. Republican John Toplikar beat out Chris Haulmark—who would have become the first deaf legislator in the U.S. But Haulmark lost party support when he was accused by multiple women of being emotionally abusive. Read more about the allegations here.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Researchers: Sign offers insights not provided by spoken language

Researchers say, "Sign languages can help reveal hidden aspects of the logical structure of spoken language, but they also highlight its limitations because speech lacks the rich iconic resources that sign language uses on top of its sophisticated grammar." The study comes out of New York University and France's National Center for Scientific Research. It's published in the journal Theoretical Linguistics. Read details on the study here.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Kitty O'Neil Dies

Professional stuntwoman Kitty O'Neil has died at the age of 72. Among other things, the deaf daredevil set a record for land speed by a female driver in 1976. It was in Oregon's Alvord Desert that Kitty hit 512 miles per hour.

Childhood diseases left her deaf and nearly killed her. 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.  She died Nov. 2, 2018 from pneumonia. Read more about her amazing life in a Washington Post article here.

Below is a video report on Kitty from the Midco Sports Network put together in 2015.

NYT advocates for Implants in Health article

A controversial New York pediatric audiology consultant and speech-language pathologist is quoted in the New York Times as saying, “Children identified with hearing loss at birth and fitted with technology in the first weeks of life blend in so well with everyone else that people don’t realize there are so many deaf children." Jane R. Madell claims, “Eighty-five percent of such children are successfully mainstreamed.” That's a figure that many would dispute. She helped produce a documentary about it called “The Listening Project.” Read more of the New York Times article here. Don't miss the comment section. There are opinions from a wide variety of people including a professor of Deaf education at Boston University. He writes:
This article talks about cochlear implants as a panacea, without acknowledging the tremendous risk that a child will not learn a spoken language at all. I am disappointed that the Times would publish something so misleading.
But other commenters defend the article and Madell's perspective. Below is a trailer for the documentary.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

World-renowned Deaf Actor Dies

He paved the way for deaf theater performers and became a founder of the National Theater of the Deaf in Connecticut. Bernard Bragg died Los Angeles this past Monday at the age of 90. Bragg was also a visiting professor Gallaudet University where he attended school. Read more at The New York Times here. A Los Angeles Times obituary called Bragg "the first professional deaf actor in the United States." Below is a tweet from Oscar-winner Marlee Matlin about her longtime friend and a video of Bragg from his 80th birthday.

ASL gets a Table at Yale

Students at Yale University are finally getting an opportunity to learn American Sign Language. A pilot ASL course was first offered last semester to go along with a club and a dining hall language table. Read more about it in Yale's student newspaper here.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

soccer at Gally

There are three Markels on the Gallaudet University men's soccer team this season: Elan Markel, Alton Markel and AJ Markel. Elan and Alton are brothers while AJ is their cousin. Elan and Alton's mom is on staff at Gally as an interpreter and their dad teaches ASL at another college. Read more about the Markel's in a Baltimore Sun article here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Suit: No Terp for 5 Days in Jail

A deaf woman in California says she sat in jail for five days with no sign language interpreter. Jennifer Mello is now suing Kern County for not following ADA law when she was arrested in November of last year. Her complaint says deputies spoke to her, refused to provide an interpreter or even communicate to her in writing. After spending five days in jail without clearly understanding the charges, she says she was released. Read more about it at here.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Artist creates Mural: Doesn't Bother to get the Signs Right

A new mural in downtown Idaho Falls shows an incorrect use of ASL. The ACLU of Idaho commissioned artist Kelly Sheridan to create the work in partnership with the Idaho Falls Downtown Development Corporation. Read more about it from the Idaho State Journal here and KPVI-TV has a video report below.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Deaf man sues construction companies

A Deaf man is suing several construction companies in South Carolina after he was fired from a Mercedes Benz expansion project. WCSC-TV has a video report about Steven Kuhn's lawsuit here.

He was One of America's first Deaf Lawyers

Roger Demosthenes O'Kelly
He was born on this date, October 25, in 1880. Blinded by Scarlet fever at the age of nine, Roger Demosthenes O'Kelly began losing his hearing a few years later. The North Carolina African-American slowly regained his vision in one eye. While he wanted to attend Gallaudet University, his application was denied in 1898 based on the color of his skin. So instead, he earned a degree from North Carolina's Shaw University, graduating in 1908. O'Kelly was licensed to practice law in North Carolina, becoming one of America's first deaf lawyers. He later studied law at Yale University, becoming the second deaf person to graduate from the school in 1912. He returned to his home state where establised a lucrative law practice "serving white as well as black clients, particularly in real estate, domestic relations, and corporate issues" according to  Joe A. Mobley's book Raleigh: A Brief History.  O'Kelly died at the age of 82 on July 11, 1962.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Signing Starbucks Opened Today!

Starbucks opened its first "Signing Store" today. It's in Washington D.C. less than a mile from Gallaudet University. Everyone working there is fluent in ASL and wears aprons that display the fingerspelling of "Starbucks." Here's a video report from