Friday, July 31, 2009

Christian Churches

World Magazine offers a look at why few in the Deaf Community are involved in Christian Churches.

Health Care Reform

None of the the current health reform proposals before Congress would pay for adults' hearing aids. However, there are proposals in both the House and Senate that would give a tax break for hearing aid purchases. And the legislation in the House does provide more coverage for children’s hearing aids.

Deaf Hikers Rescued

A police dog helped officers find three hikers lost in a swampy area near Jacksonville, Florida. WTEV-TV has this video report.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hearing Aids & Insurance

Most private insurance plans (and Medicare) will not pay for hearing aids, just for a doctor visit to decide if an aid is needed or not. Cochlear implants are an exception - but only if you have severe hearing loss. Patients covered by Veterans Affairs programs and some federal employee insurance may get some help. But even private plans that DO cover hearing aids will often only give less than $1000 toward the cost. Hearing aids generally run about $2,000 each.

NFL Rookie

A rookie on the Houston Texans was born deaf because of a tumor. Defensive end Connor Barwin endured years of surgery before the full tumor was completely removed. That left him with about two-thirds of his hearing intact in his left ear. An All-Big East tight end as a junior at Cincinnati, Barwin switched to his present position during his senior year and still made All-Big East defensive end. As a pro, he may spend time at linebacker, tight end and on special teams. Here's more on Connor.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Officer Investigated

A Mobile, Alabama police officer is on administrative duty after using pepper spray and tasering a deaf man. A preliminary investigation by the city's Internal Affairs Unit was completed today. Officials are looking into why the officer used force against Antonio Love last Friday and then tried to have the deaf man charged with several crimes. Love's family has filed a formal complaint with the Mobile Police Department.

Internal Investigation

An internal police report about the tasing of a deaf man is expected out today. Officers in Mobile, Alabama tasered and pepper sprayed Antonio Love after the mentally disabled man didn’t come out of a Dollar General bathroom when they shouted at him through the door. They used a tire iron to force the door open, Love was frightened and pushed back. The officers saw he held an umbrella and demmed it a weapon, justifying the use of pepper spray. Even after discovering he was deaf, the officers still tried to book him on resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and failure to obey a police officer. The case against Love was thrown out by a magistrate. Otherwise he would have been placed in jail. Here is Love's version of what happened.

Juror Bill Rejected

North Carolina lawmakers have sent a bill back to committee that would have allowed the deaf to serve on juries. The vote was 65 to 48. That probably means the measure will die in committee and there will be no law supporting deaf jurors in the state any time soon. Orange County Democrat Bill Faison promises to submit the bill again. Here's a history of the bill.

Travel Guides

A California company is offering multimedia travel guides especially for the deaf. Visual Travel Tours calls its text and photo presentations QuietGuides. They are designed for viewing on smartphones, cell phones, PDAs and desktops. More than 100 guides are already available. The files are small since they don’t include video, making them a better fit for devices with limited storage. Customers use credit cards to purchase and download the tours from the online site.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

More on Tasing

Here's another video report from WALA-TV in Mobile about the tasing of a deaf man. Police are investigating the incident where officers pepper sprayed and then tased a deaf man in the restroom of a Dollar General store. Those who work closely with the deaf community say proper training is sometimes lacking when officers encounter the deaf. The man's family has filed a formal complaint against the officers.

Implant Software

KFSN-TV reports on a software program put together at the University of Florida that makes cochlear implants functure better.
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Deaf Man Tasered

Police in Mobile, Alabama pepper sprayed and then tased a deaf man who was using the rest room at a store last Friday because the man didn't obey their orders to come out. An internal investigation is now underway.

Click here for the text of the video.

Suit Over School Closing

Parents of students at the South Dakota School for the Deaf are suing to keep it open. The governor wants to close the campus to save money and points to dropping enrollment as justification for the move. Only a couple of dozen students were taught at the campus last year, though more than 400 received services at other local school districts. Parents point out that the state constitution requires education officials to run a public school for the deaf and federal funding from the Department of Education obligates state officials to provide an education for students with disabilities. The govenor has proposed an alternative plan but the parents say it won’t work because there are not enough interpreters in rural areas to meet the needs of students. The Board of Regents will offer a recommendation on closure but the final decision rests with the South Dakota Legislature.

Robbery Gone Wrong

Police in Las Vegas are searching for two juveniles who shot and killed a deaf man in Ansan Sister City Park. Kevin Franchow could not hear their demands that he hand over money while he was walking through the park. Police say Franchow had nothing of value on him at the time. He lived with his elderly mother and walked the park at night to help control his diabetes. Here's a video report on the crime from Las Vegas television news KVVU-TV.

Deaf Baseball Player

Tyson Gillies is working his way into Major League Baseball. Although the Seattle Mariners prospect is deaf, his sharp play in single-A ball is getting some serious attention. The center fielder batted a hefty.322 in the leadoff slot with 66 runs scored and 25 stolen bases for the High Desert Mavericks out of Adelanto, California. The 20-year-old Gillies recently played in the World Team at the annual Futures Game in St. Louis. The Vancouver native wears hearing aids and was born with 35% hearing in one ear and 50% hearing in the other. Here's a video of Tyson in action.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hearing on School Closing

Kansas may close its school for the deaf in Olathe or merge it with the state school for the blind in Kansas City. A panel will hold a hearing on the issue today. The Kansas State School for the Deaf serves more than 100 students with a $9.5 million budget and about 150 employees.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ohio Juror Dispute

The Ohio Supreme Court will hear a case involving whether a deaf person should have been allowed to sit on a jury. Linda Leow-Johannsen heard the trial of a man convicted involuntary manslaughter. But his conviction was overturned by an appeals court. It ruled that Leow-Johannsen should not have been allowed to serve on the jury because she couldn't hear the 911 tape introduced as evidence.

Defense attorneys tried to have Leow-Johannsen removed from the jury even before the trial started because she acknowledged that her hearing-impairment might make it harder for her to follow the trial. But she told the judge she didn't think it would be a problem for her to serve on the jury. The judge denied the defense motion. Leow-Johannsen reads lips and has some residual hearing and did not use a sign-language interpreter during the trial. The prosecutor credits her with being more attentive during the trial than most jurors.

The man convicted in the trial, Scott Speer, claims his friend, Michael Barnett, fell off their boat in the middle of the night during poor weather. But prosecutors convinced the jury Speer had pushed his friend overboard. He’s now serving a four year sentence.

The Ohio Legal Rights Service is supporting Leow-Johannsen's right to serve on the jury along with the National Association of the Deaf and the Ability Center of Greater Toledo.

Film Debut

A documentary put together by a deaf company premieres tonight at The Little Theater in Rochester, New York. Discovering Deaf Worlds filmed Discovering: Shuktara in India at a home for young adults. In a previous post we gave you the trailer. Here's a longer report on the film from WHAM-TV.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Carolina Jurors

North Carolina lawmakers will consider a bill this week that would allow the deaf to sit on juries and guarantee an interpreter for them, though lawyers or judges could still reject deaf jurors just because they have a hearing loss.

Here are some of the comments of state representatives quoted in local papers on the topic:

"This is one example of taking political correctness too far. We can't have quadriplegics running track, nor do we need to have deaf persons serving on juries." - Pembroke Democrat Ronnie Sutton

"A hearing impaired juror who has the capacity to participate fairly and impartially ought to be allowed.” - Fayetteville Democrat Rick Glazier

"There may be plenty of people who can hear but don't listen.” - Raleigh Democrat Deborah Ross

VRI Investigation

A Maryland video interpreting company worked with an interpreting agency whose owners were recently arrested. That's why investigators recently searched Viable’s headquarters in Rockville. An employee reportedly claims the company regularly billed for calls that were not properly interpreted. According to the employee, someone was paid to make run calls - lenghty video relay calls - in order to bill the government large sums of money.

The owners of Innovative Communication Services for the Deaf based in Florida are facing charges of conspiracy to defraud the government. Yosbel Buscaron and Lazaro Fernandez deny the charges. They were supposed to provide a Spanish language capability for video relay services.

Viable offers both hardware and software for videoconferencing and interpreters, both video-based and on-site. Many members of the staff are deaf themselves.

Scam involving Puppies

A new twist on an old scam from those who pretend to be deaf. KTRK-TV in Houston has this video report. You can read the story here.

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Children Returns to Stage

Deaf West Theatre will offer a special 30th anniversary of Children of a Lesser God from September 6 to October 11 in Los Angeles. It will be fully accessible to deaf and hard of hearing audiences unlike the original. The original stage manager for the Tony Award-winning play is involved and tickets go on sale next month.

The drama follows the romantic relationship between a teacher and his profoundly deaf student.

Following a successful debut in Los Angeles, the Broadway production opened at the Longacre Theatre in New York on March 30, 1980. It ran for 887 performances and earned Tonys for its lead actors and playwright.

Monday, July 20, 2009

1st Sports Scholarship

Javarous Faulk is the first deaf student from his Georgia county to earn an athletic scholarship to college. Faulk will attend Saint Augustine’s College in Raleigh, North Carolina where he’ll play football. Despite being mainstreamed, Faulk mostly communicates using ASL. He attended Central High in Macon, Georgia where he was given a Student of Excellence Award by the state. The county honored him with a Beacon of Light Award just this month.

Discovering: Shuktara

A new film about a home for young adults in India premieres Wednesday at The Little Theater in Rochester, NY. Discovering: Shuktara was put together by Discovering Deaf Worlds, an organization founded by David Justice and Christy Smith who appeared on CBS Survivor: The Amazon. The title of the film comes from the name of the home. They spent five weeks living with the 19 children who live there. Many of them are deaf. Interpreters will be provided at the premiere and the film is open-captioned in English. Here's the trailer.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Helping Deaf Man Called a "Waste"

A Carolina lawmaker says giving a deaf man funds to start his own business is a waste of money. North Carolina’s State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services approved the purchase of nearly $40,000 of crab traps by Dewayne Blackburn in Belhaven. He’s starting a business on the North Carolina coast. But Republican Senate minority leader Phil Berger says this is throwing money at a losing proposition and an example of misplaced priorities. Jacksonville Republican Robert Grady says Blackburn business is a “shaky venture” and it’s a “crazy” idea to support it with state funds. The Department of Health and Human Services is now conducting an internal audit on the matter. You can contact Phil Berger at this web site. You can contact Roert Grady at this this web site.

Gang Damages School

Repairs are underway at the Sequoia School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Mesa, Arizona, where vandals damaged classrooms in four separate break-ins this summer. The estimated is more than $55,000. Paint was thrown on floors, wall and computers. Many pieces of equipement, including all the video phones, have been broken. Administrators are rushing to complete as many of the repairs as possible before school starts on August 10th. Police blame a gang called Juggalos for the attack.

Friday, July 17, 2009

New Orleans Cutbacks

Some New Orleans schools are cutting back on services for the deaf. St. Tammany Parish School Board voted yesterday to serve only disabled students for whom it receives federal money. Other services will be fazed out in two years. Federal law requires districts to spend part of their money on special education students.

Captioning Service Closing

Some deaf viewers in the UK are losing their closed-captioning service. Like their American counterparts, UK broadcasters are switching from analogue to digital signals. The service that’s provided analogue captioning is shutting down a full two-years ahead of schedule, leaving large parts of the UK population without subtitling. About 70 people will be losing their jobs. Officials blame the weak economy for the move.

Deaf Jurors

North Carolina lawmakers are divided over whether to let the deaf serve on juries. Proposed legislation would remove a requirement that jurors be able to require someone who can hear English. The bill would require judges to provide deaf jurors with a sign language interpreter and get rid of the hearing requirement. Some lawmakers suggested the fact that the deaf won't be able to hear voice inflections to determine whether someone is telling the truth is reason enough to keep them off juries. Debate on the bill picks up again next week.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

University Sued

NAD is suing Ohio State to get the school to offer captioning on its stadium scoreboard. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Vincent Sabino who is a deaf OSU football fan. He'd also like to see the stadium televisions captioned along with other university venues. University officials hope to work out a compromise and get the suit dismissed. Three years ago, NAD won a court case against the Washington Redskins over the same issue.

Getting to Know.. ADA

This coming Sunday marks the 19th anniversary of the day the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by then President HW Bush (July 26,1990). This is a good time to remember what ADA does and does not do for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.

ADA is a civil-rights law prohibiting discrimination based on disability. ADA is not an entitlement program and does not deal with financial compensation, employment services or advocacy services.

Here’s a breakdown of what each section of the Americans with Disabilities Act covers:

Title I – employment by private employers with 15 or more employees
Title II - state and local governments, including access to programs and public transportation.
Title III - physical accessibility, access to goods and services and private transportation services.
Title IV - telecommunication standards, including relay services for people with hearing and speech disabilities and closed captioning.
Title V - funding of ten regional Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers. The DBTAC’s provide ADA advise and ADA training. For more information call (800) 949-4232.

Here’s what ADA does NOT cover:

  • Private businesses with less than 15 employees
  • Churches, private clubs and Native American tribes are excluded.
  • Housing (housing is covered by the Fair Housing Act)
  • Airplane rides (While ADA cover airports, it does not cover passengers once aboard a plane. That area is covered by the Air Carrier Access Act)

    Related Laws:
  • The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 covers access to federal programs
  • The Architectural Barriers Act covers physical accessibility of federal buildings.
  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act covers K-12 public schools.

ADA Enforcement: The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (or EEOC) enforces the employment provisions of the ADA

What Qualifies: A hearing impairment is a disability under the ADA if it substantially limits a major life activity (or used to do so) or if an employer treated the individual as if though his or her hearing impairment was substantially limiting

Devices: The use of hearing aids or other devices that improve hearing must be considered in determining whether the individual has a disability under the ADA. Even someone who uses a mitigating measure may have a disability if the measure does not correct the condition completely and there are still substantial limitations.

Complaint Time Limit: You have 180 days to make a complaint against someone for violating ADA law. The only exception would be an opportunity to file a complaint under state or local law. This could extend the filing window to 300 days after the alleged discrimination. A complaint must be filed with the EEOC before filing a lawsuit in federal court.

More Questions: Got a question about ADA law? Call the Justice Department's ADA information line: 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TDD). Or you can access the department's ADA law homepage.

No Limits

A Florida professor has written an instructional textbook on deaf education. Carl Williams book No Limits is published by Butte Publications which specializes in deaf education books. Butte says the book is one of the “only comprehensive textbooks written for instructors in deaf education.” Williams has taught at The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind for more than a decade and also teaches at Flagler College in St. Augustine.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mean Little Deaf Queer

Terry Galloway tells her story in a provocative new memoir called Mean Little Deaf Queer. The 248 book describes her difficult days as a deaf child, born on Halloween, thanks to an experimental antibiotic given to her mother. Living in Austin, Texas, the nine-year-old liked to cross-dress and smoke cigars, slipping in and out of gender as she grew older. Galloway takes readers into her experiences in theater though her story is not told chronologically. No sentimental tear-jerker, this Mean Little Deaf Queer is all about living life your own way.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

First Graduation

A Mobile, Alabama college has its first deaf graduate. Steven Pituk finished the welding certificate program at Bishop State Community College and already has a job as a welder at Crenshaw Machine in Bay Minette. The 24-year-old has one deaf brother and attended the Texas School for the Deaf and the Alabama School for the Deaf in Talladega. Pituk made it on the Deaf All-American Team for football, playing on a squad with nearly 40 straight wins against other deaf schools.

Federal Investigation

A Maryland video interpreting company is involved in a federal investigation. Investigators recently searched Viable’s headquarters in Rockville for evidence. It's not clear what they hoped to find. The company says it is "cooperating fully" with the investigation. Viable offers both hardware and software for videoconferencing and interpreters, both video-based and on-site. Many members of the staff are deaf themselves.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Videophones for Job Career Centers

Deaf jobseekers in Alabama now have a quicker way to meet with a career counselor at the state’s Career Services Centers. The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services has bought a videophone system that connects jobseekers at its ten career centers across the state to on-call sign language interpreters. The equipment brings the interpreter into the conversation with the career counselor and the job seeker without having to arrange a face-to-face meeting. The Department has trained its eight interprets and other employees at the career center on how to use the $34,000 system.

Deaf Surfers

More than 60 deaf surfers gathered at Hawaii’s Queen's Surf Beach for the World Deaf Surfing Championships this weekend. It was the first time the event has been held in Hawaii. Previous championships have been held in Mexico, Australia and Japan. The next is set for Brazil in 2011.

Deaf surfers face the disadvantage of not being able to hear waves coming and can’t sit on boards chatting while waiting for waves as hearing surfers like to do.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

New Implant

The FDA has approved a new bone anchored cochlear implants. The Cochlear Baha BP100 Sound Processor offers a digital signal. Cochlear Americas touts its new product as a “technological leap forward” for its design with children in mind. For more information go to Cochlear Americas website.

Captioning Grant

Look for more videos with closed captioning and audio description tracks for education soon. CaptionMax now has two federal grants to support its effort to provide captioning to educational media to grade school students. The Minnesota-based company will put closed captioning on more than 1700 video programs and 13,000 video clips from Discovery Education.

Disc Golf

Deaf Disc Golf Nationals are taking place today in Springfield, Illinois at two disc golf courses. Some 100 people are expected to take part from more than two dozen states. Participants don’t have to be deaf to take part. Parents, friends and interpreters are welcome.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Join the CIA

The CIA held a Deaf Summit last month, gathering educators to give them an inside look at co-op and job opportunities for students. The CIA's disability recruitment officer, Fran Edelen, says the agency offers accommodations for its deaf and hard-of-hearing employees and is looking for recruits. In fact, the CIA has a full staff of sign language interpreters working at the agengy’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia. If you’re interested, the CIA has openings in a number of positions from engineering and computer science to theater makeup and costuming. Get more info here.

Rocker's Hearing Loss

Rock guitarist Jack White says he can no longer tell how loud he’s playing guitar. A member of White Stripes, White spoke with Rolling Stone Magazine about his hearing lose. He says, "I need to feel it (volume). I've gone through things where I go onstage and the sound guy at soundcheck comes over and he'll hold the decibel meter and show it to me while we're playing - and it's 127 decibels. That's not good. And I can't even tell. If it's not right there, it feels wimpy, it feels uninspiring." White is part of an upcoming guitar documentary called It Might Get Loud.

Starkey Gala

Elton John and Billy Crystal will be among the celebrities at this weekend's Starkey Foundation gala. The event takes place Sunday at the RiverCentre in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Deaf Rapper

WTTG-TV in Washington reports on a young deaf rapper.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

ASL Test Proposed

A Massachusetts ASL teacher in danger of losing her job may get to sit down soon with school officials and make her case. Daniela Ioannides was told she would be fired if she doesn’t earn her teacher certification. Ioannides was born deaf and is struggling to pass her state's English competency test. ASL is her first language and the syntax is completely different from English. She teaches at Andover High and the University of Massachusetts Boston. The state's assistant commissioner of education and several other state education officials have agreed to meet with her. Ioannides is hoping Massachusetts may join three other states with an ASL certificate program and create an appropriate teacher certification exam for the deaf and hard of hearing.

The Pros & Cons of The Lyric

A new hearing aid lets you avoid frequently changing batteries. The Lyric from InSound Medical (based in Newark, California) can be wore continuously for as long as 4 months. Doctors put the cylindrical device deep inside a patient’s ear where it can’t be seen – provided they have large enough and straight enough ear canal. The Lyric can be wore during most activities but not swimming. A new model mau take care of that issue later this year.

Other limitations: The Lyric is only for those with mild-to-moderate hearing loss and can cost as much as $4000 a year. When it dies, you have to see a doctor to get the batteries replaced. Or if ear wax clogs it, you'll have to go to a doctor. Some clinicians wonder about safety because there is no research on the long-term effects.

City Pays for Tasering

The Wichita City Council will pay a deaf man $50,000 so he'll drop a lawsuit against the city. Police tasered Donnell Williams when he failed to follow their instructions after they burst into his home two years ago. Officers were responding to an false emergency call about a shooting. Williams later filed a lawsuit. The city is admitting no wrong doing in the settlement.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

State School May Close

Kansas may close its school for the deaf in Olathe or merge it with the state school for the blind in Kansas City. A panel will hold a hearing on the issue July 27. The Kansas State School for the Deaf serves more than 100 students with a $9.5 million budget and about 150 employees.

Murder Trial Set

A deaf man will face murder charges after an Ohio judge ruled him competent to stand trial. Charlie Myers is accused of killing a woman at her home, assaulting her son and then driving from Columbus to Harrison Township, leaving the child at a rest stop along the way. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

iPhone as Hearing Aid

A new iPhone app will turn the device into a hearing aid. SoundAMP will run you $9.99 to amplify the sound around you. Once you activate the app, you plug in a set of earphones and a large slider appears in the display for you to set the volume. If you miss something, you can tap the screen and re-listen to the last 5 or 30 seconds of sound- a conversation, a loud speaker announcement, a lecture, etc.

Funding Shift

Idaho’s school for the deaf and blind in Gooding is now under a newly formed board. State lawmakers decided to move it out from under the education board and created the Idaho Bureau of Educational Services for the Deaf and the Blind. The school dropped its summer programs as part of an effort to slice more than half-a-million dollars from the yearly budget of nearly $9 million. With the change in administration, the school now can access money from the education stabilization fund because it falls as a line item in the public schools budget.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dog Found in Trash

A service dog for the deaf is a hero. It found another dog left for dead in a large trash bin this past Saturday. A pet sitter in Midland, Texas was walking a nine-month-old yellow lab named Jack when it became distraught at the bin. Sure enough, the sitter found a black terrier mix inside.

Deaf NBA Player

Lance Allred is playing in the summer league for the Orlando Magic. What sets him apart is that Lance is deaf. The 27-year-old is trying to work his way back to the NBA after playing in the big show with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was the first legally deaf player in the league. He’s also played proball in Turkey and France as well as the NBA's minor league (the D-League) where he averaged more than 15 points a game.

The story of his upbringing in a Mormon polygamous compound located in Montana is told in his book Longshot: The Adventures of a Deaf Fundamentalist Mormon Kid and His Journey to the NBA.

Tweaking Implants

KMGH-TV in Denver takes a look at advances in the adjustment of cochlear implants in this video report.

Tasering Payment

Wichita votes today on whether to pay a deaf man $50,000 for tasering him in his own home. Police hit Donnell Williams with a taser when he failed to follow their instructions after they burst into his home one night two years ago. Officers were responding to an emergency call about a shooting that turned out to be fake and startled Williams coming out of the bath tub.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Door Knob Alarm

A Maryland woman has created a device to alert people with hearing loss when someone is turning a door knob. Janet Williams' Door Knob Alarm sends out a piercing tone and a series of red lights when the door knob is turned from either side. The donut shaped alarm will fit on any door and detects movement.

Fire Rescue

A cat may have saved the life of a deaf woman in Salt Lake City. Elva Petersen's cat alerted her to an early morning fire yesterday at her home. She escaped the burning building unharmed (along with the cat) by breaking a bedroom window. A ladder, placed against the house by neighbors, helped her escape the flames.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Signs of Hope

A rape crisis center with counseling for the deaf and hard-of-hearing has opened in Las Vegas. The Signs of Hope center will offer services 24 hours a day and payments are offered on a sliding scale. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held last week at its offices at Rock Psychological Services on McLeod Drive.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Job in Jeopardy

Two dozen students rallied yesterday for a Massachusetts ASL teacher at her school. She will lose her this fall if she doesn’t earn her teacher certification. Daniela Ioannides was born deaf and is struggling to pass her state's English competency test. She teaches at Andover High and the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Deaf Women United

Deaf Women United meets July 22-26 in Portland. Click here for more information.

Arrest for Obscene Messages

A man in his 20's living near Scranton, Pennsylvania is facing charges he used an internet relay service to send dozens of obscene messages. Police in Hawley say the man admitted what he was doing and claims he was just entertaining himself. The instant message system is intended for use by the deaf. Andrew Brunell would type an offensive message on his computer and the service would call the person and read the message aloud - no matter how crude - between 11pm and 4am.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Schools Combined

The Louisiana School for the Deaf is now teaching some blind students. By combining LSD with the Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired, the state is hoping to save money - perhaps millions of dollars. Partly because some 50 employees are expected to lose their jobs.

Jamaica Changes Driving Law

Jamaica is giving the go-ahead for the deaf to drive by the end of next month. Deaf drivers will have to affix a signaling device to their cars. Some members of the police force have been trained in sign language.