Friday, August 31, 2012

Principal on Taylor Swift

The man who leads the school in the middle of the Taylor Swift controversy says he hopes his school wins the contest. As we reported in an earlier post, there is an internet contest underway where the high school that gets the most votes will get a Taylor Swift concert. As a prank, someone got folks voting for the Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, located in Massachusetts. Principal Jeremiah Ford tells the Boston Globe:
“I could be upset about that, I could get stuck in that anger, but that’s not where we should be in this world. My thing is, we understand what your intent was — shame on you — because you have not been educated. But now we will educate you."
He says many of the students at the school are fans of singers like Lady Gaga and if his school wins the $10,000 at stake, “We wouldn’t throw that money away.“It would be about enriching everybody’s life and we would thank those ignorant people for giving us those resources.”

On the Football Field

Matthew Aguila plays football for California's Hesperia High School, located east of Los Angeles. Read about the deaf player here.

KY Woman Attacked by Pit Bull

A deaf woman is in the hospital after a dog attack. On DeafNewsToday.com you can watch a video report from WDRB-TV or read the story here. WDRB 41 Louisville - News, Weather, Sports Community

Regulators: Scam Targeted Deaf Christians

The Feds say a California man took money from deaf Christians by making false promises. Regulators say Marc Perlman promised returns of 5-10% each month for money that he claimed to invest in foreign exchange contracts. Perlman, who himself is deaf, took money from people in California, Florida, Utah, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Washington, Oregon, and Pennsylvania, and most of it from the deaf community. Nearly $700,000 came from Christians in the deaf community. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission says in a lawsuit filed against Perlman and his iGlobal Strategic Management LLC, based in Rancho Cucamonga, he used most of the money to pay personal expenses.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pranksters may Bring Taylor Swift to Deaf School

Taylor Swift may end up singing at the Massachusetts School for the Deaf. Apparently, somebody thought it would be funny to get her to sing at a deaf school. So, the jokesters are ballot stuffing to try to make it happen. The Internet contest pits schools against one another. The school with the highest online vote total gets a performance from the 22-year-old country singer. Right now, Massachusetts’ Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is in the lead. The official rules, however, allow Swift to opt out, if she wants to do so. The music departments of the five schools that finish with the most votes will get $10,000 grants.

Deaf, Black Students: We Were Manhandled By Police

Summer vacation took a wrong turn for a group from a Trenton trade school in Belleville, New Jersey Tuesday. Watch a video report from WPIX-TV or you can read the story here.

Captioning Calls Major Leaguer "Hitler"

Here's a screen shot of a captioning error that was made during the major league baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Tampa Bay Rays that was broadcast over Sun Sports this past Monday.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What the new Closed Captioning rules REALLY mean

There is a great deal of misinformation going around about the new requirements for captioning online video in the U.S. based on the Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA). Here are a few points of clarification.

  • The CVAA requires programming that is first shown on television with captions, it must also be closed captioned online. There is no requirement to caption a program that is shown originally and only online.  
  • The root question is whether there was a requirement to close-caption the programming in the first place. If the channel in question generates more than $3 million in annual revenue, captioning is required. If the channel does not make more than $3 million a year, then it is exempt from closed-captioning. 
  • CVAA does not apply to newspaper and magazine online sites because the material is not first broadcast and then shoveled online.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Terps at the Fair

WSYR-TV reports on the work of interpreters at New York State fair in this video report, posted on DeafNewsToday.com. Or read the story here.

Filipino Sign Language

An update on the effort to get Filipino Sign Language recognized in the Philippines here.

Challenging what happened after arrest for rape

A deaf South Dakota man remains in jail after prosecutors say he waived his Miranda rights back in February - when he was arrested for first-degree rape of a child. Jesse Johnson's attorney told a judge yesterday that Johnson did not understand his rights at the time. The attorney wants statements Johnson made to police through an interpreter not allowed in court during the coming trial. The attorney also asked for suppression of notes that Johnson wrote - and he's challenging the qualifications of the interpreter used by the state’s attorney’s office after Johnson's arrest. A hearing on the motion is set for September 28th. The 33-year-old could get live in prison, if convicted.

Why a man is driving a lawn mower from Canada to Iowa

Bob Harms hopes to roll into Iowa this morning. His nearly 500 mile journey on his lawn mower at 7 mph is an effort to raise money for the Minnesota Lions Children's Hearing Center at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital. Harms had hearing loss as a child himself. Read more here.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Day School Deaf controversy

What a parent found in the dumpster outside a day school has stirred a dispute in Detroit. WXYZ-TV has a video report posted on DeafNewsToday.com.

Compromised Student Info

Personal information about students could have been stolen from the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind. Read the story here.

Iowa Meeting on School's Future

A hearing will be held this afternoon about the future of Iowa’s schools for blind and deaf students. Join the discussion at Lied Multipurpose Complex on the Council Bluffs campus at 5pm. The Iowa Educational Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Iowa School for the Deaf is considering consolidating services now provided at the Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs and the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School in Vinton.

Hearing Device Stolen

Someone broke into a woman's car and stole part of her son's implant. A video report is posted on DeafNewsToday.com from Oregon's KTVZ-TV.

Deaf filmmaker can't stop listening

The Associated Press writes about what popping on new hearing aids did for Austin Chapman here.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Texting Limits

New texting rules in India hurts the deaf. Read the story in the Wall Street Journal here.

Power Struggle over Day School

Read about the battle over closure of the Detroit Day School for the Deaf here.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Improved Living at Gallaudet

WRC-TV in Washington, DC takes a look at how the new Gallaudet dorms are helping incoming students in an article posted here.

Getting to Know.. Marlee Matlin

  • Born on this date (August 24) in 1965, she is 47 years old.
  • middle name is "Beth"
  • Grew up in Morton Grove, Illinois near Chicago of Russian Jewish descent
  • Her father was an automobile dealer
  • Became deaf when she was a year and a half old after she suffered a series of fevers, the only person in her family who is deaf
  • Married Burbank police officer Kevin Grandalski in 1993
  • Has four children: Sarah, Brandon, Tyler and Isabelle
  • Won an Oscar for her role as the deaf student in Children of a Lesser God, the only deaf person to win an Acadamy Award
  • Won a Golden Globe award along with two additional nominations, and has four Emmy nominations
  • Played a lawyer on her own TV series, Reasonable Doubt
  • Took the role of a political analyst on The West Wing
  • Plays a character on Showtime’s The ‘L’ Word
  • Attended the Jewish Temple for the Deaf B’nai Shalom located in Skokie
  • Discovered by Henry Winkler
  • Author of two Children’s books
  • Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in May 2009
  • Competed in the 6th season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars
  • A finalist on the NBC's Celebrity Apprentice, she came in second place raising a million dollars for her charity, The Starkey Hearing Foundation, the most ever been raised for charity in a single event on any TV show  
  • Her autobiography is titled I'll Scream Later
  • Is currently playing an ongoing role on ABC Family's Switched at Birth

Judge: eBay NOT under ADA

A California judge says eBay isn't required to follow ADA law and give users an alternative to using a phone in order to verify their identities. The decision in favor of the online auction site by Edward Davila in San Jose, dismisses most of a lawsuit filed by Melissa Earll two years ago. She spend a couple of months trying to work something out with eBay, but was never allowed to register as a seller because she is deaf. The decision flies in the face of a ruling across the country in Massachusetts by Judge Michael Ponsor against Netflix. He's letting the National Association of the Deaf move forward with its lawsuit accusing Netflix of violating ADA by not providing captioning for its streaming videos. Like eBay, Netflix has argued that the company is not required to follow ADA requirements because it is not a place of "public accommodation.

Break in at Deaf School

Police in Ogden are looking for two men who broke into the Utah School for the Deaf and Blind this past Sunday morning. They spent several hours going through the building. The thieves did not haul away computer, but spent time looking for smaller items, possibly something specific.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Deaf Sailor aims for solo sail around the world

A Glasgow school teacher hopes he can endure 5 months on the seas to accomplish what few have done. He's already set records. Read his story here.

1st Mission to China

Former NBA star Yao Ming will join LA Clippers Forward Caron Butler to help giveaway 6,000 hearing aids in Chengdu, China this coming Sunday. The effort is part of the Starkey foundation's first mission to China. The Foundation's recent yearly gala raised $7.6 million for hearing aids around the world. Find out more here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

BSL in Iran

A BSL teacher volunteers to teach in Iran. Read the story from the BBC here.

"Wasting" money on Interpreters

A conservative watchdog group is criticizing a federal agency for spending money on sign language interpreters. Judicial Watch says the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is in the business of protecting Americans from abusive credit card and mortgage lenders, is wasting money on sign-language translation services. The consumer bureau has given a sign language interpreting agency a contract of more than $465,000 this year for its services, though only about $50,000 of the money has been spent so far. What is not used will be returned by the interpreting agency to the Bureau - which is funded, not by taxpayer money, but by the Federal Reserve.

NY Judge Sanctioned after Sex Accusations

A family court judge abruptly resigned after accusations emerged that he sexually abused his 5-year-old deaf niece - 40 years ago. Read the story here.

Deaf Teen Beaten

Father jailed for allegedly beating his deaf son. Oklahoma's KOCO-TV has a video report or read the story here.

Pride Goes into Hall of Fame

Curtis Pride will be indicted into the Binghamton Baseball Hall of Fame a week from Friday (Aug 31). The ceremony for the minor league team will take place before the Binghamton Mets play the Trenton Thunder. Pride is now the baseball coach at Gallaudet University. But when he was playing pro ball, he became an important part of the Binghamton team that won the Eastern League Champion in 1992 - his only season with the team. The deaf outfielder drove in the first runs in the history of the New York franchise, hitting a pinch-hit homer on Opening Night. Pride went on to play more than a decade in the Majors, starting with the Expos.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Next Startup Trend

A hearing aid boom could be on the way. Because of the heavy use of earbuds and other potential hearing loss inducing gadgets, entrepreneurs are sensing a potential growth market. CNBC sat down to talk with one of the companies hoping to cash in. Audicus is a web-based startup with an unorthodox approach to hearing ads. Watch the video interview on DeafNewsToday.com (no captioning provided by CNBC).

Groundbreaking Art Series

The largest series of commissioned works by disabled and deaf artists is being unveiled before the start of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Read about it here.

NM on the Gridiron

You'll find a look at the new football season for the New Mexico School for the Deaf, including a schedule of games, here.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Gally Opens DeafSpace Dorm

You can see a series of photos showing the new building for students on the campus of Gallaudet University in Washington, DC and read a story about the effort here.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Missing Terp

A deaf man couldn't find an interpreter at a campaign rally for GOP Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan.  Read the story here.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Robbery and Arrests

San Diego police arrested 3 men this morning thanks to an officer being nearby who knows sign language when a deaf woman reported that she had been robbed. A video report from KGTV-TV is posted below or read the story here.

The Mike Glenn Story

There's a new film being made about former NBA player Mike “Stinger” Glenn. Spirit of Love: The Mike Glenn Story from filmmaker Darla Rae shows how friendship and acceptance are a part of his basketball camps for the deaf and hard of hearing. Glenn attended the Georgia School for the Deaf, where his father coached for no salary. Glenn later made it to the NBA where he played for the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks. Many people in the cast are deaf or hard of hearing and the film will include a great deal of sign language.  Find out more here.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Guilty Plea in Aussie Attack

In June, we reported the attack of a deaf man in Australia by two men who jumped him from behind at a train station. Seow Oh was left with possible permanent sight damage from a fractured eye socket. Joshua William Bignell is pleading guilty to his part in that attack. The Kewdale 18-year-old appeared in court today, pleading guilty to "grievous bodily harm." Bignell goes back to court in October. You can read more about the crime here.

Large Gift to Deaf School

Hartford insurance is giving $100k to the American School for the Deaf. The money will go toward a new audiology building. Construction has already begun on the 62,000 square foot building that replaces Gallaudet Hall, which was built in 1921. The new facility should be ready in two years. The Connecticut school will mark its 200th anniversary in 2017.

Sensory Room School for the Deaf and Blind in Mobile

WPMI-TV in Mobile, Alabama reports on a new way for students at the Mobile School for the Deaf and Blind to engage the world around them. Or read the story here.

A 1st at Gally

A new bike program is opening its first station on a university campus this morning. Gallaudet will be the first university in Washington, D.C. to host a Capital Bikeshare station. There are already more than 165 station in the District and the program has topped 2 million rides.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

SC Shooting

A search is underway for a South Carolina man who they say shot a deaf man who has been taken to a local hospital in Richland County. The victim was visiting his parents at the time and an investigation is underway into what led to the shooing.

Cutting-edge School

A look at the new Michigan School for the Deaf in Flint here.

Deaf Pastor Killed

A Wisconsin pastor has died from injuries he sustained in an auto accident last week. A driver failed to stop at an Outagamie County intersection, hitting the car in which David Hoffman was riding. Three other people in the car were injured, but all were released from the hospital. Hoffman had moved to the Green Bay area recently from Sioux Falls, South Dakota in order to start a church for the deaf.

Samantha's book

CNN speaks with an 8-year-old with hearing loss in the video posted below on DeafNewsToday.com.

Sensory Room School for the Deaf and Blind

WPMI-TV in Mobile, Alabama reports on a new way for students at the Mobile School for the Deaf and Blind to engage the world around them. Or read the story here.

Special Opening at Gally

Gallaudet opens it's new, deaf-friendly dorm this week. The $16 million, 85,000 square foot building includes office space as well as areas for student living. It is just the first in a series of buildings that could lay the groundwork for a national standard for design and construction. The facility includes wider hallways, better lighting, more open space, and automatic doors to avoid pauses in conversations. If the DC Zoning Commission approves, the school's decade-long plan will include the construction of six more buildings like the new dorm.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Deaf Girl Testifies before Lawmakers

A video report from WTNH-TV on how an 11-year-old helped to get a new law passed in Connecticut to help the deaf and hard-fof-hearing like her. Read the story here.

Hearing impaired child testifies before lawmakers

Fire Near School for Deaf

Authorities suspect arson in a fire that consumed a vacant house across the street from the Michigan School for the Deaf early this morning. The blaze destroyed the Flint, Michigan home, but no one was hurt.

Judge refuses to provide Terp

A Indiana judge is facing possible disciplinary action for refusing to provide an interpreter for a deaf teenager. Last year, Probate Judge Peter Nemeth told his St. Joseph County courtroom that he was denying the request because the woman who made it “hadn’t paid taxes for several years.” Nemeth later reversed his decision after a challenge was made on the basis of ADA law. Nemeth is now accused of violating the judicial code of judicial conduct and has less than three weeks to respond to the charges. Three judges will hold public hearing on the issue
.

Biden Comments on Terp

VP Joe Biden stops to make a comment about the sign language interpreter at a campaign stop in Danville, Virginia. He says, ""I have more to say, but I am saying too much already because these guys get me going... and you're (referring to the interpreter) gonna have trouble translating all this! That poor lady, she's gonna have tendinitis by the time she finishes this." Here's the video.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Museum adds Loop

Washington's Bellevue Arts Museum is adding a hearing loop to its guest services and auditorium. The device sends a signal from a microphone directly to a compatible hearing aid. It's one of more than a dozens places in the Seattle-area with the service. There is more information here.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Rachel's Bill

A look at how an 11-year-old helped get a Bill of Rights for the state's deaf students into law in Connecticut here.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Heart Listening

A new stethoscope is especially made for the deaf and hard of hearing. The Cardionics ViScope provides both amplification of the audio signal and a visual display. It is compatible with both inside-the-Ear and behind-the-ear hearing aids. The stethoscope is placed on the patient's chest and the device displays a visual representation of the sounds on a screen. Read more here.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Teen using scholarship to advance dreams

Meet the winner of a Kansas Optimist Speech Contest here.

TX man: No Terp Provided

A Houston man is suing Harris County because the constable's office failed to provide him with an interpreter. Andy Scofield, who is deaf, says in legal filing that he was hit by a neighbor and bit by the man's dog, but when authorities arrived he was not provided a a sign language interpreter so he could tell what happened - even though he asked for one. His teenage son was expected to speak for his father, although the boy is hard of hearing.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Debit Card Suit

A deaf man is suing a debit card company for refusing communicate with him except by phone. Richard Halavais lost his hearing because of a stroke and is having problems with his prepaid debit card, through which he receives his disability funds. Halavais says California-based AccountNow owes him money for the extra time he spent in a rehab facility. The payment delays put him $12,000 in debt.

Attempted Abduction of CODA

A teen ran home to her deaf mother when a stranger tried to pull her into a van Tuesday in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Read the story from WTVF-TV here.

Deaf Olympian Has Support

Here's a video about the family of deaf US Olympic volleyball player David Smith from KNBC in Los Angeles - or you can read the story here.

View more videos at: http://nbclosangeles.com.

Children’s Hearing Aids Bill

Mass. lawmakers have passed and sent to the governor a bill requiring private health insurers to pay for children’s hearing aids. A video report is posted below on DeafNewToday.com or read the story here.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cycling Across UK for Gambia's Deaf

Malcolm Gamer is doing something special for the African nation of Gambia. Here's a video report in international sign with captioning about his effort to help children.

SignDNA

There is an effort in New Zealand to preserve the history of the country by finding deaf-related video prior to 1990. Find out more in the captioned and signed video posted on DeafNewsToday.com.

Profit falls at Cochlear

The profits of Australia's Cochlear LTD are down nearly 70% because of the recall of its CI500 implant last year. Profits for the implant maker went from about $180 million last financial year to just under $57 million this financial year. Sales in the Americas fell 2%. Sales for Cochlear in European, the Middle East and Africa rose 2% and profits were up in Asia 4%. Overall, the number of implants the company sold worldwide fell 6% (just over 23,000). You can read more about the reason for the recall here and lawsuits over the recall here.

Captioning Deadline Looms

The first deadline for FCC mandated closed captioning for Internet video is growing close. The end of September marks the first phase of implementation. After that deadline, the list of types of videos that must be captioned will grow. The rules do not cover YouTube clips and other amateur videos, but professionally produced videos, particularly those already made available through broadcast, cable or satellite services. The September 30th deadline concerns full-length video published or shown on TV in the U.S. that has not been especially edited for the Internet (in other words, video that includes deleted scenes and altered TV scores would not come under this deadline, but video with a different number of commercials would still have to be captioned by the deadline). The next deadline after September is March 30, 2013. That's when all live and near-live programming must be closed captioned. Broadcasters will have 45 days after the original date of broadcast on TV to provide captions for materials produced between March 30, 2014 and March 30, 2015.

Lesbian Love Triangle and Murder Plot

Three Kentucky women will soon face charges related to an alleged murder plot. All three are deaf. Police say the trio planned to kill 82-year-old Lois Goode. Police confronted them, along with another woman, at Goode's home. The deaf women were armed with knives and their phones contained text messages describing their plans. The Lincoln County sheriff says Goode's daughter had taken away the lesbian lover of one of the women and they wanted revenge. Taquisha Horton and Autumn Drass and Jessica Callahan are already facing burglary charges. Charges against a 4th woman were dropped.

Monday, August 6, 2012

6 Flags Deaf Awareness Day

This Saturday (Aug 11) is Deaf Awareness Day at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom near San Francisco in Vallejo, California. American Sign Language and oral interpreters will be positioned at all regularly scheduled shows selected attractions in the park.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Police use Taser on deaf crime victim

A deaf Seattle-area woman says she called 9-1-1 for help - and police arrested her. Lashonn White says she was put in jail for three days without an interpreter, according to KIRO-TV. Read about her experience here.

Battle Over Denver Deaf School

Denver's KMGH-TV reports on a rally for the building of a deaf school - and those in the local community who are against it (no captions).

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Marlee in Minnesota

Marlee Matlin spoke with KSTP-TV about her visit to St. Paul Starkey Foundation's annual awards gala. The video of the interview with the Oscar winner is posted below on DeafNewsToday.com.

Starkey Hosts Annual Gala

The Starkey Hearing Foundation is hosting its annual gala tonight in St. Paul. Here's a report from KSTP-TV. You can read part of the story here.

Neptune App

An app for Advanced Bionics' new waterproof sound processor for cochlear implants is now available. The Neptune, approved by federal regulators last year, can be worn while swimming or bathing "in the hair, on an arm, under a collar, in a pocket." The iPad app is a free download that allows users to create their own version of the Neptune look by choosing from hundreds of color combinations.

Fire Takes Home

A deaf woman in Arkansas has lost her home in a fire. Watch the story in a video report posted below from KFSM-TV or read the story here.

The Hammer is Back!

Deaf ultimate fighter Matt Hamill is coming out of retirement next month. He'll take on Roger Hollett in Toronto. If the 35-year-old wins, he will be in a position to take on Jon "Bones" Jones who had little trouble defeating his competition on his way to winning the light heavyweight belt. The only loss on his resume came at the hands of Hamill, who has an overall record of 10-4. His story is told in the 2010 film The Hammer.

Deaf Women Missing

Authorities in Florida are looking for two deaf women who are missing from West Palm Beach home. The family's of Teresa Flanagan and Jean Breyer say they have not heard from the women in months. Police searched their home to find personal items, such as their TDY phones and medication were still in place. Their credit cards were recently used in Michigan. The Palm Beach Sheriff’s office is asking anyone with information to contact the offices.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Soccer Player Headed to US

A deaf UK soccer player is coming to the Univ. of Texas to play goalkeeper. Read the story here.

Head-on Collision

The North Dakota Highway Patrol is still sorting out exactly what happened in an accident last month near Jamestown that killed a deaf man and the family of three he ran into. Wyatt Klein had left his welding job at Double J Manufacturing in the mid-afternoon before he began drinking. On his way home, the deaf 28-year-old drove the wrong way on Interstate 94, causing the head-on collision that ended the lives of Aaron and Allison Deutscher of West Fargo and their 18-month-old daughter, Brielle. The state patrol said Klein's blood alcohol level was triple the legal limit.

New Laws in Delaware

This morning Delaware's Governor will sign two bills into law at the Carvel State Office Building in Wilmington. Both will have an impact on people with hearing and speech difficulties in the state. One bill requires health officials to keep up with children who've been identified as needing services related to hearing. It also creates a board to oversee the effort - the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Advisory Board. This is the state's update of the Universal Newborn and Infant Hearing Screening Act. The other bill provides more "telecommunications services for the deaf and those with hearing loss or speech disabilities."

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Abusive Priest Film

The story of a priest who is accused of abusing hundreds of deaf boys is the focus of a film that will premiere in next month's Toronto Film Festival. The documentary tells the story of Lawrence Murphy at the St. John’s School for the Deaf in St. Francis, Wisconsin. Filmakers claim that Pope Benedict XVI was aware of the sexual abuse complaints.Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God is directed by Oscar-winner Alex Gibney. There is more information about the showing here and below is the film's trailer.

6-Year-Old’s Hearing Aids Stolen

Someone stole the hearing aids of a 6-year-old in Cleveland. Watch a video report below from WJW-TV or read the story here.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Girl Scout Lawsuit

A Girl Scout troop in Chicago shut down a chapter to avoid paying for a sign language interpreter. The family of Megan Runnion is now suing the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, which are not commenting on the case. The 12-year-old has been deaf since birth and providing an interpreter when Megan first joined the scouts. But last year, the her mother was told they were no longer will to do so. The request was filled only after Megan's mom had an attorney for Equip for Equality and the National Association for the Deaf sent a letter. At the beginning of the year, the girls in Megan's troop were told at a dinner they were disbanding because of the cost of an interpreter.

Insurance and Hearing Aids in Mass.

A Massachusetts bill would force private health insurance companies to cover the cost of hearing aids, up to $2000 for each one. Several groups are fighting the proposal because they say it adds to the cost of running a small and mid-size business. This includes the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, the National Federation of Independent Business, and the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans. Both the legislative bodies, House and Senate passed the bill last night - but a final version still needs approval. The proposed law is sponsored by Arlington Democrat Sean Garballey with 71 co-sponsors from both parties. While Private health insurance companies do not have to cover the cost of hearing aids, the state health insurance plan does.

Texas Town Settles Arrest Suit

The city of Austin has settled a lawsuit by a deaf woman. Police arrested Esther Valdez for resisting arrest in 2009. She did not hear an officer commanding her to stop walking down a sidewalk. The charges were dismissed. The city did not admit any fault, but agreed to provide training for officers on how to communicate with the deaf and call for a sign language interpreter. Videophones will be installed in the jail's holding room as well as the municipal court building. The city also agreed to pay Valdez $500 along with her attorney's fees.

A Brief Encounter

An interview with a UK theater interpreter here.