Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Parents Confess to Killing Child

A deaf couple admitted through an interpreter to beating their five-month-old child to death because she wouldn’t stop crying, according to police in the Dallas suburb of Richardson, Texas. Hector Rene Cupich-Quinones and Maria Guadalupe Zuniga told police they got into an argument over the crying after a night of drinking. Cupich-Quinones confessed to shaking the baby, hitting her head against a counter, and sliding her across the counter until the infant fell head first on the tile floor. Prosecutors have charged Cupich-Quinones with capital murder.

DeafNation Expo in California

DeafNation Expo hits Pomona this Saturday (May 4). Join the trade show for exhibitions and entertainment at no charge. Find out more here.

Miss India UK

A deaf beauty queen from Leicester in the UK is headed to Malaysia to compete in Miss India World. 24-year-old Nehal Bhogaita is the reigning Miss India UK and she says, "I want to be a role model for people like me, deaf or disabled. I want to give them more confidence and tell them they can do anything. You can make your dreams come true." Watch a short video from the BBC about her here.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Deaf student forms ministry

A south Georgia student attending Valdosta State University is trying to make a difference at his church. Read the story here.

Walk for Sign

More than a dozen ASL enthusiasts are walking to promote sign. Their 400 mile journey will take them from San Francisco down the Pacific Coast Highway to Los Angeles over the course of a month. 74-year-old Bob Walker of Frederick, Marland is quoted on the group's website as saying, "I am walking for ASL because I earnestly want the hearing Americans to recognize our basic everyday language known as ASL... We are comfortable with our language and we want the Americans to accept our language as official." Find out more here.

Reverse Discrimination?

A senior living complex is facing charges--for favoring deaf residence. We first told about the problem back in December, that Federal official are investigating Apache ASL Trails in Tempe, Arizona for possible discrimination. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) says it is a violation of the Fair Housing Act to have so many deaf people in the same complex. Nearly all of the 75 Apache ASL Trails units are occupied by deaf residents. A deaf architect designed it to fit the unique needs of the deaf and hard of hearing. There are flashing lights, video phones, and an interpreting service has an office in the complex. Ironically, it was the Arizona Department of Housing that put federal money into helping pay for its contraction. Last week, the National Association of the Deaf sent a letter to the federal housing secretary, which read in part:
In a nutshell, your agency, HUD, is forcing deaf and hard of hearing individuals to only live according to an ideological vision of forced integration. The tragic irony is that such an ideology has punished deaf and hard of hearing individuals seeking a higher quality of life and a safer place to live and has actually resulted in the forced isolation of individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing.
More than 70 advocacy groups have signed the document. You can read the letter here. HUD officials have responded by saying they will put its efforts on pause. No one has filed a formal complaint about the facility, and it owners say no one has been excluded in the advertising.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

"I was ready to commit suicide"

A new play that incorporates ASL into the story is running in Los Angeles this weekend. The Boyle Heights' Casa 0101 Theater production is titled Tamales de Puerco. It's the story of Norma, an illegal immigrant who escapes the abuse of her huband with her deaf son. It's based on the the life of the writer, Mercedes Floresislas. She was homeless, illegal, and raising a deaf son while trying to get her college degree. She tells LA Weekly that when her son was still a toddler:
I went to specialists and they told me the silliest things you've ever heard: "He's got a little Down's Syndrome" or "He's just lazy." No, he was deaf. That's all he was... I was ready to commit suicide because I didn't see a way out. After I became a therapist, hearing those stories from my deaf clients -- they would blame themselves for anything. "Mom died because I'm deaf," or "It was my fault Mom went away." ...And now, it's completely different. My son is 17, and he's in the play. I'm in a really nice place in my life right now -- just to see how things worked out for my boy. It's a good thing I stuck around... One of the beautiful people in the deaf community told me when my son looks at himself in the mirror, he doesn't see me -- he sees his father. So I have to somehow bring his father into the deaf community and have him be there for him. His father is able to communicate at least through spelling.
The last show is today at 5pm. Find out about tickets here. Read more of the interview here.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Deaf Postmaster

There's a new man in charge of the Greenwood, Nebraska post office. New postmaster Jonathan Arteaga-Arceo is deaf. Arteaga-Arceo takes over the part-time position for the retiring postmaster. A strobe light lets Arteaga-Arceo that someone has entered and there's a keyboard for hearing visitors though some prefer using paper and pencil. Arteaga-Arceo attended the Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs along with his two brothers and then he went to Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. Arteaga-Arceo holds another job as well--he's an assistant to his brother, who is the lead pastor of Lincoln's Spring of Life Deaf Christian Church. Their father, who is hearing serves as pastor of a Hispanic church in the same town.

Layoffs at Call Center

A deaf call relay service in South Dakota is preparing for layoffs. Communications Services for the Deaf in Sioux Falls will lay off more than 40 employees at the end of June. These workers are involved in the company's TTY area. This phone service is being phased out in favor of video relay services.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Deaf School Evacuated

Police evacuated students from the Delaware School for the Deaf this morning when a suspicious case was discovered. Explosives experts determined that suitcase was not dangerous and contained only personal items. An alert custodian at the Newark school noticed the unattended case.

Tearing down Gallaudet Hall

A building that's more than 90 years old will be demolished on the campus of Connecticut's the American School for the Deaf. The state Bond Commission today approved a multi-million dollar building project for the West Hartford school--most of which will go toward demolition of Gallaudet Hall. A group of alumni started an online petition to save the largest building on campus which has been the school's symbol for years, but to no avail. The new building is expected to be in use this fall. In fact, construction on the new facility has already started.

Judge out for Abuse of Deaf Niece

New York's high court is making sure a family judge never hears another case. Former Onondaga County family court judge Bryan Hedges is accused of sexually abusing his deaf niece some 40 years ago, when she was 5 years old. Hedges resigned from the Syracuse-area post last year when the accusation became public. He's been a judge since 1985. The Commission on Judicial Conduct decided that his removal from office would have been the appropriate sanction if Hedges still were a judge and he hadn't resigned before it could rule. Now, New York's highest court has upheld the decision to keep Hedges off the bench--permanently.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

UK concert to help deaf children

Music educator Ann Rachlin plays a benefit concert for The Elizabeth Foundation for Deaf Children in Durham at St Oswald’s Church. The Foundation is a national UK charity helping preschool deaf children and babies learn to listen and talk. Rachlin has produced 24 albums and written 11 children’s books. The event will feature the conbined choirs of two schools.

Terp Shortages in Alabama

WTVY-TV reports on how interpreter shortages are affecting schools in southeastern Alabama.

Terping BSL/ASL

A UK charity called Sonus is graduating 5 people which it says are the first to be qualified as interpreting BSL (British Sign language and ASL (American Sign Language). The grads are getting diplomas in Sign Language Interpreting. They are qualified to translate at international events, conferences, academic settings and the media. Read more about Sonus here.

Colorado's Listen Foundation

KDVR-TV has a video interview with children who say they have been helped by The Listen Foundation, an oral training center based in Denver (no captions).

Edinburgh deaf man Gets new ear

Brian Hogg is the first person in the UK to undergo a new procedure to treat his hereditary deafness. His ear was fitted with an implant called a Bonebridge - made with a piece of his own rib because he is unable to wear conventional hearing aids. The BBC has a report here.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sign Language Puts College Grads On Path To Job Security

New Hampshire public radio takes a look at the job prospects for graduates who plan to use ASL in their careers here.

VRI in Colorado

A Colorado Springs hospital is making use of VRI. KOAA-TV has a video report posted below on DeafNewsToday.com. No captions but you can read the story here.

Deaf Film Camp

Camp Mark Seven in upstate New York is adding a film program. Deaf Film Camp will run from July 21 to August 2. So far, the camp says filmmaker Wayne Betts, Jr. (who worked on the film The Renaissance), screenwriter Kalen Feeney (who has appeared on Switched at Birth), and animator Braam Jordaan have signed on to teach teens about writing, directing, acting, effects, and cinematography.

There's more information here and you can watch a video about the camp below.

Apology for Captioning Mistake

Caption Solutions says it "deeply regrets" identifying celebrity Zooey Deschanel as one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects. The mistake happened during KDFW-TV's coverage of the attack. During the broadcast, the Dallas station's captioning briefly read "Marathon Bomber. He is 19-year-old Zooey Deschanel."

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

School Cuts Sign Programs

A Canadian college is dropping its ASL and deaf culture studies program as well as its sign language interpretation program. Alberta's Lakeland College will not accept new students into nine programs in all this fall in order to save money. A little more than 100 miles to the west in Edmonton, the University of Alberta will continue offering both programs to students.

$5.75M settlement at deaf school

The Hawaii school for deaf and blind has agreed to pay nearly $6 million to make a class-action suit go away. A federal judge has signed off on the settlement. The parents who filed the suit said school officials knew about dozens of students being bullied, assaulted and raped, but did nothing to stop it. Lawyers will get about a million dollars of the settlement. KHON-TV has a video report that explains what happens at the school going forward to improve security (captions available).

DeafNation Expo in Minnesota

DeafNation Expo hits Saint Paul this Saturday (April 27). Join the trade show for exhibitions and entertainment at no charge. You'll find it at Concordia University's Gangelhoff Center. Find out more here.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Looking Back... Deaf Smith in Texas

One of the heroes in Texas' fight for independence was Erastus Smith. Better known as Deaf Smith, he lost his hearing to a childhood disease, but that did not prevent him from playing a pivotal role in Texas' history. He carried messages from Colonel William Travis out of the Alamo, led a company of Texas Rangers and at one point was wounded in battle. Most importantly, Smith destroyed a bridge during the Battle of San Jacinto, preventing the Mexican army from retreating. That's why Deaf Smith County is named after him and still pronounced "Deef" in honor of the way Smith's name was pronounced. Travis called him the "bravest of the Brave" and on hearing about his death, Sam Houston wrote, a "man, more brave, and honest never, lived."

The painting you see here is called the Surrender of Santa Anna. Artist William Henry Huddle painted the scene of the morning of April 22, 1836, the day after Texas' victory over Mexico at the Battle of San Jacinto. The painting shows various important people in the war, including Smith, who is seated on a log with his hand cupped around his ear.

Read more about Smith here.

Showing of Lake Windfall in Dallas

The film Lake Windfall will be shown this coming Saturday (April 27) at 6pm at the Dallas Association For The Deaf  located at 4215 Maple Avenue in Dallas. Tickets are $11 at the door. Mostly told in ASL, the film focuses on five characters in a post-­apocalyptic setting and takes an authentic look at three different types of hearing loss experiences. The cast and crew are mainly deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Here's the trailer.

Traveling Cross-country for Implants

Jacob Landis is biking to every Major League Baseball park in the country. The deaf Maryland man is raising money for deaf children. He left Annapolis the first week of the month. His cousin is following in a van for support. Landis has already visited Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia and New York. Today he visits Fenway Park in Boston. Yesterday he attending an event hosted by the Massachusetts Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Landis is a cochlear implant recipient and he hopes to raise one million dollars for organizations that help implant candidates. His last stop is Miami in September. For more information, click here.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Captioning Fail: Actress mistakenly ID'ed as Boston Bombing Suspect

The Fox News audience was told by closed captioning on Friday that the suspect in the Boston bombing wasn't Dzhokar Tsarnaev but a Hollywood actress. The caption read, "Marathon bombing, he is 19-year-old Zooey Deschanel." Radio show producer and writer Peter Ogburn posted a screenshot on his Twitter account with the comment, "Oh come on, Fox." The New Girl actress tweeted back, "Whoa! Epic closed captioning FAIL." Ogburn deftly replied, "So, you're saying it wasn't you?" Here's a video of the mistake

ASL Acrobatic Dance

"As the listener or the experiencer of the song, you don’t have to hear the music, but you can feel it through the choreography.” Read more here or watch the video below to better understand what Brandon Kazen-Maddox likes to call American Sign Language Acrobatic Dance.

The City Exposed: Music for the deaf from San Francisco Chronicle on Vimeo.

Better Language Acquisition

A new iPad app is designed to help children learn both ASL and English. The Baobab is a storybook produced by Gallaudet University's Science of Learning Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning. An interview with several people at Gallaudet who have a hand in the product is here.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Background on the multi-million dollar KY implant award

"The impact of the two surgeries and malfunctioning have taken a toll" on the little girl who was awarded millions for a defective cochlear implant. Read more of the Associated Press write up on the award here.

Search for Shooting Suspect

Police are looking for a deaf man in connection with an Idaho shooting--but the call might have been a fake. So far, no crime has been found in Twin Falls related to a call that came in Friday evening. Someone identifying themselves as a interpreter for the deaf called for emergency help. The person claimed a deaf man had shot his or her mother. Police tracked the call to a particular block in Twin Falls, but found no problems.

Deaf mom is student of year

Nicole Sanchez is the Modesto Junior College disabled student of year. Read the story about the California school in the Mosdesto Bee.

On this date in History... A Deaf Astronomer Dies

On this date (April 20) in 1786, John Goodricke died. Goodricke only survived to the age of 21, but the deaf astronomer made a major impact on his field. Working with Edward Pigott, Goodricke learned to measure the variation of light coming from stars. This would eventually lead astronomers to figure out the distance of galaxies from the earth. While still a teenager, the Royal Society of London gave him the Copley Medal, making him the youngest person to be given its highest honor. He was born in the Netherlands, though he lived most of his life in England. Goodricke lost his hearing after a bout with a childhood disease, which might have been scarlet fever. He studied at the first school for deaf children in the British Isles, Thomas Braidwood’s Academy for the Deaf and Dumb in Edinburgh. Goodricke went on to study for three years at the Warrington Academy.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

More on the $7.5 million award to 11-year-old implant user

We reported to you yesterday about a Kentucky jury verdict that gave 11-year-old Breanna Sadler $7.25 million. Her defective cochlear implant gave her electric shocks. Here's more about Breanna. Born deaf, she got her implant 6 years ago, when she was just four years old. When she was eight years old, a severe shook from the device sent her into convulsions. The shocks continued until the Advance Bionics implant was removed. And several dozen more lawsuits are coming because the failure rate of the HiRes 90K model is about one in four, according to lawyers for the Sadler family. The payout was high because there was evidence that the company didn't disclose problems with the model until after the company was sold. Advance Bionics denied this happened and while it "respects the jury (it) disagrees with (the) verdict, particularly with respect to punitive damages." The company said the problem was with a supplier. The company has already paid a million dollar fine for failing to tell the FDA about the new supplier.

The first day with a cochlear implant

KTVB-TV offers a video report on an Idaho woman on the day her implant was turned on (captions included).

Running the London Marathon for Charity

Runners in Sunday's London Marathon are determined not to let the bombs that struck the Boston counterpart from stopping them. That includes the mother of a deaf toddler, who is running to to raise 2000 pounds for National Deaf Children’s Society. 34-year-old Lauren Rapacioli wants to give back to the charity for its help in understanding how to help her son. Bobby was diagnosed as profoundly deaf just a month after his birth. Rapacioli says she did not know anything about deaf children, but the NDCS stepped in to help her join a local support group for parents with deaf children. Find out more about her effort here.

NJ Big Sister of the Year

This big sister's mentoring goes beyond sign language for a deaf Newark girl whose parents don't know sign language. Read the story here.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Multimillion-Dollar Verdict Against Implant Maker

A Kentucky jury awarded more than $7 million to a cochlear implant recipient for getting a faulty device from Advanced Bionics in 2006, which is now owned by the Swiss company Sonova. This was a problem due to moisture within the HiRes 90K unit, a separate issue from the one that led to a worldwide recall in 2010. Sonova's stock was down in active trading following the decision. Sonova could appeal the decision.

Sorority for the Deaf

The first chapter of Alpha Sigma Theta was formed on the this date (April 17) in 1984. Students at the Rochester Institute of Technology started the first chapter to focus on the deaf community. The only chapter that remains active is on the campus of California State University at Northridge which was started in 1987. Six of the members are non-hearing members while there are 15 hearing members. The RIT chapter was suspended some two years ago for drug use during an event.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

DeafNation at Gally

DeafNation Expo hits Washington, DC this Saturday (April 20). Join the trade show for exhibitions and entertainment at no charge. You'll find it at Gallaudet University's Field House. Find out more here.

Happy Birthday... Russell Harvard

Harvard was born on this day (April 16, 1981) in Pasadena. The 32 year old has already made his mark in both film and stage. The Austin, Texas native grew up deaf, communicating in ASL and lip reading. Harvard’s mother was born deaf and did not learn sign until she was six years old. After playing roles in stage productions at Gallaudet such as Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, Harvard has had parts in CBS’ CSI: New York with Marlee Matlin and in Deaf West Theatre’s Sleeping Beauty. The actor played Daniel Day-Lewis’s grown son in the 2007 film There Will Be Blood. He played the role of Matt Hamil in the 2010 film The Hammer.  Harvard won a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Debut Performance in the Off Broadway show Tribes last year. He received a BA in Theater Arts from Gallaudet University in 2008.

Monday, April 15, 2013

USA Deaf Hockey Team: Making Noise Across the Globe

Imagine playing a hockey game and not being able to hear a teammate call your name for a pass. It’s almost hard to fathom. This shows how highly skilled and talented the deaf hockey players on team USA proved to be while representing their country. Read more here.

This Day in History

It was on this day (April 15) in 1817 that the American School for the Deaf, the first public school for the deaf, opened its doors. Founded by Laurent Clerc and Thomas Gallaudet, the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Connecticut is 195 years old.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sign Language and the Brain

What features of ASL have to say about how the brain processes language as described by Dr. Evie Malaia of the University of Texas at Arlington here.

Suit: Abuse at Deaf Facility

There are accusations of serious abuse against Florida's National Deaf Academy in Mount Dora, north of Orlando. Repeated violations have not been reported to state authorities, say two former employees. They accuse managers of covering up what's going on--including choking, punching and pinning patients during takedowns. Rooms are not cleaned while rotting food and insect infestations are common. Licensed clinical social worker Kyle Gilrain and licensed mental-health counselorCarol Savage filed the suit. The facility is operated by Pennsylvania's United Health Services which responded by saying:
The deaf academy “takes the safety and well-being of its patients and employees very seriously. There has been erroneous information circulating about the facility, regarding allegations of abuse and neglect. These allegations are unfounded and have been unsubstantiated by the state regulatory agencies.”
Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration has issued the facility citations for 95 violations this year. There have been hundreds of calls from the facility to police in the last few years because of fights, missing patients, and other problems.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Deaf Man Pleads Guilty to Sexting Girl

A deaf Ohio man pleaded guilty today to sending a preteen sexually explicit text messages. Stephen D’Andrea lives in Champion, not far from Youngstown, Ohio. Not only did he send the text to a 12-year-old girl, the 22 year old did the same thing to a 14-year-old girl. Police were contacted by the mother of the 12 year old. The charges were filed back in October but prosecutors said D’Andrea is only going to court now because of a delay in finding an court interpreter who is certified.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Deaf Cyclist Killed

A suspected hit-and-run driver is behind bars in the Atlanta suburb of Marietta. Damon Lautch was behind the wheel of a pickup truck that killed a deaf bicyclist yesterday. Joseph Gathambyri was on his way to work at a Burger King when he was hit by behind. Police believe Lautch has been drinking. Gathambyri was known to co-workers Deaf Joe and an aspiring rapper.

More info on Stabbing Suspect

We're learning more about the suspect in an attack on 14 people in Texas at a community college. Dylan Quick was born deaf but went through cochlear implant surgery at the age of seven. Police say he has admitted having fantasies of stabbing people since he was 8 years old and that he had been planning Tuesday's spree at Lone Star College "for some time. His mother home-schooled Quick until got him involved in Lone Star's library programs as a teen. Other students say Quick was friendly but often wore gloves and carried stuffed animals.

New Implant from MED-EL

Cochlear implant maker MED-EL is now offering a single-unit processor. The Austrian company got FDA approval in November and is now ready to offer this option to its customers. The new design of of the unit called RONDO puts everything - the mic, battery and coil into a single processor. There's no ear hook and the coil and cable are connected together, rather than coming separately. There is also a remote control that adjusts the volume and other aspects of the sound collected by the devise. Med-El is the third largest implant maker, behind Cochlear Limited of Australia and Advanced Bionics which is owned by a Swiss company, Sonova Holding. There's more information here.

Changes to ADA

The Federal government will unveil how it plans to changes ADA law in July. The Department of Justice updates will then be made official in December. Observers say the new rules are likely to broaden the guidelines on Website accessibility, especially to online shopping sites. This would include captions and spoken descriptions of photos. There's more information here.

TX Attacker: No show in court

The deaf man behind a series of stabbings in Texas did not come to court this morning but is now at a mental hospital. Below is a video report from KTRK-TV (or read the story here).

Deaf Student Stabs 14

A deaf student ran from a building-to-building in a stabbing attack at a Texas community college yesterday. Dylan Quick injured 14 people at Lone Star community college and told police of he had fantasies about stabbing people. The rampage only stopped because his knife broke off into back of one of his victims. The 20 year old was studying accounting at the Cypress, Texas. Quick was born deaf and at the age of 7 he received a cochlear implant. Here's a report from KHOU-TV in Houston.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

College to Offer Sign Classes

ASL classes are coming to Oregon State University this fall for the first time. A deaf instructor will provide instruction both online and on campus. Amy Lazzaretti will be coming to the school after having taught ASL for two decades at universities in New Jersey and California.

Deaf Truckers Get Shot at Big Rigs

For the first time, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is granting an exemption to a test that prevents the deaf from operating commercial trucks. It's called the “forced whisper test." The person being tested must be able to hear a whisper from five feet away. The exemption is being granted to 40 drivers who are deaf. After two years, the Administration will reconsider whether to extend it based on how well the drivers perform. The exemption overrides any conflicting state laws and regulations.

Monday, April 8, 2013

New Video conferencing Option

There's a new option for visual communications. FuzeBox is a San Francisco-based startup selling high-definition video-conferencing applications. Gallaudet University is using it to let users sign with one other--every faculty member and student has a free account. FuzeBox allows up to a dozen people to meet through video conferencing and present video, photos and presentations. The service costs about $15 a month or $828 a year for Business (the Enterprise version is a custom package that requires special pricing). Since FuzeBox operates in the cloud there is no hardware and starting sessions is quick. Here's a video introduction.

New MI Terp Test

A Michigan law is now requiring more education and testing for ASL interpreters. After June, to work in the state interpreters will have to either be nationally certified by passing exams from the National Center for Interpretation Testing or pass a new state exam. Some interpreters complain the state test is too focused on certain English language concepts. The Michigan Division on Deaf and Hard of Hearing reported just seven state-certified interpreters who could work in legal settings and 36 interpreters who could practice in medical settings in February. Detroit hospitals are already reporting interpreter shortages and longer wait times.

On this date...149 years ago today

On April 8, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed the charter to found Gallaudet University. Today is the anniversary of Gallaudet Charter Day.

Smaller Hearing Aids

What's the difference between hearing aids for those who've lost the entire range of sound frequencies and those with age-related hearing loss?  And what will newer, digital models do for you?  NPR explores the issue on its Morning Edition show by talking to experts at Gallaudet University:
Features like directional listening are possible because today's hearing aids are controlled by tiny computers that analyze and manipulate sound. This allows them to do things like reduce the drone of an air conditioner while amplifying speech sounds. Larry Medwetsky, an audiologist at Gallaudet says "I'm able to hear the instruments better," because of newer hearing aids. "I'm hearing a richness that I never heard before." Medwetsky's hearing aids have ear molds that completely fill the ear canal. That's the best solution for people like him who have hearing loss that affects the entire range of sound frequencies.
Listen or read the story from NPR here.

'Tribes' star talks Deaf Culture

Actor Russell Harvard about how deaf and hard-of-hearing children are raised, the importance of American Sign Language, lip-reading and new technology such as cochlear implants, and fear of losing deaf community culture. He says:
The funny thing is my mom decided to send me to an oral school. But I was not happy there. I remember crying and not wanting to go. They wouldn't let you sign at all, and you would have to speak all the time. It didn't feel right. My mom took me to a deaf school [that used ASL], and I was happy.
Read the full story here.

Deaf Toddler Hears Parents' Voices for 1st Time

A Houston-area toddler got his implant turned on Friday. KBTX-TV filed a video report here.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

New captioning rules start

New FCC captioning rules have kicked this month, requiring cable and broadcast stations to caption streaming video on the Internet. Some broadcasters are complaining it is taking more bandwidth and money than they initially expected. These new rules, part of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, only apply to full-length programs that were broadcast with captions. The clock has starting ticking on two other captioning deadlines:

1. Broadcasters will have a year to get all live or near live TV shows to have captioning when delivered online.

2. The other deadline is a requirement to get all archived online video originally broadcast with captions to be captioned whenever these videos are delivered over the internet. Video producers have two years to get this project complete.

There also has to be a mechanism for alleging violation of the rules.

Mississippi couple uses online translation tools to rescue deaf Chinese orphan

Phillip and Niki Smith were looking at photos of hard to place orphans online when they spotted Guan Ya. Find out how Google's translator helped bring them together here.

The Real Sounds Of Hearing Loss

To give hearing people a sample of how distorted hearing loss can can be, a hearing and speech researcher created several audio clips using the same spoken sentence, distorted in a different way. Find out more at NPR here.

The secrets of zebra fish

A researcher in Washington State thinks the study of miniature zebra fish could lead to the development of drugs that could prevent hearing loss. The fish use sound to communicate and their outer sensory cells are similar to cells found in the human ear. Allison Coffin assistant professor of neuroscience at Washington State University Vancouver is watching how the zebra fish cells die and how they might be protected. Here's a video of Coffin explaining her work.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Dear Netflix, We Can't Hear You! Signed, 50 Million Americans

An NPR commentator makes her case for captioning online videos here.

Signs of Success

A high school baseball player uses sign language along with ASL to communicate with teammates. Watch the video from San Diego's KSWB-TV (no captions) or you can read the story here.

Implant maker bought

A health care company in Denmark is buying a French manufacturer of cochlear implants. The William Demant Holding Group will pay 57.5 million euros for Neurelec. Demant already makes traditional hearing aids and bone-anchored hearing devices. Neurelec is a 2006 spin-off from MXM based in the Sophia Antipolis technology park in the south of France. It was the first to launch a fully digital cochlear implant in 1992. Demant has a quarter of the global bone-anchored hearing aid market while Neurelec has about a fifth of the French cochlear implant market but only 2% of the worldwide market. More than two-thirds of the worldwide market belongs to Australia's Cochlear while Med-El and Sonvo split most of the rest between them.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

New Okie Law

Oklahoma lawmakers approved a measure to give the Oklahoma School for the Deaf more leniency in making decisions for their students. Senate Bill 251 now waits on the Governor’s signature before becoming law. It allow the school to administer tests required for high school graduation, so it may give reasonable accommodations to students.

Disability benefits shake-up 'unfair' to deaf children

Plans to reform disability benefits in the UK will penalise deaf children, according to National Deaf Children's Society, a leading charity. Watch a Channel 4 video below.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Prosecutors: Bus driver solicited sex from teen

A 13-year-old girl with hearing loss says the man who drove her bus that took her to her Minnesota middle school says he told her that he was looking for a virgin to have sex with and hoped it would be her. There is a video report posted below on DeafNewsToday.com from KMSP-TV (no captioning, but you can read the story here).

KMSP-TV

Deaf Student Dies


An eighth grade student at The Learning Center for the Deaf in Framingham, Massachusetts as killed a week ago. Patrick Fischetti was 15 years old. Fischetti lived with his parents, Thomas and Elizabeth Fischetti in Shrewsbury. He fell ill at home.  You'll find information about funeral services here.

Update: An earlier version of the story said he was killed after bering struck by a car but that early report was incorrect. Also, the location of the school and parents has been corrected. 

DeafNation Expo in Michigan

DeafNation Expo hits Detroit this Saturday (April 6). Join the trade show for exhibitions and entertainment at no charge. You'll find it at Macomb Community College at the Sports & Expo Center. Find out more here.

Just the Facts: China

There are 28 million deaf people in China and 30,000 babies born without hearing each year.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Figure Skater Battles Hearing Loss

Danielle Fanelle works hours on the ice every day with a former Olympic skater. What makes this figure skater special in a video report from Philadelphia's WTXF-TV.

Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

Work on new implant in India

Clinical trials are starting in India for development of a new cochlear implant. The research is backed by the Indian government with work being done by the Rockland Group of Hospitals in the New Delhi area. The trials will be completed in two years and when it becomes available, the devise could cost as little as $2,500.

Carson Gets his implant

ABC News has a video report on a Georgia boy whose insurance company wouldn't pay for his implant surgery. Watch it below on DeafNewsToday or read the story here.

Low-cost Implant

A Chinese company is now making cochlear implants--for a lot less than others. Hangzhou Nurotron Biotechnology. The device runs about $16,000 which is less than half of the imports like Australia's Cochlear, Ltd, the market leader. Fan-Gang Zeng is director of the Center for Hearing Research at the University of California at Irvine and he started Hangzhou Nurotron Biotechnology 8 years ago. Most of the funds for the startup and research come from the Chinese government.