Friday, July 25, 2014

5 Reasons to Celebrate the 24th Anniversary of the ADA

President George H.W. Bush signed the ADA law 24 years ago tomorrow (July 26). Joe Entwisle offers 5 Reasons to Celebrate the 24th Anniversary of the ADA in a piece he wrote for the Huffington Post. He writes:
This July 26 is certainly a day for our nation to take stock of and celebrate our achievements. It is also an occasion to continue to push forward on progressive change and achieve the ADA's intended purpose: To fully integrate workers with disabilities into the broader fabric of community and make America a true leader in inclusivity and diversity.
Read the entire post here.

State Terp Contracting Leaves out Deaf

Deaf Oregonians are upset with how terps will be hired in the state. The very people who are supposed to benefit from the services are saying they've been left out of the process, accruing to the Statesmen Journal. Read the full details here.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A surprise in a hospital maternity ward

Two deaf sisters gave birth in an Ohio hospital’s maternity ward less than 24 hours a part, according to a local paper. “This is not something we see every day,” the nurse manager of maternity and pediatrics is quoted as saying. Read the full story here.

TN Hospital Sued by Patient's Family

A Tennessee hospital is being sued for failing to provide an interpreter to a deaf family. Harry Sheffield's family claims Erlanger Medical Center tried to communicate with him through written notes and video relay instead of hiring an interpreter. Things got worse, according to the lawsuit, when Sheffield's wife was admitted to the same hospital following a car accident, compounding the problems. Read more about the case at the website of the Disability Law & Advocacy Center, a Nashville organization that's helping the family. See the entire lawsuit here. Erlanger denies the allegations and plans to fight the lawsuit in court.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Judge Orders school to Accommodate Deaf Student

A judge is ordering a Yakima, Washington school to accommodate a deaf student while his case is heard. Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences accepted his application for enrollment and then withdrew it when administrators realized Zachary Featherstone was deaf. The judge granted the preliminary injunction because Featherstone is likely to win his case. The decision means Featherstone can start school August 4th along with other students. You can read the judge's decision here.

Debate over School for Deaf and Blind

The head of the West Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind is fighting with her staff over changes to their jobs. WHAG-TV has a video report posted below.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Deaf Toddler gets Brain Stem Implant

A two-year-old boy just had his brain stem implant turned on. A cochlear implant didn't work for Alex Frederick of Michigan. So his parents and doctors decided to try a brain stem implant. The procedure costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. It isn't approved for use in the U.S. yet, but is undergoing trials. ABC news followed Alex for half-a-year and provides a lengthy video report with captioning, which is posted below.

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Force for Deaf Education Passes

Rober Parara
Photo from NTID website
Deaf educator Robert Panara has died at the age of 94. He passed away of natural causes this past weekend in Rochester, New York. Panara taught at both Gallaudet University in Washington, DC and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, which he helped to found in Rochester. He also started Connecticut's National Theater of the Deaf.  Parana's full story is told in the book Teaching from Heart and Soul: The Robert F. Panara Storystarting with his loss of hearing at the age of 10 because of spinal meningitis.  NTID President Gerry Buckley says, "Bob's legacy is indeed vast. Thousands of students and graduates have been influenced by his genuine love of teaching and his generous sharing of his beliefs, values and knowledge." NTID plans a memorial for Panara in September. Read more at the NTID website here.

Former school employee arrested on molestation charge

She once worked for the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Now she's facing charges of lewd and lascivious molestation of a minor. WTEV-TV has a video report.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Terp suit filed in New Jersey

Some New Jersey authorities are getting sued for allegedly failing to provide interpreters for deaf drivers during traffic stops. John Buccieri Jr. filed the suit against the Toms River Police Department, the New Jersey Attorney General, and the Ocean County Jail. When Buccieri was pulled over a couple of years ago, according to the lawsuit, the officer did not get an interpreter for him--and neither did officers at the police station after he was arrested. Officials at the jail did where he was held overnight also failed to provide an interpreter. Read the full story at the New Jersey Law journal.

Kidnapping at Deaf Couple's Home a Hoax

Someone called the sheriff's dept. in Palmdale, Calif. to report a kidnapping this morning. It turned out to be a hoax, according to KABC-TV. Read the full story here.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Dog Saves Boy from Fire

A pit bull saved the life of a deaf teen, according to fire officials in Indianapolis. Ace licked the face of Nick Lamb, who was home alone and sleeping without his implants when a fire broke out. Below is a video report from the Indianapolis Star, provided by KTVU-TV. No captions but you can read the story here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Deaf councilwoman determined to get interpreters

Marisa Salzer will finally get the interpreters she requested. Salzer is a member of the Montesano, Washington city councilwoman and her requests for sign language interpreters during council meetings was ignored--until she complained to the state Human Rights Commission. KOMO-TV has a video report. Below that video is a report from KING-TV. Both videos have captioning.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Terp: No contest to child molestation charges

Adam Frogel mug shot
A one-time sign language interpreter has pled no contest in California to inappropriate sexual contact with two high school students. Adam Frogel worked for Sunbelt Staffing Company out of Florida when he was hired by the Salinas Union High School District as a contract educational interpreter. School administrators say they called police in March when Frogel's activity came to light. Read more about his arrest at the Salinas Police Dept. website here and his plea in the San Jose Mercury News here and the Cal. Coast News here.

Field of dreams for deaf players

The Mike Bush Fantasy Baseball Camp for the deaf and hard of hearing is underway in St. Peters, Missouri. Here's a video report from KSDK-TV. No captions but you can read the story here.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

new Kansas University Prez has ties to Gally

Lynne Murray
image from Baker University
The new president of Baker University has roots at Gallaudet. Before coming to the Baldwin City, Kansas school, Lynne Murray worked in development positions at Gallaudet, having earned her Doctorate in special education administration from Gally. Find out more about what led Murray to her new position in the Lawrence Journal-World.

FCC votes on requiring more captioning

The FCC voted unanimously yesterday to require closed-captioning be added to online video clips--if  those clips have already aired on TV. However, the rules do not apply to video that has never aired on TV. That includes shows airing only on Netflix or YouTube. The FCC also set up a timeline for broadcasters. They must add captions by January 1, 2016. A year from then (January 1, 2017) broadcasters must have captions on all montages.  Programming that aired live on TV (or nearly live) must be captioned by July of that year.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

DC newspaper offers editorial against captioning rules

The Washington Times has posted an editorial titled EDITORIAL: Captioning cat videos; The FCC wants every cute ‘meow’ thoroughly documented. The opinion piece comes as the FCC prepares to vote tomorrow on proposed captioning rules covering online video. The Times argues against the new rules, arguing,
"Federal intervention isn’t needed. The Internet is the great equalizer, inviting the blind, deaf and disabled, the lame and the halt, to participate in a global conversation with nobody needing to know the age, race, sex or handicap of participants. Government busybodies can’t resist the opportunity to tell people what to do. Two years ago, a federal judge cited the Americans with Disabilities Act, the law that tells supermarkets to install ramps enabling the wheelchair-bound to shop like the rest of us, to force Netflix, the video streaming giant, to caption its programming. This would have happened, anyway."
Read the full post here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Aussies debate whether to allow deaf jurors

Should Australian courts allow deaf citizens to serve on juries? That's what a professor at the University of New South Wales is hoping to find out during a mock trial that will take place in Sydney. The topic became a national issue when a Queensland judge ruled a deaf woman could not sit on a jury. You can read about that here. Two of the 15 jurors in the mock trial will be deaf. Read more details about the study in the Guardian here. The deaf started sitting on juries in the U.S. 24 years ago.

Driver hits boy on bike

A deaf teenager was struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike a week ago. Police in Grand Rapids, Michigan are now on the lookout for a two-door red Chevy pick-up truck. WXMI-TV has a video report posted below. No captions, but you can read the story here.

Saltdogs celebrate the deaf community

Lincoln, Nebraska's minor league baseball team held a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Awareness Night this week. KLKN-TV has a video report on Saltdogs posted below.

News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

New Rules for Federal Contractors are Providing Opportunities

Federal contractors are looking for ways to get the deaf into jobs more than ever before. That's because new rules kicked in this past March in an effort "to reduce high unemployment rates for veterans and people with disabilities, and strengthen contractors’ affirmative action and nondiscrimination policies." Contractors with more than 100 employees (like Royal Dutch Shell, AT&T and Dell) are expected to have 7 percent of its workforce made up of "veterans and individuals with disabilities." Read more about the impact these Labor Department guidelines are having in a story posted in the Buffalo News here.

Monday, July 7, 2014

‘Toxic’ culture at Scotland’s national deaf school

There's a “toxic culture bullying, lack of transparency and incompetence" at Scotland's national deaf school, according to senior staff. The Edinburgh News reports on a battle among administrators overs recent grievances following the conviction of a school worker for indecently assaulting an underage teen at the school in 2009. The paper quotes staff as saying, “The grievance and the issues surrounding it are still ongoing. This is about the wider governance of the school. It’s a toxic organisation – it’s in crisis and has been for quite some time. The staff want the grievance to be heard. We’re not interested in meetings." Read more here.

Montana School gets new leader

Donna Sorenson is going to be the next superintendent at the Montana School for the Deaf and the Blind. She's served as the outreach director for the school and has a degree from Gallaudet University. Read more about the appointment here.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Services for deaf under fire in New York

Members of the Deaf community in New York State, including the Empire State Association of the Deaf, want state lawmakers to pass a measure that would "require sign language interpreters to be licensed by the state and also would create a statewide commission to oversee their activities," reports the Times Union. Republican Joseph Robach introduced the bill, but it has stalled in the state senate. Read more in the Times Union here.

Vote Looms on Captioning Web videos

The FCC will make a decision on whether online video must include closed captioning this coming Friday. The vote is expected to be close, because two commission members are likely to vote in favor of the change and two others are likely to vote against it. Chairman Tom Wheeler supports the change and is quoted by Fox News as saying, “The commission previously adopted closed-captioning requirements for full-length video programming online. I propose...we go further and require captioning for video clips that end up on the Internet. Those who hear with their eyes should not be disadvantaged in their ability to access video information on the Internet.” Commissioner Mignon Clyburn is likely to cast the deciding vote Some business groups, like the National Association of Broadcasters either want the implementation to be slowed or object to it entirely, complaining about the technical difficulties of implementing it. Read more at Fox News and The Hill.

What Gally's high rate of forcible sexual assault may really mean

A review of reported sexual assaults on college campuses leads the Daily Beast to comment, "Gallaudet University’s high rate of forcible sexual assault may actually be a sign the campus is doing something right." Gallaudet spokeswoman Catherine Murphy says one reason the university has higher numbers than other schools is that “our students are more likely to go somewhere on campus and report [assault] than go to a hospital because they have direct access to someone who speaks American Sign Language." Read more here.

Signs Restaurant opens soon

A unique new restaurant opens in downtown Toronto July 23. Signs Restaurant says it is Canada’s first restaurant mostly staffed by deaf servers. The restaurant offers "upper casual dining" and it's  slogan is “where noise meets silence.” Customer will be asked to order in sign language. A book illustrating how to sign menu items will be available. The owner is Anjan Manikumar who learned ASL after watching deaf customers visit restaurants where he worked. Signs will have a hearing hostess greet guests and explain the set up. Check out the restaurant's Facebook page here. Below is a video about the restaurant.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Gally expands LGBTQA Resource Center

Gallaudet now has its first full-time staff member to coordinate an expanded Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning and Ally, according to the Washington Blade. Find out more about what's available at the resource center here.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


The 52nd Biennial National Association of the Deaf Conference is underway in Atlanta. It runs through Saturday at the Atlanta Hilton. For more information, click here.

Wonderful Moments in Captioning History

Buzzfeed has collected a series of screen shots showing outrageous closed captioning mistakes. Take a look here.