Saturday, December 31, 2016

1st Deaf Man to South Pole

(image from NASA)
Ian Berry become the first deaf man to walk to the South Pole on this day in 2009. The UK native dragged a sled across 112 miles of ice to raise more than $40,000 for the National Deaf Children's Society. The 43-year-old reached the pole on New Year's Eve as part of a five person team. Read more about his adventure here.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

College Football Player shows off ASL Skills

A video showing an Ohio State football player signing with two deaf fans got a lot of social media attention during the last month. The story behind the video from Ohio's Journal-News is here. Below is the video:

Video of SUV that killed deaf woman

DC police have released a video showing the SUV that may have hit and killed a deaf woman who was crossing a street. Jacqueline Cole was walking in a marked crosswalk when she was hit and the driver of the vehicle did not stop. Read more about it from the DC Police here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Doll With Cochlear Implants For Christmas

A little girl living near Oklahoma City wanted a doll for Christmas that looked like her, including her cochlear implants. Thanks to the work of a high schooler and a 3D printer, she got her wish. KWTV has a video report. - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Hit and Run Driver Kills Deaf Woman

The search is underway for the driver of an SUV that hit and killed a 54-year-old deaf woman early this morning in Northwest, DC. WUSA-TV has a video report here.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Protecting deaf children from abuse in TN

A Tennessee woman is hoping her effort in schools called The Sign Club will help deaf children not become isolated and more likely fall victim to sexual abuse. WSMV-TV in Nashville has a video report. No captions, but you can read the story here.

WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Gally's ASL poetry contest

An eighth-grader who attends the Iowa School for the Deaf student won Gallaudet University’s national American Sign Language poetry contest. Read more about the 13 year old who wrote the poem “Impressing the Girl” in the Omaha World-Herald here.

The First Deaf Player in the NFL

The first deaf player in the NFL ran onto the field for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1973. Bonnie Sloan and played in four games at defensive tackle and only lasted one season, because of knee injuries--but he had made his mark. Sloan was born on June 1, 1948 in Lebanon , TN and attended Austin Peay State. The next deaf player in the NFL was defensive lineman Kenny Walker who played college ball at Nebraska and then in 31 games for the Denver Broncos in 1991 and 1992. the third deaf player is Seattle Seahawks running back Derrick Coleman who entered the NFL in 2012, becoming the first deaf person to play offense in the league. Coleman is on the roster for today's Super Bowl. Read more about Bonnie in a Fox Sports article here.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Tim Tebow helps with adoption

Tim Tebow's foundation has helped a 4-year-old deaf boy in China be adopted by an American woman. Christine Mullican says, “I’ve always wanted to adopt. I just knew that’s how I wanted to build my family." Here's video about the adoption.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Deaf History...Artist William Agnew

Amateur artist William Agnew died on this day (Dec 21) in 1914. The deaf painter created a series of pictures (none of which survived) which made him famous, showing Queen Victoria using finger spelling to communicate with a deaf woman on the Isle of Wight. Educated at the Glasgow Institution where he took a leadership role as an adult, Agnew opposed the oral system in favor of signing.

Closed: Canada's first restaurant staffed mostly by deaf servers

A unique new restaurant opened in downtown Toronto in July of 2014. Signs Restaurant said it was going to be Canada's first restaurant mostly staffed by deaf servers. The restaurant closed last week, leaving some 40, mostly deaf, workers without jobs. Read more about what happened in MetroNews.

6-year-old Deaf Boy on ISIS Hit List

A six-year-old deaf boy is asking to stay in the UK. His family fled Northern Iraq when "ISIS ruled that disabled children should be killed by lethal injection." Read more in the Mirror.

Deaf Seattle worker Sues Cheesecake Factory

image by NightScream
The Cheesecake Factory is facing a federal lawsuit that claims the restaurant chain didn't provide an interpreter for a dishwasher in Seattle during disciplinary meetings. Oleg Ivanov was shown training videos without captioning and was later fired for missing a shift. Read more about the EEOC suit here.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Get to Know Gally's new Hillel Director

image from
Jacob Salem is the new Hillel director at Gallaudet University. Hillel is the largest Jewish campus organization in the world. The Washington Post profiled Salem since he's the first campus Hillel director to be deaf. Read about the challenges for Gallaudet's Jewish students here.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

FCC switching from TTY to Texting

The FCC has unanimously voted to move from TTY to RTT (real-time text messaging) as a standard for wireless carriers and device manufacturers. Among other things, the switch will "allow 911 operators to receive incomplete messages during an emergency." You can read the FCC order here or details about the issues including the history of the TTY here.

a Nyle DiMarco message

Nyle DiMarco has a message for hearing parents with a deaf child. And there's more help from the Nyle DiMarco Foundation here.

Deaf man proposes to girlfriend with Santa’s help

"A deaf couple became engaged with the help of Santa Claus at an Indiana mall this week," according to WANE–FM.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Happy Birthday, Curtis Pride

Image from Gallaudet University
Today is the 47th birthday of Curtis Pride. He was born on Dec 17, 1968 in Washington, D.C. The only deaf player in the major leagues during the modern era, Pride played for 11 years in the majors as an outfielder and pinch hitter and a dozen more in the minors. He hit 20 home runs in his 421 major league games with such teams as the Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox,  Atlanta Braves,New York Yankees, and Los Angeles Angels.  He was mainstreamed as a child, played multiple sports in high school, and graduated with a 3.6 GPA. Pride now coaches the Gallaudet University baseball team. He told Parade Magazine in 1994, "I never let my deafness hold me back. I never feel sorry for myself. Never. I know I have a disability. I've accepted it. I can't worry about it. I want to make the most of my life. And I am."

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Happy Birthday, Thomas Gallaudet!

Born - Philadelphia on December 10, 1787

Family - Oldest of 12 children

College - Attended Yale at age 14, graduating with highest honors at 17

Ministry - Ordained in 1814, sometimes preaching at church

Deaf Interest - Became interested in deaf issues when he met a 9-year-old deaf neighbor

School - Founded The American School for the Deaf during 1817 in Hartford, Connecticut

Travels - Learned the manual form of sign language used in France when he visited

Marriage - In 1821, he married a former student and had two sons

Edward - Gallaudet's son who founded Gallaudet University in Washington, DC

Thomas - Ordained as an Episcopal priest, working to provide religious services for the deaf

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Arts and Accessibility Event

CymaSpace is presenting a "showcase series celebrating the future of inclusive cultural events" December 11 in Portland. There will be "a fully accessible live performance with ASL interpreted performance, sound-reactive lighting, creative captions and more." The group's focus is "making cultural events inclusive for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing." There are more details here.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Getting to Know.. Dr House

It was on this date (Dec. 7, 2012) that Dr. William F. House died in Oregon at the age of 89. Dr. House is credited with installing the first cochlear implant in 1961. He was told by experts the electric current he was using would destroy the ear, but that didn't stop him. He believed in what implants could do to change someone's life. Here's a little about him.
  • Known as the "father of neurotology."
  • He recieved his dotorate in dentistry from the University of California at  Berkeley.
  • Practiced medicine in Newport Beach, California until 2000, when he moved to Aurora, Oregon, next door to his son.
  • His cochlear implant was approved by the FDA in 1984.
  • When he started performing the cochlear surgery on children some claimed he was just after money.
  • His half brother, Howard P. House founded the House Ear Institute which became the House Research Institute.
  • He completed some 3,000 implants throughout his career.
  • Developed a new approach to removing tumors on the nerve that connects the ear to the brain.
  • Created a new surgical procedure for Meniere's disease, an inner ear disorder contracted by Astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American in space. He couldn't have flown to the moon had it not been for House's surgery. He wrote a memoir called The Struggles of a Medical Innovator

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Coach Of The Year!

screen capture from ESPN video
The Oakland Raiders have named the coach of the California School For The Deaf its High School "Coach Of The Year." Warren Keller led the Eagles to a 11-2 record. That's an improvement over last year's record of 5 and 5. Read more from the Raiders' website here.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Happy Birthday, Linda the Librarian!

Linda Bove was born on this day (Nov 30) in 1945. She’s remembered as the deaf lady on Sesame Street. Bove was a regular on the show from 1971 to 2003 as Linda the Librarian, introducing thousands of children to sign language and deaf community issues. In 1991, she and her husband founded DeafWest, a resident sign-language theater in Los Angeles which has produced several award-winning shows. Here's a video of her from 2010 talking about Why We Need Deaf Actors in Deaf Roles.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

a technology to visualize sounds

"A deaf musician is creating a universal algorithm to make beautiful, visual music," reports Quartz. Watch a video about the work of Myles de Bastion and CymaSpace here.

NTID 1st Deaf Prof gets his own Postage Stamp

Robert Panara will be honored with a U.S. postage stamp. The stamp "shows Panara, who died in 2014 at 94, signing the word 'respect,'" according to the Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technical Institute for the Deaf. Read more about NTID's first deaf professor be-immortalized-postage-stamp">here.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Champions on the Football Field

A deaf school's football team is undefeated this season. WGNO-TV has a video report on the success of the the Louisiana School for the Deaf War Eagles and their female coach. No captions but there is some text here.

8 years ago today

William Gibson
On November 25, 2008, the man who wrote a famous play about Helen Keller called The Miracle Worker died. William Gibson's story of Helen Keller’s relationship with her teacher, Anne Sullivan, won the 1960 Tony Award for best play and is still regularly performed around the country in community theaters. Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke, played the stage roles of Sullivan and Keller, respectively. They went on to win Academy Awards when repeating the parts for the film version in 1962. Mr. Gibson was nominated for an Oscar for his screenplay. Twenty years later, he wrote a sequel about Sullivan called The Monday After the Miracle but it flopped on Broadway. Gibson died at the age of 94 in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Deaf man sues Florida over truck driving license

"A Central Florida man said the state of Florida is discriminating against him-- it won't let him take the test to obtain his commercial driver's license because he is deaf," reports WKMG-TV. Here's a video report.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Birthday Mojo!

Mojo Mathers is 50 years old today (born Nov 23, 1966). She became the first member of New Zealand's parliament when she ran as a Green candidate in 2011. New Zealand became the first country to adopt sign language as an official language in 2006. Some 25,000 people use sign language in the country. The New Zealand government provides interpreters in Parliament as well as for major speeches and announcements.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Settlement for Deaf Man Jailed for 40 days

The Arlington County jail will pay Abreham Zemedagegehu $250,000 as part of a settlement for leaving him behind bars for 40 days without an interpreter. WJIA-TV has more of the Ethiopian immigrant's story here.

Friday, November 18, 2016

5 Years for Molesting Teen

A Chicago-area man will spend five years behind bars for sexually assaulting a deaf teen. The Daily Herald has more on the story here.

Vice: Why the Deaf Community Fears President Trump

Deaf novelist Sara Nović explains why the Deaf Community is concerned about what may lie ahead for them during a Trump presidency. She explains how potential budget cuts, a roll back of ADA enforcement and changes to health care coverage leaves many fearful in a Vice article here.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

deaf literacy vital for blended families

"Research shows that a lack of early access to visual language, like ASL, can limit literacy for the rest of a person’s life," reports Minnesota Daily. "That’s why University of Minnesota associate professor of deaf education Debbie Golos created a set of online resources in 2010 to help children and adults learn language visually." Read about her effort here.

Monday, November 14, 2016

On this day in History… 50 years ago

It was on this date in 1966 (Nov 14) Congressman Hugh Carey announced that Rochester, New York would be the site of a new college. The National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) admitted its first students in 1968. It is one of nine colleges located at the Rochester Institute of Technology. There There are now more than 1500 students and about 600 faculty and staff. More than one-in-five of the students has a cochlear implant. Less than one-in-five of the faculty and staff are deaf or hard-of-hearing. There is a year budget of $89 million to run the school. $65 million of that comes in the form of federal funds.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Lawsuit: Sports Arena not ADA complient

A class action lawsuit has been filed against a Denver arena. The jumbotron at the Pepsi Center could provide captioning.. but doesn't. A deaf woman is suing after a year of trying to get that changed. KDVR-TV has a video report.. that ironically doesn't include captioning. But you can read the story here.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Video of Arrest of Deaf Man Outrages Activists

A video of Toronto area police officers arresting a deaf man in Canada has gone viral and outraged activists. A police officer repeatedly tells a deaf man to turn around and put his hands behind his back.. while the deaf man makes a writing motion to the officer. The man is soon taken down and handcuffed. You can see the video and a story about it from the CBC here.

#NoMoreCraptions movement

"A new campaign dubbed #NoMoreCraptions is calling out 'crappy' captions on YouTube, where creators are asking each other to make their content more accessible by writing their own captions on their videos," reports Mashable. Read the full story here.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Goal for 1st deaf student at Miami Culinary School: Top Chef

Joselyn Escobar is the Miami Culinary Institute’s first deaf student. The Miami Herald shares her journey in this article here. Below is a video about her effort.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Can deep learning help solve lip reading?

A new lip-reading program called LipNet was able to "outperform experienced lip readers to a significant degree, achieving 93.4 percent accuracy in certain tests, compared to 52.3 percent accuracy from human lip readers." The Verge has a story about the research here. A video about the Artificial Intelligence built on deep learning is below.

Students get to Vote

Some students from the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind got a chance to cast their ballot for the first time today. KRDO-TV has the full story in a video report here.

A 1st for a Deaf Canadian

Jonathon Anderson is the first deaf Canadian iron worker to earn a red seal certificate. "The national designation lets qualified tradespeople use their skills anywhere in the country, something Anderson said he’s very proud of," reports CTV. Here's a video report.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

"Strange and illogical" Hollywood stereotypes

from the Ruderman Family Foundation 
Acadamy Award winner Marlee Matlin took part in a panel at the Ruderman Studio-Wide Roundtable on Disability Inclusion in Los Angeles. Matlin, along with other actors and filmmakers debunked some of the weird myths and preconceptions they had to work around in their careers. Read the full story from BuzzFeed here.

Deaf man wins $400k in lawsuit

A former Oregon inmate has won $400k in a jury verdict against the Oregon Department of Corrections. David VanValkenburg claimed the state "didn’t provide him with a qualified interpreter for prison medical appointments and denied him a prison job and a class to help him prepare for his release." KEZI-TV has a video report.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Meet Gallaudet's 1st Female Deaf President

Roberta Cordano explains how she plans to approach her new job of leading Gallaudet University.. and why she never attended the school herself in a Washington Post article here.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Roll Tide!

Issues related to the deaf community at the University of Alabama is featured in an article in the student newspaper of the school. Read what The Crimson White has to say about accessibility and education here.

The Who’s Tommy

American Sign Language is integrated into a stage presentation of “The Who’s Tommy” playing now at the Silver Spring Black Box Theatre in the DC suburbs. It started this past Friday and runs through Nov. 20. The Washington Post has an article about the play here. There's info on tickets here.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Deaf Football Team gets National Attention

ESPN2 broadcast the latest game of the California School for the Deaf's football team in Fremont this past Thursday. KTVU has a video report on undefeated Eagles.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Deaf School visits College Football Team

The Louisiana School for the Deaf visited the LSU football team during practice Wednesday. SEC Country has more, including a video here.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Video of Road Rage that leaves Deaf man Dead

Cellphone video shows Paul Peterman trying to get into the car of another driver during a road rage incident. Peterman is deaf and ended up dead following a confrontation of a Florida firefighter. The Daily Mail has more here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Mickey D's pay up for ADA violation

McDonald's is settling an ADA complaint for just over $56k. Ricky Washington, who is deaf, applied for a job at a Mickey D's in Belton, Missouri back in 2012. The restaurant manager refused to interview him, even though he had previous experience, because he needed a sign language interpreter for his interview. Read the original complaint here.

Monday, October 17, 2016

how Helen learned to speak

Watch Helen Keller and Teacher Annie Sullivan demonstrate how Helen learned to speak. This video was recorded in 1930.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

More on Road Rage Death

We're learning more about the events that led up to the death of a Florida deaf man. Paul Peterman was on his way to work when he got into a confrontation with another man, Joshua Tullis. Both men stopped on the side of the road and Tullis says he has a video that shows part of what happened. WPLG-TV has a report here.

More on Road Rage Death

We're learning more about the events that led up to the death of a Florida deaf man. Paul Peterman was on his way to work when he got into a confrontation with another man, Joshua Tullis. Both men stopped on the side of the road and Tullis says he has a video that shows part of what happened. WPLG-TV has a report here.

More on Road Rage Death

We're learning more about the events that led up to the death of a Florida deaf man. Paul Peterman was on his way to work when he got into a confrontation with another man, Joshua Tullis. Both men stopped on the side of the road and Tullis says he has a video that shows part of what happened. WPLG-TV has a report here.

Marlee Matlin on Trump Insult

image from
Academy-Award winner Marlee Matlin is speaking out about reports that Donald Trump called her "retarded" while she was a contestant on The Apprentice. Matlin told her Twitter followers, "The fact that we are talking about this during a very important moment in American history has upset me deeply." Read more from ET here.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Road Rage leaves Deaf man Dead

A deaf man is dead after a road rage incident Thursday in the Miami area. WSVN-TV has a video report.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Report: Trump called Marlee Matlin "retarded"

Donald Trump called a Academy Award winning actress Marlee Matlin "retarded" according to three sources who spoke anonymously with The Daily Beast. The deaf actress competed on Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice in 2011. The information came from longtime staffers of the show who said Trump would make fun of her voice. One staffer said when he did this in front of her "she stood up for herself." Read the full story here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Helen Keller's Handwriting

Helen Keller had impeccable handwriting. Open Culture has a Collection of Her Childhood Letters here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

ASL Pop Art exhibit

"Being hard of hearing and raised by Deaf parents, James Van Manen grew up with ASL as his first language. He combines his experience in the Deaf community with his love for pop art in the exhibit, titled 'ASL Pop Art'" reports the Columbia Chronicle. Read more about the Chicago exhibit here.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Burned Texas Boy in Coma

A hard-of-hearing boy is in a Texas hospital after he was set on fire by bullies, according to relatives. They tell MySA that he was often picked on by these playmates but fire officials dispute that version of what happened. Kayden Culp is just 10 years old and was put into an induced coma because a fifth of his body is covered in burns. KENS-TV has more in a video report. No captions but there's text here.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Former employee of deaf school charged with fraud

Prosecutors say Leslie Sue White stole money from the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind. White was a financial analyst who had worked for the school in some capacity for 17 years. She is accused of taking $67,000 from school accounts. The Desert News has the full story here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Gallaudet to inaugurate new president

image of Bobbi Cordano from
Gallaudet will inaugurate Bobbi Cordano as its first deaf female president this coming Friday.  She then begins her term as the college’s 11th president in January.  Lisa Kauppinen of the World Federation of the Deaf will speak at Friday's event and members of Deaf West Theatre will perform. If you want to watch Friday, Cordano's inauguration will be live streamed here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Support for deaf woman refused service

A deaf woman who was outraged by the way a Massachusetts Dunkin Donuts employee treated her is getting support from her community, reports WFXT-TV.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

College: We'd rather remove videos than make them accessable

A California university would rather remove its online videos rather than accurately caption them and make them accessable to everyone. That's basically what administrators at the University of California at Berkeley are telling the Justice Department. A statement released by the school (which you can read here) says a final decision has not be made but that Berkeley things it's too expensive to make the online material accessible, even if it is a violation of ADA law not to make it accessible. The statement says:
In many cases the requirements proposed by the department would require the university to implement extremely expensive measures to continue to make these resources available to the public for free. We believe that in a time of substantial budget deficits and shrinking state financial support, our first obligation is to use our limited resources to support our enrolled students. Therefore, we must strongly consider the unenviable option of whether to remove content from public access.
The controversy began when a faculty member and a student at Gallaudet University complained. Not only do many of Berkeley's videos lack captioning, much of the captioning that is available is inaccurate. The material is also not accessable for those who are blind.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Deaf Teen Shot & Killed after High School Game

A deaf basketball player was killed Friday following a high school football game in California. A gunman approached Desean Welch and Lamar Francis. "This boy was talking. I told him that we're deaf. I cannot understand. I cannot read lips," Francis told KABC-TV. That's when the gunman shot Desean Welch who played basketball at the California School for the Deaf in Riverside. Here's KABC's video report.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Deaf Expo in Arizona

The Northern Arizona Deaf Expo will be in Flagstaff this coming Saturday (Sept. 24) at Coconino Community College. Find out more in the Arizona Daily Sun.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

First deaf actor to portray Quasimodo

Deaf actor John McGinty is playing Quasimodo in the Los Angeles premiere of Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. McGinty is "the first deaf actor to portray Quasimodo, despite the character being deaf in Victor Hugo’s novel," reports the LA Weekly.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Lawsuit: Deaf Boy Handcuffed

The Kansas City public schools system is getting sued by an angry mother. A school resource officer handcuffed her deaf, 7-year-old son, according the lawsuit filed by the ACLU, which you can read here. WDAF-TV has a video report.

On this day in History.. Miss America

On Sept. 17, 1994, Heather Whitestone of Alabama became the first deaf Miss America.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Iowa Deaf Community wins battle with Theater Co.

An Iowa theater has put off production of the stage show Tribes until deaf actors can be found. The Deaf community in Cedar Rapids did not support the play because a hearing person had been cast in the main role of a deaf person. Here's more in a video report from KCRG-TV.

This Day in History--the 1st deaf player in the NFL

Bonnie Sloan in the NFL
On this date (Sept. 16) in 1973, the first deaf player ran onto the field for the St. Louis Cardinals against the Philadelphia Eagles. Bonnie Sloan played in four games at defensive tackle and only lasted one season, because of knee injuries, but he had made his mark at the age of 25. The 6-foot-5, 260-pounder was a 10th-round draft pick out of Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, where he was the first player to bench press 500 pounds. Sloan was an All-Ohio Valley Conference defensive tackle at the college. The City of Hendersonville, Tennessee honored him by declaring a Bonnie Sloan Day. After Sloan came defensive lineman Kenny Walker. He played college ball at Nebraska and played in 31 games for the Denver Broncos in 1991 and 1992. Seattle Seahawks running back Derrick Coleman entered the NFL in 2012, becoming the first deaf person to play offense in the league. Coleman was on the roster for the 2014 Super Bowl pitting Seattle against Denver.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

"I'm a deaf actor. That shouldn't define me"

Genevieve Barr talks about what it's like being a deaf actor in a Guardian opinion piece today. She writes:
In the same way that being deaf doesn’t define all that I am as a person, I don’t want it to define the roles I play. It’s an incredibly limiting way to live and to work. And because I have a disability that I cannot hide (or fully disguise), that means I stay firmly in the bracket of “deaf actor”, rather than “actor”. In the rigidity of the casting process, that can mean fewer than 10 auditions per year.
Read the full article here.

Deaf Woman Refused Service

Dunkin' Donuts is apologizing to a deaf Massachusetts woman who was refused service. WFXT-TV has Jessica Sanzillo's story.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

NBC doing show on Louisiana School for Deaf football team

The football team at the Louisiana School for the Deaf NBC’s weekend Today program, tentatively set for Sunday. They are aiming at another national championship even while dealing with flooding in Lousiana. Read about it in the Baton Rouge Advocate here.

Monday, September 5, 2016

The cost for deaf inmates to make calls to family is outragious

As expensive and arduous it is for inmates communicate with their families "deaf inmates have it far worse. The technology is often too expensive, outdated or in disrepair," reports Jack Smith IV in Mic. He quotes an activist as saying, "It takes a deaf person three times as long as other people to make those calls. So you have deaf people paying $700, $800 a month just to talk to their husband or wife." Read the full story here.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Ingrid Michaelson and Deaf West

Indie pop artist Ingrid Michaelson performed her new song ‘Hell No’ with members of Deaf West Theatre this past Friday on NBC's Today Show. The song is part of her album, “It Doesn’t Have To Make Sense." Here's the video.

Bullies dump deaf student's backpack in toilet

A Nebraska high school senior had his backpack stolen and dumped into a toilet. It has his tablet, school supplies, homework and debit card.. and his cochlear implant. KMTV has a video report here.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

On this date... 25 years ago

It was on Sept 26, 1991 that first major American TV show to feature a deaf or hard of hearing actor in a lead role debuted. The NBC police drama Reasonable Doubts ran from 1991–1993 and starred academy award winner Marlee Matlin as Tess Kaufman, a prosecutor who protected the rights of the accused. In 1994, she joined the cast of Picket Fences for a couple of seasons. The Seinfeld TV show made a nod to Reasonable Doubts during an episode called The Pitch. When Jerry and George visit NBC they sit under a poster showing Mark Harmon and Marlee Matlin was on the wall of Seinfeld episode.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Police calls released in Charlotte Shooting

We now have the radio communications between the state trooper who shot a deaf man and his dispatch unit in Charlotte, North Carolina. The tapes indicate that Daniel Harris led officers on a 100 mph highway chase before it ended. WSOC-TV has video report (posted below) or you can read the story here.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Texas Deaf man looks to hold educational events with Police

John Sidener tells KWTX, "I've been here in Waco many years. The police are not being helpful, there's been no improvement in that..Usually what I do when I pull over I immediately reach up to my placard that says I'm deaf and those kind of things that I get my drivers license and everything ready I'm hoping that I will avoid being shot." Sidener wants to see relations between the Deaf community and Waco police improve. KWTX has a video report.

Police Interactions with the Deaf in NC

With the death of a deaf man after a traffic stop in North Carolina, WTVD-TV "reached out to the sheriff's offices of Cumberland, Durham, and Wake counties, as well as the police departments of the city of Durham, Fayetteville, and Raleigh to ask about their policies and practices when it comes to the deaf community." Read their responses here.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Head of Cali Deaf School out

Following protests by parents, teachers, and staff members the California School for the Deaf, Sean Virnig is no longer leading the school. He was its first deaf superintendent. Read more from the Mercury News here.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Player ordered off court over Implant

A basketball referee at a Kentucky middle school told a player she would have to leave a game because of her cochlear implant. She stayed off the court until someone showed him the rule book. KFOR-TV has a video report. | Continuous News and StormTracker Weather

Friday, August 26, 2016

Driving while Deaf

Inside Edition gets some driving tips for deaf drivers in this video.

Video: Part of Chase that ended with Deaf Man's Death

New video shows part of chase before a North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper shot and killed a deaf man last week. WSOC-TV has a report.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Talking to kids about sex in ASL

Talking about sex can be awkward, especially in sign language. NPR quotes the director of health and wellness programs at Gallaudet as saying:
The great thing about ASL though is, I can finger-spell herpes and then I can be more descriptive using my hands. So I can provide a visual access to what it looks like, to the symptoms that it might cause by using hands, which is a definite advantage for the deaf community over the hearing community.
Read more of the story here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Memorial Service for Daniel Harris

A memorial service was held for Daniel Harris last night. He was shot Thursday by a North Carolina state trooper. CBS News has a video report (no captions).

NTID wins college bowl-again

The winner of this year's Deaf College Bowl competition, for the third time in a row, is a team from Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf. Student team member Eric Epstein says “The weekly practice throughout the year paid off big time. I am so proud of my teammates for their yearlong efforts in studying. I look forward to the next generation of Tigers who will undoubtedly defend the bowl.” Read more here.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Deaf man sues Louisiana, Jefferson Parish for discrimination

A Louisiana man is suing for not getting proper accommodations under ADA law while in police custody. The Times—Picayune has the story here.

Waiting for Answers in Charlotte Shooting

We're still waiting for North Carolina state troopers to explain why one of its officers shot and killed an unarmed deaf man last Thursday. An online crowdfunding campaign set up in his name here. WSOC-TV has a video report.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Controversy at State Deaf School reaching "boiling point"

Faculty and parents of students at the California School for the Deaf in Fremont want to see someone new at the helm when fall classes start on Monday. KGO-TV has a video report.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Questions Remain in NC police shooting

There are many unanswered questions as to why a deaf man was shot and killed Thursday in North Carolina by state troopers. About the only new information authorities have released is his name: Daniel Kevin Harris. The Associated Press sums up what information we have here.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Man fatally shot by state trooper

Here's another video report on the 29-year-old deaf man who was fatally shot by state troopers. This report is from WBTV.

| WBTV Charlotte

Troopers Kill Deaf man following Car Chase

North Carolina state troopers shot and killed a Charlotte man last night after he didn't stop when they tried to pull him over. WSOC-TV has a video report.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Stand up not always accommodating

Tom Willard
(from a WROC report)
A comedian in Rochester, New York says one comedy club won't pay for him to have sign language interpreters, even though ADA law requires it. WROC-TV has a video report on Tom Willard here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Deaf Actor to play Quasimodo

Deaf actor John McGinty is set to play Quasimodo in the Los Angeles premiere of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. His singing voice will be performed by Dino Nicandros. The show will debut at the La Mirada Theatre For The Performing Arts on September 16 and run through October 9. Read more at PlayBill and buy tickets here.

Lawsuit: Hotel sued over Accomodations

A Southern California Travelodge is being sued by a New York woman who says she was not provided appropriate accomodations. Naomi Sheneman is deaf and says the hotel wanted to charge her for service dog before she was given a room and Sheneman's lawsuit says that's illegal. Her attorneys, Eisenberg & Baum of New York, released this statement:
It is disturbing in 2016 that people could actually be refused access to hotels on basis of their deafness. Our client has brought this lawsuit not only to redress the discrimination that already occurred, but to ensure that any other Deaf individuals that seek access to hotels with service animals will not be discriminated against. There is no excuse that Travelodge cannot be accessible to Deaf individuals with service animals. Their lack of awareness for the need to properly accommodate the Deaf community cannot continue.
Traveloge has not yet responded to the suit.

Lawsuit: Failure to accommodate deaf movie-goers

A Michigan man is suing a movie theater company for not providing captioning options for the deaf at the theater it owns that's closest to him despite numerous requests. Read the lawsuit here or watch a video report from WXMI-TV. No captions but you can read the story here.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Meet the Deaf Poets Society

The Deaf Poets Society is a new digital literary magazine based out of Maryland. Magazine founder Sarah Katz tells PBS, “There’s been a lot of controversy about how people with disabilities are represented in the literary community, and whether publishers are really giving a platform for disabled writers, and also the diversity of disability literature.” Read more from PBS here or check out the Deaf Poets Society page here.

Judge: Expect very significant prison sentences

Two sisters from the Herefordshire area of England were told by a judge to "expect very significant prison sentences" when they are sentenced next month. The two were convicted of sexually abusing a boy. The Sun has the story here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Update on "Fired for Being Deaf?"

Here's a follow-up on the story "Fired for Being Deaf?" It's a complete turn-around in Dickson, Tennessee. As we reported yesterday, Kami Tucker and her sister were fired from an Auntie Anne's store as a new owner was taking over the franchise. When the corporate office found out what happened, it issued a statement saying it would take ownership of the store itself, starting this Friday. Read the Auntie Anne's statement here and more details at the Tennessean here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Fired for being deaf?

A manager at the Auntie Anne's pretzel restaurant in Tennessee "says her sister was fired for being deaf and she was fired for sticking up for her," according to FOX17 Nashville. Kami Watkins Tucker posted her story on Facebook. Read more details here.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Couple Adopts from China

A New Jersey deaf couple has adopted a five-year-old boy from China. The Asbury Park Press has a video. There are no captions but you can read the story here.

Friday, August 5, 2016

A Tour Of The West Wing (In Sign Language)

The White House released this video of its first deaf receptionist giving a tour of the West Wing.

How to Read Lips

It is possible to listen with your eyes, reports the New York Times Magazine. In fact, the part of the brain that processes sound is active in lip readers. The news outlet offers lip reading tips from the chair of Britain’s Association of Teachers of Lipreading to Adults here.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Happy Birthday Bob Hiltermann!

Deaf since the age of 4, Bob Hiltermann was born on this day (August 1, 1952) in Germany, the tenth of eleven children born. A bout with meningitis left him deaf but he wasn't diagnosed until the age of ten. Hiltermann learned ASL while attending Gallaudet University in Washington, DC and later formed MuSign (a Signing/Mime company). He acted with Marlee Matlin in Children of a Lesser God, was featured in See What I'm Saying and The Hammer, he created ASL videos called Shut Up and Sign and is drummer for Beethoven's Nightmare.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

School to caption sports videos

The University of Maryland will caption new videos on its websites and YouTube channel. It's part of an agreement to settle a lawsuit filed three years ago. The school has agreed to also caption old videos more than 10 minutes long. Read the full story from the Daily Record here.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

First deaf woman to win gold at martial arts championship

Safarri Jessop "is the newest world champion in Hosinsul Weapon, which involves self-defense with swords, winning a gold medal at the 2016 PanAm Mulimpia Championships in Las Vegas" reports KSL-TV. She says,"I went to the USA Haidong Gumdo (Korean sword fighting) championship in 2011 and I never met anyone who is deaf and is completing in it." Below is a video of her at the competition and read the full story here.

First deaf woman to win gold at martial arts championship

Safarri Jessop "is the newest world champion in Hosinsul Weapon, which involves self-defense with swords, winning a gold medal at the 2016 PanAm Mulimpia Championships in Las Vegas" reports KSL-TV. She says,"I went to the USA Haidong Gumdo (Korean sword fighting) championship in 2011 and I never met anyone who is deaf and is completing in it." Below is a video of her at the competition and read the full story here.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Home Invasion

Three men broke to into a couple's home, robbing and beating them. Now the elderly Mississippi couple is speaking out. WCMH—TV has a video report.

Deal cut in Deaf School Aide’s Sex Assaut Case

A former Maryland School for the Deaf aide is out of jail after facing sexual assault charges. Read the details from the Associated Press here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

On this date ADA becomes law

It was on this day (July 25 in 1990 that President George H.W. Bush signed the American Disablity Act into law. Senator Tom Harkin says the ADA law was inspired by his deaf brother. The Iowa Democrat says watching his brother, Frank, struggle against social barriers motivated him to push the ADA bill through the U.S. Congress. The law prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training and other conditions and privileges of employment. You can watch the signing by clicking here (no captions).

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sound Processing nearly identical in hearing and deaf people

The part of the brain that processes sound is virtually identical in profoundly deaf and hearing people," according to a new study reported in the Harvard Gazette. One of the study's authors says:
One reason this is interesting is because we don’t know what causes the brain to organize the way it does. How important is each person’s experience for their brain development? In audition, a lot is known about [how it works] in hearing people, and in animals.. but we don’t know whether the same organization is retained in congenitally deaf people.
The study is published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Auditors: $67K Stolen from School

A former employee at the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind is being accused of stealing more than $67K, according to a report released by the Office of the Utah State Auditor. KUTV has a video report but the TV station did not caption the story.

Home Invasion: Couple Assaulted

Three Mississippians are behind bars for breaking into a home and assaulting a deaf couple. WMC-TV has a video report.

WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Monday, July 18, 2016

Rushed to a Hospital but no Terp Available

A teenager responded to the pleas of a deaf woman on Facebook last Friday. Mark Toner was taken to the hospital with a suspected heart attack but there was no interpreter available. So his wife reached out on social media. 14-year-old Kelci Adams responded. Read about why it happened from CBC News here.

The Stars Come out for Starkey

Last night celebrities came to St. Paul, Minnesota to support the Starkey Hearing Foundation. Each year the organization holds a Gala to raise money for hearing aids. Millions of dollars are given as a result. Among this year's celebrities were Johnny Depp, Jennifer Garner, Alice Cooper, John Mellencamp, and Jay Leno among others. KARE-TV has this video of celebrities arriving.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Gally Presidents Signing

Ever wonder how well the presidents of Gallaudet University signed? Here's a video put together by Robert T. Sirvage and Paul K. Simmons showing all but one of the Gally presidents from 1864 to 2016.

The Struggle for Medical Care

The lack of adequate interpreter services is an ongoing problem for the Deaf in the U.S. when it comes to getting proper medical care. Complaints and lawsuits are all too common. The Sacramento Bee quotes the NAD's Howard Rosenblum as saying that Hospitals, medical centers and doctors’ offices are the “worst in failing to provide effective communications to deaf and hard of hearing individuals." Read the full story here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Deaf Customer Sues Taco Bell

A New Jersey woman is suing Taco Bell. Gina Cirrincione is "claiming she had difficulty being served at the drive-thru window at two locations because she is deaf." You can see what happened in the video below (no captions) or read the story here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

What it's like for a Couple to host a Deaf Orphan

The man with Usher syndrome, his wife the sign language interpreter and the hosting program that brought a deaf orphan from Eastern European their way. Read their story in San Diego's local newspaper here.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Former Major Leaguer Wows in Celebrity Game

Curtis Pride
(image from
Curtis Pride took part in last night's MLB Celebrity Softball game in San Diego along with Hall of Famers and Oscar winners. The deaf former major leaguer hit a two-run homer and also saved an extra base hit with a spectacular catch in left field. He was mobbed by teammates after his heroics. Pride helped his American League team beat the National League team by a score of 8-7. If you want to see for yourself, ESPN will broadcast the game after tonight's Home Run Derby.

deaf-blind lawyer speaks out about apps

The first deaf-blind person to graduate from Harvard Law is on a mission to get more developers to design software with people with disabilities in mind. Haben Girma spoke with CNN about apps and says, "I try to always have a keyboard, braille display, Apple Watch, iPhone and guide dog with me at all times, but it doesn't always work out." Read the full story here.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

On this Day.. Ed Dundon was born

Ed "Dummy" Dundon was the first deaf player to play baseball professionally. He was born on this day (July 10) in 1859. After attending the Ohio State School for the Deaf, Dundon went on to play several years of professional baseball. He had two seasons with the Columbus Buckeyes before retiring and becoming an umpire. During his hitch with the Buckeyes in 1883 and 1884, Dundon had a record of 9-20 and a 4.25 ERA.

On this Date... Sentenced to Life in Prison

It was on this date (July 10) in 2002 that a District of Columbia judge sentenced Joseph Mesa, Jr. to six life terms without the possibility of parole for the murders of two Gallaudet classmates. The 22-year-old from Guam was convicted of first beating Eric Plunkett to death in September of 2000 and then stabbing Benjamin Varner to death in February of 2001. Both attacks took place in Gallaudet dorm rooms. Mesa took money from both victims, but turned himself in to police a few days after killing Varners. Pleading not guilty by reason of insanity, Mesa told jurors he saw hands wearing black gloves telling him in sign language to kill the 19 year olds. Mesa's defense attorney suggested that the attack on Plunkett was prompted by rage over an unwanted homosexual advance. Mesa was convicted him on all 15 counts. Mesa is now serving time at the United States Penitentiary in Atwater, California near San Francisco, a high security facility.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Nyle DiMarco Slams Fox News

Nyle DiMarco took to Twitter to complain about a Fox News opinion piece titled "When It Comes to Hillary Clinton, American Justice Is Blind, Deaf and Dumb." The Dancing with the Stars celebrity wrote: "Fox News, I don't appreciate 'Blind, Deaf, and Dumb. I'm Deaf and I'm not ignorant at all." Read more about it here.

Deaf baristas in TX

KHOU-TV featured a Starbucks in Houston with several deaf employees.

Deaf Player taking Part in MLB All-Star Festivities

image from 
One of the few deaf player in major league baseball will play in Major League Baseball's All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game this Sunday in San Diego. Curtis Pride spent more than a decade in the majors. When he retired, Pride became the head coach at Gallaudet University, also serving as the
MLB Ambassador for Inclusion.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Driver's License Rules Have Changed in Ohio

The Deaf and hard of hearing can now get a commercial driver’s license in Ohio. It's one of the first states to use a waiver from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. At least 10 people have started the process, according to The Columbus Dispatch. Read the full story here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Canada's first deaf Priest

Canada's first deaf Roman Catholic priest was ordained in 2012. Raised a Baptist in Michigan, Hysell made the decision to become a priest as a teenager after reading about the priesthood in school. He graduated from City University in New York, then earned a master's in theology from a California program. He next moved to Edmonton to study at Newman Theological College. Hysell celebrates mass using sign language.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Instructor at deaf school killed in crash

A Utah teacher for the deaf was killed in a Salt Lake City car accident last week.  Ellen O'Hara-Hanna taught for Utah Schools for the Deaf Blind at Jean Massieu School in Salt Lake City. Here's a video report KSTU-TV.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Life in 1950s Deaf School: Part 2

Here is a second video filmed in 1954 at the UK's Royal School for Deaf Children for a documentary.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Life in a 1950s Deaf School

Here is video filmed in 1954 at the UK's Royal School for Deaf Children in Margate.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Terps Laid Off in Conn.

The state of Connecticut is laying off sign language interpreters working with the Department of Rehabilitation Services. The switch to private interpreting services starts July 15. Dozens came to protest the change today in Hartford at the department's offices. Read the full story at the the Hartford Courant.

Lawsuit: Deaf woman wrongly arrested, no terp

A deaf women is suing the sheriff's office in Shawnee County, Kansas. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Carolyn Hans called 9-1-1 and deputies ended up arresting her and putting her in solitary confinement in the jail’s psych ward-all without providing an interpreter, a phone, or explaining why she was arrested, according to the lawsuit. Read the full story here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Supreme Court will hear case about deaf students

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider a case involving deaf people this fall. They sued because Texas driver instruction schools refuse to allow them to take classes. An appeals court ruled against them but the deaf group is appealing. The case is Ivy v. Morath (Ivy Donnika is the main plaintiff). Read details of the case here.

Private schools and ADA law

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) 
Should private schools that take federal money be required to follow the ADA law? They won't have to if this senator gets his way. Republican Ron Johnson of Wisconsin has proposed legislation "would prohibit the Justice Department from enforcing key provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act at private schools," according to the Washington Post. Read the full story here.

This day in history.. 112 year ago

Helen Keller graduated with honors from Radcliffe College on June 28, 1904, 112 years ago today, becoming the first deaf and blind person to graduate from college with a B.A. Radcliffe was a women's liberal arts college in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a part of Harvard University.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Tech in the Deaf World

"The impact of video relay services, or VRS, has been titanic for businesses owned and operated by the deaf. VRS has grown into a half-billion-dollar-a-year industry as more and more deaf Americans gain access to speedy mobile data and sophisticated phones," reports Wired magazine. Read more about the technology here, including a look at San Francisco's deaf-owned Mozzeria pizza. Below is a Wired video that comes with the article, but Wired chose not to caption it.