Friday, September 29, 2017

Uber offers ASL app to help hearing riders

Uber is offering a new way to connect deaf and hard of hearing drivers to hearing passengers. The company launched ubersignlanguage.com this week to show users a few simple ASL signs when they are matched with deaf drivers. Just little things like hello, thank you, turn left, and turn right. At the same time, Lyft has updated its dashboard display to enhance assessability. Uber explains how the new tool works:
Riders will see a special card in the Uber feed. Once they tap it, they’ll be taken to a page where they can select the basics, like “Hello” and “Thank You,” or spell out their name. They’ll then be given a GIF with the word(s) in ASL. That way, they can better communicate with their Deaf or Hard of Hearing driver, because signing “Thank You” or “Hello” in ASL can go a long way.
Read more about the Uber effort here.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Report: Many Police Officers are Ignorant of ADA law

"In many jurisdictions, cops’ noncompliance with the law has led to strain and miscommunication with the deaf community," reports Amiel Fields-Meyer in the The Atlantic.
“Police compliance with ADA provisions is pretty poor across the board,” said Alex Vitale, a sociology professor at Brooklyn College whose research focuses on community policing. “It’s clearly not a priority for a lot of police leaders.” For the deaf, police compliance with the ADA translates to employing or contracting with qualified American Sign Language interpreters and making available remote interpreting services, among other measures.
Read the full article "When Police Officers Don't Know About the ADA" here.

Murder at Gally: 17 years ago today

It was on this day (Sept 27)  in 2000 that Joseph Mesa, Jr. beat Eric Plunkett to death in his Gallaudet dorm room. The killing put the school in a state of panic, with some students withdrawing from the school rather than living in a situation where they knew a murderer was living among them. The terror came to an end in February of the next year when Mesa turned himself into police-but not before he killed again. Mesa stabbed Benjamin Varner in his Gallaudet dorm room more than dozen times. In July of 2002, the 22-year-old from Guam pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, telling jurors he saw hands wearing black gloves that told him in sign language to kill. Jurors convicted Mesa on all counts and a Washington, DC judge sentenced him to six life terms without the possibility of parole. Mesa began serving time at the United States Penitentiary in Atwater, California near San Francisco, a high security facility.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

On this date... 26 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.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Nyle DiMarco on OK shooting

Nyle DiMarco, the first deaf winner of America’s Next Top Model and a Dancing with the Stars alum, is speaking out about the police shooting that killed a deaf man in Oklahoma City. He says, “I have no words at all. The neighbors SCREAMED to tell the police that he is Deaf. Police still shoots. And the Deaf guy was innocent."

Deaf stepdad gets emotional over heartfelt surprise

A devoted deaf stepdad is reduced to tears when his step kids surprise him with adoption requests.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

More on the Deaf man shot by police this Week

Earlier this week we told you about a deaf man who was shot and killed by police in Oklahoma City. Now there is surveillance video of the car crash that led to the confrontation. You can see the video below. Apparently there is home video of the shooting but the police have possession of it and have not made it public. Read more about what happened in the Daily Mail. The officer who fired the shots is on paid leave.


Here is a report on the story from Oklahoma News 4, which says the man's family has hired an attorney who represented the family of a black man who was killed by a white Tulsa police officer. There is more from the TV station here.



WNYC has an audio report below (no captions).

Flirting in ASL

CUT offers a video showing how to flirt.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Meet Chance the Rapper's Interpreter

image from DEAFinitely Dope YouTube page
"Matt Maxey—who, along with his company, DEAFinitely Dope, is translating the magic of Chance shows for deaf concertgoers, writes Ashley Fetters."Maxey's ASL interpretation is an explosive, code-switching mishmash of textbook American Sign Language, pantomime, and makeshift signs he's cobbled together for slang words native to hip-hop ('molly,' for example, combines gestures for 'pill' and 'sex'); the way he signs is as worldly and wry and improvisational as he is." GQ has her full story here.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Confrontation over Service Dog in Restaurant

A woman gave a profanity-laced lecture to a veteran about his service dog when he brought the animal into a Delaware restaurant. The three minute tyrade was caught on video at Kathy’s Crab House & Family Restaurant in Delaware City. The video is posted below but there are no captions. You can read more about what happened here.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Deaf Man Killed by OK Police

Oklahoma City Police shot and killed a deaf man holding a metal pipe last night. The officers told him to drop the pipe while witnesses say they yelled that the man was deaf. Here is a news conference about the shooting (no captions).



NewsOK has a written story here and interviewed some of the neighbors on the scene and you can see that video below.

Why many Deaf Prisoners can’t Phone Home

If deaf inmates are trying to reach their deaf friends and family, the person receiving the call must also have a TTY to answer. But most deaf individuals have switched to video relay in the last several years, leaving prisoners no way to call, according to a Wired article. The magazine quotes Mary Ann McBride as saying, “I have deaf brothers and some deaf friends and they all use video phones, they no longer use TTY. Relay won’t accept to talk between two deaf people. I really need to talk to my family because I am serving a long indeterminate sentence.” read more here Wired Magazine.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

History's Deaf Astronomer

On this date (Sept 17) in 1764, John Goodricke was born in the Netherlands, though he lived most of his life in England. 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. 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.

On this day in History.. Miss America

On this date (Sept. 17) in 1994, Heather Whitestone of Alabama became the first deaf Miss America.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

This Day in History: The 1st deaf player in the NFL

Bonnie Sloan in the NFL
On this day (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.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Boy Gets Implant: Parents get Matching Tattoos

Two Kentucky parents got matching tattoos inked on their heads to look like their two-year-old son’s new cochlear implant. They say they didn't want him to feel different. WAVE-TV has a video report.

wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

The Man in Yellow

image from video of Sept. 8 
Manatee County news conference
A viral video shows a news conference in Manatee County, Florida as Hurricane Irma approached. What makes the video of interest is the fact that the sign language "interpreter" didn't know how to sign. Tampa's WFLA-TV reports the man, Marshall Greene, is a lifeguard who works in the county's marine rescue unit. Because he had a deaf relative, county officials assumed he could sign adequately. They were wrong. Dressed in a yellow shirt (a no-no for professional interpreters) Greene basically signed gibberish to viewers. A spokesman for the National Association of the Deaf told WFLA, “Everybody was talking about it on social media, everyone was shocked, asking leaders in the deaf community to do something about it.” There are more details of what happened here. Below is a news report from WFLA (the link will take you to a captioned version of the video).

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Court: No Website Accessibility an ADA violation

A Florida ruling says Winn-Dixie violated the Americans with Disabilities Act "because its website was inaccessible to a visually-impaired customer." Stephen Stern writes, "the court’s decision is significant because it joined the courts that have found websites can be places of public accommodation that require accessibility for individuals with disabilities" and "companies should be mindful of potential ADA ramifications when constructing their websites." In fact, the court "explained that the ADA does not limit its requirements to physical access, but to the 'full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation.'” Read the details at Lexology and the court's ruling here.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Horrible and embarrassing

The interpreter at an emergency-warning press conference in a Florida County was “horrible and embarrassing” says one certified interpreter. The Bradenton Herald reports here on what happened at the Manatee County Emergency Operations Center updates. Below is a video of his signing.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Journalism & "Inspiration Porn"

"For decades, the media has tended to portray people with disabilities (or those around them) as inspirations or heroes—a genre of reporting known as 'inspiration porn.'” writes Wendy Lu in the Columbia Journalism Review. She says, "This emotion-driven journalism is the hallmark of inspiration porn" which was "popularized in a TED talk that the late Australian activist Stella Young gave in April 2014." She pleads with journalists to "consider where a story’s newsworthiness comes from and how it contributes to overall disability coverage." Read the full article here.