Thursday, March 29, 2018

BSL teacher jailed, 'snared by paedophile hunter'

"A teacher once named 'Britain's sign language tutor of the year' has been jailed after being snared by a female paedophile hunter," reports the Daily Mail. Read the full story here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

1st Deaf Female Officer for Texas Police

A north Texas town has hired its first female deaf commissioned police officer. The Dalhart Police Chief David Conner picked 25-year old Erica Trevino to serve the community, and she be the first in the entire state. She tells ABC-7 KVII-TV news:
“It’s not something I just want, it’s something God has called me to do. That’s what I believe. This truly is a career and I can’t tell you how much I look up to the people and I respect how much work the officers put into becoming a police officer.”
Read the story here or watch the video below for more information.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Proposed Deaf Emojis

Apple is proposing that the Unicode Consortium (which oversees the internet) approve some new emojis to represent users with disabilities. Apples says, "Diversifying the options available helps fill a significant gap and provides a more inclusive experience for all." The National Association of the Deaf helped come up with the new images. Among the proposed emojis:

 Service Dog With Vest and Leash
 Ear With Hearing Aid
 Deaf Sign (Male and Female)

 Read the proposal here.


How Does ADA Law Apply to the Internet?

How the American Disabilities Act applies to the Internet seems like a straightforward question. But the answer has been made complicated by US law and policy over the years since the law was passed. While the general answer would be "yes" Law.com offers this bottom line: There is a..
"gaping hole in the law governing accessibility requirements for websites that are not tied to a traditional “brick-and-mortar” store. For now, whether a particular website—which reaches people nationwide—is a 'public accommodation' under Title III depends upon the location of the court hearing a challenge to its inaccessibility." 
Read the complete analysis here.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

A flood of lawsuits over Website Accessibility

Hundreds of companies are facing federal class actions filed in recent months alleging that their websites don't comply with ADA law. CBS News reports that Nike, Burger King, Hershey, Lord & Taylor and Pandora are among those companies facing lawsuits. Read the full story here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

State says 'no' to Funding that would help Deaf School

Florida's state government has said "no" to funding to help the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind. The city of St. Augustine, where the school is located requested money to deal with flooding near the campus that has affected class schedules. The campus was shut down and students evacuated when Hurricanes Matthew and Irma came through, according to NEWS-4 out of Jacksonville. Read the full story here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Water Leak on Deaf School Campus

The North Carolina School for the Deaf is dealing with a water main leak in the Main Building on campus. The News Herald has more information here.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Prof reflects on life-changing language discovery

image from the University of Southern Maine 
Children on a playground in Nicaragua signing to one another some 30 years ago changed language studies across the globe. That's because it was observed by a University of Southern Maine professor who turned it into "groundbreaking work" that helped show the value of American Sign Language at her school. The Press-Herald has the story here.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

How 11 Deaf Men Helped NASA Leave Earth

Why were 11 deaf men selected by NASA to help it understand space sickness? The key here was in how each of these men lost their hearing, according to Discover Magazine. These men ultimately played a significant role in getting the first astronauts off the ground in the 1960s.

Revival of Children of a Lesser God

This coming Thursday (March 22) Studio 54 in New York will present a revival of Children of a Lesser God. The play was a Tony Award-winner when it first appeared in 1980 with Phyllis Frelich (who won a Tony for best actress) and John Rubinstein (who won a Tony for Best Actor). Mark Medoff wrote the lay and adopted it for the big screen in 1986. The film starred William Hurt and Marlee Matlin, who won an Academy Award for her performance. In the revival, 39-year-old deaf actress Lauren Ridloff (a former Miss Deaf America) takes the lead role. The producers hired a "director of artistic sign language” to ensure the quality of the signing. But tickets for the show here.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Death of Student at Illinois School for the Deaf

A student at the Illinois School for the Deaf has died from what appears to be a self-inflicted injury, according to the local coroner. The Journal-Courier has more information here.

Stanch Deaf Community Supporter in Congress Passes

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter has died at the age of 88. Slaugher was a Democrat who represented the Rochester area since 1987. The RIT/NTID president, Gerry Buckley, issued a statement calling her a "steadfast supporter of the Deaf community in Rochester and throughout the country." The statement mentions that she received the RIT Presidential Medallion in 2010 in honor of her support for NTID and for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. She was an honorary member of NTID's National Advisory Group, helped launch our Task Force on Health Care Careers for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Community, worked in support of the Americans with Disabilities Act, supported legislation that requires captions on TV programs and more. There is more about her from Associated Press here and the New York Times here. Here's a video from the Democrat & Chronicle (no captions).

Friday, March 16, 2018

Couple Considers Divorce to get Implant for Daughter

A Utah couple says they considered getting a divorce just so their insurance company would pay for their 9-year-old daughter a cochlear implant. John and Jennifer Meredith tell Action News Now, "We had no desire to get divorced (but) we couldn't keep putting that off. She's completely deaf in her right ear and she's mostly deaf in her left ear." Read more from ANN here and FOX-8 here. Below is a video from KSL-TV. For captioning, click here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Gallaudet 30 years ago

It has been 30 years since Gallaudet went through DPN—Deaf President Now. Fred Weiner helped launch the movement and now serves as the school's vice president for administration and program development. Weiner spoke to WAMU radio in Washington, DC about those events three decades ago.

This day in history: DPN

image from Gallaudet University 
It was 30 years ago today (March 13, 1988) that the Deaf President Now movement succeeded when I King Jordan became the first deaf president of Gallaudet University in Washington, DC.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Georgia to Maintain aid for Deaf Universities

The state of Georgia is backtracking on it's plan to withdraw financial support for students who attend Gallaudet University and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. Read more here.

Deaf Girl's Oscar May Open Doors for Others

image from The Silent Child you tube video 
When Maisie Sly was picked to star in The Silent Child, the director didn't realize he had a fourth-generation deaf family who are hugely active within the deaf community. Maisie's father, Gilson Sly, explains what it means for the film to win an Academy Award:
“When I read the script for the first time, I got goosebumps. Deafness is not a learning disability. With the right support, a deaf child can achieve the same as a hearing child. Deafness is a communication issue. Sign language isn’t just for deaf people. Sign language is a communication tool, and when the world communicates better, the world gets better.. Maise could be the face of change.”
Read more in the Telegraph here.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Deaf 'America's Got Talent' singer Touring

The deaf siner who gained fame on America's Got Talent was in Biose yesterday. Mandy Harvey spoke with KTVB-TV.

Video Relay Lawsuit Settled

A Florida hospital has settled a lawsuit over VRI. Bethesda Health has agreed to ask patients about whether they are willing to use video relay or want a live interpreter. A financial agreement between the West Palm Beac-area hospital and the Florida Association of the Deaf, who filed the suit, is not being made public. Read more in MyPalmBeach here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Maisie Sly meets Hollywood!

Maisie Sly did not go up on the stage to recieve the Acadamy Award won by the film she starred in called The Silent Child. However, director Chris Overton told BBC-5, "When we won I could see her up there jumping up and down and that was surreal. But I think she's taken it all in her stride. She always said we'd win." Co-star Rachel Shenton signed her acceptance speech because she promised Maisie that she would do so. She said Maisie held the Oscar, proclaimed it heavy, had "her photograph taken with it and then said she wanted to go back and see her brothers and sisters.. So she's keeping it real." You'll find video of the six-year-old enjoying Hollywood is here and below is video of Maisie being congratulated by her dad.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Silent Child Wins!

The Silent Child won the best live action short film Oscar at the 90th Academy Awards. Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton, British soap stars, accepted the award. The film starred deaf actress Maisie Sly. Shenton delivered her speech in sign language saying:
“I made a promise to our six-year-old lead actress that I’d sign this speech. Our movie is about a deaf child being born into a world of silence. It’s not exaggerated or sensationalised for the movie, this is happening, millions of children all over the world live in silence and face communication barriers and particularly access to education. Deafness is a silent disability, I want to say the biggest of thank yous to the Academy for allowing us to put this in front of a mainstream audience.”
Watch the speech here:

Funding Cuts Proposed for Deaf Students in GA

The state of Georgia is considering cutting its college funding to support students who attend both Gallaudet University and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. Read the full story from the Rome News-Tribune here.

Deaf Advocates Rally outside Courthouse

Protesters gathered Friday in front of the courthouse in Oklahoma City to express their concern over the fatal shooting of a deaf man six months ago. KOKH-TV (Fox 25) has a video report.

A TV first on this date

It was on this date (March 4, 2013) an episode of Switched at Birth was aired that made history. The entire show was in ASL. Producers of the ABC Family program (now known as Freeform) say this was the first time a scripted series on mainstream television used only American Sign Language.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

On this date in history..

On this date (March 3rd, 1887) Anne Sullivan arrived at the Keller's home in Alabama to work with their deaf and blind daughter, Helen. Through their work together, Helen Keller would go on to become one of the most influential people in history. Below is a video about Helen Keller from Biography.com.


Deaf Girl one of the stars at the Oscars

image from The Silent Child you tube video 
A six-year-old deaf actress will be walking the red carpet at the Oscars. Maisie Sly stars in the film The Silent Child which has been nominated for best short film. "The film tells the story of a profoundly deaf girl called Libby, played by Maisie who is also deaf, who lives in a world of silence until a caring social worker teaches her the gift of communication through sign language," ITV reports. Read the full story and see a video of Maisie here.