Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Six Siblings and Six Bilateral Cochlear Implants

"Siblings Matthew, 16, Marcus, 15, Michelle, 13, Maria, 10, Miley, 8, and Marcia, 6, were born deaf. Over the past eight years, all the children have been fitted with bilateral cochlear implants," writes Nancy Dahlberg in the Miami Herald. Read the full story about the six Guillou children here or watch the video below.

Starbucks' "Signing Store" is "wonderful" but..

Starbucks has received a great deal of positive news coverage and social media traction from its plan to integrate deaf culture into one of its stores near Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. But could the enthusiastic reaction be a bit much?

Pamela Kincheloe writes that there was "so much hype it was kind of absurd. Sure, it’s nice and all, but really? It’s just a Starbucks! My question when I saw this announcement all over the news was: Why is this such a huge story? Wouldn’t it be great if all Starbucks stores could have excellent communication access ― for all of their customers?" Read more in the Huffington Post here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

On this day.. the ADA was signed into law

It was on this day (July 25, 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 in the video below.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Looking Back.. 15 years ago

On this date (July 23) in 2003, a revival of Big River opened on Broadway with a cast of hearing and deaf actors. Roger Miller's 1985 musical about Huck Finn was the first Broadway show to do so since the 1980's Children of a Lesser God. The show was a co-production of the Roundabout Theater Company and West Hollywood's Deaf West Theater.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Starbucks To Open First U.S. Signing Store

Starbucks is opening a store designed for the Deaf Community in Washington, DC less than a miles from Gallaudet University. More than two dozen deaf and hard of hearing baristas, fluent in American Sign Language, will be ready to take orders when the store opens. It's the first Starbucks signing store in the U.S. The store layout will facilitate visual communication. Read more about it here.

Heavy metal concert terp gets noticed

Lindsay Rothschild-Cross' interpretation of a June 20 metal concert in Austin was caught on video and has racked up tons of views online, reports ABC News. She says it was her first time to work with this genre. Here's a video interview from ABC News.

LinkedIn Adds Captioning to Videos

LinkedIn users can now add captions to videos by clicking an icon. Users can also highlight quotes from articles and save drafts of those posts. The translation of posts includes more than 60 languages. Read more here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

CODA Who Defrauded Parents is Going to Jail

A judge in northern Ohio has sentenced Jessica DeMarco to 60 days in jail, 200 hours of community service and five years probation and restitution for defrauding her deaf parents of $50,000. Prosecutors say DeMarco forged a letter from a lawyer, pretending she was to receive a large sum of money. Read the details in the Warren Tribune Chronicle here.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Communicating with Alexa devices using sign language

Abhishek Singh, who has worked in the field of driverless cars and other AI technology, says he "used deep learning with TensorFlow.js to make Amazon Echo respond to sign language." He explains in this video.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

The history behind RI School for the Deaf

The Rhode Island School for the Deaf was started by Mary Ann Lippitt whose daughter had become deaf after contracting Scarlet Fever in 1856. "Lippitt created her own program and founded the Providence Day School for the Deaf in 1876. Her husband Henry Lippitt, who had become governor in 1875, used his own influence to inspire the State to take over the administration of the school the following year." Read more here.

Scientists say they've given gerbils an implant that lets them hear light

German researchers have given gerbils an implant that allows them "hear" light. They hope that this technique could be used to make superior cochlear implants for humans through optogenetics, that is, the use of light as a stimulus.Details of the study are published in the Science Translational Medicine or read an article about the research here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

New Director at School for the Deaf

Ryan Gollner
The Louisiana School for the Deaf has a new director. School Principal Ryan Gollner replaces Donna Alleman on an interim basis. The move comes after a harsh report said the Baton Rouge school suffered from "low morale among students and staff and was implementing changes without a clear plan." Read more in The Advocate here.

He was One of America's First Deaf Lawyers

Roger Demosthenes O'Kelly
He was born on October 25, in 1880. Blinded by Scarlet fever at the age of nine, Roger Demosthenes O'Kelly began losing his hearing a few years later. The North Carolina African-American slowly regained his vision in one eye. While he wanted to attend Gallaudet University, his application was denied in 1898 based on the color of his skin. So instead, he earned a degree from North Carolina's Shaw University, graduating in 1908. O'Kelly was licensed to practice law in North Carolina, becoming one of America's first deaf lawyers. He later studied law at Yale University, becoming the second deaf person to graduate from the school in 1912. He returned to his home state where establised a lucrative law practice "serving white as well as black clients, particularly in real estate, domestic relations, and corporate issues" according to  Joe A. Mobley's book Raleigh: A Brief History.  O'Kelly died at the age of 82 on this date (July 11) in 1962.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Son: Deaf Parents Mistreated by Airline

Nikolay Filatov says his parents, both of whom are deaf, were not treated well by Frontier Airlines. They were trying to get to their only grandchild's first birthday party. Denver-7 has a video report.

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.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Undercover testers find discrimination

The Southwest Fair Housing Council is suing more than a dozen assisted living and nursing home operators in Arizona for discrimination against prospective deaf residents. The nonprofit advocacy group says they sent out undercover testers to see what kind of treatment they would receive. Read more about it here.

Deaf Costco Employee Gets $775k Settlement

Christine D’Onofrio just won a $775,000 settlement from Costco. The deaf employee working in Pompano Beach, Florida says the store refused to provide her a sign language interpreter for meetings. Instead, Costco put in video phones, which did not work during large meetings. D’Onofrio, who had worked for Costco for 23 years, says a new manager complained she was "loud and aggressive" and eventually fired her. Read more about the story here.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Deaf woman groped, held at gunpoint

A deaf woman in Memphis gave a man a ride and ended up getting groped and held at gunpoint. Fox-13 has a video report below. There are no captions but you can read the story here.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Arrival & Departure debuts

A new play of special interest to the Deaf community will debut in Los Angeles next weekend (July 14). Deaf actors Deanne Bray and Troy Kotsur star in Arrival & Departurewhere they meet accidentally in a New York City subway station. Kostsur and Bray are married in real life and writer Stephen Sachs says he put the play together with them in mind. The production is performed simultaneously in spoken English and American Sign Language with additional use of open captioning. It runs from July 14 to September 30 at the Fountain Theatre. More information here. Below is a video of the first rehearsal.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Boy Found at LA Train Station

UPDATE: The boy has been reunited with his family, though police say they are still investigating why he was left alone in the first place.

Police in Los Angeles are asking for the public's help in identifying a child found at Union Station. They believe the boy to be deaf, though he did not respond to a sign language interpreter's attempts to communicate.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The deaf protest that gripped America

The BBC has a new video explaining what happened at Gallaudet University in 1988 when a protest started over the appointment of a new president. The network interviewed I King Jordan, the first ever deaf President of Gallaudet University.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Suit: Deaf Applicant Discrimination

Mark Eurlichmann has filed a lawsuit against Pensacola State College. Eurlichmann applied to teach American Sign Language at the school but, according to the deaf man's suit, a less-qualified hearing applicant applicant was hired instead. The college is not commenting but you can read more about the lawsuit in the Pensacola News Journal here.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Deaf Space Camp

This year's Deaf Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama brought together 20 students from all over the country recently. WAAY-TV has a video report.

Getting to Know.. Cochlear Limited

You could have bought stock in Cochlear Limited at the turn of the century for about $10. A few days ago the stock was worth more than $200 a share. Shares of the stock have increased nearly 30 percent in the last year.

Cochlear Limited is the biggest of the three companies that dominate the cochlear implant market. Based in Australia, Cochlear Limited does most of its business in Europe and the U.S. through more than a dozen subsidiaries. It's net revenue was about $110 million last year. With brands like Nucleus and Bah, more than a quarter of a million people have one of its implants. It employs more than 2800 people.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

On this day in history..25 year ago

It was 25 years ago today (July 1, 1993) that the FCC requires all U.S. analog television receivers with screens 13 inches or larger to include built-in decoder circuitry that could display closed captioning.