Sunday, September 29, 2019

Jury awards Deaf man $125,000

A jury is awarding David Updike $125,000 in damages after deciding that Oregon's Multnomah County failed to provide him a sign language interpreter while he was in jail. Oregon live reports that a linguistics expert testified during the three-day trial that "Updike, who was born deaf to hearing parents, can’t read lips proficiently and doesn’t read English well." Read the full story here.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Deaf Actor on Netflix show

image from natashaofili.com
One of the actors on a new Netflix show called The Politician is deaf. Natasha Ofili plays a no-nonsense principal in four episodes. Ofili started out with an eye toward fashion but switched careers about five years ago. So far, she's appeared in several short films, theater productions, and commercials. And soon she'll be seen on Amazon Prime's Undone. a member of the National Black Deaf Advocates association, Ofili lost her hearing as a toddler. Read more of her story here. Below is the trailer.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Docu shows deafness as a gift, not as a disability

A new documentary about hearing loss takes a look at Beethoven, filmmaker’s son, and her deaf parents. Irene Taylor Brodsky first introduced her parents in her 2007 film Hear and Now. A Washington Post reviewer calls Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements a "moving and thought-provoking film." Read the review here. Below is a video interview of Brodsky.

19 years ago today: Murder at Gallaudet

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 a 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.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

On this date... 28 years ago

On Sept 26, 1991, a major TV show debuted that—for the first time—featured a deaf or hard of hearing actor in a lead role. The NBC police drama Reasonable Doubts ran from 1991–1993 and starred Academy-Award winner Marlee Matlin as Tess Kaufman, a prosecutor who fought for the rights of the accused. She portrayed a lawyer who happened to be deaf—instead of just a deaf lawyer. 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.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Deaf Awareness Week Celebration

It's Deaf Awareness Week and KIII-TV has a video report on a celebration of Deaf Culture and ASL in Corpus Christi. You can read the story here.

Lawsuits over Hospitals not providing Terps

A healthcare provider is facing two lawsuits for not providing ASL interpreters for deaf patients. Intermountain Healthcare, which operates Primary Children’s Hospital and McKay Dee Hospital, released a statement saying, despite the legal action, it takes ADA and all other applicable laws "very seriously." KUTV has a video report (or read the story here).

Monday, September 23, 2019

Review of Deaf West's New Show

image from DeafWestTheatre.org
LA's Deaf West Theatre is performing The Solid Life of Sugar Water through October 13 and the LA Times says the stage arrangement is quite unusual: "The actors playing Phil and Alice stand on the footboard of a vertical prop bed, but scenic designer Sean Fanning’s trompe l’oeil, bird’s-eye-view perspective makes it look like they’re lying flat, while we, hovering somewhere around the ceiling, look down on them." Read the full review here.
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Judge: videophones must go in Colorado state prisons

A judge says the Colorado Department of Corrections must make videophones available to every deaf inmate. That's the outcome of a lawsuit prompted by the decades-old technology in state prisons. Read the full story at the Denver Post here.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

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.

Monday, September 16, 2019

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. The first game that season was played on this date (Sept. 16) against the Philidelphia 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. 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.

University Sued over Failure to Provide Interpreters

Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is being sued by four students who say the school violated ADA law by not providing a sign language interpreter in their classes. They say the school failed to pay the interpreters for previous work. The four deaf students are from Saudi Arabia. Read more at The Advocate here. You'll find the suit here.

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.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

The Rise of the Deaf Architecture

It was on the campus of Gallaudet University nearly two decades ago that a workshop took place that would "change the way the world’s only university for the deaf and hard-of-hearing engaged with architecture and design." The Washington Post has a look at how the deaf architecture got started here.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Deaf Woman Refused Service at Drive Thru

A San Jose Jack in the Box refused service to a deaf woman last month—and there's a video showing the worker mocking her by pretending to sign. KRON-TV has a video report (or read the story here).

Sunday, September 8, 2019

A Legal Battle over Text Captions for Audiobooks

Book publishers are suing Amazon to stop the internet company from offering text captions for audiobooks through Audible. Publishers say it's a copyright violation. Audible says that since users can't scroll through the text there's no problem. The feature is called "Captions" and will be available starting Tuesday for Amazon-owned and public domain titles. The works of publishers like HarperCollins and Macmillan, who are suing Audible will not be included until the dispute is resolved. You'll find the text of the lawsuit here.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Company Sued over Treatment of Deaf Job Applicant

A Denver company is being sued for refusing to hire a qualified deaf person, according to an EEOC lawsuit. Carefree of Colorado told Anna Biryukova the wouldn't hire her because her deafness could be a “challenge” and present “safety issues.” Carefree declined to comment. Read the full story from the EEOC here.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Service Animal Rules

What are the rules for service animals? Seattle's KING-5 has a video report (or read the story here).

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Man tried to sexually assault a deaf woman

Police in Forestville, Maryland are looking for the man accused of attempting to sexually assault a woman who had asked for directions earlier this month. The police have released a sketch of the man and a map of where the incident happened, which you can see at WTOP's news site here.