Tuesday, February 18, 2020

State Deaf School being Reorganized

The Superintendent of the Louisiana Special School District is reorganizing the Louisiana School for the Deaf. Critics say Ernest Garrett III is "dismissing experienced leaders and replacing them with people who are either unfamiliar to the community or lack the experience of their predecessors." Read more about the changes in WBRZ-TV website here.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Grey’s Anatomy adds Deaf Doctor to TV Series

The ABC show Grey’s Anatomy introduced a new deaf character this past week. The program titled Save the Last Dance for Me aired Thursday night with the role of Dr. Lauren Riley played by deaf actress Shoshannah Stern. Riley is a diagnostic expert who signs but communicates with hearing patients through a tablet. While ABC has promoted the series as "the first primetime television series to introduce a deaf doctor as a recurring character" it is actually not the first to do so. The shows Heroes and E.R. featured doctors who were deaf. Shoshannah Stern talks about how she got the role of Dr. Riley in a TV Guide interview and an interview with Variety
.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

On this date in history...

image from Green Party NZ 
The New Zealand Parliament made history on this date (Feb. 15) in 2012. Mojo Mathers, the first deaf member of the body, gave her first speech. Since Mathers' speech was translated into sign language, the 13 other members of the Green party who spoke had their speeches translated into sign language as well.

Friday, February 14, 2020

ABC Show to feature ASL

ABC’s 'The Good Doctor' will air an episode on Monday that features ASL. In this episode, the team treats a young boy-born without a fully formed trachea and unable to speak, so he uses ASL to communicate. The boy will be played by deaf actor Zade Garcia. KVUE-TV has a video profile of Zade below (or read the story here).

Thursday, February 13, 2020

SignVote expands effort

Communication Service for the Deaf is hoping to increase voter engagement in the deaf community through its SignVote campaign. SignVote spotlights accessible voter content and resources for ASL users. Watch the video below or read more about it here.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Deaf face uphill battle when searching for work

"Many deaf individuals with higher education often aren’t given the same opportunity to get supervisory experience as their hearing peers, which can put them behind hearing job candidates." Read more about the difficulty the deaf face when searching for work in the Daily Herald here.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Nation's first robotics competition for deaf, hard-of-hearing students

The Texas School for the Deaf is hosting the country's first robotics competition today. It features all deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

Children invented a new sign language

In the 1980s deaf children in Nicaragua invented a completely new sign language of their own. Here's a BBC video about it.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

"I performed at the Super Bowl: You might have missed me"

image from Christine Sun Kim TED talk
Christine Sun Kim signed the National Anthem at the beginning of the Super Bowl—but the TV audience only saw a few seconds of it. Now Kim is calling out Fox Sports for the snub. A "bonus feed" on the Fox Sports website was supposed to be focused on Sun Kim entirely but it wasn't. In an article written for The New York Times, Kim said she was "angry and exasperated" because on the Fox Sports website "the cameras cut away to show close-ups of the players roughly midway through each song." Read her opinion piece here.

He was the First President of Gallaudet

Edward Miner Gallaudet 
Edward Miner Gallaudet served as president (1864–1910) of the school that would become Gallaudet University. He died on this date (Sept. 26) in 1917. Edward was the youngest of eight children born to Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. When plans were made to change the name of the school from the Columbia Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb, Edward Miner Gallaudet wanted the honor to go to his father, a pioneer in deaf education, rather than himself. So the school was renamed Gallaudet College.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Missouri lawmakers are considering a new law to punish people using fake service animals. It's Senate Bill 644 and it's being debated in committee this week. If it passes, violators could face misdemeanor charges, punishable by up to 15 days in jail. Read more about it the from St. Louis Post-Dispatchhere.

Monday, February 3, 2020

National Anthem Super Bowl Signing

image from NADvlogs
Christine Sun Kim signed the National Anthem at Sunday's Super Bowl while Demi Lovato sang the spoken English version of the son. If you missed the Berlin-based American sound artist, here's the video from the NAD.

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 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.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

The first deaf woman to row across the Atlantic Ocean

image from ReSound video
A woman from the UK is the first deaf person to row across the Atlantic Ocean. Mo O'Brien is a 60-year-old pharmacy worker who took 49 days to row from the Canary Island of La Gomera to the Caribbean island of Antigua. Her daughter and a friend made the trip with her. The trio arrived this past Thursday. Read more about her adventure from the BBC here or watch the video below.

BBC Captioning History


  • 1979 - A documentary is the first program to be subtitled on the BBC 
  • 1986 - Blue Peter becomes the first live program to be subtitled on the BB 
  • 1990 - The first live BBC broadcast is captioned by a stenographer 
  • 1990 - The BBC begins subtitling its news 
  • 2001 - Respeaking is used for subtitling for the first time by the BBC

Saturday, February 1, 2020

On this Date... Murder at Gally

It was on this day in 2001 (Feb 1), Joseph Mesa, Jr. murdered Benjamin Varner in his Gallaudet dorm room. Mesa stabbed his classmate more than a dozen times. This wasn't Mesa's first fatal attack. A few months earlier, Mesa beat Eric Plunkett to death in his dorm room as well, leaving the school's campus shaken. Mesa turned himself into police 10 days after the Varner killing. In July of 2002, a DC judge gave Mesa six life terms without the possibility of parole. Prosecutors called him a serial killer in the making. 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 the 19 year olds who considered him their friend. Mesa's defense attorney suggested that the attack on Plunkett was prompted by rage over an unwanted homosexual advance. The jury 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.

Was Beethoven HoH instead of Deaf?

Kent State researchers say Ludwig van Beethoven was not completely deaf as is commonly believed. The theory is that "the composer still had hearing in his left ear until shortly before his death in 1827. Theodore Albrecht, professor of musicology at Kent State University, told the Observer:
Not only was Beethoven not completely deaf at the premiere of his Ninth Symphony in May 1824, he could hear, although increasingly faintly, for at least two years afterwards, probably through the last premiere that he would supervise, his String Quartet in B-flat, Op 130, in March 1826.
Read more here.

Helen Keller video

Here is a Newsreel showing Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan recorded in 1928 with open captions and audio descriptions.