Monday, August 31, 2020

Remembering “Bummy” Burstein

Gerald “Bummy” Burstein died on this date (Aug. 31) in 2018 at the age of 91 in Riverside, California. Bummy is worth remembering for his tireless work on behalf of the deaf community even after he retired. The student center at the local deaf school carries his name. Burnstein was the certified Professional Parliamentarian for the National Association of the Deaf and the author of two books. His work for Gallaudet University led the Board of Trustees to rename the Gallaudet Leadership Institute after him—the Gerald "Bummy" Burstein Leadership Institute. He first taught for 15 years at the Minnesota School for the Deaf before moving to the California School for the Deaf, Riverside. Burstein got his nickname "Bummy" from his love of the Brooklyn Dodgers who were often referred to as “Dem Bums.” Here's a video featuring Berstein as he explains how he brought visual applause from France to America.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Mask project for deaf community in Boston

Boston Lyric Opera is working with its costume shop partner, CostumeWorks, to producer clear-front face masks for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. The effort is getting funding from the city of Boston. More than 1,800 masks will be made and donated or sold at a discount. Read more about it in the Boston Herald here.

Why people are protesting at MSD

The Fredrick News-Post takes a look at why parents and alumni are protesting at the Maryland School for the Deaf in a story you can read here.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Protesters gather at Deaf School

Protesters gathered yesterday at the Maryland School for the Deaf calling for superintendent James Tucker to be fired. The group calls themselves the Maryland School for the Deaf Survivors. The group posted some video of the gathering on their Facebook page.
 

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Deaf & Blind school adopting to state health measures

The Montana School for the Deaf and Blind is adapting to masks and social distancing during the fall term. KRTV has two video reports below or read the story here.



White House responds to lawsuit calling for terps at briefings

The White House is rejecting calls for it to provide on-screen ASL interpretation of its COVID-19 briefings. The National Association of the Deaf filed a lawsuit over interpreters and Justice Department lawyers responded with claims that basically say, it is just too inconvenient to includes interpreters—the briefing room is small, it is hard to move the podium, maybe the television networks wouldn't include the interpreters in the screenshot, etc. Read more on the legal wranglings from DC radio WTOP here

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Deaf students in Wichita

KSN-TV takes a look at how remote learning will impact the more than 50 deaf and hard of hearing students in Wichita public schools. Watch the video report below or read the story here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Kansas deaf community pushes for access

The pandemic has made it all the more apparent that the deaf community often lack access to information, education amid pandemic. The Emporia Gazette takes a look at this struggle in Kansas here.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Arizona state schools start the fall with online learning

Students at the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind are learning to navigate through online classes. "We're all longing for that day when we can see the faces and hear those voices and see those smiles," the principal at the ASDB Tucson campus told KJZZ. Read the full story here.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

What inspires an Australian deaf-blind artist to paint

Australia deaf-blind Artist Joseph Formosa uses a camera and large computer screen to sketch sea creatures he finds along the Port Stephens beach. The Australian Broadcasting Company has a video report on what inspires Formosa's creativity.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Fall plans for the Arkansas School for the Deaf

The superintendent of the Arkansas School for the Deaf says her school is ready to open on Monday (Aug 24). Students are moving back on campus this weekend. You can see her ASL video below and a video report from KARK-TV or read the story here.



Friday, August 21, 2020

Allegations of racism in lawsuit against deaf service organization

A lawsuit alleges racism at one of San Diego's deaf services organizations. According to Jasmine Sandifer, "managers and others at Deaf Community Services of San Diego repeatedly disparaged her and other people of color." Find out more from NBC-7 in a video report below or read the story here


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Cochlear earnings fall after litigation loss

The largest cochlear implant maker, Cochlear Ltd, saw its earnings fall after losing a patent lawsuit in the U.S. The coronavirus pandemic also hurt the company's revenue for the year. The Australian company reported a net loss of more than $283 million for 2019-20 after reporting a profit of $276 million the previous year. The patent litigation was filed by the Alfred E Mann Foundation for Scientific Research and Advanced Bionics. The company said the jury award was out of proportion to the feature's value.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Making the BLM more accessible for the deaf

CBS News takes a look at how the deaf Black community is impacted by police who are abusive.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Name of Skateboarding Move Changing to Honor its Deaf Creator

Tony Hawk is formally changing the name of an iconic skateboarding move to acknowledge the deaf skater who created it. The "mute grab" will now be called the "Weddle Grab" in honor of Chris Weddle.



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For nearly 40 years, we’ve shamelessly referred to this trick as the “mute” air/grab. Here is the backstory: around 1981, a deaf skater and Colton skatepark local named Chris Weddle was a prominent amateur on the competition circuit. The “Indy” air had just been created & named so somebody proposed that grabbing with the front hand should be known as the “Tracker” air. Others countered that Chris was the first to do, so it should be named after him. They referred to him as the “quiet, mute guy.” So it became known as the mute air, and we all went along with it in our naive youth. In recent years a few people have reached out to Chris (who still skates) about this trick and the name it was given. He has been very gracious in his response but it is obvious that a different name would have honored his legacy, as he is deaf but not lacking speech. I asked him last year as I was diving into trick origins and he said he would have rather named it the “deaf” or “Weddle” grab if given the choice. His exact quote to me was “I am deaf, not mute.” So as we embark on the upcoming @tonyhawkthegame demo release, some of you might notice a trick name change: The Weddle Grab. It’s going to be challenging to break the habit of saying the old name but I think Chris deserves the recognition. Thanks to @darrick_delao for being a great advocate to the deaf community in action sports, and for being the catalyst in this renaming process. I told Chris tecently and his reply was “I’m so stoked!” And then he shot this photo in celebration yesterday. 📷: @yousta_storytellers_club

A post shared by Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) on

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Deaf TikToker educates her 860K followers

Chrissy Marshall
image from TicTok

Chrissy Marshall’s TicTok feed, ChrissyCantHearYou, has more than 860,000 followers. The deaf social media influencer told InTheKnow: 

I use social media to reach millions of people and educate them about the deaf community, access, ASL, as well as provide them with resources and a place accommodating to learn and grow with each other.

Read more about what she's doing here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

TSD preparing for fall classes

The Texas School for the Deaf is getting ready to start classes online. Watch the video report below from FOX-7 or read the story here.

Deaf community in Calif wants terps to remain independent

There's a bill in the California legislature that could have a big impact on sign language interpreters in the state. KFSN-TV in Fresno has a video report or you can read the story here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Getting to Know a Deaf Farmer in Ohio

Matt Fry is a farmer in Bellville, Ohio who is deaf. He tells Ohio's County Journal, "We know of a few other deaf farmers across the state and in several other states, but there’s no formal organization or anything for us to join to gather or talk regularly.” Read the full article here

Lawsuit: Include ASL in White House Briefings

Five deaf Americans are suing the White House with the help of The National Association of the Deaf in an attempt to force President Donald Trump ASL interpreters at his Covid-19 briefings. CEO Howard Rosenblum says:

Deaf and hard of hearing Americans deserve the same access to information from the White House and the President that everyone else gets. Such information must be provided not only through captioning but also in American Sign Language, especially for government announcements regarding health pandemics.

Read more from a NAD press release here or watch the ASL video below:

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Change to Netflix playback coming

The National Association of the Deaf is applauding Netflix for its plan to allow users to speed up or slow down videos. The feature will also slowdown captions which would help people who might prefer the captions at a slightly slower speed.  Read more about the change here.

A drama based on DPN!

A drama is planned based on the book
Deaf President Now! The 1988 Revolution at Gallaudet University.
The book, written by John Christiansen and Sharon Barnartt, tells the story of what happened the week of protests at Gallaudet when the students and supporters rallied for eight days around the cry for the school to have a deaf president. The untitled show is an effort from Concordia Studio backed by Nyle DiMarco.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Meet America's top sign language news reporter

The Daily Moth, which offers news in ASL, has more than 200,000 Facebook followers.  The Christian Science Monitor spoke with Alex Abenchuchan about his successful 5-year-old online channel. Watch the video below or read the transcript here.

Happy Birthday, Bob Hiltermann!

from BobHiltermann.com
Deaf since the age of 4, Bob Hiltermann was born on this day (August 1, 1952) in Germany, the tenth of eleven children born. A bout with meningitis left him deaf but he wasn't diagnosed until the age of ten. Hiltermann learned ASL while attending Gallaudet University in Washington, DC and later formed MuSign (a Signing/Mime company). He acted with Marlee Matlin in Children of a Lesser God, was featured in See What I'm Saying and The Hammer, he created ASL videos called Shut Up and Sign and is drummer for Beethoven's Nightmare.