Saturday, November 29, 2008

Criminal Takes Photo of Self

When a deaf teenager was driving through Cincinnati last fall, a young man approached her car. When he didn’t respond to her advances, he stole her Sidekick. Ashlee Hutchens didn’t expect to get it back, so her mom bought a new phone. When the cell phone imported the old phone’s memory, they were both surprised to find a photo of the criminal that he made of himself with the stolen phone! When Crime Stoppers broadcast the “mug shot” police soon had someone in custody.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Miracle Worker Author Dies

The man who wrote the play about Helen Keller called The Miracle Worker has died. William Gibson told the story of Helen Keller’s relationship with her teacher, Anne Sullivan. It won the 1960 Tony Award for best play and is still regularly performed around the country in community theaters. Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke, played the stage roles of Sullivan and Keller, respectively. They went on to win Academy Awards when repeating the parts for the film version in 1962. Mr. Gibson was nominated for an Oscar for his screenplay. Twenty years later, he wrote a sequel about Sullivan called The Monday After the Miracle but it flopped on Broadway. Gibson died Tuesday at the age of 94 in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Professional Development Courses

Sorenson is offering new professional development education courses called Effective Interpreting Series. The Video Relay Service provider will allow their interpreters to improve skill while earning college credit. The classes created by Language Matters, Inc also qualify as Continuing Education Units for the RID Certification Maintenance Program. The training consists of six one-credit courses being offered in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Deaf and Autistic Marathon Runner

A deaf and autistic 10th grader tried to run the Philadelphia Marathon last year but didn’t make it. Charlie Dickens made it to mile 21. This year, the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf student joined 16,000 other runners and tried again. And he made it. Dickens finished in 6:37:10. He ran with two other students from the school.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bankruptcy After Winning One Million Dollars

The Georgia State School Superintendent is declaring bankruptcy – not long after giving away a $1 million she won on the FOX TV show Are You Smarter Than A 5th-Grader? Kathy Cox gave part of that money went to Clarkston’s Atlanta Area School for the Deaf and Cave Spring’s Georgia School for the Deaf. Her husband is a builder hit hard by the economic collapse. Because she set up the donations under a foundation, the gifts are protected from creditors.

Maryland Gridiron Glory

The Maryland School for the Deaf football program has just won its sixth consecutive deaf school national championship. The team earned a 10-1 record, outscoring its opponents 419-140. The single defeat came at the hands of Reading (Pa.) Central Catholic. That was Maryland’s first defeat since 2005, ending a 34-game winning streak. The Oriole's eam has won 65 of the past 67 games. Remarkably, the school has an enrollment of only about 150.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Gallaudet Basketball Underway

The women's basketball team at Gallaudet has started the season undefeated. The Bison defeated Wilson College in their first game by a score of 78-27. Ursa Rewolinksi was high scorer with 24 points.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hearing-Impairment.. by the Numbers

One in every 800 children is born with a hearing impairment.

60% of people over the age of 70 suffer some hearing loss.

Hearing loss is the leading injury among soldiers returning from Iraq, according to the Deaf Independent Living Association of Salisbury, Maryland

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Letterman Intern

Late Night with David Letterman is getting its first deaf intern. Gallaudet senior Travis Dougherty will work on the CBS show along with nine other student selected from around the country. His tenure starts in January and will work in the research department. Dougherty has been working at Bison TV and revived many of the campus shows.

Dancing & Signing Video

A British man is getting a lot of hits on his vidoes where he dances and signs. Tyrone Whittles combines unusual dance routines and classic music track while performing in public. You can see his YouTube versions of songs like The Cure and Coldplay. He says it started when his ex-wife complained he never did anything romantic. Whittles bought a book and taught himself sign language. He then performed a sign for her while signing. Here’s a sample.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Signing for Obama

WNDY-TV in Indianapolis has this report on the CODA who interpreted Barack Obama's acceptance speech (no captioning provided)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Captioning in the Digital Era

There are some new closed captioning rules for TV stations in the digital era. The FCC will require TV stations to provide contact information about any video they post online so that viewers can easily direct complaints. They also much be able to handle relay calls from the deaf and hard of hearing and respond to viewers within 24 hours.

Making Connections

The Psychology Department at Gallaudet University is hosting a conference this weekend called Making Connections: Neuropsychological Assessment and Applications with Individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Professionals in the field of deafness and psychology will discuss how the brain deals with hearing-impairment. Peter Hauser from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf will deliver the keynote address tonight. Click here for more information.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Playing in the Band

One player in the University of Tennessee band has hearing loss. Lacie Duffel has only 30% of her hearing. But that hasn’t stopped her from playing in the Pride of the Southland Marching Band for four years. She plays the baritone horn. As a child, Duffel suffered from a series of ear infections but with the help of hearing aids, the senior was able to play an instrument. She’s studying audiology and hopes to become an elementary school speech pathologist.

Woman Sends Retirement Money to Scammers

Janella Spears is a minister who has married deaf couples. But the Portland women sent nearly half a million dollars of her deaf husband’s retirement money to con artists. KATU-TV explains why she chased a well-known get-rich scam. (no captioning provided)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind has a new president. The Board of Trustees voted unanimously yesterday to name L. Daniel Hutto as permanent president. He’s served as interim president since January of 2007 after President Dillingham’s retirement. He slashed more than $3 million from the school’s $42 million budget without having to fire anyone. Hutto became involved with the deaf at a young age, when his father started a deaf ministry at the church he pastored.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Gallaudet Teacher Dies

The founder and first chairman of Gallaudet University's religion department has died. Eugene McVicker was 84-years-old. The retired Lutheran minister was the youngest son of deaf parents and spent many years working on behalf of the deaf. He served as Gallaudet’s chaplain for a time and remained religion department chairman for nearly 30 years. He lectured using both ASL and spoken English.

Friday, November 7, 2008

School Reopens After Scandal

The Louisiana School for the Deaf reopened on Wednesday with new security measures in place including surveillance cameras, retrained security guards and an electronic-monitoring system to track dormitory staff. The professional staff are also taking sign language classes at the Baton Rouge school to foster better communication with the students. The facility was rocked by a sex scandal and shut down last month by state officials. The latest incident was the rape of a six-year-old girl on a school bus. A lawsuit has been filed against the school that accuses two male students of repeatedly molesting a female student last year. The improvements cost about a half-a-million dollars.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Story of an Institute

A new book called The Ties that Bind: A Collection of Historical Remembrances of the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind tells the story of The Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind. It is written by Lynne Hanner, who is director of the institution’s foundation along with Rose Myers, a former reporter for The Birmingham News. The institution is celebrating its 150th anniversary and the book steps back in time to describe its 1858 beginnings. Joseph Henry Johnson, started the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind in Talleadega to help his brother, William Seaborn, who was born deaf and blind. Seaborn eventually became an educator himself, teaching for more than 40 years at the institution.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Is Teaching Your Baby to Sign a Bad Idea?

Not everyone thinks teaching baby’s sign language is a good idea. Penny Glass, a child psychologist at Children's National Medical Center tells WJLA-TV teaching them to sign "drink" and "more" can be a bad thing. "Babies really need to learn to listen and respond in a reciprocal way with the adult rather than be in charge and say this is what I want now.” She suggests waiting until the baby learns "common gestures," like pointing to something they want before trying to teach sign. If you would like to write to Dr Glass and tell her your opinion, here is her email address:

Money for Audiologists

Utah State University will get three-quarters of a million dollars in federal money to churn out more audiologists. The $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education will help to train 37 audiologists and speech-language pathologists, particularly when it comes to early intervention. It will provide services to infants, toddlers and preschoolers with hearing loss.

Playing from the Heart

Actress Erica Siegel wears hearing aids. But that hasn’t stopped her from landing the lead roll in Playing from the Heart. The production runs through the end of the month at the Imagination Stage in Bethesda, Maryland. The play It tells the story of Evelyn Glennie – a world-renowned British percussionist who was also deaf. Playing from the Heart was originally performed in England in 1998.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Captioned Radio: Election Coverage

You can see read text of National Public Radio's election returns and commentary between 8 pm and 11 pm Eastern this evening. It’s the first time, you’ll be able to follow NPR’s coverage through captioning. Harris is providing the new high-definition radio technology with help from broadcast engineers in Palm Bay, Florida. People who have high-definition radios will be able to follow spoken election coverage in caption form through displayed text.

Modesto Lawsuit Settled

A deaf man who sued the city of Modesto, California has settled out of court. Harry Tessien claimed police used excessive force when he failed to follow their orders – orders he could not hear. Details of the settlement have not been released but Tessien was asking for compensation and attorneys' fees.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Cuts to Deaf Services in Virginia

Virginia’s Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services has reportedly cut all funding for sign language interpreters. The office has also slashed in half funding for the position that coordinates services for the deaf and hard-of-hearing position.

Makers of Hearing Aids

Six biggest brands of hearing aids:
GN ReSound, Oticon, Phonak, Siemens, Starkey and Widex.

The three main manufacturers of tiny hearing aids:,,

ASL Bachelor's Degrees

There are only 34 institutions nationwide offering a bachelor's degree in ASL interpreting, according to Eastern Kentucky University President Doug Whitlock.