Sunday, January 31, 2010

Education Tax Credit

Here are some tips from the IRS on the Education Tax Credit in ASL.

Krome Sign Language Translator

About a year ago, we told you in this post the Krome Sign Language Translator was coming out for about $200. Here's a video about the pocket dictionary. Harris (the manufacturer) offers more information about the device here.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Breslin Preps for Broadway

Here's a video of Abigail Breslin talking about her coming stage debut in The Miracle Worker which is returning to Broadway (no captions). You can read more about the production here.

Cuts at NCSD

The North Carolina Schools for the Deaf will remain open despite budget problems but there will be a cutback in services. Staff will lose work hours and residential students will return on Monday instead of Sundays. Last year, state officials discussed combining the two schools (one is in Wilson and one is in Morganton) in order to save money. But the governor decided against the plan and both schools will stay open.

Vehicle Tax Deduction

The IRS offers advice on the Vehicle Tax Deduction in ASL.

Learning About College Options

The Las Vegas Sun describes what a visit from a Gallaudet recruiter is like for local high schoolers in this story.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Withholding Calculator

Tips from the IRS on how much to have withheld from your paycheck in ASL.

Hearing Loss hasn't Slowed Phillies Prospect

The Philadelphia Daily News has profiled Tyson Gillies, a deaf baseball prospect for the Phillies here.

New ASL Certification Program

Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green is adding a new American Sign Language Studies undergraduate certificate program. The Board of Regents approved the plan on Wednesday. the program starts this fall and will be set up thorugh the Communication Disorders department in the College of Health and Human Services. About two dozens students are expected to register for the program. Five courses will offered for the 12-hour certificate program including Finger Spelling, Profession Ethics and Issues and Deaf Culture and History.

Hockey Weekend Across America

A group of challenged New Jersey hockey players are planning to dispel a lot of myths about hockey this weekend. All eleven will are visit 54 rinks in 54 hours. They hope the 1,370-mile trek will encourage rink owners to provide ample ice time for disabled players. It's part of the Hockey Weekend Across America event that runs through Sunday. Two US Deaf Olympians are on the team.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Making Work Pay on Income Tax

IRS tips on the Making Work Pay tax credit in ASL.

Plan to Close School Ends

A committee in the South Dakota Senate has killed a bill that would have changed the state constitution and allowed closure of the South Dakota School for the Deaf. The governor tried to close the campus last year but the parents filed a federal class-action lawsuit saying state's constitution prevented the move. The bill's sponsor, Al Novstrup, says there is a new proposal that would make the bill unnecessary.

Protest Over ASL Program Closing

Students trying to save the Deaf Education Program at Michigan State University are planning to launch an email campaign asking administrators to, “Please keep MSU’s Deaf Education Program for our deaf children who use ASL in Michigan.” Late last year, the school announced plans to close the program. It's one of nearly two dozen that are set to shut down.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Florida Investigation

A federal investigation of Florida's Dept of Children and Families over its failure to provide services to deaf clients has been completed. The US Dept of Health & Human Services says the agency failed to provided sign language interpreters to deaf persons in critical situations related to child protective services investigations and state mental health facilities. In the settlement, the state agency agreed to:

  • provide interpreters when needed
  • hire an independent consultant to oversee implementation of the settlement’s terms
  • convene an advisory committee in partnership with the Florida Coordinating Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • establish an interpreter quality assessment and certification program
  • designate ADA coordinators and single points of contract in the more than 100 direct service facilities operated by DCF

Education on Income Tax Returns

IRS tips on the Education Tax Credit in ASL.

Texas Appointment

Susie Grona of Hideaway is one of the five people appointed to the Texas State Independent Living Council. The council leads, promotes and advances independent living and advocates for the rights of individuals with disabilities. Hideaway teaches at Tyler Junior College. A former deaf education teach in the Corpus Christi public school system, she is on the board of the Texas and National associations of the Deaf, and Texas Association of Parent and Educators for the Deaf.

Burke Honored

Howard College in Big Springs, Texas is giving special recognition to Douglas and Beatrice Burke. The board has approved renaming several buildings in their honor that are located on the SouthWest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf. The school says Douglas Burke was the first deaf person to lead an institution of higher education in the nation. He passed away in 1988 after helping to establish the community college in east Texas. His wife, Beatrice Burke, also has played a critical role in the school, serving as a past chair and member of the institution's advisory committee and as a member of the Texas School for the Deaf Governing Board.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

E-Filing Income Tax Returns

IRS tips on e-filing in ASL.

Plan to Change State Constitution

Some South Dakota are hoping to close the state school for the deaf. Senator Al Novstrup of Aberdeen has filed a resolution that would put the issue to a statewide vote this November. If approved, the resolution would remove references to the school from the responsibilities of the state Board of Regents in the South Dakota Constitution. That would clear the way for the legislature to close the school, something that was proposed by Governor Mike Rounds last year to save money.

Monday, January 25, 2010

FCC Issues 7-Eleven a Citation

The FCC has issued warnings to several companies for failing to file Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) Reports. The agency requires telephone equipment manufacturers to make cellphone handsets available that are compatible with hearing aid devices. The Commission also requires phone manufacturers and service providers to submit HAC reports on January 15 of each year, detailing their compliance with the handset stocking rules.

Firefly Mobile Communications is exempt from complying with the handset stocking rules because it sold so few of them. Even so, Firefly was not exempt from the requirement to file an HAC report, so the Bureau issued it a citation, threatening to impose a fine if it fails to file the report again.

7-Eleven also received a citation because it offers cellphones with prepaid minutes but did not file an HAC report last year either. The company told the FCC that it is not phone manufacturer or service provider and should not be subject to the HAC reporting requirement.

If the ruling stands, any company selling handsets will be subject to fine for not making a HAC report, contributing to the Universal Service Fund, filing quarterly 499Q’s, and complying with all other regulations applicable under Title II of the Act to service providers... just as Verizon, AT&T and other companies you typically think of as telecommunications companies.

Chances are good that many outlets will just stop selling the phone rather than follow through with meeting the regulation requirements.

Free Income Tax Filing

IRS tips on filing for free in ASL.

Mixed Martial Arts

When Josh Ofiu isn't attending classes at Gallaudet University, he's battling at the Alaska Fighting Championship bouts. Josh never gets nervous from the buzz of the crowd because he's deaf - which he considers an advantage. Four years ago he was charged with assault. Police said he was part of a mob who came back from to get revenge after being kicked out of a party. That's when Ofiu tried his hand at mixed martial arts. But he hopes to pursue a career as a counselor for deaf children when he graduates.

Visual Sound

Pratt Institute student Suhyun Kim has come up with a device that converst voice to text and vice versa. Visual Sound is a mobile phone for the deaf designed with pillars that scroll sideways to expose the roll-out display. The scroll-like device has a touchscreen for text to be typed in, which then gets converted to voice for the other person on the line, whose audio then turns into text for the deaf user of the phone to read. She is now working on finding someone to manufacture it.

Haiti Fundraiser

A fund raiser called Spin-4-Haiti is being planned for February 5th and 6th at Gallaudet. The stationary cycling event will benefit the students of Institut Montfort, a school for deaf students in the capital city of Port-au-Prince, and the Haiti Association of the Deaf. Here is more information.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tax Tips from the IRS

The IRS offers some tax tips in ASL.

Iowa Fundraiser

Katanya Yingyoth has lost the small device that must be attached to her cochlear implant for it to function. Friends of the Des Moine, Iowa child are holding a concert today to raise money to buy her a new one. The device runs $9,000. Four local bands are scheduled to perform at the 2pm benefit at Miss Kitty's in nearby Clive, Iowa.

Help for Haiti

Here are several groups that were working with in Haiti to help deaf children before the quake struck.

Institut Montfort is a school for deaf students in the capital city of Port-au-Prince.

Northwest Haiti Christian Mission runs a deaf school in Haiti.

A Catholic group, Reiser Relief was working this fall on establishing the Maranatha Orphanage for Children which includes deaf children (though that is not their focus).

The Children's Medical Mission of Haiti is associated with the Episcopal church and had some outreach to the deaf there before the quake.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Energy Tax Credit Income Tax Return

Information from the IRS on the Energy Tax Credit in ASL.

Info on Haiti Earthquake

OIC movies offers this ASL video on the quake in Haiti.

Implants Younger Than Ever

WFAA-TV in Dallas reports on putting cochlear implants in young children. Read the story here.

Gally Sports Helps Haiti

Money was taken up at the January 13 women's and men's basketball games featuring Gallaudet against Hood College to aid survivors of Haiti's earthquake. The teams and fans also observed a moment of silence. Proceeds from the January 20 men's and women's doubleheader against Wesley College were also donated to the American Red Cross in order to benefit quake survivors.

Deaf Flight Instructor

Gregory Lawrence may be over the age of 60, but that hasn't stopped the Saraota, Florida native from pursuing a high-flying ambition. After scoring a 90 on his FAA Certified Flight Instructor Knowledge test, Lawrence is looking for a sponsor for his plan to become a flight instructor to the deaf in Light Sport Aircraft. Lawrence has been deaf since he was given streptomycin as an infant. He first became a licensed pilot in 1966 and now plans to visit deaf schools across the country to tell his story in an effort to inspire other deaf people to learn to fly. If you have questions, reach him at .

Friday, January 22, 2010

Western Classic

The Western State Basketball & Cheerleading Classic starts Wednesday in Salt Lake City. Click here for details.

Captioning Law

A proposed Maryland law would require all bars and restaurants to show closed captioning on TVs. It's now in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. Two members of the committee, Brian Simonaireare and Anne Arundel, want to change the bill. They say it goes to far and they want it to only require closed captioning one television. Another member, Jim Brochin, even suggests the rule could cause fights in bars. But Senator Jamie Raskin suggests the bill should be changed to make owners of restaurants and bars provide captioning when requested. But Senator Lisa Gladden, who can sign, quesitoned how that request would be made by deaf people. The Maryland Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is behind the legislation.

Cowboy Contact

The new Cowboy Stadium in Texas has a specially built wireless system to provide closed captioning, audio play-by-play and amplified public announcements for football fans. The device allows users to go anywhere in the stadium and remain in contact with the game because it connects to the stadium's Wi-Fi network. The team rejected the idea of adding video board captions because that type of system would limit some fans when they went to concession stands or other areas of the stadium. The company that developed the device, Softeq Development Corp, believes it's the first of its kind for a stadium. The team has 4o of the devices which are about the size of a phone with a 3-and-a-half inch screen. A similar system was created for Disneyland and Walt Disney World. The closed captions are now only in English, but the team plans to soon add Spanish captions.

Chip Implant

KMGH-TV in Denver reports on a new type of chip implant that goes on the brain stem (no captions).

Teen Repellent

A $1500 device called the Mosquito will drive away teenagers. It was devised by a man in England who grew tired of teens hanging out in front of his shop. The kids found it so annoying that they went elsewhere while hearing adults are not bothered by the tone.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Teen Sentenced

A judge in Fort Worth has sentenced a teenager to 40 years’ behind bars for his part in a November crime spree that included severely beating an 85-year-old deaf man. The teen also robbed clerks at gunpoint at two convenience stores. The judge denied prosecutors’ request that the teen be tried as an adult. In just three years, the juvenile court can parole him from the juvenile facility at which he will serve his time. Two other teens charged in the crime spree will be tried as adults.

"We Will be Forced to Close"

KTVB reports on plans to shut down the Idaho school for the deaf and blind. No captions but here's the text.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Children's Implant Study

According to the first full study to look at how children respond to cochlear implants in both ears, researchers say the children initially have poor control over their voices but gradually learn to gain control over the loudness and pitch of their voices. Researchers at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada looked at the progress of 27 children and compared them to children with normal hearing. They plan to next develop and evaluate therapeutic tools to help with the process. The study appears in the journal Archives of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery.

Gov: Phase Out Deaf Agency

Governor Butch Otter wants to cut fuding for the Idaho Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing by 2014. He proposed the change during his State of the State address last week. The Council's current budget is $179,000, slashed from $279,500 in fiscal 2008. The governor's office says it hopes to find funding for the agency from other places besides the state.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Conquering the World of Rodeo

One of the cowboys in the International Finals Rodeo this weekend has been deaf since birth. 24-year-old Clint Thomas is from Ranger, Georgia is one of only15 tie-down ropers in just his first year of participating in the International Professional Rodeo Association. Thomas has already locked up the Rookie of the Year honor. Not only is he the only rookie to qualify for the tie-down roping, he's in the mix for the All-Around Rookie of the Year title. Thomas apparently has it in his genes. His father, David, is a rodeo cowboy and so are his brothers, Matt and Jake.

Murder Charges

Earl Handy, Jr of Willis, Texas (north of Houston) is facing charges he stabbed his estranged wife to death and wounded her boyfriend. Police say the deaf man attacked Donna Rene Allen Handy yesterday at her home but did not harm her teenage son. The couple had only married a couple of years. Handy has a history of violence. When police arrested him, they had to taser Handy at his trailer because he began stabbing himself with a screwdriver.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Excelling at Teamwork

Adding YouTube Captions

Here's an explanation of how to add captions to YouTube video.

Lip Reading School

The country’s first lip reading school started offering classes one year ago. The Master’s Lip Reading Academy in Chattanooga will focus on helping churches better serve older parishioners. Director David Harrison was born hard of hearing and is certified by the American Academy for Hearing Loss Support Specialists. Classes will be equipped with FM assistive listening devices. Harrison works with the Georgia’s Silent Word Ministries as a missionary.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti Contact Service

Video relay service LifeLinks offers deaf to contact Haitian Creole speakers in the U.S. and Haiti at no cost in their native language.

Deaf Pride

Here is a strongly worded opinion piece that says in part "the 2nd DPN was an embarrassment and just another stupid move by us deaf people." It's written by college student Mary Pat Clark.

Bison Break Long Losing Streak

It's been more than a decade since the Gallaudet women's team beat Hood. But the wait is over. The Bison won by a score of 70-52 at home over the Blazers. The team improved to 8-1 at home and 9-4 overall. The team is third in the conference standings.The Bison next match up with St. Mary's College on Saturday.

Reorganization in Kansas

Bob Maile is out an superintendent of the Kansas school for the deaf. Even though he announced his retirement, there are no plans to replace him. In fact, the superintendent's position is being merged with the same one at the state's school for the blind. Madeline Burkindine will oversee both schools in the Kansas City area. The Kansas State Board of Education has approved the reorganization which will save the state nearly a quarter of a million dollars in the next year. Burkindine will get an assistant superintendent.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Guilty Pleas in Video Relay Scam

A couple of people who worked at Viable video relay service in Maryland have plead guilty to charges stemming from a million dollar scam designed to bilk the government out of money through fake calls. The company's former assistant vice president of business development, Anthony Mowl, and the former human resources manager, Donald Tropp, have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Viable president John Yeh also faces charge.

Greatest Gen Not so Deaf

A new study contridicts the common belief that baby boomers losing their hearing because of exposure to loud music and concludes hearing loss from one generation to the next is actually on the decline. University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health researchrs found baby boomers have lost less of their hearing than their parents. The study involved more than 5000 people and their offspring born between 1902 and 1962. Prior to the study, it would have been expected that 66 million Americans would have significant hearing loss by 2030. However, the new findings suggest that number will be closer to 51 million. Details are in the latest issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Guide to Flying

Jaunted offers a wealth of information for deaf air travelers here. Question are answered like, How do I get in touch with airlines, how are gate changes handled, in-flight movies, etc.

Choir Member is Deaf

Houston's Cypress Ridge High School All-State Mixed Choir has a deaf member. Joshua Smart is a tenor, who is profoundly deaf in his right ear and has significant hearing loss in his left ear. He uses a wireless hearing and practices at least two hours each day. Smart says many students were shocked he made the cut. After graduation, he plans to attend Stephen F. Austin State University, where he hopes to sing in the school's choir.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

FFA at Kentucky School

The Kentucky School for the Deaf has been granted its first Future Farmers of America chapter in the school's 187-year history. The national charter for the student-run agriculture group came in November and the first FFA meeting takes place a week from Friday. That's when Gallatin County High School’s FFA members will officialy install the chapter. Two dozen students from KSD will be the first members of the organization.

Monster Mac

Mac McBride wrestles for Northwest High in Germantown, Maryland. The 6-3, 215-pounder has been nicknamed Monster Mac by his teammates. McBride had a 4th place finish at a school match last month. The deaf teenager also plays football and is a member of the school's track team. Rather than using sign language, McBride uses cued speech and hearing aids because his mother says "we wanted him to be able to function in the normal world and not just be immersed in a deaf culture," according to Maryland's Gazzette.

The Language of Love

The Abington Journal in northeast Pennsylvania offers this report on a 6-year-old who has recieved two cochlear impants.

Newborn Screening

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says babies should be screened for hearing loss before one month of age, preferably before leaving the hospital. The procedure takes less than ten minutes. The CDC says one-to-three babies in each thousand have hearing lose.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Grade Inflation

The Arkansas School for the Deaf in Little Rock had 100% grade inflation, according to the state Department of Education. A new report identifies nearly 60 schools in Arkansas that have inflated grades on standardized tests. This means at least 20% of the students in each class made a B or above in the class failed to score proficient or advanced on the corresponding exam. The report compares high schooler's grades in math with their scores on the 2009 End of Course exams. The report impacts students from those schools who are trying qualifying for an Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship.

Saved from Flames

Darrell McCollough is being called a hero. Fire officials in Pasadena, Texas (near Houston) say Murenda Flanagan was trapped on her balcony while her building burned yesterday morning. That's when Darrell, a neighbor, jumped into action. Darrell counldn't hear her screams but he saw the situation. The deaf man drove his jeep underneath the burning balcony and yelled for her to jump. She did and survived with just a leg injury. The building has been declared a loss and will have to be torn down. A dozen families lost their homes in the blaze.

Cisco Webcast

Computer networking company Cisco will host a webcast about video over wireless networks on January 19th. Cisco customer The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) will take part and discuss using video on the Cisco Unified Wireless Network. The network has enabled the university to provide students and faculty members with traditional voice and data applications. It's now being used to enhance the educational experience of the school's 1,100 deaf and hard-of-hearing students through close-captioned video lectures. The videocast can be accessed by registering here for the 8 AM pacific time broadcast and here for the 6 PM pacific time broadcast.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Video of Hero

Here's a video from KVRL-TV in Houston about a deaf man who saved a woman from a fire yesterday (no captions).

The Android VPhone

An inexpensive video-chatting phone may be out in just weeks. The Android VPhone comes from a small, new wireless firm called Saygus. It's being processed through Verizon's Open Development Initiative and it may be out of Verizon's labs very soon. While the company is enthusiastic about the phone's use in the Deaf Community, it hasn't made the device available for review by industry experts. More information here.

Getting to Know.. Silent Call

• Founded: 1987 by George Elwell
• Location: Waterford, Michigan
• Number of employees: 10
• Product: Development of alerting devices and signals for those with vision and hearing loss.
• Website: Silent Call
• Customers: Canada’s government, Michigan's Commission for the Blind

Gene Involved in Hearing Loss Found

Researchers say they've found the gene resposible for a rare and progressive form of hearing loss in boys that could pave the way for treament of other forms of deafness. The gene is called PRPS1 and it appears to be crucial in inner ear development and maintenance. There are four mutations associated with the gene which have been linked to disorders like Arts syndrome and a form of Charcot-Marie Tooth disease. The mutations cause a decrease in the production of a protein that results in defects in hair cells in the inner ear, and eventually leads to progressive deafness. Scientists are now looking at potential enzyme replacement therapies to either restore hearing or prevent further hearing loss in boys with the disease. Funding for the international study came from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorder. Details are in the American Journal of Human Genetics. More information here.

Culinary School

More than 70 years after the Montana School for the Deaf and the Blind closed the doors of it 110-year old campus in Bolder, developer Blair Williams says he is planning to turn the buildings into a school for the culinary arts. He'll invest as much as $15 million to teach cheese making, meat cutting, crafting wine and beer, catering and restaurant management.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Getting to Know.. Deaf Link

• Deaf Link uses videoconferencing technology to provide interpreters

• 2008 Computerworld Honors winner in the category of business and related services

• 62 employees including 42 interpreters

• National liaison Mike Houston is the only deaf member of the leadership team at the company

• More than 80 clients (including hospitals and government agencies)

• Equipment is from Norway-based Tandberg ASA

• Developed a proprietary Internet-based program to transmit emergency announcements

Friday, January 8, 2010

Gally's Fan Support

Visiting teams have a hard time concentrating when they play Gallaudet's basketball teams at home. Bison fans stomp on the bleachers, allowing Gallaudet players to get a sense of their support by the vibrations in the floor.

False Advertising?

WTVF in Nashville put the Loud'N Clear "personal sound amplifier" to the test - and it didn't do what ads say it will do. Here's the story.

The Interpreter Shortage

The need for interpreters and translators is projected to increase 24% by 2016 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Getting to Know.. Gallaudet’s Women’s Basketball Coach

Gallaudet is riding its longest winning streak in 11 seasons thanks to Kevin Cook who became the coach of the Bison in 2007. The team is 7-3 so far this season (3-1 in the conference) with five wins in a row. Before Cook's arrival, the team had only won 17 of the last 136 games.

The 48-year-old is a native of Fremont, Ohio who spent a decade as an assistant coach at Kansas and more than a decade as an assistant for the four-time WNBA champion Houston Comets. He also spent a summer as head coach of the Nigerian women's national team. They came in 2nd in the All-Africa Games.

But Cook has more to deal with than his team's opponents. He is battling Parkinson's disease, so his hands shake and his signs are often stuttered. But the team is supportive. They overwhelmed him with text messages when he attended the Ohio funeral of his sister, who died unexpectedly in a house fire. Cook told reporters the team reached out to him and “they'll never know how much that meant to me."

Testing Children

One in every 20 school-aged children may have mild hearing loss that could affect their academic work and more than one-third of them are expected to fail at least one grade at school according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Voting in Florida

Election officials in Broward County, Florida want more time to change out voting machines used by deaf voters. A state law requires replacement of current electronic voting machines by 2012 but they want to wait until 2016. Right now, a touch-screen machine is used in each of the county's precincts for deaf voters but the new system allows them to print a ballot showing their choices. Because each machine costs more than $5,000 and Broward has 786 precincts, meeting the requirement would cost the county upwards of $5 million and officials say they don't have the funds to make the change.

I-Hear Program

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch offers a look in this article at a new online program used by the St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf, a local oral school.

Solar Powered Aid

A Brazil-based company has come up with a hearing aid that runs on solar powered batteries. After charging two AA batteries, they are placed in a the hearing aid. They keep their power for about a week. The Solar Ear is especially designed for impoverished countries where access to electricity may be limited. Plus, all the employees that work on Solar Ear’s devices are deaf.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cali College Law

A new California law that went into effect January first is designed to ensure that deaf students in the state's public colleges and universities will be given access to audiovisual course materials, through captioning and other devices. Here's more information on the law.

Signing Leads to Arrests

Three people broke into the home of a deaf man living in Biloxi, Mississippi and forced him at gunpoint to withdraw money from an ATM. Police arrested all three, thanks to the quick thinking of the man. He alerted an employee of Keesler Federal Credit Union who knew sign language.

Black ASL

A person’s speech indicates where they were raised as a child. But does the same holds true for American Sign Language? Researchers at Gallaudet University believe so. They are studying black ASL in an effort to better understand what leads to the development of a distinct dialect. The project is called The History and Structure of Black ASL and has the support of the National Science Foundation. When the team completes its work in 2011, they will have created video documentation of Black ASL and identified its unique features. They have already noted that Black ASL signers prefer two-handed signs and forehead versions of signs. Besides gathering linguistic data, the researchers are also collecting stories about what life is like in the black deaf community.

More Info

Deaf Entrepreneur Charged

Here's an article detailing the fraud charges against the head of Viable, a Maryland video relay center.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Avatar and The Bible

Here's an update on progress on a translation of the Bible for the Deaf Community by Wycliffe Bible Translators and how it relates to the new movie Avatar.

Monday, January 4, 2010

4 Wins Back-to-Back

The Gallaudet women's basketball team has won four games in a row. The Bison beat visiting Polytechnic of New York, 57-52, yesterday. The team is now 6-3 and next face Salisbury’s 5-3 team on Wednesday.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Girl Drowns

A 4-year-old deaf girl died near Houston after wandering into a neighbor's pool. Her mother called 911 when she realized the girl was missing this morning. Her father found her floating in the pool as police arrived on the scene. They gave her CPR but she died a few hours afterward at a local hospital. Names have yet to be released and no charges are expected to be filed.

New Implant

Doctor David Isaacson explains why he thinks the new Nucleus 5 implant is "amazing" in this article in the South Bend Tribune. The ear specialist and surgeon has performed more than 50 cochlear surgeries and is the first doctor in Indiana to implant the new model.

Friday, January 1, 2010

1st Female Prez

A San Diego sign language interpreter has become the first female president of the San Diego Leatherboys because of her activism in the Leather/kink/BDSM community. It was a job Michelle Jackson took to interpret at a San Diego Leatherfest that led her to her involvement. Jackson was also Ms. San Diego Leather 2005.

College Football Coach has Deaf Roots

Houston Nutt's Ole Miss football team plays tomorrow in the Cotton Bowl. Many watching the University of Mississippi Rebels may not know that Nutt grew up playing and communicating with deaf children. His parents taught at the Arkansas School for the Deaf. The 50-year-old Nutt took over at the University of Mississippi after resigning from Arkansas, where he spent a decade coaching the Razorbacks. During his tenure there, he led the team to three Southeastern Conference Western Division titles and was 2006 SEC coach of the year.

His father, Houston Nutt Sr., grew up with a slight hearing impairment in a deaf household. At the Arkansas School for the Deaf, the elder Nutt served as dean of students, teacher, coach, groundskeeper, athletic director. Perhaps most importantly, he served as father figure to children who would leave home at the age of 4 or 5 to live at the school.

Singer Continues Dream

We told you about deaf jazz singer Mandy Harvey earlier this month here. Now, the Denver Post has written this profile.

Oz Show

On today's Dr. Oz Show, a deaf woman undergoes a"groundbreaking procedure onstage" to restore her hearing. A one-time Oprah Show regular, Oz debuted his own talk-show in September.