Monday, February 28, 2011

Bison in NCAA Tourney!

The Gallaudet University women's basketball team is in the NCAA Division III tournament! The Bison received an At-Large bid to the despite losing the conference title to Keuka College over the weekend. Gallaudet will play Juniata College (21-6) in the first round at the team's faculty in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania this Friday. St. Vincent College will play Greensboro College starting at 5:30pm, then Juniata and Gallaudet will tip off when the first game is completed.

43 of the 64 teams earned automatic qualification to the women's basketball tourney. The first and second round competition takes place March 4th and 5th at 16 sites around the country. Second-round winners will advance to one of four sectional sites March 11-12. Winners of the four sectional games will advance to the national semifinals March 18. The finals take place at Illinois Wesleyan University's Shirk Center on March 19.

Gallaudet ended its regular season this weekend by splitting two games. The Bison beat SUNYIT (State University of New York Institute of Technology) by a score of 53-44, but lost to Keuka College in the league championship game yesterday by a score of 50-46. The Bison were winning by a double-digit margin but saw their lead melt away, thanks to a 14-0 run at the end of the game by the Keuka College Storm. That gave the Storm the conference title and automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Keuka ends the season with a 24-2 record while Gallaudet was 24-3 on the year.

You can see the brackets here.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Amazing Race Results

Luke and Margie are in 5th place after 2 episodes of The Amazing Race. They were in 7th place at the end of the first episode. After almost winning during season 14, the deaf son and his mother are back again (along with 11 other former teams who didn’t win). Episode 2 was titled I Never Looked So Foolish in My Whole Entire Life which is something one contestant said after teams were made to dress up as Kangaroos (they were in Australia). Amanda and Kris (who were dating) were eliminated at the end of the 2nd episode. See the entire first episode here.

Captioning Complaints

There are several ways to file a captioning complaint about a broadcast. The FCC requests that you submit written complaints directly to your cable or satellite TV service, or the TV station. If you file your complaint with the FCC, the FCC will forward the complaint. Written complaints must be filed within 60 days of the captioning problem. The service will have 30 days to respond to the complaint. If they fail to respond within 30 days, or if the matter is unresolved, you can send your complaint to the FCC. There is an on-line complaint form here. You can also email complaints to the FCC’s Consumer Center at or by fax at 1-866-418-0232. If you wish to write through regular mail, send your complaint to:

Federal Communications Commission
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20554

You'll want to include your contact information, the television channel number, call sign, and network, the location of the TV station, the date and time when you experienced the captioning problem, the name of the program or show and a detailed description of the captioning problem.

An FCC fact sheet with more detail is located here.

The Sport He Loves

A Rochester, NY paper looks at how a deaf referee approaches the game of basketball in the slide show below. Or you can read the story here.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Celebrity Help in Haiti

Miley Cyrus is visiting Haiti in support of the Starkey Hearing Foundation. She's helping the hearing aid group to make molds of children's ears, so that custom hearing aids can be made at Starkey headquarters in Minnesota. The 'Hannah Montana' star had previously donated the proceeds from one of her singles to Haiti relief efforts.

Terps at Disney

Disneyland will hold its 22nd Annual Deaf Awareness Day a week from today. The Orange County Deaf Equal Access Foundation will provide volunteer interpreters at some shows and other locations around the park. The resort regularly provides interpreting services a couple of days a week.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Netflix Problem

Only 30% of Netflix streaming content is captioned. That's about 3500 TV episodes and movies. And even these can be viewed on only a limited number of devices. Netflix says that percentage should rise to 80% by the end of the summer. However, some critics say the portion of the Netflix library is much smaller than the company claims and that the rate at which Netflix is going, it will be years before the project is complete. You can see the results of one tally here.

Two Wins Away!

The women's basketball team at Gallaudet could win their conference title this weekend. They host the North Eastern Athletic Conference tournament as its top seed. Two wins this weekend would not only capture the NEAC championship, but probably put the them in the NCAA Tournament. The 23-2 Bison are led by senior Easter Faafiti who has been named NEAC Student-Athlete of the Week a record five times this season. She is averaging 21.3 points per game, 13.4 rebounds and 4 steals.

Lawsuit Over New Implant

A three week trial in Denver has led a jury to award a French company $5.9 million over a new cochlear implant. The jury decided Boulder-based Otologics misappropriated trade secrets from SA Neurtelec. Otologics tried to buy SA Neutelec for $30 million. When the offer was rejected, the firm hired some of the top talent at SA Neurelec who have developed an implant that is entirely implanted.

School May Close

The Rochester School for the Deaf could be shut down in the next round of state budget cuts. Deaf and hard of hearing students from 45 New York school districts attend, but the governor's proposed budget would leave local school officials with the decision as to whether to mainstream students who live in the district or pay to send them to a school such as the Rochester School for the Deaf.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Service Animals in Washington State

Lawmakers in Washington State are considering a bill that would require restaurants, bars and grocery stores to treat trained dogs and miniature horses as the only service animals that may assisting disabled customers under ADA law. Stores could refuse access to just about any other service animal. The legislation is in the House now as bill 1728. Read the proposed law and follow its progress here.

When Hand-waving Makes for Good Scientific Discussion

Ever wonder what sign language interpreters do when they run across technical and scientific terms in presentations? There's an article in New Scientist about inventing signs on the fly. Ferris Jabr wrote the piece this week while attending the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington, D.C. Read the article here.

Meeting with Police

Portland's deaf community will have a chance to discuss their safety concerns with the city's police department this evening. The goal of the meeting is to create a better understanding through more open communication. The forum is set for 6pm at the Deering Masonic Lodge on Bishop Street.

Miss Capital City

A deaf student has won LSU's Miss Capital City Pageant. Andrea Sonnier is an senior majoring in English who will now prepare for the Miss Louisiana Pageant in June. If she wins, she will move on to take part in Miss America 2011. She plans to attend Gallaudet University in the fall and work on a master's in deaf education.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Teaching kids and adults to play hockey. Read about a program at Holy Cross called DEAFinately here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Divided Education

One child learns ASL while the education of another is impacted by his cochlear implant. Yet both students are attending Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind. Read more in an article at The Salt Lake Tribune by clicking here.

NFL: No to Charity Event

The NFL refused to allow its players to take part in a fund-raiser for hearing aids. The Raise your Hand for Africa Charity Tournament at the the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas was intended to bring together Hollywood celebrities, NFL superstars and other poker pros this past weekend for a special Texas Hold’em charity event. The money went to the Starkey Hearing Foundation so it could purchase hearing aids for children in Africa. But the league decided to take a tough stance against gambling, forbidding players from joining poker tournaments, even ones that are being held for charity. The 25 NFL players watched from the sidelines and cheered players as best they could.

Sentencing Delayed

The man once selected as Deaf Person of the Year by Deaf Life magazine will be sentenced for fraud in June. John Yeh was originally going to find out how much jail time he would get in just a matter of days, but the judge in the case has delayed sentencing. He plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud as part of a deaf service agency in Maryland. He, and his brother Joseph Yeh, owned Rockville-based Viable. They admitted trying to defraud the FCC's Video Relay Service program by paying people to make fake calls. They submitted about $55 million in claims to the federal agency, asking for reimbursement. Other charges were dropped in return for the guilty pleas. The brothers face 20 year prison sentences and a possible fine of a quarter of a million dollars. 24 other people from around the country also faced charges. At least 12 plead guilty. New York's Snap!VRS agreed to aquire Viable, pending the outcome of the investigations and prosecutions.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Deaf Leading the Deaf-Blind

Read about the San Diego office of the Helen Keller National Center here.

Theater Director Resigns

Aaron Kubey is leaving his post as director of the National Theatre of the Deaf. Kubey says he plans to leave June 30th to "pursue new endeavors." He has held the position for more than three years. The organization celebrates its 45th anniversary next year, having endured a financial scandal a few years ago and a relocation to West Hartford, Connecticut at the American School for the Deaf.

Gally Starts Baseball

Gallaudet's baseball team lost its season opener this weekend. Wesley College won the first game 16-9 and took the second game 13-4 in six innings. The second game was shortened due to darkness. The Bison are now 0-2, but better than they were a year ago when they lost its first three games by a combined score of 60-0. The team opens its home schedule this weekend with doubleheaders both Saturday and Sunday. Baptist Bible (out of Pennsylvania) will come to play on Saturday and Muhlenberg College will come on Sunday.

Atlanta Conference Begins

The Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Conference 2011 begins in Atlanta today at the Omni Hotel at the CNN Center. You'll find more information here. For more events, see the Deaf News Today list of Important Events in the right column of our website.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Unfinished Business

The Amazing Race is underway again and one of the contestants is deaf. Luke and his mother, Margie, finished in 3rd place on Season 14. They joined 11 other former teams for this gathering of past contestants who didn't win. That's why this season is called The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business. The premiere show started in Palm Springs, California and took them to Australia where one team member had to jump in an aquarium tank with sharks. Margie and Luke worked with the cheerleaders (Jaime and Cara) to figure out one of the cluse, but they still have trouble figuring it out. Two cowboys from Oklahoma were trailing in last place when the show ended with a "to be continued" note, though no team was eliminated.

Amazing Race Details

Here are some details about Margie and Luke Adams, who will appear on the Amazing Race tonight. Margie is 53-years-old and Luke (her son) is 25. They are from Colorado Springs, Colorado. They appeared on the show during season 14 and came in third. Here is what Margie had to say about that experience:

Biggest mistake you made in your previous season: Not drinking enough water and becoming dehydrated in Thailand. I fainted.

Most memorable moment from your first Race: Finishing in first place for the first leg of the Race.

Favorite place you visited on your first season: Thailand, it was number one on my wish list for Season 14 so getting to go to both Bangkok and Phuket was fantastic.

Why do you want to run the Race again? It was one of the most exciting and best experiences of my life. I am looking forward to all the new places we will go.

How have you changed since the last time you competed? I am more confident and more willing to try new things.

What are you passionate about? People being kind and accepting of each other

People would be surprised to learn: Nothing, I'm pretty boring.

One location that you hope to go on this adventure: Ireland, my grandparents are from there and I would love to see the country.

Biggest challenge you and your teammate will face on the Race together: Some of the challenges require you to be able to listen/hear/sign and when those challenges come up we have to pick the other challenge since Luke is completely deaf. He cannot hear or use oral language.

What do you hope to accomplish by running the Race again (other than winning one million dollars): Getting to spend time one-on-one with Luke

Pet peeve about your teammate: He is a very loud eater.

What would you do if you won the million dollars? Retire a few years earlier than planned.

Any strategic changes you will make heading into this Race: We need to be more careful about reading the clues.

Here are some of Luke's answers to the same questions:

Biggest mistake you made in your previous season: My biggest mistake was not being able to figure out what the last surfboard was during the final challenge!

Most memorable moment from your first Race: The hilarious cheese hill task and the underwear marathon.

Favorite place you visited on your first season: Thailand because the country and culture are just so beautiful. I would love to go there again someday.

Why do you want to run the Race again? To win The Amazing Race! I want to make up for my big blunder in the final leg of the last race.

How have you changed since the last time you competed? I stop more when I am traveling now to enjoy the scenery. I try not to rush things.

What are you passionate about? Travel, my family and friends.

People would be surprised to learn: I'm afraid of flying. I always have to suck it up whenever I'm on planes.

One location that you hope to go on this adventure: Ireland, because it would be awesome to see where my family came from.

Biggest challenge you and your teammate will face on the Race together: Being sleep deprived!

What do you hope to accomplish by running the Race again (other than winning one million dollars): It would be cool if we could visit five continents, avoid being u-turned and be the first team to make it to the final three twice!

Pet peeve about your teammate: Nothing -- she is an awesome teammate and mom!

What would you do if you won the million dollars? Invest.

Any strategic changes you will make heading into this Race: I don't think I will change anything since our strategy from last time worked well. Hopefully it will bring us to the final three again and we can win this time!

Amazing Race Starts Tonight!

The CBS show Amazing Race debuts tonight. The contestants include a deaf man and his mother. Margie Adams and her son, Luke, came in third during Season 14. They have been invited back to compete against other teams who have run the race in the past. Luke has become a motivational speaker since that appearance on the show. Margie is a nurse and clinical research associate. Here's a video about them.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Streaming Player

A relatively little-known TV set box is outselling its highly publicized rivals. The Roku XD Streaming Player is a handy little application that lets you stream HD versions of Netflix, Hulu Plus and dozens more Internet video channels right on your TV. But before you buy, you should be aware Roku does not support Netflix closed captions. You may be able to see closed captions on a few Netflix movies and shows when you watch them on the computer. An unofficial list of streaming Netflix videos with subtitles is here. How to get captioning on Hulu videos through Roku is here.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Officer Resigns

The Seattle police officer who fatally shot a deaf man on a downtown street in the middle of the day has resigned. Ian Birk resigned soon after prosecutors said no charges would be filed against Birk. The Firearms Review Board said the shooting was unjustified. John T. Williams was carrying a knife. Williams, who was a woodcarver, did not drop the knife, so Dirk shot him 5 times. Williams' family and supporters are planning demonstrations downtown. The video below does not show the actual shooting, but the policeman can be heard shouting, “Hey, put the knife down.”

Programs Closing at Gallaudet

Here are some of the programs to be closed at Gallaudet. We told you yesterday that 17 academic programs will be eliminated. Here are some of the specifics:
  • Bachelor degrees in French
  • International government and computer science
  • Master degrees in deaf history and administration
  • Doctorate in special education administration
  • Minors in art history, French, German, women's studies, religion and journalism
The changes may not end there. A review of non-academic programs is also under way. There are concerns this could bring to an end the Children's Instructional Summer Program. An announcement is expected within a month.

Marlee Helps Busey

While appearing on Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice Marlee Matlin helped actor Gary Busey. Find out how in a New York Post article here.

Diabetes Animation

Here is another video in BSL about Diabetes and the body.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bill on ASL

Virginia's governor gets to decided whether high school students can count ASL as a foreign language, after the Virginia Senate and House passed a bill that would make it law. Republican Dickie Bell introduced the bill and it easily passed the House by a vote of 95-3 and the Senate with a vote of 34-6. The measure also encourages Virginia universities to recognize ASL as a foreign language.

Deaf Gm Cancellation

WFXT-TV in Boston has the story of the deaf games cancellation in the video below.

Diabetes Info

Here is a video in BSL British Sign Language from Diabetes UK about the disease. The signer in the video is Clare Chilton who has been a presenter for the BBC's See Hear.

Canadian Team's Financial Loss Staggering

The Toronto Sun takes a look at the reaction among athletes to the cancellation of the Winter Deaflympics here.

Egyptian Protests

There is a short video of deaf participation in the Egyptian protests here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Risk of Dementia

Hearing loss in adults may indicate a greater risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia. A new study suggests the greater the loss, the greater the risk. The study was led by Dr. Luigi Ferrucci, director of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. He says it could mean that correcting hearing loss in adults could reduce the risk of dementia and the next step would be trying to link the two in a causal relationship. If he's right, hearing loss may be more than simply a sign of aging. It could be an indication that someone is not aging well, whether for biological or social reasons, brought on by the isolation that hearing loss can bring. Details are in the latest issue of the journal Archives of Neurology.

Let's Mambo

Marlee Matlin is starring in Deaf Rapper Sean Forbes' new video Let's Mambo. He wrote the song about the Oscar winner and invited her to Detroit, where they shot the video last week. Matlin's partner from season six of Dancing with the Stars, Fabian Sanchez, joined her. Here's a video about the collaboration from WXYZ-TV.

Cuts at Gally

Gallaudet plans to cut 17 of its programs. The cuts include 6 undergraduate majors, 6 undergraduate minors, 3 master’s degree programs, one educational specialist program, and one doctoral program. The programs will end by August of 2013. The university says "other academic programs may be realigned, reorganized, or integrated to better meet the needs of students and afford them greater career opportunities."

The People of the Eye

A new book takes a look at the history of deaf people in American. The People of the Eye: Deaf Ethnicity and Ancestry argues that the people who use of sign language are a distinctive ethnic group and are not disabled. The book, published by Oxford University Press, includes the ancestries of Deaf families dating back to the 17th century, as the authors trace more than 200 lineages. The authors include Northeastern University psychology professor Harlan Lane, Boston University School of Medicine psychiatry professor Richard Pillard, and Gallaudet University's Director of Deaf Library Collections and Archives, Ulf Hedberg. Find out more about the book here.

How Subtitles Are Made

The 10 minute BBC video below explains how subtitles are made.

Driving in India

The Delhi High Court Monday is asking India's government to allow the deaf to have driving licenses. As of now, the country's Motor Vehicle Act prohibits deafpersons from driving on the ground that they "may pose danger to others." The Automotive Research Association of India and the National Road Safety Council is reportedly discussing the measure with the Technical Standing Committee. The deaf are able to drive in all but about two dozen countries.

Gally's Iron Chef Challenge

AOLs Patch takes a look at the Gallaudet dining hall and its effort to be socially responsible here.

Miss Deaf CSUN 2011

California State University, Northridge crowned Freshman psychology major Janel Schmidt
Miss Deaf CSUN 2011 over the weekend. For the talent portion of the competition, she danced to the Britney Spears’ song Lucky for which she won the talent award. But the victory was still close. The judges discovered at the end of the regularly scheduled competition that Schmidt and another student were tied for 1st place, so they asked the contestants questions until a winner was determined.

Gally Making Noise

ABC News profiles the Gallaudet Women's Basketball team in the video below.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bison Defeated for 1st Time

Gallaudet has fallen from the ranks of the unbeaten. The #18 ranked women's basketball team lost yesterday to Penn State-Harrisburg 64-53. The Bison trailed at halftime for only the first time this season, 30-29, but regained a four point lead early in the second half. but the Bison were only 9 of 29 shots (31%) from the field in the second half and only 6 for 13 (46.2%) at the free throw line. Gallaudet only made one of ten 3-point attempts during the game. Easter Faafiti had the most points for the Bison - 18 points. She added 13 rebounds for her 14th consecutive double-double.

Gallaudet is now 20-1 overall and 17-1 in their conference. The Bison last lost at home on Feb. 15 of last year. The loss puts Gallaudet in 2nd place in the North Eastern Athletic Conference with Keuka taking over first place with an 18-1 conference record. The Nittany Lions victory over Gally gives them third place in the conference.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Deaflympics: Canceled

The Winter Deaflympics, scheduled to begin just a week from today in Slovakia, have been canceled. The International Committee of Deaf Sports is expected to release more information soon. You can read the official announcement here. Some media reports are blaming the cancelation on corruption and unfinished facilities. The games were first canceled back in May, then reinstated just a few weeks later, based on promises from Slovakia that the promised facilities would be ready. However, last month the city of Levoča announced it would sue the Slovak Deaflympics Committee and the developer company because of the unfinished stadium in Levoča. Some are blaming the head of the Slovak Organising Committee, Jaromír Ruda. One newspaper reported that Ruda had no stadium agreement related to the games and had run up bills that have not been paid. Some countries were planning to bring a number of participants. Canada, for example, was set to field a team of 38 athletes.

To Celebrate Australia Day

Gizmodo Australia pays homage to what it considers one of the country's Top 10 Inventions: The Cochlear Implant. Read the story here.

Lawsuit Refiled

A Wisconsin woman has refiled her lawsuit against convenience store company QuikTrip. Lois Nelson first sued four years ago when she tripped over a gas line and broke her leg at a QuikTrip in East Alton. She had pressed a button asking for help at a gas pump, but when none came, she headed into the store to get assistance. That's when she fell. The deaf woman claims negligence on the part of QuikTrip. The case was dismissed in 2010, but now she has refiled the personal injury case. Nelson claims it was dismissed against her wishes, so she's back with a new attorney. She wants damages in excess of $50,000 and other relief.


Deaf West Theatre will use both deaf and hearing actors in its presentation of The Adventures of Pinocchio starting a week from today at its North Hollywood location. ASL and Deaf culture controversies are part of the production including the Milan Conference which discouraged sign language. The show runs through March 26. Find out more about getting tickets here. Click here for more information.

Signing On

A new documentary about how deaf patients facing breast cancer will be screened this tomorrow in St. Paul, Minnesota at St Catherine University. Signing On deals with the unique challenged faced by deaf women who are diagnosed with disease, their families and the interpreters working in the medical field. The Minnesota film makers focus on one women in particular who is a faculty member of the University and her support group called the Pink Deafies. Read more about tomorrow's showing here.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Plan to Close School Dropped

The Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind will not close after all. The state school board took the proposal off the table, voting today to form a committee to study the services the schools provide. A report on the findings is due in June. Students, teachers and parents attended an earlier subcommittee meeting to plead for the schools to be kept open.

WV Teen Found

A 20-year-old man accused of kidnapping a 15-year-old teenager is behind bars in West Virginia's North Central Regional Jail. Police tracked down Joshua Duff and Sarah Isner in Burnthouse. Both are deaf. Duff will face arraignment on charges as soon as an interpreter is available.

West Bay B-ball

WFTS-TV in Tampa takes a look at the West Bay deaf basketball team in the video below.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Nasasl Cells Show Promise

Australian scientists say stem cells from the nose could benefit people who have had hearing loss in childhood stemming from genetic problems. Researchers are exploring whether replacing damaged cells with these stem cells can repair tissue and improve the survival of existing cells. Mice with hearing loss were given these stem cells with positive results. Sharon Oleskevich from the Hearing Research Group at The University of New South Wales is leading the study. Details are in the journal Stem Cells.

ASL Teaching Standards

There's an effort to standardize how K-12 students are taught ASL by educators at Gallaudet University. The goal is to outline the ASL skills that students should achieve at each grade level, providing teachers the opportunity to plan instruction by comparing student skills against the standards. The DC school is working with several institutions including Canada's University of Manitoba, Boston University, University of California at San Diego, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, California School for the Deaf-Riverside, Indiana School for the Deaf in Indianapolis, Indiana, and The Learning Center for the Deaf in Framingham, Massachusetts. If all goes well, the project will be completed by 2013. For more information, including an ASL video about the effort, click here.

Video Report on Possible School Shutdown

KTVX-TV reports on the possible shut down of Utah's schools for the deaf and blind in the video below.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

School May Close

The Utah schools for the deaf and blind may be shut down in order to save $20 million dollars in the state school board budget. This morning the school's superintendent made a plea for keeping the facility operating rather than forcing the students into regular classes. However, only one-fifth of the school's students are learning ASL. Most are in a learning program that teaches spoken language (some have cochlear implants).

Reward Offered

The parents of a missing West Virginia teen are offering a $1000 reward in the case. Police say 15-year-old Sara Isner is believed to be with 20-year-old Josh Duff. Both Isner and Duff are deaf. Police in Grafton, about an hour south of Morgantown, have issued an arrest warrants for Duff. Not only for taking off the teen, but authorities say Duff stole a 2000 Saturn which was later found abandoned.

Missing Man Located

Freddy Brockman has been found. The Oregon deaf man, missing for days, was found 50 miles away from where he was last seen. Brockman apparently walked from his sister's home in Tigard to the town of Keizer, where he had just arrived from Alaska. He apparently wasn't familiar with the area and didn't realize the distance between the towns.

Language and Numbers Study

A study involving the deaf shows langugage to play a critical role in our ability to understand numbers. A team of researchers, lead by the University of Chicago, found deaf people in Nicaragua, who had not learned formal sign language but used homesigns, did not have a complete understanding of numbers greater than three. The deaf who learn a sign language grasped the concept of large numbers because they learned a counting routine early in childhood, just as that learned by children who use spoken languages. There is something about the understanding of relationships that lie beneath the words whether it be spoken language or sign.
The homesigners failed to grasp the succession of numbers, despite knowing, for instance, that eight fingers are more than seven fingers. The researchers determined that living in a culture that used numbers was not enough to gain an understanding of what the numbers represented. That's why the homesigners used the shape and color of money to dertermine which denominations were more valuable than others, rather than from knowing the acutual amounts the coins or paper currencies represented. You can read more about the study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper is titled Number Without a Language Model.

Gally Gets MTV Show

Quiet Campus is a new reality show produced by MTV for mtvU. The unscripted program follows students at Gallaudet University. mtvU is a 24-hour television channels available on more than 750 college and university campuses across the U.S. designed to attract students to on-campus housing.

FBI: Insider Trading

The deaf man expected to be charged with insider trading today is profiled by Business Insider here.

Deaf Couple Overcome

A Pittsburgh couple is out of the hospital after being overcome by carbon monoxide leaking into their home from their garage. Police aren't sure why the deaf couple left their car running overnight with the door closed, but the women called 911, reporting that her husband had passed out. They spent time in the hospital, but are apparently alright. Their names have not been released.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cochlear Profits

The world's largest maker of cochlear implants says net profits rose 16% in the first half of the 2010/11 financial year. Cochlear LTD of Australia reported profits of $87.23 million, compared with $75.25 million in the same period the year before. The increased revenue is attributed to improved implant sales, which shot up 20%. Cochlear is also declaring an interim dividend of $1.05 per share.

Photos of the Day has posted a series of photos showing the Gallaudet women's team in action. Take a look by clicking here.

19-0 for Gally Team

The #19 Bison won its 19th straight women's basketball game by a score of 71-57 on the road this weekend over Wilson College. Gallaudet trailed several times in the first half but stepped it up in the second half, outscoring the Phoenix 39-26. Gallaudet was 31-for-63 from the field and outrebounded the Phoenix 42-27. The Bison return home for a game again Penn St.-Berks this Wednesday.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cell Phone Charge

Arkansas lawmakers are working on a new cell phone charge to help pay for equipment to assist the deaf. The fee is already included on landline phone bills. State House voted 71-25 to give the Public Service Commission the authority to charge up to 3 cents per month to phone users. The bill was authored by representative Buddy Lovell.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Film Festival

A film about a deaf man will open the 35th Cleveland International Film Festival next month. Hamill is based on the life of wrestler and ultimate fighter Matt Hamill whose home state is Ohio. Some 150 films will be shown during this year's festival, starting with Hamill on March 24th. Read more here.

Spoken Language Study

Vanderbilt University is looking at how children who are deaf or hard of hearing develop spoken language. The study will focus on children's learning in a three county area around the Nashville school. To allow them to collect the information quicker and include more subjects, the researchers are using something called Research Electronic Data Capture, which is designed to give researchers an easy way to collect and manage data for scientific projects.

QuikTrip Suit

A Wisconsin woman has the go-ahead to sue a convenience store company. Lois Nelson first sued QuikTrip in 2007. The deaf woman claimed negligence on the part of QuikTrip led her to trip over a gas line and break a leg. The case was dismissed in 2010, but she sought to have it reinstated this year. A Madison judge denied her motion, but told Nelson she could refile the suit, though the statue of limitations is about to run out.

Friday, February 4, 2011


There are only 5 unbeaten teams left in country in Division III woman's basketball and Gallaudet is one of them. The Bison (18-0) is ranked 19th and is a sure bet for an NCAA Tournament bid. The Bison have been playing without rookie guard Britny Latham and senior center Nukeitra Hayes, both of whom have minor ankle injuries.

ASL novel on DVD

George Joslin has created an ASL-only novel called A Deaf Man's Gospel . The Springfield, Missouri author decided to create a DVD rather than print especially for the Deaf community. Joslin tells the story of a deaf man, healed by Jesus. The pastor of a church for the Deaf in Louisville, who is deaf himself, narrated the story while a pastor of a Virginia Baptist Deaf church in Richmond provided the voiceover. Joslin has two other novels under his belt: A Life After Deafness and A Terp on the Line, and numerous non-fiction books on teaching American Sign Language and interpreting for the Deaf. Read more about it here.

Faces in the Crowd

The accomplishments of a Gallaudet basketball player are highlighted in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated. Women's basketball senior Easter Faafiti is one of six people selected for the weekly Faces in the Crowd feature. She plays both forward and center for the Bison, leading the team to the best start in its history - 18-0. Fifth in the nation in steals per game, Faafiti is 8th in double-doubles, 11th in rebounds per game, 17th in points per game and 33rd in field goal percentage. She leads the conference in overall rebounding, defensive rebounds, field goal percentage, and steals and is ranked second in points. Faafiti transferred East after spending two seasons at California's Pasadena City College. She attended a mainstream high school where she learned Signing Exact English. You can see the Face in the Crowd section of the magazine here.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Super Bowl Hearing Mission

Some 200 people in Dallas are getting free hearing aids thanks to the Starkey Hearing Foundation's Super Bowl Hearing Mission. Among the celebrities joining the event: American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and Cincinnati Bengals defensive back Roy Williams. Several dozen NFL stars, including Williams, will travel to Africa for the a special Starkey Hearing Foundation mission later this year.

Missing Teen

A West Virginia teen is missing. Police say 15-year-old Sara Isner has been missing since Sunday and is believed to be with 20-year-old Josh Duff. Both Isner and Duff are deaf. Police in Grafton, about an hour south of Morgantown, say Duff is driving a stolen Saturn and it's uncertain whether Isner went with him willingly or not.

Super Bowl Captions

Sunday's Super Bowl commercials will be captioned for the first time. The game itself has been captioned for years, but many of the TV ads have not been captioned. That will change with the game to be aired this weekend on Fox. Kickoff is set for 6pm Eastern. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has indicated the captioning issue is a personal one for him. His middle name is Stokoe, something he shares with his late cousin William Stokoe, Jr. who was a Gallaudet professor and strong ASL advocate.

Gally Student Killed in Head-on

The father of a Gallaudet student killed by a drunk driver says he's afraid the man who drove the car may get off easy. Jacques Zachery's 25-year-old daughter, Jasmine, was studying psychology two years ago at the DC school while also learning to become an actress and dancer when her life was cut short in an accident. Police say Theus Monroe was not only driving drunk, but he was high on drugs when he drove the wrong way down Atlanta's Interstate 85. He hit Jasmine's car head-on. Monroe first pleaded insanity, then admitted his guilt, then changed his plea to innocent. Monroe was due in court today.

What Would You Do?

Deaf students will be featured on tomorrow night's What Would You Do? The ABC hidden camera program will show what happens when deaf people are discriminated against. RIT/NTID students will apply for a job at a coffee shop in New Jersey, but the person discriminating will be an actor pretending to be a manager to see how customers respond. The manager will say things like: “I think you people would rather work with people of your own kind" and “We don’t hire deaf people here.” Watch the show at 9pm Eastern. Read more about it here.

Defense Lawyer for the Deaf

Amber Farrelly got involved with the Deaf Community, not because someone in her family is deaf, but because her mother enrolled her in a sign language class at the age of nine. That started her love of sign language and the people who call it their own. Now a licensed attorney in Austin, Texas, she is assigned to represent deaf clients who cannot afford an attorney whenever they are arrested on misdemeanors, such as driving while intoxicated and theft.

CSI Tonight

Tonight's episode of CSI takes investigators to a deaf college. The director of a scholarship foundation for the deaf is killed by a deadly car bomb, leading to the interrogation of students and faculty of a deaf college. Marlee Matlin and Phyllis Frelich guest star. Episode 13 of Season 11 is titled The Two Mrs. Grissoms and it airs on CBS at 9pm, Eastern.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Worker Dies at Deaf School

An accident at the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind left a construction worker dead today. Joseph Daniel Hall of Spartanburg fell a short distance from a ladder while installing an electrical box. He was an employee of Bobby Jackson Electrical. School officials have released this statement:
“Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family upon their loss. The contractor, subcontractor and local officials are currently investigating the cause of death.We commend our campus emergency team and local emergency medical services for responding quickly and appropriately. We will continue to keep the family in our thoughts and prayers as they mourn the loss of their loved one.”

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Sorenson Communications is launching an app called called N-Touch for Windows on PCs and Android on Mobile devices. Users will be able to use Sorenson's video relay regardless of whether they are on a PC or cell phone, provided they have one of those software systems in place. You can find out more here.

Tax Prep Co. Agrees to Fine

H&R Block has cut a deal with the feds to resolve a complaint about its services for the deaf. The tax preparation company says it will now provide aids and services to the deaf including interpreters, employee training and new communication policies. On top of that, the Justice Department says Block will pay a $20,000 penalty and $5000 in damages to the person who filed the ADA complaint.