Monday, October 31, 2011

Breaking Records

SignHealth is going for a world record. The UK charity is organizing now to break the record for the most people signing and singing a song simultaneously. More than 500 schools and 80,000 children have signed up for the February 8th sign2sing event for which a song has been written. If SignHealth succeeds, the group will be breaking its own record. Earlier this year, 94,489 children took part in the sign2sing 2011 gathering that broke the old Guinness World Record of just 13,418. The fundraiser raises awareness of deaf issues and introduces sign to many children. There is more information here. Below is a video showing some 150 children and adults who gathered earlier this month to introduce plans for the record breaking attempt.

Deaf Football Player Shines

Below is a video report from WAGA-TV in Atlanta about a the success of a deaf football player.

Deaf Football Player Shines for Mountain View Bears:

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Grant Money for Univ of Texas

Texas is getting $1.3 million in federal money to help improve dropout rates and employment opportunities for the deaf and hard of hearing. The money from the Department of Education will go to University of Texas at Austin educational psychologist Stephanie Cawthon who will oversee the school's part in the Center for Results in Education and Employment for Deaf Students, a newly formed national organization which includes California State University-Northridge, Wisconsin's St. Paul College, the University of Montana and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Austin Meeting

Deaf Women of Texas are holding a potluck meeting today at 4pm at the Austin Association of the Deaf. There will be discussion about affiliating with Deaf Women United and the selection of officers for the group.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

ViUDA Bistro

Just south of Austin, a new restaurant has opened up in the town of Buda. The executive chef is deaf - and so is the sous chef, line cook and even a dishwasher. On top of that, the General Manager of ViUDA Bistro is president of the Texas Association of the Deaf, Paul Rutowski. Below on there is a video of him introducing ViUDA.

PBS airs Deaf Jam

PBS will air the film Deaf Jam this coming Thursday. The film is about a deaf teen living in New York City who discovers the power of ASL poetry. Check the time in your area here.  Watch the trailer below.

Deaf Real Estate Agent

WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh tells about how technology is helping to make a deaf real estate agent a success in a video report here. (No captions).

D-PAN ASL Music Video "We're Going To Be Friends"

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Loop

The New York Times takes a look at the hearing loop in a Health section article here.

Truancy Charges

A West Virginia mother says she plans to keep her daughter out of school, even though she faces misdemeanor charges for doing do. Regina Pine is letting Ariel Depp stay at home because the deaf girl is allegedly the victim of bullying and a sexual assault. She wants to attend South Charleston High, but the Kanawha County School District doesn't have an interpreter at the school. The fine could be as much as $100 for every day that Depp hasn't been in school - and so far, she's missed 35 days. Her mom has the option of home schooling the 16 year old. They are due in court November 9th.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Florida Cheerleaders

Here's a video featuring the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind cheerleaders about how they lead the crowd. It was shot during their last home football game against Cedar Creek Christian (includes captions).

Humanitarian Award Finalist

A volunteer at the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind for more than half a century is a finalist for a humanitarian award sponsored by NASCAR. You can vote for Robert Weaver here or watch a video about him, posted below on

Terp Survey

There's a major survey related to sign language interpreter specialization about to be undertaken through the combined resources of RID and NAD. The goal is to "identify the knowledge, skills and abilities that are currently required of certified interpreters" in the areas of "sign-to-voice and voice-to-sign" interpreting. An introductory video is posted below on

South Africa 2011

Here's a short video of Gallaudet students who took part in the World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf in Durban, South Africa this summer.

LA Times Hammer Review

The Hammer opens todayin limited release. Read the LA Times review of the film about deaf wrestler Matt Hamill here.

Visit From China

Representatives from a Chinese school for the deaf visit the Learning Center for the Deaf in Framingham, MA. Read the story here.

NTID Honors Partners

NTID is honoring 3 employment partners: Connecticut's American School for the Deaf, the Crane Group (Columbus, Ohio) and IBM. Each of these organizations have a record of hiring RIT/NTID deaf and hard-of-hearing co-op students and graduates. Nine Arts & Imaging Studies students have completed co-ops at the American school’s Printworks operation (three graduates have been hired full time). During the past five years, 14 NTID students received co-ops at various IBM locations (four graduates have been hired full time). Finally, the Crane Group of Companies began hiring RIT/NTID co-op students in 2007 and host the NTID Center on Employment’s “Working Together: Deaf and Hearing People” workshop. The owner, Jay Crane, is a member of the NTID Foundation Board. The National Technical Institute for the Deaf is part of New York's Rochester Institute of Technology.

Sean Forbes "Hammer"

Deaf Rapper Sean Forbes offers his new song "Hammer" in the video posted below on

Your Captioning Comments

You've got a few more days to make a comment about the FCC's plan to change the technical rules on closed captioning. The deadline was Oct 28, but the National Association of Broadcasters asked for more time. In response, the FCC changed the comment deadline to Nov 1. The Commission plans to extend its closed-captioning rules for TV to apply to PCs, tablets, smartphones, game consoles and set-tops as part of its effort to fulfill a requirement in the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010. The commission has until January 12 of next year to change its closed captioning regulations related to IP. The proposal would not only obligate the owners of video programming to caption, it would require the program distributors to allow those captions - which must at least have the same quality as captions provided for television. The commission is also considering allowing a variety of delivery options rather than mandating a single standard, in hopes of promoting "technological innovation." If you want to make a comment, click here.

The Hammer

A film based on the career of UFC fighter Matt Hamill opens today. The Hammer shows how the deaf wrestler won a National Collegiate Championship. Starring deaf actors Russell Harvard and Shoshannah Stern, it has won the AFI Film Festival’s Breakthrough Audience Award, the Cleveland Film Festival’s American Independent Award and the Heartland Film Festival’s Crystal Heart Award. Below on is the trailer.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hammer Review

The Hammer opens tomorrow in limited release. Read the New York Times review of the film about deaf wrestler Matt Hamill here.

Police: Toddler Abused

The father of a deaf 3 year old boy in Texas is accused by police of physically abused the child.  In the last year, Jerold Morgan allegedly broke the arm of his son, threw him into a TV screen and left the toddler with bruises and a black eye. After the child had implant surgery, doctors told Morgan to keep his son away from loud noises. Instead, authorities say the man turned up the car radio during the drive home and laughed before turning it down again. Both Morgan and his wife face multiple charges.

iPhone Tricks

Mashable suggests these "iPhone Tricks."

Create Custom Vibration Alerts
Personalize custom vibration alerts for particular contacts with "unique vibrate patterns." This tool identifies an important caller (child, boss, etc) when it's not possible to see your screen. To activate this option, go to the "Settings" menu, then "General," then "Accessibility." Create the custom vibration patterns in the "Sounds" menu, accessed via "Settings." At the very bottom of the "Sounds" menu, you'll see "Vibration Patterns." Here you can create a new vibration pattern by tapping on the screen. Name and save it. Next, head to your contacts, tap "Edit" on the correct contact and choose the "Vibration" option. You can add your custom creation to that contact's profile.

Get LED Flash Alerts
This is not one to use if you're trying to conserve battery life, but is very handy if you want a visual cue for incoming calls. In the "Accessibility" menu choose the option that sets your phone to flash alert; you'll be notified of incoming calls, texts and notifications.

1st Med Student

The first deaf student in West Virginia's medical school wears a cochlear implant. 24-year-old Mark Leekoff was born with a profound hearing loss, but became one of the first to undergo through implant surgery at the age of three. Leekoff eventually earned a biology degree in college and now the northern Virginia native is in his second year of medical school. Here's a student video about Leekoff.

FCC Reverses on Captioning Exemptions

The FCC has reversed its decision 5 years ago to give nearly 300 video programmers permanent exemptions to the closed captioning rules. These program providers had to demonstrate that providing captions would impose a burden. Five others have been allowed to continue in their "permanent exemption." The programmers whose exemptions are revoked have 90 days to challenge the decision.

Alleged Abuse at Hands of Teacher

A Las Vegas teacher is out of the classroom and facing possible suspension for dragging a deaf child across a playground with her pants falling down. Watch a video report from a local TV station hereor read the story here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Axe Murder

We now have more details on the murder in Louisville, Kentucky we told you about yesterday. Roger Duvall appeared before a judge this morning on charges of murder, robbery and assault. He is accused of killing Patrick Howard with the blunt end of an axe in a house owned by a Eric Lungren, a deaf man. Duvall had broken into the house, demanding money from Howard, whom he previously knew and was renting a room the basement. Duvall also hit Lungren's girlfriend in the head. She is expected to recover.

Survival Guide for New Deafies

Amy Sargent's new book is titled A Survival Guide for new Deafies!
She lost her hearing at age 27, so this book is intended for people with late onset deafness. Below on is a video introduction.

End of Miss Deaf America

NAD will hold its final Miss Deaf America Competition at the group's conference in Louisville next year. In its place, the National Association of the Deaf will start the NAD Miss Deaf America Ambassador Program beginning with the 2014 conference. The new program is not be a pageant. Instead, it will focus on selecting youth to serve as goodwill ambassadors for the deaf and hard of hearing.

New Captioning Eyewear

Sony is introducing its DEAT eyewear for viewing closed captioning at movie theaters during ShowEast 2011, which is going on now in Miami. The eyewear is similar to wearing 3D glasses. DEAT stands for Dubbed Entertainment Access Technology. The glasses are wirelessly connected to Sony's digital cinema projection systems and can display six different languages to the viewer.  A nice feature is that the text height is adjustable.  

Later Deafened Adult

A group called Later Deafened Adults meets this Wednesday through Sunday in Indianapolis. Find out more here.

French Award Finalist

An organization working to improve the lives of deaf people is one of the 5 finalist for an award given out by the city of Paris. DEAFI has been around since 2009 (the name is a combination of the English word “deaf” and the French word “défi” which means "challenge"), providing video relay services along with business training and career tools. The 19 member company is in the running for Paris’ Grand Prix de l’Innovation award given out for entrepreneurship and innovation thanks to advances in its DEAFTAG program, where an icon on text-based webpages indicates there is a French sign language video available to interpret the French text. DEAFI will receive a prize of 15,000 euros if it wins.

New Reality Show

There's a new MTV reality show about Gallaudet University. You can see a preview (with captioning) below on

College Accommodations

All US colleges are required under ADA law to provide accommodations to college students. However, schools do not have to do anything they consider unreasonable. While public elementary, middle and high schools are required by law to identify, evaluate and help students needing accommodations, colleges don't have to do anything until a student asks for help.

Emergency Info Confusion

Students at a California college say the the campus emergency notification system didn't work right when alerts went out about a suspected gunman last month. Deaf and hard-of-hearing students at California State University, Northridge were supposed to get text messages instead of phone calls. Other students got voicemail, but the text messages were never received. However, the associate director for the school's National Center on Deafness told the student newspaper that he got, not only a text message, but an an email and video phone announcement.

Deaf, Deaf World

Valdosta State University will host two sessions of Deaf, Deaf World this Friday (Oct. 28) where individuals are not allowed to use their voice to communicate. A panel discussion will follow.

Deaf YouTube star hears sounds of her future

Here's a video interview with Sarah Churman, about what's happened to her after a video went viral showing her crying when her cochlear implant was turned on for the first time. Watch it below on (captions included) or read the story here.

Deaf Jam Screening

See a free showing of the film Deaf Jam in Sheboygan, Wisconsin at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center Tuesday, Oct. 25 and Wednesday, Oct. 26. A discussion of the film takes place afterward. More info here.

Deaf Jam Showing

The film Deaf Jam will be shown tonight at the Dinosaur Journey Museum in Grand Junction, Colorado. The showing following a reception. A discussion will be held afterward.

Theater in South Carolina

Children of a Lesser God will be performed in Aiken, South Carolina at the Aiken Community Playhouse starting Friday (Oct 28). Read about the actors learning sign language here and find out more about the production here.

World Congress to Meet

The 4th World Congress on Mental Health and Deafness meets this Friday through Sunday in Brisbane, Australia. Find out more here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Study: Two Implants Make a Difference

Children with two cochlear implants will gain language skills similar to hearing children within a couple of years, according a study out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Researchers followed the progress of 45 children, ages 4 to 9. Each received the second implant by the age of 6. It's the first study to show the impact of having two implants instead of just one.

Homicide Charge in KY

Police in Louisville, Kentucky have arrested Roger C. Duvall and charged him with murder and robbery. Duvall and at least one other man broke into the home of a deaf couple. The homeowner was awakened by an altercation early this morning. His girlfriend was assaulted in the attack.  The deaf man ran next door to the home of police officer who was able to catch Duvall. A man who was renting a room in the house had been hit in the head. The renter was taken to a local hospital where he died this afternoon.  

Bling for Girlfriend - No Hearing Aids for Daughter

A prominent New York lawyer won't pay for his teenage daughter's hearing aids, but he did come up with a $215,000 diamond engagement ring for his Playboy-bunny fiancée. The New York Post reports Ira Schacter is in a divorce with Janice Schacter who says he is ignoring a court order that he pay for the $12,000 Starkey hearing aids. His fiancée says she has returned the ring and the couple is no longer engaged.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Gally Volleyball: 2nd Win a Row

The Gallaudet University men's soccer team has won its first home game in 14 years. The Bison beat the Penn St.-Berks by a score of 2-1. The last win at home came in 1997 against Marymount. The team now has 2 wins against 11 defeats. The next game is Tuesday (Oct 25) at home against Lancaster Bible College.

Irish Awards

The Irish Deaf Society and Hidden Hearing have given out awards in celebration for outstanding achievements among the deaf and hard of hearing in Ireland. They are called the Corcoran the Hidden Hearing Heroes Workplace Award. Here are the winners.

  •  Social Contribution – John P Doyle 
  •  Lifetime Achievement – Con Lynch, Gay Byrne 
  •  Supporter – Carol Dunworth 
  •  Media - John Bosco Conama 
  • Youth – Sean O’Connor 
  •  Sportsperson – Wayne Reid 
  •  Grandparent – Aidan L Dillon 
  • Workplace Award – Johnny Corcoran 

Learn more about the awards here.

Teacher Learning the Language

What's it like going from a mainstream school to a deaf school? One teacher's experience at the Virginia School for Deaf is described here.

Jail Lawsuit Settled

A former inmate in Pennsylvania's Allegheny County jail has settled a lawsuit over the way he was treated. Robert Gallagher of Brookline will get $23,000 for not being provided the opportunity to contact his family through a relay phone. The deafd man ended up staying behind bars for ten days - and then the charges against him were dropped.

Indiana Team Makes History

The Indiana School for the Deaf has won its first sectional championship ever - in any sport. The Deaf Hoosiers volleyball team earned a 25-16, 18-25, 25-19, 28-26 win yesterday over University High School to take home the Class A Sectional 58 title. The team now has 36 wins and 2 losses. Here's a video of the winning point.

Gallaudet reflects changes in deaf culture

The Washington Post takes a look at the rising number of non-signers on the Gallaudet University campus here.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Florida Football Wins

The Florida School for the Deaf and Blind chalked up another victory last night - the team's second in a row. The Dragons downed Cedar Creek Christian 16-14 and are now 2-5 on the season. This is the first time the team has won two games in a row in the last five years. Below on is a video of the team's cheerleaders.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Hammer in Houston

You can see the new film The Hammer in Houston at West Oaks Theater a week from today (Oct 27) and Wednesday Nov 2 at Mason Park Theater in the suburb of Katy. The film is based on the career of deaf UFC fighter Matt Hamill.

Art & Italian Sign

If you want to understand art through Italian sign language, there's a dictionary that can help. The Dictionary of Contemporary Art in Italian Sign Language was edited by the Education Department of the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art and the Turin Institute of the Deaf. It contains 80 new signs to guide the deaf through the contemporary art world. Each sign is explained with a written summary and illustrative work of art. There's more information here.

Bullied in NM

A deaf-blind student is bullied at a New Mexico school. Watch a video about what happened from KOAT-TV or read the story here.

Fatal Fire

A 22-year-old deaf Arizona man was killed in an early morning fire near Phoenix. His father who lives nearby tried to save him and had to be taken to the hospital. Fire officials are not sure of the cause.

Cochlear Chief Speaks Out

Cochlear's CEO Chris Roberts discusses the hearing implant maker's financial situation since a voluntary recall wiped more than $1 billion off its value in a video here. No captions.

Run Away Found

A Phoenix boy who went missing was found six hours later. Police say en-year-old Renee Acosta, who is deaf, ran away from home, but was located at a bus stop near one of his aunt's home. He has been reunited with his parents.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

NFL Cheerleader

Melissa tried out as a San Diego Chargers cheerleader five times - and was rejected every time. But the sixth time, she became a Charger girl. The NFL cheerleader has a hearing loss of about 85%, so she wears a hearing aid in one ear. Melissa doesn't know sign or read lips, so another cheerleader will tap her on the side when they start a routine. The West Coast transplant from Brooklyn runs half marathons and owns Media Forest 8, a web design company she started with her husband in 2005. Below is a video introducing her to Charger fans.

The Deaf in the Peace Corps

Gallaudet University opens an exhibit to mark the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps next Tuesday (Oct 25). The display will focus on the roll of deaf people in the volunteer group. There have been at least 59 deaf volunteers in the Peace Corps. 36 of them provided photos and memorabilia for the exhibit. An opening reception in the afternoon will include a “living exhibit” performance where six of the volunteers will share stories in a theatrical setting.

Sorenson v. FCC

Sorenson's attempt to challenge VRS rates has been turned aside by a federal court. The judges said in their ruling that the FCC determined video relay service rates are "consistent with its statutory mandate and is not arbitrary or capricious.”

Sign-Mail and other Features

Sorenson showed off its new Ntouch VP at NTID yesterday. Students at the Rochester school were impressed with features like its ability to allow users to leave ASL voice mail messages (called sign-mail). The Ntouch will also block calls, as opposed to simply allowing the phone to ring until the caller hangs up. There's an iPhone or Android app available for users that performs the same functions as the program. If you already have the older version, Sorenson will provide an upgrade for free. There is more information here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

$1.6 million Grant

RTND in Rochester is getting a check for $1.6 million for virtual academic community for college students who are deaf or hard of hearing and majoring in the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering or math. The five-year grant from the National Science Foundation’s Research in Disability Education program will go to the Center on Access Technology. The money will be used to create a model that will provide remote tutoring and mentoring support and captioning and interpreting access services.

Theater Review

Here's a review of the performance of a distinguished deaf actor's performance in the Chicago theater's presentation of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. When the play was staged at the New York Theatre Workshop, there was a controversy over a decision to cast a hearing actor in the central role of a deaf man who serves as "a kind of cipher, a human canvas on whom the sad and lonely residents of a Georgia mill town can paint their troubles." Read the review in the Chicago Tribune here.

Poker Tourney

The 3rd annual Australian Deaf Poker Championship starts this Saturday in Adelaide. More than 100 players are expected to take part in the No Limit Hold'em poker games at the Adelaide Casino. Players use sign to indicate how much they want to raise a bet. When they "call" they put their hand to their ear like they are on a telephone. The sign for "all in" is a push away from themselves toward the table with both hands.

Filipino Sign Language

A look at deaf education in the Philippines here.

$200K Phone Bill!

A Florida woman got a phone bill from T-Mobile of $201,000. Celina Aarons two deaf brothers were part of the plan and they spent two weeks in Canada. Her typical bill of less than $200 spiked because the two of them continued texting and watching videos on their phones - raking up massive data charges because she never switched to an international plan. Fortunately, T-Mobile was willing to cut the bill to $2,500. You can watch a video about the situation from WSVN-TV here.

Effect of Implant Recall

The implant recall by Cochlear Ltd is getting expensive. It may reach $152 million. The Australian company voluntarily recalled its new Nucleaus 5 unit in September because moisture caused a few of the implants to shut down. Cochlear is holding its annual meeting in Sydney where shareholders are discussing the loss of more than a quarter of the value of the company's shares of stocks. Look for more details to come out in February when the company's earning are announced related to the recall. A recent survey of cochlear-implant surgeons found 17 of 20 still viewed Cochlear as reputable despite the recall.

Bronze at PanAm Games

American swimmer Marcus Titus has won a bronze medal at the Pan American Games in the 100-meter breaststroke. The Guadalajara contest was the first event where the deaf swimmer took home a medal in a major competition not restricted to people with disabilities. Earlier in the summer, Titus earned the title of best swimmer at the deaf world championships in Portugal. He took home five gold medals, along with two silver and a bronze. He set deaf world records in the 50m breast, 50m free, and the 100m free. The Tucson, Arizona native is now looking ahead to the 2012 London Olympics.

Monday, October 17, 2011

11 in a Row for Gally Team

The Gallaudet women's volleyball team won three matches this weekend. The Bison beat conference foes Cazenovia College and Keuka College on Saturday, then SUNY Cobleskill on Sunday. The team is now 23-6 overall and 9-1 in the conference. Gally has won 11 in a row and next faces the University of Mary Washington in their last home game Thursday.

Quiet Campus

Gallaudet will be featured on MTV’s college channel, mtvU, next week. The cable network will broadcast a series called Quiet Campus starting a week from today (Monday, Oct 24). It will run for four weeks. Camera crews followed four students including a football player and a gay Latino.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hands On

An Irish TV series created especially for the Deaf and hard of hearing is moving into its 16th season this fall. Hands On is broadcast on Irish TV (over channel RTE) but if you don't live in Ireland, you can still see the show. Hands On has posted all of its previous shows on its YouTube channel, which you can watch here. If you are unfamiliar with Irish Sign Language, English subtitles are provided.

Captioning History

Broadcast captioner Holli Miller remained on the job on September 11, 2001 for 5 hours to provide closed captioning for a New York TV station covering terrorist attacks. She typed upwards of 60,000 words without bathroom breaks and with her 4 and 5-year-olds in her house.

Source: Vitac, a Pittsburgh-based company that provides captioning services

Saturday, October 15, 2011

NTID Record

This year 1547 students are enrolled in New York's Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf. That's a record for NTID. Enrollment is up from 1521 last year, 1474 in 2009 and 1450 in 2008. In 2011, more than 400 students are new, 160 are in the interpreting program, and 59 are in the Deaf Education master's degree program. You'll find NTID students from ever state - except Montana. The Rochester Institute of Technology has more than 125 interpreters on staff.

School Dedication

The Scranton School for Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing Children dedicated it's new campus Friday. Some 200 people came out to mark the event. The Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf took over Scranton and purchased the 100 acre campus from the Sisters of the Good Shepherd last year for $2.4 million to house the new facility. Marywood University bought the deaf school's former location.

How Humans Hear

Sound entering the ear canal causes the eardrum to vibrate. These vibrations are picked up by three tiny bones in the middle ear that connect the drum to the cochlea, a snail-shell-like structure with three tubes filled with fluid. The resulting waves in the fluid signal hair cells in the cochlea that transmit electrical signals to the auditory nerve that connects to the brain stem. These signals then travel to the brain’s auditory center, where the message is processed.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Hospital Settles Suit

A New Hampshire hospital will pay a fine to settle a lawsuit over interpreting. Besides paying a $25,000 feral fine, in the next 90 days, Cheshire Medical will start a program to make sure interpreters are present when needed in medical situations. The hospital has also agreed to make two staff members available to help find interpreters 24 hours a day, come up with a list of potential freelance interpreters, and keep records of requests for the service. The lawsuit stems from a visit two years ago by Laura Waldren, who came to the hospital for a visit and needed an interpreter. The hospital was aware of her visit two days before she came but no interpreter was provided. A few days later, no interpreter was provided for her during an emergency room visit. The staff tried to use a video interpreting system, but it failed to work. Waldren's mother interpreted for her and the same thing happened during a follow-up visit. Ironically, the hospital settled a lawsuit six years ago by agreeing to have patients sign a waiver, if they agree to see a doctor without an interpreter.

Parkade Baptist Church

A look at a deaf church in Missouri here.

Captioning Suit

Arizona's largest movie theater chain has agreed to install closed captioning in half of its theaters to settle a lawsuit. Harkins Theaters runs 25 theaters in Arizona and says the installation will be completed by next summer. Five years ago, the Attorney General’s Office and the Center for Disability Law filed the suit claiming Harkins violated ADA law by not providing captioning in enough of its facilities. A judge ruled in the the company's favor, but an appeals court overturned that decision. Harkin's theaters in California, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas are not affected by the settlement.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Schools Honored

The South Dakota Board of Regents is honoring the Brandon Valley and Harrisburg school districts for their efforts to educate children with hearing impairments. The board passed a resolution commending the schools yesterday. Brandon has a two year old oral education program for South Dakota School for the Deaf students while Harrisburg started an educational program for bilingual and bicultural students last year.

Educator: "Deafness is a Scourge"

Members of Australia's deaf community are outraged over an educator's remarks at an awards ceremony. Dimity Dornan, who leads Hear and Say, reportedly told those in attendance that deafness is "a scourge in our world'.' Doman was accepting an award as Telstra's Queensland Businesswoman of the Year. Several groups have called on her to apologize and hundreds have joined a FaceBook page called Stop Deaf Cultural Genocide. The Brisbane Times quotes her as saying: ''I think deafness is at the same stage polio was a few decades ago. It is a scourge in our world but it can be almost completely eradicated …'' You can read the paper's story here. Dornan contends the quote is inaccurate. Telstra has removed video footage of the speech from its website and from YouTube.

Building Closed

Galludet's Benson Hall was evacuated on the Gallaudet campus Sunday because of a busted water pipe on the 5th floor. Water ran through the residential building, displacing more than 200 students. They moved into the school's convention center.

Deaf Catholics prepare for new Missal

There are changes in mass coming to deaf Catholic services. Read about it here.

Expo in Oregon

The DeafNation Expo comes to Portland this Saturday. For more information click here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Man Facing Rape Charges

A Michigan man, facing a trial for raping a deaf woman is now wanted in another case. 30-year-old Christopher Lauer of Mount Pleasant, Michigan is out on bail, awaiting trial for the crime that took place in Big Rapids, Michigan last year. Police say his DNA turned up as a match for another rape, this one in Pittsburgh in 2004. Police say the deaf man pulled the victim into a van and raped her while attending an event for deaf people.

Plan to take $30 Million Away

A lawsuit has been filed to stop Alabama lawmakers from passing a bill to hijack $30 million supposed to go to services for the deaf and blind. The Alabama Dual Party Relay Board oversees the collection taken from landline phone customers. But the bill, if it becomes law, would send all the funds to education. The board is privately run and has overseen the fund for more than a decade.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Football Player Sidelined

A California School for the Deaf football player is on the sidelines after a trip to the hospital showed he's suffering from blood clots. Jacy Dike-Pedersen is junior playing both fullback and linebacker. A first-team All-Bay Football League selection at linebacker last season, he had breathing problems during a scrimmage in August. The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder ended up in intensive care for a week before going through surgery to remove a rib. While he can't suit up, Dike-Pedersen is now able to sit with the team during games and may play again next year. The Eagles are 5-0 so far this season and will face another undefeated team, Valley Christian, tomorrow night.

The Gally Metro Stop

Gallaudet students have started an online petition to stop the city of Washington from dropping the university's name into a subtitle on the nearby Metro station. They would prefer it be called NoMa-Gallaudet U instead of the proposed New York Ave-NoMa" with a subtitle of Gallaudet U which would make it one of the few universities on DC's metro line not to have its name in the title. The student body government leaders are encouraging supporters to show up at a public meeting scheduled for October 27th. You can see the petition here.

Galaudet & NTID Testimony

NTID president Gerry Buckley and Gallaudet President T. Alan Hurwitz will address a Congressional committee in just a few moments. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is holding the hearing at Gallaudet University. Buckley will talk about the benefits of education for deaf and hard-of-hearing college students highlighting the efforts of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology while Hurwitz will do the same for Gallaudet.

Slamming in St. Louis

The film Deaf Jam will be shown Thursday night at the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis. The film follows Israeli-born New Yorker Aneta Brodski who is deaf and finds her outlet through slam poetry and eventually joins Tahani Salah, a hearing Palestinian slam poet. After the film, local slam poets will perform. There's more information here. Below is a video trailer for the film.

Deaf Jam Trailer from DeafJamdoc on Vimeo.

Deaf Jam in Grand Junction

The film Deaf Jam will be shown tonight at the Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colorado. The showing will take place in the Recital Hall of the Moss Performing Arts Center following a reception.

Terp Problems in Iowa

Iowa's new interpreter test has left at least five schools without needed interpreters because only a quarter of the people who take the test are able to pass it. Read the story here. or watch the video below on from the Des Moines Register.

Monday, October 10, 2011

BBC Subtitles

Action on Hearing wants the BBC to clean up its captioning. The British advocacy group says the BBC's speech recognition software keeps coming up with offensive and ludicrous subtitling. For instance, some recent flubs include:
  • Ireland's rugby team was renamed Island.
  • A Labor party leader was called the Ed Miller Band.
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury was rendered The Archbitch of Canterbury.
  • A reporter was quoted as saying pigs "love to nibble anything that comes into the shed, like our wellies."
  • A moment of violence was called for, in honor of the Queen, instead of a moment of silence.


New York's Rochester School for the Deaf is welcoming Signmark to the school. Read about it here.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Walk for Hearing

There's a fundraising walk this afternoon in Wyoming, Michigan for the hearing loss association. Watch the video below or read about it here.

Top Down Means Hearing Loss

Riding in a convertible may put you at risk for hearing damage. A UK study finds the noise level with the top down can be higher than 85 decibels – high enough to potentially cause long-term hearing loss. Researchers at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital say a normal conversation will reach about 60 decibels while a rock concert can hit 115 decibels. They note that riding with the top down from time-to-time is probably not going to have much of an impact but doing so regularly can cause serious problems.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The ntouch VP Videophone

Sorenson Communications introduced a new version of its video relay service this week. The ntouch VP Videophone lets users use their computers or hook up to a television for phone conversations with an interpreter. Unlike the last version of the device, the new hardware includes a separate webcam-like camera along with better quality video. Plus, callers can leave messages and there is a ring of flashing lights that can blink in different patterns to identify the caller. A Sorenson relay operator is available to users or calls can be made directly if both parties have the videophone. Find out more here.

Gally Beats Husson

Gallaudet shut out Husson University of Bangor, Maine today by a score of 35-0. That gives the Bison a 2-0 record in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference and 3-2 overall. Husson is now 0-5. Gally scored on the very first play of the game on a 59-yard touchdown pass and never looked back.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sign in Developing Countries

Sign languages in the developing world was the topic on a recent Kojo Nnamdi radio show which aired on WAMU in Washington, DC. Watch a short video showing the recording of the show below on You can see the participates signing.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Viral Video Star on Ellen

If you've one of the six and half million people who've seen the video if Sarah Churman having her cochlear implant turned on, you'll want to watch her appearance on Ellen. See the video below on

Deaf Grateful for Steve Jobs' Creations

Below is a video report from WHAM-TV in upstate New York about how Apple founder Steve Jobs has created devices that have helped the deaf. No captioning. Text is here.

Zombie Walk

Zombies will be out by the hundreds in Flint, Michigan and other cities this Saturday. It's World Zombie Day and Flint will use the day to raise money for the Michigan School for the Deaf with a Zombie Walk. It starts downtown at 1pm. Below on is a video sample of what to expect. There's more information here.

Leclerc on Big Bang

Katie Leclerc will guest star on the CBS show The Big Bang Theory tonight. The actress who stars as Daphne on the ABC Family show Switched at Birth will play the role of Emily, who is deaf and will be a love interest for the love-challenged scientist Raj (Kunal Nayyar).

Expo near San Fran

The DeafNation Expo comes to Pleasanton, California Saturday. Find out more here.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Miss Deaf Utah

KTVX-TV had Miss Deaf Utah visit the station's morning show as a guest. Below on is a video showing what Kayla Stubbs had to say (no captions).

Matlin in Missouri

Marlee Matlin spoke to a full auditorium last night at the University of Missouri as part of Celebrate Ability Week. The Academy Award winner spoke about overcoming barriers and offered a variety of stories to illustrate her point - including her recent appearance on The Celebrity Apprentice. She taught the audience how to sign "courage plus dreams equals success."

Woman Hit by Bus

Martha Delgado of DeLand, Florida is in the hospital after the 66-year-old deaf woman was hit by a bus yesterday while she was crossing a street in a wheelchair. The road where she tried to cross is under construction and there is only one lane open in each direction. Police say she was seriously injured but she is not in life threatening situation. Prosecutors may file charges against the bus driver.

New Sprint App

Sprint Relay is now offering a free Android app that gives users access to relay services whenever they have wireless coverage through Sprint 3 and 4G or WiFi networks. To access the service, a 10-digit number is first entered on Sprint Android devices with an operating system of 2.1 or higher. Sprint is the relay provider for 32 states and the federal government. For more information click here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hammer Trailer

Below is a preview of the new film The Hammer Trailer which is based on the career of UFC fighter Matt Hamill. It releases nationwide on October 27th.

The Problem is Moisture

Cochlear Ltd. recently issued a recall of its best-selling implant because of moisture inside of the device, unrelated to body fluid. The Australian company says its investigation shows the moisture is causing a diode malfunction - and may be caused by a manufacturing issue. Diodes are used to get power and radio signals to the implant. Stock in the company has continued to slide as it attempts to figure out what caused the problem in at least 200 of the devices that led to a September 12th recall. Half of the company's income comes from the recalled Nucleaus 5. Most analysts believe it will stay off the market for at least six months. In the meantime, Cochlear is offering the older Nucleus Freedom. More information is expected to come to light during Cochlear's annual shareholders meeting on October 18th.

Gally Soccer

The Gallaudet University men's soccer team lost to North Eastern Athletic Conference Sunday afternoon. The Bison have yet to win a game this season (0-8) and are struggling with a losing streak of 18 games, dating back to last season. The team will visit Southern Virginia University for the next game on Friday.

Monday, October 3, 2011

College Football Standout

Read a profile of a deaf UCLA running back here.

Drummer Marches to his Own Beat

WTVO-TV in Rockford, Illinois tells the story of a high school drummer with a cochlear implant here. Both text and video, but no captions on the video.

Bison QR

Gallaudet will offer QR codes at the school's ball games. Fans will be able to check team rosters, schedules, statistics, bio information and more through their smartphones or iPads. It's part of Gallaudet's environmental effort to cut back on the use of paper. QR posters will go up at games and at the front table for ticketed events. The same QR code will be used all season, so you'll only have to scan the black and white square once to get access. If your phone does not have built-in camera then type in this web address to access the Game Day programs:
There is a QR sample below.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Siblings Take the Field

KFSN-TV in Fresno, California files a video report below on an 8 year old who plays football and his sister who is a cheerleader for the team. Both are profoundly deaf. Read the story here.

Young CODA Shows Major QB Skills

Meet a 9 year old quarterback whose parents are both deaf. The video is below on No captioning.

1000th Implant

Dan Neuenswander is the 1,000th patient to receive a cochlear implant at Saint Luke’s Midwest Ear Institute in Kansas City, Missouri. Neuenswander received a hybrid cochlear implant to replace just the high pitches in his hearing. Doctor Charles Luetje, who founded the Ear Institute in 1980, performed the surgery. Patients have ranged from infants up to age 93.