Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Deaf Cheerleader

A Chicago Sun-Times publication takes a look at a deaf cheerleader here.

Viable Execs Sentenced

A federal judge sentenced the founder of Viable to nine years behind bars today. John Yeh was also ordered to pay restitution of $20 million for his part in defrauding the government through the Maryland company's video relay program. Yeh billed the government for millions of dollars for calls that did not qualify for reimbursement. His brother, former Viable vice president Joseph Yeh, got 55 months in jail. Neither brother plans to appeal the decision. In all, 26 people were indicted in the conspiracy. Two other Viable executives, Anthony Mowl and Donald Tropp, will be sentenced December 14 in New Jersey.

Kidnapped as Sex Slave

A couple forced a deaf woman walking on the street into their car in Brooklyn, New York early yesterday morning. The unnamed woman says she was beaten when she refused to agree to become a sex slave for them. The attack took place about 2am and was captured on surveillance video at a hotel. They drove her around for hours before she escaped. Police later arrested Jasmine Wilkins and Steven Benoit on kidnapping and robbery charges. The victim was treated at local hospital. Below is a video report from WABC-TV.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Marlee "Raises her Voice"

Success Magazine profiles Marlee Matlin here.

Health Survey of Deaf ASL users

Deaf ASL users are more obese, have more family violence, and a higher rate of suicide than the general population, according to a survey by the National Center for Deaf Health Research (NCDHR) at the University of Rochester Medical Center. The questionnaire was presented by video in sign language to 339 deaf adults. Nearly nine of ten participants said they have become deaf before the age of four. The results from this video survey was compared to the results of a random telephone survey conducted five years ago in the Rochester metropolitan area. Not all the findings were negative. The deaf community smokes at a lower rate than the general population (9% instead of 18%). Here are some of the specifics:
                         Deaf    general population
Obesity:             34%    26%
Suicide risk*      2.2%    .4%
Partner violence 21%    14%
 *attempted suicide in the past year

 Details are in the American Journal of Public Health which you will find here.

New Playground for School

The West Tennessee School for the Deaf has a new playground on the campus in Jackson, Tennessee to replace the old wooden one. The school, parents, teachers and students raised $30,000 for the project. West Tennessee serves more than 50 students.

Gally Earns First Hoops Win

The Gallaudet women's basketball team beat D’Youville College Sunday by a score of 66-55. The Bison are now 1-3, thanks to the team converting 15 of 20 free throw shots against the Spartans. It's the first victory for new coach Brendan Stern. The team next plays in the North Eastern Athletic Conference against Lancaster Bible College Thursday night.

Swimmer Honored

Oregon Swimming has named Peggy Liang its Female Swimmer of the Year. She competes for the Columbia River Swim Team, taking part this year in a junior national championship meet in Florida and she represented the U.S. at the World Deaf Games in Portugal, winning three gold medals. Liang is from Vancouver and attends the University of Hawai’i.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Deaf-owned Restaurant Opening

A new Italian restaurant is opening two weeks from Friday (Dec 9) in the Mission district of San Francisco where the conversations among the staff are all in sign language. Mozzeria Owners Melody and Russell Stein, as well as many of their employees are deaf. The daughter of hearing parents, Melody Stein attended the California School for the Deaf in Fremont, while Russ Stein grew up in New York City as part of a deaf family. They met at Gallaudet University where they studied Business Administration. Melody's father operated restaurants in Hong Kong where she was born, has studied Hospitality Management and took cooking classes in Italy last year. Make reservations for Mozzeria at Open Table (click here) or call the restaurant - it's equipped with a video phone. The Mozzeria Facebook page is here.

Women to Watch

Jewish Women International has named Alexis Ander Kashar one of 10 "Women to Watch" in the US for her advocacy on behalf of the deaf. She'll be recognized next Monday for it. Read about her efforts here.

Background on Friends Video

Last month we shared with you the ASL viral video of The White Stripes We're Gonna be Friends put together by D-Pan. Read some background on the video here.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Stabbing at Deaf Event

A man was stabbed at the closing ceremony of a international indoor soccer-type sporting event in Sweden yesterday. The World Deaf Futsal Championship, sponsored by the Swedish Deaf Sports Federation, had just ended. After the players from Iran were given gold medals for winning the tournament, an apparent supporter of the Iranian team was attacked in the hallway outside where the ceremony was taking place. The victim was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. The event involved 16 men's teams and 11 women's teams from around the world. You can see photos of the event here.

An 8 year's Implants

A Roanoke, Virginia mom sells more than 1100 pies to raise funds for her son's hearing aids. Soon his parents discover he'll need cochlear implants. Read the story of his progress here.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Switched at Birth Returns!

The winter premiere of ABC Family's Switched at Birth is set for Tuesday, January 3 at 8pm, Eastern. Below is a video sample of what's to come in 2012 for the series that's become popular in the Deaf community.

Jailed without Access to an Interpreter

A Denver man is suing Adams County law enforcement for keeping him in jail for 25 days without providing an sign language interpreter. Timothy Siaki was charged with domestic assault charges - charges which were eventually dismissed. According to his lawsuit, the county jail does not have procedures in place to stay in compliance with ADA law. Siaki and his fiancee were staying at a Super 8 motel last year when they began to argue. Because the couple did not respond to knocks at their hotel room door, deputies broke it down with guns drawn and ordered Siaki to the floor. When he did not obey the spoken orders, a deputy forced him down and arrested Siaki. During the entire ordeal at the hotel and for days later in the county jail, he was not provided an interpreter, according to his lawsuit, even though both he and his fiancee primarily communicate through American Sign Language. The county is not commenting on the lawsuit.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Hearing Loops

An NPR story about an effort to bring hearing loops to the US is here.

Texas Man Gets Implant

A Dallas man who has slowly been losing his hearing gets a cochlear implant in this video report by WFAA-TV posted below on You can read the story here.

2nd Languages in Australian Schools

Australia is planning to add as many as 15 languages into its National Curriculum - including sign language. Study of a second language will not become mandatory in school, but the opportunity will be there from students from the time they enter kindergarten. The move was prompted by a paper from the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority, which stated the goal of having young students spent at least 5% of their study time learning another language. Courses in Italian and Mandarin languages will be developed first. However, not everyone agrees with the shift. The New South Wales Education Department claims it will lead to teacher shortages and too many students in second language classrooms.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Quincy U's Awareness Day

Below is a video from WGEM-TV about how Deaf Awareness Day was marked on the campus of Quincy University in Illinois.

Gally beats Virginia School

Gallaudet's men's basketball team beat Christendom College by a score of 86-56 Tuesday. The Bison are now 2-2 while their Front Royal, Virginia opponent falls to 0-6. Gally next plays on its home turf in the GU Holiday Tournament this weekend. The Bison play Medgar Evers Saturday night.

Gally Ties to China

Gallaudet University is starting a joint academic effort with Beijing Union University. Gallaudet President T. Alan Hurwitz attended a signing ceremony in Beijing to mark the occasion. The Chinese school's College of Special Education is leading the educational collaboration between the schools to bring Chinese students to Washington and American students to China. Gally will launch an English Language Institute at BUU with the involvement of its own faculty members. The cooperation between the universities was fostered by the Department of State’s EducationUSA initiative and the US Embassy in Beijing.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Police Stun Gun Kills Deaf Man

Police in North Carolina tazered a 61-year-old deaf man Monday who was riding a bike. He later died at a local hospital. Watch the story below form WRAL-TV or read the story here.

Change at Texas School

The superintendent of a charter school for the deaf in Arlington is leaving. It's not clear whether Kathi Johnson was fired from the Jean Massieu Academy or is leaving on her own because the board is refusing to explain the reason for the change. Johnson came to the school in 2008 and was in charge when the Texas Education Agency decided to shut the school down because of substandard academic and financial problems. The state ended up giving the school a year probation and credited Johnson with making improvements.

Certification for School Terps

The Disabilities Education Improvement Act defines the role of an educational interpreter, but allows individual states to decide the specific standards for interpreters working in schools. Since 2004, more than half of US states (26) have adopted the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment or EIPA, which requires interpreter certification to work with deaf children in schools. While most states have given interpreters extra time to gain certification, shortages have emerged as those grace periods have ended. Rural communities are finding it especially hard to hard to find someone who is certified. The EIPA works from proficiency scale:

  • 3.0 is intermediate 
  • 4.0 is advanced intermediate 
  • 5.0 is advanced 

 If you have an opinion or experience to relate on the value of certified interpreters, please feel free to offer what you know as feedback. Does the certification process work?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Judge Puts Off Netflix Case

A federal judge will wait on an FCC ruling before deciding whether to let a lawsuit against Netflix move forward. The NAD sued the online streaming media outlet in June, claiming there is a lack of equal access. Netflix tried to get it the ruling dismissed, saying it is a duplicate lawsuit filed in March, but a California judge says he'll wait to see what the FCC decides. The Commission will soon release its captioning rules for Internet video providers, which will, according to the judge,"throw light on some technical aspects of the case, and its determination will be of assistance to the court." The judge will deal with the case again February 6th of next year.

Gene Research

Researchers say they have located two proteins directly linked to the inner ear's ability to receive sound and send it to the brain. The breakthrough is another step toward the development of gene therapy for some types of deafness. The federally-funded research is focused on TMC1 and TMC2, inner ear proteins believed to be essential for hearing. The team that published the findings were led by scientists from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders at NIH and Harvard Medical School's Children's Hospital. Details are in the online issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation here.

Cleared of 1981 Murder

A Chicago man is free after a jury found him not guilty of killing his 15-year-old girlfriend in 1981. Gary Albert was 18 at the time of Dawn Niles' death. Niles had been punched and stabbed before being dragged to a Lake, where her body was found by someone riding on horseback. Prosecutors say Albert murdered the teen because she was 3 months pregnant at the time, but the defense claimed there wasn't enough evidence to link him to the crime. Both attended Hinsdale South High School at the time.

Bama Suit Tossed

An attempt to stop Alabama lawmakers from moving $30 million out of the fund that pays for telephone service for the deaf and into the state's education budget has been tossed out by a judge. The Alabama Dual Party Relay Board had filed the suit, saying the action was illegal. Fifteen cents a month from landline customers goes into the Dual Party Relay Fund, which pays for relay operators.

Carolina School Reorg

Plans for the deaf and blind schools in North Carolina are up in the air. Lawmakers want one of three schools closed, but the state education department is going to counter-propose that the school's leadership be consolidated to save more than $5 million a year. That would leave the schools pretty much running as they are. The Governor Morehead School for the Blind would come under the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf, but Morehead would keep its name and students.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Video Phone at Tulsa Airport

The Tulsa airport now has a public access video phone installed by Communication Services for the Deaf. Money to pay for the device came from a federal grant as part of an effort to install video phones in public areas called Project Endeavor. The airpot already provided TTY phones. If you are in the Oklahoma airport, you'll find the free phone at the information desk near the Security Checkpoint.

Gallaudet Drops Another

Gallaudet was only a point down in the final seconds of the consolation game of the Rinso Marquette Tournament at Lebanon Valley College against Pitt-Bradford, but th women's basketball team failed to pull off the win. The Bison are now 0-2 on the season. They make their home debut Saturday gainst Valley Forge Christian College.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Gally Loses to Lebanon

The Gallaudet women's basketball team lost to Lebanon Valley College yesterday by a score of 59-35 in the opening game of the Rinso Marquette tournament. The Bison are now 0-2. Gallaudet beat Lebanon 80-69 in overtime last year. But two important players graduated - an All-American forward and a 6-1 center.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Librarian Sues for Discrimination

Merrie Sager is suing Huntington Beach, California for firing her after 32 years on the job. The deaf woman says she was dismissed from her job as a library clerk because of discrimination. The city claims she threw a book and yelled during work and is a threat to others. Sager explains the incident by saying she was upset that she was no longer allowed to help a volunteer with a task that she had done for years. According to the lawsuit, a new library manager failed to provide an interpreter at staff meetings as a previous manager did and there was a lack of written communication.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Reinvent Yourself After Misfortune

Karen lost her hearing in a barefoot skiing accident. 25 years later, she's back on the water. Read about how this deaf woman reinvented herself in More Magazine here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Implant Lawsuits

Advanced Bionics is facing lawsuits in 4 states over its bionic ear cochlear implant: Pennsylvania, Texas Kentucky and Oklahoma. The company issued a recall for the HiRes90K a year ago after reports of malfunctions and pain by some patients. The suits say the plaintiffs had to undergo surgery again to have the units replaced after failure. They point to a potentially defective seal that might have allowed moisture into the implant. This the same issue that lead another implant maker, Cochlear Limited, to recall its Nucleus 5 two months ago. Advanced Bionics also issued a recall of another implant in 2004 and again two years later.

Confession to Stabbing

A deaf teenager in the UK pleaded guilty to attempted murder in court today through a sign language interpreter. Gareth Young admitted stabbing a 12-year-old boy six times during an attack in Kilwinning this summer. The 16-year-old wrote out a confession on his phone, telling police at the scene "I hide my knife and shoes and jacket cupboard in my house." Young will be sentenced next month. 

Interpreter for Deaf Football Player

16th Season Begins

Hands On, an Irish TV series for the Deaf and hard of hearing starts its 16th season tomorrow. Watch it on Irish TV channel RTE TV or on the Hands OnYouTube channel here. English subtitles are provided.

Hearing Loss Worse than Expected

A new study just out yesterday shows one in five Americans, over the age of 12, have hearing loss. Some 48 million people or 20.3% of the population experience it in at least one ear, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. They estimate that about 30 million Americans, or 12.7%t of the population, have hearing loss in both ears. Previous estimates put the number between 21 and 29 million. They examined data from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Surveys taken between 2001 and 2008. You can see details of the study in journal Archives of Internal Medicine here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Visual Learning Summit

A first-of-its-kind conference set for this Friday and Saturday will address the challenges faced by deaf children who are learning to read. The University of California at Davis summit is co-sponsored by Gallaudet University’s Science of Learning Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning along with the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain and the departments of psychology and linguistics at the school. Hearing children learn to read by sounding out words, but deaf children have to do the same thing without that help. The organizers of the Visual Learning Summit believe growing up in a primarily visual world impacts language, memory and attention. Not only are there questions about how to best educate deaf children, there is a great deal for the hearing to learn from visually oriented learners. Speakers include Laura-Ann Petitto of Gallaudet University and Carol Padden from UC San Diego. For more click here.

Playground Opens Today

A new playground for deaf and hard of hearing preschool students will be dedicated at a ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning in Monterey, California. The playground will provide a safe place to play for students from around the county at the Toro Park Elementary School in Salinas. A number of local organizations worked to raise the funds for the construction of the facility.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Teen Interprets in Emergency

An Indianapolis teen helped to rescue a family from a fire with sign language. Sarah Blackwell had only studied ASL at school, but she remembered enough to help firefighters communicate with Mark and Karen Alberti this afternoon. The 18-year-old was eating lunch at a local restaurant when she saw smoke coming from a nearby house and ran to help. The couple and their 12-year-old daughter, each of them deaf, escaped unharmed. Blackwell interpreted for the family to the firefighters that the the fire started from a pile of trash while they were putting up Christmas lights. Blackwell told a local TV station that the experience so impressed her that she's considering majoring in American Sign Language in college.

Arrest Story Still Making the Rounds

The UK's Daily Mail has published an article in its online edition here that sounds pretty disturbing to readers. The article tells about police in Sunderland, England arresting a deaf man for what they thought were obscene gestures aimed at them, thought the man says he was only trying to tell them he was deaf. The problem is that this happened nine years ago. A fact not mentioned in the article. In 2002, Shaun Phuprate was charged with being drunk and disorderly, along with his brother who tried to intervene. Local magistrates later threw the case out. The Daily Mail itself ran the article in 2002 which you can see here.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Implant at 66

Find out what it was like for a 66 year old with age related hearing loss to get a cochlear implant. Read about it here.

Gallaudet Ends Football Season

Gallaudet lost to Maritime in football last night by a score of 21-14. The Bison fell to 5-5 on the season,4-3 in the conference, while the Privateers moved their overall record to 8-2, and 6-1 on the conference.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Vibration Device for Deaf Athletes

A team of students at NTID’s Innovation Lab have came up with a vibration notification system for deaf athletes. Through a wristband (though it can be worn on any part of the body) the device would help to avoid confusion, false starts, and inequality with hearing players during competitions. A signal would be sent through a coach’s smartphone to receivers, causing them to vibrate. The invention took second in the Shark Tank competition, earning the team a cool $1250. There were 50 teams in the fourth year of the event.

Ready-to-Wear Speaker Gear

You might have seen Ann Marie Bryan on ABC's reality show American Inventor a couple of years ago. The deaf filmaker introduced viewers to her Ready-to-Wear Speaker Gear. It is a vest with speakers that are designed in a way that deaf people can feel the vibrations of the music coming from the speaker. She is now hoping to raise $55k through the project startup site  which you can read about here or you can watch the video of her appearance on the TV show in the video below.

Robot Signer

Honda has unveiled its newly updated humanoid robot. The Japanese company says Asimo is now able to move without being controlled by an operator. First introduced in 2000, the device has steadily developed to the point where it can run and walk on uneven slopes and surfaces, climb stairs, and reach for and grasp objects. One of its new features is the ability to perform sign language, as shown in the video below on

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sign Languages as Endangered Languages

Participants from 21 different countries gathered in Norway for a four day conference sponsored by the World Federation of the Deaf on the topic of “Sign Languages as Endangered Languages”. Read about the discussion of myths about the deaf and questionable educational strategies as well as access a video from participant Dr. Joseph J. Murray here.

The Deaf Brain

Read about Unlocking the Secrets of the Deaf Brain based on research at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf here.

Online Learning Program for Kids

Missouri's St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf will offer a learning program for children over the Internet. The iHear speech and language therapy for children includes security measures to ensure privacy and compliance with federal regulations related to HIPAA and FERPA. The advantage for families living in rural areas is the absence of time and travel costs. The Institute says all the children up to age six that used the program improved their scores. A symposium is being held today in St. Louis about the iHear program. It is accessible online. For more information go here.

Theater Captioning Deal Approved

A federal court has signed off on a deal to settle a lawsuit over captioning at Arizona's largest movie theater chain. Harkins Theatres announced the deal last month and was just waiting for court approval. Part of the deal includes Harkins giving away 1000 free passes to movie-goers who are deaf or have vision loss. The company operates 25 theaters in Arizona and says the installation will be completed by next summer. Harkins has also agreed to pay the legal costs of the the Center for Disability Law ($24,000).

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Deaf Performance Artist

Here's a video introduction deaf performance artist Christine Sun Kim on You can also read an interview with her here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

EAS Test Wednesday

There will be a test of national Emergency Alert System tomorrow. It is being conducted jointly by the FCC and FEMA at 2 pm, Eastern. As we told you last week, all TV and radio stations will participate in the test, which is scheduled to last one minute, including the usual announcement that “This is a test,” followed by electronic tones. The EAS has never before been tested nationwide. This will help the FCC and FEMA to identify any problems in the alert system. On TV, the onscreen announcement will read "This is an Emergency Action Notification," but not necessarily that it is a test. Whether it does will depend on the resources of individual stations.

Behind the Scenes of Deaf Jam

Take a look behind the scenes of Deaf Jam as PBS interviews the director here.

Deaf Jam Sample

Deaf Jam is a film about the power of American Sign Language poetry. See a three minute sample below on

Coaching Change in Alabama

The Alabama School for the Deaf will have a new coach on the sidelines of boys basketball games this season. Walter Ripley is leading the team this season, as he once did before becoming the school's athletic director. He also lead the girls basketball team from 2002-2007. Patrick Robinson has given up the role to serve as director of the school’s regional center. He won three national championships during his time as coach, the last one coming during last season when the Silent Warriors went 26-2. The team starts the new season against the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf this Friday.

Enjoying the latest and greatest titles isn't so simple for deaf gamers

A look at barriers for deaf gamers here.

Hoops in Greece

Deaf basketball clubs from around Europe will gather in in the southern Greek city of Patras next month for the 30th Anniversary of Sports Association of the Deaf. There's more on the 2011 DIBF EuroCup in the video below.

CSD Open House

The California School for the Deaf is inviting the public along with parents and friends to its annual open house this Friday (Nov 11) morning. Visitors can watch classroom teaching, tour the facilities, visit the booths of some 40 organizations at a fair in the gym and see a variety show featuring ASL.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hollywood Laundry

Here's a clip of Robert Koch's YouTube show Hollywood Laundry on which you'll see Marlee Matlin among others (no captioning though). She tweets "I LOVED doing Robert Koch's talk show Hollywood Laundry."

FEMA on National Test

Below is a video from FEMA on the national emergency test scheduled for this Wednesday.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

India Film Fest

The India Deaf Film Festival takes place December 3rd and 4th at the Apeejay Institute of Mass Communication in New Delhi. Below on is a video about the event.

State School 1st Female Prez

The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind will soon have its first woman president. The board picked Jeanne Glidden Prickett, who is currently serving as superintendent of the Iowa School for the Deaf takes over in May of next year from L. Daniel Hutto, who held the president's post since 2007. Prickett holds a doctorate in special education from Illinois State University. The 126 year old Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind is located in St. Augustine and includes 47 major buildings on nearly 80 acres of land.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Website Coming for Deaf College Students

NTID is getting $1.6 million from the federal government to start an online academic community for deaf and hard of hearing college students who are studying math, engineering, science or technology. The website created by National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester will be the first of its kind and offer mentoring and tutoring through video and online connections along with captioning and interpreting services. This will be part of the 5 year effort by NTID's Center on Access Technology to use the funds given to it by the National Science Foundation. The site should be up and running by next summer.

Baseball Player visits Rocky Mountain Deaf

Colorado Rockies Pitcher Jason Grilli visits Rocky Mountain Deaf School. See the video below on

Deaf Ancestors?

We may have come from deaf ancestors. That's the implication of a new study out of Denmark. A University of Southern Denmark research group studied the lungfish. These are the closest living relatives to the tetrapods, which are associated with the water-to-land transition. It turns out they are not sensitive to sound pressure, but sensitive to vibrations. Scientists say the tympanic ear for hearing didn't develop until the Triassic Age, more than 100 million years after the origin of tetrapods. Details are in the online journal Biology Letters.

Friday, November 4, 2011

FCC Test Hiccups

The FCC has just sent a letter to TV broadcasters and cable operators asking them to make every effort to communicate to the deaf and hard of hearing that next Wednesday's Emergency Alert System test is just that - only a test. The onscreen announcement will read "This is an Emergency Action Notification," but not that it is a test. The FCC has already announced (yesterday) that it had shortened the test from 3 minutes to only 30 seconds.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Attorney to be Honored

Jewish Women’s International will honor civil rights attorney Alexis Ander Kashar, a legal and social advocate for the deaf, on December 5th in Washington, DC. The national Jewish group picked Kashar as one of its 2011 Women to Watch honorees. The Scarsdale, New York lawyer is one of ten women being honored. She was the first deaf graduate of the University of Texas School of Law and has led an effort to get Jewish-owned businesses to provide access to the deaf. Kashar serves as President of the Board of Trustees for the New York School for the Deaf and the Public Policy Chair for the National Association for the Deaf.

Talking with Artist Leon Lim

There's an interview with Leon Lim, a deaf contestant on Bravo's reality series Work of Art, here.

New Wristband Alarm & Tracker

Starting Sunday, Jawbone will offer a wristband that will gently wake you up with a vibration. The Bluetooth headset maker says the bendable, waterproof gadget will sync with Jawbone’s iPhone app called Up (there's a version in the works for Android). It will track your sleep and exercise. Sensing micro-movements at bedtime, it can tell when you’ve fallen asleep and whether you are in a light or deep sleep. That way, it can wake you in your lightest moments of sleep. Up will also track your daily moments to keep up with all the exercise you are getting - from workouts to little movements. You can also track your eating habits with the device. It will run $99 at Best Buy, Apple, and AT&T

Raccoon Attack

A 3rd grader at the St. Augustine at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind is recovering from raccoon bites. The animal bit her eight times Tuesday night near the school's playground following a dance class. She was taken to a local hospital after she was given a series of rabies shots. The raccoon is still on the loose though traps have been set for it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Nationwide EAS test

Below is an FCC video announcement about next week's nationwide emergency alert system test.Coordinated by the Federal Communications Commission and FEMA, it takes place Wednesday, November 9 at 2pm Eastern. The reason FEMA and FCC are spreading the word about this TEST is so that people will not misunderstand and think there is a real emergency happening. The EAS has never before been tested nationwide at the same time. Every TV/Cable and RADIO will be involved in this TEST. This will help the FCC and FEMA to identify any problems in the alert system.

Hammer Opening in Rochester

WROC-TV in Rochester reports on the local opening for The Hammer which was shot in the city. See the video (with captioning) below on

DeafNation Chicago

This Saturday the DeafNation Expo comes to Chicagoland. Check out the booths and presentations in Palatine, Illinois. Get more details here.

Twitter Helps with Captioning

Australian TV station NBN in Newcastle, New South Wales is letting viewers Tweet to directly to the station when there are captioning problems. The Twitter account is @nbntech. This is the first time an Australian station has tried dialoguing with its deaf listeners this way. The station is trying to make amends for failing to operate within captioning regulations by failing to caption the TV Week Logie Awards.

Deaf Employment History

A 1906 U.S. Civil Service decision banned the deaf from employment. The ruling was struck down two years later by President Teddy Roosevelt.

A Review of The Hammer

Many theaters around the country will be showing The Hammer tonight. Here is a review of the new film written by ASL interpreter Robbi Crockett: Imagine being the only hearing person in a theatre FULL of Deaf moviegoers visually tuned in to the emotional, heart-felt premiere of Matt Hamill’s The Hammer. The saga begins in Matt’s younger years when his mother and grandfather find out that he is deaf and try to cope with his hearing-loss – a condition that unfortunately leaves him searching for his "self-identity." After suffering bumps and bruises in the hearing community and culture, he is offered an incredible opportunity to attend NTID in New York ( The intense infatuation with the world of wrestling became Matt’s key to unlocking many doors of opportunity for him. The movie is both heart-warming and inspirational. You will cry and laugh as you gain an understanding of the amazing culture of the Deaf community. My deaf father joined me for the premiere and he said the film was great. He's in the photo with me and the actor playing Matt Hamill, Russell Harvard, who answered audience questions and gave multiple photo opportunities after the movie. The theater’s hearing staff was not aware of how those in Deaf culture like to stay late after an event and chat into the late hours. The staff had to flip on and off the lights to ask the audience to leave, so the theater could be cleaned up before the next showing. The Deaf members then congregated into the lobby so they could continue their visual discussions about the movie. Find out more information about The Hammer by clicking here

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Deaf Contestant off Reality Show

A deaf contestant on Bravo's reality series Work of Art was voted off the show. Leon Lim was born in Malaysia and now lives in New York. His first language is ASL and has used his art as an outlet to tell stories. A graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology and the UK's De Montfort University, Leon dabbles in a wide range of art forms. The show Work of Art is in its second season and pits eager young artists against each other in a gallery battle royal.

Deaf Jam at Film Fest

The documentary Deaf Jam will be showing in the Denver area this weekend at the Starz Denver Film Festival. Find out more here.

Occupy Wall Street Assault

There are claims of sexual assault coming out of the Occupy Wall Street encampment in NYC, including one on a YouTube video, where a self-proclaimed protester says a young deaf man was raped and that the incident might not have been reported to police, but offers no details. The YouTube video is posted below on (no captions).

Hurwitz to Speak

Gallaudet's president will speak Friday at Edmonds Community College near Seattle. Alan Hurwitz will appear as part of the school's fall lecture series. He'll talk about Serving the Deaf Community and People Hard of Hearing in the 21st Century at 12:30 p.m. in EDCC’s Black Box Theatre.

Deaf Culture's Origins

The concept of Deaf Culture was first introduced in 1965 in the Dictionary of American Sign Language by William Stokoe, Carl Croneberg, and Dorothy Casterline. Before this time deaf people were looked at by medical and educational professionals only in terms of their deafness or hearing loss, not in terms of having their own culture.

Restricting VRI in the UK

The organization that regulates communication in the UK is proposing free video relay service for the deaf - but only for a half-hour a month - and only during the regular business hours of 9 to 5 weekdays. Ofcom (Office of Communications) released the findings of a survey this summer showing the service is needed for those who use British Sign Language. But it will takes months before a decision is made about how to offer it. In the meantime, a few deaf people will get the chance to try out a pilot program funded in part by the European Commission called myFriend from today until June 2012. It will allow video relay calls for up to four hours a day.