Saturday, March 31, 2012

looking for a change

Meet a 53-year-old intern here.

The Universal Language of Compassion

Two sign language interpreters in Georgia "share this dream with animal lovers in the deaf community." Read about their effort here.

Achieving through Determination

Read an interview with a woman who claims to be the "first deaf female pro football player" who's now a black belt here.

Hospital Settles for 200k

An Iowa hospital will pay nearly $200,000 for failing to provide interpreters for deaf patients. The settlement comes out of a lawsuit from Jessie Fox. Her 7 year old daughter, Addison, was headed into surgery at Trinity Regional Medical Center in 2009. The hospital staff ignored Fox's request for an interpreter and instead, had Addison interpret for mother. This led to confusion about post-surgery medication. Two other deaf patients joined the lawsuit, saying they had faced a similar situations at the hospital. Trinity says it will change its procedures and offer VRI services or in-person interpreters.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Interpreted reporting

A student at the British Columbia School for the Deaf plans to be a journalist. Here's a video report about Amar Mangat from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (no captioning).

Thursday, March 29, 2012

How Indiana Took Sides In A Debate Over Deaf Schools

There is a report on a controversial funding move in Indiana here.

Beyond Talk

Utah Valley University holds its 5th Biennial Deaf Studies Today! Conference two weeks from today. The theme is Beyond Talk and it runs from April 12-14. For more information, click here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

$19.5 Million Project

The American School for the Deaf plans to build a 60,000-square-foot building on its campus in West Hartford, Connecticut. Groundbreaking for the $19.5 million facility is set for May. The school's celebrates its 200th anniversary in 2017.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Gally wins Doubleheader

Gallaudet's softball team took two games in a doubleheader yesterday. The Bison scored so often on the team from Valley Forge Christian College that action had to be stopped after only 5 innings in each game. Gally won 18-0 and 18-5. That gives the Bison a 2-14 record on the season. The team's other doubleheader win last Saturday was only an exhibition. The Bison take on Wilson College tomorrow afternoon.

Film Fest in Ireland

The first Irish Deaf Film Festival takes place Oct 12-14 in Dublin. Posted below on is a video about it.

"Forced to Resign"

A UK diplomat says she was fired because accommodating her would cost too much. Jane Cordell asked for a lipspeaker - someone to help her to lipread. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said no, withdrawing the offer of a post in Kazakhstan. The Office had provided a lipspeaker for the deaf woman while she was stationed in Poland. She resigned after her legal appeal
was rejected. Cordell now works for Action on Hearing in Manchester.

Sean Forbes Talks

Michigan's Kalamazoo Gazette profiles deaf rapper Sean Forbes. Read the story here.

Climbing Mt Everest

A serviceman from Bedfordshire, UK who lost his hearing while on tour will climb Mount Everest starting April 11. Chris Gwilt was standing in front of a wall in Afghanistan when a rocket propelled grenade hit it. Gwilt got a cochlear implant later. His climb will raise funds for Walking with the Wounded, an organization that helps former servicemen and women, in an effort to help others wounded in battle received implants. Read more about the climb here.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Film Fest Friday

The Seattle Deaf Film Festival starts Friday at the University of Washington. The films to be shown coming from 8 different countries and created by, for, or about the deaf community. The school's ASL and Deaf Studies Program is working with with Deaf Spotlight. The films will include subtitles for audience members who are sign language impaired.

DeafNation Dallas

The DeafNation Dallas Expo comes to the Dallas Marriott in Irving on March 31. There's more info here.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Marlee's Advice

A look at Marlee Matlin's visit to Middle Tennessee State University here.

The health of deaf people: communication breakdown

The deaf are twice as likely to have mental health problems as the general population, according to a report in the journal Lancet. At same time, the EU researchers say deaf people have a harder time getting mental health care - and when they do get it, the quality is lower. Deaf girls are twice as likely as hearing girls to report sexual abuse. For boys, the figure is three times greater. Deaf children, both boys and girls, are four times more likely to have mental health issues if their family does not understand them. The researchers recommend offering specialist services with professionals trained to directly communicate with deaf people and with sign-language interpreters. Read more about the findings in The Lancet here.

Re-imagining Cyranro

A look at the Deaf West Theatre's signed and spoken version of Cyrano de Bergerac which opens in Los Angeles next month here.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Guilty of Strangling Ex-Wife

A Reno man could spend the rest of his life behind bars for killing his former wife. A Reno, Nevada jury found Steve Anthony guilty of strangling to death Christina Crowley just months after the two divorced. She was a deaf medical student. Sentencing is scheduled for May 31.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Gally Growth

Gallaudet will hold a series of community workshops over the next few weeks about the school's building plans. Officials want to add housing for 150 students on campus to accommodate the expected 2% increase of the student body next year. Right now, the University has 1617 students. The campus includes about 100 acres in the heart of DC with four acres on two parcels west of campus on either side of the DC Farmers market. School officials hope to open up Olmsted Gate soon. It's a wide pedestrian entrance at the Florida and 6th Street. A plaza is also planned Neal Street.

Feds go after AT&T

The Justice Dept. is suing AT&T for not stopping swindlers from taking millions out of a service meant to benefit the deaf.  The Feds are joining a whistleblower lawsuit filed by Constance Lyttle, a former worker at an AT&T call center. Prosecutors say the phone company knowingly asked for reimbursement of calls not covered in the service. Many were placed by international callers using the service to buy things using stolen credit cards. As much as 95% of the calls were international and not eligible for the reimbursement program. The FCC reimburses companies like AT&T about $1.30 per minute out of a fund created by fees placed on consumer phone bills. AT&T says it didn't know the calls were being fabricated, but the FCC requires IP Relay providers to verify users' name and mailing address.  The US Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania says, "Those who misuse funds intended to benefit the hearing- and speech-impaired must be held accountable."

Dynamic Captioning

A team of researchers from China and Singapore say they have come up with a new way to do captioning. In what's called dynamic captioning, the text appears in translucent talk bubbles next to the speaker to better reflect the speaker's identity and vocal dynamics. When narrator speaks or the person speaking is off screen, the words appear at the bottom as they do in the typical captioning process. Meng Wang from China's Hefei University of Technology led the research.

Deaf Jam at Gally

The filmmaker who produced Deaf Jam and the performer featured in it will take part in a panel discussion at Gallaudet University today at 4pm. The film will first be screened in the Elstad Auditorium and then performer Aneta Brodski and filmmaker Judy Lieff will speak. Brodski journey into the spoken word slam scene took a twist when she befriended a hearing Palestinian slam poet.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

School Gets new leader

Despite objections from the deaf community, the Iowa Board of Regents voted unanimously to appoint Patrick Clancy as the new superintendent for the Iowa School for the Deaf. Clancy does not know ASL. They say appointing a superintendent who could not sign did not violate state law and did not threaten the school’s accreditation.

SIGNin' in the Street Recap

Here is a video showing what happened last weekend at the special SIGNin' in the Street event at the Disneyland Resort with the stars of Switched at Birth, Marlee Matlin, and other well-known personalities in the Deaf community.

Sex on a School Bus

Police in the Indianapolis suburb of Fishers say two young students were caught having sex on a school bus. The 13-year-old boy and 8-year-old girl are students at the Indiana School for the Deaf. The act was caught on tape, but investigators say no charges will be filed because the two adults on the bus could not see what was going on. Besides the driver, an adult aide and other students riding on it at the time.

Superintendent Leaving

The Iowa School for the Deaf is losing its leader. Jeanne Prickett is leaving the Council Bluffs school to become president of the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind. Prickett becamse superintendent of the Iowa School for the Deaf 9 years ago. Some students, parents, and and alumni are upset that the Iowa board is now considering the appointment of a superintendent who is not fluent in American Sign Language like Prickett. More than 400 people signed a petition against the possible move to appoint Patrick Clancy as superintendent. Clancy is now superintendent of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School and under the plan, he would hold both positions at the same time.

President Signs to Student

A student signed "I am proud of you" to President Obama who signed back "Thank you." Stephon, who attends Prince George’s Community College, was standing in line to greet the President at an energy policy event in Maryland. Another deaf student then signed,"I love you." Obama smiled back and shook her hand. Below on is a video of what happened, followed by a video of Stephon explaining his experience.

Rejecting Deaf Culture

English actress Rita Simons struggles with what to do about her daughter's loss of hearing. Simons says, "People say you must engage with the deaf community, but we haven't felt we needed to."  Read about it here.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Gally Sports Awards

Gallaudet's baseball team had racked up two big awards from its conference. The North Eastern Athletic Conference named outfielder William Bissell the NEAC West Baseball Student-Athlete of the Week and Marcus Smith was picked the NEAC West Baseball Pitching Student-Athlete of the Week. The Bison won 4 games during the week and only lost one. Bissell went 10-for-18, scored eight runs and drove in five runs with two triples and one home run. Smith went 1-0 for the week, beating Drew University 11-5. He allowed only two runs on four hits. Gallaudet now has a record of 8-6 with eight wins in a row until yesterday when the Bison lost to Frostburg State University. The team is back in action Wednesday at Stevenson University.

Carnival of the Deaf

The 3rd International Carnival of the Deaf takes place in Modena, Italy this Saturday (March 31). Guests include Giuseppe, Rosaria Giuranne and Bernard Bragg. You can find more information here or watch the sign video below.
International Sign 03 (Location) from ZfK on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Weather Disrupts Disney Event

Disney's first day of Signin' in the Street drew thousands of people despite bad weather. The opening production had to be moved inside because of strong storms in the area of Disney's California location. The stars of ABC Family's Switched at Birth drew many autograph and picture seekers.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Helen Keller on Alabama's Quarter

On this date (March 17) in 2003, Alabama's official state quarter, featuring Helen Keller, went on sale at the US Mint. A ceremony marked the occasion one week later at Ivy Green Estate, the birthplace of Keller in Tuscumbia. The blind and deaf Alabamian opened many doors for the disabled. The quarter design features Keller's image with her name printed in English and a reduced version of Braille, along with
a "Spirit of Courage" banner.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Weekend at Disneyland

Disney is hosting its first SIGNin’ in the Street event this weekend. This "celebration of creativity in the deaf community" takes place at Disney's California theme part. The cast of ABC Familiy's Switched at Birth will take part in a panel discussion and sign autographs. Unseen episodes of the show will be screened and the film about ultimate fighter Matt Hamill called The Hammer will be shown along with the documentary See What I’m Saying. Stars from those films will be available to answer questions and to perform live. Deaf West Theater will preview the groups upcoming show and offer guests workshops about ASL and acting. Drum CafĂ©, TL Forsberg, star of the new Shut Up and Sign ASL DVD series Bob Hiltermann, Beethoven’s Nightmare, and comic CJ Jones will perform as well. Disney is creating merchandise especially for the event featuring American Sign Language.

New Gally Degree

Gallaudet will begin offering an MPA graduate degree this fall. That's a Master of Public Administration. The 40 credit program will include classes on management ethics, strategic leadership and management, and budgeting in public sector and nonprofit organizations. Classes will be offered at night and in the summer. President T. Alan Hurwitz says, "By introducing this program - in a format that is fully accessible in ASL and English - our goal is to help those employees attain the required educational level [needed] for advancement and develop effective managerial skills so they have a greater opportunity to take on leadership roles in public and nonprofit sectors."

Protests over School Move

The Rocky Mountain Deaf School wants to move to a new location - but nearby homeowners are protesting. The school is now renting space in a strip mall near a bar. The roof leaks and the emergency system is not designed for hearing-impaired students. A new facility is planned with a $13 million grant from the Colorado Department of Education at a 10 acre site owned by the Jefferson County Public School system. But homeowners in Lakewood's Hutchinson Park area claim the school will lead to traffic problems and disturb the tranquil setting. They've created a website here and posted a YouTube video which you can watch before.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Maryland man not allowed to sue

Robert Seremeth can't sue police in Maryland who handcuffed his hands behind his back, forcing him to keel on a cement walkway with no way to communicate with them. Seremeth did not know why he was being detained for about 45 minutes until an officer gave him a note, explaining an interpreter had been called to the scene while they investigated a domestic abuse call. A federal judge in Maryland ruled that officers did not violate his rights, even though Seremeth was never charged with any crime. An appeals court has now sided with the police.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Deaf History Month

Tomorrow (March 13) through April 15 is Deaf History Month.

DeafNation Orlando

The DeafNation expo visits Orlando this Saturday (March 17). The doors will be open at the Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee. Find out more here.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Docu Debuts in Tokyo

 Coffee and A Pencil  starts a two week run in Tokyo tomorrow. The new documentary by deaf Japanese filmmaker Ayako Imamura features Hawaiian goods shop owner and competitive surfer Tatsuro Ota. The title comes from Ota's practice of offering a cup of coffee to every visitor along with a pencil with which to write him notes.  For more information about Kohi to Enpitsu (or Coffee and A Pencil in English) visit here.

Vet told to leave service dog outside

WGHP-TV in North Carolina reports on why a vet is fighting with his employer over his service dog. See the video below on or read the story here.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sign Language Club

A sign language club for kids in New Zealand. Here's a video report from a local channel.

Do the deaf find farts funny?

Gene Weingarten devotes a column to the question in today's Washington Post. Read his findings here.

Burn Down the Ground

Kambri Crews shares her story as a CODA in Burn Down the Ground. Readers will find out why her father is now serving a 20 year prison sentence for a violent attack, why her mother endured years of abuse, and how Crews got from rural Texas to New York City and now runs her own PR and production company. Find out more here.

A Unique Restaurant in Nepal

If you find yourself in the Asian country of Nepal, visit the Bakery cafe in the capital of Kathmandu where the wait staff is deaf. Read about it here.

Tax Refunds

IF you want to know when you'll get your tax refund, watch this ASL video from the IRS (with captions).

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Senior Signs with Gally

An Amarillo high schooler is headed to Gallaudet to play football. Read the story here.

Gifts for Matt

A Connecticut middle school student has raised $26,000 for cochlear implant research. Matthew Reiser wears an implant himself. Matthew was born with profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears and is now in 7th grade at Bedford Middle School in Westport. For his bar mizvah celebration, he asked family and friends to donate to the NYU Cochlear Implant Center instead of giving him gifts.  You can contribute here. Here's a video about Matthew's effort.

Deaf hurdler adopts

A profile of a deaf athlete at Purdue University here.

Suit over Expulsion

A deaf student's parents are suing a Chicago school for expelling her. St. Scholastica High School officials say they were have disciplinary problems with the girl - specifically, “failure to listen” to her teachers. Niya Jackson and Aamed Pryor say all of the disciplinary infractions are directly related to their daughter's hearing loss. The couple says the school staff knew about the hearing problem when she first enrolled and the girl was turned away when she tried to speak to the principal of the school about the ongoing problems. The lawsuit says she had been going to counseling to overcome depression since the expulsion.

Police: Deaf Student Assaulted

There's an investigation underway in the bullying and sexual assault of a 15-year-old deaf student in San Antonio. Police have already arrested one South San Antonio High School. The 18-year-old allegedly talked another deaf student into grouping the victim in October. The 15-year-old was threatened into not telling anyone. The two students continued to harass the victim until she eventually told her interpreter. There are reportedly more victims.

Deaf Ed at Boston U

Read a story about Deaf studies at Boston University here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sanderson Passes

Former NAD president Robert G. Sanderson has died at the age of 92 at his home in Utah.  Sanderson graduated from Gallaudet with a chemistry degree and went on to earn a doctorate in educational administration from Brigham Young University. Affectionately known as Sandie, he served on the NAD board for 14 years and became its president in 1964. He was re-elected in 1966.

Review of Tribes

The off-Broadway show Tribes follows the story of a deaf man who has learned to adapt to his hearing family’s unconventional ways, but they’ve never bothered to return the favor. Read a review of the show here.

Protest at Hearing Loss Conference

A group called Audism Free America held a march near the St. Louis City Hall yesterday afternoon. The 8 block trek ended at the Union Station Marriott Hotel, where some 1000 people gathered for the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Meeting. About 50 people showed up show support for sign language and to call for less emphasis on detecting early hearing loss and fixes like cochlear implants.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Gally Sweeps

Gallaudet's baseball team spoiled the home opener of Baptist Bible College, taking both games of a double-hitter yesterday. The Bison beat the Defenders 10-2 and 9-4, chalking up the team's first conference wins. The Bison record was 0-5 going into the game. Gally next heads to Florida to play in the RussMatt Invitational, which starts Saturday.

Sam's Dream

A profile of a Australian college student with hopes of competing in the 2013 Deaf Olympics here.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Referee bans deaf player

A soccer ref told a deaf footballer in the UK to get off the field because he wore "dangerous" hearing aids. Early in the second half of a game in South Yorkshire between the Masons Arms and Pewter Pot, referee Gary Mellor spotted the hearing aids on Craig Beech and halted play. Beech offered to cover up the hearing aids, but that wasn't good enough for Mellor. Beech's team, the Masons Arms, refused to continue without Beech. He has played more than 100 matches stretching out over six seasons without any problem.

Netflix Streaming

Netflix says more than 8 out of 10 of the videos it streams in the US now comes with captions. This does NOT mean 8 out of 10 Netflix videos are captioned - only that 8 out of 10 of the videos that someone has decided to watch comes with some form of subtitles. It's quite an improvement over a year ago, when only about half that number were captioned. The company completing the project may take some time. What's left to be captioned is rarely viewed. Netflix starting getting serious about captioning last summer, at the same time it got hit by a lawsuit from the National Association of the Deaf
over the lack of captions.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Changes at Deaf West

The founder of Deaf West Theatre is being replaced. Founder Ed Waterstreet
is retiring and David J. Kurs will take his place as artistic director for the Los Angeles-based theater group. Waterstreet has been at the helm since 1991. During the past two decades, Deaf West has put on 40 plays and four musicals. The group's revival of Big River made it to New York, where it won two Tony nominations and a Tony honor for excellence in theater. The 68-year-old Waterstreet graduated from Gallaudet University and was a member of the National Theatre of the Deaf. His successor is 34 and also a Gallaudet grad, having served as associate producer and ASL master for Deaf West. Kurs first show will be the April production of Cyrano.

The Cleveland Show

A new episode of Fox's The Cleveland Show running this Sunday (March 4) called Til Deaf in which Cleveland loses his hearing in a hunting accident. Below is a preview on


The Arkansas School for the Deaf is offering a service that allows a 911 dispatcher to see an online profile of the person calling. KTHV-TV offers this video report on No captioning, but you can read the story here.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


An Australian company is now offering an app that promises to deliver real-time live theater captioning on smartphone and tablet devices. The Captioning Studio app is called GoTheatrical and was first used publically in the city of Canberra for Andrew McKinnon’s production of Dickens’ Women last month. It runs a dollar-99 on Apple’s App Store. The video offers more details (captions included).

Inner-city Folk find a Friend

A profile of a deaf seminarian studying to become a priest in Canada. Read the story here.