Monday, December 30, 2013

The 1st deaf female rabbi

The first deaf female rabbi, Rebecca L. Dubowe, is now a visiting scholar at Gallaudet University. The Washington Post offers a photo slideshow of her work here.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Girl gets new implant for Christmas

Cherie Marciniak was adopted by an American family six years ago. The move from Thailand to Minnesota not only meant a new home, but a cochlear implant. It stopped working after four years of use. That's when friends and family stepped in to raise money so that Cherie, now 11 years old, would get a newer and better implant. KBJR-TV, the NBC-affiliated for Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin, tells the full story in the video below (captions included).

Friday, December 27, 2013

Bogus Terp calls himself "Great Fake"

image from Facebook video
Thamsanqa Jantjies says that even if he is a fake sign language interpreter, he is "a great fake". Jantjies caused an international stir after he "interpreted" at Nelson Mandela's memorial service. He said he is a "great fake" because "I expose what is going on in the government and system" in a rambling video posted on Facebook. Watch the video here. You can see in the video he is wearing a shirt with the word Sterkfontein on it. That is the name of a psychiatric hospital in Krugersdorp. Jantjies was admitted there a few days ago. He has admitted to taking part in killing two people a decade ago, but he did not stand trial because of metal health issues. Read more about that episode here.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Deaf man arrives on flight--in the wrong state!

Kenneth Brown was on his way to visit his brother in a Seattle hospital last week. But instead he wound up in Phoenix. Details on what happened on his flight from KNXV-TV here.

Song: I liked you better deaf

Danny Hamilton wrote a song about his father getting hearing aids for Christmas. Danny titled it I liked you better deaf. While his father wasn't profoundly deaf before getting some digital help, the video of the song has already racked up around 200k hits. Danny writes, "My Dad, who has been hard of hearing for about as long as I can remember, recently invested in hearing aids. So I wrote him a little song for Christmas to celebrate his newfound sense, affectionately entitled, 'I Liked You Better Deaf.'" The lyrics are posted along with the song on YouTube. There's captioning, but it isn't very accurate.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

CBS: Inexpensive hearing devices bring gift of sound to less fortunate

Tiny, high-tech hearing aids are making a difference "in the world's poorest countries." Barry Petersen of CBS News reports on what Sound World Solutions is doing to help the developing world in a video report posted below.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Active Shooter Drill at Deaf School

Police officers practiced active shooter training at the Kentucky School for the Deaf yesterday in Danville. Read about how sign language was incorporated into the drill from The Advocate Messenger here.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Implant: I expected to be hearing more

A Florida man decides to turn in his hearing aid for a cochlear implant. Mike Gray says he was initially disappointed and it's a slow process. See a video report about Gray from the Tampa Bay Times below (no captions) or read a more detailed report here.

Protests at Seattle Men’s Chorus concert

Protesters marched in front of Seattle's Benaroya Hall last night over the sign language interpretation of the Seattle Men's Chorus. KING5-TV filed a video report on the controversy.

Woman assaulted near Gally

A woman was sexually assaulted by armed men just a couple of blocks from Gallaudet University this past weekend. WJLA-TV has a video report posted below on

Update on Medical Student Suit

In September we told you about a Nebraska jury verdict here, siding with a medical student who sued sued Creighton University for not meeting his learning needs. Michael Argenyi was not provided interpreters or a transcription system. Argenyi has a cochlear implant but also uses cued speech. A Nebraska jury agreed with Argenyi--but failed to award him any financial damages. This week, a judge agreed with the jury that he didn't prove the discrimination was intentional--that means Argenyi is still responsible for the $133,000 bill for the services he was given during his first two years of medical school. However, the judge also ordered the University to provide him with an interpreter and the transcription service when he returns to the school this coming summer. Argenyi plans to appeal the parts of the decision that went against him--and the school hasn't decided whether to do the same. Ironically, while he was waiting for this case to be resolved, Argenyi attended Boston University where he was given the accommodations that are at issue in his case with Creighton. You can read the NAD's (National Association of the Deaf) reaction here and judge's Friday ruling is here.

Deaf School loses Superintendent

Barbara Garrison
(Image from the Missouri
School for the Deaf website)
The Missouri School for the Deaf is losing its superintendent. Barbara Garrison is retiring after more than a decade at the school. She told the News Tribune her favorite things during her time at MSD has been the "students, the staff and the families.. In general, I’ve loved the city of Fulton — it has been one of the most welcoming communities I’ve ever been in.” A search is underway for Garrison's replacement. Read the full story here.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

ASL of Twas the Night Before Christmas

Sheena McFeely has two daughters--one is deaf like her and the other hearing. You can see one of the daughters (Shaylee) signing a version of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas in the video posted below. Mental Floss magazine picked up the post and offers what it says are 9 Reasons This Little Girl’s Sign Language Version of “'Twas the Night Before Christmas” is Great which you can read  here.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

‘Does someone born with a hearing loss “hear” an inner voice?’

"I can sometimes use my hands to retrieve an appropriate meaning item, and then choose an English equivalent. Likewise, when I spend a lot of time with deaf, signing friends or colleagues, I will find myself signing in my dreams. Thus the inner hands become available as needed, or with use." Read more responses to the question at the Guardian here.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Petition: Dump Men's Chorus interpreter

The Seattle deaf community is abuzz over the ASL interpreter working for the Seattle Men's Chorus. Some complain that Kevin Gallagher he is hard to understand and not certified. The city's weekly newspaper, The Stranger, reports the Chorus plans to keep Gallagher as its interpreter. In an open letter, Chorus executive director Frank Stilwagner says:
I have consulted with individuals who I know to be qualified ASL experts. I have also had conversations with individuals affiliated with the deaf community, including deaf patrons who regularly attend our concerts, to listen to a spectrum of needs and responses, furthering our understanding. While most have praised our dedication as an organization to offering accessible performances with interpreters, this current concern highlights a need to expand those services.
Stilwagner goes on to ask for "constructive feedback." Some have started an online petition here which says Gallagher is not an "effective interpreter" and plan a protest at the choir's show this coming Sunday. Below is a video report from KING-TV (captions available).

Fake Terp in hospital

The fake sign language interpreter is now in a psychiatric hospital. Sign language experts said Thamsanqa Jantjie wasn't doing anything but flapping his hands during Nelson Madela's memorial service, which drew together world leaders like Barack Obama. Jantjie claimed schizophrenia caused him to have hallucinations and hear voices during the service. Johannesburg's Star is reporting that he has been admitted to the Sterkfontein Psychiatric Hospital. Jantjie has been linked to the mod murder of two men a decade ago. Read about that here.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Money for 100 kids to get implants

The UK's Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is footing the bill for 100 children to get bilateral cochlear implants. The cost will reach more than 3 million pounds (nearly $5 million dollars). Read the story here.

BuzzFeed ASL video

The viral-focused internet site BuzzFeed is offering a short video titled 8 Phrases You Need to Know in ASL in this video.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

New Terp Rules in SA next year

The South African parliament has passed a new language bill--and the Department of Arts and Culture says it "has nothing to do with the interpreter at Nelson Mandela's memorial." The law would require interpreters to register and hold certain qualifications. Read the story at the Independent Online here.

Lost in interpretation

The recent fiasco at the Nelson Mandela memorial service has put sign language interpreting in the spotlight. The PBS NewsHour says the interpreters job is "part performance, part science, and part cognitive gymnastics." The program offers a detailed look at what happens when things go wrong in an online article here.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Fake interpreter part of a mob that killed two men

The fake interpreter at Nelson Mandela memorial service was involved with burning two men to death, according to the Associated Press. Thamsanqa Jantjie was supposed to stand trial a decade ago for the crime, but according to a relative and friends, he avoided prison because the court found him mentally unfit. Jantjie allegedly joined an angry mob that found two men with a stolen TV. The group of vigilantes put tires around the two men and torched them. Jantjie admits his involvement, telling the Sunday Times newspaper of Johannesburg, "It was a community thing, what you call mob justice, and I was also there." eNCA, a South African news station reports that Jantjie was accused of rape but acquitted. He was sentenced to three years in prison for theft, according to eNCA, but may not have spent any time in jail. Attempts by various news outlets to find the school that Jantjie claims to have studied sign language at have not been successful.

Opinion: Colleges Might as Well Say ‘Deaf People Unwelcome Here’

"Colleges and universities often provide garbled interpretation for deaf students, if they provide any at all, sending the message that deaf people are not welcome," writes University of Illinois at Chicago professor Lennard J. Davis. He explores why sign language interpreters are in short supply on college campuses in an opinion piece published in the influential Chronicle of Higher Education here.

What was really said by fake interpreter

Jimmy Kimmel invited a sign language interpreter on his show last week to try to interpret what Thamsanqa Jantjie was signing at the Nelson Mandela funeral. The interpreter told the audience that Jantjie was doing some words of sign language, but it was unrelated to the speeches being given in Mandela's honor and "complete gibberish." The Kimmel video is posted below.

Salaries for Top Gallaudet Administrators

T. Alan Hurwitz makes more than half-of-a-million dollars in total compensation as president of Gallaudet University. Hurwitz pulls in $512,946, According to the Chronicle of Higher Education. That makes him the third highest-paid president in his peer group. Here are some other Gallaudet salaries, as reported by the Chronicle. Paul Kelly, VP for finance & administration: $408,183

  • Stephen Weiner, Provost: $309,962
  • Cynthia King, Chief information officer: $269,420
  • Edward Bosso, VP for clerc center: $259,792
  • Carol Erting, Dean, GSPP: $258,779
  • Donald Bell, Chief of staff: $256,978
  • Thomas Allen, Director VL2: $250,446
  • Catherine Andersen, Assistant provost & chief enrollment manager: $247,396
  • Jane Dillehay, Professor & chairperson gsr: $245,427
  • Lynne Murray, VP for development and alumni relations: $240,519

Read more details here.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

SNL Mocks Fake Funeral Terp

Saturday Night Live addressed the Nelson Mandela fake interpreter fiasco last night in its opening sketch. Kenan Thompson portrayed Thamsanqa Jantjie, the incoherent South African interpreter while Jay Pharaoh pretended to be President Barack Obama. The interpreter is eventually seized by Secret Service personnel, but later returns to shout the opening line from the NBC show: "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night Live." The video is below on

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Bogus sign language service alleged

A deaf couple in the UK is accused of creating a fake sign language interpreting service, according to the Daily Mail. Prosecutors say Shahab Reza submitted bogus invoices for interpreting services that were never done. His wife, and their two adult children were involved as well. The family pled not guilty in court yesterday and will go on trial this coming fall. Read the full story here.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Deaf St. Peters man hears daughter sing for the first time

Ken Stehle's got to hear his daughter sing a solo at the Villa Duchesne High School's Christmas concert for the first time Sunday. St. Louis TV station KSDK-TV has a video report below. No captions but you can read the story here.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fake interpreter comes forward

He suffered a schizophrenic episode. That's the explanation of what happened from the man accused of pretending to be a sign language interpreter. Thamsanqa Jantjie told Johannesburg's Star newspaper he was ill when he presented himself on stage as world leaders honored Nelson Mandela during a South African memorial service. But people in the deaf community say he was gesturing gibberish. Jantjie claims he started hearing voices and hallucinating while on stage. He told the Star:
"There was nothing I could do. I was alone in a very dangerous situation. I tried to control myself and not show the world what was going on. I am very sorry. It's the situation I found myself in."
Jantjie said he did not know what triggered the attack and said he took medication for his schizophrenia, though he also told Johannesburg's Talk Radio 702 he was pleased with his performance. Read more in the Star here. Below is a eNCAnews report that compares what Jantjie did and what a real interpreter would do.

Stephen Colbert on Fake Terp

The sign language scandal at Mandela's Memorial service got the attention of comedian Stephen Colbert. He spend a segment of his Comedy Central show on the topic. You can see it below (captions available).

The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Video Archive

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

CNN report on fake interpreter

The CNN went to Gallaudet University for part of its video report on the fake interpreter that showed up on stage in South Africa at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela. Watch it below on

Mystery interpreter Named

The UK's Daily Mirror says it knows the identity of the fake interpreter at the Nelson Mandela memorial. According to the paper, "sources in South Africa last night named him as Thami Jantjie." And it appears he's done the same thing before--there is video of him next to the South African president at an African National Congress event last year. Jantjie's gestures did not match those of an actual interpreter in the corner of South African TV screens. Read more here.

Cute CODA's Holiday Concert signing caught on video

A kindergartener made sure her deaf parents were able to follow the singing of her classmates by signing her way through several Christmas songs at her school's holiday concert. Tampa's WTVT-TV (Fox 13) has the video of the demonstrative CODA.

Reaction to Fake Terp

The Obama Administration said it has no comment about the fake sign language interpreter who showed up on stage at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, according to USA Today. Questions are being referred questions to the South African government. But White House spokesman Josh Earnest it would be "a shame" if this incident became "a distraction" from the many tributes to Mandela. Meanwhile, Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technical Institute for the Deaf is offering experts to the media that can talk about what happened. You can read a press release here. A social media reporter for the Washington Post suggests what happened could be "a legacy of apartheid." Caitlin Dewey explains why here.

Today Show Jokes about Fake interpreter

NBC's Today show is apologizing for a joke about the fake interpreter at the memorial service for Nelson Mandel in South Africa. During a discussion of the controversy among the hosts, someone appeared in the corner of the screen, making random gestures as if they were an sign language interpreter. Host Natalie Morales shook her head and immediately said, “Oh no, no, no. Guys, let’s not do that,” Morales said, shaking her head. She was joined by other anchors who expressed disapproval. Al Roker echoed her "No, no, no" and added "wrong" before covering his face with his hands.The Today Shows Twitter feed later send this apology: We aired a joke in our 9:00 hour that was offensive. We apologize to our viewers. Here's a video of what happened.

Deaf Seahawk RB inspires students

Seattle Seahawks running back Derrick Coleman spoke to about 100 students at Tacoma's Baker Middle School yesterday. Coleman lost his hearing when he was just three-years-old.  KING-TV, channel 5 has a video report (no captions, but you can read the story here).

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

ASL program growing at UA

The popularity of sign language classes at the University of Arizona is bringing some changes to the program, according to the school's student newspaper. The Educational Interpreting Program has been adding a couple of dozen students each year, so administrators are getting more selective about who gets into it. An essay and ASL test will be given to applicants and a practicum requirement is being added to the program. Learn more about it here.

China sign: American = Crazy

Cantonese Sign Language uses the same gesture for American as it does crazy, according to a South China Morning Post article. Read the full story about national stereotypes in Chinese sign language here.

Monday, December 9, 2013

iPads help children with implants

"My therapists are passionate about this,” said Kathleen Sussman, director of the Weingarten school. The California program run by the school uses iPads to help children who've had cochlear implant surgery. The Jean Weingarten Peninsula Oral School for the Deaf in Redwood City is working with the Stanford School of Medicine‘s Department of Otolaryngology on the “teletherapy” project. Read more at the Science Blog here.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Lubbock church gives deaf opportunity to worship

A Lubbock, Texas church is reaching out to the deaf community in its area. KJTV has a video report posted below. No captions, but you can read the story here.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Gallaudet admin to lead Midwest school

A Gally administrator is leaving to become president of a private school in Kansas. Lynne Murray will take over at Baker University from its retiring president. Right not, Murray serves as Gallaudet's vice president of development and alumni and international relations. Read more from the Baker University website here. You can see a video of the announcement below.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

African TV network to add sign language interpreters

The President of the African country of Tanzania has ordered TBC, the Tanzania Broadcasting Cooperation, "to use sign language experts in its programmes" according to The Citizen. Read the story here.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Shootout Near Gally

Image from Google Maps
A shootout with DC police took place last night just a few blocks from Gallaudet University. A suspect was killed in the exchange and an officer was wounded around 9pm, according to DC media reports. The altercation took place after police stopped a car driving throughout the area.

Students Make History in Hong Kong

In a "city where sign language is still banned from usage in most classrooms and where there are only 10 officially licensed translators" seven deaf students are the first to complete a new program. They each have linguistics diplomas from Hong Kong's Chinese University. Read the story from the South China Post here.

Iowa School Super to Retire

The superintendent of the Iowa School for the Deaf is retiring. Iowa's Gazette reports that Patrick Clancy will end his less than two years term in the post on June 30th of next year. The board was criticized when it appointed Clancy because he does not sign and did not seek input from the deaf community when making the decision. The search for a new superintendent begins early next year.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Louisiana Agency Makes Shift

The Deaf Action Center in Shreveport has shifted its focus in the last three years. Find out what the organization is doing in an article in the Shreveport Times here.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Tribes Opens in Chicago

Tribes opens this Thursday in Chicago at the Steppenwolf Theatre. The play is about a family struggling to understand deafness. Billy is deaf but doesn't learn about sign language or deaf culture until he meets Sylvia--and his world begins to open up. The Chicago performances run through February 9 and you can find out more here. Below is a video interview from WLS-TV with some of the cast members.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Terp's moves a concert hit

ASL interpreter Holly Maniatty work at music venues is profiled in an Associated Press story here.

A look at Gally from the Middle East

An Arab new site explains to its readers what it's like to be a student at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. Arab News, a Saudi Arabian publication, has the story here.

Made for iPhone hearing aids

Apple is partnering with a Danish company to create something new for iPhone users--hearing aids connected directly to the iPhone. The ReSound LiNX was developed by hearing aid manufacturer GN ReSound. It will work like a bluetooth, allowing users to get sound right from the phone--without a connecting device. There's more information from GN ReSound here.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Hamilton Honor

Hamilton is honoring Kathy Miller as its Iowa 2013 Deaf Community Leader. She earned the award for her work at the Iowa School for the Deaf and involvement in groups like the Deaf Services Commission of Iowa and the Council Bluffs Deaf Club. She serves as president of the Iowa Association of the Deaf. Born deaf, Miller was taught the oral method as a child and mainstreamed. When she got a chance to attend the Iowa School for the Deaf, her world opened up, learning sign and meeting her husband. Find out more here.

Journey to Bilateral Cochlear Implants

Sue Vardon says, "Bilateral hearing gave me: a fuller sound; improved location of sound; increased discrimination of sound especially in noise; more enjoyable music; reduced frustration; fewer mispronunciations; the ability to always have one working ear; and two ears working together." Vardon made a presentation about her journey to Desert Cochlear Connections recently. It's detailed in the Arizona Daily Star here.

Commentator: "Why I Hope Closed Caption Typos Never Go Away Completely"

A commentator for Boston's public radio station wants closed captioning to keep making mistakes on TV programs. Rich Barlow write that he want to continue getting a "good chuckle" out from seeing mistakes. Read the full story here.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Long-term Outcomes of Implantation

Now that cochlear implant users are getting older, researchers are starting to look at the devices' long-term effects. A professor at Penn State focused a recent study on the impact of mainstreaming children with implants. Assistant Professor of Psychology Daniela Martin titled her research Long-term improvements in oral communication skills and quality of peer relations in children with cochlear implants: Parental testimony. She followed children for an average of nine years after receiving implants and says she found the oral skills and socialization of most of the children improved over time. You'll find the study here.

ADA lawsuits for profit?

Are some people taking advantage of ADA law to make profits instead of breaking down barriers? That's the question Sacramento's KXTV investigated after local businesses complained. No captions but you can read the story here.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gally gets 1st Gagliardi finalist

Gallaudet University has a football player in the running for most outstanding football player in Division III. It's the first time for the Washington, D.C. school. Senior defensive end Adham Talaat is one of the 10 finalists for the Gagliardi Trophy. The winner will be announced next month (Dec. 18). With a 3.90 GPA, there is talk that the Springfield, Va native could wind up playing in the pros.  Talaat says he is "humbled, grateful and thrilled to represent Bison Nation and the deaf and hard of hearing community as a whole. I hope I can make them all proud." Talaat racked up 46 tackles, five sacks, and six quarterback hurries for the Bison this season. Read more details here.

Monday, November 25, 2013

School Upgrades to Reflect Priorities

The "refurbished $2.5 million state-of-the-art auditorium" that was just opened by the Washington School for the Deaf highlights facility's "new educational philosophy." Read more about the school's new auditorium featuring student art at Oregon live here.

A doctor who can communicate

A Pittsburgh-area doctor is one of the few physicians in the nation who is ASL fluent. Find out why at the Post-Gazette here.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

New D-PAN ASL Music Video

The Gospel ASL Music video from the D-PAN covering The Clark Sisters You Brought The Sunshine is out. The song came out the early 80s and has been updated by the Deaf Professional Arts Network. As we mentioned in an earlier post, the new cover was shot this summer in Detroit’s Little Rock Baptist Church and includes the original track, a deaf San Francisco choir and the Detroit gospel group Larry Callahan & Selected of God. A special about the making of the video will be broadcast this coming Wednesday on the Word Network.

Video Premiere in Detroit today

A new video featuring a popular gospel song combined with ASL rolls out this afternoon. The Clark Sisters' You Brought the Sunshine came out in the early 80s and has been updated by D-PAN (Deaf Professional Arts Network). The new cover was shot this summer in Detroit’s Little Rock Baptist Church. It includes the original track, a deaf San Francisco choir and the Detroit gospel group Larry Callahan & Selected of God. A special about the making of the video will be broadcast this coming Wednesday on the Word Network. Read more details here.

Church to stream terped services

If you can't make it to your church on Sunday or if you aren't near an interpreted service, you'll soon be able to watch a Montana service online. Peace Lutheran Church in Great Falls will live stream its ASL-interpreted services starting in December thanks to a grant from the Montana District Lutheran Women’s Missionary League. Find out more at the church's website here.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

UK woman strikes back at disease with implant

After six years of hearing problems, a Meniere's disease sufferer in the London-area has a undergone cochlear implant surgery in hopes of regaining some of her hearing. here.

Bison lose playoff game

Image from Gallaudet Athletics 
Gallaudet's historic run has ended. The Bison football team lost the school's first Division three playoff game to Hobart College today by a score of 34-7. There are more details on the game here here. The games may be over for Gally, but the school received a some national attention in the media for the effort. Here's a video from ESPN about the team (captions included).

Friday, November 22, 2013

Kerry Makes Pitch for Human Rights Treaty

Secretary of State John Kerry testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today on behalf of the international human rights treaty of the United Nations called Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which you can read here. Kerry told Senators, "There are countries where children with disabilities are warehoused from birth, denied even a birth certificate, not a real person, and treated as second-class citizens every single days of their life… What we did here at home with the Americans with Disabilities Act hasn’t even been remotely realized overseas. And in too many places, what we take for granted here hasn’t been granted at all."
Video of his testimony and the text of his speech is here.

University Expands ASL Classes

Ohio's Miami University is going to offer more American Sign Language classes. Added to the single introductory course will be enough classes so that a student can complete the foreign language requirement completely in ASL. Find out more from the Speech Pathology department. Their website is here.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The US military and implants

Marine Maj. Gen. Bob Hedelund recently spoke at a Washington conference on cochlear implants recently, telling attendees that the Defense Department will play a bigger role in research and treatment in the future. Hedelund said, “Marines are serving today with prosthetic legs and arms, and yet we haven’t opened the door on the cochlear implant for somebody who has been rendered deaf, either due to loud noise or prolonged exposure,” according to the Military Times. Read the full story here.

Researchers: Breakthrough in Hearing Aid Technology

Researchers they've figured out how to cut down on the distracting background noise that hearing aid wearers have to fight through to understand voices. The Ohio State scientists say they've been able to get some test participants to go from understanding 10% of what's said to 90% with the help of a clever computer algorithm. If the technology proves effective, it could lead the way for Starkey, the manufacturer involved in the research, to advance its line of hearing aids. Details of the research are published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America and you can read about the effort here. The video below has examples of how the technology works.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Michigan's Hospital Terp Rules

New regulations about interpreting in medical situations are coming to Michigan. These new rules could be ready for publication before the end of the year. Public hearings will follow before they are put into place--at which time medical facilities will have 90 days to comply with the regulations. Some of the issues to be discussed, according to Crain's Detroit Business, include determining when is it acceptable to use a VRI (video remote interpreter) and how much education should be required. Read more about what's coming here.

What Does Rap Music Look Like In Sign Language?

Interpreter Amber Galloway Gallego says she's worked more than 300 concerts--many of them for rap artists. She spoke with Ali Wentworth of Yahoo's Daily Shot. Here's the video (captions available).

Gallaudet finds out playoff opponent

Hobart College. The New York Team will face Gallaudet's Bison in the first round of the NCAA division 3 playoffs next Saturday at noon. WUSA-TV was there when the team found out who they would meet in the playoffs (captions included).

Saturday in Tampa

A Communication Access & Technology Expo takes place in Tampa, Florida this Saturday (November 23). For more information, click here.

Gally football stumbles

The Gallaudet Bison came within one victory of a perfect season. But New York's Maritime football team had other ideas on Saturday. The Privateers beat Gallaudet by a score of 7-6. Maritime ends the season with a 5-5 record while Gallaudet finished the regular season with 9 wins against this single defeat. The Bison now move to the playoffs. The team will take part in the first round of the NCAA Division III football tournament next weekend.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Signing Bus Driver

The New York Post has labeled bus driver Edwin Cora a Hometown Hero for "learning American Sign Language to better serve deaf riders.. His ultimate dream? To become so proficient that he can stand in front at his church and interpret the service in ASL." The paper quotes one deaf rider as saying Cora "understands my deafness and deaf culture. He is a great fellow and I like him a lot.” Read more: Read the full story here.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Review of 39 Steps

New York Deaf Theater is performing The 39 Steps for a limited time. The Examiner says in its review that the signing helps the deaf in the audience but not the hearing crowd. "Although it was clear at the performance I attended that the deaf audience members found great enjoyment in the proceedings, the comedy is diminished for the hearing audience due to the silence in the room." You can read the full review here.

One year ago.. Best Prof at NTID

The Carnegie Foundation picked a NTID professor one year ago as its nationwide professor of the year out of 300 finalists. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching working with the Council for Advancement and Support of Education said  Todd Pagano, who is director of the Laboratory Science Technology program, is “a leading scholar of science education for deaf students and an advocate in the professional chemistry community for students, scientists and technicians with special needs.” A decade ago, when he first arrived at NTID , Pagano didn’t know sign language — and relied on an interpreter. But he quickly learned ASL in order to be able to better communicate with the students. Pagano is the first RIT faculty member to receive the prestigious award. He is married to Susan Smith Pagano, an assistant professor at RIT’s Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Science. To read more about Pagano's work, click here.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Deaf Flag Twirler

Kelsy Baker is part of her high school's flag line in Shreveport, Louisiana--despite not being able to hear the music. The band director says it just means she pays better attention than others. KSLA-TV has a video report (captions included).

KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Avatar and Robotics Workshop at Gallaudet

Gallaudet University is working with the National Science Foundation's Science of Learning Center, and the Petitto BL2 neuroimaging lab, to host National Science Foundation's Avatar & Robotics Signing Creatures Workshop tomorrow (Nov. 15). There will more than 40 two-minute talks about robots, education technology, sign linguistics and much more with a special focus on the deaf visual learner.

Trial for deaf defendant presented 'unique' challenges

Prosecutors say the trial of a former Maryland School for the Deaf employee presented special difficulties for the court. The Baltimore Sun reports the defendant's attorney says his client may appeal the verdict and that there needed to be more interpreters. "You saw the interpreters correct one another," Brandon Mead said. "You saw the need to have four individuals going back and forth, stopping, correcting and clarifying." WJZ-TV has a video report posted below about the verdict (no captions).here.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Guilty on Two Counts

A former employee of the Maryland School for the Deaf was found guilty of sexually abusing two middle-school girls. But the members of Clarence Cepheus Taylor III's jury found him not guilty on one count--and couldn't come to a decision of four others. Taylor denied inappropriately touching the girls while he worked at the school between 2008 and 2011. He took to the stand last week to defend himself and deny the allegations that he groped seven students. Sentencing may come at the end of January--and he faces a retrial for the counts on which the jury deadlocked.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Deaf 12-year-old competes with boys on football field

Rebecca Lee Karl's coach says, "She's one of my best linemen, plus she plays corner on defense. She's one of my best players." KCEN-TV in central Texas has a video report(captions available) on the difference she's making on her pee-wee football team. - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

Should you reveal your disability during a job interview?

The ADA law prohibits employers from asking job candidates any medical questions, and the consensus among legal experts in this field is that you're under no obligation to bring up the subject in an interview, unless you have reason to believe it could affect your ability to do your job. Since you managed to work around your condition in your last job, do you think you could do the same in a new position? ADA requires employers to make a 'reasonable accommodation' for people with disabilities but if you really believe you could not perform the job at a high level, then it would probably be better to not apply for the job in the first place. To decide this you must understand exactly what the job will entail. Ask for as many details about the daily routine as possible. Then, figure out what kinds of "reasonable accommodations" might be possible. If, for instance, it would help to be able to work from home occasionally, you can ask about that in an interview without going into detail about why you want to know. Look for employers with flexibility and focus on your abilities, not your disability. Remember, your employer cannot make reasonable accommodations if they are unaware of your situation. Ernst and Young has written a free online guidebook about this as a PDF here.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Gally Gets first ranking

Gallaudet earned its first ranking in school history in the AFCA Division III Coaches’ Poll. The football team came in at #25 after its win against Anna Maria on Saturday.

Saturday in New Orleans

An ASL Expo takes place in New Orleans this Saturday (November 16) at the Castine Center. Admission is free. You'll find more information here.

Edison & the Telegraph

Thomas Edison wrote that his partial deafness - and technology - helped him gain the affections of his eventual second wife, Mina, whom he married in 1886. The prolific inventor wrote:
“In the first place (my hearing loss) excused me for getting quite a little nearer to her than I would have dared to if I hadn’t had to be quite close in order to hear what she said. My later courship was carried on by telegraph. I taught the lady of my heart the Morse code, and when she could both send and reicve we got along much bet than we could have with spoken words by tapping out our remarks to one atooher on our hands. Presently I asked her tus, in Morse, code, if she would marry me. The word ‘Yes’ is an easy one to send by telegraphic signals, and she sent it. If she had been obliged to speak it, she might have fought it harder.”

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Gally Celebrates!

Here's a short video of the celebrations at Gallaudet yesterday when the football team won its first conference championship and playoff berth.

Deaf high school player exels on football field

The new coach of the Mt. Zion High School football team in central Illinois was first told about Chandler Hudson by an assistant. "He said, we've got a kid, he's a great athlete (who) can play on both sides of the ball for us, but we've got a little bit of a problem… he's deaf." The coach found out that wasn't a problem at all, as WAND-TV explains in this video report (with captioning)., NewsCenter17, StormCenter17, Central Illinois News-

1st Conference Championship

Gally fans stormed the field Saturday after the football team won its game against Anna Maria College by a score of 35-7. Hotchkiss Field was full of dancing, joyful supporters and players. More than 700 people showed up to see the team reach 9 wins against no loses. The win clinched the Bisons' first Eastern Collegiate Football Conference championship--automatically putting them in the 2013 NCAA Division III football championship. Before that gets underway on November 23, the Bison have one more game to win in order to complete a perfect season. Next Saturday Gallaudet visits Maritime College in New York.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Gally wins #9!

Gallaudet's football team made history moments ago by beating Anna Maria by a score of 35-7. The victory gives the Bison the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference title--and the team's first shot at the postseason.

Video: The Bison Dance

Below is a video of the Gallaudet football team continuing its dancing tradition following victories.

Bison football: We Will Dance

"The rise of Gallaudet's program is an amazing story," says ESPN writer Johnette Howard. "Better yet, it's peopled by a cast of characters who leave you happily reminded that college football isn't just about the soul-wearying payola scandals, galling excesses and petty nonsense that siphon off so much attention at the very top of the sport. College football is also about places like this tiny school of 1,117 undergrads that sits just off Florida Avenue in the District of Columbia, and the sense of excitement and community that sports can create." Read the full story at ESPN here.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Deaf school sex abuse case goes to jury

A sex abuse case involving a former employee of the Maryland School for the Deaf is in the hands of the jury. After Clarence Taylor III took to the stand to defend himself and deny the allegations that he groped seven students, both sides rested. A verdict won't be announced until at least Tuesday. There are more details about what happened today in court from the Baltimore Sun here.

ATT&T adds to phone scandal settlement

Back in May we told you about a AT&T's agreement to pay $18 million for not stopping swindlers from taking millions out of a service meant to benefit the deaf. Prosecutors claimed the phone company knowingly asked for reimbursement of calls not covered in the service. You can read the story here. AT&T is now willing to add a few million to that total--$3.5 million to be exact. The deal with the U.S. Justice Department resolves civil allegations under the federal False Claims Act. AT&T still denies the allegations, according to a Bloomberg report, but wants to settle the case.

Video Report: Gallaudet Football on the verge

Local media in the DC area are joining the Bison bandwagon. WUSA-TV has a video report on the Gally football team's shot at an undefeated season and a playoff birth.

Hearing Aids Dispensers

State-licensed hearing-aid specialists need only a minimum amount of education, but have to pass tests proving their competence to administer hearing exams, fit devices and recognize underlying physical problems. Audiologists must have at least a master's degree, though they generally aren't medical doctors. Many states require that consumers be allowed to return hearing aids within 30 days.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Special Scuba Diving Class for Deaf-Blind

Missouri's KQTV has a video report on a scuba diving class for the deaf and the deaf-blind. It's posted below on (captions available).

Deaf Woman Robbed at Gunpoint

"I could see three guys in a car pull up beside me. They're yelling at me from the car and I don't hear them because I don't have my hearing aids in..." That's what Elizabeth Melaugh told WTEV-TV happened shortly before she was robbed at gunpoint of cash and new hearing aids. Watch the full video report below (there are no captions, but you can read the story here).

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Update on Md. deaf school aid

A former Maryland School for the Deaf aide, on trial for inappropriately touching girls at the school, may take the stand on his own behalf tomorrow. During today's proceedings, prosecutors played a video of police interviewing some of the alleged victims that ran for more than four hours. The Associated Press has an update on the trial here.

Big Game at Gally Saturday

When Gallaudet's football team marches out to take the field on Saturday against Anna Maria, they will have a shot at making history. A victory would give the Bison the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference title. Along with that honor would come the team's first shot at the postseason--in fact, it would be the first for any men's program at the university. Gally had a dramatic finish last weekend, winning on the last play of the game (which you can read about and watch here). Yahoo Sports offers a summary of how the Bison program arrived at this critical place in the programs history 's article here.

LA Times: Deaf film director can finally hear soundtracks to his films

Austin Chapman
A few days ago, we told you about a deaf filmmaker who opened a Kickstarter page to fund his first feature film. You can read Austin Chapman's story here. Now the Los Angeles Times has picked up on Chapman's story. He got some national attention when he went on Reddit and posed the a question: "I can hear music for the first time ever, what should I listen to?" He received nearly 14,000 replies. You can read the full LA Times story here.

NAD: Working on guidelines for ASL use in courtrooms

Last month we told you about the Maryland judge who is limiting the use of sign language in his courtroom during a trial involving several deaf people. You can read the story about a former Maryland School for the Deaf employee accused of child molestation here. In response that decision and the publicity surrounding it, the NAD (National Association of the Deaf) is working on a set of recommendations for the use of ASL in courtrooms when it comes to spectators. The guidelines will be presented to the American Bar Association. The Maryland trial is still underway.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Limitations of Implants

The National Journal takes a look at what the cochlear implant can do--and what it cannot do for users in an article titled, "Why We Can Give the Deaf Sound, but Not Music."  Writer Brian Resnick says that could be changing, thanks to advances in pitch processing. Read the full story here.

Saturday in NJ

The New Jersey Association of the Deaf's 23rd Biennial State Conference takes place this Saturday (November 9) at Ocean County College in Toms River. For more information, click here.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Deaf filmaker Austin Chapman has created a Kickstarter page to help fund his first feature film. Chapman says Jester will show viewer his "experience growing up in a silent world and hearing music for the first time at 23 years old." You can see the Kickstarter page here and below is the short film on which Jester is based, called Eleven Eleven.

5 myths about being deaf

Justin Leblanc
'Project Runway' alum Justin Leblanc shares 5 myths about being deaf with the Chicago Tribune. Number one is that "hearing-impaired" is the preferred adjective. Leblanc says, "A lot of deaf people get offended when they're referred to as 'hearing-impaired. For me it's not an impairment. It's a way of life. I was born this way. Deaf is appropriate. I'm a proud deaf person." Read more of Leblanc's myths here.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Gally Wins #8!

Gallaudet's football team was facing certain defeat today in the closing seconds against Becker--but the undefeated Bison held on to win 40-34. With less than two minutes in the game, Becker blocked a Gallaudet punt. The Hawks took the ball down to the Gally 14 yard line. All the Becker team had to do was to kick a short field goal to win. There was just two seconds left in the game. But Gallaudet's Chris Papacek blocked the field-goal attempt, then Ryan Bonheyo picked up the ball, and ran nearly 80 yards for a walk-off score. Gallaudet now has eight wins and no losses. Next up, the Bison face Anna Maria College at home. Here's a video of that exciting last play from today's game.

Why Terps are so Expressive

Face and body movement is such an integral part American Sign Language grammar that effective ASL interpreters become very physically expressive when they are interpeting. Movements of the head and eyebrows can indicate various sentence structures and subtleties of meaning. Facial expressions can indicate shades of meaning that verbs alone cannot convey. In sign language, mouth and eye movements can serve as modifiers - adverbs and adjectives. A straight faced interpreter is only offering half the message. Of course, some facial expressions in sign languages are just facial expressions. But what may seem like excessive body language to the uninformed is really necessary in ASL in order to parrellel the nuanced information conveyed through voice inflections among the hearing. They pick up cues through the speaker's tone of voice. ASL users look to facial and body expressions for the same thing. This grammatical aspect of ASL can relay as much information as the signs themselves.

An Online Deaf Studies Library to be built

Professor Bryan Eldredge
A professor in Utah hopes to build what he says is the first online deaf studies library. Bryan Eldredge directs the American Sign Language and Deaf Studies at Utah Valley University. Eldredge has a $50,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to help make it happen. Students and those studying the deaf community will be able to read ebooks, articles, papers, take a look at photographs, and view other technology without having to travel to Orem, Utah. Eldredge says, “We have a limited slice of history because most of deaf history took place before we had video, and few deaf people could write in English,” Eldredge explained. “More and more ASL-based documents and videos will be a part of the holdings, so this will be a resource for both the deaf world and for those studying it.” Read more about the effort here.

Today in Ohio

The Ohio Association of the Deaf's Ohion DEAFair 2013 takes place today in Columbus. For more information, click here.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Saturday in Indiana

The 4th Annual Deaf Festival takes place at Allen County Fairgrounds in Fort Watyne, Indiana this coming Saturday (November 9). For more information, click here.

CAD gathering

The Connecticut Association of the Deaf is holding its 29th Biennial annual conference this weekend at Windsor Locks. For more information, click here.

Gally going for first NCAA berth

Chase Magsig
Image from Gallaudet Athletics
Gallaudet's football team is on a roll and has a shot at playing in the NCAA playoffs for the first time. The undefeated Bison are 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference. Winning a title would give them an automatic NCAA berth. Next up for the team: Becker College tomorrow (Saturday) at noon Eastern. The Leicester, Massachusetts team has only won one game this season against six loses. The conference just named Sophomore Chase Magsig the Division III Northeast Special Teams Player of the Week. Magsig kicked the game-winning field goal in the team's victory over Husson University. He also booted six punts for 249 yards--including one that went 66 yards.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Kinect and sign language translation

Last year we told you about research in China here, using Microsoft’s Kinect for sign language. The video below (just posted yesterday) shows how the prototype operates, translating sign language into spoken language and spoken language into sign language--in real time. So far, only about one in 13 words Chinese sign language are available using the device.

Exploring Deaf Rap Culture

Image SLYKI Entertainment 
"I had a meeting with one of the top managers in D.C. and auditioned to see if he would represent me. Dude had the gall to tell me that the voice on the CD wasn't mine. I told him it was and his response was, 'Impossible. Deaf people don't do music. We need to squash this kind of view," says Warren "Wawa" Snipe to Spin magazine. Read more about what's happening with deaf rappers in Spin magazine here.

protest over lack of interpreter for trial

A deaf couple protested outside an Alabama courthouse this week after filing a complaint over the kind of interpreting they received during a recent trial. They say it was a violation of ADA law to not be given a certified interpreter when Donald Boilard's wife took the stand to testify in an assault case as a victim. He served as her interpreter. The prosecutor said getting a certified interpreter would have meant a delay in the trial and he blames the deaf couple for not wanting to put the trial off. Read the full story here.

Judge Limits Sign Language in Courtroom

A Maryland judge has banned sign language in his courtroom--at least in the trial of Clarence Cepheus Taylor--unless it involves the court interpreters. Judge William Tucker is afraid it could jeopardize the outcome of the trial. Taylor is accused of sexually abusing seven female students at the Maryland School for the Deaf. The Howard County courtroom has a deaf defendant, deaf victims and some deaf witnesses. The unique rule is designed to prevent communication between those involved in the trial and spectators. The only signers are supposed to be the court interpreters and those who are communicating directly with those interpreters. Taylor told participants in the trial that anyone violating his sign language ban might be removed from the courtroom--and court officials have been brought in to keep an eye on the spectators for any signing. We first told you about the charges last December, which you can read about here. Read more about the trial going on now in the Baltimore Sun.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Reading Buddies

Kentucky School for the Deaf students are “Reading Buddies” to hearing students at an elementary school. Find out more about the program designed to expose the younger students to sign language from the Advocate Messenger.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Deaf student graduates magna cum laude

Image of Michael Lopez from ANC news
A deaf student who graduated magna cum laude from his college in the Philippines says other deaf people "shouldn’t feel that they’re lacking something. They should remember that they still have God-given gifts.” Read the full story of Michael Lopez from the Philippines news channel ANC here.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Inspirational Touchdown Captured on Video

Eiler Buck attended his middle school's football games in the Dallas suburb of Flower Mound, cheering the players to victory. But Eiler couldn't play himself, due to physical restriction. That didn't stop the team and its rival from letting the deaf eighth-grader score a touchdown during Tuesday's contest. NBCDFW has a video report on what happened. No captions, but you can read the story here.

Wales Petition

There's a petition to get captioning for the TV feed and interpreters at the Wales National Assembly so the deaf can follow the proceedings. The petition, which you can read here, says:
“We call upon the National Assembly for Wales to provide subtitling and signed language access to televised debates and proceedings, to enable the 300,000 with hearing loss and deafness in Wales to follow the democratic processes hearing people already enjoy.”
The petition will be open until Oct 1, 2014 and was submitted by Mervyn James of Newport.

What it's like playing football at Gally

The Washington Post takes a look at the football program at Gallaudet during homecoming week in an article released yesterday. The team undefeated so far this season (6-0) and one player in particular, Adham Talaat, could have a shot at playing in the NFL. The Bison are number one in the country out of the run--averaging 366 yards per game so far. Read the story here or watch a slideshow from the Washington Post about Gallaudet football here.

Disney in Ohio

Disney on Ice performed for a group of deaf students in Dayton, Ohio yesterday. Students from the Deaf Community Resource Center met Mickey, Minnie and the whole gang. WDTN-TV has a video report below (with captions available).

Forbes in Detroit tonight

Rapper Sean Forbes is performing tonight with his band in Detroit at the Rust Belt Market. His performing artist network, D-Pan, will also show music videos. WJBK-TV has an interview with him below. No captions but you can read the story here.

Fox 2 News Headlines

Robertson: Rebuke the "spirit of deafness"

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson told a mother of a deaf child this week who wrote to his 700 Club the first thing to do to help her son is to rebuke the "spirit of deafness." Robertson went on to tell her that this method had worked for him in the past.

Lineman, interpreter work as team on the gridiron

An Athens, Georgia high school football player is making his mark. Read how T.J. Ellison and his interpreter are affecting the Clarke Central Gladiators here.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Friendship Tourney in NY

Three deaf schools took students to the New York School For The Deaf in Rome last weekend to take park in its 23rd Annual Friendship Soccer Tournament. WFXV-TV has a video report (captions available).

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Improving Implant Pitch

University of Washington Researchers say they are on their way to improving cochlear implants--especially when it comes to pitch, which should help with hearing music better. The new process they've developed approaches pitch in a fundamentally different way than current implants. Read some details in Boston Univeristy's student newspaper, the Daily Free Press here.

How deaf women are vulnerable to domestic abuse

Deaf women are twice as likely as hearing women to experience domestic abuse, according to the New Statesman, a weekly UK magazine. Read the "tragic story" of Safiya here.

Joy in a job ‘well said’

Meet the only certified ASL interpreter on the Olympic Peninsula across the Puget Sound from Seattle, according to the Sequim Gazette. Read the story here.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Grant to help Deaf-Blind Children

The U.S. federal government is giving a $10.5 million grant to several organizations working with the deaf-blind children under the banner of National Center on Deaf-Blindness. The group includes the Perkins School for the Blind, the Teaching Research Institute at Western Oregon University, and the Helen Keller National Center. The money will be given over a period of five years through the Education Department’s Office of Special Education Programs.

Federal Government Threatens Housing complex for deaf

A deaf facility in Arizona that the federal government help to build--and then turned around and declared the complex discriminatory. Fox News has a video report on the project which we first told you about back in April here.