Saturday, October 31, 2015

Live-Time Closed Captioning

A group of researchers are trying to raise money for what they are calling the Live-Time Closed Captioning System or LTCCS. It clips to the frame of the user’s glasses. Like Google Glass this wearable is intended to be used in daily life to provide closed captioning of nearby conversations. The technology is supposed to work more quickly than apps that provide real time translation because the LTCCS is dedicated to captioning. You can find more about the effort on Indiegogo or watch the video below.

One of the largest deaf discrimination settlements ever

New York City will pay a deaf woman $750,000 for the way NYPD officers treated her. The city agree to a settlement this week with Staten Island landlord Diana Williams. In 2011, she was attempting to evict a tenant when officers wrongfully arrested her and held her for 24 hours without giving her access to an interpreter. Williams was released without any charges being filing. You can read the settlement here.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Deaf student: offensive sign used at game

Matt Cerar says he is "shocked" by a sign being used for school spirit at Utah State University basketball games. Salt Lake City's KSL-TV has a video report. The video does not have captioning but you can read the story here. 3TV | Phoenix Breaking News, Weather, Sport

Friday, October 23, 2015

Lawsuit goes after Hollywood Studios

A lawsuit filed in LA accuses some major movie and TV-show makers of discriminating against the deaf by failing to offer streaming captioning. Named in the suit: Disney, Fox, Warner Bros, Paramount, Universal and Sony. The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf filed it as a class action suit on behalf of its members. AG Bell President Meredith Sugar said:
For people who are deaf and hard of hearing to understand a show, captions and subtitles are essential. If part of the show is not captioned or subtitled, then they cannot follow what is being said and they miss out on enjoying popular culture the same way as other people without hearing loss enjoy. Studios believe that copyright law prohibits them from captioning song lyrics in movies and television shows. That is just flat-out wrong. Courts have made clear that reproducing otherwise copyrighted material for the purpose of making the material accessible to people with disabilities is not a violation of the federal Copyright Act.
Read the details of the lawsuit here.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pot-laced brownies at Deaf school

Students at the California School for the Deaf, Riverside, had to be admitted to the hospital yesterday because someone gave them brownies with marijuana in them. Read more from the Press Enterprise here.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Amazon agrees to expand closed captions

Amazon will put captioning on nearly all of its rental videos by 2016. That's what the company said it would do in order to avoid a lawsuit threatened by the National Association of the Deaf. Vice President of Amazon Video Jim Freeman said, “We are happy to partner with NAD to extend captions even deeper into our back catalog of titles.” The NAD's Howard Rosenblum said his organization is "thrilled by Amazon’s decision to make its online entertainment experience more accessible to deaf and hard of hearing customers who also look to Amazon to fulfill their needs for comprehensive goods and services." Read more at the NAD website here.

Deaf NFL player arrested

The only deaf player on the Seattle Seahawks is off the team for now. Bellevue Police arrested Derrick Coleman following a hit-and-run, so the team has suspended him indefinitely. Read more details here. Here's raw video of the accident scene from KIRO-TV.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

deaf or Deaf? Academics weigh in

Academics argue over when and whether to capitalize "deaf" in a Chronicle of Higher Ed stories. The author of the article says the question is "whether students should be encouraged to capitalize 'self-defined references for specific groups,' as Penn State’s office puts it, in order to convey respect—or whether such capitalization implies advocacy and is inappropriate in an analytical paper." In the comment section, there are academics taking both sides. Read the story here.

Switched Gag Reel

Here's the gag reel from ABC Family’s Switched at Birth--now in its 4th season.

ASL or Captioning?

Not everyone in Canada's Deaf community supports a CBC decision to include ASL during a recent 90-minute news special. Activist Michael Hale tells the CBC, "ASL-dubbed is not a way to go," except for emergency announcements and government-related events. Read the full story from the CBC here.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Changes coming to Gallaudet

Gallaudet University is getting ready to file the paperwork "for the first phase of a planned-unit development it plans with Chevy Chase developer The JBG Cos." The approval process could take up to two years. It's part of Gallaudet's "vision for a mixed-use development along the Sixth Street border of its Northeast D.C. campus." Read the details in the Washington Business Journal here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Doctor Who writer talks about creating deaf TV characters

Deaf actress Sophie Stone is playing a role on Doctor Who to the “delight” of fans.’ Writer Toby Whithouse spoke with Entertainment Weekly at New York Comic Con about creating deaf characters on television. He said one thing that viewers loved about Stone's character was “the fact that she was heroic and she was clever and she was kick-ass, and she was sort of standing up to the Doctor.” Read the full story here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Prisoner suit given class-action status

A federal judge in Chicago is giving the go-ahead for a lawsuit about deaf prisoners to be treated as a class-action effort. The complaint against the Illinois prison system claims the inmates were denied interpreters and technology needed to communicate. The suit was first filed four years ago on behalf of 11 prisoners. Read a copy of the complaint here and the judge's order here.

New Computer Program Predicts Cochlear Implant Success

Researchers say they've developed software that can indicate whether a child will develop language skills after cochlear implant surgery. By looking at brain scans, Long (Jason) Lu, a member of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center team says:
This study identifies two features from our computer analysis that are potential biomarkers for predicting cochlear implant outcomes. We have developed one of the first successful methods for translating research data from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of hearing-impaired children into something with potential for practical clinical use with individual patients.
Read the details in the journal Brain and Behavior here or the hospital's press release here.

Monday, October 12, 2015

DeafNation in Portland

DeafNation Expo hits Portland this Saturday (Oct 17). Join the trade show for exhibitions and entertainment at no charge. You'll find it at the Portland Metropolitan Exposition Center. Find out more here.

SoCal deaf-friendly restaurant

A Southern California restaurant has installed sign language kiosks for Deaf customers. Read about what the PizzaBar is doing in Newport Beach's Daily Pilot here.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

10 Things to Know About Choreographing for Broadway's Deaf Actors

The Hollywood Reporter takes a look at the unique staging necessary to pull off Broadway's Spring Awakening. The show combines the talents of both deaf and hearing actors. Read about the choreography here.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Hospital Settles Terp Complaints for $75k

A Georgia hospital has settled a complaint over it's handling of deaf patients. Floyd Medical Center in Rome will pay $75,000 to three Deaf people who didn't get the services required under ADA law. One woman went through a C-section without an interpreter. Floyd has agreed to change its procedures. Read more about the settlement here.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Gally has a new President

Roberta "Bobbi" Cordano
Roberta “Bobbi” Cordano will become Gallaudet's 11th president. The Board of Trustees picked the Minnesota foundation executive from a group of three finalists. Cordano is 51 years old and deaf. She attended Wisconsin's Beloit College before earning a law degree University of Wisconsin at Madison. She will will take office January 11, succeeding T. Alan Hurwitz. Heather Harker, chair of the Board of Trustees said:
“As our students are connecting with our vibrant community, discovering their academic and career aspirations, and influencing conversations and their futures, Ms. Cordano will be the kind of president to lead transformational change at the university. She’s the right person at the right time for Gallaudet.”
Read more at the Gallaudet website.

Monday, October 5, 2015

DeafNation comes to California

DeafNation Expo hits Pleasanton, California this Saturday (Oct 10). Join the trade show for exhibitions and entertainment at no charge. You'll find it at the Alameda County Fair. Find out more here.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Did T-Mobile & Sprint dodge required support for Deaf users?

T-Mobile and Sprint are getting grief from rival AT&T because they didn't bother to develop technology for deaf callers as part of their new Wi-Fi calling option. Users can "make calls over an internet connection rather than a traditional wireless connection" reports MotherBoard. Read the full story here.

Staging a Broadway Musical With Deaf Actors

"Staging a Broadway show is always a three-dimensional chess game. But this “Spring Awakening,” which uses eight deaf actors, eight hearing actors and seven onstage musicians, has added another layer of complexity and sparked a burst of theatrical innovation," the New York Times says. Read the full story here.