Saturday, November 28, 2015

Usher doesn't stop Rebecca

Usher Syndrome hasn't stopped Rebecca Alexander from making an Alcatraz swim, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, authoring books and speaking out about her challenges and attitude. Seattle's KING-TV has a video report.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

New York Hearing Aid Scam

Joshua Miller
(image from )
Upstate New York prosecutors filed charges against Joshua Miller this week. According to, the state Inspector General's Office said he outfitted hundreds of state employees with $1.6 million in "earbuds and ear plugs meant for video gaming and hunting, then billed state insurance as though those items were hearing aids." And that's not the only charge against the owner of Syracuse Hearing Aid Centers. Read the story here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

"I'd rather be deaf"

image from CNN digital short
CNN's digital short All-American Family is about a family of five where everyone is deaf-except the oldest son. He tells CNN that people often ask him if he wishes his family were all hearing. He tells them, "I'd rather be deaf." Read the story and see the video here.

Broadway Cast on Seth Meyers

The cast of the Broadway show Spring Awakening performed on Late Night With Seth Meyers last night. Here's a video of Touch Me. with an introduction from Marlee Matlin.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sisters get implants together

Two Minnesota sisters both with hearing loss are journeying through the process of getting cochlear implants together. KMSP-TV has a video report

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Harvard Law's 1st Deaf-Blind graduate

The first deaf-blind student to earn a degree from Harvard Law School plans to work to make accessibility technology more available. Haben Girma spoke at the White House this week during the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Friday, November 20, 2015

"Victim of a School Sex Club"?

The parents of a student at the California School for the Deaf says their son is the victim of an alleged school sex club. They've filed a lawsuit against the school says their son was raped and drugged on the campus.Los Angeles TV station KABC has a video report.

Portland's new captioning Ordinance

There's a new ordinance in Portland requiring any public televisions-such as at a bar or doctor's office- to turn on the closed captioning. The new rule goes into effect before the end of the year. A violation gets a $500 fine. Read more about it here.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Deaf actors to perform at White House

The entire cast of Spring Awakening will perform at the White House this coming Wednesday (Nov. 18). It's part of the 25th year anniversary celebration of ADA. You can even see it live-streamed on here. The Broadway show uses ASL and combines deaf and hearing actors in the presentation.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

'Creed' star wears hearing aids in film

image from trailer for Creed
In the upcoming Rocky franchise spinoff, Creed, actress Tessa Thompson plays the love interest of title character Adonis Creed. What makes her character unique is her hearing aids. Read more from the Associated Press here.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Austin: a top city for deaf-owned businesses

The number of deaf-owned businesses in the country is growing, and Austin is leading the pack, reports KXAN-TV. Watch the video report below.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Deaf West Wins Awards

It started in Los Angeles before moving to Broadway. Deaf West's Spring Awakening, a revival of a theatrical hit combining the skills of both deaf and hearing actors, took the top honors at Monday's 2015 Ovation Awards-a celebration of LA performances and stage. The show won best intimate theater for its run at the Inner-City Arts' Rosenthal Theater and best large theater for Spring Awakening's run in Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Read about the other awards it won in the LA Times here.

Monday, November 9, 2015

FCC roundtable event on captioning tomorrow

The FCC is holding a meeting to discuss closed captioning of public access and governmental programming tomorrow (November 10) at the FCC Headquarters in Washington, DC. Topics include "the benefits of captioning such programming, the relevant captioning obligations of programmers and stations, and effective and efficient captioning solutions." The event is free but if you can't attend live captioned video will be available at Read the complete announcement here.

Deaf man robbed by teens

A deaf man was robbed at knife point yesterday in Odenton, Maryland. Read the story from Baltimore's WMAR-TV here.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Victims of sexual abuse at deaf school speak out

Students at an east London school for deaf children "tried to tell people they were being sexually abused without success." Students were punished for signing at this oral school, according to a BBC report here.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Threat to Kill Students at Deaf School

A Dallas man is behind bars--accused of threatening to kill students Texas School for the Deaf in Austin. Andre Dwayne Williams is 30 years old, deaf, and faces up to a decade in prison. KXAN-TV has a video report.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Zombie-Walk Driver found Guilty

Matthew Pocci says he was frightened and protecting his family when he drove his car through a crowd during a Zombie Walk in San Diego. But a jury disagreed and found him guilty of felony reckless driving. Pocci faces as much as three years behind bars. Here's a video report from KGTV. No captions but you can read the story here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

3 years ago today

The ASL interpreter for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg began getting serious social media attention two years ago because of her efforts with Super Storm Sandy. The passionate style of Lydia Callis has, according to New York magazine, given "New Yorkers a legitimate reason to smile" Lydia Callis became an internet sensation when videos and gifs of her began circulating. Here is a little background on her:

Age: 30

Home: Westchester, New York

Family: Her mother is deaf and so are her three siblings

Job: ASL interpreter

Education: 2010 alumna of NTID's ASL Interpretation Program

Experience: Worked for RIT as an interpreter on campus for a year after she graduated

Here is a video showing her in action.

Comedian Chelsea Handler took time during her late night talk show on the E! Network to mock Callis, which you can see below. The National Association of the Deaf wrote an open letter to the show asking for an apology "for with the despicable manner in which you mocked American Sign Language (ASL) and the profession of sign language interpreters" because ASL interpreters “served a valuable purpose in communicating the critical and urgent information during an emergency to everyone including those who are deaf and hard of hearing.” The skit was a “totally offensive mockery of American Sign Language.”

The attention reached a peak on November 3, 2012, when NBC's Saturday Night Live offered its take on the expressive sign language interpreter. SNL newcomer Cecily Strong imitated Callis, followed by Nasim Pedrad who pretended to be New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s signer. The skit (which you can see below) did not sit well with Marlee Matlin. Instead of funny, the Oscar winning actress says it was just "dumb". Matlin wrote, "Millions of deaf people use sign (language). Why poke fun/fake it? Poke fun at ME but not the language. Sign is not mime; it is a legit language... I don't mind fun poked at me, as I poke back. But at the language, that millions use? It feels childish and insulting. Deaf people HAVE a sense of humor... But faking signs that we use isn't the same. Imagine if a show started making fun of Spanish (using fake Spanish) or Japanese. Do you think they'd actually get away with it? Uh, no..." See the video below.


Monday, November 2, 2015

DeafNation in Chicago

DeafNation Expo hits Chicago this Saturday (Nov 7). Join the trade show for exhibitions and entertainment at no charge. You'll find it at the Building M, Wellness and Sports Center. Find out more here.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Kidnapping turns out to be misunderstanding

A woman jumped out of a Lyft car, breaking her ankle because she believed the deaf driver was kidnapping her. SF Gate explains how the misunderstanding happened here.