Tuesday, December 18, 2018

On this date: Long-time Gally prof killed

A former Gallaudet professor was killed on this day (Dec. 18) in 2013 when she was hit by a car leaving a parking garage where she lived in Washington, DC. Peggie Parsons was 90 years old and had spent her life setting up schools around the world that would teach sign and voice and wrote several books. She taught art history and retired from Gallaudet in 1988.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

How deaf researchers are reinventing science communication

Science jargon can be a barrier to deaf researchers when there isn't a good sign for an English word. In an attempt to avoid a ridiculous amount of fingerspelling, there is an effort "to help ASL catch up by inventing new signs." Verge Science visited graduate student Lorne Farovitch in his Rochester, New York lab to find out more.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Getting Police up to speed with Terp App

Bellingham’s Hearing, Speech and Deaf Center in Washington State is working with the local police department to get officers access to live interpreters for the deaf. KIRO-TV has a video report.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

‘Silent restaurant’ opens in Beijing

The Forgive Barbecue in Beijing, is, according to one of the employees, "A bridge to connect hearing-impaired people with other people." The entire staff is deaf. Read more in the Inquisitor here.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Brewery wants to make great beer — and serve the deaf community

Three Gallaudet University graduates opened a brewery this fall in a DC suburb just 4 miles from the school. Streetcar 82 in Hyattsville, Maryland gives "the deaf and hard of hearing a place to work and unwind." The Washington Post offers a profile here. Below is a video telling how they came up with the name.

Nursing Home Must Pay for Hanging up on Deaf Woman

New Jersey state officials are fining a nursing home $2500 after a worker repeatedly hung up on a deaf social worker. Nicole Perkins needed to discuss a client with Atrium Post Acute Care in Wayne, New Jersey. Attorney General Gurbir Grewal released a statement saying:
photo from Atrium Post Acute Care 
This case should serve as a message to healthcare facilities and other businesses around the state that we are serious about promoting and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities,” “This was a troubling case because there simply is no excuse for a nursing home – of all places – to repeatedly refuse to accept a telephone call from an operator calling on behalf of a deaf person. We are committed to enforcing the LAD, our nation’s oldest and most comprehensive civil rights law, and we are committed to holding accountable those who violate it. This was a troubling case because there simply is no excuse for a nursing home – of all places – to repeatedly refuse to accept a telephone call from an operator calling on behalf of a deaf person,” Grewal said in a statement.
The nursing home will lose $10,000 more if it fails to follow the Attorney General's requirements. Read more here.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Deaf HS Football Player in LA

A Los Angeles high school football player says being deaf hasn't held him back from contributing to his team. Desis Gonzales Jr. plays for San Gorgonio High School and NBC-4 has more on his story in this video report.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Wearable Tech to Listen to Live Music

A company called Not Impossible Labs says it has come up with a new wearable technology that "allows deaf and hearing users alike to experience musical vibrations through their skin for a true 'surround body' experience." The tech is called Music: Not Impossible and it works directly with a sound system. Read more details here.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Deaf students struggle with getting last minute interpreters

Students at one Texas school are having problems getting interpreters when they need them. The student paper at the University of Texas at Austin quotes a communication sciences and disorders major as saying, “A few weeks ago, my professor made last-minute office hours. On the same day, he said the review session would be moved back an hour. I can’t do anything about that. I knew that if I submitted a request, I would not get (an interpreter).” Read the full story here.

Friday, November 30, 2018

The Hoops Coach and his Viral ASL Video

A viral video of the basketball team for the Mississippi School for the Deaf has become an educational moment for those who don't know ASL.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Downsides and Challenges of Cochlear Implants

An opinion piece in the New York Times takes on the issue of cochlear implants. Writing professor Sara Novic cautions:
Expecting an implant to cure deafness or magically generate speech is to await the moment the hammer will fly out of one’s hand and build a house on its own. The value of the tool lies only in the skill of its user, and for the cochlear implant user, that skill is learned with much effort. To suggest otherwise is to give a disingenuous prognosis to potential patients and their parents, and discounts the hard work successful C.I. users do to communicate in a way the hearing world deems acceptable.
Read her article here.

A Signed Bedtime Story Goes Viral

CBeebies Bedtime Story is a BBC show where a celebrity reads a children's bedtime story. A recent episode got extra attention because the celebrity, Catastrophe's Rob Delaney, signed in Makaton his story a week ago Friday. Delaney read aloud and signed Ten in a Bed by Penny Dale, becoming the first reader to do so. It caught the attention of six-year-old Tom McCartney. Watch Tom's reaction below in a video that went viral:

Delaney wanted to honor his son by telling bedtime story in Makaton, which is a variation of BSL (British Sign Language) combining signs and symbols Delaney learned Makaton in order to communication with his son, Henry, who couldn't speak and died last January at the age of two.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Pizza by the Deaf

San Francisco's Mozzeria restaurant is entirely owned and operated by people who are deaf. CBS News spoke with the owners, Melody and Russell Stein. They opened it in 2011.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Ocasio-Cortez is Captioning Her Instagram Posts for You

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 
The youngest woman ever to be elected to the US Congress says she is captioning her Instagram stories for the Deaf community. “Advocates for the deaf community hit me up to connect me with tools (i.e. Clipomatic) to better serve all of us. I now caption all my IG stories so our deaf brothers and sisters can follow along too,” representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Helen Keller reinstated into Texas school curriculum

We recently told you about possible changes to the Texas school curriculum—including dropping historical figures like Helen Keller. After an outcry, that plan has been dropped. The Texas State Board of Education "backed restoring disability rights advocate Helen Keller to the state's third-grade social studies curriculum standards." Read more about what happened in the Texas Tribune here.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Deaf Football Team tries something new

The Alabama School for the Deaf football team is trying something new—they are playing with the Alabama School for the Blind. WIAT-TV has a video report on the Silent Warriors.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Deaf State House candidate Loses Race

Chris Haulmark
A Ī©legislative candidate in Kansas lost his race. Republican John Toplikar beat out Chris Haulmark—who would have become the first deaf legislator in the U.S. But Haulmark lost party support when he was accused by multiple women of being emotionally abusive. Read more about the allegations here.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Researchers: Sign offers insights not provided by spoken language

Researchers say, "Sign languages can help reveal hidden aspects of the logical structure of spoken language, but they also highlight its limitations because speech lacks the rich iconic resources that sign language uses on top of its sophisticated grammar." The study comes out of New York University and France's National Center for Scientific Research. It's published in the journal Theoretical Linguistics. Read details on the study here.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Kitty O'Neil Dies

Professional stuntwoman Kitty O'Neil has died at the age of 72. Among other things, the deaf daredevil set a record for land speed by a female driver in 1976. It was in Oregon's Alvord Desert that Kitty hit 512 miles per hour.

Childhood diseases left her deaf and nearly killed her. She became a champion diver at a young age. Her work later as a Hollywood stuntwoman was featured in TV shows like Quincy, Baretta and The Bionic Woman along with movies like Smokey and the Bandit, The Blues Brothers and Airport '77. 

She set a record for the highest stunt fall by a woman (105 feet).  She has held as many as 22 speed records on land and water.

A movie was made about her life in 1979 titled Silent Victory: The Kitty O'Neil Story.  She died Nov. 2, 2018 from pneumonia. Read more about her amazing life in a Washington Post article here.

Below is a video report on Kitty from the Midco Sports Network put together in 2015.

NYT advocates for Implants in Health article

A controversial New York pediatric audiology consultant and speech-language pathologist is quoted in the New York Times as saying, “Children identified with hearing loss at birth and fitted with technology in the first weeks of life blend in so well with everyone else that people don’t realize there are so many deaf children." Jane R. Madell claims, “Eighty-five percent of such children are successfully mainstreamed.” That's a figure that many would dispute. She helped produce a documentary about it called “The Listening Project.” Read more of the New York Times article here. Don't miss the comment section. There are opinions from a wide variety of people including a professor of Deaf education at Boston University. He writes:
This article talks about cochlear implants as a panacea, without acknowledging the tremendous risk that a child will not learn a spoken language at all. I am disappointed that the Times would publish something so misleading.
But other commenters defend the article and Madell's perspective. Below is a trailer for the documentary.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

World-renowned Deaf Actor Dies

He paved the way for deaf theater performers and became a founder of the National Theater of the Deaf in Connecticut. Bernard Bragg died Los Angeles this past Monday at the age of 90. Bragg was also a visiting professor Gallaudet University where he attended school. Read more at The New York Times here. A Los Angeles Times obituary called Bragg "the first professional deaf actor in the United States." Below is a tweet from Oscar-winner Marlee Matlin about her longtime friend and a video of Bragg from his 80th birthday.

ASL gets a Table at Yale

Students at Yale University are finally getting an opportunity to learn American Sign Language. A pilot ASL course was first offered last semester to go along with a club and a dining hall language table. Read more about it in Yale's student newspaper here.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

soccer at Gally

There are three Markels on the Gallaudet University men's soccer team this season: Elan Markel, Alton Markel and AJ Markel. Elan and Alton are brothers while AJ is their cousin. Elan and Alton's mom is on staff at Gally as an interpreter and their dad teaches ASL at another college. Read more about the Markel's in a Baltimore Sun article here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Suit: No Terp for 5 Days in Jail

A deaf woman in California says she sat in jail for five days with no sign language interpreter. Jennifer Mello is now suing Kern County for not following ADA law when she was arrested in November of last year. Her complaint says deputies spoke to her, refused to provide an interpreter or even communicate to her in writing. After spending five days in jail without clearly understanding the charges, she says she was released. Read more about it at Bakersfield.com here.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Artist creates Mural: Doesn't Bother to get the Signs Right

A new mural in downtown Idaho Falls shows an incorrect use of ASL. The ACLU of Idaho commissioned artist Kelly Sheridan to create the work in partnership with the Idaho Falls Downtown Development Corporation. Read more about it from the Idaho State Journal here and KPVI-TV has a video report below.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Deaf man sues construction companies

A Deaf man is suing several construction companies in South Carolina after he was fired from a Mercedes Benz expansion project. WCSC-TV has a video report about Steven Kuhn's lawsuit here.

He was One of America's first Deaf Lawyers

He was born on this date, October 25, in 1880. Blinded by Scarlet fever at the age of nine, Roger Demosthenes O'Kelly began losing his hearing a few years later. The North Carolina African-American slowly regained his vision in one eye. While he wanted to attend Gallaudet University, his application was denied in 1898 based on the color of his skin. So instead, he earned a degree from North Carolina's Shaw University, graduating in 1908. O'Kelly was licensed to practice law in North Carolina, becoming one of America's first deaf lawyers. He later studied law at Yale University, becoming the second deaf person to graduate from the school in 1912. He returned to his home state where establised a lucrative law practice "serving white as well as black clients, particularly in real estate, domestic relations, and corporate issues" according to  Joe A. Mobley's book Raleigh: A Brief History.  O'Kelly died at the age of 82 on July 11, 1962. Below is a video from historian Kathleen Brockway about him:

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Signing Starbucks Opened Today!

Starbucks opened its first "Signing Store" today. It's in Washington D.C. less than a mile from Gallaudet University. Everyone working there is fluent in ASL and wears aprons that display the fingerspelling of "Starbucks." Here's a video report from Radio.com.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Deaf in Prison

"While I was in prison they had no American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters. None of the staff knew sign language, not the doctors or the nurses, the mental health department, the administration, the chaplain, the mail room. Nobody." Read about the lonely experiences of a deaf man in prison in a Marshall Project article called The Isolation of Being Deaf in Prison.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Are new laws designed to protect travelers "meaningless"?

New legislation allows for the development of an “Airline Passengers with Disabilities Bill of Rights.” While some advocacy groups applaud the deal, signed by the President last week, others look at it differently. MIC quotes the CEO of Hearing Access & Innovations as saying "feel-good bills are a waste of time. I want bills that really work.” Read more here.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

The Weather Channel Neglects Captioning During Hurricane

Oscar-winning deaf actress Marlee Matlin alerted the Weather Channel through a tweet that a video about Hurricane Michael was posted without captioning or a sign language interpreter. The storm was approaching the Gulf Coast of Florida at the time, making it critical to get emergency information to everyone—but the Weather Channel failed to respond.

Friday, October 5, 2018

A study on brain tumors and cochlear implants

Researchers in Sweden say they have found no evidence to support the idea that brain tumors are more likely in cochlear implant patients. That was a concern raised by a previous case but the scientists say in their study "The number of brain tumors observed was well within the numbers expected from national incidence figures." You can access the study here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Gally Student Speaks at TEDxYouth Event

Here is a TEDx talk featuring Gallaudet University student Cheyenna Clearbrook. Born Deaf, she "addresses the divide between the hearing and Deaf worlds and discusses how sign language acquisition can impact both communities in a meaningful way."

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Cops pepper spray deaf man

Prosecutors in Passaic County, New Jersey are looking into a video showing police officers using pepper-spray against a Raaeseon Adams who is deaf. Read more and see the video at NewJersey.com here.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Funding for Deaf Businesses

Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) launched "the first-ever social impact fund and incubator for Deaf-owned and operated businesses" last year. The second round opens to applicants the coming Thursday (Oct. 4). Whoever gets selected for the Social Venture Fund will "have access to significant resources, including capital investment, mentoring and leadership training." For more information, click here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Police: Sex Tape at Deaf School?

Illinois State Police are looking into whether a sex video was shot at the Illinois School for the Deaf in Jacksonville. It's reported to have happened in April. The video in questions was, until recently available on an adult website. Read more on the story from the State Journal-Register here.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

DiMarco: ‘Pretending to Be Deaf Is Not Ok’

A Netflix original is getting heat from Dancing with the Stars champion Nyle DiMarco. The deaf model say a joke in the film about being deaf isn't appropriate.

Read more here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Horror Film Casting Blasted

Oscar-winner Marlee Matlin and model Nyle DiMarco are among those in the Deaf community criticizing a new horror film called The Silence. A hearing actress was cast in a deaf role. Director John Leonetti told The Hollywood Reporter that the hearing actress has “flawless” signing and an almost “innate sense of what it’s like being a deaf person.” The film comes out in December. Read more here.

Texas May Dump Helen Keller from Curriculum

Texas plans to remove Helen Keller from the state's social studies curriculum. Haben Girma, who is deaf-blind, makes a plea to keep her story a part of the in an opinion piece first published in the Washington Post. She writes:
Teaching students about disability through the stories of people such as Keller prepares them to be better citizens, better friends and better family members. Keller’s optimism, hard work and commitment to justice inspire them to the same virtues. Texas will make a final decision in November. We have time to educate the state’s Board of Education on the importance of keeping Keller in the curriculum. Keller herself would urge people to stay optimistic: “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement; nothing can be done without hope.”
Read the full article here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Study: Older Adults Show Poor brain function with Implants

A study out of Antwerp University in Belgium finds cochlear implant recipients over the age of 55 have "significantly poorer cognitive function than their normal-hearing counterparts." Researchers say this finding shows "cochlear implants cannot fully compensate for this deterioration in brain function" due to dementia or natural cognitive decline. Details of the study are in Publishing in Frontiers in Neuroscience. Read more in Science Daily here.

Copies of Silent Garden given out in Fresno

Deaf educators in Fresno passed out the latest version of a book called The Silent Garden: a parent's guide to raising a deaf child. The book was written by Fresno State professor Dr. Paul Ogden and he was on hand as well. ABC-30 has a video report below. There's a text version of the story here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

ICE wants deaf & disabled man deported after decades in U.S.

photo credit: Diane Newman
ICE said it was planning to deport Francis Anwana by today but has decided to delay his deportation after an outcry from immigration advocates. Anwana came to the US at the age of 13 on a student visa. Anwana "was deaf, couldn't talk, and had cognitive disabilities, enrolling at the Michigan School for the Deaf in Flint." He is now 48 years old. ICE gave him less than a week's notice that he would be sent back to a country to which he has no ties. The Michigan Immigrant Rights Center says the decision would be a death sentence for Anwana because of his severe disabilities. The group says Anwana doesn't understand what is happening to him. Read more about him from Michigan's NPR radio group

Monday, September 10, 2018

Bison Decide What to Do During the National Anthem

The Gallaudet University football team has been wrestling with what to do when the national anthem is played before Bison games. Matthew Davis writes:
The team’s head coach, Chuck Goldstein, wanted his players to think about their protest. "These situations help us come together," he relayed in simultaneous communication, signing and speaking at the same time. 'You can understand each person on the team, because each person is different. You’re from different places—different people have different struggles in life. He encouraged his players to discuss why they protested and if they could find a way to protest “together.”
Read the full story at The New Yorker here.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Marlee Matlin talks about on her new show

Oscar-winner Marlee Matlin appeared on KTLA-TV this morning to talk about her special Deaf Out Loud. There are no captions and KTLA misspelled her last name in the "lower third" but she did talk about the premieres of the show, which is September 12 on A&E Network.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Marlee Matlin Produced Docu

Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin is an executive producer of a new documentary called "Deaf Out Loud." The A&E special premieres September 12. The film is about "three deaf families as they raise their children in a hearing world." Here's a preview.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Austin Deaf Club Robbed

Someone broke into the building where the Austin Deaf Club was storing equipment in south Austin and stole thousands of dollars worth of equipment. KXAN has a video report.

"Hearing Impaired" Law in NY

The state of New York will no longer use "hearing impaired" in state law. Governer Andrew Cuomo signed the legislation into law on Monday. The bill requires any reference in state law to "hearing impaired" to be changed to "deaf or hard of hearing." Utah and New Hampshire already have such a law on the books. The new law was sponsored by state senator Terrence Murphy of Yorktown and Assemblyman Steve Englebright of Suffolk County. Read the text of the bill here.

A First For Gallaudet Sports

It was a historic night in Danville, Kentucky. Last night was the first time a Gallaudet University sports team has played in the state—aside from the track-and-field teams playing at an independent championship event in Berea. But the soccer game between Gallaudet and Centre College did not go as planned: There was a wait of more than an hour-and-a-half over lightning concerns. When the game finally started, Centre College dominated, winning 5-0. Next up for Gally: Spalding University in Louisville on Sunday.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

DeaFestival-Kentucky 2018

DeaFestival-Kentucky 2018 will be held this Saturday (Sept. 1) at the Galt House in Louisville. Special guests include Kyle Schulz, the two-time competitor on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior who is deaf, and Broadway and film actor Miles Barbee. There will be more than 50 visual and performing deaf and hard of hearing artists, including rappers, hip-hop musicians, comedians, storytellers and dancers. He will preview his new movie The Silent Natural. It's the story of baseball legend William Hoy who was nicknamed “Dummy” because he was deaf. It's a free event. There's more info here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Deaf Businesses in Austin

KVUE-TV has a video report about a Deaf-owned and operated business in Austin, Texas. For captioning, click here.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Test-Maker Sued Over Divulging Students’ Disabilities

Students have filed a lawsuit against the makers of the ACT test, saying ACT, Inc. has illegally disclosed students’ disabilities. “I was shocked to learn that ACT was using my disability information against me and making it more difficult for me to get into college and get the money I need to go to college," Halie Bloom told DisabilityScoop. Read the full story here.

Deaf candidate for Kansas House aiming to make history

If Chris Haulmark gets elected he would become the first deaf legislator in U.S. history, according to the National Association of the Deaf. The Kansas City Star has his amazing story.

Read more here: https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article216073410.html#storylink=cpy

Friday, August 24, 2018

Threatening Caller contacts School for Deaf Again

Whoever made a threat to the Oklahoma School for the Deaf last week has called the school again. The FBI is tracking down the person. The Daily Ardmoreite here.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

He's Bringing Hip-Hop to the Deaf

Matt Maxey is the founder of DEAFinitely Dope, "an organization that aims to bring the deaf and hearing communities together through music." CNN has a profile of Matt here.

South Korean capital gets 'first deaf taxi drivers'

There are deaf taxi drivers on the streets of Seoul, South Korea this week, thanks to some new software. Two deaf drivers are using dual tablets to communicate in Korean with passengers using an app called Silent Taxi. Read more from the BBC here.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Deaf man hit by car

A deaf man is in critical condition after being hit by a car in Ocala, Florida. Gary Hamilton was attempting to cross the street at the time. Read more in the Ocala StarBanner here.

Threats Shut Down School For The Deaf

The Oklahoma School for the Deaf closed yesterday following a threatening phone call. It may be connected to "threats against a transgender student who attends another school that was shut down earlier this week over safety concerns," reports the Associated Press. Read the full story here.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Filling gaps in the ASL lexicon

A small team at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, New York, is busy creating signs. They've been working to fill gaps in the ASL lexicon since 2014. Hundreds of ASL signs have been created—such as a sign for the words "verb" and "prototype." Even "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." One of the people involved in the project, Ruth Anna Spooner, tells Inside Higher Ed, “We know that it’s an artificial language ‘dump,’ and by this I mean that natural language growth usually does not entail 1,400 new terms being introduced into a lexicon in four years.” Read more about the effort here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Streetcar 82 Opens

The Washington, DC suburb of Hyattsville, Maryland has a new brewery that opened this summer. And this isn't just any ole brewery; Streetcar 82 is deaf-owned—the first of its kind on the East Coast. The small building used to house an auto repair garage, but now people play "cornhole or joke and chat over drinks." Read more in the DCist here or watch the video below. You'll find the Streetcar 82 website here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

School District accused of Discrimination

Deaf educators and students are rallying against the Corpus Christi school district. Among the issues: a deaf man was hired to teach ASL and wrestling, but school administrators later withdrew the offer. What was the problem? They didn't want to pay for an interpreter to attend a conference. Read more in the Corpus Christi Caller Times here.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Between Sound and Silence

Filmmaker Taylor Brodsky writes, "A lot can happen in two generations. I was born to deaf parents and now I’m the mother of a deaf son. He was sitting on my lap in diapers when the audiologist first detected he couldn’t hear everything. By the age of 4, he heard nothing." Read more about her experience in a New York Times opinion piece here.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Fire-pit accident burns Teen

A deaf Texas teen is recovering from burns she received from a fire-pit mishap. KFDM-TV has a video report.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Philly Police Agree to Settlement over treatment of Deaf

The Philadelphia Police Department has settled a complaint over how it handles deaf people. The department will pay eight people $97,500 and update its procedures and equipment. Read more about the settlement here.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Six Siblings and Six Bilateral Cochlear Implants

"Siblings Matthew, 16, Marcus, 15, Michelle, 13, Maria, 10, Miley, 8, and Marcia, 6, were born deaf. Over the past eight years, all the children have been fitted with bilateral cochlear implants," writes Nancy Dahlberg in the Miami Herald. Read the full story about the six Guillou children here or watch the video below.

Starbucks' "Signing Store" is "wonderful" but..

Starbucks has received a great deal of positive news coverage and social media traction from its plan to integrate deaf culture into one of its stores near Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. But could the enthusiastic reaction be a bit much?

Pamela Kincheloe writes that there was "so much hype it was kind of absurd. Sure, it’s nice and all, but really? It’s just a Starbucks! My question when I saw this announcement all over the news was: Why is this such a huge story? Wouldn’t it be great if all Starbucks stores could have excellent communication access ― for all of their customers?" Read more in the Huffington Post here.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Starbucks To Open First U.S. Signing Store

Starbucks is opening a store designed for the Deaf Community in Washington, DC less than a miles from Gallaudet University. More than two dozen deaf and hard of hearing baristas, fluent in American Sign Language, will be ready to take orders when the store opens. It's the first Starbucks signing store in the U.S. The store layout will facilitate visual communication. Read more about it here.

Heavy metal concert terp gets noticed

Lindsay Rothschild-Cross' interpretation of a June 20 metal concert in Austin was caught on video and has racked up tons of views online, reports ABC News. She says it was her first time to work with this genre. Here's a video interview from ABC News.

LinkedIn Adds Captioning to Videos

LinkedIn users can now add captions to videos by clicking an icon. Users can also highlight quotes from articles and save drafts of those posts. The translation of posts includes more than 60 languages. Read more here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

CODA Who Defrauded Parents is Going to Jail

A judge in northern Ohio has sentenced Jessica DeMarco to 60 days in jail, 200 hours of community service and five years probation and restitution for defrauding her deaf parents of $50,000. Prosecutors say DeMarco forged a letter from a lawyer, pretending she was to receive a large sum of money. Read the details in the Warren Tribune Chronicle here.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Communicating with Alexa devices using sign language

Abhishek Singh, who has worked in the field of driverless cars and other AI technology, says he "used deep learning with TensorFlow.js to make Amazon Echo respond to sign language." He explains in this video.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Scientists say they've given gerbils an implant that lets them hear light

German researchers have given gerbils an implant that allows them "hear" light. They hope that this technique could be used to make superior cochlear implants for humans through optogenetics, that is, the use of light as a stimulus.Details of the study are published in the Science Translational Medicine or read an article about the research here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

New Director at School for the Deaf

Ryan Gollner
The Louisiana School for the Deaf has a new director. School Principal Ryan Gollner replaces Donna Alleman on an interim basis. The move comes after a harsh report said the Baton Rouge school suffered from "low morale among students and staff and was implementing changes without a clear plan." Read more in The Advocate here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Son: Deaf Parents Mistreated by Airline

Nikolay Filatov says his parents, both of whom are deaf, were not treated well by Frontier Airlines. They were trying to get to their only grandchild's first birthday party. Denver-7 has a video report.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Undercover testers find discrimination

The Southwest Fair Housing Council is suing more than a dozen assisted living and nursing home operators in Arizona for discrimination against prospective deaf residents. The nonprofit advocacy group says they sent out undercover testers to see what kind of treatment they would receive. Read more about it here.

Deaf Costco Employee Gets $775k Settlement

Christine D’Onofrio just won a $775,000 settlement from Costco. The deaf employee working in Pompano Beach, Florida says the store refused to provide her a sign language interpreter for meetings. Instead, Costco put in video phones, which did not work during large meetings. D’Onofrio, who had worked for Costco for 23 years, says a new manager complained she was "loud and aggressive" and eventually fired her. Read more about the story here.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Deaf woman groped, held at gunpoint

A deaf woman in Memphis gave a man a ride and ended up getting groped and held at gunpoint. Fox-13 has a video report below. There are no captions but you can read the story here.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Arrival & Departure debuts

A new play of special interest to the Deaf community will debut in Los Angeles next weekend (July 14). Deaf actors Deanne Bray and Troy Kotsur star in Arrival & Departurewhere they meet accidentally in a New York City subway station. Kostsur and Bray are married in real life and writer Stephen Sachs says he put the play together with them in mind. The production is performed simultaneously in spoken English and American Sign Language with additional use of open captioning. It runs from July 14 to September 30 at the Fountain Theatre. More information here. Below is a video of the first rehearsal.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Boy Found at LA Train Station

UPDATE: The boy has been reunited with his family, though police say they are still investigating why he was left alone in the first place.

Police in Los Angeles are asking for the public's help in identifying a child found at Union Station. They believe the boy to be deaf, though he did not respond to a sign language interpreter's attempts to communicate.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The deaf protest that gripped America

The BBC has a new video explaining what happened at Gallaudet University in 1988 when a protest started over the appointment of a new president. The network interviewed I King Jordan, the first ever deaf President of Gallaudet University.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Suit: Deaf Applicant Discrimination

Mark Eurlichmann has filed a lawsuit against Pensacola State College. Eurlichmann applied to teach American Sign Language at the school but, according to the deaf man's suit, a less-qualified hearing applicant applicant was hired instead. The college is not commenting but you can read more about the lawsuit in the Pensacola News Journal here.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Deaf Space Camp

This year's Deaf Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama brought together 20 students from all over the country recently. WAAY-TV has a video report.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

No, Koko had not mastered sign language

image from KoKo.com
Koko is dead. The gorilla that some claimed could communication using sign language died last week. But there was no proof of this—sign language not being something so simple an animal can use it. Geoffrey Pullum writes about the myth of Koko's linguistic prowess in an article for the Chronicle of Higher Ed here.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Netflix Captioning Complaints

A host of the makeover show Queer Eye is speaking out about captioning on Netflix. Fans are complaining through social media that the dialogue isn't correctly represented in the captioning. Now, Karamo Brown is joining those voices:

The BBC has Netflix response in this article.

Deaf comedian Speaks Out about Terp Issue

image from TomWillard.com 
A deaf comedian in Rochester, New York, says he's having difficulty getting local businesses to provide interpreters, as required by ADA law. Tom Willard tells WROC-TV, “They just didn’t want to pay for it. They wanted the comics to pay for the interpreter, but the law says no, it's the business. It’s their responsibility, just like a ramp. You don’t make a wheelchair person bring their own ramp – you don’t make a deaf person bring their own interpreter.” Read the full story here.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Husky Saves Deaf Hiker

A deaf hiker who fell nearly 700-feet down snowy mountain says a trail guide dog saved her life. Amelia Millin was some nearly 30 miles outside of Anchorage when her trekking poles broke and she plunged down the mountainside. But a husky found Millin, who attends the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester. Watch an ABC video report here.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

A New, Vast Helen Keller Archive

The American Foundation for the Blind has launched the world’s first fully accessible digital archive collection of Helen Keller artifacts. The collection includes digitized letters, essays, speeches, and more than a quarter million digital images of her work. You can access the archive here.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Meet Maryland's deaf candidate

image from vote4toyinfasakin.com
Toyin Fasakin is a candidate for Register of Wills in Maryland's Prince George’s County. Only a few states elect people to open estates for the deceased and keep up with wills and Maryland is one of the them. The Washington Post reports that Fasakin is running "because when his Ni­ger­ian father died without a will, there was 'agony and strife' as his two wives and their children divided his property." A question he often gets from voters is whether a deaf person can do the job. He tells the Washington Post, “I would say, ‘hey, why not? This has nothing to do with my deafness. This is about skills, abilities, and qualifications to lead and manage,’ ” said Fasakin, who became deaf after contracting the measles at age 4. “I want to make changes happen." Read the full story about Fasakin here.

Teen's encounter with deaf-blind man on flight goes viral

A teenager used tactile signing to help a fellow passenger during their delayed flight. Photos and a Facebook post by another passenger made the encounter go viral. Seattle's King5 has a video report but it does not have captioning. You can read part of the story here.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Deaf inmates denied equal access: Lawsuit

The ACLU has filed a lawsuit against Georgia. The complaint accuses the state failing to provide deaf and hard-of-hearing inmates access to interpreters and other tools to communicate effectively in violation of ADA law. As a result, “deaf and hard of hearing people are incarcerated more frequently, suffer harsher prison conditions, remain in prison longer, and return to prison faster." Read the full story from the Associated Press here.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

NYPD issuing visor cards to deaf drivers

New York police are mailing out visor cards to 11,000 deaf or hard of hearing drivers. The goal is better communication with law enforcement. As the image on the left shows, one side of the card indicates how a driver prefers to communicate and the other side shows symbols that an officer can point to in order to indicate what caused a traffic stop. The card is intended to be attached to the sun visor of a car. It was designed by the NYPD with input from service providers and advocacy organizations. Deputy Commissioner of Collaborative Policing Susan Herman is quoted in a press release as saying:
It is our duty at the NYPD to not only protect each and every New Yorker, but to provide support when people are in need. Today, we're reaching out with a tool that we believe will improve communication between officers and drivers who are deaf or hard of hearing during an encounter that can often be stressful.
There's more information from the NYPD here.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Deaf Jazz Singer Hits All the Right Notes

"Despite not being able to hear for nearly a decade, a jazz musician still commands the stage," reports NBC News. Below is a link to a video about Mandy Harvey.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Study: Smoking exposure increases risk of deafness twofold

A Japanese study finds children are more than twice as likely to be born deaf if their mother smoked Even exposure to second-hand smoke increased the likelihood of hearing issues. Read more details in the Daily Mail here.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Suit: Denver Cops Failed to Provide Terp

Two deaf Colorado women are suing Denver law enforcement for failing to provide them with qualified sign language interpreters. According to the Denver Post, "The suit claims the agencies ignored repeated requests for qualified sign language interpreters, failed to follow their own policies and broke state and federal anti-discrimination laws in the process." Read the full story here.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Report: Integrating deaf in the workplace is easier than employers realize

UPDATE: THE CBC HAS NOW POSTED A TRANSCRIPT OF THE INTERVIEW HERE. Employers sometimes "have trouble imagining how a deaf person would function on the job." But the CBC reports, "Integrating deaf Canadians in the workplace is easier than employers realize." The network spoke with the head of the Canadian Association of the Deaf to find out what really happens when a business hires a deaf worker. Here is a link to the audio. Unfortunately, the website doesn't offer a text version of the interview.

Deaf couple: We were mistreated at KFC

image from WLBT-TV video report
A deaf couple say employees at a KFC near Jackson, Mississippi laughed at them for not being able to communicate their food order verbally. According to WLBT-TV,"Bobbie and Mike Cole wanted a chicken dinner at KFC in Byram Wednesday, but what they said they got was disrespect and humiliation from employees." You can watch a video report or read a text version of the story here.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Deaf Workers Sue Walmart

Two deaf employees are suing Walmart for what they claim is discrimination. Troy Miles and Tonya Bland needed interpreters at meetings held at the Washington, DC store where they worked. But they say Walmart managers ignored their requests. Walmart has denied those allegations. Read the suit here and there is more information on the case from the National Law Journal here.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Report: Parents are leading a "revolt" at a Deaf School

Some parents at L.A.’s only school for the deaf think the school is in crisis and say they are considering withdrawing their children. The Los Angeles Times reports:
Anger over the school's administration has sparked a revolt led by parents, alumni and advocacy groups who believe the school is in crisis. They point to high turnover, cuts to extracurricular programs and sports — and the absence of high-level staff fluent in ASL.
Read the full story in the LA Times here.

Terp in China Becomes Social Media Star

A CODA from southwest China has become a "social media star" after posting a video on WeChat. The sign language lawyer who became wanted to tell people about the danger of Ponzi schemes. The BBC reports: "Despite a significant expansion in access to education, some deaf Chinese are still targeted by financial scam organisers. Stories of deaf people who lost fortunes in scams prompted Mr Tang to launch the video series that shot him to social media fame." Read the full story here.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Opinion: Hollywood keeps 'cripping up'

Sara Novic, a Deaf writer and assistant professor of creative writing at Stockton University, says, "Hollywood has a representation problem" where it is "casting abled actors in the role of disabled characters, a phenomenon the disabled community calls 'cripping up.' When disabled people do raise the issue, they are quickly silenced, accused of overreacting. Despite the rich tradition of Deaf storytelling and theater showcased by award-winning companies such as the National Theatre of the Deaf and Deaf West Theatre, Hollywood has an equally longstanding tradition of forgoing deaf actors for hearing ones, even for signing and/or deaf characters. And "The Shape of Water" isn't the only example of this." Read her full article here.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Linguistics Meet to Discuss Deaf Communities

Linguistics met Thursday at UCLA to discuss the differences between the hearing and deaf communities, as well as how deaf communities vary between countries. The school's student newspaper quotes lecturer Benjamin Lewis as saying,"Oftentimes we meet people who take pity on us. So I want to plant a new seed that being deaf is great. It’s nothing to feel sad about.” Read more about the meeting here.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

What Makes a Website "Accessible"?

U.S. courts have issued conflicting rulings about ADA law and the internet. "As a result, businesses, litigants and the courts have had no governmental rules or guidance to look to for what must be done to a website to make it compliant with the ADA," Charles Marion writes on Law.com. He says one case was dismissed for the lack of government rules on the matter. Read more about how websites and accessibility are a work in progress here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

"Sign Language Isn’t Just for Babies"

Rachel Kolb is glad that hearing parents are teaching their babies some sign language but the doctoral student, who is also deaf, says, "They are missing an opportunity to take advantage of the contributions that deaf people — the primary users (and originators) of signed languages — can offer to the world." Read more in this New York Times opinion piece here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Another video of the Airport Confrontation

Here is another video showing the confrontation that started when a passenger alledgedly hit a service dog during a flight to Orlando. The man says he didn't punch the dog but swatted at it. There an ABC News report here.

New App for Deaf Parents

UCLA researchers say they've come up with an app that helps deaf parents know when and why their baby is crying. It's called Chatterbaby and "uses artificial intelligence to help determine if baby is hungry, fussy or in pain." Watch the video below for more or read the information here.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

New Video of Airport Confrontation Over Service Dog

A video shows a confrontation between a deaf pregnant woman and a man who she accused of punching her service dog. It happened as their Frontier flight was taxiing to a gate at Orlando International Airport. WFTV-TV has a video report. The captions don't seem to be working but you can read it here.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

More on the man accused of punching a deaf pregnant woman

Hazel Ramirez says a man punched her and her service dog during a trip from Colorado Springs to Orlando Thursday. WKMG-TV has a video report.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Before video chat

"Talking to my parents on the phone in the days before Skype and FaceTime was a strange experience," Lauren Fitzpatrick writes. She says that while her relay service "seemed like cutting-edge technology in 2004, it was always awkward to end a conversation by saying 'I love you' to a stranger." Read the full story in the Boston Globe here.

Man hits pregnant deaf woman and her service dog

A man on a Frontier Airlines flight from Colorado Springs to Orlando hit a deaf woman's service dog and then the woman who was pregnant. She was traveling with her boyfriend, who is also deaf. WESH-TV has more including a short video of part of the altercation here.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Everyone Can Code

from Apple.com
Students from the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
take part in a Swift Playgrounds session.

Apple says it will bring its "Everyone Can Code" curricula for the Swift programming language to schools serving the deaf and blind. Here is a list of some of the schools involved:

• California School for the Deaf (Fremont, Calif.)
• Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (St. Augustine, Fla.)
• Texas School for the Deaf (Austin, Tex.)

There's more information here.

Nyle DiMarco Calls Out Marvel

Nyle DiMarco has tweeted about his displeasure over Marval's decision to portray one of its superheros as hearing when he was originally deaf. The model and actor told Mic:
Hawkeye in the Avengers — he's boring. I'm sorry. I'm a big fan of his work, but let's have a deaf actor in there instead... I think it would have made a better movie and better TV if they'd actually brought in a deaf actor.
Read more here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Deaf Candidates are Stepping Up to Run for Polical Offices

Portland has its first deaf city council candidate. Philip Wolfe is "part of a new wave of people who are deaf or hard of hearing and are fighting for a seat at the table in politics." Wolfe tells Oregon Public Radio:
I’m hoping to shift minds, and shift paradigms, [so] that deaf people can run and they can be involved, and as people are curious as to what that looks like, I’m there and am facilitating that communication and education.
There's more of the interview here. Below is a video of Wolfe explaining why he is running for office.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Inside the life of a deaf firefighter

Eric Nusbaum is a deaf firefighter with Elsmere Fire Department near Albany, New York. WTEN-TV has a video report about Nusbaum below. You can read the story here.

Monday, May 14, 2018

A "legend in show business"

CNN sat down with deaf comedian CJ Jones. The news network calls him a "legend in show business." Watch the interview here.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Service Dog Laws

Nearly two dozen states now have laws against claiming a dog is a service animal when it is not. The latest state to pass such a law is Minnesota, where the governor signed a bill into law Thursday. The goal is to prevent "untrained animals into stores, restaurants, libraries and other public places where their behavior can be bothersome," The Washington Post reports. Read the full story here.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

New Zealanders''sign name' for Trump

Deaf people around the world have given Donald Trump his own sign name. In New Zealand it's made by "placing a hand over the head and letting the fingers wave in the breeze, mimicking his at times erratic haircut." See a video here.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Deaf Ohio man sues county for lack of terp

A Springfield, Ohio deaf man is suing Clark County because Sheriff’s deputies did not provide him with a sign language interpreter when he was arrested—or later when he was booked into jail. His attorney tells the Dayton Daily News:
It’s all too common. Whether it’s in hospitals, jails, schools, so many entities don’t know what is required under the ADA and other federal laws and just presume that if they’re dealing with somebody’s who’s deaf, that they can just communicate with them through passing notes, reading lips and the law is very clear that that is not acceptable.
Read the full story here.