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.