Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Maritime Sign Language

The deaf community in Nova Scotia is rallying to preserve a sign language that's unique to the region, according to the CBC. It's called "Maritime Sign Language" and it is still used by older people in Atlantic Canada. Since it isn't being handed down to the next generation, "There's a push to document MSL before it's lost."  Read more about the effort here.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

HoH boy creates video game for blind

A 12-year-old hard-of-hearing video-game designer has created a video game for blind and visually impaired children. WFTS-TV in Tampa, Florida has a video report (no captions but text here).

Friday, December 27, 2019

Adapting Religious Services at Gally

Gallaudet University is adopting religious services to the school's deaf population by offering the services in American Sign Language and Arabic Sign Language. Religious News Service says, "Changes (to the Catholic mass) would be striking to anyone used to a Mass where the hearing are in the majority" and it is a similar experience for Muslims. Read the full story here.
A monument honoring Thomas Gallaudet is being restored at the American School for the Deaf in Connecticut. Gallaudet founded the school in 1817. The project should be completed this coming fall. Read more about it from Associated Press here.

Deaf & HoH attorneys sworn in

Chief Justice John Roberts used American Sign Language when he swore-in a group of 10 deaf and hard-of-hearing attorneys sworn into the U.S. Supreme Court Bar Association. That means they can argue cases before the nation's highest court. One of them is Azeema Akram, an administrative law judge at the Illinois Commerce Commission, who was diagnosed as hard of hearing at the age of three. WLS-TV in Chicago has her story in the video below.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Marlee Matlin vs Delta Airlines

Oscar-winner Marlee Matlin is calling out Delta Airlines for failing to provide captions for its videos during flights.

The Air Carrier Access Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability on airlines.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Inventing sign language for space

British sign language is receiving an astronomical update thanks to a unique collaboration between a space scientist and a group of deaf astronomers. The BBC video below explains more.

The Deaf are being 'excluded from astronomy'

An astrophysicist in the UK is leading a project to develop 50 new BSL signs to help explain her research. Olja Panic says, "The deaf community risks being excluded from aspects of modern science because the number of new advances is outpacing the development of sign language to explain them." Read the full story at Phys.org here.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Nyle DiMarco & Mariah Carey

Nyle DiMarco's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" ASL challenge got a thumbs up from Mariah Carey. Her song by that title hit #1 and she retweeted his video below, saying "This is Amazing!!!!!":

Friday, December 20, 2019

Deaf school gets fined over hazardous waste

image from Google Maps
The Oregon School for the Deaf is getting slapped with a $11,500 fine. State environmental regulators say the school has mismanaged hazardous waste. Read more from the Statesman Journal here.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Deaf refugees overcome language barrier

Sangita and Purna Kami are from Bhutan and both are deaf. Sangita has been deaf all her life while Purna became deaf after he fell from a tree at the age of eight. The deaf couple "met in a refugee camp in Bhutan and immigrated to the United States with limited ability to communicate." Find out more in this WXXI video below or read the story of the Kamis here.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

ASL interpreters have a crucial role in the law

ASL Interpreters and Certified Deaf Interpreters play an important role in law enforcement and court interaction. The Post-Bulletin has more here.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Audiologist wins national award

image from Oticon.com
An audiologist working at Kendall Demonstration Elementary School which is based on Gallaudet University’s campus in DC has won the 2019 Oticon Focus on People Award for Best Practitioner. The national award goes toward honoring individuals with hearing loss as well as hearing care professionals who open new possibilities for the hearing impaired community. The hearing loss of this year's winner, Jennifer Gaston, wasn't discovered until she was five years old. Read more about Jennifer here and about other award winners here.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Deafness in Three Movements

A new documentary about deafness premiered on HBO last night. Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements is the story of Jonas Brodsky who began losing his hearing at the age of two like his grandmother. Only in Jonas case, his parents had the choice of giving him a cochlear implant. Read more about the film here or watch the trailer below.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

ASL Program Proposed for Univ of Memphis

The University of Memphis is planning to become the only college in West Tennessee offering a degree program in ASL by the fall of 2021. The school only started offering undergraduate courses in ASL during the fall of 2015. Administrators expect to serve 40 majors each year and graduate 15 to 20 students each year. The only college in Tennessee with such a degree program is Maryville College. Read more about UM's plans here.

$2 Million Grant Goes to Cochlear Implant Research

A National Institutes of Health grant of $2 million will be used by a researcher at USC toward a "project aimed at helping the formerly deaf with cochlear implants regain their appreciation for music." Ray Goldsworthy (who uses a CI himself) will study:
The role pitch perception plays in music comprehension. The ability to determine pitch — to distinguish if one sound is higher or lower than the other — is severely limited in once-deaf people with cochlear implants and a big reason that music is hard for them to hear. Goldsworthy plans to help subjects regain this ability through training software he has developed. He will also investigate new ways of encoding improved pitch into the electrical stimulation patterns of the cochlear implant — this stimulation is how sound is recognized — and use brain imaging to understand the changes in the brain that occur with pitch training.
Read more from USC here.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Deaf Actor plays characters not defined by his being Deaf

Russell Harvard, a third-generation Deaf man, is playing the roles of Link Deas and Boo Radley in Broadway’s To Kill a Mockingbird. It's the "first time the actor had played a character not defined by being Deaf." He tells Playbill
I think it simply means I’m good at what I do. It makes sense with Link Deas and Boo Radley because they share similar qualities. Both are outcasts in the community and good-hearted men who know what’s right and wrong...I’m an actor who happens to be Deaf, and I get to share the artistry of ASL with the audience of this landmark show.
To Kill a Mockingbird is in its second season at the Shubert Theatre. Read more from Playbill about Harvard here.