Thursday, January 30, 2020

Bank opens Branch for Deaf/HoH

The largest bank in the U.S. has opened its first branch designed to serve the Deaf and hard of hearing community. The JPMorgan Chase branch is located in Washington, DC near Gallaudet University and offers features like on-demand video, remote interpreting, T-loop Bluetooth technology, and digital screens with captions. Six of the branch’s nine employees are ASL fluent and three identify as deaf or hard of hearing. JPMorgan Chase is also putting a quarter of a million dollars to Gallaudet University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute. Read more about the new branch from WAMU radio here.

On this date: A deaf man helps to stop a bank robbery

A deaf bank customer helped stop a bank robbery on this day (Jan 30) in 2003. A bank teller in Rochester, New York tipped off the man as he was going through the drive-through. The robber had entered a branch of HSBC yelled that he was robbing it, then jumped on a counter and pistol-whipped a teller. Another teller at the drive-up window just happened to be helping a deaf customer at that moment. She mouthed the words "we are being robbed." The lip-reading customer then drove to a nearby liquor store and called 911. Police nabbed the robbery suspect not far from the bank as he was trying to wash dye off his hands after a dye pack in the money bag had exploded. The injured teller suffered only minor injuries.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Hotline called 'Epic Failure' for Deaf community

New York City has a complaint and information hotline (311). But it does not work well for deaf and hard-of-hearing residents, according to Councilmember Fernando Cabrera. "Some people report waiting up to 45 minutes before connecting with someone who has a way to answer their questions, Cabrera said. He noted some folks have been hung up on by operators who assumed they were prank callers." Read more from The City newspaper here.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Insights into the history of sign language

A study of sign language in Europe has found that Spanish sign language is possibly the oldest in existence. Not only that, researchers say their findings support the belief that sign languages evolve just like spoken languages.
Despite dealing with fundamentally different data, the analogies between the evolution of sign languages and biological evolution are striking, especially when we look at the gain and loss of lineage-specific traits.
Read more from ZME Science here.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

The UK prison system "fails" a deaf inmate

Tyrone Givans, who was profoundly deaf, killed himself while in a UK prison. His mother, Angela Augustin, told the Guardian, "Putting him in prison without hearing aids was like putting him in a hole in the ground." A jury found that "numerous systemic individual failures" led to his death. Read the entire story of what happened to Givans here.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Deaf doctoral student

Alexis Nye is deaf and working toward her Ph.D. in audiology at UNC-Chapel Hill. Born profoundly deaf, she was diagnosed at the age of six months. At the age of two years of age, she received her first cochlear implant and a second at age 16. Read more about her from the News & Record here or watch a video report about her from last year.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

The History of Deaf Communities in Canada

Inuit Sign Language "has been an important part of the Inuit linguistic landscape." The Link newspaper takes a brief look at it here.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Recognizing ASL in Nebraska

A state lawmaker in Nebraska wants ASL to be legally recognized as a language. There are only five states that don't do so and Nebraska is one of them. State Senator Anna Wishart is trying to change that with bill LB839. You can read the bill here.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

State to Split Deaf & Blind Schools

South Dakota’s School for the Deaf and School for the Blind and Visually Impaired will now have two separate superintendents. In the past few months, a series of investigative pieces have been published into how the needs of deaf and hard of hearing children in the state have been ignored for decades. Read more from the Argus Leader here.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Dealership settles ADA lawsuit

A car dealership in Hawaii has agreed to pay $42,000 to settle an EEOC lawsuit accusing it violating ADA law. "The EEOC alleged that Cutter Mazda failed to hire a deaf applicant due to his disability. Such conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits employers from making employment decisions based on an individual's disability." Read more about it from the EEOC here.

Monday, January 6, 2020

American Girl doll with hearing aids

An 8-year-old Tennessee girl loves her new doll from American Girl; it wears a hearing aid like she does. WTVC-TV in Cleveland, Tennessee has a video report below or read the story here.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

GOP settles ADA lawsuit

Utah's Republican Party has settled a lawsuit filed by a deaf man and a woman who uses a wheelchair. They said the political organization failed to follow ADA law at its conventions and caucuses. Aaron Heineman wanted to participate in a caucus three years ago but the GOP failed to provide a qualified sign language interpreter. Eliza Stauffer said the state convention failed to include a designated area for her wheelchair. Read more about the case from the Daily Herald here.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Harvard Law’s first deaf-blind graduate: Here’s what college is like for students with disabilities

Haben Girma is the first deaf-blind person to graduate from Harvard Law School. She writes,"My personal experience with discrimination, as well as those I heard from others, sparked my desire to develop legal advocacy skills." Below is a CNBC video about her below and there is some background on her from Voice of America here.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Reconstructing spoken words from the brains of primates

Brown University researchers say they've been able to put together words from the brain signals of monkeys. They connected a computer directly to a monkey's brain and believe this "could be a step toward developing brain implants that may help people with hearing loss."Details are published in the journal Nature Communications Biology. Read more details here.

Three of Wyoming couple's kids undergo implant procedures

Three children of Jackie and Chris Isenberger went through cochlear implant procedures at the same time at Children's Hospital in Colorado. The parents defend their decision in an article published by The Denver Channel here.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

What It's Like to Move to Music You Can't Hear

Gallaudet Dance Company has been performing for 65 years. Dance Magazine takes a look at the performance troupe here.