New White House receptionist is a West Wing pioneer: ‘Deaf people can do anything’

March 30, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

TODAY.com

March 27,2015

Anyone wanting to speak to the president must stop by her desk first. Leah Katz-Hernandez, 27, is the new White House receptionist.

She is also deaf.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity and also to show that deaf people can do anything,” she said through an interpreter, who is provided for her at work.

With a desk just steps away from the Oval Office, Katz-Hernandez is usually the first to greet anyone — from world leaders to White House staff members — who has an appointment with the president or his top-level aides. She also oversees the White House guest book and the Roosevelt Room, the West Wing meeting room, and is responsible for collecting cell phones before meetings with the president.

See captioned video & Pictures

 

Wegmans to expand help for deaf

March 30, 2015 in Community News, Employment

 

 

Democrat – Chronicle
Patti Singer, Staff writer
March 30,2015
Rochester , New York

Passing notes may work OK in study hall, but it really doesn’t get the message across at the pharmacy counter.

“I often want to ask the pharmacist about the different medications I’m taking,” said Matthew Starr of Greece, who is deaf. “When you go to a busy pharmacy and people are lined up, I have to have things be slow because it requires pencil and paper. There’s no good method of communication. They write a few words. It’s very limited.”

What if there were an interpreter — either someone there or through a video service?

“Oh, man, definitely,” he said through a video relay service interpreter. “That would be much better than trying to write notes back and forth.”

Signing may replace scribbling after a regional pharmacy chain settled discrimination allegations earlier this month with New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. Even though KPH Healthcare Services has little presence here, the agreement could have major implications for Rochester residents who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The attorney general alleged that KPH violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and state human rights law by failing to accommodate people who are deaf or have hearing loss. The settlement named only KPH, and the Attorney General’s Office declined to comment on whether other chains were under investigation. By calling the agreement a model, the attorney general appeared to send his own message.

“I hope that it has a domino effect on pharmacies across the state,” said Starr, a board member of Partners in Deaf Health, which promotes understanding of the health needs of culturally deaf people.

Read more . . . Wegmans

Whole Health Action Management – WHAM Workshop – taught in ASL starts April 9th

March 30, 2015 in Community Events

Health Is More than Eating your Veggies:

This workshop follows the Whole Health Action Management curriculum and
allows you to explore ways to improve your physical, emotional,
spiritual and mental health through positive life choices.

Class will be held for three weeks and taught in ASL

Dates: April 9, 16, 23
Time: 6-8:30 (including dinner, which will be provided free of charge)
Place: Prince William County Complex, 5 County Complex, Woodbridge, VA 22192
Register online at: http://goo.gl/forms/h75PLImA2o

For more information contact CW Tillman at info@pahdeaf.org

 

 

“TEXT with 9-1-1” launched in Kingston area for persons with hearing loss, speech impairments

March 30, 2015 in Community News

 

 

Kingston, Ontario
Mar 25, 2015

Kingston Heritage

The Kingston Police has launched a new program making it possible for the deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or speech impaired (DHHSI) community to communicate with emergency 911 services.

On March 24, they announced the launch of Text-9-1-1, which allows members of the DHHSI community to call 9-1-1 during an emergency and converse with an operator using text message rather than by voice. Specialized software will allow the 9-1-1 communications staff to recognize the call as coming from a registered phone, associated with the DHHSI community, and text back and forth with the caller to address the emergency. There will be no need for a caller to be able to speak or hear.

Read More  . . . Text 911

Sign Language to Help Hearing-Impaired Worshipers at Grand Mosque

March 30, 2015 in Community News

 

 

Daily News
March 30, 2015

The Grand Mosque Academy in the Makkah region (Mecca region), in the western part of Saudi Arabia, is teaching its staff sign language to assist the thousands of hearing-impaired pilgrims coming to the Grand Mosque to worship.

The announcement was made Sunday by Waleed Basamad, the head of the academy at the Grand Mosque. He said that those people with disabilities are equal to anyone who enter the Grand Mosque to worship and it is their duty to give them assistance by communicating with them in their own special language. According to the academy director, they have already trained 30 academy staff for said purpose.

Sign language workshop

The sign language course is part of their training program, called Effective Communication Skills. Program instructor is Mohammad Al-Abumadrah. Academy director Basamad said they conduct several workshops and training regularly but the sign language program, which is a part of their 9th training program, is particularly important.

Read More  . . . Grand Mosque

WAMU Radio Show – Skilled Interpretation: Deaf Rights and Vital Encounters

March 30, 2015 in Community News, Disability Law

WMAU – NPR – Washington, DC
Kojo Nnamdi Show

Streamed live on Mar 30, 2015

From police stops to medical emergencies, members of the Deaf community often confront significant language barriers when they interact with local government and institutions. In Arlington County, a deaf man alleges he was held for six weeks in a county jail without access to an interpreter. But beyond cases of alleged discrimination, members of the Deaf community say there are deeper problems of cultural misunderstanding and unqualified interpreters. We explore the rights and responsibilities of the Deaf and hearing communities during these vital encounters.

Guests

Caroline Jackson Staff Attorney, National Association of the Deaf Law and Advocacy Center
Steven Collins Assistant Professor, Department of Interpretation, Gallaudet University; Certified Deaf Interpreter
Adam Bartley Interpreter, Gallaudet Interpreting Service
Ellen Schein Interpreter, Gallaudet Interpreting Service

Watch YouTube Captioned Video

(There is a two minute break half way through video)

Celebrate Communication 2015

March 28, 2015 in Community News, NVRC

 

Celebrate Communication 2015 Exhibitors

 advancedhearinghealthcare_logo Advanced Hearing Health Care
 cci_logo Canine Companions for Independence
 cfi-logo Center for Family Involvement
 Seal_of_Fairfax_County,_Virginia Fairfax County Disability Services Board
 Seal_of_Fairfax_County,_Virginia Fairfax County Office of Human Rights and Equity Programs
Grab a Gift Basket
Handmade by SB
 happyhand-logo-607x260 Happy Hands Deaf Seniors
Joan’s Knitted Dolls
JR Health Education
 massa_associateslogo Massa and Associates, Doctors of Audiology, specialize in the identification and treatment of disorders that cause hearing loss and or vertigo. Our Doctors of Audiology use the latest digital and Bluetooth technology to treat different types of hearing loss. Bluetooth technology connects you to all of your electronic devices such as music, TV, computer, smart phone or/cell phone as well as induction loop systems found in theaters. For a live demonstration and special offers, stop by our exhibit. www.MassaAndAssociates.com
6355 Walker Lane, Suite 411, Alexandria, VA 22310 (703)922-4262
2616 Sherwood Hall Lane, Suite 408, Alexandria, VA 22306 (703)780-8929
Northern Virginia Community College Disability Services

NVCSA

Northern Virginia Cued Speech Association
 www.NVRC.org NVRC Outreach
www.NVRC.org NVRC Technology Assistive Devices 
Pratuch Quilts
Silent Meadow LLC
 TDI Telecommunications for the Deaf (TDI)
Thirty One Gifts and Quilts
 vadlogoblue Virginia Association of the Deaf (VAD)
Virginia Deaf-Blind Project
 dbvi Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired

 VSDB

Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind
 header_NewMLogo Washington Metro Area Transit (WMATA)

Wilbur Cross High School’s ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ accessible to sight and hearing impaired

March 27, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

New Haven Register
By Shahid Abdul-Karim, New Haven Register
POSTED: 

NEW HAVEN >> Wilbur Cross High School senior Brianna Rigsbee has never experienced a viewing of a live theater performance.

That’s because she is legally blind.

But on Saturday, Rigsbee, 18, will have her chance to enjoy an audio description performance of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

“Youth with exceptional needs will no longer have feelings of isolation, they can create meaningful connections with their family, friends, and school community,” said Rigsbee’s mother, Angela Russell.

“And for the first time for most, they will able to follow a live performance and enjoy it for themselves,” said Russell.

The high school’s drama class is presenting the play at 7 p.m. from Thursday through Saturday. Tickets are $10 at the door.

Saturday’s performance will have a certified American Sign Language interpreter and audio descriptiopns for those with visual and hearing disabilities.

Creating Kids Connecticut Children’s Museum Director Sandra Malmquist said the inspiration for Saturday’s performance came from Rigsbee.

Read entire Article . . . . Fiddler

Spoken Word Poetry Event – Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum March 28th

March 27, 2015 in Community Events

 

 

WHEN – Saturday, March 28.  3-5 p.m.
WHERE – Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, located across the street from Union Station
                2 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, DC, 20002
CONTACT PERSON – Emily Murgia, 201-633-5528, postalmuseum.si.edu
ACCESSIBILITY – ASL Interpretation Provided
Spoken Word Poetry Event – Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum
Saturday, March 28 | 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Featuring Current World Champions of Youth Slam Poetry
Join us at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum on Saturday, March 28 as Split This Rock’s DC Youth Slam Team (SplitThisRock.com) performs spoken word poetry focusing on issues of social justice. The program is free and open to the public; no reservations are required.  ASL Interpretation provided.
The performance supports the museum’s new exhibit “Freedom Just Around the Corner: Black America from Civil War to Civil Rights,” (http://postalmuseum.si.edu/freedom/) the museum’s first exhibition devoted entirely to African American history and marks 150 years since the end of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery throughout the United States. The exhibition, open through Feb. 15, 2016, chronicles the African American experience through the perspective of stamps and mail.
Complimenting and extending the stories told in the Freedom exhibit, the DC Youth Slam Team highlights the writing, performance and public speaking skills of teens from all over the D.C. With these credentials, the team uses spoken word poetry to teach and empower youth to speak up about issues of social justice in grand fashion. A program of the nonprofit Split This Rock, the DC Youth Slam Team won 1st place at the 2014 Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival, making them the current world champions of youth slam poetry.

Art Signs this weekend: Gallery talks in ASL at Smithsonian American Art Museum

March 27, 2015 in Community Events

 

 

Join us at the Smithsonian American Art Museum on Sunday, March 29 at 1 p.m. for our next session of Art Signs gallery talks in ASL.  Art Signs guides Erikson Young and Elizabeth Henry will discuss paintings by Lily Furedi and Edward Hopper from our permanent collection installation, Experience America.

http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/archive/2015/experience_america

When:                  Sunday, March 29 at 1 p.m
Where: 
               Smithsonian American Art Museum
8th & F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

 

Meet at the F Street Information Desk

VAD Legislative Committee Report

March 27, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Disability Law, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

Thanks to: Virginia Association of the Deaf and Arva Priola.

VAD Legislative Committee Report

March 25, 2015 

The VAD Board were in favor of three bills below as noted at the VAD Board meeting in Roanoke, Saturday, January 24, 2015.

  1. There was a group of deaf people led by Arva Priola of Fredericksburg last Monday, January 19, at the General Assembly Building on the Capitol Square in Richmond.  The purpose of the visit was to meet some delegates or their legislative aides (about 14) for support to the House Bill 1956that involves hospitals in the Commonwealth.  The bill requires the Board of Health to include in regulations that each licensed hospital (1) develops a process for identifying patients who are deaf or hard of hearing and (2) takes steps to ensure that patients who are deaf or hard of hearing are able to effectively communicate with health care providers involved in their care.  We discussed with Delegate Robert Orrock, Sr., the patron of the bill, and asked him to include the deaf or hard of hearing caregivers in the bill. We also met Delegate Jennifer McClellan urging her to support the bill.  Supporters involved were Arva Priola, Tom Dowling, Star Grieser, Sallie Mae Pauley, Kathy Mutter, Otis Hill, and Gary Viall.

Updated:  Passed in the House 99 – Yes, 0 – No on 2/6/15 .
Passed in the Senate 38 –Yes, 0– No on 2/16/15.
Enrolled Bill communicated to Governor on 2/23/15; final Governor’s action by midnight on 3/30/15.
Approved by Governor on 3/16/15; the new law will become effective on 7/1/15.

  1. The second one is HB 1679by patron Delegate Richard Bell for information on services for students identified as hearing or visually impaired on the school division website.  The bill requires each local school board to annually post on the school division website information describing the educational and other services available through the VSDB, VHHDD, VDBVI and inform parents of its availability.  Current law requires distribution of physical copies of such information.

 Updated :  Passed in the House 98 – Yes, 0 – No on 2/5/15.
Passed  in the Senate 38 – Yes, 0 – No on 2/16/15.
Enrolled Bill communicated to Governor on 2/23/15; final Governor’s action by midnight on 3/30/15.
Approved by Governor on 3/10/15; the new law will become effective on 7/1/15. 

The third one is HB 2156 by patron Delegate K. Rob Krupicka for health insurance coverage for hearing aids and related professional services.  The bill requires health insurers, health maintenance organizations, and corporations providing health care coverage subscription contracts to provide coverage for hearing aids and other services prescribed or provided by a licensed audiologist. Past efforts to require insurance companies to provide coverage for hearing aids have not been successful.

Updated:  Left in the House Committee and Labor – no further action.

Hearing Health Foundation – March E-News – Closed Captions

March 27, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

HHF March E-News

Where in the World are my Closed Captions?

Have you noticed the recent buzz about closed-captioning? Just last week, the FCC introduced quality rules for closed captions (CC) on television: TV broadcasters and other video programming distributors now must ensure that captions meet the following quality standards:

  • Accuracy: Captions must be grammatically correct and provide essential non-verbal information.
  • Synchronicity: Captions must coincide as closely as possible with the audio.
  • Completeness: The entire program should be captioned.
  • Placement: Captions should be viewable, legible and not block important on-screen information.

While a great step forward for TV, the Internet still lags behind. In a recent Time article, Steve Friess a hearing impaired journalist wrote a complaint against the Internet’s inaccessibility for the deaf and hard of hearing. As Steve watched the live-stream unveiling of the new Apple Watch, he realized there were no captions and was frustrated because Apple is often admired for creating devices that break down barriers for people with disabilities. By not providing CC, millions of people with hearing loss could not watch the event in real-time. Next month, HHF is meeting with Apple executives to discuss ways they can offer support for people with hearing loss and promote prevention. If you have a message you would like us to share directly with Apple, please email us.

Similarly, The New York Times thinks requesting CC for NYT.com’s videos is “an extremely reasonable request” and plans to roll out CC in the coming months. To read about one person’s recent challenge with CC at the movies, check out a blog post
written by HHF Board Chair, Shari Eberts.

Other Articles In This Issue of HHF March E-News

The “Designer” Mouse
Where are my Closed Captions?
Make Listening Safe
HRP Transitions into Phase II
Use It Or Lose it!
Kidneys and Hearing Health

 

 

 

President Hurwitz Portrait Unveiling Ceremony – April 10th

March 27, 2015 in Community Events

 

 

Alumni’s Gift to Gallaudet University:

Event: President Hurwitz Portrait Unveiling Ceremony
Date: Friday, April 10th from 3 to 4:30 pm
Location: Gallaudet Museum–Chapel Hall.

Light reception to follow the ceremony.  

DOWNLOAD – LCCF GUAA_Hurwitz_Portrait_flyer

Meet the Easter bunny THIS Saturday! – Deaf Camps, Inc. Easter Party

March 26, 2015 in Community News

 

 

Deaf Camps, Inc. Easter Party

Saturday, March 28

easter basket5:00-7:30pm
*Easter egg hunt begins at 5:45pm.*
Christ Deaf Church
1040 S Beechfield Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21229All ages welcome!
Admission: $6 per person
Children under 12 will receive a FREE picture with the Easter Bunny.  Additional pictures $3 each.
Admission includes:

  • Pancake supper
  • Signing Easter Bunny
  • Easter egg hunt
  • Crafts
All proceeds will benefit Deaf Camps, Inc’s 2015 scholarship fund.
Logo small JPEG 4
Deaf Camps, Inc. is a volunteer-run non-profit organization dedicated to providing fun, safe, communication-rich camps that promote the physical, spiritual, and social development of Deaf/hard of hearing children and children learning American Sign Language.

 

Job Announcements: Disability Integration Advisor Positions

March 26, 2015 in Community News, Emergency Preparedness, Employment

 

 

Dear Colleagues,

The Office of Disability Integration and Coordination at FEMA is now accepting applications for two open positions: (1) Disability Integration Advisor; and (2) Disability Integration Advisor with a specialty in American Sign Language (ASL). The open period for these announcements is from Wednesday, March 25, 2015 to Saturday, April 25, 2015. For full information, including a description of duties, please review the job summaries below.

Apply using the following links via the USAJobs.gov portal:

  1. Disability Integration Advisor
  2. Disability Integration Advisor (American Sign Language Specialty)

If you have any questions, please contact Shannon Blair at shannon.blair@fema.dhs.gov or by phone number 800-879-6076.

Job TitleDisability Integration Advisor
Department: Department Of Homeland Security
Agency: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Job Announcement Number: FEMA-15-SB-020-RSV
Salary Range: $40.37 to $40.37 / Per Hour
Open Period: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 to Saturday, April 25, 2015
Series & Grade: AD-0301-00
Position Information: Temporary – Intermittent employment not to exceed 2 years
Duty Locations:  MANY vacancies – Location Negotiable After Selection, United States
Who May Apply: All United States Citizens
Security Clearance: Public Trust – Background Investigation
Supervisory Status: No

Duties:

As a Disability Integration Advisor in FEMA’s Reservist Program, some of the duties you will be responsible for include:

  • Participating as part of a team in facility site evaluation for Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) within 48 hours of a validated State’s request.
  • Working collaboratively and providing guidance to External Affairs, Community Relations, Individual Assistance, Recovery and other program areas that interface with the community.
  • Providing guidance for State and local governmental agencies to assist with ensuring people with disabilities and/or other access and functional needs, have equal access to programs and services.
  • In collaboration with Support Services Branch or designee, provides guidance & technical assistance to Individual Assistance, IT and Logistics staff to establish accessibility at Disaster Recovery Center locations.
  • Advising Support Services Branch and Equal Rights Advisors in the identification and evaluation of disability laws and regulations as they relate to space compliance in the various field locations.

Job TitleDisability Integration Advisor (American Sign Language Specialty)
Department: Department Of Homeland Security
Agency: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Job Announcement Number: FEMA-15-SB-019-RSV
Salary Range: $40.37 to $40.37 / Per Hour
Open Period: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 to Saturday, April 25, 2015
Series & Grade: AD-0301-00
Position Information: Temporary – Intermittent employment not to exceed 2 years
Duty Locations:  MANY vacancies – Location Negotiable After Selection, United States
Who May Apply: All United States Citizens
Security Clearance: Public Trust – Background Investigation
Supervisory Status: No

Duties:

As a Disability Integration Advisor (American Sign Language Specialty) in FEMA’s Reservist Program, you will be responsible for:

Providing American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation to meet the communications requirements of disaster survivors, FEMA employees, and the general public throughout emergency operations, programs and services while deployed to disasters.

Providing guidance regarding effective communication access in all phases of emergency response, recovery, mitigation and preparedness.

Providing interpreting services to achieve equal access to effective communication between Disability Integration Advisors, Disability Advisor Leads and Command and General Staff including:

  • Working collaboratively and providing guidance to Federal Coordinating Officer, Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator, External Affairs, Disaster Survivor Assistance, Individual Assistance, Recovery and other program areas that interface with the community.
  • Providing guidance for State and local governmental agencies to assist with ensuring people with disabilities have equal access to programs and services.
  • In collaboration with Support Services Branch or designee, provides guidance & technical assistance to Individual Assistance, Information Technology and Logistics staff to establish accessibility at Disaster Recovery Center and other field locations.