NVRC Holiday Hours

December 22, 2014 in Community News, NVRC Announcements



NVRC will be closed on the following days:

Wednesday 12/24 thru Sunday 12/28
Wednesday 12/31 thru Sunday 1/4/2015 reopening on Monday 1/5/2015


Popular Christmas gift leading to teen hearing loss

December 19, 2014 in Community News



Dec 16, 2014
By: Jenny You – Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) — Trendy earbuds like Beats by Dr. Dre and Bose top many Christmas  lists this year. But depending on how your kids use them, they may be doing more damage than good.

Earbuds place sound deeper into the ear canal and with more kids listening for longer periods of time, Sacred Heart Hospital audiologist Dr. Shawna Lee, AuD says you can take some easy  steps to educate and help your kids avoid hearing loss.

“I think just the prevalence of children and younger and younger individuals using earphones longer and for higher doses of time is where concern is setting in,” said Lee.

She said the problem is that kids are wearing these earphones at loud volumes when they’re going to school, in the car , at the gym, at home, etc.

In fact, at UW-Eau Claire, it was hard to find a student without them.

UWEC Football  player Jon Wilkins said having headphones helps him drown out the already loud music and noise in the gym.

“I guess having headphones helps . I usually play my music like pretty loud,” said Wilkins.

Lee said when you’re working out  at the gym or running on a treadmill, you might turn up the level of your iPod because you want to hear your music above the running and the noise in the gym.

“If you were to turn that on in a quiet environment, it would sound way too loud to you and it’s tricky because the brain adapts to that level of sound and almost thinks it’s okay to listen at that high level,” said Lee.

Read More – Watch Captioned Video

Congress Passes ABLE Act: Major Victory for Persons with Disabilities & Their Families

December 19, 2014 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Disability Law



Posted from National Disability Institute 
Thank you to BH-News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

(Washington, D.C. – Dec. 17, 2014) – Last night, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014 by a vote of 76 to 16. First introduced in 2006, and subsequent sessions of Congress, the ABLE Act will allow people with disabilities (with an age of onset up to 26 years old) and their families the opportunity to create a tax-exempt savings account that can be used for maintaining health, independence and quality of life.

“Today marks a new day in our country’s understanding and support of people with disabilities and their families,” Michael Morris, National Disability Institute (NDI) Executive Director, said. “A major victory for the disability community, ABLE, for the very first time in our country’s policy on disability, recognizes that there are added costs to living with a disability.” He continued. “For far too long, federally imposed asset limits to remain eligible for critical public benefits have served as a roadblock toward greater financial independence for the millions of individuals living with a disability.”

NDI has long championed the ABLE Act as a critical strategy to providing a pathway to a better economic future for all people with disabilities. As the nation’s first nonprofit dedicated to improving the financial health and future of all people with disabilities, the organization has extensively documented and called attention to the daily reality and extra expenses associated with living with a disability, and the challenges of navigating the complex web of government rules to maintain public benefits eligibility.

In recognition of this unprecedented legislation, NDI has created a list of 10 items about ABLE accounts that individuals with disabilities and their families should know:

ABLE Accounts: 10 Things You Must Know

  1. What is an ABLE account?

Read More  . . .



Happy Holidays for HoHs – By Gael Hannan

December 19, 2014 in Community News



Hearing Health & Technology Matters
By Gael Hannan
December 16, 2014

Whoo hoo!  Christmas is almost here—and so are Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the Winter Solstice!  The excitement and sparkle, the food and wine, the gifts, the spirituality, the music!  Activities to share, beauty to both see  and hear….

Sheesh, it was all good until that last point—the bit about hearing. The season is supposed to be one of joy, but for some people it brings on ‘holiday blues’.  And for people who have hearing loss, who are hard of hearing, no other holiday season drives home the hard and loss like this one.  The calendar is jammed, or at least busier than usual, with parties and dinners, TV specials, church events, and concerts—most of which present some degree of communication challenge for people who don’t hear well.

Around now, many hearing loss-related organizations publish articles on how to survive—even enjoy—the holidays with hearing loss, and I guess this one of them.  All these  articles and blogs offer heaps of great hints on accessible communication and what we should do to avoid becoming too stressed out—or cut out of important holiday events. Sitting on the sidelines of conversations is no fun and can turn joy into pain.  And that’s not the seasonal spirit we’re aiming for, right?  Every year I write to Santa about this.  In 2011, 2012 and 2013, I asked for thoughtful gifts to give a hearing boost to me and my people (the ones living with the hard and loss).

But I’m finally getting a little smarter about Santa (see below) – and in addition to the many lists of jolly-holiday hearing DOs, I would like to offer a few holiday DON’Ts, because you don’t want hearing loss to be the defining memory of your 2014 holidays.

Read More . . .

Arlington approves 60 new wheelchair-accessible taxicabs

December 19, 2014 in Advocacy & Access



The Washington Post
By Patricia Sullivan
December 13

Sixty new wheelchair-accessible taxicabs, most operated by a new company with a fleet of vans serving people with disabilities, won the right Saturday to operate in Arlington County.

The County Board agreed to award 50 certificates to the new All Access Taxi company and 10 to Blue Top Cab. All Access officials say it is the first all-wheelchair-
accessible cab company in the region. They plan to have their first vehicles on the road by February, with most operating by April.

The action increases the number of wheelchair-accessible taxis available to Arlington customers from 37 to 97.

Read More . . .

Feds Inch Closer To Disability Hiring Goal

December 19, 2014 in Community News, Employment



Disability Scoop
 December 15, 2014

The federal government added people with disabilities to its payroll at a higher rate last year than at any other time in the last three decades.

More than 16,000 people with disabilities were hired by the U.S. government during fiscal year 2013, according to a new report from the Office of Personnel Management. That brought the total number of federal workers with disabilities to 234,395.

“This success has led to more people with disabilities (on board) in federal service, both in real terms and by percentage than at any time in the past 33 years,” wrote Katherine Archuleta, director of the Office of Personnel Management in her report to President Barack Obama.

By September 2013, people with disabilities accounted for 12.8 percent of federal employees, an increase of nearly 1 percent over the prior year, the report said.

At the same time, the number of workers with targeted disabilities — including intellectual disabilities, epilepsy, deafness, blindness, paralysis, missing extremities, dwarfism and psychiatric disabilities — also ticked up slightly to 18,665, federal officials said.

Read More  . . .

Management of Hearing Loss Prevention in Live Entertainment

December 19, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research



Robert M. Ghent Jr., AuD
December 15, 2014

Editor’s Note: This text course is an edited transcript of a live webinar. Download supplemental course materials.

Dr. Robert Ghent: Today I’m going to discuss management of hearing loss prevention in live entertainment. I’ll cover why this area has not been more recognized and what opportunities are available for audiologists. I’ll also talk about what management of hearing loss means in the live entertainment industry. Live entertainment includes sporting events, racing events, and concerts of all types, not just rock and roll, but the primary focus today is on music events.

I work for Honeywell Safety Products. Many of the pictures in your handout are of Honeywell products because I have easy access to those images, but there are other products that are included as well. The use of these images does not constitute an endorsement any of these products. I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge Mr. Nick Mayne of the Canterbury City Council in Kent, England, for providing me with some data from a study that I’ll be discussing. Additionally, portions of this presentation were previously presented at the 47th Conference of the Audio Engineering Society (AES), on Music-Induced Hearing Loss in 2012, as well as at the 38th Annual National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA) Conference in 2013.


In 1964, the Beatles came to the United States and performed at Shea Stadium. Few fans could hear them, and the Beatles could not hear themselves well because the audience was so loud. There was a problem with getting sound distributed over a crowd of screaming people that large. In the ensuing 10 years, we significantly advanced the technology of concert sound reinforcement.

When I was a senior in high school, I got a job at Tycobrahe Sound Company. They were contracted to provide the sound for a large festival show, second only to Woodstock at the time. So, in 1974, we did The California Jam. A magazine article covering this show touted 54,000 watts of audio power. We generated 105 dB SPL a mile away, and we were awed by such a great achievement. Can you imagine how loud it had to be in front of the speaker tower in order to measure 105 dB SPL at one mile down wind?  This is how I started my career.

Problem Statement

Hearing conservation has never been a part of the live entertainment culture, despite knowledge of the problems and risks. The entertainment industry knows there are some regulations, but those typically apply to brick-and-mortar industries, and entertainment does not know how to apply them in their own industry. Fortunately, we see this starting to change, and this is a good opportunity for audiologists to do something to help this industry.

Read More  . . .


Job Announcement: Disability Integration Advisor – ASL Specialty

December 17, 2014 in Emergency Preparedness, Employment



Dear Colleagues,

The Office of Disability Integration and Coordination at FEMA is now accepting applications for a Disability Integration Advisor position with an American Sign Language (ASL) specialty. The open period for this announcement is from Monday, December 15, 2014 to Thursday, January 15, 2015.  To apply for this position or for full information, including key requirements and a description of duties, please click the following link to access the job announcement through USAJobs.govhttps://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/389257100.

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

Job Title: Disability Integration Advisor (American Sign Language Specialty)
Department: Department Of Homeland Security
Agency: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Job Announcement Number: FEMA-15-SB-011-RSV

Salary Range
: $39.97 to $39.97 / Per Hour
Open Period: Monday, December 15, 2014 to Thursday, January 15, 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

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.

FCC Invites Comment on Proposed Requirements for Video Programmer Registration and Certification

December 17, 2014 in Community News



On December 15, 2014, the FCC released a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (2nd FNPRM) to invite comment on several issues that relate to ensuring quality captioning of video programming on television.  The questions in this 2nd FNPRM include:

  • Should video programmers be required to file contact information and certification of captioning compliance with the FCC?
  • How can video programmer contact information and certifications be made widely available to the public?

Comments and reply comments due dates will be announced after this 2nd FNPRM is published in the Federal Register.

The links for the 2nd FNPRM are as follows:

Word:                 https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-14-206A1.docx
Adobe:                https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-14-206A1.pdf
Text:                    https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-14-206A1.txt

For additional information, contact Eliot Greenwald, Disability Rights Office, at (202) 418-2235,eliot.greenwald@fcc.gov, or call the ASL Consumer Support Line, at (844) 432-2275 via direct videophone.  For more information about the requirements for closed captioning of video programming on television, please visit:  http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/closed-captioning-video-programming-television.

Portland Captioning Proposal Receives Enthusiastic PCOD Support

December 17, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Technology



PORTLAND, OR December 16, 2014, Spokespersons for Portland: Turn on the Captions Now! (PTCN) David Viers and Jim House co-presented about PTCN’s efforts to require all television sets in public places within the city to the Portland Commission on Disability (PCOD) at its regular meeting on Friday, December 12, 2014. The presentation was followed by a few questions, and concluded with a resounding vote of support by the Commission.

In the presentation, David and Jim reviewed the advantages of captioning, and the lack thereof on many television sets in public places like restaurants, bars, gyms, waiting rooms, libraries and other places where people watch television outside the homes. However, many public places have become proactive in turning on the captions, simply because of the noisy environment and the fact that customers need a way to know what is being said during newscasts, sports games, and emergency announcements.

There are similar laws in San Francisco and the State of Maryland. Portland has the opportunity to take the lead and become a Model City for Individuals with Disabilities according to Portland City Council member Amanda Fritz, who is introducing the ordinance for consideration by the Portland City Council. The San Francisco ordinance required captioning at all times, but limited the scope of coverage to government facilities and sponsored events such as outdoor movies in a park. The Maryland law expanded the scope of coverage to include private businesses, but the requirement is effective only when a customer or patron makes a request, which is often unfruitful because of so-called technical difficulties or staff inexperience. The City of Portland can expand on the merits of both prior legislations while crafting its ordinance. The primary goal of enforcement would be to educate businesses of their obligations and to empower consumers by making them aware of their rights to access information on television.

After the presentation, there were some questions regarding Spanish captioning and theatrical movie captioning. At the end, the PCOD voted unanimously to support the concepts and looks forward to helping PCTN move the captioning proposal forward.


“With the passage of this ordinance, Portland will show everyone – both citizens and visitors — that this is a city that is welcoming to everyone, regardless of abilities or disabilities,” exclaimed Carol Studemund, who helped initiate this grassroot effort.  Carol is the founder and president of LNS Captioning, serves on the captioning committee of National Court Reporters Association, is chair of the Mt. Hood Cable Regulatory Commission, and also with Portland Community Media.


“With the help of PCTN, Portland has this opportunity to take the lead and blaze new trails in accessibility where everyone has full and equal access to vital information on televisions anywhere and everywhere,” proclaimed Jim House, a technology accessibility specialist who spearheaded this effort with Ms. Studenmund.  A native of Portland, Jim also serves on the accessibility committee of National Emergency Numbering Association and recently relocated here after spending more than 15 years with Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. in Washington, D.C. promoting accessible technologies for people with hearing disabilities at the Federal Communications Commission and other consumer, government, and industry forums.


“This proposed ordinance to turn on the captions on televisions in every public place will enhance the quality of life for both non-hearing and hearing people in the City of Roses,” said David Viers, an advocate for people who are hard of hearing who lends a hand promoting this effort .  Viers is a semi-retired nonprofit administrator with experience in two centers for people who are deaf and hard of hearing.


Grateful appreciation is due to the following consumer organizations for their support:

  • Oregon Association of the Deaf
  • Hearing Loss Association of America – Oregon State Association (HLAA-OR)
  • Oregon Communications Access Project (OR-CAP), a local grassroot advocacy group that is credited with implementing captioning at the Oregon Shakespearean Festival, University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Portland Trail Blazers, and other venues.


To support our efforts and be informed with updates of future developments, go to:


Jim House


Nanoplug invisible hearing aid looks like an eraser

December 16, 2014 in Community News, Technology



Slash Gear
Dec 12, 2014

If you have ever known anyone that had to wear a hearing aid, you probably remember them as bulky beige devicesthat protrude obviously from the ear. A new hearing aid has been unveiled that claims to be the world’s smallest. In fact the Nanoplug is so small its makers claim that it is invisible once inside the ear.

Nanoplug is an instant fit hearing aid that works for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. It measures in at 7.1mm x 5.7mm x 4.17mm making it smaller than a typical coffee bean or peanut. In addition to helping people hear conversations, the Nanoplug is also suitable for use with mobile phones.

Read More  . . .

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Leading disability advocate leaves Senate

December 16, 2014 in Advocacy & Access, Community News



The Hill
December 12, 2014
By Ramsey Cox

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who authored the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), bid farewell to the Senate after 30 years of service.

Harkin said government is about “giving hope to the hopeless.”

“I believe when I make it to the top, one of our government’s prime responsibilities is to leave the ladder down for others to follow,” Harkin said on the Senate floor Friday. “There needs to be rungs in that ladder, and that’s what government is for.

Harkin said no matter how hard some people tried, they still weren’t able to make it up that ladder, so Congress “built them a ramp” called the ADA.

The chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has been the leading advocate in the Senate for people with disabilities, especially since Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) passed away.

“His legacy is secure,” ranking member Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said. “It will be a long time until there is a greater champion for Americans with disabilities.”

The senator used the sign language symbol for “I love you” to describe how he felt about the Senate. He also said he wanted to leave the Senate by teaching everyone the sign for “America.” Harkin’s brother is deaf.

“Put your fingers together like that and move it in circles in front of your body. That’s it pages, you’ve got it,” Harkin said. “This is the sign for America.”

Harkin announced his retirement nearly two years ago. Since then, he pushed the Senate to vote on an increase in the federal minimum wage, student loan reforms and the authorization of a U.N. disability treaty. Republicans blocked those efforts. He said Congress should still work on these issues, in addition to increasing employment for people with disabilities, expanding Social Security and creating a public exchange as part of the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare.



Access Fairfax from Fairfax County Disability Services: Bus Stop Accessibility

December 16, 2014 in Community News




Bus Stop Accessibility Information Now Available on Metro’s Trip Planner

Metro has added a bus stop accessibility feature to its online Trip Planner. This feature will enable customers to be informed about the accessibility features of every bus stop served by Metrobus.  By using the new feature, riders can learn whether a bus stop has a shelter or bench, the availability of nearby crosswalks and curb ramps, and more.

To utilize Metro’s new bus stop accessibility feature, simply click on any Metro bus stop that appears in a Trip Planner itinerary, and it will give you a comprehensive checklist of all the accessible features offered at that bus stop.

To subscribe to Access Fairfax: disabilityservices@listserv.FairfaxCounty.gov.

NVAD General Meeting – Saturday, January 10, 2015

December 12, 2014 in Community News

Northern Virginia Association of the Deaf (NVAD)

Saturday, January 10, 2015 10:00 AM—12:00 PM

Reuben I. Altizer Meeting Room
Northern Virginia Resource Center (NVRC)
3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130 Fairfax, VA 22030

General Meeting and Swearing in of New Officers for 2015 Term

DOWNLOAD – NVAD General Meeting – Flyer

Hello Everyone,

NVAD want to make announcement to share with you regarding NVAD General Meeting – Saturday, January 10, 2015. Also, there will be swearing in of New Officers for 2015 Term. Hope to see you there……

Joan Corley

For more information, contact
NVAD President Donna Graff Viall: missgraffie@gmail.com

AZ State Journalism Student Launches Ground-breaking Deaf & Hearing Network

December 12, 2014 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Technology



Posted by 
Friday, December 12, 2014

Inspiration alert: A journalism student at Arizona State University launched and maintains a trailblazing news operation known as the Deaf and Hearing Network.

According to a Downtown Devil report
, DHN is “the first news broadcast to combine speaking, signing and captions.” As the network’s About page confirms, “We will give millions of deaf and hard of hearing people — as well as hearing, American Sign Language students, interpreters and generally curious people — a way to get news in the language they prefer.”


ASU junior Peyton Gallovich started DHN in January. Over the past 11 months, the DHN team has amassed more than 1,500 subscribers, 4,000 Facebook page likes, 140 videos and 150,000 total viewers.

For Gallovich, the professional metrics are built atop a personal passion for ASL and combining the deaf and hearing worlds. As she tells the Devil, “DHN is a great resource for becoming aware of deaf issues. We often take deaf issues and give them a hearing perspective and vice versa. … TV news or written news can be hard for [deaf] students to understand because they are still learning English as a second language. By giving them news in ASL they can be aware of their world in their language.”

Watch video learn more  . . .