Deaf prisoner sues Onondaga County, NY over lack of sign-language interpreter at Justice Center

April 24, 2015 in Disability Law, Interpreting & Transliterating
By John O’Brien

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A deaf inmate is suing Onondaga County over the lack of any sign language interpreters at the Justice Center jail.

Joseph Williams, 39, sued the county in federal court last week, claiming the county is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by not providing an interpreter for him.

Williams has been totally deaf since birth, and learned to communicate only through American sign language, according to his lawsuit. He can’t read lips and has a limited ability to read and write, according to his lawyer, Josh Cotter of Legal Services of Central New York.

Williams has been at the Justice Center since November, when he was arrested on burglary charges related to a break-in at a Syracuse home in which copper pipes were stolen.

Read more . . . deaf inmate

Deaf Priorities in Cambodia: Planning for the Future

April 24, 2015 in Community News


National Geographic Society
Posted by Erin Moriarty Harrelson on April 24, 2015

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — By the end of the day, the lime green wall was covered with fluttering pieces of white copy paper, some with expressive drawings, others with words in Khmer script. Some of the paper was taped together in groups based on their thematic content. Tired participants sat in clusters, some checking Facebook, others chatting with friends from distant provinces they hadn’t seen in some time. It was a long but important day for deaf people in Cambodia.

On Tuesday, participants from three of the NGOs serving signing deaf people in Cambodia, Deaf Development ProgrammeEpic Arts and Krousar Thmey, gathered in a room in a large building around the corner from the entrance to S-21, the notorious Khmer Rouge prison. The purpose was a focus group to determine collective priorities for the next three years.

Read more  . . see pictures


Top Transportation Issues for People with Disabilities and Potential Solutions 

April 24, 2015 in Community News, Transportation


Wednesday, May 6, 2015 – 2:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern 
Donna Smith, Director of Training, Easter Seals Project Action Consulting
Kristi McLaughlin, Training and Technical Assistance Specialist II, Easter Seals Project Action Consulting

Easter Seals Project Action Consulting, an organization which helps community agencies find solutions to improve mobility for people with disabilities and their families, will present this free webinar which will address many of the main transportation issues that people with disabilities face today and answer these questions:

  • How do I find a ride?
  • What are the skills needed to use public transportation and where can I or my child gain this knowledge?
  • What are my rights and responsibilities regarding ADA complementary paratransit service?
  • What is an appropriate referral to ADA complementary paratransit or some other form of specialized transportation?

For more information and to register visit Mid-Atlantic ADA Center Training Calendar.



4 Game-Changing Technologies For The Deaf And Hard Of Hearing

April 23, 2015 in Community News



By Robert J. Szczerba 

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are more than 360 million people worldwide with a disabling hearing loss, including 32 million children and one-third of people over 65 years of age.  Hearing loss may result from genetic causes, complications at birth, certain infectious diseases, chronic ear infections, the use of particular drugs, exposure to excessive noise and aging.

One of the main impacts of hearing loss is on the individual’s ability to communicate with others, since spoken language development is often delayed in children with deafness.  Limited access to services and exclusion from communication can have a significant impact on everyday life, causing feelings of loneliness, isolation and frustration, particularly among older people with hearing loss.

Recent advances in technology have the potential to improve the quality of life for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.  Here’s a look at four products in this space that caught our attention.

Read more. . .  Technology Reveals That Americans Who Wear Hearing Aids May Not Be Aware Of Special Tax Deductions

April 23, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness


LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / April 22, 2015 / has revealed that while one in eight Americans has hearing loss and usually wear hearing aids, may not be aware of their rights in terms of tax deductions that are permitted by the IRS. Hearing aids are expensive medical devices and many across America who could be taking advantage of the allowed tax deductions for such medical expenses as hearing aids, hearing aid repairs, hearing aid batteries and the corresponding maintenance costs, are not claiming them simply because they don’t know about this. Thus, those who have these medical expenses may want to research all deductions available at the moment for those who are hearing impaired or hard of hearing.

Another possible reason that some people are not claiming these tax deductions is that medical expenses must total more than 10% of gross income when adjusted, although there are some exceptions to this rule. In some cases, repairs, batteries, and other additional requirements of hearing aid upkeep can be included in the costs. These can all be considered by the IRS along with telephone and television equipment that might be required to supply a normal range of hearing. encourages hearing aid users to check this list of qualifying medical expenses to better understand their rights for such deductions.

Read more  . . . tax deductions’s Guide to Employment

April 22, 2015 in Community News


Finding a job can be challenging, especially if you are just starting your career or have been out of work for a while. Fortunately, there are many programs and services available that connect people with disabilities to employment services that offer job training and help finding employment. Be sure to check out Disability.Blog’s employment related posts to learn about topics such as working from home and read the stories of people with disabilities who have made great strides in the workplace. And remember, it’s your ability, not your disability, that matters.’s Employment section offers a broad range of resources about finding a job. In addition, we have developed this guide to connect you with programs, services, government agencies and organizations that can help you find information about career planning and job trainingemployment laws and regulations and job accommodations and supports.

For information about starting or growing a small business, visit’s Guide to Self-Employment & Starting a Small Business.

SEE ALL RESOURCES > Goto’s Guide to Employment -



Osmond son using long-distance run to fund hearing aids for 25 Utah children

April 22, 2015 in Community News



KSL . com Utah
By Sam Penrod
April 16th, 2015

EPHRAIM — One of the second generation Osmonds, is gearing up for the biggest performance of his life.

But Justin Osmond won’t be singing, he will be running for donations to help 25 Utah children receive hearing aids.

If you want to talk to Osmond these days, you’ll have to keep up with him while he is running. He’s in the final two weeks of his training with plans to run from his hometown in Ephraim, to St. George — 250 miles in just eight days.

Facing that task, Osmond said, “This is by far the biggest challenge I have ever been through.”

Osmond is part of the famous Utah singing family but has never heard their music the way most everyone else does.

“I was born with a 90 percent hearing loss,” Osmond explained. “I am the only one of the second generation of the Osmond family who was born with this genetic hearing loss.”

Read more watch captioned video

New study finds genetic predisposition for noise-induced hearing loss

April 22, 2015 in Research



April 16, 2015

In a new genome-wide association study, an international team led by Keck Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) neuroscientists has found evidence that some people may be more genetically susceptible to noise-induced hearing loss than others.

Noise-induced  is one of the most common work-related illnesses in the United States, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. At especially high risk are troops in the Armed Forces. In 2013, the Department of Veterans Affairs reported hearing loss as one of the most common disabilities among veterans receiving disability compensation.

Those at higher, genetic risk for hearing loss may decide to take additional precautionary measures to protect their hearing prior to hazardous noise exposure, study authors say.

Read More  . . . noise-induced hearing loss

Related article  “Noise-related Hearing Loss Might be in Your Genes”



ReelAbilities Film Festival begins April 26! Buy Tickets Now!

April 22, 2015 in Community Events


Engage, empower and champion the lives, stories and artistic expressions
of people with different abilities.

Northern Virginia | District of Columbia | Maryland

 April 26 – May 3, 2015

The ReelAbilities Film Festival is part  of the largest film festival in the country dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of people with different abilities. Serving the Greater DC region, our 4th annual festival will entertain, provoke, challenge and reshape our conceptions and/or prejudices about disability, irrespective of race, religion or geography. Post-screening discussions and special programs will bring the community together to explore, embrace and advocate for our friends, neighbors, co-workers and families.
Please join us for this spectacular festival, held in only 14 cities in the US!

Learn More –

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention/Gallaudet University on April 25th

April 21, 2015 in Community Events



The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) in collaboration with Gallaudet University will host an Out of the Darkness Campus Walk on April 25th. We are creating awareness in the hope of preventing suicide in the Deaf Community.

Walk Date: 04/25/2015
Walk Location: Campus
Check-in/Registration Time: 04/25/2015 at 8:30 am
Walk Begins: 9:00 am
Walk Ends: 11:00 am

Online registration closes at noon (local time) the Friday before the walk. However, anyone who would like to participate can register in person at the walk from the time check-in begins until the walk starts. Walk donations are accepted until June 30, 2015.

Out of the Darkness Campus Walk Planning Committee, Gallaudet University

Read More  . . .

Opening Doors-Unlocking Potential 2015 Registration Open

April 21, 2015 in Community Events, Hearing Loss & Deafness

Opening Doors-Unlocking Potential 2015! 
Dual Language and Transition Challenges
Charlottesville, Va 
June 24-25, 2015

DOWNLOAD – ODUP 2015 Brochure

Please see and share the attached registration brochure for the Ninth Annual ODUP Professional Development Institute for Teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and all who work with students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing.

Featured speakers, Michael Douglas and Barbara Gerner de Garcia and additional presenters will provide teachers and educational professionals who work with  students who are d/hh with the opportunity to increase their knowledge and skills in developing multicultural sensitivity and learning to incorporate English language learning (ELL) theory and strategies in working with students who are d/hh of ethnically and linguistically diverse families.

Rachel Kolb’s keynote presentation and additional sessions will address the continuing need to provide strong self-determination skill development with students to ensure positive transition programming results.

To register, please go to: ODUP2015  and scroll to Registration Link.

Registration deadline is June 5, 2015.

Eligible VA Teachers of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing may receive lodging reimbursement for Wednesday, June 24.  A separate email will be sent to Virginia TODHH with further information.

Participants to ODUP 2015 may apply for one hour of graduate credit  through Radford University.

BUT WAIT. . .there’s more!  

#1  Participants interested especially in  Dual Language Learning for children who primarily communicate using listening and spoken language may continue with Michael for two in-depth sessions for an additional Short Course certificate which may be submitted by participants for ASHA and/or LSL credits.

#2 See information on the exciting Pre-session to ODUP 2015:

Opening Doors to Life Beyond High School 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

a premier event designed for Virginia’s rising 8th to rising 12th grade students who are deaf or hard of hearing, parents and educators  at    OD2LBHS2015

For complete details, please refer to the attached brochure and visit the ODUP 2015 website.  ODUP2015

Questions may be directed to Kristen Stahr ( or Ann Hughes (

Hope to see you in Charlottesville!

Arlington County Affordable Housing Needs Study Work Group Meeting

April 21, 2015 in Advocacy & Access


Thursday, April 23, 2015
Arlington County Affordable Housing Needs Study Work Group Meeting
Central Library, Auditorium
1015 N. Quincy Street
Arlington, VA

This is the monthly meeting of the work group that compiled the draft plan.  Public comment available at beginning of meeting from 6:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.


MWADB: May Picnic; Happy Anniversary to MWADB; Interpreting Workshop

April 21, 2015 in Community Events

May 2nd, 2015 Picnic


Last week for the registration! If you never attend our annual picnic, one of the most fabulous events, you cannot miss this one. Everyone is welcome to sign up for the May picnic as our annual tradition.

Date: May 2nd, 2015
Time: 11 am to 4 pm
Location: Savage Park
8400 Fair St.
Savage, MD 20763

Cost: Early bird price will be closed on April 24th – $15 for the Deafblind and guests $20 at door
Free for SSP that is assigned to a Deafblind member.

Transportation will be announced on April 26th.
Please email and for SSP and transportation related.
RSVP for the picnic at
If you have any question about the event please email


Happy Anniversary to MWADB

From Ann Black
Happy Anniversary to MWADB.
happy Anniversary to MWADB.
Happy 32th Anniversary to MWADB.
Happy Anniversary to MWADB.
MWADB was born on April 19, 1984. We wish it will continue forever.


Interpreting Applying Theater Techniques

When: May 2nd at 9:00am
Where: Interpreting Applying Theater Techniques Gallaudet, SAC 1011
800 Florida Ave, NE, Washington, DC 20002


Anyone is welcome to come to the workshop or meeting at no charge, but CEUs are only free to members, so be sure to check your membership status! Non-members can pay $35 to earn CEUs.


More information and online registration: Workshop & General Meeting: Interpreting Applying Theater Techniques


When you RSVP, please indicate you would like to participate via our online option or email Nicole Manuel at and we’ll set you up to participate.



After Fan Pressure, Netflix Makes ‘Daredevil’ Accessible To The Blind

April 19, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Disability Law, Technology



National Public Radio
APRIL 18, 2015

Netflix’s original series now have a superhero among them. Comic fans know Daredevil as a crusader. He’s a Marvel character who, in addition to his superhuman abilities, has a very human disability: blindness.

Needless to say, Daredevil has quite a few fans with visual impairments — and they were looking forward to the show.

But until this week, Netflix had no plans to provide the audio assistance that could have helped those fans follow the show.

The FCC requires broadcasters to provide audio descriptions of many programs so blind people can enjoy TV along with everyone else.

But Netflix isn’t a broadcaster — it’s an Internet-based service. And they didn’t plan to provide that audio.

In other words, the superhero would not have been able to enjoy his own program.

Robert Kingett, a journalist and activist in Chicago, is a fan of Daredevil. He’s blind and also lives with cerebral palsy. And when he learned the show wouldn’t have audio descriptions, Kingett recalls, “I said, ‘Well, that’s just utterly insane.’ ”

Read more  . . . Netflix




ReSound® Develops First Hearing Aid App for Apple Watch

April 17, 2015 in Technology


ADDING MULTIMEDIA ReSound® Develops First Hearing Aid App for Apple Watch

Business Wire
April 15, 2015

COPENHAGEN, Denmark–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, ReSound introduced the first hearing aid app designed specifically for Apple Watch. Available immediately to Apple Watch wearers, the ReSound Smart™ app for Apple Watch offers a new, streamlined user experience, allowing users to take advantage of seamless, on-the-go control, right from their wrist. The ReSound Smart app for Apple Watch marks the latest of the company’s efforts to bring forward-looking solutions and greater levels of empowerment to people seeking to take control over their hearing loss.

Through the ReSound Smart app for Apple Watch, users have access to the same level of intuitive Smart Hearing personalization they have come to expect from ReSound, putting the app’s most-used features directly on their wrist. Through the app, users can:

  • Set preferred volume levels
  • Adjust treble and bass settings
  • Change audio profiles as they move though different sound environments
  • View at-a-glance details about their hearing aids, including the sound profile in use

Read more  . . . Hearing Aid App for Apple Watch