NATO issues ‘landmark’ access recommendations for hearing disabled to DOJ

November 25, 2014 in Advocacy & Access, Captioning / Relay, Community News

 

 

L.A. NIZ
Nov 24, 2014
Annlee Ellingson Staff Writer- L.A. Biz

More than 38 million Americans have a hearing disability, according to the Los Angeles Times. And while 70 percent of Americans go to the movies at least once per year, only one-third of the deaf and hearing-impaired do. That’s more than 14 million potential movie tickets that go unsold.

Such data makes for a strong case for movie theaters to install captioning equipment for hearing-disabled guests — as does avoiding costly lawsuits levied by advocacy groups. But such accommodations can be expensive — $3,000 to nearly $40,000 depending on the size of the theater, the Times estimates. So the National Association of Theatre Owners, along with four deaf and hard-of-hearing advocacy groups, is negotiating with the Department of Justice to make sure such an investment would be equitably distributed among its members.

For example, the joint recommendation agrees that all digital screens should be installed with closed-captioning (CC) and audio-description (AD) technologies. However, the DOJ has proposed a fixed formula for the number of CC display units based on the number of seats in a theater complex, regardless of the venue’s actual attendance or the number of deaf and hard-of-hearing people in the vicinity. The NATO document instead recommends establishing a minimum device requirement — 12 units for a theater with 16 or more screens — and then monitoring demand every six months, requiring display units at a rate of 150 percent of average weekend consumer demand.

Read entire Article  . . .

 

South Dakota helps purchase hearing aids for children

November 25, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

Rapid City Journal , SD
November 23, 2014

PIERRE | The South Dakota Department of Human Services (DHS) has launched a program to provide financial assistance for the purchase of hearing aids for children.

DHS is prepared to begin accepting applications for services for the new Hearing Aid Assistance Program. The aim of the program is to promote the healthy development of South Dakota children who are hard of hearing and would benefit from hearing aids by providing financial assistance.

“Hearing loss may cause problems in language development and the educational and social growth in a child,” said DHS Secretary Gloria Pearson. “In addition, many health insurance plans do not cover hearing aids. This means families often incur the entire cost of hearing aids for children.”

The Hearing Aid Assistance Program will help purchase hearing aids and associated ear molds for South Dakota children, younger than 19, with progressive or permanent hearing loss who would benefit from hearing aids. The individual must not have received a hearing aid from this program or S.D. Medicaid within three years prior to the date of application. The program is open to families with a household income of less than 400 percent of federal poverty guidelines, and it operates on a sliding-fee schedule, contributing anywhere from half to the entire cost.

The Hearing Aid Assistance Program will begin accepting applications Dec. 1. Applications will be available online at dhs.sd.gov, can be picked up at many audiologist offices across the state, or can be mailed upon request by calling 800-265-9684.

“The DRS Hearing Aid Assistance Program has the potential to help a lot of South Dakota children with hearing loss and their families,” said DRS Director Eric Weiss. “We are pleased to be able to help fill a need that has been identified in South Dakota.”

The South Dakota Department of Human Services’ mission is to enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities, in partnership with its stakeholders, through the programs and services offered by its divisions. Learn more by visiting the department’s website, dhs.sd.gov, and viewing the DHS Strategic Plan.

Read Article  . . .

World-renowned audiologist Marion Downs dies at age 100

November 25, 2014 in Community News

 

 

By Joanne Davidson
The Denver Post
11/23/2014

In 1963, when Marion Downs was working as an audiologist at a new otolaryngology clinic in what was then the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, she created an infant hearing screening program that has since been adopted by hospitals nationwide.

Today, 96 percent of all babies born in the U.S. are tested within hours of their birth, and those with impairments can be fitted with hearing aids during their first few weeks of life. This helps avoid the speech and language development problems associated with childhood hearing loss.

Downs also trained peers throughout the world in pediatric audiology, authored numerous articles and books, and lectured extensively. The  Marion Downs Center  continues her pioneering work.

But it’s her spunk that people will remember.  Downs died of natural causes Nov. 13 in Dana Point, Calif. She was 100.

“Heaven can wait!” she exclaimed  in 2011 when she accepted the prestigious Bonfils-Stanton Award for Science and Medicine. And on Jan. 26,  when she celebrated her 100th birthday at a gala headlined by Donny Osmond.

Jerry Northern, her friend and colleague of 40 years, ended his tribute by recalling one of Downs’ favorite lines: “Live for today, plan for tomorrow, but let’s party tonight!”

Marion Pfaender Downs was born Jan. 26, 1914, in New Ulm, Minn. She received degrees in political science and English from the University of Minnesota, a master’s degree in audiology from the University of Denver, and honorary doctorates from the University of Colorado, University of Northern Colorado and University of Arizona School of Health Sciences. In 2006, she was inducted into the  Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame. The nearly 100 articles and books she has published cover various aspects of audiology — and the pre-eminent textbook “Hearing in Children,” which she wrote with Northern, has been translated into several foreign languages.

Read More  . . .

REAL-TIME TRANSLATION SERVICE NOW AVAILABLE VIA iPAD at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Ashburn, VA

November 25, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Community News

 

 

St. Theresa Catholic Church in Ashburn, VA:  HOMILY REAL-TIME TRANSLATION SERVICE NOW AVAILABLE VIA iPAD – Are you not hearing the Sunday mass homily as well as you’d like?  Especially for the hearing impaired and deaf but open to all, you now have an amazing option to receive the Sunday mass homily, prayers of the faithful, and announcements via real-time translation (CART service) directly to your iPAD during mass!  St. Theresa parishioner and professional court reporter Donna L. Linton has volunteered to provide the service (just like closed captioning on your television).  Please contact Donna at CARTsttheresa@aol.com for information on mass times and how to join in.

NVAD Holiday Dinner – Sat. Dec. 13, 2014

November 21, 2014 in Community Events

 

Northern Virginia Association of the Deaf (NVAD)

Saturday, December 13, 2014 5:30 PM
Dolce Vita Italian Restaurant 10824 Fairfax Blvd. (Lee Hwy) Fairfax, VA 22030
(Across from Breezeway Motel & near Paul VI Catholic High School)

Please RSVP by Thursday, December 11th to Laura Bray at guardez@gmail.com
(Please put subject line “NVAD” in email)
Dress Code: Nice Casual

$10.00 GIFT CARD EXCHANGE
Please contact Jeanne Lavelle for name of stores & restaurants (please no Electronic stores) to prevent duplicates.
VP: 571-350-8029 or Email: jalavelle17@gmail.com

For more information about NVAD, see on www.vad.org/nvad.html

DOWNLOAD – NVAD Holiday Dinner Flyer

Stephanie Ulmer Joins Hamilton Relay and VDDHH

November 21, 2014 in Community News

vddhh 08hamilton relay

 

Stephanie Ulmer Joins Hamilton Relay and VDDHH
as Virginia Relay Captioned Telephone Outreach Coordinator

Ulmer will promote CapTel services for Virginians who are Hard of Hearing

RICHMOND, VA. – The Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH) and Hamilton Relay, Virginia’s captioned telephone (CapTel®) service provider, recently announced that Stephanie Ulmer has been hired as Virginia Relay Captioned Telephone Outreach Coordinator. In her new position, Stephanie will provide outreach support and education services for the entire Commonwealth of Virginia to raise awareness of the CapTel services available through Virginia Relay. Virginia Relay is a free public service that enables people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or who have difficulty speaking to place and receive telephone calls.

DOWNLOAD – Virginia_Rela_Stephanie_Ulmer_Announcement

AGB, ALDA, HLAA, NAD & NATO – Joint Recommendations to the Department of Justice

November 21, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Community News, Technology

 

 

Alexander Graham Bell Association
Association of Late-Deafened Adults
Hearing Loss Association of America
National Association of the Deaf
National Association of Theatre Owners

Joint Recommendations to the Department of Justice RIN 1190-AA63, CRT Docket No. 126

Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations – Movie Theatres: Movie Captioning and Audio Description

READ DOCUMENT  – Joint Recommendations to the Department of Justice

Read Press Release 11/21/14 – DOWNLOAD – Joint Press Release (PDF)

View the live press conference Archive from Friday 11/21 from 10-11 AM EST

Join ALDA at the Movie Captioning Webcast-Friday 11/21/14-10-11AM EST

November 20, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Community News, Technology

 

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advocacy Groups and Movie Theater Owners
Joint Press Conference on Movie Captioning

National Press Club, Washington D.C.

November 21, 2014
10:00 – 11:00am ET

– WATCH Webcast –
View the live press conference Archive from Friday 11/21 from 10-11 AM EST

Read Press Conference Announcement

(Washington, D.C. – 21 November 2014) The Alexander Graham Bell Association (AG Bell), the Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA), the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), and the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) today announced an agreement to file joint recommendations with the Department of Justice regarding its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on captioning equipment in U.S. movie theaters.

DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING ADVOCACY GROUPS AND THEATER OWNERS ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCE AGREEMENT TO MAKE JOINT RECOMMENDATIONS TO DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ON ADA RULE FOR MOVIE THEATERS 

Commitments To Voluntary Actions To Improve Access Also Outlined

(Washington, D.C. – 21 November 2014) The Alexander Graham Bell Association (AG Bell), the Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA), the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), and the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) today announced an agreement to file joint recommendations with the Department of Justice regarding its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on captioning equipment in U.S. movie theaters.

After several weeks of discussions, the five organizations agreed on a set of recommendations (attached) to the DOJ to improve access to movies for deaf and hard of hearing patrons.

Read entire Press Release – DOWNLOAD – Joint Press Release (PDF)

 

 

EEOC Lawsuit Against FedEx Ground on behalf of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing

November 20, 2014 in Disability Law, Transportation

 

 

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently filed a nationwide lawsuit against FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. (“FedEx Ground”) alleging that FedEx Ground discriminated against deaf or hard-of-hearing Package Handlers or applicants for the Package Handler position in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  EEOC alleges that FedEx Ground violated the ADA by, for example, failing to provide deaf or hard-of-hearing Package Handler applicants or employees with effective communication accommodations during the hiring process, in orientation and training, and for work-related meetings and communications.   You can find more information about this lawsuit at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/10-10-14.cfm.

We are attempting to reach deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals nationwide who may have applied for, or worked as, a Package Handler with FedEx Ground and who may be covered by the lawsuit.  We would appreciate your assistance in circulating information about this lawsuit to your members, including by posting about it on your website and including it in newsletters, e-mails, or other communications with your members.  In notifying your members about this lawsuit, we ask that you include the following link – http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/litigation/fedex.cfm – which contains an ASL informational video about the lawsuit.  Persons who think they are covered by the lawsuit should contact the EEOC by e-mailing fedexgroundlawsuit@eeoc.gov or by leaving a message, through Video Relay Service, at 215-440-2670.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank You.
___________________________

Thomas D. Rethage, Jr.
Senior Trial Attorney
U.S. Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission
801 Market St., Suite 1300
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3127
Ph: 215.440.2683
Fax: 215.440.2848

 

 

Fairfax County Events & Volunteer Opps for Older Adults -December 2014

November 20, 2014 in Community News

 

 

EVENTS:

Fairfax County presents Medicare 101.  Dec. 03, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.  Join us for this free event and learn the facts about health insurance for seniors.  No registration necessary.  McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Avenue, McLean.  For more information visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dfs/olderadultservices/vicap.htm or call 703-790-0123, TTY 711.

Fairfax County is offering a free Telephone Support Group for Family Caregivers of Older Adults.  Dec 9, 7-8 p.m.  Join us to discuss “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly — Caregiving with Family and Friends.”   This telephone support group may be just what you need!  Share your experiences, gain support and get important information without having to travel.  The one-hour free sessions are scheduled for the second Tuesday of each month.  Find out more and register atwww.fairfaxcounty.gov/dfs/olderadultservices/ and click on Free 2014 Fall Caregiver Seminars. 

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES:

The Kingstowne Center for Active Adults in Alexandria needs a Van Driver to take participants on outings and an ESL Teacher.  For these and other volunteer opportunities, call 703-324-5406, TTY 711 or visitwww.fairfaxcounty.gov/olderadults and click on Volunteer Solutions.

Meals on Wheels needs drivers in Chantilly, Clifton, McLean and Falls Church on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Substitute drivers needed throughout the county.  For these and other volunteer opportunities, call 703-324-5406, TTY 711 or visit  www.fairfaxcounty.gov/olderadults and click on Volunteer Solutions.

The Wakefield Senior Center in Annandale needs a Chair Exercise InstructorSpanish-speaking interpreters, anExperienced Canasta Player to teach participants, and certified instructors for classes in Ballroom Dance and Pilates.  Volunteer instructor positions could lead to part-time employment.  For these and other volunteer opportunities, call703-324-5406, TTY 711 or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/olderadults and click on Volunteer Solutions.

Fairfax County needs volunteers to drive older adults to medical appointments and wellness programs; urgent need in Reston area.  For these and other volunteer opportunities, call 703-324-5406, TTY 711 or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/olderadults and click on Volunteer Solutions.

The Annandale Adult Day Health Care Center in Annandale needs Spanish-speaking social companions and a licensed hair stylist to wash, cut and style hair for participants.  For these and other volunteer opportunities, call 703-324-5406, TTY 711 or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/olderadults and click on Volunteer Solutions.

The Hollin Hall Senior Center in Alexandria needs a DJ to provide a wide array of music from ballroom to line dancing, aBallroom Dance Instructor and volunteer with basic carpentry skills to build a “Little Free Library,” for people to donate and borrow books from.  Center will provide plans and materials.  For these and other volunteer opportunities, call 703-324-5406, TTY 711 or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/olderadults and click on Volunteer Solutions.

The Sully Senior Center in Centreville needs a certified personal trainer twice a week, preferably with experience working with older adults.  For these and other volunteer opportunities, call 703-324-5406, TTY 711 or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/olderadults and click on Volunteer Solutions.

Korean Meals on Wheels needs Korean-speaking volunteers to deliver meals Monday, Wednesday and Friday inCentreville, Reston and Annandale.  For these and other volunteer opportunities, call 703-324-5406, TTY 711 or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/olderadults and click on Volunteer Solutions.

The Gum Springs Senior Center in Alexandria needs a Spanish teacher for a beginner’s class.  For these and other volunteer opportunities, call 703-324-5406, TTY 711 or visit  www.fairfaxcounty.gov/olderadults and click on Volunteer Solutions.

Volunteers, who are fluent in American Sign Language, are needed in Reston, Herndon and Vienna to provide clients with direct assistance (not interpretation) with computers, grocery shopping, or social visiting.  For these and other volunteer opportunities, call 703-324-5406, TTY 711 or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/olderadults and click on Volunteer Solutions.

Respite Care volunteers give family caregivers of a frail older adult a well-deserved break so they can go shopping, attend a doctor’s appointment or just have coffee with a friend.  Volunteers visit and oversee the safety of the older adult for a few hours each month. Support and training are provided.  Contact Kristin Martin at 703-324-7577, TTY 711, orKristin.Martin@fairfaxcounty.gov.

 

Grace Lynch, MS, MSW
Manager, Communications
Division of Adult and Aging Services
Fairfax County, VA
703-324-5277, TTY 711
www.fairfaxcounty.gov/OlderAdults

Did you know there’s more than one way to use Captioned Telephone?

November 20, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Community News, Technology

 

 

How Do You Use CapTel?

The CapTel, or captioned telephone, has been a great way for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Late-Deafened folks who prefer to speak on the phone to keep in touch with their friends and family.  Whether at home or at work, keeping in touch is important.

But did you know there’s more than one way to use CapTel?

Many people are familiar with the CapTel phone, which can be used at home or in the office.  But you can also get captioned telephone calls from any place where you have a telephone and a computer with WebCapTel:  https://www.hamiltonwebcaptel.com/

Just create a free account with WebCapTel, get your Call Me #, and you’re ready to go!

Use a computer to log into the WebCapTel website, type in your telephone number (your cell phone or landline, etc.), then type in the number of the person you want to call.  The WebCapTel service calls you on the number you provided, connects you to the person you are calling, and the computer screen gives you the captions of the call.

You can also download the CapTel Mobile app to your 4G smartphone or tablet to get captioned calls on the go!  Just log into the app to get captioned calls anywhere you have 4G service.

http://www.hamiltoncaptel.com/smartphone/what_is_app.html

If  you live in the Northern Virginia Area and you’d like a demonstration of CapTel, WebCapTel, or CapTel Mobile, please contact Debbie Jones at djones@nvrc.org to set up an appointment.

 

 

 

Mclean Bible Church – Deaf Ministry Christmas Party! Dec 20th

November 20, 2014 in Community Events, Community News

 

Deaf Ministry:
You are cordially invited to a
Christmas Party!

  • Saturday, December 20
  • MBC Tysons, Community Room A
  • 1:00-4:00 PM

INFO: gabriel.love@mcleanbible.org

Mclean Bible Church, Tysons
8925 Leesburg Pike
Vienna, VA 22182

Directions:

  • 495 to Route 7 West towards Sterling.
  • Stay on Route 7 for approximately 2 miles.
  • Look for Mclean Bible Church sign on left. (You will cross over Dulles Toll Road when near.)
  • Turn left to park and ground level.

Download Mclean_Bible_Church_Deaf_Christmas_Party_flyer

Difficulty hearing over the telephone?

November 20, 2014 in Community News

 

 

Captioned Telephone may be the perfect gift for you or someone you know!

Now you can stay connected through the holidays and all year long. With Captioned Telephone (CapTel®) you don’t have to worry about missing what’s said over the phone. Captioned Telephone allows you to listen while reading every word the other party says throughout your conversation.

Download – VA_CapTel-holiday Flyer

Call 888.269.7477 V/TTY • virginia@hamiltonrelay.com

Metro Update: For Weekend of November 21-23

November 18, 2014 in Community News, Transportation

 

 

Orange Line Station Closures; Red & Blue Line Single Tracking

Weekend highlights include:
Buses will replace Orange Line trains between West Falls Church and Vienna from 12:01 a.m. Saturday until Sunday closing. Dunn Loring and Vienna stations will be closed. 
Shuttle buses will operate on two routes: Express stop buses will operate between Vienna and West Falls Church with no intermediate stops (add up to 25 minutes of additional travel time) and local buses will operate between Vienna and West Falls Church, making an intermediate stop Dunn Loring (allow 15 minutes of travel time for each station stop).

Red Line trains will operate every 16 minutes between Shady Grove & Glenmont beginning at 10:00 p.m. Friday through system closing on Sunday, and every 8-10 minutes between Grosvenor & NoMa-Gallaudet U Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. only.

On Saturday only, Blue Line trains will arrive and depart every 20 minutes at Franconia-Springfield.  Trains between Van Dorn St and Largo Town Center will operate at regular Saturday intervals.

See the attachment for more information about this weekend’s track work, read the advisory, or view wmata.com/alerts which lists all detailed advisories and alerts.

Download – WMATANov212014TrackWorkNotice

 

FCC Establishes Quality Standards for TV Closed Captioning

November 18, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Community News, Technology

 

 

FCC ESTABLISHES QUALITY STANDARDS FOR TELEVISION CLOSED CAPTIONING, SEEKS COMMENT ON FURTHER RULE CHANGES

The FCC recently adopted new rules regarding closed captioning quality for television programming. The new rules establish four “non-quantitative” quality standards for closed captioning, requiring captions to be (1) accurate, (2) synchronous, (3) complete, and (4) properly placed. Rules requiring compliance with these standards will take effect on January 15, 2015. The FCC also adopted new rules addressing a number of related issues, including new requirements for broadcast stations using Electronic Newsroom Technique (“ENT”). The new ENT requirements, which require broadcasters to comply with a prescribed set of ENT Best Practices, will take effect on June 30, 2014. New monitoring requirements for equipment used to provide closed captioning will take effect on April 30, 2014, and a related set of recordkeeping requirements will take effect on January 15, 2015.

See the entire Report & Order here:

http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-14 -12A1.doc