See pictures from Fairfax Area Disability Services Board (FA-DSB)’s reception for ADA

July 30, 2015 in Community News

 

 

The Fairfax Area Disability Services Board (FA-DSB)’s reception recognizing the 25th Anniversary of the ADA

Held at Fairfax County Government Center, on July 28th

 

Signs of Life • Deaf Ministry Annual Picnic • August 22

July 29, 2015 in Community Events, Community News

 

When: DOWNLOAD - mbcPicnic2015Picnic_flyer
Saturday August 22, 2015
9:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Where:
Bull Run – Park Shelter 10
7700 Bull Run Drive, Centerville, VA  20121

Bring your food ! Potluck!

Dr. Gabriel Love
email: lovegc1985@gmail.com

Download – mbc2015Picnic_flyer

4th Winchester CRAFT & VENDORS FAIR Sat. Oct 17th

July 29, 2015 in Community News

Come be a part of the 4th Fair!
CRAFT & VENDORS FAIR

Saturday Oct 17th, 2015

10AM – 5 PM

APPLE BLOSSOM MALL (Indoors!) 1850 Apple Blossom Drive, Winchester, VA 22601
Funds to support Sign language Organization (SLO) & Access Independence Deaf Outreach Services

For directions to Vendors’ Fair, visit: www.accessindependence.org
or calI 540-931-9124
Contact Donna Day: dday@accessindependence.org

DOWNLOAD-2015_craft_fair_flyer

 

Who Are the Role Models Since Helen Keller?

July 29, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

HUFFINGTON POST 
By Janice S. Lintz

South Africa’s Freedom Charter was adopted in 1955. The Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted in 1990. The United Kingdom followed five years later with the Disability Discrimination Act. Yet where are all the great leaders championing access for people with hearing loss?

Nelson Mandela wore hearing aids but he is only known for overcoming apartheid in South Africa. Malala Yousafzai wears a cochlear implant, but she never mentions it when she speaks about educating girls. Academy Award Winner and actress Jodi Foster stood up at the Oscars to declare she was a lesbian but never mentioned that she wears a hearing aid despite its prominence in a Daily Mail photograph.

There are 360 million people worldwide with some form of hearing loss. How can an issue be so pervasive but with no recognizable role models or leaders? There are great advocates within the insular hearing loss community but no person who captivates the world.

Why are people willing to discuss their race, religion, gender, age and sexual orientation but unwilling to discuss their hearing loss? Is hearing loss so stigmatized that we have created what Dr. Julie Gurner, a leadership consultant, calls a “culture of shame”? She explains: “Prominent figures hide their hearing loss so perhaps other people feel maybe they should hide theirs as well.” The press ridiculed Prince Philip when he was first seen wearing hearing aids.

Read more  . . .  Role Models

 

When I Say I Want Telecoils…

July 27, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology

 

 

 

Hearing Health Matters
By Gael Hannan
J

…I mean it.

It wasn’t just an opening line to my hearing aid provider, so that she could come back with, “That’s old tech. Your hearing aid manufacturer has a great in-home kit, and a streamer, and lots of other neat stuff for just a few hundred dollars extra.”  Although, that’s pretty much what we said to each other.

I said I wanted telecoils so that I could use them with the phone and in looped environments. I had seen how much my friends benefited from the system and I wanted what they had—and I got it.

It’s only been five years since embracing telecoils and hearing loops. In those new (and soon to be retired) hearing aids, I had to choose between telecoils and Bluetooth. I couldn’t have both (which apparently I can in my upcoming set) so I opted for telecoils.

In The Way I Hear Itmy book on living with hearing loss, I talk about the wonder of it all.

But today, for the first time, I have telecoils in my hearing aids and I know how to use them. When I use the phone, I push a little button (which may look as if I’m poking myself in the head) and BOOM! I can talk on the phone without feedback. I use a neckloop that attaches to my cell phone or iPad, and when I activate it, POW! The music comes directly into my ears. Listening to a speaker in a room that has a hearing loop around the perimeter of the room, I just hit those T-switches and KABAM! The speaker’s voice fills my head. (Page 75, soft cover version)

It’s a simple system that delivers sound directly to my hearing aids. Let me define ‘simple’. It’s scientifically simple if you are scientifically minded—which I am not.  But it’s simple to use.  All I do is poke myself in the side of the head and voilà!  I hear voices directly . . . . .

Read more  . . . T- coils

How to Irritate People (With Your Hearing Loss)

July 27, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

Hearing Health Matters
By Gael Hannan
J

Some of my personal favorite, sure-fire ways to spark irritation in other people:

  1. Choose not to wear your hearing aids or cochlear implant and then struggle to communicate with someone. I’m giving my ears a break and I want to save money on batteries. But c’mon, talk to me, I can read your lips. (Like this ever works.)
  1. Bluff. Just pretend to understand what’s being said. Nod like a bobble head. Smile vaguely. Use a variety of interested facial expressions that, while they may fool strangers or casual acquaintances into believing you’re with them all the way, to anyone who knows you, it’s clear that you’re in high-performance faking mode.
  1. Repeatedly ask for repeats without doing anything to improve the situation.

What did you do on the weekend?

Pardon?

What did you do on the weekend?

Huh?

Saturday! Sunday! You!  WHAT?

Well you don’t have to get snippy, I am hard of hearing, y’know.

Read More  .#4 – 10 .Gael Hannan 

Marlee Matlin to star in Deaf West’s production of ‘Spring Awakening’

July 27, 2015 in Community News

 

 

United Press International
By Karen Butler
July 26, 2015

NEW YORK, July 26 (UPI) — Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin is to make her Broadway debut in the upcoming production of Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik‘s Spring Awakening, producers announced.

“It’s been 30 years since I had the opportunity to be part of the groundbreaking [film] Children of a Lesser God and I couldn’t be more proud and honored to have been asked to join Deaf West Theatre’s innovative revival of Spring Awakening on Broadway,” Matlin said in a statement.

Spring Awakening, the Tony Award-winning Best Musical of 2007, will play a strictly limited Broadway engagement at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Previews are to begin Sept. 8 and opening night is set for Sept. 27.

Read More  . . . Marlee Matlin

 

Uber adds feature to allow Kenyan deaf drivers earn income

July 27, 2015 in Technology

 

 

BUSINESS TECH
Written by 
CORRESPONDENT

Deaf and hard-of-hearing Kenyans are the first in Africa to benefit from a ground-breaking innovation that will help them earn an income as drivers. The development follows a collaboration between Uber, the innovative smartphone app that seamlessly connects riders to drivers, and the Kenya National Association of the Deaf (KNAD).

Jambu Palaniappan, Regional General Manager for Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa, says the Association has helped Uber understand the challenges deaf and hard-of-hearing people overcome every day.

“As a result we’re introducing new features on the Uber app which are designed to make it easier for deaf and hard-of-hearing Kenyans to become partner-drivers and earn an income. The new settings we’re announcing today are a first step but we’re already thinking about how else we can help, through education and awareness, remove the barrier between deaf and hearing people in our cities,” says Palaniappan

Read more . . .  Deaf Kenyan

Participate in an Online Survey about VRS Phones and Software

July 27, 2015 in Research, Technology

 

 

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Video Relay Service (VRS) Users Invited to participate in an Online Survey about VRS Phones and Software

Your opinion counts: The Technology Access Program at Gallaudet University, in partnership with the Video Access Technology Reference Platform (VATRP) team is conducting an online survey to learn about your wishes and needs for video relay service (VRS) software.The VATRP project is a contract awarded by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to develop new VRS software. It is a partnership among VTCSecure, TCS Associates, Gallaudet University, and RIT/NTID.Our goal is to understand what features you would like to see in the new VRS software. To do the best job possible, we also want to understand what you currently like about your videophones, and what you currently dislike.

To take this survey you:
1. must be an adult (18 years or older)
2. must be deaf, hard of hearing, or have another form of hearing loss
3. must use video relay services; and
4. must have access to the Internet in order to complete the survey.

Completing the survey will take up to 20 minutes by reading, and up to 40 minutes by using the available videos, depending on how much you use relay services. If you would like to participate in this online survey, please go to  – http://whatisvatrp.com/survey.html

Project Manager Shahzad “Shah” Merchant explains why it is important for you to take this voluntary & anonymous survey.

This study has been approved by the Gallaudet University Institutional Review Board.

 

 

 

 

Deaf Queens Man Fights Back Against Truck Driving School

July 26, 2015 in Disability Law, Employment

 

 

Eyewitness News
Friday, July 24, 2015
By Rob Powers

He looks like anybody, starting a vehicle, going to work, getting on with life.

Only, this life, this story, is a little different.

Kenneth Frilando is deaf and his story is worth hearing. He claims the “Smith & Solomon School of Tractor Trailer Driving” in Linden, New Jersey won’t take him on as a student. He says he also has a New York commercial driver’s license, and a safety waiver, and now he’s filed suit.

“I need to break that door down because that’s not fair. Safety is the number one thing that I’m concerned with, but they’re just assuming that safety is out the window because the person can’t hear, that’s not the case,” Frilando said.

Read More  . .Watch Video  . Deaf Truck Driver

Massachusetts testing program to clear way for deaf jurors

July 26, 2015 in Community News, Disability Law

 

 

REUTERS
Jul 24, 2015
BY SCOTT MALONE

Massachusetts is testing a program that would enable profoundly deaf people to serve on juries in state courts with the help of sign-language interpreters, in an effort described by advocates for the deaf as the most extensive in the United States.

The program, which has so far been tested in eight of the state’s 14 counties, aims to provide deaf Massachusetts residents summoned to jury duty with American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters from the moment they arrive at a courthouse, through jury selection and trial, officials said on Friday.

The program is expected to go into full operation statewide next year, said Heidi Reed, who heads the state’s Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

“We wanted to ensure that affected jurors who used ASL would have the opportunity to go through the selection process and potentially serve on a jury,” Reed said.

Previously, deaf people who were summoned for jury duty in the state had to specially request assistance or defer service. The state estimates that 1 percent of the population is deaf, with about 400 deaf people called for jury duty in a typical year.

Read more . . . . Jurors 

3 lessons from developers who have embraced assistive technology

July 26, 2015 in Technology

 

 

 

MASHABLE
July 26, 2105
By Karissa Bell

When the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law 25 years ago, few could have imagined just how much would change as a result of the legislation.
Fewer still could have imagined a world where almost anyone has access to pocket-sized computers that would open so many doors to people with disabilities.

Today, we have apps that can help the blind see, give words to those who can’t speak and enable independence for people who would otherwise be forced to rely on others. To celebrate these advancements, Apple debuted a new collection in iTunes Thursday, highlighting apps that take advantage of accessibility features on iOS devices. The selection includes apps that help people with hearing and visual impairments interact with the world around them, those that enable communication for people with autism and apps that encourage learning at all levels.

We talked to some of the developers on the front lines of accessibility about what they’ve learned while creating these powerful apps, here’s what they told us.

1. Design matters — even if your users can’t see your app

Design is a fundamental part of any app. But even the most seasoned software makers find they need to rethink many aspects of design and user experience they would otherwise take for granted. While Apple makes its accessibility tools, like VoiceOver, readily available, developers often find making their app truly accessible requires a much more nuanced approach than what they’re used to.

Read More  . . . assistive technology

To Friends of NVRC –
Announcement from Board Chair Bill Boyd

July 22, 2015 in Community News, NVRC Announcements

 

NVRC-blue-300x236


The Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf
and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC)

Board Selects Interim Executive Director

July 22, 2015 –

Following the recent retirement of the NVRC’s beloved Executive Director Cheryl Heppner, the Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of Interim Executive Director, Bob Loftur-Thun. Bob is a partner with Carol Loftur-Thun in Sustainability Nexus, LLC a professional organization providing interim executive leadership and consulting services for nonprofits. Carol will serve as a consultant to NVRC. The Interim Executive Director will provide leadership for NVRC operations as we conduct a national Executive Director search.

This Transition will provide NVRC the opportunity to engage in critical strategic planning for the future, and to further sharpen our vison and mission to provide improved community services in our region. During this transition we will also seek input from the community, stakeholders, funders and partners to review and enhance our service delivery. Both Bob and Carol will work with our NVRC Staff and Board to build a stronger organization prepared for future opportunities and challenges. You may contact Bob at execdirector@nvrc.org.

A Celebration of Cheryl Heppner and her exemplary career will be scheduled for midSeptember 2015. Further details will be announced soon. Well wishes may be sent to Cheryl at: info@nvrc.org. *Please write “Cheryl Heppner” in the subject line.

Visit our website nvrc.org and also sign up for NVRC E-News to stay in touch for the upcoming announcements and opportunities that we will share during this important time of change. Thank you for your continued interest and support for our mission to serve people with hearing loss and people who are deaf.


 

 

Join Us the 2015 TDI Biennial Conference at Baltimore! – Aug 19-22

July 21, 2015 in Community Events

tdi_square

July 20, 2015


Shaping An Accessible World


Come Join Us the 2015 TDI Biennial Conference at Baltimore!

confTDIbalt

Greetings from TDI to Deaf & Hard of Hearing Americans in DC, MD, & VA!
This opportunity is extended also to those living in adjoining areas like PA, NJ, and NY.
Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI) has some good news to share with you.  TDI will be having our 21st Biennial Conference on August 1922, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore in Baltimore, Maryland. 

This Conference is offering you a wonderful three-day’s experience and opportunities for personal/professional development as well as some time for fun with friends and family.  You get to learn about the latest in public policy for disability access, to network with others from with business and government, and to visit the exhibits that give you the latest information on accessible products and services.  You meet the industry leaders that have worked with TDI and its sister consumer groups in the last two years on access topics such as relay services, emergency communications, wireless communications and information, and captioning of video programming. 

You get to see others speak about the research and other studies that have been conducted for accessibility in information, communication, hearing enhancement, and employment.  There will be updates given on federal government initiatives for employment and civil rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act for people who are deaf and hard of hearing.  For some of you still working every day, you benefit from getting pointers from a panel of well-known deaf and hard of hearing leaders on their experience interacting with their fellow hearing colleagues in the workplace.  Some key Federal Communications Commission officials speak about recent initiatives from the Commission for relay services, captioning of video programming (TV and Internet), emergency communications, and advanced communication services, etc. 

For the first time ever, there will be the new Technology and Youth Forum which give spotlight on the latest in innovation and accessibility from today’s generation of young Americans that are deaf, hard of hearing, or hearing (aged less than 35).  We will recognize a number of individuals and companies in an Awards Luncheon for their contributions in the community, engineering, telecommunication access, marketing and public relations, and public policy.  Last but not least, you celebrate with us on the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Would you like to attend the ball game?  We are pleased that there will be a TDI section in Camden Yards on Wednesday evening, August 19 for the major league baseball game between the Baltimore Orioles, and the New York Mets.  Camden Yards is just a few blocks from our host hotel.  Instead of taking risky deep-sea diving out in the oceans, would you want the pleasure of seeing some unbelievable creatures within the tanks of the Aquarium on Friday night, August 21?  The Aquarium is on Inner Harbor, just a short walk from the hotel. 

Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, gives the keynote address in the early morning of Thursday, August 20.  Angela Officer, who is Senior Program Manager with Sprint Relay, gives inspiring remarks for the Professional and Motivational Luncheon at noon on Friday, August 21.  And we see Jarrod Musano, Chief Executive Officer with Convo Relay give his thoughts on what it is like to run a business under a challenging regulatory climate in relay services.  At the conclusion of the Conference on Saturday evening, August 22, we enjoy a good dinner at the hotel, and then watch a great entertainment show featuring Jennifer Ann Cook and CJ Jones, both from the state of California.

Check out the most recent revised CONFERENCE PROGRAM (schedule of events) here:
https://www.tdiforaccess.org/about_tdi.aspx?key=About%20TDI(Biennial%20Conference-Program%20Schedule)&select=AboutTDI

We invite you to join us at the Conference.  Check our website www.tdiforaccess.org or the links below to register for the Conference, to stay at the host hotel – the Hyatt Regency Baltimore, and to buy tickets for either the baseball game or the tour of the National Aquarium.  You can register for full combo tickets, or single events like the President’s Reception, the two Luncheons, and the Dinner/Entertainment Finale.  You need not be registered in order to attend any one of the aforementioned four food functions.

Conference Registration:
https://www.tdiforaccess.org/about_tdi.aspx?key=About%20TDI(Biennial%20Conference-General%20Announcement)&select=AboutTDI

Hotel Registration: 
https://www.tdiforaccess.org/news_feature.aspx?key=News(Feature)&select=Newsfeature 

Orioles-Mets Baseball Game, Wednesday, August 19: 
https://www.tdiforaccess.org/news_events.aspx?key=News(Highlights)&select=News&nid=105

If you still need information or support to make Conference plans, feel free to contact me anytime at cstout@tdiforaccess.org.  We hope you can join us at the Conference.  We will be happy to assist you until you are completely satisfied.  We thank you very much for considering our invitation to participate in the Conference.  

Come join us at the TDI Conference in Baltimore! 

claudeStoutSincerely,
claudesiggy

Claude L. Stout
Executive Director
Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI)

tdi_biline

 

VDDHH publishing Text to 911 Virginia area map

July 21, 2015 in Community News

 

 

To see the status of  the Text-to-9-1-1 Deployment in the Commonwealth of Virginia 

Commonwealth of Virginia PSAP Coverage Areas
Virginia Information Technologies Agency
Status of Text-to-9-1-1 Deployment Map

Click here to got the VDDHH Website then click on  :

text911banner2