No handicap: Deaf swimmer finishes 6th in trials race

June 28, 2016 in Community News



– Associated PressMark_Titus
June 27, 2016

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – When Marcus Titus is gliding through the water, his head bobbing up and down, he doesn’t hear the roar of the crowd.

Or anything else, for that matter.

Deaf since birth, Titus swims in a quiet isolation that he believes actually gives him an edge over those in the other lanes, who can hear everything going on around them.

“I don’t have to hear the crowd, the noises, the distractions,” Titus said. “I can just focus on my race.”

Now, Titus is serving as an inspiration to others with so-called disabilities. He made it all the way to the 100-meter breaststroke final at the U.S. swimming trials, but finished sixth Monday night to fall short of his first Olympics at age 30.

Read More  . . . Deaf swimmer

Join the fun at DogFest Walk ‘n Roll! – Sept. 17th

June 28, 2016 in Advocacy & Access, Hearing Loss & Deafness



September 17th – 10am
Pentagon Row – 1101 S. Joyce St. 
Arlington, VA 22202

You can change lives! dogfest16

Canine Companions for Independence® DogFest Walk ‘n RollTM is a national event that raises funds to provide life-changing assistance dogs to children and adults with disabilities. Your participation at DogFest Washington DC will make a difference. Register now for this family and dog-friendly event. It’s FREE!

Our goal is to raise $65,000, and we need your help. It costs approximately $50,000 to breed, raise, train and provide ongoing support for the working life of a Canine Companions dog and its human partner.

Please join us at DogFest Washington DC  because together we can change lives, four paws at a timeTM

More Information – REGISTER

Cards assist law enforcement, drivers with hearing loss

June 23, 2016 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness




The communication card is designed to be stored on a sun visor, in a bag or backpack, or on a passenger seat for easy use. To download the card, visit (Image provided by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights)

C&G Newspapers – METRO DETROIT
Posted June 22, 2016

METRO DETROIT — The Michigan Department of Civil Rights has released a new communication tool that will ease communication between law enforcement and individuals who are deaf or have partial hearing loss.

Supported by statewide law enforcement organizations — including the Michigan State Police, the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association and the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police — the communication card is designed to be stored on a sun visor, in a bag or backpack, or on a passenger seat for easy use.

One side of the card notifies law enforcement that the person is either deaf or has partial hearing loss. It offers quick tips to facilitate communication, including, but not limited to, “Get my attention first,” “Make eye contact when you speak,” and “I cannot lip-read everything you say.”

Read more . . . Cards



VA-Residents skeptical about commercial Dev. of deaf and blind school property

June 23, 2016 in Community News



Daily Press, Hampton, VA
By Ryan Murphy
June 22, 2016

A potential new direction for the site of a defunct state school for the deaf, blind and multidisabled off of Hampton’s Shell Road was met with skepticism and frustration from many local residents at an informational meeting Tuesday evening.

The city of Hampton bought the school property in 2010 from the state in the hopes of redeveloping the site. In 2013, city staff held meetings with the public to get their thoughts on what should go in there, after which the aim was to draw in a mixed-use residential development.

However, Hampton’s community development director, Terry O’Neill, said the concept has shifted as the city has failed to attract a mixed-use developer and potential buyers with commercial aspirations have been eyeing the property.

Read more  . . . See Video, . . .School Property

Orlando shooting underscores need for text-to-911 system in Arizona, attorney says

June 23, 2016 in Community News



Jun 14, 2016 2:59 AM EDT

In Orange County, Fla. — and in every 911 call center throughout Arizona — people cannot send text messages to dispatchers. However, a lawsuit filed in Arizona federal court is demanding that the state adopt the new technology.

The lawsuit, filed by the National Association of the Deaf and the Arizona Center for Disability Law, claims the state’s current 911 system is discriminatory.

“What we’re claiming is that people with disabilities are not provided equal access to 911, which is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehab Act,” said attorney Asim Dietrich.

Read more  . .  Watch Video . . . text-to-911




June 23, 2016 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



The energetic youthful campers at the Aspen Camp in Snowmass, Colorado, partake in a wide variety of team building and outdoor activities that have been funded by generous donations, and grants from organizations such as Sertoma. Sertoma’s recent grant helped Aspen Camp fund new scholarships and camp activities.

June 17, 2016

Ah, the sweet essence and experience of summer camp. It is place where freedom and adventure intertwine, new relationships grow and comfort zones dissolve.

For those attending Aspen Camp in Snowmass, Colorado, it is a special opportunity for both Deaf* children and Deaf* adults to explore new realms, relationships and the outdoors.

Read more  . . . about Deaf Camp 

FCC Reinstates InnoCaption Conditional Certification for IP CTS

June 23, 2016 in Captioning / Relay, Community News, Technology



The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) lifted the suspension of the conditional certification of InnoCaption to provide Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS).

In April of 2015, CGB suspended InnoCaption’s conditional certification to provide IP CTS because InnoCaption failed to provide 911 calling to emergency services as required by the FCC’s rules.  During the period of suspension, InnoCaption took steps to fix its service so it could handle 911 calls.  In the Order adopted today, CGB concludes that InnoCaption is now capable of handling 911 calls through its IP CTS service in compliance with the FCC’s rules.  As a result, InnoCaption is permitted to resume providing IP CTS.

The link(s) for the document are as follows:

For further information contact Eliot Greenwald at or 202-418-2235.

Hold the Date: The Twin Sisters: Hedy vs Heidi Show @ Gallaudet

June 23, 2016 in Community Events


  • Friday, September 16th at 7:30 pm at the MSD Frederick auditorium
  • Saturday, September 17th at 1:00 and 7:30 PM in the Foster auditorium on Gallaudet University campus
This is a fundraiser co-hosted by the alumnae sorority of Gallaudet–Delta Epsilon and Phi Kappa Zeta–with all proceeds going to a scholarship that benefits Deaf single mothers so that they can attend Gallaudet!

More information will be shared soon!  

Hold the Date: The Twin Sisters: Hedy vs Heidi Show @MSD

June 23, 2016 in Community Events


  • Friday, September 16th at 7:30 pm at the MSD Frederick auditorium
  • Saturday, September 17th at 1:00 and 7:30 PM in the Foster auditorium on Gallaudet University campus
This is a fundraiser co-hosted by the alumnae sorority of Gallaudet–Delta Epsilon and Phi Kappa Zeta–with all proceeds going to a scholarship that benefits Deaf single mothers so that they can attend Gallaudet!

More information will be shared soon!  

Transportation survey to understand needs of older adults and individuals with disabilities – for Fairfax County

June 16, 2016 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Transportation


As part of a grant initiative, Fairfax County is seeking help to understand the transportation patterns and mobility needs of older adults and individuals with disabilities within the county and the Cities of Fairfax and Falls Church. In order to do so, a survey has been created to measure the needs of the community.

If you are a senior, an individual with a disability, or a caregiver or family member to someone with transportation challenges,  please consider taking a few moments to complete a brief survey.

Your feedback will help identify improvements and strategies that will continue to allow those to age in place in the Fairfax community.

This survey will close August 1st.

Questions regarding this survey or requests for alternative format can be directed to Susan Shaw (703.324.7075) or Cynthia Alarico (703.324.7055).

DOWNLOAD Mobility Survey in PDF format


Help Wanted for Sign Language Camp

June 16, 2016 in Community News


Wanted: Assistant Cabin Counselor
For a week of learning, inspiration and fun!
and Camping for All!

We are looking for Bilingual males (fluent in ASL and English communication) to volunteer as assistant cabin counselors for our eighth annual Sign Language Camp  July 17- July 22, 2016.  The program joins Deaf and hard of hearing children with their hearing peers for a week of sharing of ASL and deaf culture, along with typical camp activities.

DOWNLOAD – Bilingual_Male_staff_2016_flyer

If you’re interested in helping at camp that week, please contact Deb Shapiro of Camping for All at or 434-806-8835.


Fairfrax County Human Services Needs Assessment Released

June 16, 2016 in Advocacy & Access, Community News


At our Alliance for Human Services Annual Meeting last week, Marlene Blum reported that the long awaited county Human Needs Assessment is now released.   If you were there, you might have picked up a printed copy.

It is available on-line.  The link is:

This report will frame our discussions with County officials over the next year.  Please download and review at least the summary.  Let us know what you think we should do next.

Frank Blechman, Treasurer
Fairfax County Alliance for Human Services

The ASL-Interpreted Performance of The Little Mermaid is July 10 at 4:00 p.m.

June 16, 2016 in Community News


Join us in The Anne M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Theatre on 

Sunday, July 10 at 4:00 p.m.

ASL Interpreters: Aaron Halleck and Barbie Doty

Imagination Stage
4908 Auburn Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814

About the Show:
 In this world premiere, faithful re-telling of the Hans Christian Andersen original, the Little Mermaid falls in love with a human Prince, and longs to join him in his world above the waves. Despite the warnings of her Mer-family, the Little Mermaid seeks out the Enchantress who trades her pair of legs for the mermaid’s beautiful singing voice. A follow-up to the highly acclaimed The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (2012), this collaboration between Imagination Stage and The Washington Ballet features dance, puppets, music, and singing in a highly theatrical and epic style of performance. Best for Ages 5 To purchase tickets, please visit us  online, or call our box office at 301-280-1660. Please note that our staff is trained to receive calls through relay and VRS.


Imagination Stage offers discounted rates for groups of 10 or more. For more information, call group sales at 301-280-1664.

Don’t Make Us Beg – Gael Hannan

June 16, 2016 in Advocacy & Access, Hearing Aids, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Wearables



Better Hearing Consumer
By Gael Hannan
June 14, 2016

It’s the kind of news that makes the hard of hearing heart beat faster.

No, there’s been no proclamation of National 50% Off Hearing Aids Day.

No announcement of a little pink pill that will make damaged cochlear hair cells spring back to life.

No scientific proof of a twice-daily mantra that will calm the neurons firing off tinnitus cannons in our heads.

It’s more like a climate change event, with the barometer rising in the world of hearing health care.

On June 2nd, the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) issued what is considered a ground-breaking report: Hearing Health Care for Adults: Priorities for Improving Access and Affordability.  A powerhouse expert committee, comprised of members from all stakeholder groups, assessed the state of hearing health care, its affordability and accessibility for adults in the United States.

Read more . . . Don’t Make Us Beg

Panel: Treating hearing loss shouldn’t be a pricey hassle

June 16, 2016 in Community News, Hearing Aids, Hearing Loss & Deafness
Posted: Sunday, June 12, 2016
Associated Press |

WASHINGTON—Treating hearing loss shouldn’t be such a pricey hassle. That’s the message from a prestigious government advisory group that’s calling on Medicare and other agencies to find ways to make better hearing more affordable and accessible for millions of older Americans.

One proposal: Allow over-the-counter sales of simple devices for mild hearing problems as an alternative to full hearing aids—much like consumers with vision problems today choose between drugstore reading glasses or prescription bifocals.

The report says action is important because hearing loss isn’t just a struggle for individuals but a growing public health problem, putting untreated seniors at extra risk of social isolation, depression, even dementia.

Read more  . . . government advisory group