Community News - Archive

Deaf parents’ claim over sign language failure reinstated

September 1, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness




Business Insurance
By Judy Greenwald
Aug. 31, 2015

An appeals court has reinstated discrimination claims filed against a hospital by the deaf parents of a child with a brain tumor, who claimed the hospital failed to provide deaf interpreters for them for most of the time they needed it.

The four-month old daughter of Rolando and Miriam Perez was diagnosed with a brain tumor that required monthly treatment in January 2011, according to Friday’s ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans in Rolando Perez; Miriam Perez v. Doctors Hospital at Renaissance Ltd.

Ms. Perez is completely deaf and communicates exclusively in American Sign Language, while Mr. Perez is completely deaf in his right ear and cannot hear well in his left, and ASL is his primary language, according to the ruling.

The Perezes allege that while Doctors Hospital in Edinburg, Texas, provided them with interpreters for a time period of 2013 through early 2014, during the periods 2011 through part of 2012, and again beginning in April 2014, they had problems, including interpreters failing to arrive.

The couple filed suit against the hospital in March 2013, charging it with violations of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which governs public accommodation of the disabled, and state laws

The hospital’s executive vice president for nursing testified in a deposition that the hospital’s ADA compliance policy  . . .

Read More . . . American Sign Language

Six World Records Down At Halfway Point Of World Deaf Swimming Championships

August 27, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness




By Jared Anderson
August 19th, 2015

Three days into the World Deaf Swimming Championships, six deaf world records have fallen, including one to American Marcus Titus in front of his home nation’s crowd.

The World Deaf Swimming Championships are taking place in San Antonio, Texas this week, the same facility that hosted U.S. Junior and Senior Nationals earlier in the month.

Swimming for a home American audience, Titus broke his own deaf world record in the 100 free, going 51.22 to win gold. Titus’s old record was a 51.42 from 2011; Russia’s Vitalii Obotin was also under that mark in taking silver (51.35).

Apart from that race, it’s been the 50-meter events where records have been most on the chopping block. The men’s 50 back and women’s 50 fly records were broke twice apiece over the first three days, and the women’s 50 breast record also fell.

In the men’s 50 back, Japan’s Yoshikazu Kanaji broke the deaf world record in both prelims and finals. The 21-year-old Kanaji went 27.35 in the morning, then 27.06 at night, dropping the world mark previously shared by John Kealy and Ryutaro Ibara at 27.90. Ibara, also representing Japan, was second in the event in San Antonio, also bettering his old world record with a 27.69.

Read more  . . . World Deaf Swimming Championships

Texas State University – First-ever deaf section in Bobcat Stadium this fall

August 27, 2015 in Community News




By: Quixem Ramirez
Sports Editor

The Texas State football team will have a new group of fans this fall.

For the first time in university history, there will be a deaf section for fans at Bobcat Stadium..

The section, which seats up to 1,000 people, will be near the 35-yard line. Ticket prices will be reduced from the usual $25 to $10.

Deaf people and those fluent in American Sign Language will be eligible for the reduced ticket prices at the lower level.

To purchase tickets in the section, fans should contact Brian Guendling, communication studies junior, through his social media platforms. Guendling plans on providing a tent for deaf people who wish to participate in tailgate festivities.

Guendling, a former Texas State football player, wanted to merge two worlds together with the creation of a deaf section.

“Deaf people are no different than everybody else,” Guendling said. “A lot of my deaf friends expressed that they wanted to go to football games.”

Read more . . . Univ. Texas Football



HLAA-Let the FCC Know Your Experience with Local News Captioning!

August 27, 2015 in Community News


Do you watch your local news with captions? If so, we need your input! It’ll take just a few minutes and will help guide the future of national accessibility laws for closed captioning.

As part of its landmark closed caption quality initiative, the Federal Communications Commission is examining the quality of closed captions for live news programming in local markets, particularly in smaller markets that use the Electronic Newsroom Technique (ENT) for captions. HLAA in collaboration with the FCC, the National Association of Broadcasters, and TDI (Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing) and NAD (National Association of the Deaf) is launching a consumer survey to examine the quality of ENT captioning on local news programming.

If you watch local news with captions, please take 10 minutes to fill out the following survey:

The results will be included as part of a report to the FCC that will factor into possible changes around the legal rules for news captioning.

We’d be grateful for your support if you could take the survey and share your experience with us; it will help us in our efforts in working with FCC to improve local news captioning!

If you have any questions, please feel free to email us!

Creating a Better Bus Together: Give us your feedback!

August 27, 2015 in Community News



Metro is continuously working to create a better bus service for you and your clients. Metro is proposing service changes to select bus routes based on input from customers and the region.

Please take a moment to review the attached flyer (English and Spanish on reverse) to see if a bus route that serves your clients will be impacted. You can print the 2-sided flyer directly or let me know how many you would like for me to send to your organization.

Information is also available online at: Select your jurisdiction for details.

DOWNLOAD – BetterBus flyer English-Spanish



Celebrating Cheryl Heppner’s Retirement – Sept 12

August 25, 2015 in Community Events, Community News


www.NVRC.orgNVRC’s Board of Directors and Staff 
Invite you to join us for an Open House 

Celebrating Cheryl Heppner’s Retirement

Date:  Saturday, September 12, 2015

Time:  10 am to 12 noon

Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Persons
3951 Pender Drive,  Suite 130,  Fairfax, VA 22030

Join us for a casual get-together with Cheryl to wish her well
as she embarks on this new era of her life.

Come share your fun stories, memories and sentiments
about Cheryl, and meet up with old friends.

Light refreshments will be served,

Please RSVP to


Employment Forum for People with Disabilities – Oct 3

August 25, 2015 in Community News, Employment


Are you a person with a disability who’s having trouble getting or keeping a job?

The Long Term Care Coordinating Council’s Services for Young Adults with Disabilities Committee invites you to join them at the

We want to help! We need to hear from you!

Come together to voice your employment-related experiences, opinions, and concerns. What services have helped you? What problems have you encountered? What do you think could have helped you get or keep a job? What can we do to help?

  • Family members welcome
  • Space is limited
  • Light breakfast will be provided

Saturday, October 3, 2015

9:30am – 12pm

10467 White Granite Drive, 3rd Floor
Oakton, VA 22124

RSVP at or by calling Bob Eiffert at 703-324-2544 by September 28.

Let’s work to make change, together.

Sponsored by the Long Term Care Coordinating Council’s Services for Young Adults with Disabilities Committee

DOWNLOAD – Employment_Roundtable_Flyer

She Owes Her Activism To A Brave Mom, The ADA And Chocolate Cake

August 25, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



National Public Radio
JULY 31, 2015

To Haben Girma’s grandmother, back in East Africa, it “seemed like magic.” Her granddaughter, born deaf and blind, is a graduate of Harvard Law School and works as a civil rights attorney.

It’s easy to understand why the grandmother feels that way. Years before, she had tried to find a school in Eritrea for Girma’s older brother, who was also born deaf and blind. She was turned away. There were schools for blind children and schools for deaf children. But no school would teach a child who was deaf-blind (that’s the preferred terminology in the disability community). Girma describes that brother as “brilliant.”

Girma told the story last week at the White House, when she introduced President Obama during a ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

By the time Girma was born in 1988, six years younger than her brother, her mother had made a refugee’s journey from Eritrea to the United States. And in California, a deaf-blind girl like Girma had a legal right to an education.

In public schools in Oakland, she was educated alongside other students, leaving her mainstream classes for an hour a day to learn Braille.

Read more  . . . See Pictures

Watch captioned – Video


Lions for Veterans – Electronics Donation Box at NVRC

August 25, 2015 in Community News




Lions_InternationalThe Arlington Host Lions Club are raising funds to support organizations who help military veterans and their families. Please help them by donating your used consumer electronics. Mobile phones, laptop computers, Kindles and Book Readers, hand held game consoles, digital cameras and other electronics can be dropped off at NVRC. (small electronics only)

Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Persons

Office Location:
3951 Pender Drive,
Suite 130,
Fairfax, VA 22030

Your support will help raise needed income to assist our veterans programs as well as keep electronics from environmentally unsafe landfills. We thank you for your participation in this program to support our military veterans.

FCC Boosting Open Video Platform for the Deaf

August 20, 2015 in Captioning / Relay, Community News, Technology


Initiative to Ease ASL Users’ Communication With Government

Multichannel News
By: John Eggerton
August 20,2015

WASHINGTON — Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler wants to give people with disabilities a hand. Make that two hands, and in the process, a stronger voice.

Wheeler plans to announce today at the TDI Conference in Baltimore that the FCC is making available an open-source video platform to make it easier for the deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind community to communicate with federal agencies and businesses in American Sign Language (ASL).   “It is time for people who speak with their hands and hear with their eyes to enjoy modern advancements in communications technologies,” Wheeler planned to tell the conference, according to the commission, which announced the initiative in tandem with the speech.

“It’s time for you to be able to have your video products work together, so you can call whomever you wish, whenever you wish, from anywhere. The platform we are launching has tremendous potential to ensure that you will be able to do this.”

The FCC already has a direct video system — it was the first federal agency to use interactive video to give the deaf and hard-of-hearing access to ASL consumer support, an agency spokesperson said — as does the Small Business Administration. The Census Bureau, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the City of New York have all announced plans to use such a system.

Read more   . . . 

Direct Video Calling Increases Access for Deaf Citizens

August 18, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



White House – BlogWhite House
JULY 28, 2015

Summary: As the White House celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we’re announcing some new steps to help the government stay accessible to all Americans using the latest technology.

Technology has given us incredible new tools to communicate with friends, family, and colleagues, and all Americans should enjoy these benefits — including, and especially, those with disabilities.


For those with hearing or speech impairments, digital video and other tools have helped these communities stay connected and working, rather than isolated. So, as the White House celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we’re announcing some new steps to help the government stay accessible to all Americans using the latest technology.

We are pleased to announce that two agencies that routinely interface with the disabilities community — the U.S. Census Bureau and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) — will soon be taking up direct video calling technology to allow Deaf citizens to communicate directly with American Sign Language (ASL)-fluent call operators there. This work responds to the President’s 2011 executive order calling upon agencies to use technology to improve customer service, and is another step in the right direction.

Why? In general, citizens who are deaf reach federal agencies via third-party interpreters who facilitate their conversations by interpreting to those on the other end of the line. But broadband and faster connections have made direct video calling not just possible, but commonplace. With this technology, the result can be a call that is direct, clear, and can allow Americans who are deaf to communicate in American Sign Language.

Read more  . . . White House Video Calling

Aged 12, a cancer veteran helps others, and writes a book

August 18, 2015 in Community News


Peter Zucca has made 13 trips to the operating room. Before he was two, he had required 51 units of blood. Eventually, cancer took most of his right leg. Yet Peter emerged a superhero of sorts

South China Morning Post
By Susan Snyder
Tuesday, 04 August, 2015

A children’s hospital in Philadelphia had too few of the little wagons that young patients prefer to wheelchairs, so Peter Zucca started a foundation to raise money for a fleet of them.

A patient couldn’t get blood for a transfusion, so Peter planned a series of drives to help fix the situation.

And when he saw that most books about the challenge of childhood hearing loss “are really bad”, he wrote his own.

At the age of 12, Peter Zucca has already had a world of experience with cancer. And he’s using what he has gone through to make life easier for others like him.

In Peter Learns to Listen, he shares his own experience with hearing loss, a side effect of treatment for the cancer that struck him before his first birthday and nearly killed him.

“One of my chemo drugs was ototoxic,” Peter writes. “Ototoxic is just a big medical word that means the medicine hurt my hearing.”

Read more . . . ototoxic hearing loss



Schedule for – 3 part – “I can’t Hear You!” Programs this Fall

August 13, 2015 in Community News



“I Can’t Hear You!” 3-part program for seniors aging into hearing loss:

Lead  by Bonnie O’Leary is a late-deafened adult who received her certification in Peer Mentoring for People with Hearing Loss from Gallaudet University and the Academy of Hearing Loss Support Specialists in June of 2007.   If you or someone you know could benefit from free  one-on-one support sessions with Bonnie, please contact her at

 Participants receive a free, 63-page booklet about hearing loss.


Part 1 – Do I Have a Hearing Loss? What Can I Do About It? – discusses types and causes of hearing loss, how to interpret an audiogram, types and styles of hearing aids

Part 2 – Techie Stuff to the Rescue! A look at hearing assistive technologies that can be used with or without hearing aids, such as amplified phones, TV listening systems, alerting systems.  Also discusses the Technology Assistance Program funded through the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Part 3 – Living (and Laughing) with Hearing Loss – focuses on feelings associated with late-onset hearing loss; speechreading and communication strategies; resources for hearing loss

“I can’t Hear You!” program will be coming to three locations this Fall:

Providence Community Center
3001 Vaden Drive
Fairfax, VA

Part 1 – Wednesday, October 7th, 10:30-11:30 am
Part 2 – Wednesday, October 14th, 10:30-11:30 am
Part 3 – Wednesday, October 21st, 10:30-11:30 am

DOWNLOAD – Providence_HOHflyer

To register, sign up in senior room or call 703-865-0520

Little River Glen Senior Center
4001 Barker Court
Fairfax, VA 22032

Part 1 – Friday September 18, 10:15-11:15 am
Part 2 – Friday September 25, 10:15-11:15 am
Part 3 – Friday October 2, 10:15-11:15 am

Registration required –703-503-8703


James Lee Community Center
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042

Part 1 – Wednesday, September 9th, 10:30 -11:30 am
Part 2 – Wednesday, September 16th, 10:30 – 11:30 am
Part 3 – Wednesday, September 23rd, 10:30 –11:30 am

To register, please call 703-534-3387

DOWNLOAD – ICHY_James_Lee_Center_2015




It’s a Noisy Planet. Protect Their Hearing.

August 12, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness


Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is 100 percent preventable. Yet approximately 26 million Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 have high-frequency hearing loss from overexposure to loud noises at work or during leisure activities. More than 30 million Americans are exposed to dangerous levels of noise on a regular basis1. Children also are frequently exposed to noise levels that could permanently damage their hearing. Noise levels generated by activities as common as doing yard work, playing a band instrument, and attending sports events can result in NIHL. Research suggests that NIHL experienced at an early age may accelerate age-related hearing loss later in life.


In October 2008, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), launched It’s a Noisy Planet. Protect Their Hearing. The Noisy Planet campaign is designed to increase awareness among parents of children ages 8 to 12 (“tweens”) about the causes and prevention of NIHL. With this information, parents and other caring adults can encourage children to adopt healthy habits that will help them protect their hearing for life.





NIDCD is focusing its campaign on the parents of tweens because children at this age are becoming more independent and developing their own attitudes and habits related to their health. They also are beginning to develop their own listening, leisure, and work habits—or soon will do so. Consequently, the tween years present an open window of opportunity to educate children about their hearing and how to protect it.

Parents still have a great deal of influence over their tween’s behavior, and the Noisy Planet campaign provides them with resources that they can use to educate their children about the causes and prevention of NIHL. The campaign Web site at provides parents with facts about NIHL, tips on how to encourage their tween to adopt healthy hearing habits, and other steps they can take to protect their tween’s hearing. The site also offers information specifically for tweens, such as interactive games about noise and hearing.

America’s Next Top Model’s First Deaf Contestant

August 12, 2015 in Community News



America’s Next Top Model‘s First Deaf Contestant: ‘I Want to Change the World’s Perspective on Deafness’


Nyle DiMarco fits the bill of an America’s Next Top Model contestant – he’s gorgeous, tall and knows how to pose for the camera – but unlike the other contestants competing for the title on cycle 22, he’s Deaf.

“Being Deaf did not give me any hesitation to be a part of the show,” he tells PEOPLE. “In fact, I was thrilled. I saw it as an opportunity to not only become a supermodel, but to change the world’s perspective on Deafness.”

Growing up, DiMarco, 25, says he was “teased a little bit” for his inability to hear.

Read more and see pictures  . . . . Top Model‘s