Community News - Archive

Registration OPEN – Webinar on Described & Captioned Media Program (DCMP)

May 1, 2016 in Community News



More Accessible Media!
Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP)

A webinar featuring presenter Jason Stark, Director
Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP), Spartanburg, SC
May 18, 2016, 4:00 PM EST

Students who have limited or no hearing or vision miss an incredible amount of incidental information– information that people with typical sight and hearing “pick up” throughout the day from media and conversations in their environment. When a student enters a classroom, it is sometimes assumed that they already possess this background knowledge that is needed to understand the more specific content being taught (eg. – American Frontier). Use of educational videos that are described or captioned to pre-teach and to teach content afford students accessible opportunities to develop the vocabulary and to understand concepts needed to better comprehend instruction in all subjects. Presenter Jason Stark will describe how educators, parents, and students now have even more access to thousands of described and/or captioned educational videos at every grade level and in all content areas, available through DCMP. Learn about new student accounts and iOS app!

Target Audience: Educators (including teachers, related service providers, and special education administrators) who work with children with deafness/hearing loss or those with blindness/visual impairment and family members will benefit from this webinar.

Please register for “More Accessible Media!” Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP): at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing connection information to join the webinar on May 18th.  This one hour webinar can be accessed from any location. A certificate of participation will be provided for those who complete a short survey at the conclusion of the training.

Wednesday Webinars are sponsored by Outreach Services of the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind, through grant funding from the Virginia Department of Education.        We hope you can join us!

A HoH’s To-Do List – By Gael Hannan

April 28, 2016 in Community News


Better Hearing Consumer

It’s Monday, the beginning of the week, and time to update my hearing loss To Do list. Because hearing losss is what I have as well as what I do, my list never changes much from week to weeknor does it ever quite get done.

  • Call the audiologist to book a hearing aid cleaning. It’s like getting your teeth cleaned—no one likes doing it, but whiter teeth or sparkly, crisp sound are worth it. At least hearing aid checkups don’t hurt. And while I’m there, I’ll ask—again—why there’s no information on hearing loss for hard of hearing (HoH) people to read as they wait. Just accessible phones for sale and offers of rewards if you get your friends to come in for a hearing test.

Read more . . . HoH’s To-Do List

UW Students Create Gloves Which Translate Sign Language into Spoken English

April 28, 2016 in Community News



Breitbart News
April 26, 2016

Two University of Washington undergraduates have been awarded $10,000 for inventing “SignAloud,” a pair of gloves capable of translating American Sign Language into English in real time.

Sophomores Navid Azodi and Thomas Pryor received the Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for their submission in the undergraduate “Use It” catergory, which recognizes tech-based inventions that improve consumer devices.  The “SignAloud” gloves have built-in sensors which read the wearer’s hand positions and movements, then wirelessly transmit them to a computer. The computer then runs the information through a gesture database, using an algorithm to determine the best translation, which is then spoken.

Read more  . . . Sign Gloves

Hearing Aid Prices Under Pressure From Consumer Electronics

April 26, 2016 in Community News, Hearing Aids, Wearables



PHOENIX — At the AudiologyNow! convention here last week, visitors stood next to blowing electric fans to experience how a new hearing aid could screen out wind noise. They donned goggles to attend a virtual reality dinner party to learn how new technology made it easier to hear conversations around them.

But the elephant in the room, as it were, was what was happening outside the convention hall.

The consumer electronics industry is encroaching on the hearing aid business, offering products that are far less expensive and available without the involvement of audiologists or other professionals. That is forcing a re-examination of the entire system for providing hearing aids, which critics say is too costly and cumbersome, hindering access to devices vital for the growing legions of older Americans.

Uber aims to put more deaf drivers on the roads

April 26, 2016 in Community News, Transportation


“Uber teaming with a nonprofit group for the deaf to attract more hearing-impaired drivers”

Washington Post

April 19

Wendell Pratt can’t hear what his Uber passengers say about him, but he is used to reading their reactions when they learn he is deaf.

Some stare at him through his rearview mirror; others check their phones to make sure they have the correct driver, or pull up their own set of directions to follow. And one man who climbed into Pratt’s 2012 Toyota Prius a few months ago couldn’t hide what Pratt took as apprehension.

“He kept looking at me,” said Pratt, 45, of Frederick, Md. “He was very short and standoffish. It was his attitude I could see.”

Read more  . . . UBER

Deaf Latinos struggle to connect with their families, and their Hispanic heritage

April 26, 2016 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



FOX News Latino
By Soni Sangha

Bregitt Jimenez is deaf and grew up in the United States. At school, she communicated using American Sign Language, which is based on English.

When she was young, her mother only spoke Spanish, so Jimenez and her family had to invent gestures to communicate with each other.

Today, Jimenez, 27, is president of the Latino Deaf and Hard of Hearing Association of the Metropolitan D.C. Area – which is part-advocacy group, part-social network. She feels connected to her Latino roots but getting to that point wasn’t easy.

Read More . . . Deaf Latinos

A “view” from the Court: Making accommodations for the deaf and hard of hearing

April 21, 2016 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



Scouts Blog
Mark Walsh
Tue, April 19th

It’s odd to walk into the Supreme Court and see lawyers in the bar section holding iPhones, iPads, and other electronic devices during a court session. But that was the case on Tuesday as twelve members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Bar Association were being sworn in to the Supreme Court Bar.

The group was founded in 2013, and the Supreme Court agreed to make accommodations for the group to participate in the ritual of its in-courtroom swearing-in ceremony. That included the provision of sign-language interpreters as well as a limited wi-fi signal allowing the lawyers to receive real-time translation on their electronic devices.

Read More  . . . Supreme Court

Mark Walsh, A “view” from the Court: Making accommodations for the deaf and hard of hearing, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 19, 2016, 4:18 PM)

AC/DC’s Brian Johnson opens up about hearing loss: ‘I am not retiring’

April 19, 2016 in Community News



April 19 2016

AC/DC recently had to reschedule the rest of its Rock or Bust World Tour after it became clear that Brian Johnson couldn’t continue to perform because of a hearing condition, which the singer opened up about in a note distributed Tuesday.

In the note, Johnson explains he “risked total deafness” if he kept performing at large venues “where the sound levels are beyond [his] current tolerance.” Guns ‘N Roses’ Axl Rose will be joining AC/DC on the remaining dates of their current tour.

Read more . . . AC/DC’s Brian Johnson

Supreme Court Chief Justice learned sign language to swear in deaf lawyers

April 19, 2016 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Disability Law



The Washington Post 

April 19

When a dozen lawyers rose together to be sworn into the Supreme Court bar Tuesday morning, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. made a sweeping motion with his hands.

It translated in American Sign Language to: “Your motion is granted.”

Roberts learned to sign the phrase just for that occasion, Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said.

That moving gesture alone made the admittance of 12 deaf lawyers to the highest court in the land historic. All were members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Bar Association and were from various parts of the country.

Read more . . . Supreme Court Chief Justice

James L. Beech Passed Away on April 11, 2016

April 19, 2016 in Community News


JimBeechJames Loranza Beech (Age 66) of Ashburn, VA passed away on Monday, April 11, 2016. Born in Washington, DC in 1949, his family lived in various places such as Japan and Germany, before settling in Falls Church, VA. He graduated from Falls Church High School in 1967, and Jamestown College (Jamestown, ND) with a degree in Philosophy/Religion and Sociology in 1971. He coached girls basketball and softball. He was employed by the Environmental Protection Agency as a computer programmer for 20 years.

Obituary . . . Jim L. Beech

Easy Housecleaning Tips for Hard of Hearing People

April 19, 2016 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



Better Hearing Consumer

Note: If  you’re looking for tips on how to get oil stains out of your shirt, or how to remove old wallpaper, you’re in the wrong place. People with hearing loss deal with those issues in the same way as hearing people. This article is about dealing with noise, Enemy #1 of people with hearing loss.

Housework is noisy. Yesterday, as I moved through the house dragging the central vac hose behind me, I could focus only on the boredom—and the noise. My cats feel the same way, flying into a hiding place at the sight of the vacuum.

Noise is often defined as unwanted sound, so I guess that means that nobody likes noise. But what hearing people consider to be wanted sound is often just sheer noise for people with hearing loss (PWHL), especially those of us who  . . .

Read More  . . . Gael Hannan

We treat hearing loss as an inevitable cost of war. It shouldn’t be.

April 14, 2016 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



 April 12

I don’t remember the moment the bomb went off, but I do know that when I landed, stunned, at the bottom of the gun turret of my vehicle, blood was leaking from my ears. I was quickly evacuated to Bagram Air Force Base, where I saw an audiologist. I could barely hear a word he said, so he showed me a drawing of my eardrums. Only hanging shreds remained.

For weeks people would have to shout at me to even get me to notice them, and I was now stuck with the supremely tedious duty of mixing and pouring concrete into the fortified command post we would eventually abandon. Nothing is worse than watching your platoon roll out on patrol without you.

It was assumed that I would be permanently deaf.

Read more . . . cost of war

NVRC installs ADA automatic door for Reuben I. Altizer Meeting Room entrance

April 14, 2016 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Happy Hands

Thursday 4/14/2016

The installation of an automatic door for the Reuben I. Altizer Meeting Room entrance has been completed today!

Thank you for the contributions of the NVRC community members, the Board, and Staff  so we could accomplish this needed goal for an accessible entrance. A special thanks should go to our outreach staff member Marla Dougherty for her persistence in researching and overcoming the hurdles to arrange for the door’s final installation. Yea!

automacticDoor ncrc_ADA_entrance

Google Awards TDI Two-Year Grant for Project in Web-Based Captioning Services

April 12, 2016 in Community News


TDI Website
Apr 12, 2016

Millions of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing Stand to Benefit from Highly-Accurate, Low-Cost, Captioning Services

Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI), is pleased to announce its receipt of Google’s $500,000 Impact Challenge/Disabilities two-year grant for a project to create scalable access to affordable, accessible, and accurate captions for any live event by combining available speech-to-text technology with real-time caption corrections made by event-designated peers in addition to caption streaming via the internet.

Read more . . . 

US Supreme Court to Welcome Deaf Attorneys to Bar in Unique Ceremony

April 12, 2016 in Community News, Disability Law


Voice of America
Chris Hannas
April 12, 2016 6:14 AM

A group of 13 deaf or hard-of-hearing attorneys will join the bar of the United States Supreme Court at a ceremony next week.

The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Bar Association (DHHBA) said that will be the largest such group to be admitted to the Supreme Court bar at one time.

The April 19 ceremony will also be unique in that the attorneys will be allowed to use their mobile phones to read real-time transcription of the proceedings. Mobile phones and other electronic devices are normally banned from the courtroom.

“Our admission sets a precedent that will hopefully encourage others with disabilities to pursue a legal career and view the legal profession as being open to diverse backgrounds,” said Anat Maytal, DHHBA’s president and one of the attorneys being sworn in.

Read more . . . Deaf Attorneys