Community News - Archive

All Things Housing Workshop – Thursday, November 6

October 17, 2014 in Community News

(Thanks to Fairfax County Disability Services)

Thursday, November 6
7-9 p.m.
JCCNV – 8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax VA 22031

The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCCNV) and The Washington Group Special Care Planning Team invite you to join them for a workshop on housing for individuals with disabilities. This workshop will showcase working housing models, residential ideas, and supports for individuals with disabilities.  There will also be a housing-focused resource fair.  This workshop is open to all for free.  Please RSVP to Carey Alford by Tuesday, November 4 at 703-865-6502 or




Vodafone Firsts helps deaf girl experience live music

October 16, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



Vodafone Firsts, the programme that enables people to do remarkable things for the first time with the help of mobile technology, has helped a 19-year-old deaf Dutch girl experience a music concert for the first time.

Vera van Dijk, a 19-year-old Dutch girl who was born deaf and has never been to a concert, is preparing for one of the most exciting moments of her life following a cochlear implant that allows her to hear certain sounds.

Vera started to hear a small number of musical notes when she received the implant two years ago. Because she had limited awareness of the type of music she may like, she accessed social media channels on her smartphone to ask the Dutch public to help Kyteman choose the first song that she would be able to hear perfectly.

To ensure that the sounds are audible to Vera, her #FirstConcert is being composed from scratch using the limited combination of frequencies that the cochlear implant enables her to hear. It is being composed by Kyteman, one of the most popular progressive musicians in the Netherlands, who has worked with Sting and other leading artists.

Watch Video – See more at:



Tulsa Police Work To Improve Communication With Deaf Community

October 16, 2014 in Community News


Oklahoma’s Own , NEWS ON 6
Oct 14, 2014

TULSA, Oklahoma – A town hall meeting Tuesday night focused on taking the fear out of a scary situation. Neither police nor citizens know exactly what to expect when someone’s pulled over, but that anxiety is compounded when a driver is deaf or hard of hearing. The issue came into stark focus after a deaf man was shot and killed last month in Florida, when he didn’t respond to deputies telling him to drop his gun. While Florida may seem far from here, it hits close to home for the deaf and hard of hearing in Oklahoma. A traffic stop is a situation no one ever wants to be in, but it happens. A reenactment shows a traffic stop from an officer’s perspective, but also gives the driver’s point of view. In this case, the man behind to wheel is deaf. It’s a situation Papa Rodgers Cameron said he knows all-too-well. “I get stopped a lot. I travel an awful lot on a motorcycle,” he said. Cameron speaks well, but he can’t hear. “I’m very, very, difficult to communicate with,” he said. Communication was the focus of a town hall meeting for the deaf and hard of hearing Tuesday night; whether it’s during a traffic stop, fire or 911 call.

Not all deaf people speak or read lips, but almost all communicate with their hands.

Read more of this article  . . .

10/14/2014 Related Story: Traffic Stops For Hearing Impaired Drivers: Practical Tips For Public Safety



Transcense: New APP in Development to provide transcribed conversations

October 16, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Community News, Technology

Transcense can translate speech into written words and transcribe it on screen in near real time. To make that possible, the app connects to several phones and activates their mics to capture what everyone’s saying, then it uses voice recognition to assign each person in the group a color for their speech bubbles. Also, the user can ask the program to speak for him using a digital voice or get everyone’s attention through the app when he wants to say something.

The hearing aid for SPIES – Clip-on amplifier eavesdrops on conversations

October 14, 2014 in Community News



October 13, 2014 – UK

The hearing aid for SPIES: Clip-on amplifier eavesdrops on conversations and even translates foreign languages in real time

Think how much easier life would be if, in a crowded and noisy bar, you could tune in to what your friend is saying on the other side of a room and block out all other conversations.

This is what one designer is suggesting might be possible in just a year or two – and it could come in especially handy for spies operating in crowded public places. Mark Rolston of Argodesign, California, thinks we will one day be able to wear devices that give us ‘superpowers’ such as ultra-directional hearing, incredible motor skills and anonymity when we want it. He came up with a concept called LaLaLa, which looks like a futuristic hearing aid.  ‘LaLaLa would allow you to hear life as you intend it, though selective hearing, sound filtering, voice modification and more,’ Renae Alsobrook, operations manager at the firm told MailOnline.

Read more:



Balloon pilot: Deaf crew can be an advantage

October 14, 2014 in Community News



ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Balloon pilots can’t do it without their crew, but what if your crew is deaf? One pilot at Fiesta this year had deaf balloon_NMcrew members, but he says it can be an advantage.

Balloon Pilot Colin Graham has a unique crew – a third of them are deaf or hard of hearing.

So how do they communicate? It just so happens his wife and crew chief Brittany Graham is a sign language interpreter by trade.

“We’re using sign language and English all at the same time. It gets a little confusing, but it’s amazing,” said Brittany Graham.

The crew and its pilot met by chance when the three came to sign up to crew. At first, they didn’t know if they’d find one.

“We were lost. I forced the boys to come in and figure it out with me, to show us where it was, and that exact minute we were walking out, Brittany was walking in and like that, she came up to us. I’m thinking back to that day and thinking, if we hadn’t gotten lost, we would have missed her,” explains Aly Kent.

“I was the one that pointed out to her that they were signing and so I said, hey, look at that, they’re signing,” says Colin Graham.

It was a perfect match. In fact, the Grahams said signing can work to their advantage.

“What’s great about Balloon Fiesta with a group of deaf people is that even in the midst of a crowd or the fans, we can talk from a quarter mile away. Stand on a truck bed, talk across the crowd,” Brittany Graham explained.

Kent said she and her husband, Jason Siergey, wanted to fly last year, but it was just too challenging to communicate.

That’s not the case this year.  Read More. . . .

See Video (not captioned)

Vote Now! for Your Favorite Video in Our 2014 My American Dream Video Contest

October 14, 2014 in Community News



Voting Now Open! Choose Your Favorite Video in Our 2014 My American Dream Video Contest

Now, it’s up to you! Cast your vote today in National Disability Institute’s 4th Annual My American Dream – Voices of Americans with Disabilities Video Contest.

From now through October 27th, you can visit the official My American Dream Contest website to vote for one of the five finalists. America’s votes will determine the grand prize winner, who will receive $1,000, a digital tablet, and sessions with a mentor to help take steps toward realizing their dream.

Videos poured in from all across the country, representing a wide range of states, ages and American dreams. The five 2014 finalists selected by an independent panel and available for America’s vote include:

  • Joe Bishop of Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • Emily Munson of Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Robert Ransom of Flat Rock, N.C.
  • Joseph Sumners of Sparta, Tenn.
  • Amanda Thompson of Hays, Kan.

To cast your vote or learn more about National Disability Institute’s My American Dream – Voices of Americans with Disabilities Video Contest, visit the official contest website at Please encourage your colleagues, friends and family to vote as well and feel free to share news about the contest via social media.

You can follow contest news on the website or join the conversation on Twitter @RealEconImpact with the hashtag #NDIdream and on Facebook You can also read the national press release on the NDI website.

Thank you in advance for casting your vote and helping one of our five finalists take the steps to make their American Dream a reality!

All the best,
Your Friends at National Disability Institute



GWADA Free Workshop – Financial Planning Workshop

October 6, 2014 in Community Events, Community News



Financial Planning Workshop

You are invited to attend a FREE workshop
(open to the public)

Seats are limited, RSVP is required, deadline 10/9/14 gwada_image
send email to

Saturday, October 11, 2014
2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
(Light refreshments will be served after workshop)

Tenley-Friendship Library
Meeting Room, 2nd Floor
4450 Wisconsin Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016
(Metro red line: Tenleytown/AU station)

Mrs. Stephanie Summers, Deaf Speaker, is a Financial Advisor from Kramer Wealth Managers. Her credentials include: Chartered Federal Employee Benefits Consultant, Registered Financial Consultant, and Master of Business Administration.

  • Personal Financegwada_2
  • Retirement Planning
  • Roth IRA / Tradition IRA  
  • TSP / 401K
  • College Savings Plan

FOLDA NEWS October 5, 2014 – Teacher’s Day, Clerc-Gallaudet Week

October 6, 2014 in Community News



World Teacher’s Day – October 5

Invest in the future, Invest in teachers   Sponsored by the UNESCO and its partners

Library friends groups and organizations serving deaf diversity (OSDD) are urged to help the world’s libraries celebrate today as World Teacher’s Day.  They may also continue to celebrate it until December 10 – the day when the United Nations will proclaim as International Year of Human Rights.

Incidentally, FOLDA will continue buzzing the 150th anniversary of Gallaudet University recognizing its impact on the global education of deaf people of all ages.

On April 8, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Enabling Act for the Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb (incorporated 1857) authorizing it to grant college-level degrees – the beginning of what is now Gallaudet University.

And we are to continue paying tribute to three notable teaching pioneers — Abbé de l’Épée, hearing teacher, advocate of the manual alphabet and language of conventional signs and who started the first school for the deaf in the world in Paris in 1760s; Laurent Clerc (deaf) and Thomas H. Gallaudet (hearing), the two visionary leaders in the field of American deaf education and who with Dr. Mason Fitch Cogswell, hearing parent of the deaf child, Alice Cogswell, co-founded the first permanent public school for deaf children – the first of this kind – in America on April 15, 1817. This school and some other schools for the deaf have been investing in the future and deaf teachers.

Individuals and groups wishing to pay tribute to the late teacher (deaf or hearing) at their school or within local communities may consider donating a copy of the FOLDA KIT: Laurnt Clerc and Gallaudet University to the library of their choice in their honor.

This FOLDA KIT is a fundraiser by the Gallaudet Class of 1957 for Gallaudet archives.   The cost is 25 dollars for the packet alone or 45 dollars for the packet with the binder, 20 sheet protectors and a complimentary poster of George Veditz, by famed Deaf artist, Nancy Rourke.   Add $5.00 for delivery cost.   Make checks payable to FOLDA and mail to 2930 Craiglawn Road, Silver Spring, MD 20904-1816.   Many of you already bought one and we sincerely thank you and will appreciate your help to spread the word about it.

The packet includes two color prints of Laurent Clerc and Abbé de l’Épée, by famed Deaf artist, Jean Boutcher and also an illustration of Laurent Clerc and T.H. Gallaudet on the ship on their way to America from France in 1816, by famed Deaf artist, Ruth Peterson.   All sized 11” x 8.5”

 Clerc Gallaudet Week — December  3 – 10


The week was initiated as Deaf Awareness Week in 1974 by the D.C. Public Library in cooperation with the National Association of the Deaf and the DC community; its actual purpose was to acquaint the public with deaf people and to inform deaf people about library services

Today the purpose of the week is to celebrate birth anniversaries of the first two visionary leaders in the field of American Deaf Education who were born in December: Laurent Clerc on December 26, 1785 and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet on December 10, 1787.  Also during the week, the public will be observing December 3 as the International Year of People with Disabilities and December 10 as the International Year of Human Rights.


During the week or beyond, OSDD (organizations serving deaf diversity) may display their deaf resources to the public, at the malls, festival sites or anywhere that will draw big crowds.  They may also form partnerships with their local public library for presenting deaf cultural programs.  The goal may be to promote awareness and mobilize support of the public for critical issues in American deaf education and human rights of deaf diversity.

Academic, school and public Libraries as well as OSDD having plans to celebrate the week or beyond will please email announcements to FOLDA.

FOLDA also welcomes stories from the public about their experience with deaf cultures and about libraries changing lives.

In December we will make a list of donors of FOLDA KIT.  Also the name of teachers and the related they plan to donate to the library.

Editor: Alice L. Hagemeyer
FOLDA President

Creator of the Two Series:
I Made America Great and Bridging Deaf Cultures
One of the 15 Gallaudet visionary leaders, honored during the 150th anniversary of Gallaudet University, celebrated from September 2013 to November 2014


The FCC Posts Two Videos in American Sign Language

October 6, 2014 in Community News, Technology

On October 3, 2014, the FCC posted two new videos available in American Sign Language.

  • The first video provides an overview about the purpose and functionality of the upcoming Advanced Video Communication Platform to ensure the efficiency and competition of Video Relay Service (VRS) and the interoperability of VRS and video point to point communication.
  • The second video provides information about the Commission’s recent action on the Text-to-911 rulemaking in order to promote the availability of such service.

To view these videos, visit:

In Pennsylvania, some candidates don’t have all the voters’ ears

October 2, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Community News



SUNLIGHT Foundation
by Kathy Kiely
SEPT. 24, 2014

In the Philadelphia area, most candidates and campaign committees trying to woo voters with TV ads this election season are going out of their way to reach out to those with hearing difficulties, but there are some notable exceptions.

Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s campaign for re-election is most prominent of the political committees advertising on Philadelphia-area TV this fall without closed captioning, written transcripts of a broadcasts’ spoken words that can be activated on most TVs.

The omission isn’t partisan however: The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, which has bought ads opposing Corbett, also fails to provide the captions. So does the campaign of Tom MacArthur, a Republican running for an open congressional seat in south Jersey.

The findings were unearthed as part of the Philly Political Media Watch, a pilot research project by the Internet Archive, the Sunlight Foundation, the Committee of Seventy and local scholars to catalogue political communications and trace funding for them to the source.

Our initial efforts focus on advertising in one of the nation’s largest TV markets during the 2014 campaign. The Internet Archive, which is capturing Philadelphia TV broadcasts on servers housed at the University of Pennsylvania’s Linguistics Data Consortium, noticed the omitted captions because the Archive uses them to index the TV data.

While the Federal Communications Commission requires closed captioning on most television programming, advertisements are generally exempt. Most advertisers provide the captions, however, to expand their market reach. In a December 2010 memo to members, the Association of National Advertisers extolled the benefits of closed captioning, noting that the “cost . . . is minimal” and that it would enable advertisers to reach an estimated 36 million Americans who suffer from hearing loss (low, according to Johns Hopkins University, which puts the number at 48 million).

Read More  . . .

Mid-Atlantic ADA Center
E-Bulletin: Sept. 26, 2014

September 30, 2014 in Community News

Mid-Atlantic ADA CenterADA_center

September 26, 2014

Our E-Bulletin for September 26, 2014 is now posted online at:

Some news you’ll find in this issue:

  •  DOL: $8.4 Million to Improve Employment Opportunities
  • “Harkin Introduces Three Bills as Part of ‘Access for All’ Agenda for Americans with Disabilities”
  • “Understanding EEOC’s new guidance on pregnancy discrimination”
  • A Review of Community College-Employer Partnerships and Initiatives: Expanding Opportunities for Job Seekers with Disabilities
  • Disaster Planning and Response: Including People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
  • “Federal Legal Corner: Flexible Schedule as Reasonable Accommodation”
  • New Guide Offers Tips on 508 Compliance
  • DOJ Alleges Kent State Violated FHA by Refusing to Allow Emotional Support Animals in Student Housing
  • Nominations Sought for Participation in Advisory Committee on Competitive Integrated Employment


ADA In Focus Webinar Series

October 9, 2014 – 2:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern
The ADAAA and its affect on Section 503 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act
Rob Hodapp, Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
November 13, 2014 – 2:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern

The ADA and Law Enforcement, there’s more to it than ramps
Michael Sullivan, Michael Sullivan ADA Consulting
There is no charge for these sessions. Click on the links for more information.


Mid-Atlantic ADA Center
A member of the ADA National NetworkTransCen, Inc.
401 N. Washington Street Suite 450
Rockville, Maryland 20850
1-800-949-4232 V/TTY
301-217-0124 V/TTY



Washington Post Reviews – ‘EL DEAFO’ by deaf Va. artist CECE BELL

September 24, 2014 in Community News



Washington Post
Comic Riffs
By Michael Cavna September 23

‘EL DEAFO’: With her first (and so funny) graphic novel,
deaf Va. artist CECE BELL hopes her tale will help others

IT IS A STORY Cece Bell knew she wanted to tell, and believed it was something she should share. But it took decades of discovery and experience, and then artistic growth and parenthood, to get to a place where she was ready to put it to paper.

At age 4, Bell suffered a brief bout with meningitis that left her “severely to profoundly deaf.” Soon she was wearing hearing aids, and a large Phonic Ear across her chest. As her life, too, began to change profoundly, she created an alter-ego – El Deafo! – who, amid a child’s sense of vulnerability and uncertainty, was determined to feel empowered by her being “different.”

Now, at age 43, Bell has introduced her superheroic self to the world in her emotionally truthful graphic-novel debut — titled, naturally, “El Deafo”(Amulet). As memoir, it is a work that demanded its own journey.

“I think the story was easier to tell, since I knew the material inside and out, and I’ve pretty much spent my whole life trying to make sense of some of the things that happened to me,” Bell tells The Post’s Comic Riffs (ahead of her appearance Wednesday morning at Washington’s Politics & Prose bookstore, and tomorrow afternoon at One More Page Books in Arlington, Va.) . “But the [five-year] execution of the book was probably the hardest project I’ve ever taken on in my life.

“I’ve said it so many times my throat hurts: I don’t see how the graphic novelists in this world make more than one of these things in one lifetime!”

Bell was born in Richmond, and “El Deafo” recounts her childhood growing up near Roanoke. Her Virginia roots run through her work in many ways, including the very illustration itself. She created the inviting art of “El Deafo” with Eisner-winning colorist David Lasky, whom she and her husband met while attending the College of William & Mary.

Washington Post Article

VBDP – NEWS – Fellowships, Survey Deadlines, more

September 24, 2014 in Community News


September 23, 2014


Survey Season-Open until Early October! Computer Monitor with Survey

People with disabilities, family members, concerned citizens, care providers, and policymakers-we need your help! Have you taken 10 minutes to fill out the Board’s survey? We want your input to know how we’re doing, so please take time to complete it online. The survey is available on the home page of (in the slider on the right) or by typing into your web browser. If you have trouble accessing the survey or need a printed copy, please dial 800-846-4464 or send an email to with your contact information so we can assist you.



Family with Laptop

 Health Survey Open until Oct. 3

The Virginia Dept. of Health (VDH) is conducting a needs assessment study for women, children, and families in Virginia. If you have children with special health care needs, please take a few minutes to complete the VDH online survey.



Transportation Survey Open until October 10

iRide Van

Getting around the Commonwealth can be a challenge for people with disabilities. How do you travel now? How would you like to travel in the future? Give your opinion now and you can help guide Virginia’s transportation in the future.



It’s Here-Your Comprehensive Resource!

2014 Disability AssessmentFor those engaged in understanding and improving Virginia’s supports and services for individuals with developmental and other disabilities, the Board’s 2014 Assessment of the Disability Service System in Virginia is an essential reference, with data and descriptions of many of the programs and services administered, funded, provided, or licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Note: This year there are two separate volumes-Volume 1 is a 68-page document, Key Findings and Board Recommendations, plus the 500 page Volume 2, available online as an accessible PDF file (preferred distribution method). Both documents are available on CD upon request at 800-846-4464 or send an email to if unable to access online.


Fellowship Program Applications Open until October 30 glasses-man-portrait.jpg

The Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation is seeking professionals, family members, or people with disabilities who are working or volunteering in the field of inclusive services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). The purpose of the one-year fellowship is to prepare both early career and seasoned leaders to excel in the public policy arena in their home state or nationally. Applications are accepted online until 5:00 pm EST October 30, 2014. If you have questions, please contact Steven M. Eidelman.

Keeping Virginians informed about disability services and issues is one of our most important responsibilities! Thank you for sharing this information.

VBPD does not share your contact information without your permission. The Board shares your concern about privacy and unwanted correspondence, especially junk e-mail. We limit our communications to information you need to be more knowledgeable about issues affecting people with disabilities.




The Mid-Atlantic Deaf & HH Festival – Exhibitors Information

September 22, 2014 in Community News



September 12, 2014

Dear Prospective Exhibitors,

The Mid-Atlantic Deaf & HH Festival is fast approaching and I wanted to send out a friendly reminder to make sure and reserve your booth early so you receive the “Early Bird Special Price”.  The Early Bird Special has been extended and the new deadline is September 30, 2014.

This is a great way to showcase your business or organization and make new business contacts, launch your new products and sell your products and services.

Space is limited and exhibit contracts are on a first-come, first-serve basis.   Don’t miss out!

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at:


VP: 623-208-7648


Wayne Berke, Chair

Download Event flyer

Doenload 1-dayMaryland DeafFestival 2014ExhibitionContract