Community News - Archive

Wife of New York sign-language interpreter explains his ‘expressive’ style

January 29, 2015 in Community News, Interpreting & Transliterating

 

 

CBC/Radio-Canada
January 28, 2015

He’s been described as “mesmerizing,” “distracting” and even “ridiculous.” Jonathan Lamberton is a deaf New York City sign-language interpreter whose animated signing alongside Mayor Bill de Blasio has gained him notoriety, most recently on The Daily Show. However, Lamberton’s wife Andria Alefhi wants to set the record straight about her husband’s big expressions.

“There’s actually nothing really exaggerated about it, so the joke is kinda on everyone else,” Alefhi tells As It Happens co-host Carol Off. “Everyone in the know just looks at him and says, ‘Yep, that’s a person doing American sign language. It’s good. It’s clear.'”

Alefhi explains that she often works alongside her deaf husband, interpreting what is said to him, who then signs it again.

Why is this necessary? It’s because she has an accent.

“Some deaf people only understand another deaf person or it’s easier to understand a deaf person with that accent removed,” she explains. “It’s not just an accent, there’s actually grammatical components. There’s actually quite a bit to it. But for the average person watching, they probably wouldn’t know the difference.”

READ More  . . .See Photo’s and Video

 

The First DeafBlind VRS Calls Were Made with CAAGVRS

January 29, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Community News

 

 

Houston Deaf Network
Advocator

DeafBlind Communication Matters. On Monday, January 5, 2015 history was made as the day the first live DeafBlind Video Relay (DBVRS) calls were successfully made by alpha testers!

DBVRS, wherein a DeafBlind consumer calls into the service using specialized software and signs to the VRS interpreter who voices to the hearing consumer and then types back to the DeafBlind consumer who receives the information from the hearing consumer via braille display, has been a long time project of CAAGVRS that began in the early summer of 2014.

After several months of testing, CAAGVRS made the first live test calls on January 5th with alpha users of the service. In their words, “This is Awesome!” “I am so very excited!” “Finally true independence for DeafBlind to make VRS calls anytime we need or wish.”

The value of this service cannot be understated for the DeafBlind Community as IP-Relay providers continue to…

Read more at DeafNetwork

 

Maryland – Deaf Housing Availability

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

 

 

Deaf Independent Residence, Inc. has HUD Section 202/8 housing available. Deaf Independent Residences II, Inc. has three units open in Berlin, Maryland and Deaf Independent Residences III, Inc. has five units open in Easton, Maryland.

The units are rent subsidized and include utilities. They are available to qualified adults willing to share a home. Each individual will have their own bedroom and share a bathroom, kitchen and living areas. Each home is equipped w/fire, phone and doorbell signalers for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.

The eligibility requirements to rent a room in one of DIR houses are as follows:

  • The applicant is 62 years old or over or is 18 years old or over and has a documented disability.  Anyone under the age of 18 years may not rent a unit under any circumstances.
  • The applicant’s annual income meets the very low and extremely low income level guidelines, established by HUD.
  • The applicant is a United States citizen or eligible immigration status.
  • The applicant must have a clear Criminal Background Check. Applicants who have been charged with drug related crimes (under the “One Strike” rule); or who were evicted from another federally assisted housing site for drug related criminal activity; or use illegal drugs; or are classified sex offenders will be not be accepted.
  • The applicant must be willing to share the common areas of the house.

All requirements must be met. DIR is an Equal Housing Opportunity provider. If interested, please call 410-742-5052 V/TTY, 443-365-2647 VP or email laura.jones@dila.org or lisa.trolian@dila.org.

 

 

Waynesboro, VA student fights JMU language policy

January 29, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Interpreting & Transliterating

 

 

The News Virginian
By LAUREN BERG
January 25, 2015

Waynesboro High School junior Michelle Smith wants nothing more than to go to James Madison University and pursue a career in social work.

To prepare, she knew she would have to keep up her grades, participate in extracurricular activities and write a stellar admissions essay. But what she didn’t anticipate was that her dream school would not accept her three years of American Sign Language credits to fulfill the foreign language requirement.

“I want to go to JMU and they’re making me take Spanish, even though I’ve taken three years of ASL,” said Smith, who enjoys learning sign language but had to make the abrupt change to make sure she can go to her dream school.

“She has her heart set on going to JMU and didn’t want to take another foreign language,” said Kristen Werle, Waynesboro High School’s ASL teacher.

With the help of her high school sign language teacher, therapist and mother, Smith crafted a letter and a petition she plans to send to JMU, as well as U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke, and U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Timothy Kaine, both former Virginia Democratic governors.

“It is a language and there are a lot of deaf people, and I think it should be considered,” Smith said. “I mean, if you can sit in class and learn it, and actually have a conversation with someone who’s deaf, then it’s a language.”

“There’s no reason for it not to be a language or to not be considered a language,” she added.

 

Read More  . . 

Faking It with My Hearing Loss, By Nancy M. Williams

January 29, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

What Bert and Ernie Taught Me About the Letter L and Love

Grand Piano Passion
By Nancy M. Williams, Founding Editor

January 26, 2015

Fakers. We all know they’re out there when it comes to hearing loss. Of course, it takes a faker to know one.

A man stops my daughter and me on the street. Traffic zooms behind him, the roar rushing into my hearing aids. “Hleiof lskjafj flto Bloomfield?” he asks. I surmise, with the bus shelter nearby, that he must have asked, when will the bus come for Bloomfield?

“I’m sorry, I don’t know the bus schedules,” I say. The man gives me a perplexed look, shakes his head, and walks away.

“Why didn’t you just say, I didn’t hear you? How come you keep on faking it?”

“He didn’t ask you about the buses!” my daughter says. “He wanted to know which way is Bloomfield.

Why didn’t you just say,
I didn’t hear you?
How come you keep
on faking it?”

An audiologist first diagnosed my mild, high-frequency loss shortly after I turned six. I got my first hearing aid at 12, and then for the next several decades tried not to notice while my hearing slowly slid down the audiologist’s . . . .

Read More  . . .

NVAD General Meeting – Sat. , Feb. 14 at NVRC

January 29, 2015 in Community Events, Community News

 

 

Northern Virginia Association of the Deaf (NVAD)

NVAD General Meeting 

Agenda: 70th NVAD Birthday Bash And New Year’s Eve Party 

Come and share your feedback… 

DATE: Saturday, February 14, 2015

TIME: 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Northern Virginia Resource Center (NVRC)
3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130 Fairfax, VA 22030

Don’t Forget to wear RED!

Heart-Red

Light Refreshments  – For more information, contact NVAD President Donna Graff-Viall
571-766-0671 (VP) or missgraffie@gmail.com (email) 

DOWNLOAD – NVAD_General_Meeting_Flyer

VDDHH Legislative Report for 2015 Virginia General Assembly

January 29, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Disability Law

 

VDDHH Legislative Tracking 2015 General Assembly

Each tracking report will include the basic information on the bill as it appears on the Legislative Information System (LIS) plus a section on VDDHH Comments, if any, to explain our interest in the bill. For each bill, we have provided a link to the actual LIS page for that bill so that you can see the actual bill language and track the bill yourself. After the initial report on any bill included here, the information provided will be limited to the bill number (linked to the LIS) and a brief update statement.

Bills included in the VDDHH tracking report will be separated into groups of bills as follows:

1.     VDDHH – Lead Agency: These are bills which directly impact VDDHH and for which VDDHH is the primary contact agency for the administration. There should only be a few bills in this category.

2.     VDDHH – Actively Tracking/Commenting: These are bills that VDDHH will actively track and will provide specific, factual information and comments on to ensure that issues in the bill which relate to this agency and the consumers we serve are identified. “Actively Tracking” means that VDDHH will consistently check on the status of these bills. The agency may, if necessary and appropriate, testify at committee meetings on these bills or provide input to either the patron of the bill or to the LEAD agency responsible for the bill. VDDHH is NOT the lead agency on these bills and our level of involvement may be limited.

3.     VDDHH – Not Actively Tracking/General Interest: These are bills that may be of general interest to consumers, family members or professionals who receive our tracking reports.   VDDHH is not actively tracking these bills and will not be providing comment or attending committee meetings on these bills.

PLEASE NOTE: VDDHH will only report a “position” on a bill when the Governor’s office has taken a position on that bill. Please do not assume that VDDHH “supports” or “opposes” a bill based on the information provided in this report. This report is only intended to provide the facts of a bill as VDDHH knows them.

If a bill is “killed” during the session, it will be removed from the tracking list. VDDHH may also remove bills from the list if changes are made to the bill which eliminate the specific issues of interest to this agency or the consumers we serve.

DOWNLOAD PDF – VDDHH Legislative Tracking Report 1 27 15

DOWNLOAD MS word- VDDHH Legislative Tracking Report 1 27 15

3 months until the 4th Annual ReelAbilities:
Greater DC Film Festival!

January 29, 2015 in Community News

 

Reelabilities

3 months until the 4th Annual ReelAbilities: Greater DC Film Festival!!
Check out our film lineup here; website updated regularly!

The ReelAbilities: Greater DC team is growing!  Dan Kirsch, JCCNV Cultural Arts Director, and Brittanie Werbel, JCCNV Film Coordinator are now working with me and the ReelAbilities committee to expand our influence to the broader film and arts communities.  Sponsorship and partnership opportunities are now available – whether for the entire festival or a single screening, your gift grows the possibilities of ReelAbilities and helps support the special needs community! Contact meDan or Brittanie for assistance.

Jessica Tischler, M.Ed, CTRS

Special Needs Director, ReelAbilities Festival Director
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia
8900 Little River Turnpike
Fairfax, VA 22031
703-537-3031 (p)
703-323-1993 (f)
www.jccnv.org

Open Captioning Screening this Week at AFI Silver Theatre

January 29, 2015 in Captioning / Relay, Community News

AFI Silver Theatre provides open captioning for select films:

Sunday, February 1
  • THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING 11:00 a.m. (OC)
  • BIRDMAN 7:05 (OC)
Monday, February 2:
  • THE IMITATION GAME 6:55 (OC)
Wednesday, February 4:
  • INHERENT VICE 8:15 (OC)

Check AFI.com/Silver for upcoming Open Caption Screenings!

AFI Silver Theatre is located at 8633 Colesville Rd., near the intersection of Colesville Rd. and Georgia Ave.  For daily listings call 301-495-6700

(!)  Pass Restricted

Mary Dalto

 
Theater Manager | AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center | American Film Institute 
8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910 | P: 301.495.6720 | F: 301.495.6777 | theatermanagers@AFI.com

NAD – Looking for Youth Leadership Camp Staff for Summer 2015!

January 29, 2015 in Community News

 

National Association of the Deaf (NAD)
Video Announcement
Jan 28, 2015

Mark Ramirez, Camp Director, makes an announcement about National Association of the Deaf (NAD) Youth Leadership Camp (YLC) staff application and its requirements. The staff application deadline is Sunday, February 8, 2015. The Camp takes place in Stayton, Oregon. www.nad.org/ylcstaff

Watch NAD Video
(no captions)
Video description and transcript:

Video fades to a gradient background with dark blue to light blue, a grey National Association of the Deaf (NAD) logo is centered. Video fades to Camp Director Mark Ramirez in front of a green background. The NAD logo appears as a light watermark in the bottom right corner.

MARK: Something is coming up soon! Yes! The NAD YLC 2015 will be happening this summer! The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) Youth Leadership Camp (YLC) is looking for interested staff members to join us this summer. It’ll happen June 15th – July 23rd. Staff members will have staff training prior to a four-week camp. They will also have a wrap-up session at the end. Please apply online at nad.org/ylcstaff. You just need to fill out an application, provide a cover letter, a resume, letters of recommendations, and a video essay. Come and join us this summer! It will be an extraordinary opportunity for you to get involved in working with deaf youth from all over the nation. It will be a lot of fun and the camp is filled with various activities, personal growth, and connections. This is where we can advocate for our community. We encourage you, your friends, or people you know to apply. Spread the word!

TEXT-ON-SCREEN: JOIN US! Staff dates: June 15 – 23. www.nad.org/ylcstaff. nadylc@nad.org

Video fades to the same gradient background with dark blue to light blue, a grey National Association of the Deaf (NAD) logo is centered. White text below the logo appears, “A production of the National Association of the Deaf (copyright) 2015 All Rights Reserved” with four teal social media icons, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

 

Prince Philip’s new mobile – with a ringtone as loud as a drill!

January 27, 2015 in Community News, Technology

 

 

  • Duke of Edinburgh starts using phone designed for hard of hearing
  • The amplicomms M8000 mobile is up to 80 times louder than normal 
  • The handset also features a larger keypad and an SOS emergency button
  • The company, Hearing Direct, received a thank-you call from the Palace 

THE DAILY MAIL , UK
By REBECCA ENGLISH FOR
January 16 2015 | UPDATED: January  19 2015

He only bedgrudgingly started to wear a hearing aid in public a few months ago.But Prince Philip is already making adjustments for it in other areas of his life.The 93-year-old royal has just started using a special mobile phone especially designed for people suffering from hearing loss, it can be revealed.

Most high street phones are not compatible for people wearing aids because of the levels of interfearence. And while Philip’s new amplicomms M8000 is short on smart phone-style gimmicks, it can be up to 80 times louder than regular mobiles.

It also has a powerful vibrating alert – and a ringtone that can sound as loud as a road drill.

Read more: 

 

Some Deaf, Blind Students Find Success at Gooding School

January 27, 2015 in Community News

 

 

Times-News – Southern Idaho Local News
By  JULIE WOOTTON
January 26, 2015

GOODING • Emma McLaughlin-Orton’s life has changed since she came to the Idaho School for the Deaf and the Blind.

“I can’t explain it. It’s way too cool.” The Couer d’Alene 12-year-old had struggled in school because of her hearing difficulties. But in her first year at ISDB, she’s discovered she enjoys math. “I was really surprised. I used to hate math.” A national debate rages over whether children who are blind/visually impaired or deaf/hard of hearing should stay in local schools or go to special campuses.

Some believe children gain more independence in a public school where they learn to fend for themselves. Others say special schools are optimal. “Specialized schools have been under fire in a number of ways,” said Brian Darcy, administrator of the state’s Gooding-based Idaho Educational Services for the Deaf and the Blind.

The question is: What’s least restrictive? ISDB is best for some, Darcy said.

Idaho’s services for deaf and blind students came under fire from 2006 through 2009. When employees and alumni celebrated the ISDB’s 100th year in 2006, they feared it would close. “This may be the last time that the alumni will have to visit the school,” alumna Janette Lancaster told the Times-News then. “The legislators have the opinion that it is better for the children to be in public schools, but I don’t think they realize what we do for the students here.” Lawmakers proposed closing Gooding’s campus, enrolling blind students in public schools and sending deaf students to five sites around Idaho.

It didn’t happen. Idaho Educational Services for the Deaf and the Blind reorganized in 2009 as a state agency instead of being under the state Board of Education.

Read More . . .

Deaf therapy dog provides support to Langley patients

January 27, 2015 in Community News

 

 

Daily Press, Hampton Roads, VA
Andrea Castillo
January 27, 2015

As Lothair, a white Sheltie therapy dog, makes his way in to USAF Hospital Langley in Hampton for his weekly visit to meet with patients, he walks tall and proud into the building and is immediately greeted with a hug from a receptionist at the front desk.

Lothair continues walking down the hall, carrying himself like royalty, appropriate for a dog named after a French monarch. From the time the dog was a puppy, he had a proud, dignified air about him, his owner, Hampton resident Melanie Paul said.

“He was beautiful,” she said. “He was like a king.”

Watching the way Lothair moves and interacts with patients at the hospital, it is not obvious that Lothair has been deaf since birth.

“Deafness is an invisible disability,” she said via email.

Lothair began serving as a therapy dog — providing emotional support to patients in hospitals, nursing homes and other settings — several years ago.

He is registered with New Jersey-based Therapy Dogs International, which has dogs registered in all 50 states and Canada. Along with tests required by the organization to become a certified therapy dog, deaf dogs must also undergo a startle test. During the test, someone will come up behind the dog and pet and touch its rear quarters, and the dog cannot be startled or react negatively, TDI’s website states.

Paul has had therapy dogs for more than 15 years, with experience that includes starting a pet therapy program at Sentara CarePlex Hospital more than a decade ago and starting the same program at Langley about five years ago.

She usually brings Lothair and another therapy dog to Langley once or twice a week and also makes regular visits to local hospitals and nursing homes.

Paul decided to acquire a deaf dog as she prepared to retire from Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind in 2009 after a 30-year career in education, intending to use the dog to help deaf children improve their literacy skills, she said.

Read More . . .

 

 

Can the Philippines become a ‘deaf-inclusive’ country?

January 27, 2015 in Community News

 

 

Rappler
David Lozada
Jan 27, 2015

‘There is a worldwide movement viewing deafness as a culture beyond hearing impairment, and the community of the deaf as a cultural and linguistic minority has become visibly accepted in global circles of advocacy’

MANILA, Philippines – It all started as a high school volunteering activity that evolved into a lifetime commitment. Now, thirty-year-old John Paul Maunes is making waves of change for the deaf community in the Philippines.

Maunes, who has been serving as the executive director of the Gualandi Service Volunteer Program (GSVP) for the past 3 years, dreams of seeing a “deaf-inclusive” society where sign language is available everywhere.

“(A society where) deaf and persons with disabilities (PWDs) can freely communicate and understand each other and maximize each others’ potentials without bias and prejudice, where each person can freely exercises his/her rights in a nurturing and protective environment,” he added.

Disability, he said, is not just a physical limitation. It is an ever “evolving concept.”

“Disability is the direct result of the interaction between a person with PWD and the attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others,” Maunes, who co-founded GSVP in 2005, explained

Watch Captioned Video & Read More 

Deaf, blind Berkeley resident appointed to national organization’s board of trustees

January 27, 2015 in Community News

 

 

The Daily Californian 
BY AMY JIANG | STAFF
January 27, 2015

Berkeley civil rights attorney Haben Girma was appointed the first deaf and blind board trustee of Helen Keller Services for the Blind on Thursday.

Founded in 1893, Helen Keller Services is a national organization that is based in New York and helps visually impaired, blind or deaf and blind individuals lead independent lives. Girma, who grew up in Oakland and San Leandro, attended Lewis & Clark College for her undergraduate degree and became the first deaf and blind graduate of Harvard Law School in 2013.

She currently works to improve access to technology and education as a Skadden Fellowship Attorney at Disability Rights Advocates, a nonprofit legal center for disability rights located in Downtown Berkeley.

“I’m passionate about disability rights work because it’s a background in which I have personal knowledge, and I can use that knowledge to help others,” Girma said.

Read More  . . .