Community News - Archive

Blue Ridge Speech and Hearing Center – Cinderella Tea – Sunday Oct 26th

October 24, 2014 in Community News



Blue Ridge Speech and Hearing Center will hold its Golden Anniversary “Cinderella Tea” at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday, October 26th, at the Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg.

During the past 50 years, Blue Ridge Speech and Hearing Center has provided comprehensive hearing evaluations, hearing devices and diagnostic and treatment therapy to more than 10,000 Loudoun County Public School (LCPS) students identified as having hearing, speech or language impairment.

Cinderella will welcome guests for a formal tea at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.on October 26th. (Guests of all ages are welcome to dress as their favorite princess, maiden, squire or knight.) Now in its 13th year, the Cinderella Tea includes a princess ballet performed by the Warrenton Ballet Company; an activities boutique; a commemorative tea cup; a horse-drawn carriage ride around Salamander Resort; and silent auction and raffle.

Blue Ridge Speech and Hearing Center will use the proceeds from this event to assist those in the community who face daily challenges communicating. For more information and to reserve your seats or table, go to

From Kansas to Giants, a Pioneer’s Trail of Wins and Wit; Deaf BB Player

October 24, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



New York Times

OLATHE, Kan. — A Giant is buried in Kansas.

Baldwin City, Kan., is a mere 50 miles from Kauffman Stadium, the home of the Kansas City Royals, this year’s American League champion. It is where Luther Taylor, who was known as Dummy Taylor, was buried in 1958, the year his former team, the Giants, began play in San Francisco, having moved from the Polo Grounds in Upper Manhattan.

Taylor was a pioneering pitcher, a colorful and charismatic character who could neither hear nor speak but who could throw a baseball with expertise. He helped the Giants win their first World Series of the modern baseball era, in 1905, and bridged a gap between hearing and nonhearing athletes, and he remains a unique link between Kansas City and the Giants.

During Taylor’s time with the Giants, from 1900 to 1908, many of his teammates learned to sign, and Taylor kept them laughing — and sometimes winning — for much of his career.

“He stands as an inspiration to many people,” said Sandra Kelly, a former teacher and principal at the Kansas School for the Deaf, where Taylor starred in baseball and later coached, in Olathe (pronounced oh-LAY-tha), a city 20 miles southwest of downtown Kansas City, Mo. “It’s pretty clear from the stories how much his teammates loved and respected him.”


Luther Taylor kept his teammates loose with his sense of humor and umpires on edge with his salty sign language.CreditGeorge Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress 

Kelly is now the executive director of the Deaf Cultural Center here, which sits directly across the street from the school. The center houses a museum with an exhibit dedicated to Taylor, one of the school’s most celebrated graduates, along with Paul Hubbard, who is said to be the inventor of the football huddle.

READ Entire Article

Interview with President of Korean Association of the Deaf

October 24, 2014 in Community News


Deaf Nation
Posted – Oct. 24, 2014

In this interview, we sit down with a man of many experiences and stories… Seungil Byun 변승일! We have the chance to learn about a country’s hardships and passion to gain equality in different aspects for their Deaf community in this video. Join in on the interview and get to know this individual on his accomplishments, and what he aims to accomplish! (captioned)

Click to watch Captioned Video

Have Fun and Give Back Alexander Graham Bell Association

October 23, 2014 in Community News


Have Fun and Give Back – Join a New Tradition of Generosity
RSVP Today and Help Us Advance Our Mission 

Come on November 8, 2014 for a
Pre-Theater Reception and Performance of

You are cordially invited to a pre-theater cocktail reception at the Volta Bureau – the Alexander Graham Bell Association’s beloved historic headquarters in Washington, D.C. – and then join us in busing over to the Kennedy Center to enjoy a comedy-whodunit, Shear Madness.

At the reception, we will unveil our upcoming campaign for #GivingTuesday.


The performance will be captioned and assistive listening devices will be available for patrons at the Kennedy Center. Round-trip bus transportation to and from the Kennedy Center will be provided from the Volta Bureau.

  • Reception begins at 4:00 p.m. at the Volta Bureau
  • Buses depart the Volta Bureau at 5:00 p.m.
  • Performance begins at 6:00 p.m. at the Kennedy Center
  • Limited Seats Available – $75 per person
  • Please click here to RSVP

The registration rate includes the reception, transportation and 
performance ticket!

If you are unable to attend, but wish to contribute to the success of#GivingTuesday,
please click here. Also, please forward this to anyone who might be interested and share with your social media networks.

We look forward to seeing you on November 8!  

Transportation Sponsored by  

Tate & Tryon

The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is a 
501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.



Scientists restore hearing in noise-deafened mice

October 23, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research



Medical Xpress
October 20, 2014

Scientists have restored the hearing of mice partly deafened by noise, using advanced tools to boost the production of a key protein in their ears.

By demonstrating the importance of the protein, called NT3, in maintaining communication between the ears and brain, these new findings pave the way for research in humans that could improve treatment of hearing loss caused by noise exposure and normal aging.

In a new paper in the online journal eLife, the team from the University of Michigan Medical School’s Kresge Hearing Research Institute and Harvard University report the results of their work to understand NT3’s role in the inner ear, and the impact of increased NT3 production on hearing after a noise exposure.

Their work also illustrates the key role of cells that have traditionally been seen as the “supporting actors” of the ear-brain connection. Called supporting cells, they form a physical base for the hearing system’s “stars”: the hair cells in the ear that interact directly with the nerves that carry sound signals to the brain. This new research identifies the critical role of these supporting cells along with the NT3 molecules that they produce.

NT3 is crucial to the body’s ability to form and maintain connections between hair cells and nerve cells, the researchers demonstrate. This special type of connection, called a ribbon synapse, allows extra-rapid communication of signals that travel back and forth across tiny gaps between the two types of cells.

“It has become apparent that hearing loss due to damaged ribbon synapses is a very common and challenging problem, whether it’s due to noise or normal aging,” says Gabriel Corfas, Ph.D., who led the team and directs the U-M institute. “We began this work 15 years ago to answer very basic questions about the inner ear, and now we have been able to restore hearing after partial deafening with noise, a common problem for people. It’s very exciting.”

Read More . . .

VSDB History Book, History of the Education of the Deaf in Virginia

October 23, 2014 in Community News



Order Your VSDB History Book

Only 250 copies will be printed and books will be sold for $60 each. There will be 219 pages in the first section (Bass’ Book) and 249 pages in the second part (for a total of 468 pages) with 313 photographs liberally interspersed throughout the book, 144 in the first part and 169 in the second part. Most of the book will be printed in color with some black/white photos on 8.5” x 11” pages, with hard covers (see the photo at the right).

There is a $7.00 additional charge for shipping.

Please contact Race Drake, or VP: 540-416-0017 if you have any questions about this book.

DOWNLOAD – VSDB History Book order form

Signed languages can do so many things spoken languages can’t

October 21, 2014 in Community News



Sarah Klenbort, AU
Sunday 19 October 2014

The deaf community is no utopia, but it does offer an alternative language, culture and social life to those who choose to be a part of it

When people notice my daughter and me signing in the street, they often stop and comment: “You know,” they say, “there’s this thing called the cochlear implant.” As if the mother of a deaf child could’ve missed that news.

Or they offer some hopeful anecdote: “I met this deaf woman with hearing aids from Queensland when I was on holiday in Fiji and she’s a really good plumber – I mean really good.”

Because this week is National Week of Deaf People, I feel it’s a good time to talk about the nature of Auslan (Australian Sign Language) and the deaf community. I’ve only been studying Auslan for four years, but I’ve come a long way from that first community course.

You see, I used to be one of you, one of those people who thought sign language followed English grammar. And I thought there was just one sign language – the same in every country – though if I’d thought that through for more than a minute I would’ve realised those two assumptions were mutually exclusive.

I also used to assume all deaf people would prefer to be hearing.

The deaf community is no utopia, but it does offer an alternative language, culture and social life to those who choose to be a part of it. In fact, signed languages can do many things spoken languages can’t. In fact, here’s a list of ways in which visual languages are superior to the spoken word:

Read More  . . .


Deaf and blind able to shop alone at non-profit grocery store

October 21, 2014 in Community News



Braille signs and audio scanner help visually impaired shop for groceries independently

By Jesara Sinclair, CBC News
Oct 16, 2014

A non-profit food store in Vancouver’s east end has introduced Braille signs and audio scanners to allow deaf-blind and other visually impaired customers to shop independently.

The grocery markets operated by the Quest Food Exchange aren’t open to the public.Instead low-income clients are referred through a social services agency.

The project started when Paralympic athlete Eddy Morten lost his job and became a customer at the food market. Morten is deaf and blind.

“When we started talking to him, Eddie was unable to go shopping on his own, and an interpreter would cost him $50 for one hour and he would need to book two hours,” marketing manager Pardeep Khrod told CBC Radio’s On The Coast.

Morten was brought on as the project coordinator. Khrod says he helped staff understand the challenges of navigating a grocery store when both deaf and blind.

Read More . . .

Conference Brings Over a Hundred Interpreters for the Deaf in Rochester, MN

October 21, 2014 in Community News



By: Meghan Reistad

(ABC 6 News) — The Minnesota Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf meets once a year, and this year, they are meeting Rochester.

“Sometimes our work is really isolating and we’re out in our little world doing our thing and MRID gives us an opportunity to get together reconnect and energize,” said Paula Gajewski Mickelson.

The conference brings interpreters from all over Minnesota and surrounding states.

“Basically this is a conference for interpreters from across the state of Minnesota as well as Iowa, Wisconsin, South Dakota,” said Conference Chair Michael Provancha.

About 130 interpreters are learning together, some new to the field and others coming with years of experience.

“I have to say I’m terribly proud of all of the students that we have here at the conference… It’s really exciting to see a new generation coming forward in this field,” said Gajewski Mickelson.

Together, they’ll spend the weekend taking classes to improve their skills at their jobs.

Watch Caption Video  Read More  . . .

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)