Monday, December 11, 2017

Multiple Suits for Lack of Captioning

A deaf man is suing a dozen media outlets for not having closed captioning on their videos in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Represented by CK Lee, several companies have already settled out of court. Some are calling it a shakedown. Read more from Forbes here.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

No charges for Police who Killed Deaf Man

The Oklahoma City police officer who shot and killed a deaf man for not following the officer's command will face no chargess. We told you about what happened back in September: Magdiel Sanchez was shot outside his home. Officers say they did not hear witnesses yelling, “He can’t hear you." Read more from the Associated Press here. Below is a video report about the shooting from CBS News.

On this date: the fake interpreter at Mandela’s memorial service

During Nelson Mandela’s memorial service in Johannesburg on this date (Dec. 10) in 2013, a man pretending to interpret for the dignitaries that spoke was declared a fraud by South Africa's deaf federation. U.S. President Barack Obama was among the heads of state attending the service at the 95,000-seat football stadium when Thamsanqa Jantjie took to the stage. The incident raised security concerns and is an embarrassment for the South African government, Bruno Druchen, the National Director of the Deaf Federation of South Africa, posted a statement on its Facebook, which reads in part:
The so called “interpreter” who interpreted at the Official memorial service for late former president Nelson Mandela at FNB stadium has been dubbed the “fake interpreter” and the Deaf community is in outrage. This man is not in fact a recognised, professional South Sign Language Interpreter. He is not known by the Deaf Community in South Africa nor by the South African Sign Language interpreters working in the field... This ‘fake interpreter’ has made a mockery of South African Sign Language and has disgraced the South African Sign Language interpreting profession. The organisers of the memorial service, and indeed any event, should have contacted organisations who coordinate South African Sign Language interpreting services to secure a professional, trained experienced interpreter.
It turned out that Thamsanqa Jantjie was once charged with murder, according to a eNCA TV network that also said he has a history of lying and fraud. Jantjie admitted to being violent and claimed to have been "hallucinated during the memorial service as he was gesturing incoherently." Here's a early SkyNews report (with captions).

Happy Birthday, Thomas Gallaudet!

Born - Philadelphia on December 10, 1787

Family - Oldest of 12 children

College - Attended Yale at age 14, graduating with highest honors at 17

Ministry - Ordained in 1814, sometimes preaching at church

Deaf Interest - Became interested in deaf issues when he met a 9-year-old deaf neighbor

School - Founded The American School for the Deaf during 1817 in Hartford, Connecticut

Travels - Learned the manual form of sign language used in France when he visited

Marriage - In 1821, he married a former student and had two sons

Edward - Gallaudet's son who founded Gallaudet University in Washington, DC

Thomas - Ordained as an Episcopal priest, working to provide religious services for the deaf

Friday, December 8, 2017

45 years in Prison

In October, we told you about a San Antonio woman convicted of murder for shooting a deaf man on her porch in 2016. Yesterday, Michelle Chase was sentenced to 45 years in prison. Read more about it here.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Getting to Know.. Dr House

It was on this date (Dec. 7, 2012) that Dr. William F. House died in Oregon at the age of 89. Dr. House is credited with installing the first cochlear implant in 1961. He was told by experts the electric current he was using would destroy the ear, but that didn't stop him. He believed in what implants could do to change someone's life. Here's a little about him.
  • Known as the "father of neurotology."
  • He recieved his dotorate in dentistry from the University of California at  Berkeley.
  • Practiced medicine in Newport Beach, California until 2000, when he moved to Aurora, Oregon, next door to his son.
  • His cochlear implant was approved by the FDA in 1984.
  • When he started performing the cochlear surgery on children some claimed he was just after money.
  • His half brother, Howard P. House founded the House Ear Institute which became the House Research Institute.
  • He completed some 3,000 implants throughout his career.
  • Developed a new approach to removing tumors on the nerve that connects the ear to the brain.
  • Created a new surgical procedure for Meniere's disease, an inner ear disorder contracted by Astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American in space. He couldn't have flown to the moon had it not been for House's surgery. He wrote a memoir called The Struggles of a Medical Innovator

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Looking Back... Kitty O'Neil

It was on this date (Dec. 6) in 1976 that professional stuntwoman Kitty O'Neil set a record for land speed by a female driver in Oregon's Alvord Desert: 512 miles per hour. Born deaf, she became a champion diver at a young age. Her work later as a Hollywood stuntwoman was featured in TV shows like Quincy, Baretta and The Bionic Woman along with movies like Smokey and the Bandit, The Blues Brothers and Airport '77. She set a record for the highest stunt fall by a woman (105 feet).  She has held as many as 22 speed records on land and water. A movie was made about her life in 1979 titled Silent Victory: The Kitty O'Neil Story. You can read more about her land speed record at a Sports Illustrated article here.  The article explains that she could have broken the men's record as well and why she didn't do so.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Fallout from Fake Interpreter

Why would Police in Tampa, Florida use a fake interpreter? How could the police not know she was a fake? That's what many in the community want to know, after an "interpreter" signed gibbersih during a news conference last week. WFTS-TV in Tampa has a video report.

Monday, December 4, 2017

On this Date: Dimarco Wins Top Model

Nyle Dimarco
(image from ANTM video)
Nyle Dimarco won America's Next Top Model contest on this date (Dec. 4) in 2015. He was the first deaf contestant to do so. Afterward Dimarco told People magazine, "Being a deaf person on a television show alone is pretty groundbreaking, so it felt incredible just to be on the show – but to win it was amazing!" Read more of that interview here. Top Model introduced him with this video.
 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Tampa Police use Terp who Signs Gibberish

The Tampa, Florida Police held a news conference this past Tuesday (Nov. 28) to inform the public about the arrest of a suspect in a series of killings. Anyone watching that news conference would have been confused by the "interpreter" because she was "signing" nonsense. That's according to Rachelle Settambrino who is deaf and teaches ASL at the University of South Florida. Settambrino told the Tampa Bay Times, "She waved her arms like she was singing Jingle Bells." A rap sheet for someone who has gone by the same name given by the interpreter and who lives in Tampa suggests the woman in question may criminal history. Read more about it here.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

You can now text 911 in LA

If you live in Los Angeles County you may be able to send a text to 911 when there is an emergency. The new service is being rolled out and it's already available in 170 communities including Long Beach and Glendale. If the message does not go through, the FCC requires all U.S. phone carriers to send a note to the customer saying the text failed. One significant limitation: It's not available during roaming and only texts using written English are accepted.
For a list of which communities in LA offer the service, click here.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

US Deaf Education

Two professors tackle the issue of English literacy in the Deaf community in this TEDx video recorded at Ohio's Kent State University.