May 28, 2014
Vol. 10, No. 30
Editor: Tom Willard
Deafweekly is an independent news
report for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community that is mailed to subscribers
on Wednesdays and available to read at www.deafweekly.com.
These are the actual headlines and portions of recent deaf-related news articles,
with links to the full story. Minor editing is done when necessary. Deafweekly
is copyrighted 2014 and any unauthorized use is prohibited.
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Last issue's most-read story: 5 REASONS LIFE AS A DEAF PERSON IS WEIRDER THAN YOU THOUGHT / Cracked
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FATAL OHIO HOUSE FIRE VICTIMS WERE HEARING IMPAIRED
Relatives say the two people who died in a northwestern Ohio house fire earlier this week were hearing impaired. Three people are charged in connection with the fire in Fostoria. Investigators have not released a motive but say the fire was intentionally set. City officials say the victims were 48-year-old Danny Marker and 44-year-old Tara Lynn Vance. A third woman was rescued from the home and is in a Toledo hospital. / The Newark Advocate
3 SENTENCED IN 2012 KILLING OF DEAF MAN
Two young women connected to the stabbing death of Michael Shull asked for forgiveness in court Thursday. His parents had none to give. And as the terms of three prison sentences were read aloud, Cliff and Josee Shull visibly struggled to accept what they believe is insufficient punishment of those responsible for their son’s death. Michael Shull, who had recently graduated from the N.C. School for the Deaf, died shortly before Christmas 2012, the victim of a plot by people he knew. / Charlotte Observer
Virginia Beach, VA
DEAF MAN LEFT FOR DEAD AFTER HIT-AND-RUN
Virginia Beach police are searching for the suspect in a hit-and-run crash near Naval Air Station Oceana early Sunday morning. The victim, who is deaf, was riding a moped home from his job at Oceana. Chris Valerio spoke to WAVY.com using sign language and a translator. “He thought he was going to die,” said Katherine Alvarado, the victim’s close friend. She said the suspect vehicle followed Valerio’s moped closely, until it hit him. / WAVY
Harris County, TX
ROBBERS ASSAULT HEARING-IMPAIRED CUSTOMER AT DENNY'S
Another Houston-area Denny’s was held-up overnight as five men stormed a restaurant in northeast Harris County. During the robbery, one of the men got angry with a hearing impaired customer, hitting him and choking him. “He grabbed by throat and hit me right here,” the diner told KHOU 11 News, pointing to his cheek. / KHOU
HEARING-IMPAIRED KAYAKERS GET HELP THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA
Two hearing-impaired kayakers on the Conemaugh River were too exhausted to make the return trip to their vehicle Monday evening, and turned to social media for assistance with contacting 911. Terry Shepherd, first assistant chief with Blairsville Volunteer Fire Department, said the two men set out in separate kayaks. About 6:30 p.m., firefighters were contacted to meet the men, who indicated they were somewhere below the Route 22 and Livermore bridges. “That's a pretty long span,” Shepherd said. / TribLIVE
GOOGLE GLASS ADAPTATION OPENS THE UNIVERSE TO DEAF STUDENTS
Ordinarily, deaf students are left in the dark when they visit a planetarium. With the lights off, they can’t see the ASL interpreter who narrates their tour of outer space. With the lights on, they can’t see the constellations of stars projected overhead. That’s why a group at Brigham Young University launched the “Signglasses” project. Professor Mike Jones and his students have developed a system to project the sign language narration onto several types of glasses – including Google Glass. / BYU
EAST GREENWICH NATIVE OVERCOMES HEARING IMPAIRMENT TO GRADUATE FROM BROWN MEDICAL SCHOOL
Jordan Sack, a 26-year-old East Greenwich native, has overcome a lot in his quest to become a doctor. On Sunday, he reached a major milestone when he graduated from the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University. He is believed to be the first deaf student to earn a degree from the medical school, according to university officials. / The Providence Journal
Cobb County, GA
DEAF VALEDICTORIAN GIVES INSPIRATIONAL SPEECH
Evan Mercer was born deaf, but it wasn't discovered until he was four years old. Specialists told his parents he would never read, and speaking was out of the question. Evan defied the prediction in his valedictorian speech at Harrison High School May 22. "Deafness has taught me to never give up," he said from the stage. / KSDK
KENTUCKY SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF GRADUATES LISTEN TO LIFE LESSONS AT GRADUATION
It doesn’t matter who your friends are, you can make good choices in life or bad choices. The choice is yours whether you go straight on your path to success, according to Savannah Marie Hobbs, a lesson she modeled for fellow Kentucky School for the Deaf students this year. Her hard work paid off, as the 17-year-old graduated Thursday as valedictorian of KSD’s senior class with a slew of scholarships to attend Gallaudet University, while also completing certified nursing classes. / The Advocate Messenger
HEARING-IMPAIRED STUDENTS MUST HAND OVER DISTRICT-BOUGHT HEARING AIDS AT GRADUATION
Hearing impaired students in Jupiter, Fla., who borrowed expensive hearing aids from the school district will have to turn them over at their graduation ceremony, but teachers are hoping to change that. "It broke our hearts to see them lose their hearing aids and go silent right at graduation, so we go out and find donors in the community and we find ways to purchase them hearing aids,” Dr. Kelly Easterling told WPTV. / Opposing Views
Great Falls, MT
TELECOMMUNICATION ACCESS OFFERS NEW OPTIONS FOR HEARING IMPAIRED
A household object that many take for granted is the ticket to independence for the deaf and hard of hearing. It’s a telephone, and for the past 25 years, the Montana Telecommunications Access Program has helped people get access to devices that can help them communicate. Still, the program, which was created by the state Legislature in 1989, lacks public awareness. / Great Falls Tribune
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THREE DEAF AND MUTE DEFENDANTS CONVICTED OF RUNNING BEGGING GANG
Three deaf and mute defendants were convicted yesterday of forcing a group of young disabled people in their 20s – who were also deaf and mute – to beg on the streets of Beijing, the Beijing Times reported. One of the defendants, Zhang Zhiguo, had been threatening at least four deaf and mute men to beg for donations since August 2011. / South China Morning Post
BOY TIED TO BUS STOP HIGHLIGHTS STRUGGLE FOR DISABLED INDIANS
The nine-year-old boy dressed in blue lay listlessly on the pavement in the scorching Mumbai summer afternoon, his ankle tethered with rope to a bus stop, unheeded by pedestrians strolling past. Lakhan Kale cannot hear or speak and suffers from cerebral palsy and epilepsy, so his grandmother and carer tied him up to keep him safe while she went to work, selling toys and flower garlands on the city's roadsides. / AFP
DEAF-AND-MUTE DOMESTIC HELP REPEATEDLY RAPED BY EMPLOYER
A 24-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly raping a deaf-and-mute girl on several occasions over the past six months. The 23-year-old survivor worked as a domestic help at the accused’s residence. The accused has been identified as Siddharth alias Shakti Udmale. Police said he raped the girl on at least six occasions, after his parents left for work and he was alone with her. / Mid-Day
New Delhi, India
SIGN LANGUAGE FOR DEAF CITIZENS AT MODI'S SWEARING-IN CEREMONY
Around 18 million deaf Indian citizens will be able to follow all details of Narendra Modi's swearing-in ceremony on Monday with sign language interpretation facilities at the installation of a new prime minister for the first time in India. Three sign language interpreters would be at duty to ensure that the oath-taking and other ceremonies of prime minister-designate Modi are made available to deaf citizens of India, the Disabled Rights Group said in a statement on Saturday. / India Today
CRITICS' AWARD FOR DEAF-MUTE GANG FILM AT CANNES
A memorable film that only uses deaf-mute actors and is filmed entirely in sign language, without subtitles or translations, The Tribe was the top prize winner at Critics Week at the Cannes Film Festival. Directed by Ukrainian filmmaker Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy, it tells the story of Sergey, a teenager, who is starting life at a special school for the deaf. His difficult journey of integration is dominated by harsh gang laws, which include prostitution and violence. / West
GIRL, 18, GETS SETTLEMENT AFTER CONTRACTING MENINGITIS
An 18-year old girl who is deaf after contracting meningitis when she was a baby has secured €5m ($6.8 million US) in settlement of her High Court action. Counsel for Laura Kavanagh told Justice Mary Irvine his side’s experts would, had the case proceeded, have argued that if Kavanagh was admitted early to hospital when she became ill at thirteen months old, it would be expected she would not have developed meningitis. / The Irish Times
DEAF FOOTBALL TEAM CONCEDES 164 GOALS BECAUSE THEY COULDN'T HEAR REFEREE'S WHISTLE
A deaf football team ended a season on minus six points – because they could not hear the referee’s whistle. Birmingham Deaf FC’s sequence of shocking results were among the worst in the city's AFA Saturday League’s history. They lost all but one of their 26 fixtures, shipped 164 goals and ended bottom of division five. But the team, made up of profoundly deaf players, at least had a decent excuse. The squad couldn’t hear the referee’s commands – and claimed their pleas for flags to be used instead were ignored. / Mirror
MAT GILBERT TALKS LIFE AS ENGLAND'S ONLY DEAF PROFESSIONAL SPORTSMAN
Mat Gilbert has come a long way since he drew his first breath in Sidcup 28 years ago. At the age of two he left for Hong Kong and by then the degenerative hearing condition he was born with had started to take hold. It wasn’t until Mat was five that doctors discovered the hairs in his inner ear were not growing properly, leaving him to scale the heights of professional rugby without ever knowing what it was like to play the sport without being deaf. / News Shopper
DEAF HUMOR INSPIRES FILM
A director and writer who grew up in a deaf family has made a film in sign language telling the tales of four deaf Yorkshiremen on a trip to Blackpool. Originally inspired by a Monty Python sketch, Charlie Swinbourne’s film Four Deaf Yorkshiremen Go To Blackpool was shown on Film4 this week and can now be seen online. Swinbourne, 32, says the film is based on his experiences of growing up. His parents are both deaf and he grew up seeing stories told visually in sign language. / Ilkley Gazette
DEATH OF A DEAF-FRIENDLY DISCO
More than two years since it closed, many people in Madrid are still nostalgic for the Equal Deafriendly Video Disco. It was the first nightclub in the world for both deaf and hearing people looking for a good time. It was a place where they could meet others, have a few drinks and dance freely to modern dance or pop music. But most of all, they were equals. / West
POLICE ARREST WOMAN WHO STOLE DEAF, DUMB WOMAN'S BABY
A middle-aged female, an alleged kidnapper, who stole a nine-month-old baby belonging to a deaf and dumb woman, has been arrested in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital. The alleged kidnapper entered the deaf and dumb woman’s room to take away the baby who was sleeping on a bed. The mother of the baby had gone to have her bath when the alleged kidnapper sneaked into her room. / Nigerian Tribune
NEW DAYCARE CENTER FOR THE DEAF OPENS IN JAPAN
The private day-care center for the Deaf, called "Big Hands, Little Hands," opened by a non-profit organization in Toyama-shi for the first time in Toyama Prefecture in northwestern Japan. There are 105 Toyama-style day-care services that accept persons and children who have disabilities in the prefecture, and the nursing home only for the Deaf who depend mainly on sign language for communication is the first in the prefecture. / Deaf Japan
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LIFE & LEISURE
VIDEO REVEALS WHAT IT'S LIKE TO LISTEN TO SOUND USING A COCHLEAR IMPLANT
Around one in every 1,000 babies is born deaf and many people lose their hearing as they get older. Cochlear implants have revolutionized life for people who are deaf or hearing impaired and cannot benefit from a hearing aid. But until recently, the experts who design and implant the devices have not known what they sound like. Now, scientists have revealed what it sounds like to hear via an implant. / Daily Mail
DeKalb County, GA
DEAF MOTHER DEFIES ODDS TO ACHIEVE HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA
Anita Jackson had tried for years to get her GED. At 36 years old, a single mother and deaf, Jackson had pretty much given up on the hope of ever reaching that milestone. Then Basix Knowledge Academy offered her a chance to earn, not her GED, but a real high school diploma. When Jackson enrolled she not only made school history, she took a giant step toward improving her future. / MyFox Atlanta
ABOUT 110 DEAF OR HEARING-IMPAIRED BOYS AND GIRLS ENJOY PICNIC AT FREEDOM PARK
For about 110 deaf or hearing-impaired boys and girls, Freedom Park in Chicago Ridge was the place to be on a perfect spring Friday. That’s where for the fifth straight year a picnic was held for kids from the Eisenhower Cooperative and the Southwest Cook County Cooperative Association for Special Education. There were brand-new inflatables, on loan from the Chicago Ridge Park District, to play upon along with bean bags to toss, kites to fly, mini-scooters to ride and basketballs to shoot. / Southtown Star
Coos Bay, OR
COOS BAY SIBLINGS MOVE INTO NEW 'CAMP' IN DEAF COMMUNITY WITH COCHLEAR IMPLANTS
Sisters Jaycee and Cally Smith were born with bilateral hearing loss and had surgery for cochlear implants at ages 5 and 1. While the Smith family decided to get cochlear implants for their daughters, many in the deaf community deeply oppose changing their culture with technology. / The World
Toms River, NJ
A TOMS RIVER MINISTRY OF THE DEAF, BY THE DEAF, FOR THE DEAF
Pinelands Reformed Church has initiated a new type of worship service to the deaf community led by Noah Buchholz, a very well-qualified Teaching Pastor, who is himself totally deaf. Pastor Noah is a vibrant leader with so many talents and accomplishments that it astounds us. / Asbury Park Press
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West Hartford, CT
NEWLY NAMED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ASD IS THE SECOND DEAF LEADER IN SCHOOL'S HISTORY
As a member of the deaf community, Jeffrey S. Bravin is the first to acknowledge the significance of his new job. "Bottom line: I'm going to be a role model for all the deaf children here," Bravin, 45, said. "That will be a very clear sign a deaf person can have this type of job. And that probably would not have happened many years ago." Speaking through an ASL interpreter, Bravin discussed his role as the 13th executive director of American School for the Deaf. / Hartford Courant
S'SIDE SCHOOLS BEEF UP PROGRAMS FOR DEAF STUDENTS
The Sunnyside School District is striving to meet its goal of serving every child. Part of that effort involves beefing up the district’s deaf education program. Although students were served in the past, the district recently hired a new teacher and sign language interpreters. This year, the district also started looking at where students who are deaf were struggling in their work. “We found that the students can communicate well, but didn’t always understand the academic language used in the classroom,” said Special Services Director Cody Gardiner. / Daily Sun News
RIT STUDENTS DEVELOP ALARM CLOCK FOR DEAF
So much for the excuse, "I didn't feel the alarm go off." Patrick Seypura and Alec Satterly said that more than once when they were late to classes at Rochester Institute of Technology. The 20-year-old entrepreneurs are working on a solution — a sleek, powerful vibrating alarm that uses smart technology to rouse deaf or hard-of-hearing sleepers. / Democrat and Chronicle
DEAF SERVICES COMPANY PLANS FAIRBORN OFFICE
A company that provides services for the deaf and hard-of-hearing is setting up a location in the Dayton market. Sorenson Communications Inc. is opening a video relay services center at 3817 Colonel Glenn Highway, said Todd Duplain, director of development for Mills Development. The company is leasing a 5,600-square-foot space, and will move in mid-summer after renovations are completed, Duplain said. / Dayton Business Journal
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