DeafDigest Mid-Week edition, September 5, 2012


— Must pay $9,500 to learn sign language!

The parents of a deaf child in Devon, Great Britain wanted to
learn British Sign Language. The Devon County Council told them
the cost is £6,000 ($9,500 in USA money) to take the course. The
parents are angry. A big newspaper story laughed at the county
council. The Devon government is trying to find a way for them
to take classes at no cost.

— Value of NTID bachelor’s degree?

The Social Security Administration, working with NTID, figured out
the value of a NTID bachelor’s degree. They said these graduates
earn an average salary of $36,000 per year by the age of 50!
DeafDigest thinks the SSA research does not look right. But this
story was printed in the Inside Higher Ed. Gallaudet graduates?
The Social Security Administration never asked Gallaudet for


— Deaf kid punished for having the wrong name?

Hunter Spanjer is a deaf kid, son of deaf parents in Nebraska.
The parents taught him the name-sign as identification. It
resembled hunting in ASL. Hunter’s school told him he cannot
use that sign because it is “violent.” Parents were upset;
the newspapers laughed at the school district. Later, the
school district denied ordering the kid to change his name
sign! Dangerous name? Hunter is an almost-common name


— A big job risk in Little Rock

We know that a person, knowing no ASL, was hired as a
state interpreter in Arkansas. When deaf community
screamed, she was transferred to a different job.
Well, David McDonald, not deaf, was a hero! As a state
employee, he was ordered to sign papers to send the
interpreter to a training program. He refused, and
risked being fired by the angry director. He said:

An interpreter we hire should be able to interpret
from the start


— A CI fund raising drive for nothing!

Parents of Alfie Spraggon in United Kingdom raised £20,000
($31,600 in USA dollars) to pay for his CI. But the operation
has been canceled! Why? Because the doctors told him that he
is “not deaf enough” to get a CI. What to do with the money?
The parents will give it to a “deaf enough” child for his CI.


9/2/12 Blue edition at:

9/2/12 Gold edition at:


DeafDigest Mid-Week edition, April 25, 2012

— Did a Chinese company insult Helen Keller?

Xiamen Jinzhi, a Chinese sunglasses manufacturer,
produced a “Helen Keller” sunglasses model.
This is strange. Helen Keller was deafblind
and had no need for for sunglasses and was not
worried about fashion and style. The manufacturer
said it respects Keller’s spirit of life, and
thought sunglasses would be honoring her.Insult?
Puzzling? Weird?

— Old Alexander Graham Bell letters in auction

Alexander Graham Bell wrote an 8-page letter to a woman
in the late 19th century, discussing issues on education
of the deaf. How valuable is that letter? An appraiser
said such letters may be valued between $1,000 and
$1,400 if sold at auction or at estate sales.

— Regal’s new captioned eyeglasses

Regal Entertainment became famous in the past for
not captioning their movies. Now they are introducing
special eyeglasses that shows movie captions on the
glass.  It will be ready in all Regal movie houses
next year. What about people that wear regular
eyeglasses? How will this work (eyeglasses plus
captioned eyeglasses)? And if these captioned
eyeglasses are handed down from a deaf user to
another deaf user, is it clean and sanitary?


 — Truth about wrong signs by Depp and Portman in
a British musical video

Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp used some signs
in Paul McCartney’s My Valentine song. For the
word “appear” they signed “tampon” and for the
word “Valentine” Depp signed “enemy.” Who taught
these signs? Bill Pugin taught them few signs
at the last minute. Pugin, an interpreter, is
well known by deaf and hearing in Hollywood.
Did Pugin teach them ASL or British Sign Language?
ASL and BSL are not the same. This sign-song
was shown in England, and British deaf do not use

— Hand Signal to tell deaf swimmers that a race has started

Some deaf swimmers were the best – Jeff Float and Terence
Parkin won medals in the Olympics. Reed Gershwind was a
4-time NCAA swimming All-American. They raced by listening
to starters’ pistols (very really loud). Last week
Marcus Titus, who is hoping to make the USA Olympics team,
convinced USA Swimming to use hand signal to tell him
the race has started. Which is better – heads down, listening
for loud blast from gun or heads up, watching for the
hand signal? DeafDigest swimmers swim faster with starter’s
gun, not with hand signal.

4/22/12 Blue edition at:

4/22/12 Gold edition at: