DeafDigest Gold – March 31, 2013

DeafDigest Gold – March 31, 2013

Gold edition            Barry Strassler, Editor – updated every Monday

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DeafDigest Mid-Week edition, March 27, 2013

— a deaf finger built from bicycle parts!

Few deaf people have lost fingers because of accidents.
It often is a problem while trying to fingerspell or to
sign some gestures. Colin Macduff, not deaf, has an
amputated finger. He could not get a prosthetic finger.
Frustrated, he got creative and built his own prosthetic
finger from bicycle parts! Thrilled, he started a business,
creating prosthetic fingers. A finger costs $5,500 and a
thumb costs $9,500. His prices are lower than otherprosthetic
manufacturers. He would be happy to help a deaf patient
that needs a new finger.



— a faked hearing exam

New Zealand requires newly born babies to be tested for hearing.
A scandal came up when the government Ministry of Health
learned that about 10 of the nation’s 110 hearing screeners
were not honest with the exams. They would sign papers, saying
the baby is hearing without testing them. The angry government
fired these screeners. One baby, signed off as hearing, was
deaf, and the parents didn’t know about it until a year and half
later! Other babies were lucky; they were hearing without being



— Sean Forbes’ new musical album – is it making him a rich man?

We have several deaf rockers in the world of music. A better
known deaf rocker is Sean Forbes. He is working on his first
musical album. Do albums make rockers wealthy? For a few rockers,
yes, but for many rockers, no. Many things are expensive
(studio time, engineering, payroll costs, art work, etc, etc).
If a rocker sells 10,000 albums, he is “successful” – just hope
Forbes will sell more than 10,000 albums. The late Michael
Jackson was rumored to have sold nearly 500,000,000 albums!



— March 30th is very important day for all of us

As of March 30th all captioned programs on TV must
be captioned if it is shown again on the internet.
The FCC asks you to file a complaint if you do
not see captions on the video of the same captioned
program that was shown on TV.



— Nebraska cuts back on relay funds for good reason!

the Nebraska Public Service Commission will charge telephone
users 3 cents per month, instead of 4 cents per month. This
one cent drop means $240,000 less to fund the free TTY
distribution program and for the deaf relay services. Bad
news for the deaf in Nebraska? No! Too much past money was
collected, exceeding the state limit. This is the reason for the
one cent reduction. Nebraska, by the way, may be the only state
in USA that has surcharge on BOTH the regular telephones and
on cell phones!



03/24/13 Blue edition at:

03/24/13 Gold edition at:


DeafDigest special weekend edition, March 22, 2013


— hiring the deaf to work on early day computers

Mary Gospodarek, not deaf, passed away last week. During the fifties,
as a young woman, she operated her own grant-writing business.
Her obituary said that she hired Gallaudet students to work with
computers. They were hired for one reason – noise from big
computers did not bother them. These big computers filled up
big rooms. What did the Gallaudet students do? Did they work on data
entry, or as computer operators or as programmers? Many deaf people
were hired to work on computers – but mostly as data entry operators.

— a sinkhole at a school for the deaf!

heavy rains in the Danville, Kentucky area created a sinkhole on the
property of the Kentucky School for the Deaf. A sinkhole is scary as
we read a story of a man who died, falling into a Florida sinkhole
and could not be rescued. Fortunately the firefighters and the town
public works department came to the school to fill in the sinkhole
– and it is not a threat anymore. The sinkhole was small and about
6 feet deep. It was located at a remote part of the campus, not
near buildings or campus foot traffic.


— the blind helping the deaf

in Oklahoma, a group of blind veterans are being trained to
become relay operators – in order to help deaf veterans
make telephone calls. A big donation from a veteran has made
possible this Veterans Workshop Class for these training classes


03/17/13 Blue edition at:

03/17/13 Gold edition at:


DeafDigest Mid-Week edition, March 20, 2013


— noise preventing hard of hearing person from learning ASL?

A hard of hearing person enrolled at a community college to
learn ASL. He dropped out, saying he had a hard time learning
ASL because the classroom noise interfered with his use of
his hearing aid. DeafDigest wonders if it was hearing
students clowning around and making noises behind the back of
the deaf ASL deaf teacher?


— proposed new interpreter bill may scare unlicensed interpreters

many interpreters are not certified. A legislator in Arkansas
has proposed a new bill that would fine $500 for interpreters
without certificates and $1,000 for agencies that hire unqualified
interpreters. Will this bill pass? Just stay tuned!


— Marlee Matlin and these new deaf actors

Marlee Matlin is the most famous deaf actress. Many deaf actors
look up to her. She said many of them ask her in a subtle way
on how to do scenes, but they don’t ask her how to act. She also
said they are proud of their acting skills and that she “has no
right to tell them how to act.”


— a kidnapped deaf boy trapped between two feuding nations

A 14-year old deaf boy, a resident of Sudan, was kidnapped
by the South Sudan fighters last April. They would not release
him to his Sudanese parents. It took a difficult meeting recently
between fighters, tribal leaders and officials of both nations
to agree on peace terms before the deaf boy could be released.
The deaf boy did nothing wrong, but was at the wrong place
at the wrong time.


— deaf character in new movie “Dead Man Down”?

Dead Man Down is a new movie shown in movie houses everywhere.
Isabelle Huppert plays the role of Valentine Louzon, a deaf woman,
in the movie. Yet one movie critic complained that there was
nothing about the character being deaf; she functioned the same
as others in the movie, talking normally. Why describe her
as deaf if she does nothing that a deaf person would do?


03/17/13 Blue edition at:

03/17/13 Gold edition at:


DeafDigest weekend special edition, March 15, 2013


— deaf enjoying a meal at a nice restaurant

for the deaf and for the hearing, eating experience at a nice
restaurant may be different. Deaf people require menu accessibility,
good lights, ease in communicating with waiters, and perfect vision
lines at dining tables. For the hearing – it often is music!
Background music is important to restaurant owners even though
hearing patrons don’t think about it. If a hearing group leaves
the restaurant in a bad mood, wrong music is blamed! Just different
with the deaf.

— the lucky future deaf major league baseball pitcher

when the famous deaf pitcher Dummy Taylor (1900-1908)
had a bad inning, the manager would come to him on the mound
and communicate in gestures. This year there is a new rule in
Major League Baseball – that an interpreter can come with the
coach to the mound to discuss something with the foreign-language
speaking pitchers (Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Korean, etc). This
means a future deaf pitcher can use ASL to communicate with his coach
and the interpreter on the mound during the time out. Taylor was
not so lucky in his days.


— a British telephone company won’t help a deaf man

Derek Newby, a deaf British man, lives in a small town. The telephone
and email communications network crashed in his town. Derek is not
able to use his email to communicate. Hearing neighbors can get by with
cell phones, but Derek cannot. He and the neighbors have complained
to the telephone company, but was told it takes two months to get
the phone line fixed. Derek is very angry. He is 88 years old and
would not be able to contact hospitals, doctors, police for his
medical needs.


03/10/13 Blue edition at:

03/10/13 Gold edition at: