DeafDigest Mid-Week edition – December 5, 2019

— crisis in education of the deaf in South Dakota

Splashed across many newspapers is the bad shape
education of the deaf is in South Dakota. This
is sad; the state closed up the main campus of
South Dakota School for the Deaf, instead,
farming it out to respective school districts.
Former governor Dennis Daugaard is a Coda;
was it in his past agenda to preserve the
campus of the deaf school? Apparently not.
Additionally, Communication Service for
the Deaf, the nation’s most visible agency
serving the deaf, moved to Austin from
past location in Sioux Falls. Could CSD
have saved the school, inasmuch as it was
located on the campus? Probably not, but
yet, it hurts.


— some customer service people freak out on relay calls

A comment caught DeafDigest editor’s attention – that
some customer service people either are not used or
do not know how to deal with VRS calls, thinking it
may be a scam or a fraud, and as a consequence,
hang up on these calls. Does not matter if
the VRS staff explain what these relay calls
are all about, they still get hung up on!


— Hope Valuable 500 is helping the deaf

There is a group – called Valuable 500. The
mission is to educate Fortune 500 corporations
to be sensitive to the needs of the deaf and
disabled. The Valuable 500 web site lists
such conglomerates as Barclays, Microsoft
and KPMG as their clients. Just hope that
these corporations will accommodate the
deaf much more than just captions and interpreters
(meaning employment and attitude adjustments).



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DeafDigest Mid-Week edition – December 4, 2019

— the deaf and the Comcast

There was a story that Comcast will use interpreters
to communicate with the deaf. Just hope it all
works out. Several times in the past years,
DeafDigest editor used video relay to communicate
with Comcast to fix problems with TV and with
the internet. To make long stories short, these
were big time ordeals that no one could endure.
If there is a future issue with Comcast, DeafDigest
editor will just walk over to the Comcast store and
write notes with the customer service rep!


— making it on the Forbes’ Under 30 list

Soleil Wheeler, who is deaf, and is well known
in the hearing world-wide gaming community as
Ewok, has made it on the prestigious Forbes’
Under 30 gaming list.


— New York Times Magazine’s important person

Matt Willey is probably the most important person
that works for the New York Times Magazine. It is
a thick magazine pull out that comes with
New York Times every Sunday. He is deaf, and
is the magazine’s Art Director. He does not use
ASL and functions as a hearing person.



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DeafDigest Mid-Week edition – December 3, 2019

— Denver Broncos rejects the Deaf Voice

The Denver Broncos has established the
Disabled Access Advisory Committee to
advise the team on the needs of disabled
(and deaf) fans. This committee includes
City and County of Denver Commission for
People with Disabilities, Paralyzed Veterans
of America, Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition,
National Spinal Cord Injury Association,
and Craig Rehabilitation Hospital. Where
is the Deaf Voice on the committee? None!
Zero! Sad irony since Broncos hired a
full time interpreter to accompany
Kenny Walker when he played for them
for two seasons way back in the early


— deaf people creating their own sign languages

How did the deaf create their own sign language?
Linguists thought that when two deaf people, both not
knowing each other, would create a common language
with signs and gestures that both would understand.
Multiply that by groups of deaf people meeting
each other for the first time everywhere in the
world and we see these multiple, and different,
sign languages.


— serious VRI issues at a major DC hospital

George Washington University Hospital is a huge
and sprawling complex of buildings scattered
across the city. The hospital replaced live
interpreters with VRI. DeafDigest editor had
an appointment today with a doctor at that hospital.
The staff had a hard time locating the VRI
iPad that was needed, but finally found it.
The iPad was low on power and the staff could
not locate a charger. They found a charger but
it was the wrong one. Eventually the VRI iPad
went dead. The rattled doctor then cut short
the appointment. The interpreter, which was
great, was located in Houston, Texas and it
took quite a moment to understand these
sign language differences. Bottom line – does
DeafDigest editor like the VRI experience?
No. A live interpreter is always preferable.



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DeafDigest Mid-Week edition – December 2, 2019

— ASL-fluent nurses told not to interpret

At the San Francisco General Hospital, nurses
who are fluent in ASL are told not to serve
as interpreters. Nothing to do with them not
being RID-certified, but because of union
rules regarding no extra pay for bilingual


— clueless business places

There are always some business places that think
the ADA regulations do not apply to them. And they
learn, too late, that it very much does.


— becoming a manbat

Batman’s best friend is Dr. Kirk Langstrom,
a deaf zoologist, who wanted to have super-hearing
senses. He injected himself with a serum. It
was a mistake because he became a manbat (half-man,
half-bat), becoming a crazy creature. It is part of
DC Universe’ new comic book series.



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DeafDigest Mid-Week edition – November 29, 2019

— mostly vocal but mostly weak

An advocate said that comparing the deaf with other
disabled groups, the deaf is the most vocal in
fighting for their rights and needs. The irony –
when disabled groups get together to fight for
combined their needs, these groups would ignore
the deaf needs!



— sign language knowledge not required

According to Department of Transportation
regulations with the airlines, staff knowledge
of sign language is not required. Surprising?
Yes. Disappointing? Yes.



— fears during medical appointments

A newspaper story said many deaf people have
these three interpreting fears during medical
appointments – that interpreter does not
show up; not understanding what the doctor
tells the interpreter; not understanding
the prescription, again with interpreter
being around. These fears are valid.



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