DeafWire Edition – 27 April 2024

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Scam on CapTel phones

A Hard of Hearing woman Judith Badgett from California, USA, recently lost $10,000 to a scammer. She got tricked through the CapTel phone service, which allows Hard of Hearing people to speak on the phone and receive typed captions of what the caller is saying. According to US law, the captioning operator must type everything, even if it’s a scam. Badgett got a call one day saying her grandson was in jail and needed bail money. The scammer sounded real, and the captions, relayed by CapTel’s captioning operators, made it seem legitimate. The scammer pretended to be a lawyer and gave detailed instructions. Badgett followed the instructions according to what was typed by CapTel. When having followed the instructions, the scammer kept calling back, asking for more money, which the CapTel operator continued to type out on the CapTel device. Later, Badgett discovered that her grandson was not in jail and that she had been scammed. Badgett’s daughter felt guilty because she had recently bought the CapTel device for her mother. She explains that she was angry at CapTel for not stopping the scam, but CapTel said they could not interfere because of the law. They explained that they are like a middleman, just passing on what is said and that they are not allowed to judge or stop the conversation. They have to stay neutral. 


Deaf struggle in war

In the war-stricken area of Gaza, 1.8 million Palestinians live there. Of those, approximately 15,000 people are Deaf. As the Israel-Hamas war continues, many Deaf and Hard of Hearing people face unique challenges such as having to communicate with people who don’t understand sign language and receiving information and updates regarding the war. Deaf Gazans rely on the community and the vibrations in their environment to work out what is going on. Many Deaf Gazans have shared on Instagram their experience of being in the midst of war. As homes are destroyed, Gazans have had to find ways to cook food. One Deaf man, Saleem Alzaq, shared on Instagram a video of a makeshift cooker, using a tin can with bent edges, cotton wool and alcohol sanitizer. 

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* Executive Director for Deaf Services Center, Inc, Ohio
* Regional Reporter: Oceania (international)
* DeafGPS Researcher & Program Host (international)
* Senior Writer, Associate Producer (Canada)



Haptic shirts for football

The Newcastle United football Club has released special haptic shirts for Deaf and Hard of Hearing football fans. They are special because they will allow fans to “feel” the atmosphere of the stadium through vibrations in the upcoming Premier League match, against the Tottenham Hotspur team. The Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) revealed that 71% of people with Deafness believe technology could enhance accessibility at live sporting events. The RNID sees this new introduction of haptic shirts as a “game-changer” that enhances the sporting experience for Deaf and Hard of Hearing fans.

The Old Fogeys

See this week’s cartoon.

THE OLD FOGEYS – View cartoon


Deaf makeup artist professional

A Deaf woman from Lausanne, Switzerland, named Emma Morier, is a master of disguise and skillfully does makeup. She can copy different movie characters and, using her imagination, comes up with new looks. Ideal for Halloween and various costume parties!


BSL printed on shirts

Before the Euro 2025 qualifier against Sweden at Wembley, the women's footballers of the English club “Lions FC” wore training shirts with British Sign Language printed on the back. The player's name was written in the BSL fingerprint alphabet on the jerseys!

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