Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps
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Eric Shear, a Deaf man, has had many experiences – getting his masters degree in Planetary Science and a second masters degree in chemical engineering. He lived in a simulated Mars habitat where he did astronomy surveys, flew twice in zero-g flights, and toured the the Biosphere 2 in Arizona which is the first attempt in creating a sustainable closed ecology. He has also written two published papers, one exploring Saturn’s rings, and the other exploring ice caps on Mars. On the AstroAccess program that Eric joined, teams went on zero-g plane flights. The program remains active and aims to put a disabled astronaut in space, possibly in orbit.
Syler Pizzolato, 16 years old of Billings, is now in training to represent Team USA. He was selected to compete with Team USA at the World Deaf Swimming Championships in Argentina this summer. He says “My hearing impairment actually helps me stay focused because I don’t have distractions.”
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Six Deaf graduates have graduated with Bachelor’s degrees in Information Technology at an ITversity campus near Pretoria. Itversity is the first higher education institution in South Africa to offer a dedicated bachelor’s degree and IT diploma for Deaf students. The Deaf education program began in 2015 with eight Deaf students. Now it has 30 students. The program is challenging; the first 3 years are focused on an IT diploma that requires 2 ½ years of courses and six months of workplace training. Successful students go on to another 3 years of coursework for the ITversity degree.
Efforts to create sign language avatars are usually driven by hearing engineers who don’t fully understand the needs and perspective of Deaf end users. In Australia, a Deaf-centered project has taken a different approach. They made an effort to build an avatar in a team effort with about 15 Deaf consumers. One of the first goals was to survey the Australian Deaf community to determine what they want.
The Old Fogeys
See this week’s cartoon.
THE OLD FOGEYS – View cartoon