DeafDigest Mid-Week edition, May 23, 2012

— A difference between Ashley Fiolek and Marlee Matlin

Ashley Fiolek is a famous deaf motocross champion.
Marlee Matlin is a famous deaf actress. What is the
difference between these famous deaf women? Marlee
requires all of her movie and TV appearances to be
captioned. Ashley performed in a recent Red Bull/Honda
commercial – that was not captioned! Did Ashley ask
the TV people to caption the filming?

— ASL could instruct computer what to do!

A deaf person using ASL to tell the computer to do
something? Yes, as Microsoft engineers may make it
possible with the new SoundWave software. SoundWave
can recognize hand gestures. With more software
improvements, SoundWave may later recognize
ASL. If successful then we can use ASL with our
tablets and smart phones!

— Times Square’s CBS Super Screen shows important deaf message

New York’s Times Square has the CBS Super Screen. Everyone
looks at it while walking through. And it is showing
a deaf message – the Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services
and its Public Service Announcement about rights and
needs of deaf women in domestic situations. These messages
are 15 seconds long and rotates with other messages.

— Insulting the deaf while seeking help from the deaf

A hearing person posted on a deaf web site this message:

I am not deaf, and very thankful for that. I wish to
learn ASL. Please tell me where are the ASL classes
being held?

Not a surprise; no deaf person helped that hearing person.
No one should ever say in front of a deaf person that he
is thankful for not being deaf! It is very insulting.



— Fire alarm at theatre that showed captioned movie

A moviehouse in Abingdon, MD was showing the captioning of
the movie “Avengers.” An angry hearing patron, who did not
want captions, complained to the theater general manager.
The manager offered a refund, but the man turned it down
and then watched the captioned movie. When the movie ended,
the man, still upset, demanded his money back. The manager said
no because he already saw the film. The angry man then pulled
the fire alarm! He was arrested and may be fined $5,000!

5/20/12 Blue edition at:

5/20/12 Gold edition at:


DeafDigest Mid-Week edition, February 22, 2012

— A hearing employee insulting the deaf, not fired

Tom Petry, not deaf, is the technology director of the Collier County school district in Florida. He insulted his deaf employee, mocked racial groups, accused of bad behavior and mismanaged department finances, etc. A disciplinary hearing took place with 200 pages of evidence. Yet, the school superintendent did not fire him!


— A deaf female jockey in a future Kentucky Derby race?

Neiba Ponce, 23, a deaf woman from Kennewick, Washington, is now a horse racing jockey. She is practices with horses at a training track. The local NBC Right Now ran a short program of her. Kentucky Derby? It is a big dream of all jockeys. We hope she will become a successful jockey and deaf bettors winning money on her horses!


— ASL person cannot run for election in a small town

San Luis, Arizona has 15,000 people and is near the Mexican border. This town passed a law 120 years ago that candidates in town elections must be fluent in English. Last week a hearing Spanish-speaking woman was told she cannot run for public office in San Luis. Same thing with ASL person; if his English is bad, he cannot run for public office in same town!


— National Theatre of the Deaf in danger of going broke

The NTD, founded in 1967, is the nation’s oldest continuing deaf theater. It survived past financial problems, but today may be the worst. NTD, in Connecticut, is funded by the state. Connecticut is broke, and has cut funding for many groups. NTD was supposed to get $151,000 but may be zero dollars. Everyone was surprised about zero dollars. But there is hope; theater and cultural groups are screaming mad. The state then said their budget cutbacks are not really cutbacks at all. Confusing? Yes!


— Obama praises a successful deaf person

President Obama, on his web site, praised a deaf person who was a success in life despite not being well known in the national Deaf Community. At age of 16, he competed in the Deaflympics; after graduation from deaf school, he worked in a factory assembly line. And he helped establish an agency serving the deaf in the area. And he is encouraging the deaf to go out and vote. His children have become successes. Who is that person? Go to: http://www.barackobama.com/news/entry/organizing-against-all-odds-abram-p/


DeafDigest Mid-Week edition, February 15, 2012

— Deafness was a secret with a famous TV actress

Charlene Tilton, who played the role of Lucy Ewing
in the famous TV series – Dallas, during the early
eighties, was deaf. It was a secret with everyone.
Her TV producer and director knew nothing about it.
Her hearing aids were hidden in her hair. Why a
secret? She was afraid she would not be hired if
TV people knew of her deafness!


– An important deaf man in the Japanese court system

The courts in Japan operate differently from USA.
In Japan, lay judges handle non-jury court trials.
They have no law degrees, but investigate the cases,
study the evidence and decide if the defendants are
guilty or not guilty. One lay judge, Tomaru Takayuki,
is deaf and uses sign language. He has interpreters
in the court room. He is Japanese’s first deaf lay judge.

— New Zealand Parliament fights deaf legislator

New Zealand Parliament won’t pay for electronic
notetaking needs for Mojo Mathers, the first
deaf member of Parliament. Her party will pay but
may seek legal action to get money back from the
Parliament. She gave a speech, saying that Parliament
speaker’s attitude is wrong. New Zealand’s “ADA”
gives rights to the deaf. When Gary Malkowski
was in Ontario’s parliament, they paid for his
interpreters. It is different in New Zealand.
Already the New Zealand papers said the Speaker
spends money on trips, art, parties, but not
a penny on deaf devices!


— A comedy about audism in a theatrical play

Playwright Nina Raine, not deaf, wrote a play,
“Tribes” going on now in an Australian theater.
While the phrase – audism – is not mentioned
in the play, it is so obvious. The play is
about a deaf boy that struggles with his
hearing father that wants “perfect” speech,
“perfect” lipreading, “perfect” acceptance
into hearing world. The deaf boy rebels and
joins the Deaf Community. The father is upset.
The deaf character in the comedy is deaf
himself. The audience is mostly hearing and
they laugh at the comedy.


— Why was Super Bowl ASL Sing Signer ignored on TV?

The list below shows ASL Sing Signers that were shown
on TV in the past Super Bowls:

1993 – Marlee Matlin
1995 – Heather Whitestone
2007 – Marlee Matlin, again

all others were ignored on TV
It is obvious. If the signer is famous, she will be
televised. If she is not famous, the TV will ignore her.
Shame on these TV people for their attitude!


DeafDigest Mid-Week edition, February 8, 2012


— Super Bowl captioned ads on smartphones and tablets?

Did we, the deaf, catch these Super Bowl captioned ads
on our smartphones and tablets? These corporations
placed  their ads on TV plus mobile devices. Did
captions show up on mobile devices? And did we use
magnifying glass to read these tiny captions?


— ESPN employs a deaf marketing person

Luke Faxon-St. Georges, a young deaf man, has a job with
the ESPN. It is a dream job for deaf professionals that
want to mix sports with marketing. His job title
is Account Executive, and his marketing territory is the
Northeast USA. He works on marketing deals with corporate
clients. Is he the only deaf person in a sports job?
No. We have deaf coaches, trainers, sports information
directors, game photographers, sports web site operators,
scoreboard operators, newspaper sports editors, etc
It is not easy for hearing and deaf to find these types
of sports jobs.

— Which Super Bowl commercials were captioned?

There were about 70 Super Bowl commercials. All
of these commercials were captioned – except –
1&1 Internet, American Family, Cenex, Comcast Xfinity,
Dairy Queen, General Electric, Howard Stern/NBC,
Jimmy John’s and Kraft Foods. No, Kraft Foods does not
own the New England Patriots (two different companies
with the same Kraft name; it is The Kraft Group
that owns the team that lost the Super Bowl).


— The Deaf Biggest loser kicked out and invited back!

Selena Brown, a deaf participant on the Australian TV
program – On the Excess Baggage on Nine. It is a reality
TV weight loss show, same as our The Biggest Loser TV
program. She was kicked off the program because she
could not lose 11 pounds within one week. Yet, she
was asked to come back few days later, because of
some strange voting rules among these overweight
participants! On her weigh-in at her comeback, she
lost 5 pounds, making it a total of 16 pounds in
two weeks.

— No Deaflympics in 2013??

Hungary agreed to host the 2013 Deaflympics. But Hungary
is broke, can’t afford it because it is expensive. Also
Hungary is not communicating with the Deaflympics governing
group, keeing things quiet. No other nation has volunteered
to host this event. Does not look too good right now, but
we should be optimistic.


DeafDigest Mid-Week edition, February 1, 2012

– A new national organization of deaf truck drivers?

Possible good news for deaf individuals that want to become
truck drivers. The Department of Transportation will allow
deaf individuals to apply for Class A and B Commercial
Drivers Licenses and to drive across state lines. There
is a Facebook group for Deaf Truck drivers. Just go into
Facebook and look for it.

— Some deaf Egyptians earn full pay checks for not going to work!

Egypt requires businesses with over 50 employees to set aside
5 percent of jobs for the deaf and the disabled. Many employers
hate that law but “hire” the deaf to prove that they obey it.
They tell the deaf to stay home and not come to work! Why?
Egyptians look down on the deaf and the disabled. They don’t
want to be seen being with the deaf. Very sad.

— 16 percent of state without E-911 emergency relay services for the deaf

Missouri has 114 counties and one independent city. How many
of these counties lack E-911 emergency relay services for the
deaf? There are 18 counties without E-911 service. It is 16
percent of Missouri not accessible to the deaf!

— A hearing person arrested for yelling at a deaf person

When a hearing person yells at us, we hate it. We often
don’t know why he is yelling. Well, a hearing ex-boyfriend
yelled at his deaf ex-girl friend. He yelled when she tried
to use her computer several times to contact the police
to ask for protection. He shut down her computer without
touching her. But it scared the deaf woman. The police came
and arrested him, charging him of assault and intimidation.
The assault was because he put her in fear. The police told
her to get a restraining order.

— Sign language more popular than English in South Africa

South Africa has 11 official languages plus other 20-25 unofficial
languages. Sign language is not an official South African language,
yet it is the nation’s 9th most popular language, higher than
English! Thandile Sunduza, chairperson of the National Assembly’s
Arts and Culture committee, said:

Sign language is used more than English