DeafDigest Mid-Week edition, September 12, 2012

— eBay laughs at ADA!

A deaf person wanted to register as eBay seller. EBay
requires voice telephone to verify identity, and would
not accept relay calls. The deaf person sued, but the
judge agreed with eBay. Why? When ADA was written up
in the early nineties, there was nothing that covers
the internet!


— a Hearing Aid dress

A college student invented the Hearing Aid dress.
It has several microphones that vibrate either soft
or hard depending on the sound. Will deaf women buy
that dress? Good question especially if it is not


— a prank that may help a deaf school

Taylor Swink is a famous singer. In an internet
contest, a school getting the most votes will get
a free singing performance. As a joke, several
hearing people nominated the Horace Mann School
for the Deaf in Massachusetts. They thought Taylor
will be singing for nothing because the deaf
can’t hear. While the vote ends September 23rd,
the school is hoping to win. There are some deaf
children that love to hear songs.


— a non-captioned public service announcement gets FCC angry

During a recent wildfire, a TV station showed a public
service announcement from the American Lung Association.
It told people to stay home, use air conditioner and
avoid exercising outdoors. This announcement was not
captioned! As a result, that TV station was fined $20,000.


— A British cruise ship kicks out a deaf couple

A deaf couple was not allowed on a cruise ship unless
a hearing person came with them and slept in their
cabin. It didn’t matter that the deaf couple were
experienced travelers. The angry hearing son used
the Twitter, the Facebook and a local TV station to
tell the public about it. The cruise operator changed
his mind and welcomed the deaf couple. In case of
emergencies a hostess will be with the deaf couple.
England does not have rules about cruises for the deaf.


9/9/12 Blue edition at:

9/9/12 Gold edition at:


DeafDigest Mid-Week edition, September 5, 2012


— Must pay $9,500 to learn sign language!

The parents of a deaf child in Devon, Great Britain wanted to
learn British Sign Language. The Devon County Council told them
the cost is £6,000 ($9,500 in USA money) to take the course. The
parents are angry. A big newspaper story laughed at the county
council. The Devon government is trying to find a way for them
to take classes at no cost.

— Value of NTID bachelor’s degree?

The Social Security Administration, working with NTID, figured out
the value of a NTID bachelor’s degree. They said these graduates
earn an average salary of $36,000 per year by the age of 50!
DeafDigest thinks the SSA research does not look right. But this
story was printed in the Inside Higher Ed. Gallaudet graduates?
The Social Security Administration never asked Gallaudet for


— Deaf kid punished for having the wrong name?

Hunter Spanjer is a deaf kid, son of deaf parents in Nebraska.
The parents taught him the name-sign as identification. It
resembled hunting in ASL. Hunter’s school told him he cannot
use that sign because it is “violent.” Parents were upset;
the newspapers laughed at the school district. Later, the
school district denied ordering the kid to change his name
sign! Dangerous name? Hunter is an almost-common name


— A big job risk in Little Rock

We know that a person, knowing no ASL, was hired as a
state interpreter in Arkansas. When deaf community
screamed, she was transferred to a different job.
Well, David McDonald, not deaf, was a hero! As a state
employee, he was ordered to sign papers to send the
interpreter to a training program. He refused, and
risked being fired by the angry director. He said:

An interpreter we hire should be able to interpret
from the start


— A CI fund raising drive for nothing!

Parents of Alfie Spraggon in United Kingdom raised £20,000
($31,600 in USA dollars) to pay for his CI. But the operation
has been canceled! Why? Because the doctors told him that he
is “not deaf enough” to get a CI. What to do with the money?
The parents will give it to a “deaf enough” child for his CI.


9/2/12 Blue edition at:

9/2/12 Gold edition at:


DeafDigest Mid-Week edition, March 28, 2012

— Deaf professional athlete in world’s most dangerous sport

Is motocross racing more dangerous than pro football?
Well, Ashley Fiolek, the world’s #1 female motocross
racer, is deaf. She is small and 115 lbs. And she suffered
many injuries – concussion, collar bone fractures (twice),
two broken wrists, lost teeth, broken nose, broken leg,
broken arm, broken ankle, dental root canal, etc. Don’t
feel sorry for her. She is popular, world famous, wealthy,
well-liked by the public. And big time commercial sponsors
love her personality.


— TTY Relay operator violating company policy?

A new movie is coming up – House of Bodies, and it
stars Queen Latifah as the leading character.
She plays the role of a TTY Relay operator that
makes friends with a relay user during her work
hours. The plot is a murder case that Queen and
the deaf relay user (a kid) worked together with
police to solve it. This is not real in everyday
life. If it was true, then the relay operator
would have been fired. It is same old Hollywood
twisting of real life facts.


— A deaf video game competitor among the best

Ando Ferguson, who is deaf and a former Gallaudet
wrestler, was one of the game participants at the
recent video Grand Prix event in Indianapolis.
It is one of the biggest events in the gaming
world. All serious gamers dream of coming out
on top in that event. Ando finished among the
Top 8 finalists, after going through 15 tiring
rounds and then one final 8 round during these
two long days of video competition.


— A deaf foreign services diplomat quits her job

Sometime ago DeafDigest mentioned that Jane Cordell,
a deaf British diplomat had her new ambassadorship
job at Kazakhstan taken away from her. It was because
Great Britain did not want to pay for her interpreting
needs. She had been a diplomat in British Foreign
Service for about ten years and won several promotions.
The latest promotion – ambassador to Kazakhstan was
to be biggest of her career. She lost a lawsuit
against the government. Knowing she has no future
with the British Foreign Service, she quit. She
said the quitting was forced. She is now working
for the Action on Hearing Loss.


— A Civil War historian is deaf

Many historians are fascinated by the Civil War.
One of them is Linsay Darnall Jr, and he is deaf.
He is from Polk, Nebraska and since 1997, he has
been giving lectures about the Civil War. He is
interested in the deaf that fought on both sides
of the War and hopes to write a book about them.
DeafDigest has the list of deaf fighters at:


you can also visit:


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 Gold – December 4, 2011

DeafDigest Gold – December 4, 2011

Gold edition            Barry Strassler, Editor
http://deafdigest.com – updated every Monday

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