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, May 9, 2012

— A fake-ASL song?

Seems we are having problems with entertainers trying to use fake-ASL in their acts. A Mark Nakhla video tried to mix ASL with the song “No Church in the Wild.” Mark says it is ASL, but the Deaf Community says it is sign nonsense. Only few weeks ago Johnny Depp and Natalie Portman made a huge mess of the signs they were trying.


— A weather radio being used as an alerting signal device

The NOAA Weather Radio is voice only but it could help the deaf! This radio tells hearing people of weather warnings – tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, etc. The voice is no help to the deaf – but it can be connected to an alerting signal device or a bed visbrator. And the deaf would know the there is a weather emergency. DeafDigest is not sure how it works, but the NOAA says it works.


— Will a hidden CI lead to cheating in sports?

Last week’s DeafDigest mentioned an invisible CI, hidden in the user’s ear tube. Deaflympics has a strict rule that all athletes must take off their hearing aids and CI’s on the playing field. Will we see cheating among deaf athletes that hide their CI while in competition?


— England’s planned World Wide Deaf Cultural Center

The Deaf Way, held twice in Washington, DC in the past, showed everyone what is Deaf Culture. But at end of Deaf Way, all the exhibits and events disappeared. Well, A deaf group in England wants a “permanent” Deaf Way. They want to call it “Embassy to the world’s deaf community.” And it would be in Preston, Lancashire. Will it succeed? The project needs money for a big exhibit hall and staff. But the location is a big if – because it is not in London.


— A 7-sign statue in a restaurant

If you dine at Rasika West in Washington, DC you will see a statue of a hand that shows the sign for seven. A sign for seven, not really, but in India, that “seven” sign means prosperity. Take a look at: http://deafdigest.com/videos/sign-for-seven-in-india/


5/06/12 Blue edition at: http://deafdigest.net/category/newsletter/newsletter-blue-newsletter/

5/06/12 Gold edition at: http://deafdigest.net/category/newsletter/newsletter-gold-newsletter/




DeafDigest Mid-Week edition, March 14, 2012


— An interpreting assignment of 14,000 signed words!

Zhou Ye is a Chinese interpreter. Last week she interpreted
the 2-hour speech of Chinese premier Wen Jiabao. After the
speech, she said she interpreted a total of 14,000 signed
words. She refused to let a back up interpreter replace her
for 15-20 minutes. Why no back up? She wanted to do it
alone, but also admitted her shoulders gave her a lot of pain.


– A lawsuit over 2005 accident involving deaf airplane pilot

In 2005, few deaf pilots attended a fly-in event at
Edgartown, MA. One deaf pilot, flew to the event and tried
to land at a small airport. But he saw a hearing pilot
take off, so he steered his plane to avoid an accident.
The plane went out of control and crashed, hurting the
deaf pilot and two deaf passengers. Seven years later,
right now, a court trial is taking place. The injured
passenger filed a million dollar lawsuit against the
deaf pilot, the hearing pilot, airport manager,
airport owner, and airplane manufacturer. Since the
airport has no radio control tower, all pilots were
supposed to watch out for take-off and landing.


— British software that can convert sign language to words

A team at University of Aberdeen in England is working on
software that changes sign language to words on wireless
devices. They say it works fast without delays. They also
said it will be available late next year. Will it be
successful? There are many different signs for the word
“computer” or “football.” Will the software know these
different signs? A computer sign in California is different
from a computer sign in Washington, DC.


— A famous deaf woman equal to other famous hearing women

The new TV program – Breakthrough Women, to be shown on
the HLN from the DirecTV, will be featuring a deaf
woman as equals to other famous hearing women (Robin Meade,
Jane Velez-Mitchell, Nancy Grace and Joy Behar). The deaf
woman is Ashley Fiolek, the world’s #1 female motocross racer.


— World’s rarest sign language

There are over 200 sign languages in the world. One
of these languages is the Kata Kolok. It is used just
by 3,000 deaf people that live in a small village in
the Indonesian island of Bali. A reason for their
deafness in that small village is 8-generations of
marrying each other.


DeafDigest Mid-Week edition, February 29, 2012

— Best “deaf-friendly” film wins Oscar

The movie “The Artist” won 3 Oscar honors – best picture,
director and lead actor. David Pierce, deaf CEO of Davideo
Productions, was happy about it, saying that we love silent
films and that voice is not always important for a movie to look
good. DeafDigest hopes The Artist success will give us future
non-voice films that we all, deaf and hearing, can enjoy.


— A newspaper was wrong about Marlee Matlin

A writer for The Charlotte Observer wrote that Marlee
Matlin was not successful since her Oscar-winning movie in
1986. The writer is wrong. Since 1986 she had nearly 50
different roles in TV series, movies and special TV
appearances. Yes, she struggles to get new roles, but
all hearing actors have these same struggles!


— Future drive-ins for the deaf at all McDonalds?

We have complained for years that McDonald’s drive-ins
are not friendly to us. Hopefully this will change – four
McDonald’s drive-ins at Morganton, NC (near North Carolina
SD) now have push buttons at the kiosks. It alerts the
inside staff that the driver is deaf and to give him the
order clipboard. If this experiment is successful then
hopefully the McDonald’s headquarters in Oak Brook, IL
will install these special push buttons at all McDonald’s
outlets in USA!


— A deaf manager of world’s most popular fast food chain

Olivia Eson, just 20 years old, is deaf and is the manager
of McDonald’s at Bloomington, Illinois. She just won the
McDonald’s Chicago Region Crew Person of the Year honor, and
she is taking classes to move up on the McDonald’s management
ladder. She started working at McDonald’s at the age of 15 and
has made it her career. Yes, she deals with customers and with
her employees on a daily basis. DeafDigest does not think
she knows ASL.

— A college almost did not allow a deaf student to graduate!

Kelly Laatsch is a deaf junior at Central Michigan University.
Her goal is to become a teacher of the deaf. Because of a
crazy state rule, the college told her she is not allowed
to graduate! The rule is that all students must speak in English
(without an interpreter). When this story hit the newspapers
and TV news shows, the embarrassed college agreed to allow
her to graduate!




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!