Photo courtesy of mindrec

November 2010 Archives



ATTENTION!

KAD is currently seeking to fill a vacancy on the KAD Board

Click here for more details!


38TH Annual Gallaudet & Clerc Banquet

The KY Chapter of Gallaudet University Alumni Association at Kentucky School for the Deaf invites you to the 38TH Annual Gallaudet & Clerc Banquet featuring guest speaker Fred Weiner, '86, on Thursday, December 9, 2010.

Read the flyer for all the details!

***HURRY, TICKETS ARE LIMITED!***

FYI...

According to The Washington Post/Associated Press...

Videophone coming to Va. prison

A Virginia prison will become the first major institution in the country to install a videophone so deaf inmates can communicate with family and friends, as part of the recent settlement of a lawsuit.

Read the full article.

NAD Presses DOJ to Tackle Deaf and Hard of Hearing Legal Issues

Submitted by NAD

On Wednesday, November 10, 2010, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), along with other disability rights advocates met with Tom Perez, the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ described significant advances that they have made in defending the rights of people with disabilities through various litigation and settlement agreements. We shared that we are pleased that the DOJ is investing more in enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and reaching out to the cross-disability community; however, more work needed to be done to preserve the rights of deaf and hard of hearing community. The NAD requested that the DOJ to respond to financial institutions that refuse telecommunications relay calls, insufficient captioning in movie theaters, and lack of captioning and other effective communication auxiliary aids in sports stadiums. We look forward to working closely with the DOJ on the concerns we discussed, in addition to several other crucial issues affecting the deaf and hard of hearing community.

You can submit comments here.

A Letter From Rosalie Crawford of NAD

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

If you are in the DC area on Tuesday, November 30, please attend the FCC meeting that starts at 10:30 a.m.

On the agenda (http://www.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2010/db1123/DOC-303014A1.pdf), is an item of special interest --

The FCC Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau will present an overview of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, Pub. L. 111-260, the Commission’s implementation plans, and demonstrate accessibility technologies.

Starting at 4:00 p.m., also on November 30, is the COAT "thanksgiving" celebration on Capitol Hill.

This year, we have a lot to be thankful for. I am particularly thankful for all of you, for your persistent and dynamic advocacy, for passage of the COAT bill, and for swift action by the FCC.

Looking forward to full day of celebration (in person or in spirit) on November 30th.

Rosaline

NAD Applauds FCC Selection of Hlibok as DRO Chief

Submitted by NAD

Greg Hlibok was tapped by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski to lead the FCC Disability Rights Office (DRO) which is responsible for telecommunications relay services (TRS), access to telecommunications equipment and services by persons with disabilities, access to emergency information, closed captioning and more. The DRO also provides expert advice and assistance to other FCC Bureaus and Offices, federal agencies, consumers, and industry, in order to support the Commission's goal of increasing the accessibility of telecommunications services and technologies for persons with disabilities. Further, the DRO has a significant role in carrying out the mandates of the new Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 signed into law by President Barack Obama on October 8, 2010, an effort spearheaded by the NAD and other organizations that are members of the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT).

“As the new Chief of the Disability Rights Office, Greg, who is deaf, is the first person in this important role who directly experiences the same policies that he will develop and implement. The NAD congratulates FCC Chairman Genachowski for selecting a highly qualified person with a disability who will lead the DRO through significant advances in telecommunications and technology for people with disabilities and Greg for this incredible honor,” said NAD President Bobbie Beth Scoggins. “This is a significant milestone during the 20th anniversary year of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Our community has a litany of challenges that this FCC administration has worked hard to address, including the National Broadband Plan to connect the country to the Internet, achieving functionally equivalent telecommunications relay services, and emerging closed captioning issues. We look forward to Greg's leadership on these issues.”

For more information about Greg Hlibok’s selection as the next DRO Chief, please see: http://www.fcc.gov/ftp/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2010/db1116/DOC-302803A1.pdf

--
Michael K. Berger
Region II Representative
National Association of the Deaf
Invest in Our Future!
www.nad.org
twitter: @NADRegionII

51st Biennial NAD Conference
"Nothing About Us, Without Us!"
July 3-7, 2012
Louisville, Kentucky

NAD Celebrates IDEA 35th Anniversary

Submitted by NAD

On Thursday, November 18, 2010, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) joined other advocates, legislators, parents, students, and friends to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). This revolutionary law made free appropriate public education a civil right for children who are deaf or hard of hearing and other children with disabilities. Under the IDEA, states are required to ensure that each child has equal access to public education.

At the celebration, hosted by the U.S. Department of Education, several prominent individuals reflected on their fight to enact the IDEA. Opening remarks were made by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who commented on the progress made in the past 35 years and acknowledged that the work is far from done. Senator Tom Harkin, a longtime champion for disability rights, recalled his experience in making the IDEA a law. Representative George Miller, another disability rights supporter, shared his memories of learning about the poor state of special education prior to the IDEA and being determined to change the system for the better.

The event also consisted of two panels. The first panel included leading advocates who played a role in implementing the IDEA and other advocates who are determined to improve the status of special education. The celebration concluded with a group of young professionals who explained how the IDEA had enabled them to be successful today.

The NAD was honored to be included in this celebration of the IDEA. The NAD is committed to advocating for the unique educational needs of deaf and hard of hearing children that the IDEA has not adequately addressed. The event served as a reminder of how dedicated individuals can make a difference and as an inspiration to all of us interested in ensuring our children’s rights to equal education.

Michael K. Berger & Richard McCowin
Region II Representatives

--
Michael K. Berger
Region II Representative
National Association of the Deaf
Invest in Our Future!
www.nad.org
twitter: @NADRegionII

51st Biennial NAD Conference
"Nothing About Us, Without Us!"
July 3-7, 2012
Louisville, Kentucky

Deaf Pharmacist Wins Right to Receive Relay Calls

Submitted by NAD

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) reached a settlement with the Alabama Board of Pharmacy (ALBOP) in the case of Barbara Jane Howard, a qualified deaf pharmacist. Ms. Howard filed a complaint in federal court alleging she was denied the right to accept prescription orders through relay service calls on the job. The NAD is pleased to have this matter resolved.

Howard, who graduated with honors from her pharmacy program, was qualified to perform her duties at Wal-Mart when the ALBOP denied her the right to use relay services on the job. ALBOP claimed that only a pharmacist or registered intern could accept prescription orders; not a relay service operator. Ms. Howard claimed that ALBOP had violated her rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Under the settlement agreement, Ms. Howard will be able to use relay services on the job.

"Telecommunications relay services enables deaf and hard of hearing people to access and use the nation's telephone system. The ability to access and use the telephone system is critical for employment and other areas of daily life," said NAD President Bobbie Beth Scoggins. "Deaf and hard of hearing professionals have the right to succeed as highly trained professionals. Professionals, such as pharmacists and attorneys, should not be restricted in any way just because they happen to be deaf or hard of hearing."

Michael K. Berger & Richard McCowin
Region II Representatives

--
Michael K. Berger
Region II Representative
National Association of the Deaf
Invest in Our Future!
www.nad.org
twitter: @NADRegionII

51st Biennial NAD Conference
"Nothing About Us, Without Us!"
July 3-7, 2012
Louisville, Kentucky

Kentucky to Provide Court Interpreters for Deaf Attorneys

Submitted by NAD

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and the law firm Freking & Betz settled a complaint in federal court against the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the Administrative Office of the Courts alleging their failure to provide qualified sign language interpreters for Teri Mosier, a deaf attorney admitted to practice in Kentucky. The complaint was filed in the United States District Court in Lexington, Kentucky in 2008. As a result of this case and the settlement agreement, the state of Kentucky will now provide interpreters to communicate effectively with deaf attorneys, including Mosier.

The defendants’ former policy stated that they "must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act by providing qualified interpreters for the deaf and hard of hearing." However, the defendants’ policy further stated that they will "not provide interpreting services for attorneys." The complaint alleged that the Defendants’ refusal to provide qualified sign language interpreter services when Ms. Mosier represented clients in court proceedings violated Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The failure of the court to provide qualified interpreter services, to ensure effective communication with, equal opportunity, and equal access to Ms. Mosier, effectively limited Ms. Mosier’s ability to practice law.

"State and local courts are required to provide qualified sign language interpreters or other accommodations to ensure effective communication," said Bobbie Beth Scoggins, President of the NAD. "The NAD is committed to ensuring that deaf and hard of hearing attorneys have the same rights in the courtroom as their hearing counterparts. Equal justice for all requires effective communication."

Michael K. Berger & Richard McCowin
Region II Representatives

--
Michael K. Berger
Region II Representative
National Association of the Deaf
Invest in Our Future!
www.nad.org
twitter: @NADRegionII

51st Biennial NAD Conference
"Nothing About Us, Without Us!"
July 3-7, 2012
Louisville, Kentucky

NAD Advocates for Access in Cultural Venues

Submitted by NAD

Earlier this week, the NAD participated in a new working group hosted by the Kennedy Center and Smithsonian about making cultural venues, such as live performance theaters and museums, accessible to deaf and hard of hearing people. The NAD commends the Kennedy Center and Smithsonian for their efforts to ensure accessibility.

This meeting focused primarily on accessibility in large performance theaters. Participants at the meeting shared their experiences with captions, sign language interpreters, and assistive listening devices in live performance theaters. The discussion focused on standards for captioning, using sign language interpreters to convey artistic content in live performances, and the technicalities of assistive listening devices. There was also some discussion about what modalities work best for various types of audiences. For example, children under the age of five will have different needs at a performance than late-deafened adults.

Participants also stressed the importance of on-site inspections, trainings, maintenance, technical issues, and constant inventory to make individual experiences truly accessible. Feedback provided by theater and museum patrons is also needed. One participant shared her experience visiting a museum where she found that the caption display equipment was available but difficult to use, no neck loop assistive listening devices were available, and some of the equipment was not functioning. In addition, while the museum staff was courteous and wanted to help, they were not aware of all to accommodations available to make the visit accessible.

The group plans to meet again in January to continue discussing accessibility in cultural settings. The NAD is pleased to work with the Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian to ensure full accessibility and equal enjoyment in cultural settings by members of our community.

Please tell us about your experiences with live performance theaters, museums, and other cultural settings. How can these places and events be made more accessible to you?

Michael K. Berger & Richard McCowin
Region II Representatives

--
Michael K. Berger
Region II Representative
National Association of the Deaf
Invest in Our Future!
www.nad.org
twitter: @NADRegionII

51st Biennial NAD Conference
"Nothing About Us, Without Us!"
July 3-7, 2012
Louisville, Kentucky

NAD Submits Comments to FCC on Advanced Communications

Submitted by NAD

On November 22, 2010, the NAD, along with other consumer organizations, submitted comments in response to a Public Notice issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asking questions about "advanced communications." The Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (Accessibility Act), recently passed by Congress, requires accessible advanced communications. This is a summary of the NAD comments.

The new law defines advanced communications as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), electronic messaging, and interoperable video conferencing services. "Interoperable video conferencing service" is further defined to mean real-time video communications, including audio, to enable users to share information of the user's choosing.

Video Conferencing
Deaf and hard of hearing people must be able to access a video conferencing service directly and through a video relay service (VRS). The video conferencing service must enable the individual to see and be seen by all video conference call participants. In addition, the individual must be able to connect to and use VRS (to see and be seen by the VRS communications assistant, and for the VRS communications assistant to hear and be heard by the video conference call participants) to participate equally in the video conference call. Split screen or multi-user video conferencing technology should be used so the individual can see both the participant(s) and the VRS communications assistant at the same time.

Video conferencing capability is not only beneficial to individuals who rely on VRS, but for millions of deaf and hard of hearing people who benefit from visual communication cues such as speech reading, facial expressions, body language, and gestures.

The North American Numbering Plan (“NANP”) 10-digit telephone number system must be adopted and/or adapted by other video conferencing equipment and service providers to make their systems interoperable with other systems and users, including VRS users.

In addition, video conferencing equipment and services:

  • must include market devices and software, as well as specialized devices (videophones) and software used by deaf or hard of hearing people;
  • must enable the delivery of two-way voice communications;
  • must enable the delivery of voice communications in an accessible format, through the display of real-time captioning; and
  • captions, when provided, must be compatible with other technologies that convert text to Braille for access by deaf-blind people.

Hearing Aid Compatibility
Equipment with handsets (speakers typically held to the ear) that are used to access VoIP or video conferencing services must be compatible with hearing aids and cochlear implants. This “hearing aid compatibility” must be built-in to the equipment.

Performance Objectives
Performance objectives related to accessibility, usability, and compatibility of advanced communications should be general enough to permit flexibility and innovation, but specific enough to achieve the desired outcomes.

Click here to read the full comments submitted by the NAD.

Tell the FCC – Make Advanced Communications Accessible to Everyone

Deadline for comments is Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Click here to submit your comments to the FCC. Type 10-213 in the box marked “Proceeding Number.” Type your name, contact information, and comments in the other boxes provided. When complete, click on “Continue” to send your comment to the FCC.

Michael K. Berger & Richard McCowin
Region II Representatives

--
Michael K. Berger
Region II Representative
National Association of the Deaf
Invest in Our Future!
www.nad.org
twitter: @NADRegionII

51st Biennial NAD Conference
"Nothing About Us, Without Us!"
July 3-7, 2012
Louisville, Kentucky

Score for Accessibility: OSU to Provide In-Stadium Captions

Submitted by NAD

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) successfully advocated for equal access to sports stadiums through a settlement agreement on behalf of Vincent Sabino with Ohio State University. Ohio State’s athletic department agreed to undertake several steps to make its athletic events accessible to deaf and hard of hearing fans. The original complaint, filed in 2009 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, alleged that Ohio State’s athletic department discriminated against him and other deaf or hard of hearing individuals by failing to provide auxiliary aids and services, such as captioning, at Ohio Stadium and Value City Arena at the Jerome Schottenstein Center. Without captions, Sabino did not have full and equal enjoyment of and access to Ohio State’s programs and services required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other federal disability rights law.

The settlement agreement requires Ohio State’s athletic department to undertake several steps to make its athletic events accessible to deaf and hard of hearing individuals. For example, Ohio State agreed to provide captioning for its football and basketball games. Ohio State is part of the Big Ten Conference of universities. Unfortunately, not all Big Ten universities provide the same level of accommodations as Ohio State now provides. To remedy this, the NAD sent a letter to all other Big Ten universities outlining the settlement agreement with Ohio State and requesting that these universities adopt similar policies and practices to ensure their stadiums provide equal access to deaf and hard of hearing fans.

"The NAD expects that this settlement agreement will serve as a model for other university and professional sports stadiums," said NAD President Bobbie Beth Scoggins. "Deaf and hard of hearing spectators are legally entitled to all of the benefits of sporting events, including understanding announcements, play by play commentaries, referee calls, and the highly spirited school songs so integrated in the ultimate sport fan experience."

Michael K. Berger & Richard McCowin
Region II Representatives --
Michael K. Berger
Region II Representative
National Association of the Deaf
Invest in Our Future!
www.nad.org
twitter: @NADRegionII

51st Biennial NAD Conference
"Nothing About Us, Without Us!"
July 3-7, 2012
Louisville, Kentucky

Accepting applications for 2011 Summer Academy in Computing

KAD President would like to share with you an email she receieved which offers an opportunity to deaf and hard of hearing students.

The University of Washington is again sponsoring the Summer Academy for Advancing Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Computing in 2011, its 5th year. We have had enormous success in the last four years, and with your help we hope to make the academy even better this coming year.

The Summer Academy seeks to find the top 10 deaf and hard of hearing students, ages 16 and over, who excel in and enjoy math, science and/or computing. This is a challenging academic program that allows participants to earn college credit while learning about various aspects of and opportunities in computing. The Summer Academy is designed to introduce computing to deaf and hard of hearing students considering computer science, computer engineering, information science, information systems or information technology as a career, either in industry or academia. Admission is very competitive, based on an assessment of academic ability and enthusiasm to participate in an intensive learning experience in all things computing. Our program is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Science Foundation; tuition, room and board, and round-triptransportation will be provided at no cost to selected applicants. This is truly an exciting opportunity!

Please forward this email to deaf and hard of hearing students who have shown an interest in math, science and/or computing; to another counselor or educator that would know such students; or to the student's parents. The first deadline is December 31, 2010, however applications received after that date will be considered on a space available basis.

You may also direct your students to our website at www.washington.edu/accesscomputing/dhh/academy. It includes program information, the program brochure, a video on the Summer Academy, and an online application form.

Thank you for your assistance,

Robert I. Roth, Program Coordinator
Advancing Deaf & Hard of Hearing in Computing Department of Computer
Science and Engineering University of Washington
robroth@cs.washington.edu

Save The Date!

TDI (formally known as Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc.) invites you to "Save The Date" for the 19th Biennial TDI International Conference taking place Thursday, June 2 to Saturday, June 4, 2011 in Austin, Texas.

Check out their flier!

New Year's Eve Party/Deaf Social

Come join us at the New Year's Eve Party/Deaf Social in Richmond, KY on December 31st, 2010.

See the flier for more details!

NAD to Provide Three Presentations at the 2011 EHDI Conference

Submitted by NAD

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) was selected to provide three educational sessions for the EHDI Conference in Atlanta, Georgia from February 21-22, 2011. For ten years, the Early Hearing and Detection Intervention Conference (EHDI) has brought local and federal EHDI professionals, deaf educators, advocates, audiologists, and parents together to share experiences and strategies to jump-start deaf and hard of hearing babies' language acquisition.

One presentation will cover the importance of deaf and hard of hearing mentors in EHDI programs. New parents of deaf or hard of hearing children are often overwhelmed with information regarding various educational, technological, and communication strategies. In this session, the NAD will explain how including deaf mentors in EHDI programs provides parents with the answers that professionals cannot answer and allow parents to make more educated decisions for their children.

In another discussion, the NAD will accentuate how American Sign Language (ASL) enhances the acquisition of English rather than impairs it in its third presentation. Incorporating early acquisition and learning both, ASL and English, maximizes the potential for language proficiency in deaf and hard of hearing infants through the implementation of a dual language approach.

Finally, the NAD will emphasize how deaf or hard of hearing children's linguistic success depends on both the parents being proactive and involved in their child's early education program, and on the program establishing and maintaining strong relationships with parents.

The NAD is excited to bring its advocacy efforts to the upcoming EHDI Conference. This is a rare opportunity for the NAD to have a direct dialogue with the key players in the EHDI field. See the EHDI Conference website. For more information, visit http://ehdiconference.org/.

Michael K. Berger &
Richard McCowin
Region II Representatives
National Association of the Deaf
Invest in Our Future!
www.nad.org
twitter: @NADRegionII

51st Biennial NAD Conference
"Nothing About Us, Without Us!"
July 3-7, 2012
Louisville, Kentucky

Your Help is Needed!

Submitted by the Department for Behavioral Health’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services

Hello!

The Department for Behavioral Health’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services staff needs YOUR opinions! We are preparing for our Biennial Report to the legislature and want to know how to better meet your needs. We are using online “Survey Monkey” to collect information on what Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals in Kentucky need and want. The survey is 10 questions and should take only a few minutes.

Please click on this link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DHHS_RegionalNeeds

We will use your answers to help develop and improve programs and services across Kentucky!

If you have questions, please contact Michelle.Niehaus@ky.gov or call (502) 564-4456 x4521 for voice or (502) 564-4000 (VP).

If you are part of a group or organization, please send this to anyone you know who is Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or the parent of a child who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing!

Thanks so much!

Michelle Niehaus
Program Administrator
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services
KY Division for Behavioral Health