Tuesday, August 15, 2017

App Maker: Apple Earbuds can work as low-tech Amplifiers

A free app called Fennex can turn Apple’s AirPods wireless earbuds into audio amplifiers, according to the Switzerland-based company behind the app. It says the app "functions like a 'cheap hearing aid'" which "tests your hearing in each ear and uses those results to act as a personalized, adjustable amplifier." And while a traditional hearing aid will differentiate between sounds and amplify them based on their particular characteristics, Fennex only does this in a rudimentary way. MIT Technology Review has more here and the company's website is here.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Hero of a new Video Game will use ASL

A video game coming this winter to PlayStation VR features a mouse who uses sign language to give players hints. The game is called Moss where players help a mouse named Quill "as she embarks on a heroic adventure." Read more about Moss in Kotaku. Below is an interview with the art director of the game.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Deaf Man Prevented from Serving on Grand Jury

A Minnesota man wasn't allowed to serve on a grand jury because he is deaf. Mark Valimont is now suing the state. He wants the court staffed to be better trained and compensatory damages “in excess of $50,000.” Read more at the Star-Tribune here.

Lawsuit against St. Paul Police

A deaf woman says she was mistreated by the St. Paul police department. Catrina Hooper says she felt "hurt and afraid" after her encounter with officers. KSTP-TV has a video report.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Details on Apple's Cochlear Implant iPhone Accessory

Last month, we told you about Apple's plan to partner with Austrailian company Cochlear to launch the first Made For iPhone Cochlear implant. The device will be able to stream audio from an iOS device directly to a surgically embedded sound processor. Now, Wired magazine has more details on the technology here.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

NTID gets $2.6 million Grant

image of Matthew Dye
from ntid.rit.edu
A federal grant of $2.6 million will be used by the National Technical Institute for the Deaf to study the results of cochlear implants. The researcher leading the study, Matthew Dye, says sometimes the results are positive but sometimes "cochlear implant recipients never develop usable speech and oral-language skills." This research is intended to answer the question as to why the outcome varies. It's the first study of its kind to focus on college-age adults, Read more here.

1st Deaf School Super Welcomes Students

The Tennessee School for the Deaf has its first deaf superintendent and she is welcoming students back for the new school year.  WVLT-TV has a video and written report on what NancyLynn Ward is doing in her first year here.

Friday, August 4, 2017

A deaf man’s death leads to a change in NC law

Adam DeVenny Daniel Harris was shot and killed by a North Carolina state trooper after a high-speed chase. Now, a new law will go into effect in January as a result laset year. House Bill 84 allows deaf drivers to have a symbol included on their driver’s licenses. That way, when a police officer stops someone and checks their license number, this information will come up. Read more in the Herald-Sun here. Unfortunately, the Herald-Sun video posted below, does not have captions.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Terps visualize noise for deaf fans at Lollapalooza

Amber Galloway-Gallego has choosen not to use a traditional style of interpreting: Instead of avoiding movement that might distract from music performances or trying to represent the musical instruments, she and some other ASL interpreters hope to bring their work to life with a full-immersion style of communicating. Read the story here.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Deaf and the Civil War

A new book tells what deaf people did during the Civil War. Written by Harry Lang, who teaches at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, the book is called Fighting in the Shadows: The Untold Story of Deaf People in the Civil War. Lang says the book is about "how they put aside the oppression and discrimination they faced in order to join the greater conflict that was dividing the nation.” Read more at the NTID site here.

Happy Birthday Bob Hiltermann!

Deaf since the age of 4, Bob Hiltermann was born on this day (August 1, 1952) in Germany, the tenth of eleven children born. A bout with meningitis left him deaf but he wasn't diagnosed until the age of ten. Hiltermann learned ASL while attending Gallaudet University in Washington, DC and later formed MuSign (a Signing/Mime company). He acted with Marlee Matlin in Children of a Lesser God, was featured in See What I'm Saying and The Hammer, he created ASL videos called Shut Up and Sign and is drummer for Beethoven's Nightmare.