"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive." Anaïs Nin

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Friday, November 30, 2012

willUstand Is Searching For Youth To Add Sign Language to a Music Video

I received a tweet from Heather Gere a few days ago looking for young people to add their Sign Language "voices" to a new video promoting bullying prevention. "We would just love to include some footage of youth signing along to the lyrics."  I offered Heather an opportunity to guest post today in hopes to help her with her search. I'm sure some of you can help her find ASL and BSL signers for this wonderful campaign featuring young people making a difference. All the information is provided below. Spread the news, and if you're a young person, or you know young people who could get together and add some "Signing voices" to the video, contact Heather and help make this happen. The deadline for video submissions is December 15, 2012.  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
willUstand is a bullying prevention initiative by Vermont 12-year-old, Charleigh Gere, who is using music to empower bystanders to stand together against bullying. Stand, the anti-bullying anthem, inspires youth to be the “one voice unafraid” to stand for others because all individuals, regardless of their differences, are worth standing for. willUstand offers a free download of the song and lyrics.
To help share the message of Stand in a meaningful way, willUstand is inviting youth to participate in the creation of a crowdsourced music video. Submissions should visually illustrate the themes of standing up for others and/or being the “one voice unafraid”.
"We would just love to include some footage of youth signing along to the lyrics." 
One of the themes willUstand has specifically requested is a clip of youth signing the chorus of Stand. Here are the lyrics: 
Cuz all it takes is one voice unafraid to say...
I will stand beside you
Will you stand with me, dig your feet into
The earth, cuz they're worth
Somebody to catch them
Let's join together
and Stand.

I hope you’ll participate and spread the word!  The deadline for clip submissions is December 15 and here are the submission guidelines.  You can follow willUstand on Facebook and on Twitter at @willUstand.
Bystanders are the majority. Imagine what could happen when the majority pledged to stand together against bullying.
For more information, email info@willUstand.com

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Funny Little Something for My Friends with Service Dogs: Or Anyone Who has Cats or Dogs

I saw this posted by my friend Ken over on FaceBook. It is visual, it is captioned, it is gross, true and absolutely hysterical.

"If Humans Acted Like Cats and Dogs"


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

"You and I and the Difference" by Michelle

If you saw yesterday's post from Michelle "At the Speed of Life",  you will want to read part 2. She continues with "You and I and the Difference".

Michelle aptly describes the difference of life situations that differ between a deaf or hard of hearing person and a hearing person. 

The one difference that tugged at my heart were her words:
"While laying in bed in the dark, you make small talk with your spouse.
I ask mine if there is anything I need to hear before I take out my hearing aids."

"Explaining Hearing Loss"

I just read a fabulous post by Michelle who blogs "At the Speed of Life". She has been asked, as so many of us who are deaf, or no longer hear well as we used to, "What is it like ... "

Go have a read. She's quite poetic and often writes from a spiritual perspective.


I've been following her posts awhile. I recommend you do as well.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Need Captions? Try CaptionMatch!

I registered with CaptionMatch a few days ago and put in a request to have Keith Wann's ASL online radio show captioned. His guest was  Linda Fiore Sanders, co-author of "Turn A Deaf Ear" As soon as the that transcrip is available, I will post it here for you.

Here is the recent press release from CaptionMatch. They are a wonderful organization. If you are looking for a worth while cause to donate to, why not donate in support of access to language? They would appreciate your support. CaptionMatch

Where Captioners Meet Customers

A new service to connect people who are deaf or have a hearing loss with captioning providers is now available on the web. It is called CaptionMatch, and the working prototype is open for business. Captioning is not only used by millions with hearing loss. It is also used by many others for language and learning needs, as well as by Internet search engines to find information.
CaptionMatch is a matching service, a clearinghouse. It's not a captioning company. It has two main aims:
  1. To increase the demand for captioning services by making it easier for anyone to ask for captioning anytime.
  2. To help captioning providers spread their services and knowledge to more people, whether they have extra time available to earn more or whether they need help on a captioning project.
Registration is free on the website (http://CaptionMatch.com).
Consumers fill out and submit a captioning request form. For example, they ask for CART (real time captioning, called STTR internationally), or for captioning of an online video. When a registered captioning provider sees a request, they send a bid for the job, or questions, via CaptionMatch to the consumer, who remains anonymous until a “match” is made.
Consumers may receive proposals from more than one provider. When the "match" is complete, the provider pays a small fee to the service. The consumer pays nothing to use the service. Consumers and providers make their own arrangements as to captioning services and pricing. Providers can also use CaptionMatch to locate a subcontractor to assist them on a project.
With an estimated global population of six hundred million people with hearing loss or deafness, the need for captioning services is growing. CaptionMatch aims to increase accessibility to needed services while offering captioning providers an opportunity to increase their customer base and revenues. As the founder, L.E. Storck says, “We need to take advantage of whatever modern technology offers to support people who need and want to communicate with each other. The world needs new ideas that lead to much more inclusion of quality captioning.” The well-respected advocacy organization Media Access Australia adds: “CaptionMatch is an interesting initiative with the potential to alert organisations to the value of captioning, and streamline the process of organising captioning.”
CaptionMatch is a deaf-owned company whose executives have significant experience in other successful startups. For further details, contact info@CaptionMatch.com.

For immediate release
For information, please contact info@CaptionMatch.com

Friday, November 23, 2012

An Added Feature to My Blog for My Readers

I saw a tweet by my friend Tracy over on Twitter. She is modifying her Confessions of A DeafBlind Mother  to be more friendly for her blind and visually impaired readers. She posted a link for two codes to add a widget that allows the reader to choose the text size easiest for them to read.


Tracy explained that to do this, copy the widget code you prefer, then go to your blogspot "layout", then add "Third Party HTML". Paste the code into the box and save. I added mine under the headers on my page so those of you who use smart phone apps will see the option. Many smart phone apps don't include the side bar of items we post on our websites.

Thank you, Tracy, for teaching me how to do this!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

This pretty much sums up what I am thankful for this season.

May you have many blessings to be thankful for as well.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I received this Tweet over on Twitter from @willUstand:
We're creating a crowdsourced music video 4 antibullying song. Looking 4 clips of youth signing chorus 

This is a campaign for young people to stand together against bullying.
Perhaps YOU or someone you know can help them find the group of signers they are looking for.

Spread the word.

Monday, November 19, 2012

"Firework" ASL Interpretation

Oh, this is a FABULOUS ASL interpretation of Katy Perry's "Firework" by lankylistman.

Check out his channel here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOEdqV5iRcY

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Couple of Thanksgiving Signs (ASL)

Here is a link to Rachel Coleman of Signing Time demonstrating a couple of Thanksgiving signs.


ASL Classes for Adults, Level 1 Available in Camp Hill, PA

I received an email from Kathy with this listing for an upcoming Level 1 ASL class in Camp Hill.

Level 1 American Sign Language Class for Adults
Provided by the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf and
Scranton School for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children Outreach Center

Thursday evenings 6pm-8pm
January 10-February 28, 2013
Location: 3820 Hartzdale Drive, Camp Hill, PA 17011

Cost: $60 per student

Instructor: Jeni Gordon

Textbook: Signing How to Speak with Your Hands By: Elaine Costello

* To assist students in monitoring their progress in this course, there will be evaluations.
* No academic credit is awarded for the course
* The Outreach Center reserves the right to change, alter or cancel classes.
* No sign language experience necessary.

For more information please contact:  Jessica Marks:  717-909-5577 or jmarks@wpsd.org

Deadline to register is December 21, 2012.

Kathy Kostrub
Deaf Services Technical Support Volunteer
 717-397-4741 V/TTY
717-291-1830 FAX

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Next Lancaster County Hearing Loss Association Meeting

We are going to have a FABULOUS speaker at our next meeting! Tracy Beck, the Operations Director of Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation will be discussing low-cost loans for hearing aids and assistive listening equipment. You can learn more about their program here: http://www.patf.us/

Everyone is welcome! Come join us next Tuesday morning at 10:00.


Village Center Building
Fellowship Hall (lower level)
Brethren Village Retirement
3001 Lititz Pike
Lancaster, PA

I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I received an email from Lauren E. Storck, founder of   Collaborative for Communication Access via Captioning. She has an innovative program to bring clients and caption providers together for events where captions are necessary and beneficial for deaf and hearing impaired persons. Take a look at their new site. Be sure to check out the film "Don't Leave Me Out" at the bottom of this post.

Where Captioners Meet Customers
Dear Friends of Captioning Inclusion,
If you use captioning of any sort, or want to, I'm pleased to announce that a new service is ready to take your captioning requests online. It's called CaptionMatch. As a user of broadcast captioning of any sort (television, Internet, radio) or real time captioning (CART, STTR, Palantype, Velotype), you may have a current request, or one coming up in the near future.
We are inviting you to join in the launch and testing of the system, to register and place a captioning request of any sort. The service is free and always will be for users of captioning. 
CaptionMatch is simply a matching service. Some might refer to it as a clearinghouse. It's not a captioning company. It's an online matching or referral system that has two main aims:

  1. To make it easier for anyone to ask for captioning anytime.
  2. To help captioning providers spread their services and knowledge to more people, whether they have extra time available to earn more or whether they need help on a captioning project.
The service is easy to use. First, go to http://CaptionMatch.com and register on the site (as noted, it's free). Click on the box for "Free Registration." Your registration takes a day or less to be processed, and you'll get an email when it's approved. Then go back to the site to fill out and submit a captioning request form.
When a captioning provider (who is registered) sees a request, they can send a proposal (a bid for the job or to ask questions) via CaptionMatch to preserve your anonymity. You may receive a bid from more than one provider. If a "match" is made between you (user) and any provider, then the provider pays a small fee to the service. The consumer pays nothing to use the service. Consumers and providers make their own arrangements as to captioning services and pricing
We hope you try it soon. It's always good to plan in advance! Meanwhile, feel free to send any questions to info@CaptionMatch.com
Warm wishes,
Lauren E. Storck for the CaptionMatch Team


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Enable Talk is HERE!

My friend Janelle saw this in Time Magazine.

For $75.00, a pair of Enable Talk gloves helps you communicate your needs to those who do not know or understand Sign Language. I wish I had a pair of these when I recently had my surgery. I was unable to communicate with the nurses. I scarcely had a voice, it was painful to talk, to swallow, not only did my throat hurt, my neck hurt. I just wanted to sleep.

When one particular nurse tried to communicate with me regarding the medicines, I couldn't write, or even concentrate enough to tell her just give me the morphine first, wait, then let me try to take the pills they expected me to swallow.  She tried to give me both at the same time. I tried to sign to her, "Sorry, hard to talk throat hurts".  She thought I was complaining of chest pain. I got frustrated, cried and just closed my eyes. I was alone, unable to communicate with her and in horrible pain.

It was awful. There was supposed to be an interpreter there when I woke up. In fact, we had arranged ahead of time for interpreters, but no one ever showed up. I would suggest every doctor's office, hospital, every business to invest in a pair of these gloves for your deaf and hard of hearing clients, patients and customers.


I wish I had a pair of these when I was in the hospital.

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Bit of Enlightenment for Those Who Can Hear

People say, "Get a job!" But they don't understand it's not that easy for deaf and hard of hearing or hearing impaired people because prospective employers won't communicate with us with the tools we use. They put our applications aside and we never "hear" from them. 

When we follow up, the position has been filled by someone else, even if we are more qualified than the person they hired. This has happened most my adult life. I volunteer, yet, according to Vocational Rehabilitation, it is NOT work. They turned me down to purchase hearing aids for me because I've not "worked" for nearly 30 years, not from lack of applying for employment. I've volunteered at my children's schools, and several non-profit organizations. This will be my 4th year of volunteering at a school in Harrisburg one day a week. Yet, because I'm not in the workforce as a paid employee, I am not worthy of hearing aids according to Vocational Rehabilitation. Hearing aids are not covered by insurance. Some insurance companies will reimburse you AFTER you pay for them. Who has that kind of money, especially those on disability? 

When I went to get a pair of hearing aids a number of years ago, I was told I was only allowed one hearing aid with my Social Security insurance. Only one. Does this make sense? Do we give people with vision impairments only 1 corrective lens when both eyes need correction? 

So, those hearing aids I need? I won't be getting them from vocational rehabilitation. At this point, my recovery is going so slow, I most likely won't be attending those college classes until next fall. That's ok. I've waited this long to attend, I can wait another several months. 

Here's a little video to show you how the hiring process works with people in Human Resources and the Employment arena when it comes to deaf and hard of hearing or hearing impaired people. Be sure to catch their "helpful hints" to employers regarding hiring the deaf at the end of the video, it's very enlightening. 

What Would You Do?
I have great hopes that things will start changing for our deaf and hard of hearing  young people trying to access the work force now that we have so many new tools to help with accessibility and with more deaf awareness today than ever before. 


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Rachel Coleman - One Deaf Child

LeeAnn posted this over on FaceBook. It was the first time I had seen this particular video. It is 64 minutes describing the Coleman's journey. Rachel begins the video with the discovery of Leah's deafness.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"How To Recognize A Deaf Customer" written by Spencer Clark

I ran across this excellent article by Spencer Clark on how to recognize deaf customers. These are excellent tips for customer service etiquette. Every business or public organization should read this and pass along to their employees and volunteers. http://www.ecademy.com/node.php?id=151585

This really should be posted at every work station.
(originally posted August 8, 2011)

Monday, November 5, 2012

"Why Great Sign Language Interpreters Are so Animated" by Arika Okrent

There is an excellent article over at The Atlantic http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/11/why-great-sign-language-interpreters-are-so-animated/264459/ by Arika Okrent, linguist and author.

People so often misunderstand the importance of facial expressions and body placement when it comes to the language of ASL. I remember one comment here on my blog in reference to an ASL video where the person had the impression that the signer was angry and looking for a fight. So often people mistake passion, emphatic expression as anger.

Perhaps we can all use some ASL classes and learn more about our third most used language in America...it is American Sign Language, after all.

Thoroughly heck out that fabulous article by Arika Okrent. There are photos there breaking down the meaning of the message so excellently interpreted by Ms. Lydia Callis.

Friday, November 2, 2012

63 Deaf Dancers Perform "Thousand Hand Guan Yin"

My friend Judy (check out her beautiful art here: Heirlooms to be by Judy ) sent this via email. This stunning performance is prefaced with this interesting notation:  "Thousand Hand Guan Yin" was a dance created by Chinese choreographer Zhang Jigang. This dance was performed by 63 deaf dancers of China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe. Because they could not hear the music, there were 6 directors in white cloths helping them synchronizing with the music.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

In Recognition of Excellent Captions provided by WGAL

The notice below was passed on to my via email by Gary to share. 


To:  Jeff Yockey, President of PSAD
CC: Officers of Greater Harrisburg Chapter
       HLA of PA

You may want to share the following message I submitted to our local NBC TV (WGAL Channel 8) station today via their "Contact Us" website with the board.  We need to compliment TV stations that provide live captioning in lieu of scripting which is inadequate and hardly ever follows what they say on TV.

As an early 6 AM riser I was very pleased to see your continuous real-time captioning of the news especially in light of Sandy.  This was also a "first" in weather and TRAFFAX captioning. Live captioning is so much better than the terrible error-prone scripting and boring scrolling of the past.  I hope it continues on a daily basis on the 6 AM, 5 PM and 11 PM news.

In appreciation with thanks I remain,
Gary Bootay
Past Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Society for the Advancement of the Deaf 

Hummelstown, PA