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

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Speaking your truth.....

I don't know who wrote this, but it really resonates with me:

Always speak your truth with love

When you speak your truth,
it's not about changing the other person's mind,
or seeking their approval 
for your opinion.

After all, we can't control 
other people's reactions 
to our actions.

Speaking your truth 
is purely about being true to you.

Always speak your truth with love

When you speak your truth,
it's not about changing the other person's mind,
or seeking their approval 
for your opinion.

After all, we can't control 
other people's reactions 
to our actions.

Speaking your truth 
is purely about being true to you.

"Captions Capture the Votes" by Lauren Storck

Today's guest writer is Lauren Storck, founder of CCAC (Collaborative for Communication Access via Captioning) and CaptionMatch . Lauren is the driving force behind captions for today's deaf and hard of hearing persons. Elections will soon be here, and because millions of us depend on captioned television and internet videos and news for information, we want to be sure we are included with equal access to language. Please share this information.

“Captions Capture the Votes”

WE ask and encourage you to create campaigns for all elections that include quality captioning – for all media, and for live presentations by candidates.
CANDIDATES – do it soon and keep us informed please via email to CapturetheVotes@CCACaptioning.org – copy and paste the email address please — we’ll publish a list thanking all candidates who do this. Get your message out to voters with quality captioning – not only for millions with hearing loss and deafness, but also for so many others with language and other differences. Captions communicate!
VOTERS – begin contacting candidates in your region now. CCAC will soon have a great Flyer (Poster) for distribution, and also a “model” email for you to use or edit as you choose. Stay tuned! This depends on your energies – come on board! CCACaptioning.org - The Place To Be For Captioning Advocacy. Official non-profit membership organization. Email today to participate and share information, ideas, and discussions. Email to CaptiontheVotes@CCACaptioning.org (please copy, paste and add to your contacts).
The campaign here and also CaptionMatch.com invites communications from candidates, the press, and voters, to assist in finding a captioning provider to meet local needs and budgets. Check out the website and learn more. Refer others to it. CaptionMatch is not a captioning company and not selling any service. It is however a service from the non-profit, all volunteer CCAC, to extend raising awareness, education, advocacy, and the CCAC mission – inclusion of quality captioning universally. Info@captionmatch.com
READ and share information in the CCAC Blog and also on a dedicated Facebook page for the campaign where your voices and discussions are invited (not here on the CCAC webpages). https://www.facebook.com/pages/Captions-Capture-the-Votes/610967952314071?ref=hl
SEE RESOURCES listed below on this page – general and specific information for voters and candidates – send us best resources to add.
THERE will also be information and discussion on the public CCAC blog pages, http://ccacblog.wordpress.com/ that also invites guest blog posts.
AND if you are a member of the CCAC or join now, more discussion, ideas, and best of all, shared “actions” among members using the CCAC Members’ Forum online – we use a CCAC Google Group.
CAPTIONING advocacy for elections begin this month – March 2014 – together! There are many elections in 2014, for Congress – Senate and House – and in some states for Governors. These are the focus, though local positions (local legislatures) can be included also, up to your local teams. Your interest and energies invited from all States in the US – and other regions are, as always, welcome to join us, create local campaigns in collaborations with the CCAC for the same theme. 
AS this CCAC campaign develops, we invite State hearing loss and deafness groups, disability organizations, access, educational, and technology groups to collaborate. Send the CCAC your ideas and let’s talk soon. CCAC may have funds to assist in selected limited ways. We are all volunteers.
We are seeking State team leaders especially in 9 States – California, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Texas, and Illinois.
Florida Team Leader is identified -yes!  more info here soon. Other States? Email soon with your interest please.
Looks like this site may get us to all Candidates by State – check it out, e.g. for California this year, see http://www.politics1.com/ca.htm
https://www.census.gov/population/socdemo/statbriefs/agebrief.html  – about older citizens, most in 9 states, open to read more
Here’s one with names of Congressional candidates – read down to find your state: http://www.fec.gov/data/CandidateSummary.do
With very best wishes to all reading, and thanks to Joyce, This blogpost encourages re-posting in newsletters and places that are appropriate by others. Thanks if you do! 
Lauren E. Storck, founder and president of the CCAC, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit volunteer membership organization. Join us! http://CCACaptioning.org

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

PA House Bill 1608 - What it means for Deaf, HOH, Speech Impaired and Elderly in Pennsylvania

As many of you know, I am on the Telecommunications Advisory Board for Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. There are currently 3 vacant positions open for public members. Are you a relay user in PA? Let us know if you're interested in serving on this board. Your expenses will be covered if you travel into Harrisburg, PA to our meetings. We meet at the Public Utilities Commission several times a year.

At our most recent meeting, we had members from PUC come and discuss with us House Bill 1608 and what it is all about.

This bill has many items that affect the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Speech Impaired and the elderly, as well as anyone who is using analogue equipment.

It asks for the deregulation of telephone companies. This will affect EVERYONE because that means there will no longer be consumer protection, and everyone will be at the mercy of the phone companies.

Deregulation means there will no longer be dispensary programs for disabled people who need special communication equipment, such as tty, tdd and captioned phones. Many of our elderly and disabled people are not able to afford the equipment or services that will come with deregulation.

Though the phone companies say this will "level the field", what it really means is that a lesser quality company can come in and provide very little service to rural areas, and not have to answer to anyone for poor service.

Along with lesser quality service and companies, this opens the field to greater possibility of our disabled and senior populations to be prey to scams and scammers.

How did this bill get proposed? During Hurricane Sandy, many of the copper lines, (also known as access lines) became damaged. Verizon was affected because their lines took a hard hit in some areas. Because of this, they concluded that since fewer people use these access lines, they do not want to repair or replace these lines. If someone moves into a new area, and these cables are not available for their equipment, no new lines will be put in.

With deregulation, analogue equipment will eventually just quit working.

Analogue equipment are not only tty, tdd and older captioned phones, they are also medic alert devices for seniors who need assistance when "fall down and can't get up". These older devices use the copper access lines.

It is interesting to note that cell phones and new mobile devices are not actually phones. They are considered  "radio".

With deregulation, there will be no funding available for government groups to ensure consumer protection, or dispensaries of new compatible equipment for disabled, seniors and low income people who need accessible equipment to meet their communication needs.

I asked Shaun Parks of PUC, PA what we could do right now. He suggested we contact our PA representatives and voice our concerns regarding this bill. We as individuals, and we who belong to groups such as AARP and HLAA need to unite and express our concerns. This will affect everyone in the end, one way or another.

There is much more to House Bill 1608 than we realize.

I am currently waiting for information as to exactly who to contact, and when I have it, I will pass it along to you.

#AARP #HLAA #Communication #Accessibiltiy

Sunday, March 23, 2014

"Keep ASL in Schools"

My friends and I were invited to take part in this video. Here are excellent reasons why we should keep ASL in school, and why more schools should have ASL classes. Please join us and support the campaign to "Keep ASL in School":


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Ninja Total Flex

Our friend Neil shared this amazing video. I've never seen anything like this before:


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Lancaster Sign Language Classes Begin April , 2014 - Register NOW

Kathy Kostrub is offering Sign Language Classes in Lancaster, PA beginning April. Fabulous Husband took one of her classes previously and LOVED it! Sign up NOW.


Beginner I American Sign Language, 8 weeks—Cost- $100.00 (DOES NOT include text cost: $20.14)

Tuesday EVENINGS, 6-8 PM, starting April 15th, Lancaster General Hospital OR
Wednesday EVENINGS, 6-8 PM, starting April 16rd, Location TBD

Prerequisites: None

Reference Text: Signing, How to Speak with Your Hands, by Elaine Costello

This is a beginner class in American Sign Language which will introduce the basics of communicating with the Deaf and
information about Deaf culture. The class will cover the first half of the vocabulary in the required textbook and will include
many extra activities to make the learning process enjoyable.

Beginner II American Sign Language, 8 weeks—Cost: $100.00 + book

Thursday EVENINGS, 6-8 PM, starting April 17th, Location TBD

Prerequisite: Completion of a previous formal class or other experience with ASL
This class is a continuation of Beginner I American Sign Language utilizing the Elaine Costello dictionary text, the Bravo
videos and/or other resources determined by the instructor.

Mail registration form and check made out to “DHHS” to
DHHS– Sign Language Classes
150 Farmington Lane, Lancaster PA 17601
If you have any questions please call Deaf Services at 397-4741.

Monday, March 17, 2014

An Irish Toast for St. Patrick's Day

May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks

   May your heart be as light as a song

May each day bring you bright happy hours

   That stay with you all the year long

—An Irish Toast

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Ted Talks Shawn Achor discusses "Before Happiness"

My gratitude goes out to my friend Thai for pointing me to this fascinating discussion with Shawn Achor on FaceBook this week. There are incredible exercises and statistics in this discussion worth pondering. I am particularly fond of the 10-5 exercise he took from the Ritz Carlton and applied the exercise in a hospital. Following Shawn's description of the change that came to the hospital months later, Chade-Meng Tan offers us a wonderful thought how we can bring happiness and postitivity to others we encounter without saying a word. We CAN create a different social script for the world. This is powerful in so many ways.

This is 60 minutes in length, and captioned for those who need them - just click on the CC button.

*** Shawn Achor saw this post and tweeted a link where we can find more information regarding the research: http://goodthinkinc.com/ Thank you, Shawn!


After viewing this, I'd like to think I am a "rational optimist". I like his definition of the terms.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"You Brought the Sunshine" a D-PAN video

I love the story line of this video of how the boy grew up to be a choir director and the message of the song.



Monday, March 10, 2014

Nuns Share Reiki as They Seek to Minister Holistically

Hands on healing has been around for years. We were created to energetically help our healing, and the healing of others. When a child falls and hurts their knee, they cup their hand over it. When someone has a headache, they rub their forehead or temples.

We use our hands to reach out and comfort one another with a gentle touch, a hug, or a hand on a shoulder or another person's hand.

It makes sense to me that a gentle hands on system of healing has benefits everywhere, and especially in churches where compassion and love for one another is a major tenet of faith.

I love the following article about these lovely ladies- and I hope to see the movie about them.

Reiki by Nuns:


I love this quote from the article:

"He's not going to ask me how often did I go to Mass or if I prayed every day," she said. "He's going to ask me, 'What did you do for your brothers and sisters?' That's what you did for me."

Read more from Journal Sentinel: http://www.jsonline.com/news/religion/for-sisters-recognition-can-only-come-from-above-b99112633z1-226627581.html#ixzz2vQjkNYC2 
Follow us: @JournalSentinel on Twitter

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Visual of what "OM" looks like

I've been reading a lot about how sounds and words affect us not only by what is heard, but the vibration which our bodies feel. From what I understand, we are affected even on a cellular, molecular level. After reading this and seeing this video, I am convinced there is so much more we've yet to learn. This video is not captioned, but I understand when "om" is sang at different pitches, the sand moves into interesting geometric positions. The visual near the end is stunning. I see no captions, but I'm pretty sure all they would be saying is "om" at different notes, pitches or frequencies. :-)

The video isn't captioned, but the visual is stunning, especially near the end.