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WGRZ-TV CH2 • Buffalo, NY
February 18, 2016

WILMINGTON, Del. — A deaf former inmate of the Delaware Department of Correction was denied compensation for his claims the needs of his disability weren't met in prison.

Superior Court Judge T. Henley Graves on Monday reversed a decision from the Delaware State Human Relations Commission that awarded Robert Ovens damages over claims his jailers didn't meet his needs under the state's equal accommodation law. Graves ruled — in agreement with a previous case — prisons are not places of public accommodation under that law.

That doesn't sit right with Debra Patkin, an attorney with the National Association for the Deaf who reviewed this week's ruling.

Read More  . . . deaf inmate


September 11, 2015


When William Pierce, who is profoundly deaf, arrived at CTF to be taken into custody, prison officials took no steps whatsoever to evaluate his need for accommodation so that he would be able to have meaningful access to prison programs and services within the prison facility. They knew he was deaf, but instead of ascertaining what accommodations would be necessary for Pierce to communicate effectively in prison, they assumed that he could lipread and read the notes they wrote to him, even after he specifically requested an ASL interpreter.  The District insisted that the employees’ conduct with respect to accommodating Pierce’s deafness was entirely consistent with the law.  But the Court easily concluded that the District’s actions fell far short of what the law requires.   For details of the Courts Opinion and its outcome, see :




 Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, Iowa

CHARLES CITY | A court ruling in which a deaf woman lost parental rights to her infant child has been reversed by the Iowa Court of Appeals and remanded back to Floyd County District Court.

The mother, who was not identified in court papers, gave birth to a son in 2014. After giving birth, the mother showed signs of depression and suicide. The hospital evaluated her and determined she was not a danger to herself or her child and released her, but contacted public service agencies to evaluate and assist her.

Court documents say the Department of Human Services worked with the mother and knew of her hearing impairment and that she used sign language. The department did not get a sign-language interpreter but instead relied on communicating with her in writing, according to court documents.

When the child was 1 month old, the state filed a "need of assistance" petition, alleging the mother was "deaf and mute and communication is difficult" and that the mother lacked basic parenting skills.

After several other legal actions, the district court terminated the mother's parental rights. By that time, the child was 8 months old.

The mother appealed, citing several issues. The Court of Appeals reversed the district court action, citing one key factor, "the failure of the Department of Human Services to provide a sign language interpreter ... knowing she was hearing impaired."

In its ruling, the court said, "We conclude the department knew of the mother's hearing impairment at the time of the child's birth but made no effort to retain an interpreter until the child was 4 months old.

"The department's refusal to furnish an interpreter immediately amounted to a violation of its statutory reasonable efforts obligation and a failure to satisfy the reasonable efforts prong of Iowa Code."

Original Article
Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that an employee is entitled to the full amount of workers’ compensation benefits awarded to him by a trial court.

In 2009, Orville Lambdin retired from Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company where he had worked as a tire builder for over 35 years. He later sought workers’ compensation benefits based upon his loss of hearing. At trial, Mr. Lambdin testified that he had difficulty hearing the television and car radio, that he could not hear normal conversations if he was surrounded by background noise, and that he experienced ringing in his ears. Expert medical testimony established that Mr. Lambdin’s hearing loss was caused by the noisy work environment at Goodyear.

Read more . . . Tennessee





A broadcast captioner has created a hysterically funny account of what it’s like to do what she does – sure to go viral if it hasn’t already:

Definitely something to pass on !




Targeted News Service
July 02, 2014
Article Source

VIENNA, Va., July 2 -- The National Court Reporters Association issued the following news release:

The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), the country's leading organization representing stenographic court reporters, broadcast captioners, and CART captioners, was represented at the Hearing Loss Association of America's(HLAA) Annual Conference held June 26 - 29 in Austin, Texas, during a session that focused on captioning quality as it relates to recent legislative and regulatory measures that have advanced through Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

NCRA member Carol Studenmund, RDR, CRR, CBC, CCP, co-founder of LNC Captioning in Portland, Ore., and chair of NCRA's Captioning Community of Interest, was joined by Adam Finkel, NCRA assistant director of government relations and co-chair of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Alliance. NCRA has long worked closely with HLAA through its involvement with the Alliance.

The educational session provided attendees with a history of captioning laws and regulations, as well as best practices for ensuring live captioning quality as the broadcast industry comes into compliance with recently approved new FCCregulations. The new regulations require program creators and distributors to make their best effort to insure that captions are accurate, synchronous, complete, and do not obscure important information. The new regulations also apply to online video shows that originated on television.

"I could not have been more pleased to represent NCRA at the Hearing Loss Association's Annual Convention. It was incredible to be able to connect with so many fierce advocates for broadcast captioning and CART captioning, and to brainstorm ways to help make these services more readily available to consumers across the country. The topic of the FCC's captioning quality guidelines attracted great interest and numerous questions from attendees," said Finkel.

During the session, Studenmund and Finkel cited best practices supported by NCRA which urge captioning companies to provide periodic quality reviews of individual captioners, alert clients immediately if a technical issue arises, and respond in a timely manner to issues raised by clients or viewers.

According to Studenmund, who also serves as vice chair and commissioner of theMount Hood Cable Regulatory Commission in Portland, many captioning companies are pleased with the new FCC regulations as well as the increase in the number of broadcast stations that are now offering live captioning instead of the electronic newsroom technique which can often lead to confusing or incorrect translations. Early feedback indicates that the use of live captioners for broadcasts has led to many improvements in the quality of captions being included in broadcasts, she added.

Read more . . .



Categories: Court

Original Source -


The success of Redbox Automated Retail DVD rentals is undeniable after capturing more than 33 percent of the national market, but one Orange County man believes the operation is callously discriminatory against deaf customers and he's demanding compensation.

Bellevue, Washington-based Redbox has illegally "failed to provide equal access to their DVD and Blu-ray and video streaming services by refusing to make available closed captioned text for the deaf and hard of hearing--a feature that is necessary for such individuals to understand the audio portion of the video content," according to Francis Jancik's lawsuit.

In Jancik's view, Redbox's self-service, DVD rental kiosks are "places of public accommodation" and therefore fall under the requirements of The California Disabled Persons Act, the state's Unruh Civil Rights Act and The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

The problem with Redbox for the deaf is that "it is difficult, if not impossible" to know in advance which movies include closed captioning, according to the lawsuit.As examples of what Jancik sees as unfair business practices, his lawsuit includes Redbox advertisements for Assault on Wall Street and The Adventures of Mickey Matson: Cooperhead Treasure; both ads erroneously claim closed caption service.

Read More  . . .