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Sarah Klenbort, AU
Sunday 19 October 2014

The deaf community is no utopia, but it does offer an alternative language, culture and social life to those who choose to be a part of it

When people notice my daughter and me signing in the street, they often stop and comment: “You know,” they say, “there’s this thing called the cochlear implant.” As if the mother of a deaf child could’ve missed that news.

Or they offer some hopeful anecdote: “I met this deaf woman with hearing aids from Queensland when I was on holiday in Fiji and she’s a really good plumber – I mean really good.”

Because this week is National Week of Deaf People, I feel it’s a good time to talk about the nature of Auslan (Australian Sign Language) and the deaf community. I’ve only been studying Auslan for four years, but I’ve come a long way from that first community course.

You see, I used to be one of you, one of those people who thought sign language followed English grammar. And I thought there was just one sign language – the same in every country – though if I’d thought that through for more than a minute I would’ve realised those two assumptions were mutually exclusive.

I also used to assume all deaf people would prefer to be hearing.

The deaf community is no utopia, but it does offer an alternative language, culture and social life to those who choose to be a part of it. In fact, signed languages can do many things spoken languages can’t. In fact, here’s a list of ways in which visual languages are superior to the spoken word:

Read More  . . .



Please join us for a tour of the East Building collection at the National Gallery of Art on Sunday, December 9th at 1pm.  The tour is offered in American Sign Language (ASL) with voice interpretation into English, departing from the lobby/visitor's desk of the East Building’s Main Floor.

To learn more about this and other guided tours of the Gallery, please visit

In addition to these regularly occurring tours, sign language interpreters and guides for visitors who are blind or have low vision are available by appointment for tours of the permanent collection as well as for special exhibitions. Please call (202) 842-6247 or the Gallery's Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) at (202) 842-6176 three weeks in advance for an appointment. Special headphones, which deliver full-frequency digital audio sound in a lightweight design, are available. Printed scripts of all recorded tours are available for visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing, and free large-print brochures are available at the entrances to some of the special exhibitions. For more information, please visit

Distributed 2012 by Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC), 3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130, Fairfax, VA 22030;; 703-352-9055 V, 703-352-9056 TTY, 703-352-9058 Fax. Items in this newsletter are provided for information purposes only; NVRC does not endorse products or services. This news service is free of charge, but donations are greatly appreciated.

This event is sponsored by the US International Council on Disabilities (USICD) and the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF).  They would love for as many of you as possible to show up at this even to honor the long time support of Senator Dole.

The vote on CRPD is also expected on Tuesday. The CRPD calls on the world community to recognize sign languages as equal to spoken languages and recognizes Deaf culture.  If you have not yet contacted your senators, now it the time to do it!

 Thanks to Judith Treesberg


CELEBRATING SENATOR BOB DOLE   ...continue reading "Invitation: Celebrating Senator Bob Dole Tuesday, Dec. 4"

Fair Oaks Ice Palace Event for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children
Thursday, December 6 from 10-11 am

From Ed. Cassidy
Marketing & Sponsorship Director
Taubman Fair Oaks
11750 Fair Oaks
Fairfax, VA 22033
703.359.8302 ext 2218

On Thursday, December 6 from 10 am to 11 am, Fair Oaks will be hosting a unique event at its spectacular holiday Ice Palace.

Deaf and hard of hearing children from local schools and their teachers will visit with our first-ever American Sign Language ‘Signing Santa’ and his Signing Elf.’ Beginning with a special reception catered by the Corner Bakery, balloon artists and a signed performance by the deaf dance troop Hulala, the event will culminate with a tour of the Ice Palace and a visit with our ‘Signing Santa.’ Each child will also receive special keepsake photos with Santa, a gift bag including surprises from Cox Communications, and a voucher for a first-ever signed Blu-ray video, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment’s “Ice Age 4: Continental Drift” releasing December 11. ...continue reading "Special Invitation For Deaf And Hard Of Hearing Children: Fair Oaks Ice Palace On Dec. 6!"

Nation’s largest sign language interpreting organization selects a nationally-recognized Deaf community leader 
and staunch advocate with outstanding nonprofit organizational leadership.

 See RID President Brenda Walker Prudhom's signed video announcement here>>

Alexandria, VA – November 29, 2012 – The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID) today announced the appointment of Shane H. Feldman as its new executive director. Feldman, a nationally-recognized Deaf community leader, advocate and nonprofit professional, has been instrumental in advancing the rights of the community at the local, state and national levels including the right to qualified sign language interpreting services. Starting January 1, 2013, Feldman is responsible for the ongoing and consistent achievement of RID’s Strategic Plan and for the implementation and completion of initiatives set forth by a board of directors and the association members. ...continue reading "Shane H. Feldman Named New Executive Director of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc."

You are invited to participate in a conversation to help determine

the future direction of the Consolidated Community Funding Pool


County of Fairfax Virginia (logo)


The CCFP is the competitive grant process for funding human services offered by nonprofit agencies within Fairfax County. Over $10 million dollars was recommended for services in the current funding cycle, subject to the Board of Supervisors and successful performance. On May 1, 2012, the Board of Supervisors directed staff to work with the CCFAC and representatives from the nonprofit community to review the current CCFP funding framework, practices, and procedures to ensure the program supports strategic human services outcomes and leverages community resources for maximum collective impact on communities and those individuals and families most at risk.    ...continue reading "Help Determine the Direction of Fairfax Co. Consolidated Community Funding Pool"

Deaf caseworkers bring vital skills to their job

By Cynthia Billhartz Gregorian, St. Louis Post-Dispatch 11/1/2012

Jody Newman estimates that she’s been hospitalized 20 times in the past 20 years. To be honest, she says, she’s lost count.

“I had many counselors over the years, and they just didn’t work for me. I was suicidal, and didn’t know how to cope with myself or situations,” said Newman, 58, of St. Louis, through an American Sign Language interpreter one recent afternoon. “But not now.”

Two years ago Newman, who has been deaf since she was 5, met Irvine Stewart, and her life hasn’t been the same since. She’s happier; more stable. ...continue reading "Deaf Caseworkers Bring Vital Skills to Their Job"


Mid Atlantic Deaf and Hard of Hearing Festival

Saturday, November 17,2012
hosted by Maryland Deaf Senior Citizens, Inc. 

Howard County Fairgrounds
2210 Fairgrounds Road
West Friendship, MD 21794

9 am - 5 pm Programs
5 pm - 9 pm Dinner and Entertainment

For more information, contact Phil Alello:
VP: (240) 436-3173 or


Distributed 2012 by Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC), 3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130, Fairfax, VA 22030;; 703-352-9055 V, 703-352-9056 TTY, 703-352-9058 Fax. Items in this newsletter are provided for information purposes only; NVRC does not endorse products or services. This news service is free of charge, but donations are greatly appreciated.  To subscribe, unsubscribe, change your email address, or report problems, contact


FCC Announces Implementation Schedule for New Closed Captioning Rules
On January 13, 2012, the FCC released a Report and Order adopting rules for closed captioning of video programming delivered using Internet protocol (the “IP closed captioning rules”).  These new closed captioning rules were published in the Federal Register on March 30, 2012, and will generally become effective 30 days later, on April 30, 2012.   ...continue reading "Captioning of Video Programs on Internet- Most New Rules Effective April 30, 2012"

NAD Files Lawsuit to Make “Family-Friendly” Resort Accessible  Friday 7/01/2011

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD), Vargas & Stein, LLP and Chason, Rosner, Leary & Marshall filed a lawsuit against Great Wolf Resorts, Inc. in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Great Wolf Resorts, Inc, a national chain of indoor water parks, offers different forms of entertainment including a popular attraction, “MagiQuest”, which is described on its website as a “live-action adventure game in which a player goes up to a station and waves an electronic wand in order to trigger an auditory-based clue to locate the next station.”

When Plaintiff K.M., a deaf child, visited a Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, Virginia, she was not able to participate in the interactive game with her hearing siblings. Similarly, co-Plaintiff Suzanne Rosen Singleton, a deaf mother, was barred from providing support to her hearing children in figuring out the clues. Great Wolf Lodge also features storytelling puppet shows that rely heavily on audio.
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By Marla Dougherty  6/28/11 

I stopped by the RIT table and asked Mary Ellen Tait from NTID’s Center on Employment department, what she wanted our NVRC readers to know. Mary Ellen said she would be delighted if we could help get the word out on the RIT bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for veterans who have hearing loss as a result of their service.  Named to the 2010 Military Friendly Schools list, RIT offers tuition-reduced classes with access to C-Print captioning services, counseling, and audiology services which include cochlear implant mapping.

RIT holds a job fair every October and assists in finding internships. The graduates are high-tech, highly trained workers and the university helps find work positions. The Outreach Education and Training department offers on-site employer workshops with each program custom designed to address issues unique to that firm. For more information about the veterans degree program visit their website:

By Marla Dougherty  6/23/11

Federally funded by the National Institute for Health, the NIDCD uses supports research in hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech, and language. The knowledge obtained by this research is translated into easy to read, free publications available to the public.  NIDCD’s “Ten Ways To Recognize Hearing Loss” bookmark has been a valuable tool at the health fairs where NVRC exhibits throughout the year.

A popular NIDCD program started a couple of years ago is called “It’s a Noisy Planet” and is presented in schools to teach kids how to protect their hearing in loud places.  The NIDCD website is loaded with great information and you can learn about their latest research at

By Marla Dougherty  6/23/11

The people from The Z had the Z Series videophones on display and ready to try out. The Z Series include the Z-20, their newest product which launched two months ago. It has HD clear quality and you can make and receive voice carry over (VCO) calls. It can also be used with a Bluetooth headset.

If you need a videophone that is simple to move around the house, the light weight Z-340 is wireless and can easily move to any location where there is Wi-Fi.  It can be connected to your television for a really big picture!  The Z-Ojo is a plug and play videophone that is capable of taking video messages. It can be  used at home or the office. For more information on the Z Series, visit their website