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By Jonny Evans
Jul 6, 2016

I’ve come across a compelling story that shows how Apple Watch can make a huge difference to enable deafblind people to live more independent lives.

It's all available in this extensive post written by Usher Syndrome sufferer, Lady Usher. The author is London-based and gets around with the aid of a cane, a guide dog and an iPhone, but Apple Watch is transforming her life.


“My new Apple Watch has made things so much easier,” she writes. “I simply key in my route on my phone, pop it in my bag and the watch, hidden safely on my wrist, vibrates to tell me to go left and right using two different tactile pulses. Another signal lets me know when I have arrived at my destination. It is such a simple idea and so damn enabling.”

“Just three weeks after I got the watch, my guide dog and I entered a month-long team steps challenge at my work place. Together, we walked almost 200 miles through the busy streets of London, simply by following the vibrations of the AppleWatch and the simple on screen instructions. For the first time ever, it felt like we owned the streets. The whole of London has opened up to me for the first time since I lost my sight.”

READ more  . .  deafblind- Apple Watch




When: Saturday, September 26th, 10:30 am

Where: Terrapin Adventures in Savage, MD

Experience the thrill of gliding through the trees 30 ft. in the air at speeds up to 20 miles an hour as you travel on the 330 ft. long zip line!
Must weigh between 60 and 275 pounds and be at least 8 years old and 48 inches tall.

Cost: $15 for one ride, $25 for two rides for the same person.
5% discount if book two weeks in advance.

No charge just to come and watch.
Buy your ticket soon!
If the 10:30 am time is full, book your ticket at 11:00 am.

If you have trouble booking your ticket, let me know and I’ll assist you.
Other adventures can be found on website if you want to do more than ziplining, i.e., giant swing. Try to book other adventures in morning so you can be close to the time of RealFUN ziplining.

After ziplining, everyone is invited to eat lunch together nearby.
Carpools can be arranged.

RSVP by Sunday, Sept 20th to let me know you're coming.

Save the date for Oct RealFUN – October 11th!!!
Let's have AirFUN!

MWADB Publicity Coordinator

Metro Washington Association of the DeafBlind



By Max Plenke

Using one overlooked feature on her Apple Watch, a blind and deaf woman learned to navigate any city.

This is Molly Watt, a woman living with a genetic disorder called Usher syndrome that affects her sight and hearing. She began experimenting with the functionality of her Apple Watch in April.

There's been plenty of negative commentary popping up online about Apple Watch. Some reviewers have dismissed it as a luxury item — "an iPhone sales engine" — without any real, game-changing features. But Watt found one crucially important function that's been overlooked by the press, something most users take for granted.

"I was born deaf and registered blind when I was 14. The condition I have is Usher Syndrome Type 2a. I am severely deaf and have only a very small tunnel of vision in my right eye now," she explained. She ordered the Apple Watch Sport in the larger size, she said, "so I'd not lose it quite so easily."

Watt was already accustomed to using an iPhone, so navigating her Apple Watch wasn't too difficult. She had to tweak a few accessibility features first. She increased the default font size to match the settings on her phone. Then she turned on another accessibility feature, called Prominent Haptic.

Read more  . .  Apple Watch



Hawaii News Now
By HNN Staff
May 06, 2015 9:12 PM EDT

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow)A bill signed into law on Wednesday by Governor David Ige will make Hawaii the first state in the nation to mandate accommodations for the hearing and visually impaired at movie theatres statewide.

HB1272 requires anyone that operates a motion picture theater in more than two locations in the state to provide open captioning during at least two showings per week of each motion picture that is produced with open movie captioning. It also requires them to provide an audio description of any motion picture that is produced and offered with audio description. The measure takes effect Jan. 1, 2016 and sunsets Jan. 1, 2018.

"This law makes Hawaii the first state in the nation to mandate broader accommodations to allow equal access to movie theaters for our deaf, blind, deaf/blind and hard-of-hearing communities," said the bill's introducer Rep. James Tokioka (Wailua Homesteads, Hanamaulu, Lihue, Puhi, Old Koloa Town, Omao).

Read More  . . .movie theaters

May 2nd, 2015 Picnic


Last week for the registration! If you never attend our annual picnic, one of the most fabulous events, you cannot miss this one. Everyone is welcome to sign up for the May picnic as our annual tradition.

Date: May 2nd, 2015
Time: 11 am to 4 pm
Location: Savage Park
8400 Fair St.
Savage, MD 20763

Cost: Early bird price will be closed on April 24th - $15 for the Deafblind and guests $20 at door
Free for SSP that is assigned to a Deafblind member.

Transportation will be announced on April 26th.
Please email and for SSP and transportation related.
RSVP for the picnic at
If you have any question about the event please email


Happy Anniversary to MWADB

From Ann Black
Happy Anniversary to MWADB.
happy Anniversary to MWADB.
Happy 32th Anniversary to MWADB.
Happy Anniversary to MWADB.
MWADB was born on April 19, 1984. We wish it will continue forever.


Interpreting Applying Theater Techniques

When: May 2nd at 9:00am
Where: Interpreting Applying Theater Techniques Gallaudet, SAC 1011
800 Florida Ave, NE, Washington, DC 20002


Anyone is welcome to come to the workshop or meeting at no charge, but CEUs are only free to members, so be sure to check your membership status! Non-members can pay $35 to earn CEUs.


More information and online registration: Workshop & General Meeting: Interpreting Applying Theater Techniques


When you RSVP, please indicate you would like to participate via our online option or email Nicole Manuel at and we'll set you up to participate.





Advance Digital
By Leigh Morgan
April 07, 2015

It's severe weather season in Alabama, and the National Weather Service is trying to get as many trained weather spotters as possible into the ranks.

And that includes those that are deaf or hard of hearing.

The weather service offices in Huntsville and Birmingham are teaming with the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind and Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services to offer a spotter training class tailored especially for those who have hearing challenges.

National Weather Service meteorologists Jennifer Saari and Holly Allen will be leading the training, which is scheduled for Thursday at the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind.

We are proud to partner with AIDB (Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind) and ADRS (Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services) to help make these classes available and successful in Alabama. This has encouraged other NWS offices across the country to reach out to their local deaf and hard of hearing communities as well," Saari said.

Storm spotters are invaluable assets to the National Weather Service and emergency managers.

Read more . . .  Weather


February 27, 2015

Spring Love Celebration Party

The Celebration Party is coming soon.
We have food, drink and tons of FUN.

When: March 7, 2015
Time: 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Where: Gallaudet University - Ole Jim
Admission: $10.00
SSP: $2.00 (to help us cover the cost)

Please RSVP at and register yourself to prepare for transportation, SSP and food.

If you cannot open it or it’s not accessible to you please work with our event coordinator Jada by sending her an email to

If you can offer SSP or can provide ride please fill the form out and contact our SSP coordinator Rachel at


Webinar: Understanding the Travel Needs of People with Disabilities
From ICDRinfo

When: March 3, 2015
Time: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm EST

You are invited to participate in an Accessible Transportation Technologies Research Initiative (ATTRI) webinar: Understanding the Travel Needs of People with Disabilities.

Your participation will assist us in developing solutions to enhance mobility of traveler with disabilities. Also, you will enable them to reliably, safely, and independently plan and execute their travel.

ATTRI is a joint US Department of Transportation (USDOT) initiative, co-led by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

Webinar attendees will be asked to respond to the flowing questions:
1.      What are your transportation needs and barriers to independent travel?
2.      How do you use technology now? and
3.      How can technology help you get to the places you need to go in the future?

To participate in this webinar, please go to the online registration site at
to register.

If you have any questions, please contact Charlene Wilder at:; phone: phone (202)366-1077, or FAX


Rescheduled ODHH Legislative Awareness Day

When: March 23, 2015
Time: 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Where: Legislative Services Building, Annapolis, MD

Please RSVP by March 13 at


If you have news or announcements to share with MWADB, or no longer want to receive MWADB e-news, please send an email to

Publicity Coordinator



Houston Deaf Network

DeafBlind Communication Matters. On Monday, January 5, 2015 history was made as the day the first live DeafBlind Video Relay (DBVRS) calls were successfully made by alpha testers!

DBVRS, wherein a DeafBlind consumer calls into the service using specialized software and signs to the VRS interpreter who voices to the hearing consumer and then types back to the DeafBlind consumer who receives the information from the hearing consumer via braille display, has been a long time project of CAAGVRS that began in the early summer of 2014.

After several months of testing, CAAGVRS made the first live test calls on January 5th with alpha users of the service. In their words, “This is Awesome!” “I am so very excited!” “Finally true independence for DeafBlind to make VRS calls anytime we need or wish.”

The value of this service cannot be understated for the DeafBlind Community as IP-Relay providers continue to…

Read more at DeafNetwork




The Daily Californian 
January 27, 2015

Berkeley civil rights attorney Haben Girma was appointed the first deaf and blind board trustee of Helen Keller Services for the Blind on Thursday.

Founded in 1893, Helen Keller Services is a national organization that is based in New York and helps visually impaired, blind or deaf and blind individuals lead independent lives. Girma, who grew up in Oakland and San Leandro, attended Lewis & Clark College for her undergraduate degree and became the first deaf and blind graduate of Harvard Law School in 2013.

She currently works to improve access to technology and education as a Skadden Fellowship Attorney at Disability Rights Advocates, a nonprofit legal center for disability rights located in Downtown Berkeley.

“I’m passionate about disability rights work because it’s a background in which I have personal knowledge, and I can use that knowledge to help others,” Girma said.

Read More  . . .


Deaf, DeafBlind And Hard of Hearing Domestic Violence Survivors Need Access To A National 24/7 Hotline 

Deaf anti-domestic violence organizations seek to raise $250,000 in a crowd funding campaign to fund a 24/7 deaf hotline staffed by deaf advocates for deaf survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Austin, Texas
December 02, 2014

Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc. (CSD) has partnered with Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services (ADWAS) to expand and enhance access to linguistically and culturally appropriate resources for deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing domestic violence and sexual assault survivors. The mission includes leading a coalition of over a dozen community organizations currently serving this population and launching a #WhoWillAnswer crowdfunding campaign. The goal is to raise $250,000 to fully fund the National Deaf Hotline Center, as well as increase and raise awareness of advocacy resources currently available.

ADWAS is the first deaf-led community service organization established to help deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing survivors of domestic violence. Among the services they provide is the National Deaf Hotline Center, which is staffed by deaf advocates who are trained to help deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing domestic violence survivors gain access to critical information and resources, communicating with them in their native American Sign Language (ASL).

Due to limited funding, the center currently operates only Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PST). This leaves deaf survivors without access to services from qualified deaf advocates during weekday evenings and weekends. In those instances, deaf callers must instead involve an ASL interpreter to relay phone calls to the hearing advocates at the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Although the hearing advocates are fully trained in dealing with survivors, these conversations are deeply personal, and a three-way call through a sign language interpreter is often not the optimal communication choice.

Read Entire Article . . .

Crowd Funding Website:



Braille signs and audio scanner help visually impaired shop for groceries independently

By Jesara Sinclair, CBC News
Oct 16, 2014

A non-profit food store in Vancouver's east end has introduced Braille signs and audio scanners to allow deaf-blind and other visually impaired customers to shop independently.

The grocery markets operated by the Quest Food Exchange aren't open to the public.Instead low-income clients are referred through a social services agency.

The project started when Paralympic athlete Eddy Morten lost his job and became a customer at the food market. Morten is deaf and blind.

"When we started talking to him, Eddie was unable to go shopping on his own, and an interpreter would cost him $50 for one hour and he would need to book two hours," marketing manager Pardeep Khrod told CBC Radio's On The Coast.

Morten was brought on as the project coordinator. Khrod says he helped staff understand the challenges of navigating a grocery store when both deaf and blind.

Read More . . .



Sep 15, 2014
By Locke Hughes

Faced with what Rebecca Alexander has gone through, most people couldn't be blamed for giving up on exercise. At age 12, Alexander found out she was going blind due to a rare genetic disorder. Then, at 18, she suffered a fall from a second-story window, and her formerly athletic body was confined to a wheelchair for five months. Soon after that, she learned she was losing her hearing as well.

But Alexander hasn’t let these obstacles slow her down: At 35, she’s a psychotherapist with two masters degrees, a spin instructor, and an endurance racer living in New York City. In her new book, Not Fade Away: a Memoir of Senses Lost and Found, Rebecca writes about handling her disability with courage and positivity. Here, she tells us more about how fitness helps her cope with her day-to-day reality and the important lessons that anyone can take away from her experiences.

Read Interview by Shape



Click HERE to RSVP 

Expect.Employ. Empower

Workshops for Job Seekers

Download Flyer PDF

Deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind jobseekers are welcome to attend either workshop. Professionals that work with Deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind individuals are also welcome. Both workshops are open to all who are interested! Interpreters and CART will be provided at both workshops.

Friday, October 17, 2014
Lower Shore Job One-Stop Job Market
Suite 111
31901 Tri-County Way
Salisbury, MD 21804


Hard of Hearing:
Monday, October 27, 2014
Prince George's County Economic Development Corporation Conference Room
Room 140
1801 McCormick Drive
Largo, MD 20774

In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) in October, ODHH and the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (DLLR) will host two workshops for jobseekers who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deafblind. NDEAM is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. The theme for 2014 is "Expect. Employ. Empower." Both workshops will include information on basic job seeking skills. During the first half of the event, we will have a panel of experts and during the second half of the event, there will be interactive workstations where job-seekers can have professionals work on their resumes, conduct mock interviews, see a display of different accomodations that apply to the workspace, and more.


The Governor's Office of the Deaf
and Hard of Hearing
217 E. Redwood Street Suite: 910
Baltimore, MD 21202
443-453-5954 VP



Business Insider
AUG. 20, 2014

A deaf-blind attorney who made Business Insider's 2013 list of the 20 most impressive Harvard Law students is now fighting for the rights of blind readers in a lawsuit against digital subscription reading service Scribd, seeking equal access for the blind. 

Haben Girma made Business Insider's 2013 list for her work advocating on behalf of people with disabilities. Now, at 26, she is continuing her efforts as a Skadden Fellowship Attorney with the nonprofit law firm Disability Rights Advocates. There, Girma is representing the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and blind Vermont mother Heidi Viens in a lawsuit against Scribd for allegedly depriving blind readers access to its online services in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Read more:



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