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“This has the potential to be a landmark decision for deaf rights and indeed for all disability rights,” 

Wayne Krause Yang, legal director of the Texas Civil Rights Project

The Texas Tribune
by Aneri Pattani
June 30, 2016

A group of deaf Texans fighting what they claim is discriminatory treatment is hoping the U.S. Supreme Court will step in and force the state to provide sign-language interpreters at classes young drivers must take to get licenses.

The high court on Tuesday agreed to hear the case, Ivy v. Morath, involving a group of deaf Texans who sued the state in 2011. The state requires first-time driver's license applicants under age 25 to take classes that are typically conducted by private companies. The suit argues that since Texas requires the classes, it should make sure there are interpreters for deaf students.

Read More  . . .  deaf Texans




By: Quixem Ramirez
Sports Editor

The Texas State football team will have a new group of fans this fall.

For the first time in university history, there will be a deaf section for fans at Bobcat Stadium..

The section, which seats up to 1,000 people, will be near the 35-yard line. Ticket prices will be reduced from the usual $25 to $10.

Deaf people and those fluent in American Sign Language will be eligible for the reduced ticket prices at the lower level.

To purchase tickets in the section, fans should contact Brian Guendling, communication studies junior, through his social media platforms. Guendling plans on providing a tent for deaf people who wish to participate in tailgate festivities.

Guendling, a former Texas State football player, wanted to merge two worlds together with the creation of a deaf section.

“Deaf people are no different than everybody else,” Guendling said. “A lot of my deaf friends expressed that they wanted to go to football games.”

Read more . . . Univ. Texas Football





The Gilmore Mirror
May 2, 2015

Gilmore, Texas -  Upshur County Commissioners Court on Thursday approved a written communication policy for dealing with the hearing-impaired, a move which County Judge Dean Fowler said means the county will no longer “be under the hand of the (United States) Department of Justice, which is a very good thing.”
Fowler told The Mirror someone filed a complaint against the county under the Americans With Disabilities Act in 2009, and the Justice Department investigated in 2010, the year the county made an agreement with the department to resolve it. That led to courthouse renovations performed in recent years, he said.The new communication policy means county employees will be given instructions on how to communicate with the hearing-impaired, such as passing notes back and forth, Fowler said. If needed, an interpreter can be brought in, he said.

An unnamed Tyler source, which would be paid only when it renders service, would provide sign language when needed, Fowler said. He said the county has only dealt with one such hearing-impaired person in 12 years.

The Gilmer Mirror - Commissioners approve written communication policy for hearing impaired





KUT News - The Texas Tribune
by Ben Philpott
Feb. 11, 2015

Editor's note: This story is from KUT.

The Texas School for the Deaf sits on 67 acres in between South 1st and South Congress. It looks more like a small college campus than a traditional school building. But then again, says school superintendent Claire Bugen, this isn't a traditional school.

"We serve students from age zero, in our parent/infant program, through home visits. And then when the student is 18 months old, they start to come on campus for part-time services. Now these are local students. All the way through age 22. So our continuum of services is very broad," Bugen says.

And their services extend far beyond the campus and local students.

If a school district has a deaf student, and they're trying to figure out how to create an educational program, TSD can help out.

"This school means literally the world," says TSD alum Donna Valverde-Hummel.

"Schools like ours have taken on a role of serving the entire state, families, parents, local school districts, through our outreach services," Bugen says.

She says the school is no longer the asylum it was built to be back in the late 1800s. But even with innovations like online classes, and local districts simply making an effort to accommodate deaf students, the school is home to more than 500 students, with about half of them living on campus.

Read More  . . . Texas
by Kiah Collier
Feb. 9, 2015

Texas Senate budget writers on Monday discussed the possibility of downsizing or selling the 67-acre property south of downtown Austin where the School for the Deaf has operated for more than 150 years in an effort to raise revenue and cut costs.

State Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, launched the discussion by asking school officials whether they could run the operation on a smaller property.

“You’re sitting on some of the most expensive land in Austin,” he said, calling for a study “of the most efficient use of such acreage” in the city.

“For 159 years,” responded School for the Deaf Superintendent Claire Bugen.

Whitmire went on to suggest the state could pay for the campus’ significant deferred maintenance needs if the property was sold or downsized; Bugen said the school probably could operate on less than 46 acres.

State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, said selling even a few acres of the property could net “double-digit millions.”

Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, did not object to the discussion but said his colleagues on the Senate Finance Committee should proceed cautiously and expressed concern that any money from the sale of the property stay with the school.

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