Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
“In five years, Microsoft expects more Internet searches to be done through speech than through typing on a keyboard” Gates also stated that Microsoft is following up its support of UC but will use both speech and text interfaces for information access and search technologies."Now, can you imagine Gallaudet students sitting in front of their computers at one of Gallaudet University's computer rooms 10 years down the road with nary a keyboard in sight trying to talk to a computer by asking it to look up a particular subject while doing an internet search for a homework assignment? Don't worry, even today hearing people have trouble with their OnStar computer recognition software on the simple task of saying a phone number for the car's computer to dial out. Though it's too bad that Gallaudet University does not seem to have an interest in Christian Vogler's work on his years of work on computer ASL recognition while he was at Gallaudet University. Will Gallaudet University sit around hoping ASL-recognition technology will come to them? Or will Gallaudet University be the catalyst to encourage and support on the development of ASL recognition software on their own campus instead? Five years away isn't that far off before things begin to change.
"Tea. Earl Grey. Hot." — Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
For example, some Deaf people are sometimes vexed on trying to be completely loyal by adhering to an “ASL-only world” in all situations versus wanting total independence when it comes to communication (i.e. ability to freely communicate with anybody even those who do not sign) and the feeling of inclusion. But they are faced with a reality that living in an “ASL-only world” is not always possible (unless you happened to live on the campus of Gallaudet University) due to numerous reasons (e.g. interpreter shortages, lack of quality interpreters, unavailable interpreter nearby, timeliness of interpreters showing up, scheduling conflicts, 3rd party “independence” or your “shadow,” hiring costs, and so on). Not all Deaf people have this access to this “ASL-only world” in every situation. One good example of how one piece of technology continues to help solve one communication situation between deaf and hearing people and that is the UbiDuo communication device. But over the last year or so there has been some fear and backlash about the UbiDuo thinking it is meant to permanently replace ASL interpreters, must have good English skills or that the device “threatens” Deaf culture.
“This is not about replacing interpreters,” Curry said. “This is about the power of face-to-face communication and the ability to strike up a conversation on the spot.”Now, if several hundred UbiDuo devices were sold since beginning of last year mostly to customers who are ASL users then shouldn’t that fact alone be enough to dispel the notion that using such a technology cannot destroy Deaf culture? Or that user is required to be proficient or “perfect” in the English language to use the UbiDuo? Facing the unknown can produce irrational fear. Jason reiterates his point again in his latest UbiDuo newsletter about English skills.
"There is a lot of misperception that deaf people with strong (American Sign Language skills) can’t use it, 95 percent of our (UbiDuo) customers are ASL users. It doesn’t matter if your English is good or bad.” - Jason Curry (co-founder and CEO of sComm, Inc).
Some people (hearing and deaf/hard of hearing) think that ASL users can’t use the UbiDuo because of their English skills. I want to emphasize that ASL users with low level English can and do use the UbiDuo. So many clients who use ASL have made it clear to us that they are thrilled to have the ability to communicate independently and freely for themselves with hearing people. Don Garretson, a strong ASL user, made this statement: “It is not about my English, it is about me being able to talk to anyone I want on my own.” sComm is committed to giving those who are deaf or hard of hearing the power to converse independently and freely no matter what their grammar skill levels are.
Also, another shift in communication model thinking involves several hospitals, such as hospitals under the Baptist Health System Beaches in Florida, which purchased several UbiDuo devices last year to help address their “special needs communication” area. But it’s not what you think if you’re thinking about “special needs” part of it. Rather, the UbiDuo is mostly geared toward hearing patients. At first, people assumed that the device will receive little support but the reaction was the opposite. There was lots of overwhelming support for this device in the clinical area.
For example, in one hospital in Florida a staff took the UbiDuo communication device around to various in-patient and out-patient units where various staff members worked and simply placed the UbiDuo on the counter without saying a word and began typing. Every staff member from various hospital units that came into contact with the machine figured out how to operate it within a few seconds. And opened up a conversation using the communication device and showed how easy it is to use such a communication system.
Hospitals like the ones under the Baptist Health Systems Beaches are now exploring additional applications for the UbiDuo for vented patients (intubated patients for breathing but talking is impossible), closed head injury patients (loss of control of vocal cords, stuttering, brain injury affecting speech, etc), Autistic patients and even patients with post-cancer laryngeal surgery. Any patient without the ability to utter speech could benefit from the communication device along with the added feature of wireless portability and the ability to save, print and post transcripts for their records.
Again, the UbiDuo is not in the business of replacing interpreters but rather in the business of providing greater communication freedom and choice in face-to-face situations. Over time this communication freedom will simply get better for us all.
Can you name other technology that has helped produce a shift in communication model thinking from deaf and hard of hearing people?
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
Location: Dog Canyon on the Sacramento Mountains in New Mexico near Alamogordo.
Here's another deaf guy named Stephen Hopson of Adversity University who prefers to use his voice in his (first ever) video blog, too. He's also a motivator and a professional speaker who travels alot doing speaking engangements. Check out his first video blog post of him speaking and him thanking me in his blog on helping him get started with the subtitling idea. Thanks to my captioned video blogs of me speaking that intrigued him about me. One thing for sure, people like me and Stephen Hopson are not afraid to use our voice to speak in front of a video camera or a crowd of people.
Adversity, we all face them at one time or another. For deaf and hard of hearing people, their adversity is hearing loss. The ability to speak and/or listen shouldn't be about the "audacity of hope" on achieving those things. Not with technology we have today and better educational understanding when it comes to early intervention for a deaf child or baby on developing better listening and speaking skills. Those things should be expected as achievable and very reachable goals and not some mundane "audacity of hope" kind of thing we're hearing about today. Maybe 40 years ago but certainly not today. And even less so 10, 20 and 30 years down the road when technology and, especially so, biotechnology will continue to change the landscape for those with hearing loss.
UPDATE: See an updated or a "redacted" version of "adversity" here.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
You are definitely a real TRAITOR to the deaf community especially your deaf blog! I was totally RIGHT about you being a turncoat to the deaf community. Why in the world you get the CI? What for? Comment by *Gasp For Air* — February 20, 2008 @ 11:52 am.
Morons who behave like anonymous cowards they are by going after deaf and hard of hearing people by calling them “traitors” or “turncoats” are not representative of the deaf and hard of hearing community, much less the Deaf community (at least I hope not). Or make snarky remarks on what Jamie Berke is doing is helping “stimulate the economy and make money for a few companies/individuals” - which shows an obvious lack of support by those who think otherwise about cochlear implantation by deaf adults who choose to have them. Remarks like those simply paint an even darker picture about the Deaf community to be seen by the public as “unyielding,” “unsupportive,” “maligning,” “one dimensional in thinking,” or even “abusive.” It certainly doesn’t help the Deaf community whenever people go around screaming “ AGBAD! AGBAD! AGBAD! " instead of coming back down to earth a bit and address “AG Bell” as, what else, “AG Bell.” But it's sometimes even worse when the few use "AGBAD" disengeniously as an "innocent" use of the acronym (several times over) in a letter addressed to AG Bell (of which I have a copy of) in a disparaging manner hoping for a courteous reply from them in return. Ya think?
Blogs and vlogs have their pros and cons when it comes to informing the public but by being visible to them these bloggers/vloggers have certain responsibilities when it comes to representing their deaf and hard of hearing community. Or in this case, the Deaf community. Acting like a bunch of juveniles do not help the cause.
But sometimes these “sourpuss” mind types go a bit farther and claim that all deaf children or babies belong to them, that is, the Deaf community by terming these deaf babies as "our" deaf children. The fact is, deaf babies belong to no one community except to the parents of that deaf child. Aside from that, blatherings continue elsewhere about the true “evilness” of cochlear implants and so on. Quite disconcerting to see these things happen. Imagine the public who have no idea what the Deaf community is like and see these kinds of things for the first time and they have a deaf child. Do you think hearing parents would want their deaf child to be sucked into that kind of a group who think and act like that? I wouldn't. So, don't act so surprised.
Granted, these kinds of people who act or behave like that are in the extreme minority among those in the Deaf community, at least I hoping that is the case here. But you know what? Deaf and hard of hearing people can do anything, even hear. It's time to get rid of that old cliche' by I. King Jordan's famous quote, "Deaf people can do anything, except hear." Whether it is a hearing aid or a cochlear implant the gift of sound is not to be taken for granted. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to experience the beauty of sound and many people do not realize just how powerful sounds are to those who enjoy them. Like me and many others.
And so I end this blog piece that whenever people who act like a "sourpuss" or those who insist on having a "sour-like mind" enough for you to wince and pucker up seeing them behave like juveniles certainly deserve my "Sour Puss Stamp" of the day.
Jamie, don't worry about these "sour-mind" types of people. You are an adult. You made the decision and that Deaf people have no right to tell you how you should think and behave.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
So, there's nothing ironic about the preference to speak in a vlog if a person knows ASL who happens to have a hearing loss. As long as subtitles in talking vlogs are met then people shouldn't complain about accessibility communication issues. Otherwise if they do complain then I find it to be highly ironic because they should also complain about tv shows and movies having captions or subtitles as well! As for someone stating that I *claim* to know ASL, it's not a claim but a fact. There's at least one video of me signing last year when someone asked me a question in ASL, and I responded. But as for making personal vlogs, I prefer to speak. Nothing oppressive about that at all. None. Just the fact that some people do not like to have their sensibilities challenged with that idea.
Now, the crux of my argument in my recent blogs/vlogs about adding subtitles to ASL vlogs has always been that if a person has the means to do it (ie. knows English very well and can do the ASL to English conversion without much problems - like Seek Geo or Phil Bravin's subtitled ASL vlog where Phil Bravin is a very well known figure in the Deaf community because of DPN - - ), has access to a subtitling software and the time to do it but ultimately refuse to do it on the grounds of "ASL purity." Even after realizing the Deaf-Blind issue on the subject of communication access and need to feel inclusive, then I'd find the whole thing quite ironic seeing that these are the same people who also demanded that all tv shows and movies ought to be captioned.
What I've discussed was not about that all vloggers ought to have their vlogs subtitled but about those who already know how and can do the subtitling easily that simply begs the question. But then people try and counter that argument by using their own blog argument saying that by the simple act of blogging people are also denying access to those with vision problems. Not really because there are multitudes of software out there, some available for free, that come with the ability magnify texts and such to make a blog or website's texts readable. Even the Microsoft Explorer browser that you have right now comes with a built in magnifier program. It also has the ability to change text size in your browser by clicking on the "View" tab and then click on "Text size" and you have your choice of "smallest" to "largest" text size to choose from. So using the blog argument pretty much falls flat in this case.
Speaking about vlogs there is an interesting poll result I'd like to share with you. So far in my latest poll result some 70% out of 105 who responded to my poll question would like to see subtitles in ASL vlogs.
Granted, ASL vloggers have their right to decide whether they want to add subtitles, a transcript or even a summary with their vlogs. Though I never made the personal statement in my blogs or vlogs that Deaf people oppress other Deaf people. In actuality, I asked it in the form of a question to the readers in one of my blog update, "Is this a case of some Deaf vloggers oppressing Deaf-Blind by refusing to add subtitles?" as seen in my update. It was a conditional statement of mine, not an outright one.
Again, as for my speaking, I choose to speak in my vlogs. Accept that. Move on. Stop with the crying game. I'm happy with my choice and certainly my voice isn't a deaf one for those who actually believe that's the case. But in the case that you do have a problem with my choice then learn not to get into using puerile remarks. Instead, I'd rather see that issues discussed and not see juvenile remarks.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
There are major differences when talking about connecting or bridging with the hearing world and that would be access to communication only versus access to communication and sound. An ASL interpreter or CART transcriber can help bridge the communication gap between deaf and hearing people (and to some extent the hearing world). But for a hearing aid or cochlear implant (and other soon to be advanced technological hearing devices) user it helps connect with hearing people and the hearing world of environmental sounds, music, and the verbal communication with the ability to understand and enjoy the melodious quality of other people’s voices. Yes, a melodious quality. These things have intrinsic value for the most of us. Most people cherish them more than others while others may simply not care for them for whatever reasons.
Here below is a video of the famous Tacoma Narrows bridge collapse in 1940 in Washington state. This bridge could be seen as representative of a "bridge to the hearing world" during a time throughout the 1950s, 60s, 70s or even 80s when hearing aid technology and oral education were somtime seen as "failures" by the Deaf community. And thus they are constantly "traumatized" thinking the engineering constructs of the past they've experienced are the same as today but they are not.
But as time moves forward better technology (digital hearing aids with artificial intelligence, cochlear implants, auditory neural implants, NanoEAR cochlea replacement, auditory brainstem implant, internet, cell phones, video phone, etc) coupled with better educational understanding and improved social services (e.g. relay services, interpreters, translitorators, CART, cued speech, etc) you get better and stronger bridges with the hearing world as time goes by, especially by those who are immersed in the world of sound who take advantages of such hearing technologies. The pace of technology is speeding up and has become more and more reliant.
This bridge of today has become increasingly more solid, increasingly longer and increasingly dependable where we get to see more interaction with more people nowadays. Larger gaps that effectively separate people from each other they are effectively being bridged with longer and more dependable bridges. There is no telling where technology and services will take us in the next 10 or 20 years. Bridging that large gap is something like having the world's longest bridge that's over a mile long. A time when a gap that wide once that impossible to close.
But we are just beginning to get better at building better access. Pretty soon we'll be building a bridge that's 18 miles long and that the separation from other people would no longer be a problem. Technology moves fast. Ideas move even faster. Choose wisely.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Here are two interesting videos of a Japanese woman signing in Japanese Sign Language (JSL).
Did you get it? Any of you? Did you understand what she was saying? Speaking and/or the signing part? I seriously doubt any of you did at least not context-wise on what she was saying aside from recognizing one or two signs like 'writing" and "cold". I'm sure she had something important to say to her viewers out there but since there were no subtitles in this one you wouldn't know, right? Felt a bit left out and wished you could understand her? Yeah, kind of like the people who watch vlogs in ASL wouldn't know either. Not knowing if ASL vloggers had something important to say or discuss, or maybe just a bunch of juvenile gibberish and hand waving.
The next video below is subtitled in both English and Japanese. But since most of you readers in here wouldn't know what she was saying and I'd say that the English subtitle along with JSL is a godsend rather than seen as "distracting." At least with the English subtitle you could gather what each of the Japanese signs may mean.
Now, with subtitles people from other countries can learn sign language from other each other. Without subtitles embedded with sign language videos, how can people learn another language? Since vlogs from the United States are one of the most watched vlogs over the internet because English is an internationally used language, spoken or in print. Another reason to include subtitles in vlogs just like putting them in helps the Deaf-Blind people understand vlogs in ASL.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Subtitled vlogs can be done in any written language format such as English, Spanish, French and so on. Depending on where you are and the audience you are targeting, the idea is about communication access for those who know little or no sign language. Sign language could be in ASL, BSL, Italian Sign Language, Swedish Sign Language, PSE, SEE and so on.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Vcom3D and the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center of Gallaudet University are researching and developing a proof-of-concept system for creating and delivering animated stories using the full range of facial expression and body language of American Sign Language, as well as manual signs. Results from this Phase I proof-of-concept will provide the basis for developing an Authoring System and run-time software for creating these animated stories.I suppose in 10 or 15 years from now we'll have computer animation so life like a human being wouldn't be able to tell from a real person or a computer animated one.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
It's not about because "95% of the hearing people who vlog do not add subtitles" that justifies ASL using vloggers to not add subtitles just to "get back at them." That's a rather wrong approach on addressing communication access issues. It's about going above them and be an example of what subtitles are all about. It's really about making an example of those hearing vloggers who refuse to add subtitles. Just as Seek Geo prefers to sign, he takes the time to add subtitles. The same goes for me, I prefer to speak but I take the time to add subtitles. It's not about me not understanding ASL, I understand those ASL vlogs fine with or without subtitles. It's not about me...it's about THEM! The people out there who may (or may not) want to watch your video and see what YOU have to say. The power of words can be seen in subtitles. Adding subtitles gives you a bigger audience and potentially a bigger audience to side with you on issues like, perhaps, the AG Bell thing. Think more broadly about the potential on what subtitles can do for you and how you want to get your message out. Will it be a limited message, or a message that crosses more boundaries and reach more people?
If anything, you should consider adding subtitles as a tactical move on your part as your overall strategy to garner more and more support for your cause. Because of me, more people are starting to take the time to add subtitles to get their message across. Even Seek Geo, a Deaf ASL vlogger, is having an effect, too. Somebody had to do this first and that's why I take the time to add subtitles to my vlogs to reach out more people that way. It's working and I am smiling.
And lastly, I don't have eyes in the back of my head to read ALL the vlogs and blogs out there, deaf and hearing, including the umpteen number of websites I regular go to. Just because somebody posted a vlog does not means that I will get to see it and respond to it. My time is limited and I get on the internet when I can and catch up on things. I have things I do outside of the internet involving my family, kids, exercing and piano playing. So, don't get mad or upset just because I haven't responded. It could simply mean that I haven't seen your vlog or blog. If you are seeking a response from me then it would be best to get in contact with me via email and let me know. I'll do my best to answer your questions.
UPDATE: A Deaf-Blind reader/watcher responded on Kokonut Pundit about subtitles on vlogs and makes a very good point.
As a Deaf-Blind person, I truly appreciate subtitling in vlogs because I am legally blind now. It does help a lot to be still involved in the v/blogosphere with the subtitles. If there wasn't any, I wouldn't complain because I visit a lot of blogs.And I can't help but wonder some of the leaders in the ASL vlogging, especially those already technically-savvy, refuse to add subtitles not realizing that there are Deaf-Blind people out there who could use the extra help on seeing both signing and subtitling at the same time. Is this a case of some Deaf vloggers oppressing Deaf-Blind by refusing to add subtitles? What an interesting perspectiving coming from one Deaf-Blind reader/watcher who really appreciates any subtitles to a vlog.
There are blurring of motions, including any signing; and the lack of video definition which is not the same as watching a high definition TV sometimes make it hard to follow any signing! I would suspect it'd be harder to follow for some Deaf-Blind readers/watchers of vlogs? But these video definition and speed are certainly improving over time as technology continues to improve for our benefits.
UPDATE II: Patty, "TheExpatriate," who is Deaf-Blind, (as well as many other Deaf-Blind people who are sometimes considered to be at the bottom of the Deaf-totem pole when it comes communication access) Ihave a question, how do you feel about Carl's decision not to add captions/subtitles in future vlogs? And I am now wondering how many Deaf vloggers actually share Carl's decision? It certainly does not sound like a good solution to do that. Just my take.
Below is what Patty feels about the Deaf community who do not think about people like Patty's on their need for communication access when it comes to vlogging.
Please keep in mind, the Deaf-Blind community is really at the bottom of the totem pole, struggling to be seen, heard and recognized. It does not really help that our peers, the Deaf community, responds in this manner whether they realise it or not.
Indeed. Quite ironic given how some Deaf vloggers refusal to put in subtitles when they have the ability and the means to do so. Please visit Patty's blogsite. I'm sure she'll have something to share for all to read whether it's deaf related or not.
FYI, I once had a deaf-blind roommate in Dorm-5 (Carlin Hall) I was at Gallaudet University that was shared with a smart roomie who had cerebral-palsy. Just learning about his world as a Deaf-Blind person opened a lot of different perspectives about life and struggling with that kind of a disability. It's not easy.
Friday, February 08, 2008
Right now I am trying to figure out this Schwartz letter.
Is this a personal letter or an official letter coming from a law professor whose letter has Syracuse University’s letterhead with the logo on it? Is this an approved use of the letterhead for external communications with PepsiCo, NAD and AGBell and that Prof. Schwartz is representing Syracuse University on their behalf his opinions about AGBell’s letter to PepsiCo? Or is this a personal letter only on his own behalf and not the university? What are the reasons for using a letter with Syracuse University’s logo on it as the letterhead in the first place?
My next question (and I’m just merely pointing them out here folks so don’t try and read too much into all this…again….just dissecting it) is the use of the acronym “AGBAD” in Schwartz’s letter. Why “AGBAD”? Is this an attempt to somehow place into the minds of PepsiCo officials, subconsciously so, that AGBell is really B.A.D.? Not once, but eight times in the letter with the acronym “AGBAD” in a not so easy-to-miss capital letters? Peppered visibly so throughout? If Schwartz had not noticed not too long ago, in fact yesterday, NAD produced a letter addressing to AG Bell as “AGBell” and certainly not “AGBAD” eight different times. Yet Schwartz’s letter was CC-ed to AGBell, NAD and PepsiCo which may make it even worse. I am sure that Schwartz will get a letter from AGBell apprising him on the correct use of acronym and not “AGBAD.” I suppose Schwartz might try and plead innocent or ignorance on the proper use of an acronym or abbreviation for the Alexander Graham Bell organization. But doing so would not be very professional-like or even believable coming from a Deaf university law professor.
So, I guess this letter of his is really more of an emotionally-laden filled letter type rather than a professional letter coming from a university professor while using the Syracuse University letterhead in his letter on Syracuse University’s behalf? Or is this really a personal letter that has nothing to do with Syracuse University? This needs to be explained to me and the readers.
Perhaps the letter would be more receptive and believable had Schwartz used “AGBell” or the full title “Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing” instead? The use “AGBADHH” might be okay to use but AGBell’s internet address is http://www.agbell.org/ and not http://www.agbad.org/ so I guess the proper use of the acronym is really “AGBell.”
Next is the invocation of the ever so famous use (but overly used) of a Nazi’s comparison in an argument known as “Godwin’s Law.” When it comes to demonizing an organization, a company or a person it’s best to insert a Nazi slant and somehow equivocate Hitler’s action of genocide against deaf and hard of hearing people of the past to that of, for example, AGBell’s philosophy and actions of today. And all this is coming from a Deaf university law professor? What else is new? Will Schwartz plead ignorance on that one, too? It really does beg the question here which is why I'm writing this.
And now we have Schwartz frowning about the myth-making comments when he did the same thing himself in his own letter, ironically so. There is no “millions of deaf and hard-of-hearing Americans” who “see their deafness as a rich cultural phenomenon rooted in American Sign Language.” It’d be misleading and imprecise since how many millions are there in “millions” of deaf and hard of hearing American people that use ASL? Two? Five? Ten? Maybe it’s one hundred millions? That'd be nirvana for some people. Actually, it’d be more like less than a million according to my own 14 page research result that I did some 4 years ago questioning the number of culturally deaf people in the United States that use ASL. It is certainly not “millions” which can easily stretch the imaginations of anybody’s mind making it appear bigger when it’s not. Schwartz might want to come down to earth a little bit and at least use something that’s a bit more believably factual. Not doing so is kind of like hearing a famous misquote of Carl Sagan’s “Billions and billions of stars in the galaxy.” Exactly how many billions are there anyway in "billions and billions"? Exactly how many “millions” are there in millions just to be fair?
As far as I can tell, imho, this Schwartz letter was purposely made known for the Deaf community and public in the express purpose to continue with the aggrandizing, scape-goating, baiting and slamming of an organization that has a different philosophical belief. I may be wrong but please point them out for me if that is the case. This Schwartz letter does not at all help with any future fruitful dialogues between AGBell and the Deaf community where philosophies differ greatly. It just made things worse...probably.
What also doesn’t help in this situation is seeing an emotionally-laden letter coming from a Deaf law professor who uses a letter containing a letterhead of a university logo making a personal case either for himself or onSyracuse University’s behalf on the opinion about AGBell (tell me which one, Schwartz, so all this can be cleared up for my readers here). Again, does Syracuse University agree with Schwartz’s opinion in his letter since it is a letter with a letterhead of Syracuse University’s logo? But the question now is how would the public see this letter when compared with that of NAD’s letter now that they are made known public? Is it professionalism that the public sees or paranoia filled with hyperboles for the sake of stirring the pot even more?
This drama is certainly getting stranger by the minute. It may be “ballsy” but certainly not Spaceballs....yet.
May the Schwartz be with you!
Thursday, February 07, 2008
References made in my video blog:
Recent survey poll about "Uncle Bob's House."
"Uncle Bob's House" video spoof.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
GoAmerica purchased MCI's TRS Business in January 2008. That includes its share in the California Relay Service and Speech to Speech Relay. So don't be surprised when you call 711 or MCI's dedicated number and you are welcomed to the call by a GoAmerica relay operator.MCI’s Telecommunication Relay Service (TRS) opened their doors in 1996 in Riverside where they got their first taste of TRS. But MCI’s TRS was purchased by GoAmerica just last month.
The sale was closed on January 10, 2008. Before the purchase, GoAmerica had to go through an elaborate approval process with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the Department of General Services (DGS) to ensure that GoAmerica would be able to comply with all aspects of MCI's CRS contract. GoAmerica assures the relay users of its continuity in service, availability and customer support.
Ok. Gonna boycott them, too? What about AT&T? They donated to AG Bell as well but not in the form of cash in this instance in 2005.
AT&T made an agreement with the AG Bell Association to donate hundreds of surplus TTYs. AG Bell had to sign an agreement about how they could be used, and there was no guarantee they would work.Just when you thought you’ve seen everything, how about Sorenson? Yes, Sorenson was a proud sponsor of AG Bell, too.
Hmmm, maybe boycott Gallaudet University, too, since the Sorensen building has not been built yet?
And then we have DeafRead who carries the Sprint Relay advertisement. Better start boycotting DeafRead, too.
How about just boycott anything technology or relay related that deaf and hard of hearing people use today since somewhere along the line someone or some company participated somehow in the “enrichment” of AG Bell? It might be easier that way.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
But you might say that was nearly 2 years ago when GoAmerica donated money and you’re pretty sure that GoAmerica (“i711.com”) will not have anything to do with AGBell from now on? Right? But you'd most likely be dead wrong. GoAmerica was listed in the “Past Exhibitors” (2006) section of the 2008 Exhibitor Prospectus.
Yet, how many Deaf bloggers/vloggers do we have on i711.com who are getting paid by GoAmerica (though I see nothing wrong here folks) but do not know that GoAmerica attended at least one AGBell Convention with the likelihood they’ll show up for the 2008 AGBell Convention? And what would their justifications be for staying on i711.com once they find out about GoAmerica and AGBell? Or, if they already knew that GoAmerica attended the 2006 AGBell Convention, why have they accepted a paid writing/signing position for their articles (both video and written formats)?
The question is, will GoAmerica be seen in one of the many booths at the 2008 AG Bell Convention in Milwaukee? As for me, does it really matter?
Monday, February 04, 2008
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Here's the Google video just in case YouTube goes down, plus the fonts were changed for the better here until I correct the YouTube version later.
UPDATE: Uploaded the video on YouTube with easier to read subtitle fonts.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
Here's a play in Miami called "Fill Our Mouths."
It is a play about two women, one a lesbian who works at a famous Paris cafe and the other a writer with a husband, who fall in love. It is also a play about deaf and hard-of-hearing people, about the political and personal issues involved in communication.These actors are all hearing and they all had to learn sign language to do the play. After all, if Keith Wann can pretend to be a Deaf character in the Pepsi's slapstick comedy "Clam Chowder," "Hot Dog," and "Perfect Season" why not other hearing actors who take the time to learn ASL in order to play the part of a deaf or hard of hearing character? Now, wouldn't it be safe to say that after reading this people will not go into an apoplectic fit about "Fill Our Mouths" play that they'll start emailing them complaining how dare they have hearing actors play the role of deaf characters? But not Keith Wann?