Gift ideas include bed shakers–which now work with cell phones and have many options, light on cell phone signalers, new devices with different light signals for different sounds, assisted listening devices, amplified or TTY phones, and also includes items such as apparel, rugs, keychains, drinkware, and jewelry. They also have products for interpreters.
DeafGifts.com sells more refined jewelry, apparel, home decor, and games. Novel items include:
In a recent Facbook photo album, Sign Shares’ staff Eva Storey and Michael Akinosi interact with Lizzie Velasquez. Velasquez is an international speaker and activist who is the subject of a film, A Brave Heart. The film explores how Lizzie turned a malicious viral video touting her as the “world’s ugliest woman” into a stigma-shattering victory.
The Sign Shares team also viewed the Jessica Cox film Right Footed. Cox is an advocate, pilot, and martial artist who was born without arms. The film follows her advocacy for disability rights.
Our pictures also share our family with you–recent birthdays for Sign Shares’ family members Bettye Washington and William “Randy” Gunter, and a picture of the Sign Shares’ Lex Frieden award!
On Facebook, Sign Shares’ President and CEO, Eva Storey, said, “We have more memories to create and wrap up by the end of the 2015 year. We always have you all in our hearts and minds. Love and Blue Light, the SS Family!”
A veteran and camp host with hearing loss was undeterred when fire threatened his campground in Montana’s northernmost park.
Alan Deegan is a Marine Corps veteran who served from 1964-68, with a tour in Vietnam in 1966-67. Deegan has service-related hearing loss. During the war, Deegan worked in aviation ordinance, which is munitions for planes. Doors of the four turbo-prop planes were often open, so sound inside the planes was amplified and loud. He thinks this likely contributed to his hearing loss.
After the military, Deegan worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 34 years, serving in numerous capacities, including as Postmaster of Marshall, Minn. and Junction City, Kan.
It wasn’t until 2007 that Deegan realized he had hearing loss. An emergency room visit for something else in Canada led to a series of doctor’s appointments and the pronouncement, “Mr. Deegan, your left ear is dead.”
“No wonder you were so damn loud on the telephone,” Deegan says a friend told him.
When asked if hearing loss ever affected his career, Deegan said, “Never had an issue in my entire working career. I don’t think anything has ever, ever held me back from anything I wanted to do.”
Volunteering as camp host at the national park was a way Deegan and his wife Ellen earned a free campsite for their recreational vehicle, or RV, and also free electric, sewer, and propane. He and Ellen worked 40 hours a week, with two days off. As hosts, they recorded information for the 83 camp sites, answered questions, helped new campers learn about camping, and ensured camper safety from hazards such as bears and fires.
Deegan said that he might have missed some information when visiting with people because of his hearing loss, but the ranger he worked with “never gave me any problems” about his hearing and was accommodating with any radio difficulties.
He had already adapted to his environment by the time of his interview, cupping his hand around his hearing aids to block out the interference caused by the wind.
According to Deegan’s wife Ellen, the Rising Sun Campground was what the Glacier National Park rangers called ‘Bear Central.’” “Apparently we have more bear activity here than any other campground in the park,” Ellen Deegan said.
When bears got too close to the campers, Alan Deegan took action. Ellen Deegan said that one time, a visitor reported a lot of noise around his campsite. When her husband arrived, he found it was a bear. Ellen said, “He immediately called for a bear ranger. He had the visitors present to all stand back and clap and yell. He had his bear spray out and ready. The bear was only foraging for food and went back into the forest. He came back a bit later into another camp site. The bear ranger arrived and took charge of the bear. We had 4 bears that day.”
During evacuation from their camp ground, Ellen said that Alan “went around both loops again shaking tents and trailers yelling to evacuate. He found one girl asleep in a tent. Good thing he did, because she would have been left. He did the loops twice and we were sure everyone was gone.”
In the meantime, Ellen packed items they would need into their truck and waited for Deegan to check the camp sites again.
The scene around them was hectic. Ellen said, “The helicopters are flying dipping water out of the lake with their buckets and dropping it in the hot spots. There were fire trucks from towns, U.S. Forest Service, other government agencies like BLM, and more men and women in green and yellow clothing than I could count.”
Later, the Deegans and others evacuated. Fortunately, they and their RV were fine and they finished their summer trip. The Rising Sun Campground remained closed for the remainder of the summer.
Ellen Deegan said that in four months this year, they
“traveled through 12 states,
drove 11,300 miles,
took 13,500 pictures,
rode the quad (ATV) 550 miles,
visited 12 National Park sites,
2 National Forest recreation sites,
and 1 Canadian National Park.”
After his summer travels, Deegan contacted Christina Goebel of Sign Shares, Inc. to learn about more assistive technology they had discussed during their interview in Montana. He’s seeking to share information with friends.
Organizations representing the Deaf and partially deaf communities joined efforts to make wireless handsets accessible for hearing aids and cochlear implants. This includes cordless and mobile phones.
According to an article by the Hearing Loss Association of America, “When mobile technology moved from analog to digital in the 1990s, it created a huge barrier for people with hearing loss in that suddenly people with hearing loss who could use wireless handsets were faced with interference when they held the phone to their ear.”
Currently, 82 percent of mobile phones on the market are accessible for hearing technology. Only 66 percent of cordless phones are accessible. The association said it has joined with organizations to ensure greater telecommunications accessibility.
According to a comment from the three organizations, “It’s our understanding that the Industry is proposing a modification of the HAC rule to require both manufacturers and service providers to increase the percentage of M-and T-rated HAC wireless handsets they sell to 66% . . . If adopted, Industry’s proposal would leave fully a third of wireless handsets potentially unusable for people with hearing aids or cochlear implants.”
The consumer groups “look forward to working with the Industry and the Commission to ensure greater access to wireless handsets for all consumers with hearing loss,” according to the comment.
Hello, everyone of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community, It’s a pleasure to welcome you to Sign Shares’ VLOG.
My Name is: Michael AKINOSI. I am a Deaf Community Advocate with Sign Shares.
We gladly welcome you to our Web Site – www.Signshares.com. We love hearing from you, your ideas, concerns, questions and feedback you may have to better serve and work in partnership for better services through Advocacy and Understanding your Rights. Thanks for watching and be on the look out for future events and announcements as often as possible and kindly spread to others.
Want to have a more inclusive work place and hire people with disabilities, but not sure how? Onsite training from Sign Shares, Inc./International and a free webinar offer you solutions.
Sign Shares provides meetings to train and answer any questions you have about interpreting services for people who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or Deaf-Blind. Sign Shares is the oldest, professional, and unique provider of Sign Language Interpreting and Translation Services in the United States. Sign Shares’ staff know this may be a new type of communication for many people and can share strategies to make the transition smoother.
Workshops are catered to your needs and may include:
Why do people who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing/Deaf-Blind request interpreters or captioning?
What are the differences between the Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Hearing cultures?
Which Americans with Disabilities Act laws apply to my company?
What are common misconceptions about people who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing/Deaf-Blind?
This free webinar, from the Employer Assistance and Resource Network, will provide strategies learned through eight nationwide consortia to increase the capacity of small businesses to employ people with disabilities. Participants will hear from small businesses about their experiences and learn about a new online resource to help them take action.
The network is funded through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy in cooperation with The Viscardi Center. The Viscardi Center provides programs that educate, employ, and empower children and adults with disabilities.
Registration is required for the free “Small Business & Disability Employment: Steps to Success” webinar on Dec. 8, 1:00-2:00 Central Time.
At a hospital or clinic, a person who is deaf or partially deaf may receive a live interpreter, or a remote interpreter via computer (VRI). Problems from remote interpreting may stem from a litany of technological difficulties. In 2008, the National Association of the Deaf posted a position statement on VRI and included a list of potential problems.
In the vlog/blog, Vice President of Deaf Seniors of America, Al Sonnenstrahl, says the organizations “recognize the challenges in using Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) in medical settings such as hospitals and doctor’s office. Some experiences are positive while others are not.”
According to vlog/blog, the organizations need to learn what people who are deaf and hard of hearing’s experiences are so they can better advocate for their interests. This does not involve a lawsuit.
In order to do this, the taskforce is requesting less than three-minute videos or English texts of your experience.
Information they need is: “which city and state this story happened in, the name of the doctor involved, which hospital this took place in, and your experience while using VRI. The Taskforce will report back to both organizations with information and strategies to address the growing use of VRI at hospitals and medical facilities.”
According to the vlog/blog, “the purpose of the Taskforce is to gather information and are not covered by the attorney-client privilege. With these stories, we will be able to develop guidelines to be shared with doctors, hospitals, and others in the medical setting.”
The deadline to send in video or text responses is Dec. 1, 2015.