Sign Shares’ Team Rides to Help Children with Cancer

Two Sign Shares Inc staff have biked 701.4 miles as Team Eva and Ant in honor of loved ones who have fallen to cancer and to raise money for children with the disease. The event was organized by Great Cycle Challenge USA, a company that has “raised $16,070,740 in support of research to develop better treatments and find a cure for childhood cancer” over the past four years.

A woman poses with a puppet, next to another woman with a puppet.
Sharon Miller-Bless often shared puppets. This picture was taken of Sharon and Eva Storey at the Abilities Expo Houston.

Eva Storey, CEO and president of Sign Shares, rode 350.7 miles in honor of a former interpreter for the agency, Sharon Miller-Bless, who was a tri-lingual interpreter for the interpreting agency. “Sharon was more than an employee, but a dear friend,” Storey said.

A woman holds a sign with the name Grace Raitano.
Grace Marie Rataino Butkovich, mother of Anthony Butkovich.

Anthony Butkovich also rode 350.7 miles in honor of his mother, Grace Marie Rataino Butkovich. According to his dedication page, his mother was an advocate for alternative therapies for cancer. “She literally traveled the world studying the root of all cancer and seeking cures in countries that permitted unorthodox treatments.”

Over the month of June 2019, Storey and Butkovich showed determination when they biked in outdoor and indoor conditions, jointly and independently.

According to website participants, they undertook this journey because “cancer is the biggest killer of children from disease in the United States. Over 15,700 children are diagnosed every year, and sadly, 38 children die of cancer every week. Kids should be living life, not fighting for it.”

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New Captioning Technology Provides Greater Telecommunications Access

Many people with hearing loss and deafness use a variety of tools to assist their telecommunications, including video and caption phones. Another tool has been added to their access—captioning with Skype.

Skype is known for providing audio and video communications. When Sign Shares Inc. staff held a recent video conference, they learned that Skype now provides captions for video. They were pleased with the quality of the captions for personal use.

Until now, captioning for video has been limited and was mainly available through captioning in YouTube videos, but not for interpersonal communications. With this latest upgrade, individuals with hearing loss and deafness can supplement their video communications with family and friends instead of relying on a combination of lipreading and messaging.

A TV screen shows the news and the captions read, "Welcome back to the light doormat coverage of the..."
Captions are an art between technology and people. When communication matters, contact professionals for captioning.

More experience with Skype will determine its value for professional use. When business meetings are important, or when multiple individuals need to teleconference, contact Sign Share Inc. and The Capsule Group to determine the best accommodations for your needs. This involves considering the individual preferences of the personal with deafness or hearing loss, the location of the meeting, the number of individuals involved, as well as room acoustics and the distance the employee will be from the speaker.

In most situations, employers are required by federal laws to provide accessible meetings that provide a similar experience to the one that any other employee receives, and the Sign Shares Inc/The Capsule Group team will ensure that your employees receive a smooth delivery of services.

As for personal use, Skype’s captioning is a welcome tool to enhance communications with family and friends.

Skype is a free service available online and via a cell phone app. Click here to learn more about Skype or create your account.

Once you download Skype, which is available on desktop or cell phone, you can set the subtitles to run captions while the other person speaks. According to the company’s website, “Live captions & subtitles are available in Skype on Android (6.0+), Android tablet, iPhone, iPad, Windows, Mac, Linux, Web, and Skype for Windows 10 (version 14).”