Houston Deaf Community to Meet with METRO

The Houston Center for Independent Living will host “A Time To Speak Up/Advocate and be heard METROLIFT Customers.”

Some customers who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing are having difficulty getting picked up on time and communicating with dispatch about it. This could lead to customers waiting in unsafe situations. photo credit: hvandjez msp2016-236 via photopin (license)
Some customers who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing are having difficulty getting picked up on time and communicating with dispatch about it. This could lead to customers waiting in unsafe situations. photo credit: hvandjez msp2016-236 via photopin (license)

The Community Engagement Meeting with METRO Staff will be on Tuesday, Oct. 18 from 12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. at the Bayland Community Center, 6400 Bissonnet, Houston, Texas 77074.

The meeting topics that will be discussed with METRO staff include:

  • METROLift same-day policy
  • Feeder Service Pilot Program
  • Pedestrian-Accessible Review (PAR) Program

Since refreshments will be served and METRO will provide ASL interpreters, contact HCIL staff to let them know you wish to attend at 713.974.4621 Voice/TTY or 713-491-2381 V.P.

In a Deaf Network of Texas post, Robert Yost shared how the Houston Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community is impacted by METROLift services, including:

  • late pick ups,
  • difficulty reaching the dispatcher when pick ups are late, and
  • driver’s favoring hearing consumers and people who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing being dropped off last.

Dallas Community Holds Deaf Celebration Expo Sept. 24

Deaf Celebration LogoThe Dallas/Fort Worth Deaf community is reviving the Deaf Celebration Expo, an event connected to Deaf history.

Kent Kennedy log, saying he is a unique comedian and Flying Hands of LaughterThe expo will take place at Tarrant County College –Trinity River Campus on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. The event will run from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and will have an evening show with Austin Deaf comedian Kent Kennedy, “Flying Hands of Laughter” from 7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.

Event planners expect attendance of 1,000 or more people.

Attendee Registration

Register for the Deaf Celebration Expo here to avoid lines at the event. Admission to the expo is free. Admission to the Evening Show is $5.00 per person. Children under 17 are free.

Map of Deaf Celebration locationThe event address is Tarrant County College – Trinity River Campus, 300 Trinity Campus Circle, Downtown Fort Worth, Texas 76102.

Exhibitor Registration

Expo exhibitors will have a unique opportunity to reach the Texas Deaf Community with interpreters available at the event.

Booth fees:

  • $50.00 (Non-Profit Organization)
  • $100.00 (For-Profit Organization)

This is a small, additional for an electric outlet. First come, first serve.

Please attach brochures, photos, detailed drawings or any information about your product(s) and booth as it appears while in operation.

Booth includes a one (1) 7” by 44” identity sign, one (1) 5’-long table, and two (2) folding chairs.

Sponsorships are also available and they are seeking door prize donations.

The deadline to register as an exhibitor is Aug. 31, 2016. Registration forms submitted after the due date will be awarded based on booth availability.

Download Booth Application 2016 (PDF)

Download Booth Application 2016 (DOCX)

Deaf Celebration is a 501c (3) organization.

For exhibitor and sponsor questions, email booth@deafcelebration.org.

History of Deaf Celebration

According to event Chairperson and founder of the Deaf Network of Texas, Grant W. Laird, Jr., “Deaf Celebration has its roots in the Deaf President Now movement that occurred in 1988 at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., through which a Deaf president was finally appointed at Gallaudet University serving D/deaf students.”

Deaf Celebration seeks to provide a forum for the D/deaf Community, broaden the public’s knowledge of Deaf culture and heritage, create awareness of organizations “of, for, and by the Deaf,” and provide a forum for “artists, performing artists, and craftspeople that are Deaf,” according to the event’s website.

Interpreters and ASL students will donate their time to facilitate communication between individuals who use sign language and those who can’t.

Contact Grant W. Laird, Jr. with questions at info@deafcelebration.org.

Event Flyer


Word version of flyer.


World ASL Poker Coming Soon to Austin

According to a post from the Deaf Network of Texas, the World ASL Series of Poker, or WASP, Tour #5 will be held in February in Austin, Texas.

Royal Flush poker hand with cards 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace.
photo credit: I Win via photopin (license)

The ASL poker series was developed to “bring renowned poker games to all deaf, hard of hearing, interpreters, and family members of deaf or hard of hearing adult poker players of all languages in different regions of America,” according to the series’ website.

The group was formed by Texas residents Jay Levine of San Antonio, Matt Erickson of Austin, and Dan Stoddard of Austin. Tournaments will be held at different casinos. 

There has been debate about whether people who use ASL can do so in poker games and at casinos, and when, if at all. This relates to industry rules that English only is accepted in poker, usually unless the dealer and all the players at the table use the same language. Notepads have also been in use.

Anyone wanting to play games at a casino who uses sign language should contact the casino ahead of time to learn what restrictions apply during play.

Here, you can read about an example of casino staff and a deaf advocate debating when the Americans with Disabilities Act applies and when it doesn’t in relation to poker.

WASP, however, invites a variety of abilities to play.

The event will be held Friday, Feb. 5 in Austin at the Austin Deaf Club, 8818 Cullen Lane, Austin, Texas 78748.

Admission for Friday night only or for Saturday night only is $10. Saturday full-day admission is $20. Early admission paid on Friday offers a discount of $25 for both days. Additional fees may apply, contact event coordinators or the flyer below for more information.

For more information, contact wasptour@gmail.com.

See the Tour Flyer.