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"In some respects, the wedding doesn't differ from most others."

The BBC's Ouch blog tells the story behind a 1940 Pathé newsreel showing a Deaf couple's wedding. [more inside]
posted by Catseye on Dec 17, 2014 - 10 comments

It's not an insult; it's local slang for the Washington Monument

The District of Columbia has many speakers of American Sign Language, given the presence of Gallaudet University and a large Deaf community. Here are a smattering of local signs.
posted by ocherdraco on Dec 15, 2014 - 17 comments

Walking and talking while Deaf

"Unlike hearing people, the deaf have to keep sightlines in order to maintain conversations. So when deaf people walk and talk, they’ll lock into a kind of dance. Going through a doorway, one person will spin in place and walk backwards to keep talking. Walking past a column, two deaf people in conversation will move in tandem to avoid collision." The podcast 99% Invisible interviews a designer of a building at Gallaudet University designed for the way deaf people move and talk. [full transcript]
posted by desjardins on Dec 3, 2014 - 20 comments

Hazel, a.k.a. UbOtDDstarL

A Deaf couple in Great Britain has successfully fought for the right to include the British Sign Language notation of their child's name on her birth certificate.
posted by Etrigan on Nov 19, 2014 - 19 comments

15 and Learning to Speak

The majority of deaf people in sub-Saharan Africa have never been taught sign language. "Patrick Otema, 15, was born profoundly deaf. In the remote area of Uganda where he lives there are no schools for deaf children, and he has never had a conversation. Raymond Okkelo, a sign language teacher, hopes to change all this and offer Patrick a way out of the fearful silence he has known his whole life." [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Nov 14, 2014 - 9 comments

The Braigo

Shubham Banerjee is an inventor who earlier this year unveiled a braille printer that he was able to assemble with a Mindstorms LEGO kit and a few very inexpensive odds and ends from the hardware store. Here he is presenting a demo of the device in action. He has named the device a Braigo and has created a startup company with the intention to refine the design and put it on the market. Earlier this week, Intel Capital announced it would invest in the company. And what's the kicker to this story? Banerjee is only 13 years old.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Nov 7, 2014 - 6 comments

"an intimate journey through the science of sound and language"

The Mysterious World of the Deaf (Single Link The New York Review of Books)
posted by andoatnp on Nov 7, 2014 - 10 comments

ASL makes it obvious why "a room without a roof" = happy

For the second year, the campers at Deaf Film Camp, a two-week summer experience for deaf and hard-of-hearing teens interested in filmmaking, have made a great ASL music video. The video is entirely produced by the campers with guidance from a staff of filmmakers from the deaf community. This year's selection is Pharrell's "Happy", with ASL Interpretation created by Azora Telford and Rosa Lee Timm and performed by Telford, Timm, the campers and camp staff. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Aug 21, 2014 - 9 comments

fact-checking as conversation

[T]his is what we were dealing with: We were located in two places, and between us there were three laptops and one stenography machine. We were working in two languages (English and American Sign Language, or ASL) and across three communication channels (voice, sign, and text). They were sitting at a rectangular table, all on the same side: first Hilaria, then Kate, then Lynn, then Rabin´. That made five of us, four of whom brought constraints to the situation, ranging from the permanent to the temporary: Lynn is deaf, Hilaria is a non-native speaker of English, Rabin´ is supposed to be silent and invisible, and I couldn’t see, because I had no video on my Skype.
A factchecking session for "young sign languages" turns into an exploration on communication across barriers and needs of accessibility, language, and technology.
posted by divabat on Aug 6, 2014 - 6 comments

A new restaurant.

Signs (YT) is a new restaurant in Toronto. Most of the servers are Deaf. It is the first restaurant of its kind in Canada, though not the world (YT). Their Facebook page contains reviews from patrons. Here's how to order. If you're interested in ASL, the National Association of the Deaf has a great primer for you, or you can go through the glossary and lessons here at ASL University.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering on Aug 5, 2014 - 31 comments

Did you know that Hawkeye has impaired hearing?

Hawkeye, lost 80% of his hearing in West Cost Avengers #1. When a 4 year old boy refused to wear his hearing aids since no super hero wore them, this was used to help convince him. Matt Fraction has revived this story element and has dedicated the issue to Leah Coleman of Signing Time.
posted by plinth on Jul 30, 2014 - 33 comments

A song for the formerly hearing impaired

I Liked You Better Deaf. (slyt, now with captions)
posted by Soliloquy on Dec 27, 2013 - 6 comments

Flur Buh coppa Wee!

The sign language interpreter at the funeral of Nelson Mandela apparently... wasn't. If you thought the strangest thing out of the Nelson Mandela funeral was the byplay between President Obama, the first lady, and the Danish Prime Minister, think again. Deaf advocacy groups, led by the Deaf Federation of South Africa are expressing anger today over the appearance onstage of a supposed sign language interpreter who apparently knew nothing of sign language and was just making nonsense gestures.
posted by Naberius on Dec 11, 2013 - 303 comments

Sign me up

Meet Holly Maniatty, the sign language interpreter who has brought the words of Wu-Tang Clan, Marilyn Manson, Killer Mike, Bruce Springsteen and the Beastie Boys to the deaf.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jun 22, 2013 - 13 comments

Angelyne the Amazing Deaf Cattle Dog

Angelyne the Amazing Deaf Cattle Dog (YT)

Angelyne performs tricks for young and old, with owner Eric Melvin's positive message emphasizing perseverance, compassion, "oneness" with your fellow man (as he puts it, despite our varying appearances and more profound differences "we are all the same"), and the strengths that underlie what may seem to be our greatest weaknesses. Eric incorporates poetry written by himself and others into his training presentation.

Promo Video (YT)
posted by lordaych on Jun 21, 2013 - 4 comments

Teaching Viewers to Hear the TV With Eyes Only

"This week ABC Family did something that no commercial television channel in the United States had ever done: It broadcast an entire episode of a show, “Switched at Birth,” in American Sign Language, with next to no oral dialogue."
posted by bdz on Mar 10, 2013 - 21 comments

Seeing at the Speed of Sound

Rachel Kolb, deaf Rhodes scholar, on lipreading: "Even the most skilled lipreaders in English, I have read, can discern an average of 30 percent of what is being said. I believe this figure to be true. There are people with whom I catch almost every word—people I know well, or who take care to speak at a reasonable rate, or whose faces are just easier on the eyes (for lack of a better phrase). But there are also people whom I cannot understand at all. On average, 30 percent is a reasonable number. But 30 percent is also rather unreasonable. How does one have a meaningful conversation at 30 percent? It is like functioning at 30 percent of normal oxygen, or eating 30 percent of recommended calories—possible to subsist, but difficult to feel at your best and all but impossible to excel." [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee on Mar 7, 2013 - 29 comments

Hard-of-Hearing Culture?

The dividing line between being deaf and hard-of-hearing is naturally somewhat fuzzy to most people: the paper "Personal and Social Identity of Hard of Hearing People" by Mark Ross argues that the distinction should be made on the basis of whether the person in question "developed their linguistic skills primarily through the auditory channel, and if they are capable of comprehending verbal messages through listening alone." Yet, this definition brings up new questions: while the role of Deaf culture is well understood as a factor in the development of a social identity in those growing up deaf, is there a similar phenomenon of "hard-of-hearing culture"? And how do those growing up hard-of-hearing develop a social identity? [more inside]
posted by Conspire on Dec 8, 2012 - 23 comments

Interpreting Lydia Callis

Arika Okrent deconstructs the signing of interpreter Lydia Callis to demonstrate how body language and facial expressions are used grammatically in American Sign Language. [more inside]
posted by torticat on Nov 2, 2012 - 61 comments

What advice would you give a Deaf/Hard of Hearing person who is looking for a job, career, or calling like yours?

This website aims to show the wide variety of jobs, careers and callings that deaf and hard of hearing adults are pursuing each day. Interviews with and biographies of deaf and hard of hearing people at work, some of them in careers you might not expect, like a firefighter, a veterinarian, and a comedian.
posted by desjardins on Jul 13, 2012 - 10 comments

I end up never starting the interview.

Being deaf. A young programmer's personal account of being the only deaf employee at a startup.
posted by bitmage on May 21, 2012 - 70 comments

My Valentine

My Valentine: Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp perform Paul McCartney's "My Valentine" in ASL.
posted by sonika on Apr 14, 2012 - 33 comments

Late-deafened music lover rediscovers love of music via cochlear implant

Deaf guy goes shopping for high-end headphones and other tales of musical rediscovery from Lee Walker, a lifelong music-lover who lost most of his hearing in early adulthood. A cochlear implant restored usable but quite different hearing, which Walker put to use enjoying music by any means necessary – captioned music videos, giant DJ-quality cans worn over external implant hardware, plugging an iPod Touch directly into that hardware.
posted by joeclark on Dec 31, 2011 - 4 comments

Throw your hands in the air

We're Going To Be Friends by the White Stripes, in American Sign Language.
posted by bjrn on Nov 2, 2011 - 19 comments

Silence of Love

Silence of Love from Thai Life Insurance. An advertisement designed to break your heart. And it does. (Possible triggers, via The Browser) [more inside]
posted by Ahab on Aug 17, 2011 - 65 comments

Say What?

Seeing this article today about a defendant in a drug trafficking trial who if deaf, mute and without any language skills reminded me of this question from 5 years ago. One of the answers to that question linked to the Straight Dope which had this question and answer. [more inside]
posted by AugustWest on Jan 12, 2011 - 59 comments

AllyBallyBabe

Allyson Townsend's YouTube channel ("ASL Ally") carries her popular ASL and SEE interpretations of popular music. It was shut down after complaints from the copyright holders, but after an intervention by the EFF they reconsidered their position and ASL Ally is back online! (source: BoingBoing)
posted by Joe in Australia on Nov 27, 2010 - 15 comments

It Gets Better

Rudolf Brazda, one of the last surviving victims of violent persecution of GLBT people by the Nazi regime, and Adam and other deaf gays and lesbians relate their own kinds of It Gets Better stories.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Oct 17, 2010 - 9 comments

After 24 years in isolation, learning to communicate

"Voice of San Diego reporter Adrian Florido set out to find a family, he writes, "whose experience could illustrate the day-to-day challenge for Burmese refugees" in San Diego, since "more than 200 Burmese families have arrived [in that city] since 2006." In the process, Florido met a 24-year-old man named Har Sin" who was unable to hear, speak, read, write or use sign language, and wound up writing a two-part story about him: In a New Land, Hoping to Hear and Breaking Free of a Life Without Language. The story is available as a downloadable pdf: A Silent Journey Series. / Via The Kicker, the daily blog of the Columbia Journalism Review [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 13, 2010 - 5 comments

My ( )( ), My ( )( )

"My Humps" translated into sign language. (SLYT) via Reddit
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese on Aug 11, 2010 - 45 comments

If rhythm be the food of love, play on

The ASL Shakespeare Project brings us Twelfth Night, fully translated into American Sign Language (ASL) [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on Nov 5, 2009 - 17 comments

Deaf People and World War II

Deaf People and World War II is an NTID project collecting videos, books, articles, links, etc., about the experiences of deaf Europeans, Asians, and North Americans during the war. [more inside]
posted by lullaby on Jun 7, 2009 - 4 comments

Signs of very cool.

Maybe I'm crazy, but this seems to be a very cool effort by a sign language interpreter to include the hearing-impaired in the Gnarls Barkley lyrics experience. [more inside]
posted by prefpara on Feb 23, 2009 - 42 comments

Evelyn Glennie talks about music and deafness

Evelyn Glennie speaks at TED. Don't know her? Visit her site.
posted by aisforal on Dec 19, 2008 - 14 comments

Cursing is associated with the limbic system.

Physicians reported a deaf man with Tourette's who used sign language to spell out obscenities during fits of coprolalia. [more inside]
posted by vapidave on Dec 6, 2008 - 34 comments

Visual Comedy

Have you heard the one about the deaf comedian? John Smith is Britain's only BSL (British Sign Language) stand-up.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 12, 2008 - 20 comments

Little Hands - Documentary Short

"Little Hands offers a glimpse into the lives of a group of deaf children at a Danish 'fritidshjem,' a recreation centre where they meet after school."

A fascinating short documentary, approximately 17minutes.
posted by chimaera on Sep 10, 2008 - 12 comments

Waffle, meet Splasher. Splasher, this is Waffle.

"My name is a combination of 'take photo' and the letter 'C' for Charlie. How on earth do you pronounce that, you might ask. Well the answer is you don't. You sign it."
posted by The corpse in the library on Jul 7, 2008 - 45 comments

ASL Videos

American Sign Language Flash Video Dictionary is a high quality, free dictionary with a huge number of signs. It includes specialized dictionaries of religious signs, conversational phrases, and ASL for babies. Unfortunately it's not possible to link to specific signs, but if you look inside you'll find words from "Abbreviate" to "Zoom" and phrases such as "I cannot fasten my belt," "has he been neutered?" "I already took a bath," "are you married?" and "I need a better firewall."
posted by alms on Jul 25, 2007 - 17 comments

singing/signing - a different sort of cover song

Popular: It's Like That, Humble Neighborhood, Son of a Preacher Man, Beautiful, Barbi Girl, Truly Madly Deeply, I'm Alive
Indie: Blister in the Sun, Across the Sea, Tom's Diner, Zombie; Classics: The Rose (more, also without lyrics), Revolution, Hotel California
Rap/Hip Hop (some comedic): Baby Got Back, Ice Ice Baby, Music (more), Paul Revere, Grillz, White and Nerdy, Where'd You Go
Non-English songs: Film Dust, Comme Elle Vient; Pseudosign: Torn (again), Sweet Home Alabama
Instructions: general tips, religious songs, and how to sign "rock & roll"
posted by jessamyn on Mar 14, 2007 - 27 comments

"YouTube gives them an easy, expressive, unmediated channel for many-to-many communication."

DEAF...i'm deaf, by kunosher, and just one of a growing group of videos on youtube created by the signing deaf. Many more here--from the personal to the political to videoblogs to deaf poetry jams to the news .
posted by amberglow on Dec 20, 2006 - 29 comments

Google Video, now with captioning

Selected videos with closed captioning Self-uploaded videos aren’t just for hearing people anymore. A small number of videos on Google now have captioning. You can create your own caption files, albeit laboriously.
posted by joeclark on Sep 19, 2006 - 4 comments

Deaf Radio

The Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU 88.5FM in Washington DC is interviewing the outgoing and incoming presidents of Gallaudet University (previously) today. Gallaudet is a liberal arts college and graduate school for the deaf. Deaf and hearing-impaired persons will be able to fully participate in the conversation and 'listen' to the radio show live as the station is providing real-time captioning on-line and via HD-radio.
posted by pithy comment on Aug 9, 2006 - 4 comments

"Deaf Enough"

Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. is a liberal arts college and graduate school for the deaf (there's also a high school and primary school). In 1988, Gallaudet students protested when a hearing person was chosen as university president, and until today, I. King Jordan has served. Recently, a new president was chosen--Dr. Jane K. Fernandes, the school's Provost, who was born deaf but grew up speaking thanks to new therapies and technologies. A varied, vibrant student body never afraid to make their "voices" heard has spoken (with photos). Last night, so did a majority of the faculty, but Dr. Fernandes says she will stay.
posted by bardic on May 9, 2006 - 163 comments

Deafness in disguise

Concealed hearing devices of the 19th and 20th centuries. Great images in this delightful exhibit of wacky yet charming devices like auricle headphones, dentaphones, concealed beard receptors, barrettes, jewelry, hats, and acoustic chairs.
posted by madamjujujive on Oct 15, 2005 - 20 comments

A movie about the deaf, but not for the deaf

A movie about the deaf, but not for the deaf Thought-provoking piece in the LAVoice: "Since I am deaf myself and require subtitles in order to watch films, we contacted the Nuart to make sure that the film was subtitled; I couldn't find anything on either the theater’s website or the distributor's website that indicated the film was subtitled. Much to our dismay, we were shocked to learn that the film - a movie about a deaf person - would not be subtitled ..."
posted by mantid on Sep 12, 2005 - 12 comments

That's a lot of hands that... can't hear.

The Thousand-hand Bodhisattva dance is performed by 21 deaf, Chinese dancers. (NLTH: "Not Literally a Thousand Hands") Via octopus dropkick
posted by brundlefly on Jul 10, 2005 - 19 comments

The birth of a [sign] language

Experts Study New Sign Language System A new system of sign language developed by deaf children in Nicaragua may hold clues about the evolution of languages. When the country's first school for the deaf was established in 1977, children were not taught sign language but developed a system of signs to communicate. Childhood learning may determine linguistic rules ...They found that older students used hand signals resembling the gestures employed by hearing people, mimicking the entire event physically. But younger pupils - who had interacted with other deaf children from an early age - used a more complex series of signs. They split the scene into component parts and arranged these sequentially to convey the incident. The constructions resemble the way words and sentences are built in verbal languages, using segments structured in a linear fashion. This indicates that way the younger children learnt the sign language helped reshape it according to these linguistic rules.
............... Fascinating... /Mr. Spock
posted by y2karl on Sep 18, 2004 - 20 comments

Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky and the neuronaut's guide to the science of consciousness

We are because of others. We are born into this world with minds as naked as our bodies and we have to rely on others to feed, clothe us, and to teach us to think of ourselves as selves. The key is language -- grammatical speech and human culture build upon the brain's biological capacities to create a mind that is something different again than that with which we are born. We are conscious because we can speak to others and ourselves, because we can speak of ourselves to others and ourselves. Language gives us as individuals, memory, and as groups, culture, the social memory. Or so thought Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky, among others. Welcome to the the neuronaut's guide to the science of consciousness.
posted by y2karl on Jul 11, 2003 - 36 comments

William Ellsworth “Dummy” Hoy

William Ellsworth “Dummy” Hoy was the first deaf Major League baseball player. He played in four major leagues, hit the first grand slam in the American League, stole 82 bases in his rookie year, and was the first outfielder to throw out three runners at home plate in one game. He's the reason for umpires' hand signals. Gallaudet University dedicated its baseball field to him. There's a campaign to get him inducted in the Hall of Fame (here's his stats.) [via The Baseball Crank]
posted by kirkaracha on May 13, 2003 - 7 comments

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