Thursday, December 22, 2005

Let's Push Apple Around.

I never thought, I would say this but lets push Apple around. Although, their computers are still in the 7% range for the worldwide computer use but as for their hottest product for the last few years - the iPod, it's in the 92% range for worldwide use.

At the last Macworld conference it came out with the newest generation - the Video iPod, where you can download tv shows and various of clips. We've all been clamoring for them to add captioning or at least subtitling capabilities just as the Playstation Portable (PSP) is able to show subtitles when you play movies on it.

Things first, we need as many feedbacks made about adding captioning/subtitling capbailites at this iPod feedback link. If you have not done it, do it. If you've already done it, do it again (why not?).

Second, the next Macworld conference coming up in few weeks from January 9th to 13th at San Francisco, CA. This event is a huge thing for Apple and their customers/fans. The CEO - Steve Jobs will be there. I urge all deaf and hard of hearing people that go to the conference, let's promote captioning/subtitles to be added to their Video iPods and see what they have to say in person.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

2005 Deaf Blog Awards.

The polls have opened today for the best deaf blogs in variety of catergories. The voting will last a week and you can vote once per day, per ip address. I'm very excited about this because I'm reading great blogs by the deaf that I never knew was out there. Thus, I encourage you to go over to not only to vote but to read everybody's blog and I'm certain that you'll add some of them to your favorites/bookmarks.

Monday, December 19, 2005

An Update on Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind.

Subject: Concerned for ISDB
Fr: Christine Ivie
To: Sonny
CC: Dwight Johnson

Dear Mr Wasilowski,

Thank you for your email regarding the School for the Deaf and the Blind. We appreciate your interest in education in Idaho for this specific population. The State Board committee to review education for
the deaf and the blind presented general recommendations to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee and the State Board of Education this month. The committee's final report can be found on the State Board

As you will find in the report, the committee has recommended that the Board appoint a workgroup to address each recommendation over the next two years. There are currently no recommendations for specific
programs, school closures, etc. The recommendations focus on a variety of education and funding issues designed to ensure access to good educational programs for students all over Idaho.

Please feel free to email any comments to the Board email or to my email and we will be happy to share your comments with the workgroup once it is established. Also, please feel free to email any additional
questions to me.

Christine Ivie
Elementary Secondary Academic Officer
State Board of Education

Friday, December 16, 2005

Lower the Decibel (dB) Minimum?

Continued from my previous blog on Idaho School for the Deaf (ISDB).

I did a bit of asking around and checked online to see what makes Florida School for the Deaf and Blind (FSDB) stand out of other state residential schools. You may not know this but I believe that they are the largest deaf and blind school in America, I checked their website, they have nearly 800 students.

I was told of two things, Florida has a law where they promote deaf and blind students to attend FSDB over public schools and FSDB has the ability to recruit students whereas other schools don't have that ability.

Both things appear to be untrue because I have not found concrete proof of this. If any of you have further information, please do comment and please do send me a link if available.

BUT, I did find something that amazed me! The admission criteria to FSDB can be found here. Their decibel (dB) minimum for enrollment is at 30. Whereas I believe other schools decibel (dB) minimum is at 55, which is also the minimum requirement to be eligible for the Deaflympics.

To gain a better understanding of what the number of decibels (dB) represents.

Mild hearing loss: for adults - between 25 and 40 (dB), for children - between 15 to 40 (db)
Moderate hearing loss: between 41 and 55 (db)
Moderately severe hearing loss: between 56 to 70 (dB)
Severe hearing loss: between 71 to 90 (dB)
Profound hearing loss: 90 (dB) or greater.

Based on the findings that FSDB is the largest deaf and blind school in America and their minimum decibel for enrollment is at 30. This tells us that all other deaf schools should lower their minimum decibel requirements to increase enrollment.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

ALERT - Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind Might Close.

I was recently alerted by a friend in Idaho that the Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind (ISDB) might close in a few years. For some time being, there has been committee meetings to discuss the future of the deaf and blind students in the state of Idaho and what to do with the state school in the town of Gooding (pop. 3,384).

Please go to these two links to read various documents about the possible closing of ISDB. and

I've read through the committee meeting minutes and reports. The bottom line for them is the declining enrollment of the school. If the enrollment number reverse then I'm more than certain that they will keep the school open. If you have any ideas of how we can increase the enrollment, please do comment.

Could someone explain to me what I've been hearing a bit about Florida School for the Deaf and Blind...that they have some kind of a law that promotes deaf and blind students to go to the state school over public school. Perhaps, this needs to be brought up for Idaho and other states.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Get Your Interpreter's Business Cards.

Interpreters regardless if they're with a school district, medical center network, or an agency...they are nearly always on the lookout for more opportunities. They are what is known as freelance interpreters, often they do not advertise but if you ask them for their business card, they'll give you one.

This may not be significant in large populated areas but in smaller populated areas where businesses and doctors office are smaller but employ more than 15 people per the ADA law. It is very important to keep those business cards because often we'll hear from the local business/doctor's office that they're unable to find an interpreter.

While that may be true but at what resources did they use? Give out copies or give them the contact infomation from the business cards over the phone or e-mail. This will greatly improve the chances of having an interpreter available. However, if there is none still available, I highly recommend calling the ADA's 800 number to file a complaint.

Some of you may not take this seriously because you can read and write well enough to exchange notes with your doctors or so. Please think of the others in your deaf and hard of hearing community whereas they cannot read or write well.

To wrap this up, here's a link to the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc., (RID) searchable database to find interpreters or interpreting agency in your area.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Georgia Council for the Hearing Impaired, Inc.

Last night, I had the opportunity to meet the new executive director of Georgia Council for the Hearing Impaired, Inc (better known as GACHI). His name is Tom Galey, he was very much welcomed at Macon by the local people. He was witty, open and was geninuely interested in who we are and what we do in our area.

In the brief sense of what I can tell you about GACHI is that they're very much like CSD of South Dakota. Tom Galey in fact worked for CSD before coming here. He has told us that his number one priority here is not only to be advocates for us but to have us to be self-advocates. I'm very excited with what he had to share and I will be in touch with him after the holidays to volunteer to help GACHI in the areas of self-advocacy.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

She's Inspired, I'm Inspired!

A new friend I made from Cave Spring, Georgia...checked out my blog for the first time yesterday, later that very evening, she visited a friend for dinner. Her friend talked about wanting to see the new movie that is coming out in theaters; "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe."

And you know what? She told this friend about how I've gotten my local theater in Macon to receive a captioning device sometimes in 2006. She was inspired and she wanted to know how she could do it too. Hence, I'm inspired!

Here's how I did it and you can do it too in three steps.

1. Check out the movie theaters in your area. I picked the newest and the largest theater because I felt they were more likely to be receptive to receive a captioning device.

2. Add their phone number to your VP speed dial. Call them few times a month. Always ask for the manager, state your name and explain them about captioning in movie theaters and ask them to work toward receiving a captioning device.

3. You'll also need to find out their headquarter's phone number and add that to your VP speed dial. Call them few times a month. Ask for the customer service reprenstative, state your name and your specific movie theater's name and location then explain to them about captioning in movie theaters and ask them to provide your location with a captioning device.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Coming Soon to Macon, Georgia!

One of the very first activism I've done when I moved to Macon from DC in September, I called Regal Rivergate Cinema 14 to encourage and promote captioning. I've found that there's little they can do, because it's up to the Regal Cinema headquarters (in Knoxville, TN) to decide which Regal Cinema locations will receive the captioning device or not.

From September to present, I've called Regal Rivergate cinema 14 several times a month and to the headquarter's 865-922-1123 number to provide captioning at my location. To my delight, today, I was notified by the Regal Cinema headquarters that at their recently meeting; Macon, Georgia's Regal Rivergate Cinema 14 will receive the captioning device shortly in 2006. I'm thrilled that all my calls went heard. I encourage you all t do the same for your local movie cinema.

To add to this exciting news, check out an article that came recently came out today about movie theaters in New York/New Jersey area.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Hello Principals?

Last week, Wednesday, November 23rd...the day before Thanksgiving. I sent e-mails to principals (12) throughout two counties. I had hoped to hear from at least a half of them and as of today, I have not heard from one of them. Thus today, I've decided to send an e-mail to all of the school board members for those two counties and I hope to hear from them this time. Any suggestions?

I truly believe that having ASL classes in as many high schools possible across America will improve the lives of millions deaf and hard of hearing people. I hope you'll also send letters, e-mails, or spead the message in person to people of influence to have ASL classes everywhere.