Friday, March 31, 2006

Anyone Up For C-Print?

Go to this great article titled, 'Laptop-based class captioning proving a boon' to learn what a C-Print is and what it does.

I have not had an opportunity to experience C-Print but I could easily envision the benefits having C-Print. For those complicated terminology classes that I've had like Business Law or any Science classes. C-Print would be benefit me more because there are many terminology that don't have signs for it and seeing the terminology in print would help put me in an equal footing in the learning process with my hearing peers.

I want to give my 2-thumbs up to C-Print and encourage people to consider a career in C-Print.

An excellent website to refer others to a captioning career is National Court Reporters Association: Serving the Court Reporting and Captioning Professions.

Genuine Response.

I send out many e-mails to different companies and e-mail addresses about my advocacy for captions on their online videos. For the first time, I've received a genuine on below.

Subject: Re: Comment
From:"Movie Trailers" ""
To: ""

Hi Sonny,

You are right we don't have any captioned trailers at present but it is something we want to change.

Our team has been proactive in the past in reaching out to the studios requesting the assets necessary to caption trailers. The studios have yet to deliver the assets we need like timecoded text. All have been interested in offering this ability, but somehow it just doesn't get delivered.

We inquire about their progress from time to time but it appears the process is not one that they know how to incorporate into their workflow. The trailers we receive are not closed captioned but if they were, we would not have a process to open the captioning and make it deliverable for the web.

We do not know if the trailers that they deliver for television are captioned by the studio, or if they have a third party add this to the trailer afterwards. This is why we ask for the dialog in text form.

Access to trailer dialog by the deaf and hearing impaired is something the movie trailers team would like to offer as an open caption option. Not only would this be good for the deaf and hearing impaired, but it would help the young and English language challenged. QuickTime has a process of allowing text to be added to the media and we have previously offered open
captioning on product commercials via the website.

The Movie Trailers Team is committed to trying to offer trailers that are captioned and hope our continued persistence delivers results.

We will not give up and appreciate your email.

-Movie Trailers Team

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Please take a look back at a post, 'Feedback Links Provided', I've made earlier in the year.

I want to remind everybody that we, as an advocate, cannot let our guard down for a day. We must keep on sending letters, e-mails, blog, and talk among our family and friends about our cause in the field of captioning, interpreting, education, and more.

My e-mail of the day went to I asked them to provide captions on the trailers that they have on their site so it will give me a clear decision of which movies I'd like to watch at the theaters or through Netflix.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Parents and the family.

I'm a big believer in the power of the family. I'm also a believer in the ancient African proverb - "it takes a village to raise a child." For a deaf child to suceed in life, I believe s/he requires both family and the village to be involved.

A solution to a dilemma came to me while working at Georgia School for the Deaf. We, as a village (deaf community) must take up the responsiblity to empower the family of the deaf child with his/her natural language. American Sign Language (ASL) must be used around the deaf child at all times. I've seen too many parents and family members that don't sign or sign at all times around the child. The child loses valuable information from daily activities that s/he goes through with the family that will later contribute to the child's future.

If you're a believer in the power of the family and a believer in the ancient African proverb then please take it up to yourself to educate the parents and the family of the deaf child that they must learn ASL and sign at all times around him/her.

The rewards of the parents and the family using ASL around the child will be seen as the child grows up to be intelligent, mature, and successful anywhere and anytime s/he may be in life.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

New Additions...

I've added a new feature "Contact Lawmakers" on the right side of this blog. It's a wonderful tool that puts us few clicks away from sending out letters to our lawmakers to begin making changes for us. The changes begin within us hence the quote on top of this blog - to promote self-advocacy for the Deaf, by the Deaf.

I would also like to welcome Bradley Porche and his new blog site as an emerging Deaf Advocate for the emerging technology. He has typed up a great letter to the FCC to have them to mandate captioning on the Internet.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Urgent: Concerning Idaho School f/t Deaf & Blind.

Subject: New Legislation to Close ISDB By July 1, 2008
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2006
From: Maynard, Wes J. - Council for Deaf and Hard of Hearing -
To: Anyone Interested in Deaf/HOH Education

Three legislators have written a Bill to close ISDB by July 1, 2008 and mainstream all the students into regional day programs. The legislators behind the Bill are Representatives Henbest, Skippen, and Senator Lodge. It is called House Bill 821. See for the full print of the Bill.

The Bill goes up for debate in the House Education Committee next Tuesday, the 21st at 8:00 a.m. in the Gold Room on the 4th floor of the Capitol building.

This Bill is a surprise to many people because the State Board of Education has been planning to appoint a Work Group of experts to explore issues regarding deaf and hard of hearing education, and to work with those experts to make sure they address all the details. However, individual legislators have the ability to introduce any Bill they want at any time during the legislative session.

This is why it is important that you come and testify to make your views known. Any citizen is allowed to come and testify next Tuesday. Whether you agree or disagree with it, the legislature won't know unless you tell them your opinions.

The Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is currently forming an official position on this issue and I will be testifying on Tuesday.

This is a Summary of What the Bill Says:

1. To be in full force and effect on July 1, 2008.

2. Close the school in Gooding and sell the property.

3. Mainstream all the students to five non-residential regional day programs within these areas: (1) Kootenai or Bonner County; (2) Nez Perce or Latah County; (3) Ada or Canyon County; (4) Twin Falls, Gooding, Jerome, Minidoka or Cassia County; (5) Bingham County.

4. Each of these five regions would have a "host" school district that would coordinate services and transportation with surrounding school distrcits.

5. The State Department of Education would annually distribute to the districts $50,000 per student, based on average daily attendance.

6. The educational services to be offered at each of these programs for deaf/hoh students would include, but are not limited to:

-auditory/oral program for pre-kindergarten through 1st grade
-a sign language based program for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade
-speech and language therapy services

7. The State would maintain a small Administrative agency in Boise to coordinate with and consult local districts on deaf/hoh educational issues. It would be called the "Division of Deaf and Blind Education" instead of ISDB. The Outreach program would report to this new agency, not the local school districts.



Wes Maynard, MBA, CI/CT
Executive Director
Council for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing
1720 Westgate Drive, Suite A
Boise, ID 83704
208.334.0879 voice/videophone
208.334.0952 fax
208.334.0803 tty

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


The advocacy that I bring on this blog is all me. My feelings, thoughts, and wishes...the three things that I feel strongly about for our needs as a deaf individual are captioning, interpreting, and American Sign Language (ASL).

I'm open to feedback, ideas, suggestions, or even interviews. A while back an old classmate of mine from Gallaudet whom graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) posted a comment on my blog urging me and others to go over to Wikipedia to help to contribute to the term of Audism. In short, Audism is a term referring to a situation whereas a deaf or hearing person makes another deaf or hard of hearing person feel inferior.

I have not blogged about Audism in the past because I've felt that the solutions to Audism is really only presentable to places where the Deaf people are the majority and there aren't many places like that. To name few places, would be the Deaf schools across America. This is something that Deaf schools should address and put a stop to Audism. As for places outside of Deaf schools or places where the Deaf people are the majority, solutions are not able to be presented. Hence, one of my three main advocacy issues is to put ASL in high schools nationwide, by learning ASL people will learn about our deaf culture and adversaries.

I experience Audism on a daily basis and I would love to see Audism being eradicated. The best defense to Audism is to spread awareness about it.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Interview with

Many thanks to Bob Sullivan of - he has written an brilliant article on 'Net Video Leaves the Deaf Behind'. It was a great honor to be interviewed for my input on his article. I hope there will be more articles similar to this on other websites such as AOL, CNN, and BBC.

Many of you may not know that this is my second interview on a national media outlet. Here's a 'copy and paste' of my first interview by Wall Street Journal Online ( four years ago.

Deaf Adopt Text-Messaging As a Means to Communicate


Before he started using wireless-messaging services, Sonny Wasilowski, who is deaf, felt like he was tethered to his computer -- constantly booting up to check and re-check his e-mail to keep up with friends and family. Even routine conversations, such as making plans to meet friends at a bar or getting picked up at the airport, were frustratingly time consuming.

Now, the 21-year-old Gallaudet University student says his two-way pager has helped him cut the cord; so much so that he almost never puts it down. One exception: "My fiancee does not allow me to use it at all while driving."

Wireless paging has become nearly as ubiquitous for the roughly 30 million people with hearing loss in the U.S. as cellphones are for the hearing population, its adherents say. Pagers, from such companies as Research in Motion Ltd. and T-Mobile, and text-messaging services via cellphone allow the deaf to communicate with family, friends and co-workers in the same fashion as their hearing counterparts.

Demand for text-messaging services among the deaf is soaring as the technology revolutionizes the way the hard of hearing communicate. Their enthusiasm also comes at the same time when demand for wireless data services in the general population is weak, and ever-lower prices can be a big draw for the deaf. But the services still aren't cheap and some deaf users would like to see greater coordination with emergency and other assistive-listening devices as teletypewriter phones (TTY).

About three years ago, pagers became widely available at a relatively low cost, and the tide had turned, says Judy Harkins, director of the technology access program at Gallaudet. "Pagers filled a need for mobile communication and the deaf community became hooked," she says.

At Gallaudet, the nation's only liberal-arts university for the deaf, a wireless pager is a must. Thumbs fly in classrooms as students send flurries of messages across campus, observers say. "If you don't have a pager, you're considered behind in the culture," Mr. Wasilowski says.

The deaf have long had access to TTY phones, which haven't translated very well to the wireless world. Newer cellphones don't always have the proper adapters to hook into a TTY phone, and digital cellphone service interferes with hearing aids. Moreover, spotty cellphone service -- an annoyance even for people with good hearing -- often garbles sound.

Wireless pagers, on the other hand, free a hard-of-hearing person from the bulky equipment that accompanies a TTY phone and the cords connecting them. Users of pagers from companies that cater to the deaf, such as Wynd Communications, a unit of GoAmerica Inc., can send text messages through a relay operator to someone on the phone or who is using a TTY.

Using the pager alone delivers greater independence; when talking on a text telephone, both parties must wait for a relay operator to tell the other party what the deaf person is saying, and then key in replies.

"It's like walking around with a text telephone," says Andy Imperato, president of the American Association for People with Disabilities, about pagers, which have "opened up avenues of instant communication."

Louis Schwarz, who is deaf, is a certified financial planner in Silver Spring, Md. When he started his business in 1983, Mr. Schwarz says he worked hard to educate financial institutions about how to use the relay-telephone service, which was slow and cumbersome.


Many deaf people choose to buy wireless services through companies that cater exclusively to the hearing impaired because they offer better deals for people who send lots of data. Here's how some services stack up:

WyndTell Wynd Communications, a unit of GoAmerica Inc., Hackensack, N.J. www.wynd.com1 * $39.95 a month for unlimited characters sent or received each month, unlimited e-mail * RIM 850 pager free ($399 retail value) with one-year contract

DeafWireless Subsidiary of Boundless Depot, Las Vegas www.deafwireless.com2 * Standard plan: $19.95 a month for 150,000 characters; 10 cents for every 100 characters over the limit * Power plan: $39.99 a month for unlimited use * RIM 850 pager free with two-year contract, or $69.95 with one-year contract

Now, Mr. Schwarz uses a two-way pager called SideKick through wireless operator T-Mobile. His service includes unlimited Web browsing, instant messaging, e-mail and phone services. The device also doubles as a digital camera.

"It keeps me in touch with my clients at all times and they feel more assured knowing that I'm doing services for them," Mr. Schwarz says.

To be sure, the devices don't always meet all their needs. Many users rely on their pagers to relay information in emergency situations, but users still can't send text messages to 911 emergency services.

And though pagers remove operators from the equation, conversations still don't have the ease or immediacy of discussions between hearing people, says Jim House, director of member services and public relations for Telecommunications for the Deaf Inc., in Silver Spring, Md., a group that promotes distribution of technology for the deaf. "It is not real-time, meaning you have to wait for a response, not like the back-and-forth banter hearing people enjoy on the phone," Mr. House says.

The cost also can be prohibitively expensive. Mr. Wasilowski says many of his friends have stopped heavily using their pagers as they move out of college and into the work force.

But many employers of those with hearing loss find they're an easy way to make the workplace accessible. "Pagers serve as the functional equivalent of what a hearing person needs to access messages when away from the office," says Daniel Luis, president and chief operating officer of GoAmerica, adding that hundreds of companies and the federal government have tapped them for this purpose.

Although the deaf population remains a niche market, some companies are catching on to the potential it could deliver as the technology continues to spread. As a whole, the disabled community has $175 billion in discretionary spending and $1 trillion in income, according to management-consulting firm Booz, Allen & Hamilton in Washington.

Verizon Wireless, for example, made its network and handsets TTY compatible, but also understands that text-messaging is a compelling product for the deaf, says spokesman Brian Wood. Although the company doesn't know how many customers using its services are hard of hearing, Verizon plans to make improvements sometime next year to its customer-service call centers so that it can better serve the needs of its deaf customers.

Also still to come are some standards and etiquette for using the pagers -- not too far from what's needed for cellphones, observers say. Tom Walsh, a marketing manager for Advanced Bionics in Sylmar, Calif., which makes cochlear implants for the deaf, reported watching attendees at a recent conference reaching into their bags and pockets to grab buzzing pagers, and punching back replies during seminars.

But restricting their use might be a tough sell at Gallaudet.

"They could try, but I don't think they will," Mr. Wasilowski said, laughing at the prospect of a university policy to curtail pager use during classes. "It would cause chaos."

Write to Stacy Forster at stacy.forster@wsj.com3

URL for this article:,,SB1037129766286676268.djm,00.html

Thursday, March 02, 2006

ASL Meetups

American Sign Language (ASL) is my passion and its my desire to see everybody to have at least basic knowledge of ASL. It would be a blessing someday to see schools nearly everywhere offering ASL classes. For the time being, I've discovered this website a while ago and I want to share this with you all and you can set up ASL meetups in your community to learn, teach, and enjoy the privilege of using ASL in jokes, stories, converstations and more...

Here's the site - - go there and set up a free account and say you're either interested or would like to start an ASL meetups. I've just registered and I would love to participate in an ASL meetup in my area if someone comes forward but if not, that's okay, I will start it in the summer when I'm off from teaching my little kids at school.