Thursday, October 26, 2006

Look Back At 2001 Transcript of Dr. Fernandes.

After reading this heartfelt letter;
We have not spoken out because there has been no reason to bring in the deaths of Eric and Benjamin Varner into the picture. But since this door has opened by you or by the university/Jane Fernandes, we are speaking out now to set the record straight. It is a door that we truly never wished to have seen opened in the first place.
I went through the archives of the to see in a different light of what happened back then during Mesa's reign of terror. I found a Live Online Discussion of Dr. Fernandes dated February 7th, 2001, a few days after the second murder. Rather than posting a critique of Dr. Fernandes responses to the questions. I'll allow you to read and make your own judgment.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Unsubscribed from Time Magazine.

Upon reading this article online "When Silence Isn't Golden" by John Cloud from Time magazine on the Gallaudet crisis. I immediately shot back with a letter to the editor.

I am shocked, beyond shocked! How can an accomplished magazine, Time, do an article this terrible?! Then it dawned to me that perhaps all of your articles are a bunch of bull and hogwash all along. I am ashamed to have read your magazine in the past and recommended it to others. I will no longer subscribe to Time and will recommend others to drop Time as well until a follow-up article has been published with an accurate article of how the administration is destroying Gallaudet University.

Sonny Wasilowski
St. Paul, MN

Wall Street Journal Online: Gives Us A Boost.

I have received permission from the writer to post his article on this blog. This online edition of Wall Street Journal gives us major exposure to all the VIPs of small, medium, and large companies on the demand of online captioning.

Deaf Web Users Fear Being Left Behind
As TV Shows Stream Onto the Internet

October 25, 2006

The Internet has been a boon to deaf computer users, giving them easy access to a wide variety of information and breaking down communication barriers. But many of those users feel left behind by one of the Internet's fastest-growing segments: online video.

Though television networks and movie studios are rapidly expanding into Internet distribution, few online videos offer the closed captioning that companies are required by law to offer to TV viewers. The major networks provide full-length episodes of some of their most popular shows on the Web, including hits like "Lost" and "Survivor," but none of them include captions. Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes store sells downloads of more than 200 TV shows, but doesn't offer versions with captions, and the company's popular iPod player doesn't support them.

The absence of online captions has emerged as a hot topic in the deaf community. The media providers say they are held back by technological hurdles, and point out that online distribution of TV content is still in its infancy. But advocates for the deaf and hard of hearing say the lack of captions is a slight, since most programs have already been transcribed to comply with Federal Communications Commission rules. They are pushing to update government regulations to cover the Internet.

"It's like history repeating itself from TV to Internet," said Jim House, a spokesman for Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Inc., a Silver Spring, Md., deaf advocacy group. Groups lobbied networks to caption shows starting in the 1980s, he said. Regulations put in place in the 1990s by the FCC and Congress required TV manufacturers to make sets compatible with closed-captioning signals, and set a timetable for networks to include captions with their broadcasts. While captions are now common on U.S. broadcasts, it wasn't until January of this year that they became mandatory for all English-language programs produced since 1998.

"I'm hoping we do not have to wait another 25 years" to bring captioning to Internet video, Mr. House said.

The FCC rules that require TV shows to include captions don't apply to online programs (one exception1 requires federal agencies to caption speeches and other videos they provide online). Some groups, including the National Association for the Deaf, are lobbying lawmakers to expand the captioning requirements in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to include the Internet.

According to the National Institutes of Health, between 500,000 and 750,000 people in the U.S. are "profoundly" deaf, and 32.5 million American adults have some degree of hearing loss. The numbers are expected to increase as the population grows older.

"We shouldn't have to be legislating this anymore," said Rosaline Crawford, an attorney with the National Association for the Deaf, a nonprofit advocacy group based in Maryland. "If you've got captions on your program that's broadcast on TV, it can't be rocket science to take those captions and put them on the Internet."

There are technology constraints to online captioning that don't exist in TV broadcasts. For TV broadcasts, producers generally use outside companies to create captions for programs, which are then transmitted using a standard format that can be read by TV sets.

But on the Web, video is served up using a variety of popular software players, including Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Media Player, Apple's Quicktime, RealNetworks Inc.'s RealPlayer and Adobe Systems Inc.'s Flash Player. All of the players are capable of including captions with video, but each has a different -- and incompatible -- way of handling them. "It's fabulously complicated to translate TV captions into online formats," said Joe Clark, an accessibility consultant who has extensively studied closed captioning, and writes about it on his Web site2.

Still, Mr. Clark is critical of slow progress networks are making with online captioning. One problem, he said, is that large media companies often have different divisions handling broadcast and online distribution, so captions can get lost in the shuffle. He said he believes TV networks are underestimating demand for online captions.

Representatives at ABC and NBC said the networks are looking into online captioning, but declined to provide details. Fox and CBS said they have no plans to caption the Web versions of their entertainment programs. But, which serves up a live, online version of "CBS Evenings News with Katie Couric," is in talks with a company to provide online captioning, said Michael Sims, director of news and operations for the site. "We have been working to determine what the best standard to do this is," he said. "We're in the meeting stage."

An Apple spokesman said the company's iTunes store and iPod media players don't support closed-captioning, but said the next version of the company's Macintosh operating system will make it easier for its QuickTime video software to integrate closed-captioning text.

"The Internet has traditionally been a place where I could, as a deaf person, go and get equal access to information," said Jared Evans, a 32-year-old software developer in San Diego. "The vast majority of content on the Internet has been text and images which you don't need hearing abilities in order to understand the content."

Mr. Evans said the boom in online video has been "a step backward" for deaf users: While material is easier to access, the lack of captioning makes it less useful than traditional TV broadcasts. "These same companies already have decades of experience in adding captions to content on TV, but are opting to not do the same with their online content."

Joseph Santini, a 28-year-old social worker in New York who is deaf, was excited when Apple released a version of its iPod player capable of playing videos. "The only time I have for watching TV, like many others these days, is on the subway," said Mr. Santini. But he was disappointed to learn that the TV shows for sale on iTunes didn't carry captions. "Entertainment aside, what about my future employment prospects? How long before it becomes standard to get all news, information about the city, on video-capable devices? I see this coming, I want to be part of the future."

A few companies have taken some steps to offer captions for online video. In July, Time Warner Inc.'s AOL began offering captions for some CNN newscasts. Working with captioners at WGBH, a Boston public broadcasting station, AOL serves up about 20 captioned stories a day, said Tom Wlodkowski, AOL's director of accessibility. CNN doesn't offer captioning for clips on

Google Video in September began letting users submit captions with their videos. The captions can be toggled on and off by viewers by hitting a "CC" button while the video is playing in Google's custom software. Although the site's selection of captioned videos is small, Google Inc. now asks major content providers to include captions whenever possible, said Ken Harrenstien, a deaf software engineer at Google who helped develop the feature. "It's not so much that it's a technical issue," he said. "More a process of consciousness-raising.

Write to Andrew LaVallee at andrew.lavallee@wsj.com3

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

We Stepped Up, Not Dr. Fernandes.

Below is an e-mail that I've sent to Craig Plunkett after I read his article on September October 22nd issue of the Washington Post.


Dear Craig,

My name is Sonny Wasilowski. I knew your son, Eric. He and I are proud graduates of Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf. I was there as a student at Gallaudet when he was murdered. Every year on September 28, I think of him and talk about him to others that know him. I love and miss him dearly.

I am writing to you in response to your article in the Sunday’s issue of the Washington Post paper. I read it as I was heading back to Minnesota from Washington, DC to give my support to the people involved with the protest. The people that you have called them, radicals, have stunned me because you have not only described me as one but also your son, Eric, as one. If Eric was alive today, I know he would have been with us asking for Dr. Fernandes’ resignation so that the presidential search may be re-opened and that there will be no reprisals to the people involved in the protest.

During Mesa’s reign of terror, the faculty, staff, and students stepped up, not Dr. Fernandes. Did you know, it was a small group of students including myself from Minnesota led by a staff, Deb Skjeveland, not Dr. Fernandes, that founded the scholarship in Eric’s name? Did you know that the majority of the people on campus knew it was someone within us that carried out the murder of Eric but Dr. Fernandes cried to us and the media that the murderer came from outside? Did you know that the murders would have never occurred, if had Dr. Fernandes expelled Mesa from MSSD for multiple thefts? I hold Dr. Fernandes accountable for the murders, not as one who stepped up for Gallaudet.

The protest is not led by mere 10 percent of the student body, as you believe. The numbers are much larger and it is essential to recognize that the faculty, staff, alumni, and parents are very much involved in this. Please take the time to educate yourself of the protest at This protest is not about Dr. Fernandes not being “deaf enough.” It is about her failures of leadership and loss of support from the campus community.

I hope you and your family will reconsider the endorsement you have given to Dr. Fernandes to be the next president of Gallaudet.

Sonny Wasilowski

PS – In the future, please refrain from offensive comments regarding the intelligence of the faculty, staff, students, alumni, and parents that they will not remember their past presidents and what it takes to run a university or how a university president is chosen. We are in this protest because we do know our past presidents and know how a university president is chosen or what it takes to run a university.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Bring Your Tent...

Yesterday at Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf in Faribault...I attended their football game against Missouri School for the Deaf. The game ended with the score of 66-0 with Minnesota winning their conference title, Great Plains School for the Deaf (GPSD) composed of Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, and Missouri. Minnesota girls won their GPSD volleyball title over the weekend at Council Bluffs, IA. Go Minnesota!

On a spur of a moment as I drove to the game, I decided to make a stop at my brother's home. I picked up a tent and lawn chairs as a symbol for the people at the game to think and talk about the crisis at Gallaudet University.

To view pictures of the game and the tent with its lawn chairs in the background, head on over to Lisa's blog.

Next time, you head over to a football game, bring your tent and lawn chairs. Take pictures and post it up on your or your friend's blog. Consider this a mini-Tent City of the Tent Cities popping up across America and the globe.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Information From Police On Last Night.

Connecting to relay center...

Session started at 11:09pm on Friday, October 13, 2006

Hello! CA14339Male





Sargent Echols Institute of Police Science GA

Hello there... this is Sonny... I am calling concerning about the incoming deaf students at your station.. i have been hearing that you guys have no interpreters.. could you please explain the situation over there to me? GA

The situation is under control, we have 5 intrepretors on site and we have 3 more on standby, and we have allready began processing the arrestees and thus far we have processed 45 of the expected 80, many of which have paid out or ellect to forfit GA

How much are they to paid and how long is the processing fee... are the any other interpreter such as tactile intepreters and are the students getting their pagers back for the vital communication pruposes? GA

pagers yes, interpretors yes, payout for the charge is 50 dollars cash GA

will this go on the students records? GA

yes, most defiently... GA

will the students have to go to court eventually or this is just it? GA

if they pay out... they do not have to go to court if they ellect to forfit they will have to go to court... if they pay out there will be an arrest record but no conviction... if they ellect to forfit they will have to go to court and risk conviction, because they will be prosicuted during the elect to forfit process GA

many thanks for all the information.. you have been helpful... one final question.. suppose the students and people pay $50 and return to gallaudet and stand in the lines... will they be repeatedly arrested or not? GA

good questions if they return to gallaudet and continue thier course of action... they will be re-arrested and charged... and will not be allowed to ellect to forfit or pay out therefor they will be taken to central cell block and processed through the regular criminal process GA

many thanks for all your time.. this information is crucial to all of us to have this to be peaceful as possible.. have a good evening.. bye ga to sksk SK

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Register To Vote!

There are 26 days remaining until election day on November 7th.

To vote is your privilege as a citizen of this country. Anytime you send out an e-mail or a letter to a politician, you should always start or end with, "I am a registered voter."

Register To Vote!
Join The Republican Party
Join The Democratic Party

Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.
-Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Feeling Inspired? Inspire Others Now!

I felt inspired when I was at the Minnesota rally for Gallaudet in St. Paul by GUAA Minnesota Chapter.

The very next thing was that I wanted my fellow Georgians to be inspired by this rally for Gallaudet. I sent off an long e-mail with tidbits of information, explanation, blogs, and vlogs. I also paged people with this same information. Within 48 hours, two flags have popped up in Georgia! I am proud of you Georgia.

As I go through the map of Tent Cities...there are currently 19 cities in 14 states (not including DC). I urge you with connections to other states to encourage and promote the rallies of Tent Cities to be founded in the remaining 36 states. Then we can truly say, "Unity for Gallaudet!"

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Gallaudet Protests Impacts Online Captioning.

For the critics that say no good can come out of the Gallaudet protests have to look at the bigger picture here.

People of all sorts are being sucked in this crisis at Gallaudet and tens of Tent Cities are flourishing around America and even in Denmark along with our neighbor, Canada. People are being exposed to current issues and difficulties that we approach in everyday life.

I was thrilled to find that Washington Post online has a video of the Gallaudet crisis alongside with their article on Gallaudet and this video has captions! This proves that all along the media can do this and WE NEED to contact Washington Post online and thank them for this and ask them to continue this online captioning for all videos posted on their website. Hopefully other media outlets will follow suit.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Mail Me Your Art.

Regarding to the events at Gallaudet University.

Nowadays we are at an era where not only a picture is equivalent to ten thousand words but a video is equivalent to a million words.

But we must remain true to our society's roots - ART. Art has and always will be highly valued more than the written word, typed word, pictures, and videos.

I urge everyone to create any form of art regarding your feelings, views, and events at Gallaudet and mail it to me and I will post them all on this blog. I will see to it that one day it will be displayed at Gallaudet's art gallery after the whole protest that the presidential search must be re-opened and there must be no reprisals for the faculty, staff, students, and alumni involved since May, 2006.

Mail your art work to:

Sonny James
1575 Laurel Ave
Apt. Basement
St. Paul, MN 55104-7494