12 February 2015

Reminder: ASL is a Real, Live Language. We Promise.

In New York City, every time there is a severe weather announcement, the mayor gives a press conference with an ASL interpreter beside him. Immediately thereafter, the lowlier news outlets write condescending posts about the interpreter's strange, wild, or over-the-top expressive signing. [Note: Chances are, you've seen or heard about these kinds of news stories before--remember the collective conniption the media had over Lydia Callis and her interpreting during Hurricane Sandy ? There are many others, more recent than that, too. I won't do these media outlets justice by linking back to their posts here, though if you're so inclined, you'll find the links in some pointed tweets at several culpable news agencies.]

These news stories are problematic for several reasons:

08 February 2015

Repost: Signs of Segregation-- Linguistic Differences in Black ASL

With schools and communities long segregated in the US, American Sign Language developed differently amongst racial groups. A look at "mainstream" and Black ASL shows stark differences in certain vocabulary, at once serving as a painful reminder of our segregated past, and bolstering the linguistic truth of ASL as a living, evolving language, rather than a set of gestures or a manual code for English. Read about it on The Washington Post's blog.

26 January 2015

Emergency Information Regarding Winter Storm Juno in ASL and Subtitled

If you live in or around the New York City area and need information about travel, school closings, or other issues pertaining to the storm and the state of emergency, visit Notify NYC for links to videos in ASL (with English subtitles.)

For example, here's a video on who to contact about school closure questions:

22 December 2014

Happy Holidays from Redeafined

Give your child the gift of good grammar this Holiday season.Here are two versions of the famous "Twas the Night Before Christmas" in ASL:




17 December 2014

Repost: When Inclusion Gets in the Way of Education

In a post from her blog That Crazy Crippled Chick, Cara Liebowitz tells of her experiences in the mainstream and what happens when inclusion comes at the price of an actual education.

Back in high school, I habitually missed class. Not because I wanted to, mind you, but because my bus was always late. I took the short bus, the butt of immature teen jokes everywhere.

24 October 2014

Information about Ebola in ASL

Need some information about Ebola and its transmission? Here's an ASL interpreted video from the Mayor's press conference in NYC on Friday:

26 September 2014

Deaf Students Rally for Opportunity to Serve in Military


Students at the North Carolina School for the Deaf traveled to Washington DC earlier this month in an attempt to draw attention to the fact that the deaf and hard-of-hearing are not allowed to serve in the military. While safety concerns are often noted as the reason behind the rule, students were confident they'd be a good fit for several kinds of non-combat roles. You can see more images from their trip here.

11 August 2014

Deafness and Mental Health

Having heard about the sudden death of Robin Williams this evening (likely the result of depression and suicide) I wanted to put out some information on deafness and mental health I've been meaning to post for quite some time.

The fact of the matter is that deaf people statistically have more mental health issues and less access to care than the general population. The reasons for this are relatively simple--deaf people are more likely to experience isolation, even within their family unit, if friends and family members don't make an effort to facilitate communication. The US News & World Report says children who cannot make themselves understood within their family are four times more likely to have mental health problems. To learn more about communicating with a deaf family member, read one mom's perspective here.


30 June 2014

Short Story with a Deaf Protagonist

Looking for some beach reading? Our founding editor's got a short story (with a Deaf narrator) in this issue of the Massachusetts Review:

       Everything that moves makes a sound, my mother told me once.  It was her response to a firestorm of test-cases, me running around our house pointing and saying, How about that? How about that?
      Everything, she said.
      Of course there are the obvious examples: feet stomping, drawers shutting, vibrations I can feel. But with other things — the ceiling fan, the flicking of switches and igniting of bulbs — I’m not so sure. 
[Read the rest for free here >]

21 June 2014

Guest Post: Captioning and Equal Access to Entertainment

Editor's Note: Technology has increased accessibility for deaf and hard-of-hearing people in many facets of society--innovations like text messaging and video relay have changed the speed and efficacy with which Deaf people can access mainstream society. Seems funny, then, that procuring reliable closed captions has been such an ongoing struggle. Often hearing people think automatic, mechanized captions are "good enough," but anyone who's tried to watch a YouTube video knows differently. Below, Tammy Nam writes on the problems with automated captions and Viki's team-up with Marlee Matlin to secure reliable captioning for everyone. 
[Photo: A screenshot of a YouTube video with a major automated caption fail] 

01 May 2014

Ableism Hurts

Would a pill to "cure" homosexuality set your teeth on edge? Then why aren't you worried about the infringements on the right to be Deaf? Or efforts to strong-arm autistic people to "just be normal"?

Autism Awareness Month has ended, but founding editor Sara Nović wonders whose awareness was really raised, and why people with disabilities continue to see their voices marginalized.

Read it on Blunderbuss>

29 April 2014

Archive: Major League Deafies--The Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing in Baseball

It's baseball season again, everybody. Check out this post from 2012 about the long tradition of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing players who helped shape the great American game.


Deaf MLB outfielder William Hoy is said
to be the first person in the majors ever
to hit a grand slam.
Baseball season is in full swing, and, with a win for the Seahawks and the first deaf offensive player in the Superbowl rearview, we thought we'd take a look back at some of the other deaf professional athletes through the years.  It's somewhat widely known that the quarterback of the 1894 Gallaudet football team was responsible for the invention of the huddle, but deaf players are also credited for the hand signals used by umpires today that signify whether a pitch was a ball or strike, whether a runner is safe or out, as well as the signals used between pitchers and catchers used to decide what type of ball to throw. Here are some deaf players who made the big leagues: