08 July 2015

Sign Language Interpretation at 2015 Edinburgh Book Festival

Editor's Note: True, I've got a vested interest in the Edinburgh Book Festival. I'll be there, talking about my book, Girl at War. But aside from my personal excitement about these events, I also find it remarkable that the festival coordinators are working so hard to make this week--one of the biggest book festivals in the world--so accessible to Deaf readers. I can't think of a comparable effort made here in the States, so if you're a UK Deafie, I'd urge you to put in a request for interpreters for your favorite authors' events, and spread the word!


23 June 2015

THE TRIBE is Not a "Deaf Movie": An Interview with Yana Novikova

Deaf interpreter Maleni Chaitoo, Editor
Sara Novic, and actress Yana Novikova
From vice.com:
When I first heard that The Tribe had been sweeping awards at festivals worldwide, I was skeptical. The film, written and directed by Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy, is set in a Ukrainian boarding school for the deaf and made exclusively in Ukrainian Sign Language (USL). I was intrigued, but assumed people's excitement had more to do with the novelty of sign language than any merit of the actual film. I expected remarks on how "inspiring" it is to see deaf people acting, the way hearing people often declare themselves inspired when a deaf person does something they deem "normal." 

Then I watched the film. Read more on Vice.com >

25 May 2015

From the Editor: What it's like to be a Deaf novelist

My first novel has recently become an audiobook to which I will not listen. The characters have been assigned voices and accents and inflections that I’ll never hear. This is not a complaint, exactly; to have written a book that someone wants to publish in any and all formats is a writer’s dream. But to hold some disc or drive that contains a thing I made, transformed into a new thing I can no longer understand, is a predicament in which few writers find themselves.
This disconnect will appear with increasing frequency as I embark on a series of literary events following the launch of my novel. As an audience member I have been to my share of readings in New York. I go because I am in love with books; I go to be with my friends. But even as a spectator they require a lot of concentration, and sometimes when I’ve worked myself into a cross-eyed headache I turn off my hearing aids and dip below the surface of the sound, let myself drift in the quiet. At my own events I won’t have the choice to opt out.

Read the rest on The Guardian >

27 March 2015

Raise your Voice: Accessibility and Travel Study

Researchers at the College of Brockport (a SUNY school) need your help--they're conducting a study on accessibility in travel and tourism industries (hotels, etc.) and would love your input. You can share your experiences, opinions, and ideas using this survey: http://www.gumus.com/survey/

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.