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E-Michigan Deaf and Hard of Hearing People.

News 2007

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News and Sports in ASL- FREE

NetSignNews (www.NetSignNews.com) announced that access to the news program will now be FREE to all viewers. The expanded format will continue to report International, National, and Community news and information from AP and UPI, plus Sports and Weather for people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in ASL with voice-over narration. Look for more exciting changes over the next few weeks as they improve the look of the web site and add more features and functions. See www.NetSignNews.com every day for the latest news and information in ASL.


In-flight Captioning Announced

LAKE FOREST, California – 29 October 2007 - Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic), a leading global provider of in-flight entertainment (IFE) and communications systems, today announced the closed captioning and subtitle functionality for its prestigious eX2 products. The user-selectable closed captioning/subtitles (CC/ST) is integrated into the eX2 media specification to the allow deaf and people who are hard of hearing to enjoy IFE on aircraft just as they enjoy TV entertainment at home.

To learn more, click here to read the full press release:


NAD Co-Sponsors Presidential Candidates Forum:
A National Forum on Equality, Opportunity, and Access

A News Release from the National Association of the Deaf

October 26, 2007

Contact:
Anita B. Farb
Director, Communications and Operations
National Association of the Deaf
www.nad.org/contactus

Silver Spring, MD - The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is pleased to co-sponsor, "Presidential Candidates Forum: A National Forum on Equality, Opportunity, and Access" in Manchester, NH on Friday, November 2, 2007 at the Radisson Hotel Ballroom Center of New Hampshire, from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. Co-sponsorship of this event by the NAD is made possible through the support of Hands On Video Relay Service (Hands On VRS), a prominent and growing provider of video relay services and community interpreting for deaf and hard of hearing individuals.

Hands On VRS will live webcast the entire event for free at www.HOVRS.com beginning at 8:30 a.m. EST on November 2. The webcast will be captioned and will show a sign language interpreter. It will also be available as an archived file on the Hands On VRS web site following the event and can be downloaded for free.

The forum will feature live appearances by the presidential candidates and an audience of over 500 New Hampshire voters with disabilities, their families, and their friends. During the forum, each candidate will have an opportunity to present his or her vision for the future of national disability policy and receive questions from the audience through a moderator. Lunchtime keynote addresses from key Democratic and Republican leadership are also planned.

National leaders from the disability community will also be in attendance, including civil rights advocates Ted Kennedy Jr., Tony Coelho, and Cheryl Sensenbrenner. Deaf community representatives who will be attending include Cathy Minch, President of the New Hampshire Association of the Deaf, and Susan Wolf-Downes, Director of Northeast Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services. The NAD encourages affiliates and other organizations to host viewing events in their communities.

Click here to download the Webcast Evite (PDF).

National Sponsors:
AARP
ADA Watch
ADAPT
American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)
Easter Seals
Epilepsy Foundation
National Association of the Deaf (NAD)
National Coalition on Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Organizations
National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)
National Spinal Cord Injury Association (NSCIA)
New England Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America (NEPVA)
Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA)
Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE)
Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI)
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP)
United Spinal Association
VSA arts

HOSTED BY:
Granite State Independent Living (GSIL)

Co-hosted by:
New Hampshire Developmental Disabilities Council (NH DDC)
New Hampshire Disabilities Rights Center (NH DRC)
New Hampshire Institute on Disability (NH IOD)
New Hampshire Spinal Cord Injury Association
People First of New Hampshire
TASH


Governor Granholm Endorses Historic Interpreter Bill

Historic Interpreter Bill Endorsed by Gonvernor

Governor Granholm, Senator Gleason and Represenative Spade and staff of DODHH

Contributed by Dragan Jaksic, Director of Community Outreach Education at CAC

In the presence of approximately 30 onlookers, Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm formalized the ratification of the so-called Interpreter Bill today at the State Capitol building. The bill, officially recognized as the Senate Bill 25 (under the Public Act 23) and House Bill 4208 (Public Act 24), was signed into legislation on June 29th and requires that all public service providers, upon request, furnish qualified sign language interpreters who are certified on a state or national level.

Said Granholm in her June 29th statement: “I’m pleased to sign legislation that sets universal standards of excellence for qualified interpreters and protects our citizens from unqualified practitioners.”

Among the persons present today were Chris Hunter, former Director of Division on Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DODHH), who spearheaded the ten-year effort to have the Deaf Persons’ Interpreter Act (Public Act 204 of 1982), because of its narrow scope, amended to its present version; State Senator John Gleason and State Representative Dudley Spade; members of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth; Michigan School for the Deaf State Administrative Manager David Sanderson, Principal Cecelia Winkler and its student representatives; and several community advocates for the rights of the disabled.

With the momentous signing of the bill, Michigan officially becomes one of only a few states to have a mandate for all of its current and future sign language interpreters to be state- or nationally- certified. The DODHH, the Michigan Department of Education, and the Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education are to regulate the progressions needed to meet the bill’s directive.


National Theatee of the Deaf Names Executive Director

Dr. Harvey J. Corson, Chairperson of the NTD Board of Trustees announced the appointment of Mr. Aaron Kubey as the new Executive Director/President of The National Theatre of the Deaf effective Monday, November 5, 2007.

Aaron Kubey is currently the Artistic Director of the New York Deaf Theatre in NYC. In addition, he is employed as a paralegal in the law firm, Mendes and Mount, LLP in New York City . He recently produced and directed Beyond Therapy, which was given a wonderful review by The New York Times. He has had the opportunity of working on numerous television, film, and theatrical productions over the course of his professional career.

Mr. Kubey is a 1994 graduate of the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD) at Gallaudet University in Washington , D.C. While at MSSD, he performed in the Road Show under the direction of Mr. Timothy McCarty and traveled to over 15 states, Puerto Rico, the Netherlands, and Belgium. In 2006, he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A) degree in Theatre Studies from the Theatre School, DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. A proud native of Chicago, Mr. Kubey was the first Deaf admitted student and graduate from this prestigious institution.

He worked with NTD's Los Angeles Little Theatre of the Deaf from 1995-1997. Over the years, he also worked with the Deaf West in Los Angeles and with the Centerlight Theatre in Chicago before joining the New York Deaf Theatre.

During Mr. Kubey's internship at the Seattle Children's Theatre/Deaf Youth Drama Program in Washington State in 2005, he was Assistant Director and Stage Manager. He participated in the Professional Theatre School in Chester, Connecticut, in 1995 under the auspices of The National Theatre of the Deaf.

Dr. Paul L.Winters has served as Executive Director for four years and has been associated with the NTD since 2001 when he became a Board member. He has kept the NTD alive and progressing while going through some difficult times, especially when the Federal funding source was abruptly discontinued. This similar situation was experienced by other Deaf theatre and arts organizations throughout the nation. He has led the retrenchment and reinvigoration of the NTD through a variety of challenges during this period.

The NTD really appreciates the interest and financial support from the State of Connecticut to continue its work during this critical time. The Board of Trustees wants to thank Paul for his untiring and dedicated efforts to strengthen the NTD as a theatrical organization and wishes Paul the best in the forthcoming retirement along with his wife and son.

This year, 2007, the NTD reaches its 40th anniversary year with many achievements to its credit. Above all, the NTD Deaf and Hearing actors/actresses, directors, and cast members have created a new dramatic art form. This art form presents with both signs and voices of beauty and power - one for the EYE and one for the EAR . This unique dual sensory style has expanded the boundaries of theatrical expression, enabling our performances to unfold in two languages - American Sign Language and spoken English - appealing to all audiences, Deaf and Hearing, everywhere around the world.

Through the magical art of theatre, The National Theatre of the Deaf has created a far-reaching and profound impact on society's perception of Deaf people, promoting increased awareness, respect, and empowerment.

Copyright C 2007 National Theater of the Deaf. All rights reserved


Important New Information from FDA on Cochlear Implants

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a new Advice for Patients (AFP) on meningitis and cochlear implants to emphasize the importance of vaccination in cochlear implant recipients. We have recently received new information that prompted our sending out this second AFP.

New Information on Meningitis Risk: * Two cochlear implant patients recently died from infections. Neither patient was fully vaccinated. One of these patients likely died because of the lack of vaccination. * A survey of parents of cochlear implanted children showed nearly half of them did not know whether their child’s vaccination status was up to date.

The link to the complete information in the AFP is:

http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/medicaldevicesafety/atp/101007-cochlear.html


New Board Members to Gallaudet

Six new members have been appointed to Gallaudet Univiersity's Board of Trustees. Named to the board are: Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera, Dr. Lawrence R. Fleischer, Jeffrey L. Humber, Jr., Dr. Richard Ladner, James R. Macfadden, and Marlee Matlin.

Click here to read the full press release.


AOL, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! Unite to Advance Online Media Captioning

From an October 4, 2007 Press Release

In an effort to overcome technology and production barriers, the leading providers of Web-based video have joined with media access pioneer WGBH/Boston to develop solutions that will increase the amount of online video accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

AOL, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! have asked WGBH and its Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) to establish and manage the Internet Captioning Forum (ICF). The ICF will initially address the technical challenges presented by online video repurposed from broadcast or other previously captioned sources, as well as video created specifically for the Web.

"More and more people are turning to the Internet to get their news, watch programs and other video," says WGBH's Director of Media Access, Larry Goldberg. "The scarcity of captions online is due to a variety of challenges, including a proliferation of media and text formats and players, editing of programs originally distributed with captions, and lack of clear online caption production and delivery requirements. The founding members of the ICF are all companies long dedicated to making their products and services accessible to people with disabilities. They recognize that working together on this challenge is the best, fastest and most practical way to get more captioned video on the Web."

The collaboration is expected to yield a range of solutions and tools, among them:

* A database for online media distributors, populated by major captioning providers, of previously captioned programs. This tool will facilitate the location and reuse of existing caption files.

* Technical and standards documents, case studies and best practices for accomplishing pervasive online video captioning.

* Demonstrations of innovative practices to preserve captions while editing and digitizing captioned videos.

In addition to the global audience of people who are deaf or hard of hearing, beneficiaries of the ICF's initiative also include people who rely on translation engines to convert caption text into other languages, people using online video in noisy situations or at work, and search engines that use caption text to search and retrieve online videos.

Cheryl Heppner, executive director of the Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons says, "The formation of the Internet Captioning Forum will become a milestone in the history of access to media. The community of people who are deaf or hard of hearing has worked for decades to achieve the access to television captioning we have now. The partnership of AOL, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! with WGBH promises to be a major step forward for accessible online video."


Deaf Celebration Day A Huge Success
Video Highlights Events

Tony LaPerna Jr. has put together a wonderful video that highlights the day's events at the Waterford Mall. Thanks to the Deaf C.A.N.! staff photographer Carol Jensen and Tony's creativity, we have a wonderful memory of the day. To view the short movie please go to: www.youtube.com and type in keyword "Deaf Celebration Day" or click on this link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4ZEHDTWlAU

Deaf Celebration Day is coordinated by:
DEAF C.A.N.!
2111 Orchard Lake Road #101
Sylvan Lake, MI 48320
(248) 332-3323 TTY or (248) 332-3331 Voice
(248) 332-7334 fax or www.deafcan.org


Hamilton Relay Sponsors New TDI Consumer Advocacy Training Program on Technology Access

For Immediate Release
September 28, 2007

Contact Information:
Claude L. Stout: info@tdi-online.org
Anne Girard: anne.girard@hamiltonrelay.com

Pilot Training Workshop in Development for Collaboration with Industry and Government

(Silver Spring, MD) September 28, 2007 - Hamilton Relay and TDI are pleased to announce the establishment of the first Consumer Advocacy Training Project for Access to Telecommunications, Media, and Information Technology for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing. The pilot training will occur in the metropolitan Washington DC area during November 2007.

Claude Stout, Executive Director, TDI, said, "TDI is fortunate to have support from Hamilton Relay to make available this pilot training project. While we advocate for access every day, it is important that we pass on the lessons we have learned, along with different techniques and approaches we have successfully used, to others who are eager to make this country a better place. The more advocates we train, the more capable we become to make access happen through collaboration.Ý

With technology changing every day, consumers find it increasingly difficult to keep up with such rapid changes. "Consumer advocates are needed in the early stages of technological design and development in order to influence policy and assist with recommendations for optimal products and services,Ý says Dixie Ziegler, Vice President of Hamilton Relay. Ziegler adds, "Technology innovation often fails to account for the needs of users with disabilities, including those who are deaf and hard of hearing. Thanks to the input we have received all these years from consumers, Hamilton is pleased to be a leader in telecommunication relay services today.Ý

If you have ever wondered how to install videophones or captioned phones in libraries or other public places, how to ensure that you receive emergency notification messages quickly or how to advocate for movie captioning in your neighborhood theater, the Consumer Advocacy Training Project is for you. The program will teach attendees critical advocacy skills including how to approach and identify people who can effect change. Throughout this training, participants who are deaf or hard of hearing will learn necessary skills to advocate for the needs of deaf and hard of hearing people in accessing Telecommunications, Media, and Information Technology.

When the results of the pilot training program are evaluated and adjustments are implemented, the two-day workshop will be offered in other areas of the country.

Hamilton Relay and TDI look forward to offering this exciting training opportunity to the community. Further details will be announced as soon as they develop. For more information, contact info@tdi-online.org and anne.girard@hamiltonrelay.com.

# # #

About TDI
TDI promotes equal access to telecommunications, media, and information technology for 31 million Americans who are deaf and hard of hearing. TDI educates and encourages consumer involvement regarding legal rights regarding access to technology; provides technical assistance and consultation to industry, associations, and individuals; encourages accessible applications of existing and emerging technologies in all sectors of the community; advises on and promotes the uniformity of standards for technologies; works in collaboration with other deaf and disability organizations, government, industry, and academia; develops and advocates national policies that support accessibility issues; and publishes "TDI World" quarterly magazine and the annual National Directory & Resource Guide or the "Blue Book.&#xu201D; For more information, go to www.tdi-online.org.

About Hamilton Relay
Hamilton Relay offers a variety of services including Internet Relay, Video Relay, Wireless Relay and CapTel®. Hamilton Relay provides traditional relay services to 15 states, the island of Saipan and the Virgin Islands. Information on all services is available at www.hamiltonrelay.com. Hamilton Relay. That's what I'm talking about.


A Word from DODHH

Please click here to read the comments of commitment from Duncan Wyeth, Executive Director MCDC-DODHH.


Michigan's New Interpreter Law PA 23 & 24
DODHH – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The Division on Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DODHH) has posted a FAQ on their website to answer some of the questions that you might have about the new interpreter law. The rules for the law will begin to be written this fall by a workgroup that is lead by the Department of Labor and Economic Growth (DLEG) and the DODHH.

The FAQ can be found on the home page in the "What's New" section.
You may link to the DODHH website at: http://www.mcdc-dodhh.org


Hearing Loss Group Complains To FCC About iPhone

Source: Computerworld, Author: Gregg Keizer

A group representing people with a hearing loss filed complaints with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last month, accusing Apple of not making its iPhone compatible with hearing aids. The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) filed formal complaints with the FCC in August, Brenda Battat, the HLAA's associate executive director, said in emailed comments about Apple's iPhone. "The phone is not usable with a hearing aid, either on the microphone or telecoil setting," said Battat. "Clearly it was not designed to be hearing aid compatible. It should have been." Under its Section 255 regulations, the FCC requires phone manufacturers, including those selling mobile handsets, to make their products accessible to people with disabilities, if such access is "readily achievable." That standard is defined by the agency as "easily accomplishable without much difficulty or expense."

http://www.macworld.co.uk/business/news/index.cfm?RSS&NewsID=19166


Woman with Hearing Loss Wins Harassment Case

DALLAS – A jury awarded $166,500 in a disability harassment lawsuit brought against a Subway restaurant franchise, BobRich Enterprises, Inc., on behalf of a female manager who was discriminated against and forced to resign because of her hearing loss.

The Dallas jury awarded former area supervisor Tammy Gitsham $66,500 for lost wages and emotional harm and an additional $100,000 in punitive damages. The EEOC charged in the case that Subway Owner Robert Suarez and one of his managers subjected Gitsham to a disability-based hostile work environment, including teasing and name-calling, because she is hearing impaired and wears hearing aids.

Gitsham was forced to resign her position after both the owner and human resources/training manager repeatedly mocked her privately and in front of other employees, creating a hostile workplace, with taunts such as: “Read My Lips” and “Can you hear me now?” and “You got your ears on?”

Read the full press release at: http://www.eeoc.gov/press/7-27-07.html


Granholm Signs Laws Expanding Rights of Deaf & Hard of Hearing

Qualified Interpreters Now Required in All Circumstances Specified by Americans with Disabilities Act

June 29, 2007 - LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm signed legislation that requires the use of qualified sign language interpreters who possess state or national certification in all accommodations required under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), making the scope of Michigan’s law comparable to the federal law. Approximately 1.4 million Michigan citizens are deaf or hard of hearing. “We’re ending the confusion, frustration, and errors that are so often experienced by the deaf and hard of hearing in important life situations due to misinterpreted information,” said Granholm. “Equal access to accurate communication is a basic civil right of us all.”

To read the full Press Release CLICK HERE.
(or click here for .doc file format.)


Interpreter Bill PASSED!

The Division on Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DODHH) has announced that HB 4208 was approved on the House floor on June 6, 2007, unanimously! The Senate version of the same bill, SB 25 was approved on the Senate floor the day before.

The bill will become law with the Governor's signature, which should occur in the upcoming weeks. There will be a bill signing ceremony, which is being planned currently.

Click here to learn more about these bills on the DODHH web site.

Click here to view Sign Language Services of Michigan Information on the Bill.

Click here to read a Press Release regarding the bill as passed by the Senate.

Click here for the link to Michigan Legislature to review the text of the bill


Bill Increases Access to Certified Sign Language Interpreters

The Michigan State Senate voted today to pass Senate Bill 25, sponsored by Senator John Gleason (D-Flushing), which will require the use of certified sign language interpreters to provide equal communication in important life situations, and establish universal standards for sign interpreters.

Click here to read more of the press release.


Court Decision Will Help Ensure Effective Communication In Hospitals

WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice today announced a comprehensive settlement agreement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with Inova Fairfax Hospital, a hospital serving the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. The settlement agreement, which is designed to ensure effective communication with patients or companions who are deaf or hard of hearing, resolves allegations that the hospital did not appropriately respond to an incident involving a patient who was hearing-impaired.

The settlement agreement resolves allegations that the hospital did not appropriately respond to requests to provide a qualified sign language interpreter for the deaf mother of a pregnant patient who had been involved in a car accident. Approximately 30 minutes after arrival, while still in the ER, the patient expressly requested a sign language interpreter for her mother; however, Inova failed to call for an interpreter until 5 1/2 hours after the initial request. This forced the patient to act as the interpreter for her mother at the same time that the patient was receiving distressing news about her own condition.

To read the full press release, click here.


Initiative to Assist Hospitals in Effective Communication

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced a new program, Effective Communication in Hospitals, to assist hospitals in meeting the communication needs of individuals who do not speak English as their primary language (i.e. are limited English proficient) or who are deaf or hard of hearing. The department's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will collaborate with state hospital associations and their members to develop and implement these programs. Hospital associations in the following nine states have committed to working on this initiative: Kentucky, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, and Washington. A central component of the initiative is collaboration between each OCR regional office and a state hospital association to develop goals and activities. Complementing the state level projects is a joint effort by OCR headquarters and the American Hospital Association to ensure that the project participants have access to resource materials, share the results of the initiative with other hospitals, and address related issues of national concern. Additionally, OCR has developed a new Web page that is available to hospitals nationally and provides links to important civil rights resources related to hospitals and effective communication: http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hospitalcommunication.html.

From REFERENCE POINTS Administered by the TATRA Project at PACER Center www.pacer.org, REFERENCE POINTS was launched with the initial support from the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition www.ncset.org. TATRA is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration


Your Own Toll-free Phone Number for All Calls

Imagine what it would be like to have only ONE PHONE NUMBER for all VOICE, TTY and FAX calls...

You can obtain your own toll-free phone number. Go to the website www.nextalk.net to sign up for a new account, download free NexTalk™ software and obtain ONE*NBR at no charge. And you can always get a message forwarded to your personal email or pager address if you miss the call! This is a wonderful new service. Click here to read more....


MI Interpreter Bill Passes House

House Bill 4208 passed unanimously on March 14, 2007! The next step is for the bill to be reviewed in Senate committee and voted upon. The bill, as passed by the house, can be viewed by clicking here.


MI Coalition Releases Statement: Communication Access in Medical Care

The Michigan Coalition for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People has released an article that provides guidance to medical personnel and facilities regarding communication access for people with hearing loss. With approximately 32 million Deaf and Hard of Hearing People in the United States, communication access during medical care is a critical concern for consumers and health care professionals.

Click here to read the full article.


KFC Hires Deaf Workers in Pakistan

"Deaf people in Pakistan have been forced by the society to live in their own cocoon." They are not permitted to live and work in the community. Even those with education have little opportunity.

Now a KFC restaurant has hired a staff of people who have hearing loss. This is a rare opportunity in Pakistan. Read more about it at:
http://www.workersforjesus.com/dfi/s-259.htm


Deaf Residents Sue in Minnesota

(AP) Minneapolis- Four Dakota County residents who are deaf are suing the county, alleging their civil rights were violated when they weren't given American Sign Language interpreters after a mercury spill.

The lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis seeks damages exceeding $50,000 for each plaintiff for emotional injuries and unspecified punitive damages.

Officials went door-to-door checking for mercury. Four deaf residents didn't understand, and they handed emergency workers cards requesting an interpreter.

"Some of those responders laughed at them, threw the cards back at them," said Roderick Macpherson III, who works for the Minnesota Disability Law Center, a nonprofit law firm. "Other people were a little bit more sympathetic," he said, "but nobody seemed to know how to get an interpreter."

The Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division says that under the Americans with Disabilities Act, communities should make emergency preparedness and response programs accessible to people with disabilities.

To read the full story see: http://wcco.com/local/local_story_023070803.html


Through Deaf Eyes – PBS special

“Through Deaf Eyes” is a two-hour documentary for PBS exploring nearly 200 years of Deaf life in America. The film presents the shared experiences of American history – family life, education, work, and community connections – from the perspective of deaf citizens. Interviews include community leaders, historians, and deaf Americans with diverse views on language use, technology and identity. Bringing a Deaf cinematic lens to the film are six artistic works by Deaf media artists and filmmakers. Poignant, sometimes humorous, these films draw on the media artists’ own lives and are woven throughout the documentary. But the core of the film remains the larger story of Deaf life in America -- a story of conflicts, prejudice and affirmation that reaches the heart of what it means to be human. “Through Deaf Eyes” will be broadcast nationally on PBS on Wednesday, March 21 at 9 p.m. ET (check local listings).

Learn more at http://www.pbs.org or
http://news.gallaudet.edu/newsreleases/?ID=9720


What Would Happen if Most of the People in the U.S. Became Deaf Overnight?

That is the question that John Egbert asked himself more than 20 years ago. Now, he's answered his own query in his first novel, MindField, a fast paced, suspense story where the crossroads of technology, politics, and humanity collide.

Once terrorists release a deadly bacteria, chaos, financial collapse, and even anarchy threatens the nation. Though certain death seem to be the outcome, the bacteria mutates and the problem isn't death, but deaf, as millions of people lose their hearing.

Air traffic control shuts down the country's air transportation, banks stop communicating with each other, and emergency services fail to respond. Phones are useless. Suddenly, people must learn a new way to communicate.

MindField is one of those once-in-a-generation "big ideas", the kind that is not only great reading, but is a paradigm shift in thinking about how we all communicate and discriminate, and how the world might actually be a better place if we were forced to learn and listen with our hearts and minds.

John Egbert is a first time novelist. He was born deaf and attended Gallaudet University, the only deaf college in America. His dream has been to bring a message to both the deaf and hearing world about hope, using a suspense novel to entertain and to make readers ask, "What if?"

Mr. Egbert can be reached through email at EgbertPress@mac.com. MindField is available at http://www.egbertpress.com.

info@michdhh.org

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