A message from Director Lisa Kornberg
It's hard to believe we're already at the end of February! We've been so busy here at ODHH since our last monthly bulletin. We finally moved into our new office! We're still unpacking and are settling in nicely. We also just wrapped up our 5th Annual Legislative Awareness Day. It was great to see so many members of the community come out to such an important event.
With Spring right around the corner, our calendar is filling up with sensitivity and awareness trainings, conferences, and exhibits around the State. We hope to see you at the BBL this month at the Deaf Shalom Zone. Check out ODHH "On the Move" in our written bulletin for more details.
Make sure to stay current with our office by checking our website and our Facebook/Twitter/social media for up to the minute information. If you are not receiving our weekly email announcements, please contact us to be added to our listserv. Thank you to everyone for your continued support.
On Presidents' Day, ODHH hosted our 5th Annual Legislative Awareness Day (LAD), which was a huge success! Over 80 people came to Annapolis from all over the state of Maryland to learn about the legislative process. It was our highest attendance ever! The day started with a presentation about advocacy training from ODHH Executive Director Lisa Kornberg. We then had guest speaker Virginia Knowlton Marcus, the Executive Director at MDLC, give a presentation on voting rights. Our guests then chose between a tour of the State House or a Scavenger Hunt with prizes.
ODHH recognized Senator Jennie Forehand and Senator Allan Kittleman with a certificate of gratitude for their support of the deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind community. We also presented Julie Anne Schafer, the Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at RID, with the Kelby Brick Community Leadership Award for her tireless efforts and contributions to the community. After a break for dinner, those who requested it met with their legislators. It was great to see so many senators and delegates involved with our event!
The day ended with the House General Session, where we watched our state representatives in action. We want to thank everyone for coming and making LAD a success! Watch our video blog (vlog) or follow us on social media to see pictures from the day!
Thursday, February 20, was a historic and special day at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). At their open meeting, the FCC took action on TV caption quality issues. The FCC approved new rules for TVclosed captioning that will ensure that people who are deaf or hard of hearing have full access to television programming. The new rules state that all television programming with closed captions must accurately convey dialogue and sounds in the program. Also, the closed captions must run from the beginning to the end of the program. Captions must also be timed so that they do not lag behind the program's dialogue and must not block important information on the screen.
The FCC is giving local TV stations with news, weather, and sports shows a year's time to substantially improve captioning of these shows via the electronic newsroom technique (ENT). The FCC also asked for more information as to whether the TV stations should continue providing captions via ENT or in real-time captions.
The FCC made clear that it expects higher quality captions for off-line (pre-recorded) programming, and as reasonable as possible for live programming. The FCC will ask in an upcoming proceeding on whether it should require captioning of all advertisements that are shown on TV, as well as programs having captions 24 hours a day. Right now, advertisements are not required to be captioned, and programs that are aired between two a.m. to six a.m. are usually not captioned.
The FCC will take action on complaints filed with them for erroneous captioning. There will be enforcement action on the Commission's part, only when there is a recurring violation of any one programmer's responsibility to caption its program. The FCC indicated that it intends to review progress in captioning regularly and that it will take follow up action when there is lack of improvement over a reasonable amount of time with any one area of captioning.
Such progress is due to the efforts of the new Chairman of the FCC, Mr. Tom Wheeler, and his four Commissioners - Ms. Mignon Clyburn, Ms. Jessica Rosenworcel, Mr. Ajit Pai, and Mr. Michael O'Rielly. Ms. Karen Peltz Strauss, Mr. Greg Hlibok, and Mr. Eliot Greenwald with the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at the FCC also played important roles in this action. We also applaud Claude Stout, the Executive Director of Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (TDI) on his passionate remarks at this meeting and for encouraging the community to attend this important meeting.
Spring 2014 Interns
ODHH has five new interns this semester! We are excited to have (in order of appearance in the video blog) Adriana Featherstone, Samantha Brooks, LaToya Jayson, Asia Brown, and Leah McCloskey with us. They all bring a wide variety of backgrounds and interests to the table. We asked each intern to briefly introduce themselves:
This month includes three key moments in American History for the Deaf community: the March 13, 1988 Deaf President Now protest, the April 8, 1864 signing of the Gallaudet University charter by President Abraham Lincoln, and the April 15, 1817 establishment of American School for the Deaf in Hartford, CT as the first permanent public school for the deaf.
The Internal Revenue Service has produced a video series of Tax Tips that gives concise information about a variety of topics. All videos are fully accessible through American Sign Language, Captions, and Voice Over. To view them, visit the IRS's YouTube channel at: www.youtube.com/irsvideosasl Examples of videos posted are:
- IRS Efforts on Identity Theft
- Message to Taxpayers
- IRS Identity Theft FAQ
- Additional Medicare Tax
- File your 1040-EZ Using Free File
Advisory Council Meeting
March 12, 2014
1:30PM - 4PM
The Independence Conference
2664 Riva Road Suite 170
Annapolis, MD 21401
Deaf History Month
Town Hall Meeting
March 22, 2014
10 AM - 12 Noon
Silver Spring Public Library
8901 Colesville Road
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Brown Bag Lunch
March 14, 2014
12 Noon - 2:30 PM
Maryland School for the
101 Clarke Place
Frederick, MD 21705
Universal Newborn Hearing
March 20, 2014
Hearing and Speech
5900 Metro Dr.
Baltimore, MD 21215
State Steering Committee
March 21, 2014
8 AM - 3:30 PM
2 College Hill
Westminister, MD 21157