Archive for the ‘World’ Category
Friday, July 20, 2007
Gallaudet University has recently emerged from an ordeal. Robert Davila began his tenure as president in the aftermath of a schism that polarized many on campus. This divide arose from differing visions for Gallaudet today and in the future.
Mr. Davila’s challenge has been to unite all university stakeholders so that Gallaudet may begin to address the accreditation issues brought forth by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education ["Accrediting Agency Puts Gallaudet on Probation," Metro, June 30].
The board is engaged and believes Gallaudet has made tremendous progress.
Gallaudet today is as organized and as focused as at any point in its history. Mr. Davila and his team are drawing on recommendations from students, the faculty and staff, and alumni to refine and enhance students’ educational experience at Gallaudet. Collaboration to sharpen Gallaudet’s advancement strategy is underway.
For many, Gallaudet is more than a university. It is a beacon of inspiration, of courage and of strength for deaf people around the world. It is imperative that the community ensure the survival of this beloved institution in the years to come.
BENJAMIN J. SOUKUP
Chairman, Board of Trustees
Multi-function phones, webcams and other new technological innovations have transformed the lives of the hard of hearing, delegates at an international congress of the deaf said Tuesday.
“Technology is important for the deaf community. There’s the internet, internet, webcams, email, SMS and chat systems,” said Amparo Minguet, director of training at the institute for the deaf in the eastern city of Valencia.
Minguet finds her little multi-function phone a godsend and like other participants at the congress of the World Federation of the Deaf under way in Madrid, finds new technology a boon bolstering face-to-face communication at an event such as this.
Communicating via sign language, she points to her small flatscreen phone which she has placed on her knees after first activating the vibration mode.
“Thanks to that I can easily stay in touch through receiving texts and checking my voice mail,” Minguet reveals.
Minguet is in charge of the scientific side of events at the week-long congress, which has drawn some 2,500 people to the Spanish capital.
Her diary is crammed for the week and she manages to juggle her appointments thanks to the telephone’s in-built calendar as she prepares to meet people from all walks of life from across the world.
Using the phone where she can cuts down her fear of possible misinterpretations arising from differing sign language usage from one country to the next when it comes to face-to-face appointment-making.
The main aim of the congress, which is held every four years — the last one was in Montreal, Canada — is “to advance recognition of sign language in national legislations,” says co-organiser Ana Maria Vazquez, a university sign language specialist.
But at the same time the meeting is also an opportunity for deaf people to share their experiences and knowledge in the fields of education, culture, science and application of new technologies.
Telecoms companies are, meanwhile, showing increasing interest in the deaf persons’ market.
British operator Vodafone is one of some 30 companies and associations who have stands at the congress and are offering a range of special deals for the hard of hearing.
“Vodafone wants to be a company embracing everyone, including the handicapped,” explains Rosa Maria Martin on behalf of the firm which is Spain’s number two mobile operator.
The company is offering special deals for Blackberry wireless handheld devices made by the Canadian firm RIM (Research in Motion) whose “chat applications are perfectly adapted to deaf people’s communications needs,” a brochure explains.
David Hoareau has travelled 12,00 kilometres (8,000 miles) from the Indian Ocean island of Reunion to attend along with 20 students from a specialist centre for the deaf.
“Deaf people have a reputation for being isolated. This congress shows that, on the contrary, we are capable of coming out and sharing our experiences and communicating,” Hoareau said.
The raft of different versions of sign language across the world can make face-to-face communication difficult at such an international event, Hoareau admits, though the burgeoning technological aid helps in that direction.
“It’s difficult. But with a little perseverance, following facial expressions carefully and only expressing simple things, you end up being able to communicate with everyone as anyone addressing a congress would do by using basic English” as a catch-all language, he explains.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / PRURGENT
Deafloves.com claims it has the largest collection of photos and pictures related to deaf community. It offers a feature to allow users send those photos as e-cards to friends.
With the mushrooming of online e-card website, the difference of it from others is focusing on “ASL” to express feeling and blessing. ASL (American Sign Language) is the dominant sign language of the Deaf community in the United States, in the English-speaking parts of Canada, and in parts of Mexico.
This feature is called “Share photos and greeting card”. It was added to Deafloves.com in late 2006. Although just a few months passed, Deafloves.com already owns about more than 1,000 deaf or ASL pictures. And all the photos and pictures are uploaded by the members of this site.
It is free to send out those cards but you should sign up this site first. The registration is fast and just needs 2 steps. The feature can be found at the left navigation bar after login.
There are 2 ways to send e-card. One is using other member’s photos for your greeting cards; the other is loading your favorite photo. There is an option for you to choose whether to share your photos to other members. You also can add your personal message. An e-card can be sent to unlimited email addresses one time.
This gives people who like trying new things chances to make differences in e-card. However it lacks of animated photos at this moment.
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