965 108th St SW
Byron Center, MI 49315
Cell: 616-262-3516

We now have reprints of four of the previous Deaf Awareness Posters. Contact me if you wish to have posters, etc.

American Manual Alphabet: This poster is one that we did not have to reprint. This poster could be used in schools, churches, libraries, Grange Halls or anywhere that people come in contact with deaf or hearing impaired people. For example, our Grange delivered Dictionaries to a third grade classroom, along with Deaf Awareness items (one being the Manual Alphabet poster) and in one of the thank you’s we received, one of the students had learned the alphabet. Another third grade teacher had her students do their spelling words in sign language. There are many possibilities with this.

Your Noisy World Could Get Silent: This poster is a chart that shows the potential hearing hazard of the loudness of sounds combined with the length of exposure to sound and how it can create a permanent hearing loss. Preventions are suggested on this poster. It shows the decibels of many electronic devices that we are in contact with everyday.

Pledge of Allegiance: This poster could be placed in schools, Grange Halls, libraries, etc. An idea that can be used is to do parts of it at each of your Grange meetings until everyone can sign it.
Do You See the Signs: (of hearing loss) This poster could be placed in church nurseries, day care centers, pre-schools or wherever adults can view them. It is a poster to make parents aware of what an infant to 12 months should be able to do, from 12 months to 2 years, from 2 years to 4 years and 5 years old.

Grange Deaf Awareness: Awareness – communication is key to qualify of life – hearing loss is permanent- early detection and treatment is essential, etc. Education – educate the public with printed material, video programs, classroom instruction, special equipment, information, programs. Prevention- hearing protections used, hearing testing, newborn hearing screening, personal education.


May is Better Hearing and Speech Month
Each May, Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) provides an opportunity to raise awareness about communication disorders and the role of ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) members in providing life-altering treatment. The 2021 theme is “Building Connections.”
At least 46 million people in the United States have a hearing or other communications disorder. For these individuals, the basic components of communication – sensing, interpreting, and responding to people and things in their environment – can be challenging. To raise awareness about disorders related to hearing, voice, speech, or language, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders (NIDCD) joins the ASHA and other organizations in observing Better Hearing and Speech Month.
People need to communicate to perform tasks in many aspects of their lives: at school, at work, in health care settings, and during special and leisure activities. Safety might depend on your ability to hear potential dangers in your environment, and productivity might rely on your ability to clearly communicate your plans, progress and concerns with others. With the increased use of technology to works and communicate at a safe distance during the pandemic, overcoming communication challenges is more important now than ever before.
Millions of Americans experience a hearing disorder at some point in their life, especially as they grow older. Having trouble hearing can make it hard to understand and follow instructions, respond to alarms and other warnings, and to hear doorbells and phones. It can complicate conversations with family and friends. People who work in noisy environments – such as factory or construction workers, road crews, musicians, and fitness instructors – can develop noise induced hearing loss. A number of devices, including hearing aids and cochlear implants can help.

​In the U.S., an estimated 17.9 million adults report having a voice problem. Problems with you voice 
can significantly affect your ability to perform your job. Rest your voice when you can. Avoid screaming or whispering. Other voice and speech conditions can also affect your verbal expression and therefore your ability to communicate.

​If you experience problems with your hearing, voice speech and language problems you have options. 
You can reach out to your primary care doctor or  qualified health professions such as a speech -language pathologist, an ear, nose and throat doctor, or audiologist for early and appropriate care.

By now you should have received your Appeals Letter for the Deaf Awareness Fund. Please contribute what you are able whether it be a large or small contribution. Every contribution helps. We are still involved with the Michigan School for the Deaf, the Alexander Graham Bell’s Camp Fund and other projects in the State. Thank you for your contributions! They are greatly appreciated!

If you have locations that you can donate any of the Deaf Awareness Posters, please be sure to let me know and I will do my best to get them to you. Suggested locations are doctors offices, day cares, church nurseries, hospitals, libraries, etc. Another way to make people aware of not only the deaf people but of the Grange as well.

“What language do pigs speak?”
“Swine Language.”

Zoom Addresses Accessibility for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Zoom Has added accessibility features that will let users with hearing loss arrange windows to see a sign language interpreter better while viewing presentations.
Zoom has introduced features to improve accessibility to its video conferencing service for people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

The latest capabilities spotlight or make stationary multiple screens for participants instead of one. The pin and the spotlight will make it easier for participants who are deaf or hard of hearing to place a sign language interpreter along side the presenter. The positioning helps them understand what is said while viewing the presentation. 

People can also rearrange the windows that show up on their grid, allowing users with hearing loss to place the sign language interpreter in the best corner for them.

While the changes improve overall accessibility, they are somewhat limited in scope. For example, presenters can show only 9 people at a time to pin two windows and presenters can pin only 9 windows themselves.

In addition to the pin and rearranging options, presenters can overlay themselves over their presentations.

Eric Bailey of digital accessibility advocacy group A11y Project said seeing two speakers at once is vital. This is especially important for situations where interpreters are required, such as government briefings.

Having accessibility in video conferencing services is not new to Zoom. Competitors Weber and Teams have had similar functionality for a while. Weber has all of the functionality that Zoom just introduced. Teams lacks a rearrange option.

Jon Henner, a deaf assistant professor at the University of North Carolina said the new Zoom features would make it easier to do his work. He regularly attends conferences and panels, does workshops, teaches classes and holds meetings – all of which require video conferencing.

Henner said he has some qualms with the closed captioning Zoom provides. As a deaf person, he would like other ways to designate that he wished to speak. The hand-raising option is not the best when non-deaf people are talking over each other. Henner added that he prefers an option that would light up windows of people who wish to say something. 

In Zoom, closed captions in real time can be added to meetings for attendees who are deaf or hard of hearing. To do so a CART (Communication Access RealTime Transcriber) reporter from a third-party provider. Many use ACS (Alternative Communication Service). The CART reporter can caption directly to Zoom.

​For captions to be directly connected into the 
Zoom meeting, the meeting host has to activate closed captioning in Zoom and assign a captioner.

​Some attendees may request American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters for a meeting and need to 
hire an (ASL) interpreter from a third-party provider.

​For meetings, the interpreter must join the meeting as a participant. The host must ensure that the 
deaf person is able to “pin” the interpreters in order to see the interpreter at all times. Alert that all the participants that an ASL interpreter is provided.

​According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau 
Deaf people make up about 3.6% or 11.5 million people.

​Zoom first unveiled the accessibility features August 31, the International Day of Sign Languages. 
The company developed the features with the help of the A11y Project.