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The latest news on Deaf from Business Insider

(Page 1) | 2 | newer

    0 0

    christine sun kim, deaf artist, ted fellow

    Deaf since birth, artist and TED Fellow Christine Sun Kim learned the rules of what she calls "sound etiquette" by watching how hearing people behave and respond to sound. She knew, for example, not to slam the door or eat noisily from a potato chip bag. Now she's ditching the rules in favor of creating her own.

    While sound etiquette ensured that Kim was considerate, it often made her feel like a foreigner in another country. She blindly followed the customs and norms without ever questioning them.

    Kim ultimately decided that instead of allowing sound to disempower her, she would reclaim it through art. Her music uses the audience's voices as her own; her drawings interpret sound and put its meanings on paper. She's exhibited at MoMA, held residencies at the Whitney Museum, and served as guest artist at the MIT Media Lab.

    Earlier this year, Kim recounted her journey on stage at the TED Fellows Retreat in Carmel-By-The-Sea, California, where I met up with the burgeoning artist.

    By reframing her relationship with sound, Kim hopes to open others' eyes, and ears, too.

    christine sun kim, deaf artist, ted fellow

    Growing up without the ability to hear, Kim was taught to believe sound wasn't a part of her life. In fact, Kim probably thinks about sound more than most hearing people do.

    "I know sound. I know it so well that it doesn't have to be something that's just experienced through the ears," Kim says through her American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter. "It can be felt naturally, or I can feel it as a visual or even an idea."

    She offered this analogy to explain the relationship: Image a musical score. If you see a small letter p, named for the piano, it means the artist should play softly. See two p's, play even softer. Three p's, extremely soft.

    "This is my drawing of a p tree," Kim says on stage, standing in front of a coarsely drawn illustration done in red ink. "[It] demonstrates no matter how many thousands upon thousands of p's there may be, you'll never reach complete silence. That's my current definition of silence — a very obscure sound."

    p tree, christine sun kim, ted fellow

    In 2008, Kim journeyed to Berlin, Germany, where she met other artists who were experimenting with sound as an artistic medium. It encouraged her to be bold.

    "Everything that I have been taught regarding sound, I decided to do away with and unlearn," Kim says. "I started creating a new body of work."

    She first began tinkering with a friend's subwoofers, making what he identified as "good sounds" and "bad sounds," though she didn't really understand the difference. She made abstract paintings by placing wet paintbrushes on top of the vibrating speakers.

    Her projects quickly grew more conceptual.

    Using marker, pastel, charcoal, and pencil on white paper, she drew her own visual interpretations of sounds and ideas — some of which were included in the Museum of Modern Art's first major exhibit on sound art in 2013.

    The illustration below, titled "All. Night.," mimics the hand gestures you'd use to sign the phrase in ASL.

    christine sun kim, visual art

    Kim's work doesn't end in the visual arts.

    Two years ago, in a brick-faced gallery in New York, Kim led seven hearing presenters in a lecture on Isaac Newton's design of the color wheel. The speakers communicated to the audience using projected images, laptops, tablets, their bodies — nearly all modes of communication except the human voice.

    christine sun kim, deaf artist, ted fellow

    She then gathered a group of friends, all deaf since birth or an early age, for a musical performance at the High Line Hotel. Members of the choir took turns acting as a singer or conductor, and could only use facial expressions "sing" words displayed on a tablet. They relied on visual nuances, such as furrowed brows or glaring eyes, to translate.

    Kim says the performance, titled "face choir ii," is one of her favorite projects to date.

    christine sun kim, deaf artist, ted fellow

    Later, Kim attempted a similar feat by engaging hearing people in a silent choir workshop.

    Earlier this month, Kim unveiled one of her most interactive and tech-savvy projects yet, The Game of Skill 2.0, which premiered at MoMA PS1's Greater New York exhibit.

    The installation, designed by Kim and built by electronic artist Levy Lorenzo, features an old-fashioned radio that attaches via magnets to an overhead cable. Museumgoers are invited to carry the radio along the line, altering the produced sound depending on their speed and direction.

    "I've been fascinated by how people take listening for granted," Kim tells Tech Insider. The goal with Game of Skill 2.0 is to affect how a person hears and interprets their hearing of sound.

    Over the years, Kim's artistic practice has allowed her to stretch and poke and twist her understanding of sound. The rules of sound etiquette don't apply in her studio.

    Still, she doesn't plan to abandon sound etiquette all together. Kim honors her roommate's right to sleep peacefully, and is mindful of scraping utensils against her plate in restaurants.

    "I think what's changed the most is my relationship with other people," Kim says. "I used to let people restrict my use of sound has changed. Now I think about me first, rather than bowing down."

    SEE ALSO: This Bulgarian human rights activist gave one of the most chilling TED Talks of all time

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This futuristic floating city will produce zero waste and house 7,000 residents


    0 0

    Calvin Young left the start-up world to fulfill his lifelong dream of traveling the world. While he happens to be deaf, he hasn't let his disability affect his travel experiences.

    Follow Calvin's travels here.

    Story by Sarah Schmalbruch and editing by Alana Yzola

    Follow INSIDERon Facebook
    Follow INSIDERon YouTube

    Join the conversation about this story »


    0 0

    Two students from the University of Washington have invented gloves that can translate sign language into text or speech. Their invention has earned them a $10,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize.

    Produced by Will Wei. Video courtesy of Lemelson-MIT Program. Photos courtesy of Conrado Tapado/Univ. of Washington, CoMotion.

    Follow TI:On Facebook

    Join the conversation about this story »


    0 0

    kaiden-orantes-facebook-hearing-aid

    Kaiden Orantes broke into a dance when a new hearing aid helped him to hear his mother's voice, ABC News reports

    Kaiden, 2, was born with normal hearing but was diagnosed with progressive hearing loss earlier this year. Doctors still aren't sure why his hearing has worsened, Kaiden's mother, Caitlin Orantes, told ABC News. But they decided to fit him with special hearing aids that will enable him to learn spoken language. 

    When Kaiden was fitted with those hearing aids last week, Orantes captured the toddler's joyful reaction on video and posted it to Facebook. The clip has already been viewed 14,000 times. 

    June 14th, 2016: celebrating Kaiden's hearing date! I am overwhelmed with emotion right now. My baby is so happy & excited to finally be able to hear his own voice & mine! #GodIsGood

    Posted by Caitlin Orantes on Tuesday, June 14, 2016

    Orantes told ABC News that she hopes to someday get Kaiden a cochlear implant — a surgically implanted device that can help some deaf or hard-of-hearing people hear. Both hearing aids and cochlear implants are a controversial issue in the deaf community, where deafness is seen as a culture, not a disability. Many deaf and hard of hearing people maintain they don't need to be "fixed" to become more like hearing people. 

    But it's clear that these technologies have the power to make a positive difference in many lives — including little Kaiden's. Since he was fitted with his hearing aids, Kaiden has been playing with toy guitars and getting in touch with his musical side. 

    "This kid is obsessed with music," Orantes told ABC News. "I’ve had videos of him going crazy and trying to sing. He can’t form too many words...It’s so priceless."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A little girl is getting the first-ever 3D-printed ear


    0 0

    starbucks

    Starbucks's latest move doesn't involve a rainbow or a new iteration of a sugar-packed "coffee" drink. 

    The chain announced on Tuesday that it launched a store location dedicated to staffing deaf baristas. The store, according to the press release, is located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The store itself looks pretty similar to other Starbucks, but also displays the brand's name in sign language.

    The coffee giant opened the outpost in collaboration with a non-profit called The Society of Interpreters for the Deaf, and the store has already hired 10 deaf baristas who will work alongside three hearing people. 

    👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

    A photo posted by aleeeeehut yap (@aleeeeehut) on Jun 10, 2016 at 10:29pm PDT on

    The employees were trained in standard Starbucks fashion with two sign-language interpreters on-hand to translate. The interpreters will also teach the other employees sign language to help them better communicate, the press release stated.

    Customers who don't know sign language can place a written order. They can then double-check if it was entered correctly into the point-of-sale system. Once the order is placed, each customer is assigned a number which is pops up on a big screen above the counter when it's ready. 

    all deaf baristas, I love this outlet even more now 😀

    A photo posted by Tobias Isaac De Jong (@domidius) on Jun 14, 2016 at 4:01am PDT on

    Sydney Quays, the managing director of Starbucks Malaysia, stated in the press release the the chain wants to raise awareness and creating a fulfilling workplace for people with disabilities. "We have a rich history of creating opportunities for underrepresented groups and our aim is to raise public awareness of the value people with disabilities bring to the workplace and to enrich the lives of many more Deaf partners."

    Beyond raising awareness, the system might help solve one of the biggest problems plaguing the brand's baristas: Correctly spelling and saying names on orders. 

    While it's commendable that Starbucks has opened a location that employs deaf people, the move leaves us wanting more. Why hasn't the chain adapted all locations to be supportive of employees with disabilities? Mic has reached out to Starbucks for a comment. 

    Read more:
    • Starbucks' Mini Frappuccinos Are Just a Really Adorable Rip-Off
    • The Awesome Reason People Are Telling Starbucks Baristas Their Names Are #BlackLivesMatter
    • Starbucks Just Released Nitro Cold Brew — A Frothy, Chilled Coffee Served on Tap

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Someone invented a kayak that fits in a backpack


    0 0

    Hand Talk is an app which is designed to allow better communication between deaf and non-deaf people.

    The app, which has already been downloaded more than one million times, works by either speaking directly into it or manually typing in the words. It then displays an on-screen avatar who translates the words into sign language. 

    Produced by Joe Daunt

    Join the conversation about this story »


    0 0

    deafgamers tv

    Video games are a wonderful, magical form of entertainment that can put you in someone else's shoes, giving you experiences that you wouldn't otherwise have in your day-to-day life.

    Want to be a spy? Great, play "Splinter Cell." Want to save an old lady from a burning building using your ice superpowers? Nothing's immediately coming to mind, but there's definitely a game where you can do just that.

    Most games have robust customization options, allowing you to adjust the brightness, volume, and difficulty level exactly to your individual tastes. But there's one simple feature a lot of games can't get quite right, and it's one that deaf gamers in particular need to fully enjoy a game: Subtitles.

    "We need everything that’s spoken in the game captioned!" said Chris "Phoenix" Robinson in an email interview with Business Insider. "This is 2016 and gaming industries should’ve got it by now but it’s like they keep forgetting deaf/hard-of-hearing gamers are buying their games too."

    Robinson, who's deaf in one ear and has severe hearing loss in the other, runs a Twitch channel called Deaf Gamers TV with Brandon "Zero" Chan, who is also deaf.

    "I feel [game developers] are slacking," said Robinson. "It’s like subtitles/captioning is the last thing they care about."

    In games, just like in movies or television, a vast majority of the story's information is conveyed through dialogue. When you can't hear what a character is saying — or read it in subtitles — suddenly, the simple act of playing a game and understanding its plot become nearly impossible. And even when games do have subtitles, it's often incomplete.

    For example, a Redditor named Tigersharkdude recently called on Bungie, the developers of "Destiny," to add better captions for its deaf players.

    You can see the problem he and other deaf players of "Destiny" face in a YouTube video uploaded by TechRaptor. Even though subtitles are enabled, none of the dialogue is popping up on screen. The only time subtitles appear in "Destiny" are during fully fleshed-out cutscenes rather than in the small, passing conversations you have with characters as you walk around.

    Recently, Chan tried to play through "Deus Ex: Mankind Divided," a dystopian sci-fi game, but found its subtitles (or lack thereof) made it difficult to play.

    "In Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, I was a little disappointed with the subtitles," says Chan. "When there are subtitles enabled during a cinematic, they put whole dialogue of what [a] character is saying on screen at [the] same time. In addition, the subtitles’ size, color, and background don’t go well together. That makes it difficult for me to read."

    Deus Ex: Mankind Divided subtitles

    As you can see in the image above, the subtitles for "Deus Ex: Mankind Divided" are quite difficult to read. Sometimes, the dialogue is broken up into individual lines, but other times, it's just plopped on screen in one giant block, often over other text within the game itself. 

    There are several moments in the game's opening sequence that are not captioned at all. Footage from a news program that shows an anchor discussing social issues plaguing the city has no subtitles whatsoever. At that moment in the game, all you can see are soldiers shooting at unarmed citizens. Without hearing (or reading) the newscast, crucial contextual information is totally lost.

    "So yeah, the gaming industry is definitely not doing a good job with accessibility to deaf people lately," said Robinson. "Either they’re not listening or just don’t care. I hope this will improve over times [sic] though."

    Through their Twitch channel, Robinson and Chan hope to raise awareness for this issue. They're not alone in the fight, either. The AbleGamers charity, for example, works to improve accessibility for all types of gamers.

    Because, at the end of the day, all they really want is to play the games they love.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This new augmented reality game turns your home into a real-life horror movie


    0 0

    christine sun kim, deaf artist, ted fellow

    Deaf since birth, artist and TED Fellow Christine Sun Kim learned the rules of what she calls "sound etiquette" by watching how hearing people behave and respond to sound. She knew, for example, not to slam the door or eat noisily from a potato chip bag. Now she's ditching the rules in favor of creating her own.

    While sound etiquette ensured that Kim was considerate, it often made her feel like a foreigner in another country. She blindly followed the customs and norms without ever questioning them.

    Kim ultimately decided that instead of allowing sound to disempower her, she would reclaim it through art. Her music uses the audience's voices as her own; her drawings interpret sound and put its meanings on paper. She's exhibited at MoMA, held residencies at the Whitney Museum, and served as guest artist at the MIT Media Lab.

    Earlier this year, Kim recounted her journey on stage at the TED Fellows Retreat in Carmel-By-The-Sea, California, where I met up with the burgeoning artist.

    By reframing her relationship with sound, Kim hopes to open others' eyes, and ears, too.

    christine sun kim, deaf artist, ted fellow

    Growing up without the ability to hear, Kim was taught to believe sound wasn't a part of her life. In fact, Kim probably thinks about sound more than most hearing people do.

    "I know sound. I know it so well that it doesn't have to be something that's just experienced through the ears," Kim says through her American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter. "It can be felt naturally, or I can feel it as a visual or even an idea."

    She offered this analogy to explain the relationship: Image a musical score. If you see a small letter p, named for the piano, it means the artist should play softly. See two p's, play even softer. Three p's, extremely soft.

    "This is my drawing of a p tree," Kim says on stage, standing in front of a coarsely drawn illustration done in red ink. "[It] demonstrates no matter how many thousands upon thousands of p's there may be, you'll never reach complete silence. That's my current definition of silence — a very obscure sound."

    p tree, christine sun kim, ted fellow

    In 2008, Kim journeyed to Berlin, Germany, where she met other artists who were experimenting with sound as an artistic medium. It encouraged her to be bold.

    "Everything that I have been taught regarding sound, I decided to do away with and unlearn," Kim says. "I started creating a new body of work."

    She first began tinkering with a friend's subwoofers, making what he identified as "good sounds" and "bad sounds," though she didn't really understand the difference. She made abstract paintings by placing wet paintbrushes on top of the vibrating speakers.

    Her projects quickly grew more conceptual.

    Using marker, pastel, charcoal, and pencil on white paper, she drew her own visual interpretations of sounds and ideas — some of which were included in the Museum of Modern Art's first major exhibit on sound art in 2013.

    The illustration below, titled "All. Night.," mimics the hand gestures you'd use to sign the phrase in ASL.

    christine sun kim, visual art

    Kim's work doesn't end in the visual arts.

    Two years ago, in a brick-faced gallery in New York, Kim led seven hearing presenters in a lecture on Isaac Newton's design of the color wheel. The speakers communicated to the audience using projected images, laptops, tablets, their bodies — nearly all modes of communication except the human voice.

    christine sun kim, deaf artist, ted fellow

    She then gathered a group of friends, all deaf since birth or an early age, for a musical performance at the High Line Hotel. Members of the choir took turns acting as a singer or conductor, and could only use facial expressions "sing" words displayed on a tablet. They relied on visual nuances, such as furrowed brows or glaring eyes, to translate.

    Kim says the performance, titled "face choir ii," is one of her favorite projects to date.

    christine sun kim, deaf artist, ted fellow

    Later, Kim attempted a similar feat by engaging hearing people in a silent choir workshop.

    Earlier this month, Kim unveiled one of her most interactive and tech-savvy projects yet, The Game of Skill 2.0, which premiered at MoMA PS1's Greater New York exhibit.

    The installation, designed by Kim and built by electronic artist Levy Lorenzo, features an old-fashioned radio that attaches via magnets to an overhead cable. Museumgoers are invited to carry the radio along the line, altering the produced sound depending on their speed and direction.

    "I've been fascinated by how people take listening for granted," Kim tells Tech Insider. The goal with Game of Skill 2.0 is to affect how a person hears and interprets their hearing of sound.

    Over the years, Kim's artistic practice has allowed her to stretch and poke and twist her understanding of sound. The rules of sound etiquette don't apply in her studio.

    Still, she doesn't plan to abandon sound etiquette all together. Kim honors her roommate's right to sleep peacefully, and is mindful of scraping utensils against her plate in restaurants.

    "I think what's changed the most is my relationship with other people," Kim says. "I used to let people restrict my use of sound has changed. Now I think about me first, rather than bowing down."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This futuristic floating city will produce zero waste and house 7,000 residents


    0 0

    Calvin Young left the start-up world to fulfill his lifelong dream of traveling the world. While he happens to be deaf, he hasn't let his disability affect his travel experiences.

    Follow Calvin's travels here.

    Story by Sarah Schmalbruch and editing by Alana Yzola

    Follow INSIDERon Facebook
    Follow INSIDERon YouTube

    Join the conversation about this story »


    0 0

    Two students from the University of Washington have invented gloves that can translate sign language into text or speech. Their invention has earned them a $10,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize.

    Produced by Will Wei. Video courtesy of Lemelson-MIT Program. Photos courtesy of Conrado Tapado/Univ. of Washington, CoMotion.

    Follow TI:On Facebook

    Join the conversation about this story »


    0 0

    kaiden-orantes-facebook-hearing-aid

    Kaiden Orantes broke into a dance when a new hearing aid helped him to hear his mother's voice, ABC News reports

    Kaiden, 2, was born with normal hearing but was diagnosed with progressive hearing loss earlier this year. Doctors still aren't sure why his hearing has worsened, Kaiden's mother, Caitlin Orantes, told ABC News. But they decided to fit him with special hearing aids that will enable him to learn spoken language. 

    When Kaiden was fitted with those hearing aids last week, Orantes captured the toddler's joyful reaction on video and posted it to Facebook. The clip has already been viewed 14,000 times. 

    June 14th, 2016: celebrating Kaiden's hearing date! I am overwhelmed with emotion right now. My baby is so happy & excited to finally be able to hear his own voice & mine! #GodIsGood

    Posted by Caitlin Orantes on Tuesday, June 14, 2016

    Orantes told ABC News that she hopes to someday get Kaiden a cochlear implant — a surgically implanted device that can help some deaf or hard-of-hearing people hear. Both hearing aids and cochlear implants are a controversial issue in the deaf community, where deafness is seen as a culture, not a disability. Many deaf and hard of hearing people maintain they don't need to be "fixed" to become more like hearing people. 

    But it's clear that these technologies have the power to make a positive difference in many lives — including little Kaiden's. Since he was fitted with his hearing aids, Kaiden has been playing with toy guitars and getting in touch with his musical side. 

    "This kid is obsessed with music," Orantes told ABC News. "I’ve had videos of him going crazy and trying to sing. He can’t form too many words...It’s so priceless."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A 3D-printed ear will eventually help kids hear


    0 0

    starbucks

    Starbucks's latest move doesn't involve a rainbow or a new iteration of a sugar-packed "coffee" drink. 

    The chain announced on Tuesday that it launched a store location dedicated to staffing deaf baristas. The store, according to the press release, is located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The store itself looks pretty similar to other Starbucks, but also displays the brand's name in sign language.

    The coffee giant opened the outpost in collaboration with a non-profit called The Society of Interpreters for the Deaf, and the store has already hired 10 deaf baristas who will work alongside three hearing people. 

    👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

    A photo posted by aleeeeehut yap (@aleeeeehut) on Jun 10, 2016 at 10:29pm PDT on

    The employees were trained in standard Starbucks fashion with two sign-language interpreters on-hand to translate. The interpreters will also teach the other employees sign language to help them better communicate, the press release stated.

    Customers who don't know sign language can place a written order. They can then double-check if it was entered correctly into the point-of-sale system. Once the order is placed, each customer is assigned a number which is pops up on a big screen above the counter when it's ready. 

    all deaf baristas, I love this outlet even more now 😀

    A photo posted by Tobias Isaac De Jong (@domidius) on Jun 14, 2016 at 4:01am PDT on

    Sydney Quays, the managing director of Starbucks Malaysia, stated in the press release the the chain wants to raise awareness and creating a fulfilling workplace for people with disabilities. "We have a rich history of creating opportunities for underrepresented groups and our aim is to raise public awareness of the value people with disabilities bring to the workplace and to enrich the lives of many more Deaf partners."

    Beyond raising awareness, the system might help solve one of the biggest problems plaguing the brand's baristas: Correctly spelling and saying names on orders. 

    While it's commendable that Starbucks has opened a location that employs deaf people, the move leaves us wanting more. Why hasn't the chain adapted all locations to be supportive of employees with disabilities? Mic has reached out to Starbucks for a comment. 

    Read more:
    • Starbucks' Mini Frappuccinos Are Just a Really Adorable Rip-Off
    • The Awesome Reason People Are Telling Starbucks Baristas Their Names Are #BlackLivesMatter
    • Starbucks Just Released Nitro Cold Brew — A Frothy, Chilled Coffee Served on Tap

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Samsung now says it's too dangerous to even turn on your Galaxy Note 7


    0 0

    Hand Talk is an app which is designed to allow better communication between deaf and non-deaf people.

    The app, which has already been downloaded more than one million times, works by either speaking directly into it or manually typing in the words. It then displays an on-screen avatar who translates the words into sign language. 

    Produced by Joe Daunt

    Join the conversation about this story »


    0 0

    deafgamers tv

    Video games are a wonderful, magical form of entertainment that can put you in someone else's shoes, giving you experiences that you wouldn't otherwise have in your day-to-day life.

    Want to be a spy? Great, play "Splinter Cell." Want to save an old lady from a burning building using your ice superpowers? Nothing's immediately coming to mind, but there's definitely a game where you can do just that.

    Most games have robust customization options, allowing you to adjust the brightness, volume, and difficulty level exactly to your individual tastes. But there's one simple feature a lot of games can't get quite right, and it's one that deaf gamers in particular need to fully enjoy a game: Subtitles.

    "We need everything that’s spoken in the game captioned!" said Chris "Phoenix" Robinson in an email interview with Business Insider. "This is 2016 and gaming industries should’ve got it by now but it’s like they keep forgetting deaf/hard-of-hearing gamers are buying their games too."

    Robinson, who's deaf in one ear and has severe hearing loss in the other, runs a Twitch channel called Deaf Gamers TV with Brandon "Zero" Chan, who is also deaf.

    "I feel [game developers] are slacking," said Robinson. "It’s like subtitles/captioning is the last thing they care about."

    In games, just like in movies or television, a vast majority of the story's information is conveyed through dialogue. When you can't hear what a character is saying — or read it in subtitles — suddenly, the simple act of playing a game and understanding its plot become nearly impossible. And even when games do have subtitles, it's often incomplete.

    For example, a Redditor named Tigersharkdude recently called on Bungie, the developers of "Destiny," to add better captions for its deaf players.

    You can see the problem he and other deaf players of "Destiny" face in a YouTube video uploaded by TechRaptor. Even though subtitles are enabled, none of the dialogue is popping up on screen. The only time subtitles appear in "Destiny" are during fully fleshed-out cutscenes rather than in the small, passing conversations you have with characters as you walk around.

    Recently, Chan tried to play through "Deus Ex: Mankind Divided," a dystopian sci-fi game, but found its subtitles (or lack thereof) made it difficult to play.

    "In Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, I was a little disappointed with the subtitles," says Chan. "When there are subtitles enabled during a cinematic, they put whole dialogue of what [a] character is saying on screen at [the] same time. In addition, the subtitles’ size, color, and background don’t go well together. That makes it difficult for me to read."

    Deus Ex: Mankind Divided subtitles

    As you can see in the image above, the subtitles for "Deus Ex: Mankind Divided" are quite difficult to read. Sometimes, the dialogue is broken up into individual lines, but other times, it's just plopped on screen in one giant block, often over other text within the game itself. 

    There are several moments in the game's opening sequence that are not captioned at all. Footage from a news program that shows an anchor discussing social issues plaguing the city has no subtitles whatsoever. At that moment in the game, all you can see are soldiers shooting at unarmed citizens. Without hearing (or reading) the newscast, crucial contextual information is totally lost.

    "So yeah, the gaming industry is definitely not doing a good job with accessibility to deaf people lately," said Robinson. "Either they’re not listening or just don’t care. I hope this will improve over times [sic] though."

    Through their Twitch channel, Robinson and Chan hope to raise awareness for this issue. They're not alone in the fight, either. The AbleGamers charity, for example, works to improve accessibility for all types of gamers.

    Because, at the end of the day, all they really want is to play the games they love.

    SEE ALSO: A major video game developer is defending itself against accusations it 'cloned' Blizzard's 'Overwatch'

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This new augmented reality game turns your home into a real-life horror movie


    0 0
    0 0

    oklahoma city police shooting witness

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma City police officers who opened fire on a man in front of his home as he approached them holding a metal pipe didn't hear witnesses yelling that he was deaf, a department official said Wednesday.

    Magdiel Sanchez, 35, wasn't obeying the officers' commands before one shot him with a gun and the other with a Taser on Tuesday night, police Capt. Bo Mathews said at a news conference. He said witnesses were yelling "he can't hear you" before the officers fired, but they didn't hear them.

    "In those situations, very volatile situations, you have a weapon out, you can get what they call tunnel vision, or you can really lock in to just the person that has the weapon that'd be the threat against you," Mathews said. "I don't know exactly what the officers were thinking at that point."

    Sanchez, who had no apparent criminal history, died at the scene. The officer who fired the gun, Sgt. Chris Barnes, has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

    Mathews said the officers were investigating a reported hit-and-run at around 8:15 p.m. Tuesday. He said a witness told Lt. Matthew Lindsey the address where the vehicle responsible for the hit-and-run had gone, and that Sanchez was on the porch when Lindsey arrived.

    He said Sanchez was holding a metal pipe that was approximately 2 feet (0.6 meters) long and that had a leather loop on one end for wrapping around one's wrist. Lindsey called for backup and Barnes arrived, at which point Sanchez left the porch and began to approach the officers, Mathews said.

    Witnesses could hear the officers giving Sanchez commands, but the officers didn't hear the witnesses yelling that Sanchez couldn't hear them, Mathews said. When he was about 15 feet (4.5 meters) away from the officers, they opened fire — Lindsey with his Taser and Barnes with his gun, apparently simultaneously, Mathews said.

    He said he didn't know how many shots were fired, but that it was more than one.

    When asked why Barnes used a gun instead of a Taser, Mathews said he didn't know. He said it's possible Barnes wasn't equipped with a Taser. Neither officer had a body camera.

    oklahoma city police chief shooting

    Sanchez's father, who was driving the hit-and-run vehicle, confirmed after the shooting that his son was deaf, Mathews said. He said Sanchez wasn't in the vehicle when his father struck something and drove off. It wasn't a person that he struck.

    A man who saw Oklahoma City police officers open fire on Sanchez says his neighbor was developmentally disabled and didn't speak in addition to being deaf.

    Neighbor Julio Rayos told The Oklahoman on Wednesday that Sanchez communicated mainly through hand movements.

    "He don't speak, he don't hear, mainly it is hand movements. That's how he communicates," Rayos told the newspaper. "I believe he was frustrated trying to tell them what was going on."

    Mathews said the city has officers who are trained in the use of sign language, but he didn't know if Lindsey and Barnes are among them.

    Jolie Guebara, who lives two houses from the shooting scene, told The Associated Press that she heard five or six gunshots before she looked outside and saw the police.

    "He always had a stick that he would walk around with, because there's a lot of stray dogs," Guebara said.

    oklahoma city police shooting neighbors

    Guebara said Sanchez, whose name she didn't know, wrote notes to communicate with her and her husband when he would occasionally stop and visit if they were outside.

    Police initially said Sanchez was carrying a stick, but Mathews described it Wednesday as a metal pipe.

    Sanchez's death is the latest in a string of controversial killings by Oklahoma police in recent years. In 2015, a white Tulsa County reserve deputy fatally shot an unarmed black man who was on the ground being subdued. He said he meant to shoot the suspect with a stun gun but mistakenly used his firearm instead. He was sentenced to four years in prison.

    In May, a white former Tulsa police officer, Betty Shelby, was acquitted in the 2016 killing of Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man who had his hands up when she fired. Much like in the Sanchez killing, another officer almost simultaneously fired a Taser at Crutcher when Shelby fired her gun. Unlike Sanchez's killing, both Tulsa killings were captured on video.

    ___

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    SEE ALSO: More protests erupted in St. Louis after acquittal in police shooting

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    Noise pollution is one of the types of pollution we don't often think about. The World Health Organization, CDC, and researchers worldwide have been warning against the effect it has on human health for decades. 

    We spoke with Ted Rueter, founder of Noise Free America, and Kit Frank, an audiologist at NYU Langone Health, about what they think of noise pollution and the damage it can do to our hearing and overall health.

    Noise Free America has been battling noise pollution in America for years. One of their latest approaches was to publish the book "Guide to Modified Exhaust Systems: A Reference for Law Enforcement Officers and Motor Vehicle Inspectors." Following is a transcript of the video.

    This is not healthy. When you hear about pollution, you might picture; exhaust fumes, littering or oil spills. But there's another kind of pollution, you might not know: noise pollution. Like any other pollution, it's a nuisance to society. Plus, everyone hates it. 

    Ted Rueter: A few years ago, the US Census Bureau did a survey on what people liked and disliked about their neighborhoods. What they found was that noise was Americans' number one complaints about their neighborhoods. The number one reason why they wish to move.

    But comfort isn't all that's at stake. Our hearing, overall health, and well-being of our children is in jeopardy.

    In 2016, 54.5% of the world's population lived in cities. By 2030, it's estimated that that population will grow to be 60%. Noise pollution can be found anywhere, but it's especially bad in cities. Here's a map of the loudest places in the U.S. Not surprisingly, cities top the list. They have background levels between 55 - 67 decibels. That's about as loud as the hum from your air conditioner. You'll notice that's not including random spikes of noise you hear throughout the day.

    The human ear can tolerate noise up to 85 decibels without damage. Anything louder poses a risk of permanent hearing loss. Yet, studies show that anything at or above 65 decibels can trigger an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, and stress hormones in the blood. Over time, we can get used to these sounds but that doesn't make them any less dangerous.

    Kit Frank: So, I don't think we can build-up a tolerance to sound. Anatomically, there's nothing that changes that can protect you from sound in your ear just because you're around it a lot. It's probably more of a psychological effect, that you don't notice because you hear it all the time. 

    In 2007, researchers released results from their study on 200,000 hearing tests worldwide. They discovered that city residents had noticeable levels of hearing loss. Their hearing was what it should have been if they were 10 to 20 years older. Once the damage is done, it's irreversible. We have microscopic hairs in our ears that relay sounds to the brain. They're fine-tuned to detect vibrating frequencies from our eardrum. If those vibrations are too strong, it can bend, break, or even destroy these delicate hairs. But unlike the hairs on your head, these don't grow back. Since we cannot see or feel these hairs, the damage from noise pollution can go unnoticed for years, even decades. According to the World Health Organization, noise is an underestimated threat that can cause a number of short and long-term health problems, such as sleep disturbance, cardiovascular effects, and poorer work and school performance.

    One of the most famous studies on noise pollution was in 1974. It happened here at P.S. 98 in New York City. The east side of the building faces the subway. When trains passed, the noise pollution in the classroom went from an average of 59 decibels to 89. Teachers had to shout over the noise and this happened about every 4.5 minutes for 30 seconds at a time. The two researchers compared test scores and reading levels of students on the East versus the West side of the building. While students on the west side weren't affected, students on the east were on average; four months behind on reading level and they performed worse on achievement tests. More studies have gone on to show that children who live in noisy environments have elevated blood pressure and hormones. 

    There is one silver lining to all of this. A pair of inexpensive earplugs is an easy, temporary fix to this problem. For more short-term solutions, various cities have started implementing quiet hours or ticketing people for noise pollution, under the category of "quality of life" fines. 

    Ted Rueter: One great example is, Germany. There, they banned lawn mowing on Sundays. You know, Sundays are supposed to be a day of rest. So, who can rest when all of your neighbors are blasting away with their lawn mowers and leaf blowers? Also in Europe, the European Union generally, they have significant noise restrictions on commercial products like dishwashers, refrigerators, and other household items and lawnmowers and leaf blowers. I also understand that India has now banned the two-stroke gas engine. So, definitely, there are other countries that are taking this issue much more seriously than the U.S. is.

    If there ever is a permanent fix to this problem, it hinges on one question: when will we start taking noise pollution seriously? 

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    deaf uber driver

    • London-based model Milkie, 20, rode in an Uber with a deaf driver named Onur Kerey.
    • On Twitter, Milkie shared a photo of a sign that Kerey put up inside the car telling passengers about his disability.
    • Kerey explained that he put up the sign to help passengers understand how to communicate with him.
    • Milkie's tweet of his sign went viral and sparked important discussions about disability in society.
    • Kerey told INSIDER about some of the difficulties he's encountered as a deaf person and why he thinks everyone should learn sign language.


    Most people don't call an Uber expecting anything more than a ride from one place to another. However, one 20-year-old model had a particularly memorable experience when she rode in an Uber with a deaf driver named Onur Kerey. The viral tweet she posted about her experience riding with Kerey paved the way for an important and necessary discussion about disability in society.

    A Northern Irish model based in London, Rachel Hastings — who goes by the name Milkie — told INSIDER that she had called an Uber on the night of April 17 with her flatmate and two friends on their way to a club. She sat in the middle seat in the back of the car, and that's when she noticed a sign slung across the front seat. 

    Struck by the sign, Milkie took a photo of it and posted it on Twitter under the username @Iilghostgirl:

    "Once we had settled in the backseat, we saw the sign and read it and I just loved his comment about the bass-heavy music," Milkie told INSIDER. "I thought that was great. I had never seen a sign like this, both in that it pointed out the driver's disability but also in that it was humorous and full of personality, which is why I loved it so much."

    She and her friends went on to have an enjoyable experience riding in Kerey's Uber, even playing some bass-heavy music that Kerey's sign said he enjoyed.

    Kerey, 24, told INSIDER he was born "profoundly deaf." He said that he has experienced some obstacles as a deaf Uber driver.

    "I really enjoy working at Uber, but I do find it a bit difficult sometimes," Kerey told us. "I can't speak, which is hard for me to communicate with hearing people. I always use my phone so people can read what I mean and reply."

    Kerey put up the sign in his Uber to help him communicate with his passengers, and to make sure that they understand him. "Most of the time, people smile and understand my sign and do a thumbs up," Kerey said. "A few of them signed 'thanks' to me when the trip ended, and it made me pleased to see them try to sign for me."

    Milkie said that, at the end of her ride in Kerey's Uber, she wished she could have signed "thank you and have a great night" to him.

    Much to her surprise, Milkie's photo of Kerey's sign went viral on Twitter. At the time of this post, her tweet has received over 549,000 likes and 136,000 retweets.

    "I did not expect it to go viral at all," Milkie said. "I wanted to share the joy that reading his sign brought me, because it truly brought a smile to my face and set a great tone for the night."

    Out of the hundreds of comments her tweet received, many people were supportive of Kerey and found the sign — particularly the request for music — just as heartwarming as Milkie did.

    While some people were critical of Kerey driving, believing his deafness would be an impediment to the job, many others pointed out that deafness has no effect on someone's driving ability.

    Someone from Kerey's family even came across the tweet.

    "This made our day!!"Levze Kerey tweeted. "Thanks for all the comments, our whole family has been having a great time scrolling through."

    However, Milkie's viral tweet also came under criticism.

    Her tweet, which was frequently shared by other people on social media as an example of something "pure" and "wholesome," attracted the attention of the disability activist community. The Facebook page An Articulate Autistic pointed out a potentially problematic implication of Milkie's well-intentioned tweet. 

     

    According to An Articulate Autistic, this tweet could be interpreted as an example of inspiration porn.

    "Essentially what you're all doing is cheering his ability to achieve victory over his ability to...drive a car," the disability activist Facebook page explained. "The picture is turning his method of communication into a spectacle to be oohed and ahhed at, when I'm pretty sure that he felt like he was just doing his job not desiring an internet applause."

    The Facebook page criticized the way that many people responded to the tweet with comments such as "Awwwww my gosh id cry if we got an uber driver like this" or "LOOK AT HOW PURE IM CRYING."

    "He's not a puppy doing a cool trick," the page wrote. "He's a human that learned to accomplish a basic task. We need you to support us like equal human beings, not turn us into memes and feel so happy when we learn to exist the same way as you do."

    In the comment section of this Facebook post, Milkie herself clarified:

    "I was absolutely not focusing the 'purity' towards the fact that he is deaf and driving and giving him a pat on the back for doing so. It was much more towards the music comment and all the smiley's and emoji's because that showed a friendliness and sense of humour that I rarely see in Uber drivers in London!"

    Milkie is happy that the tweet has ignited these important discussions about the way that people with disabilities are treated in society.

    "I'm so glad this has opened a dialogue about the stigma against disabled persons," Milkie told INSIDER. "It's very clear to see in the replies to the tweet that many people would not be happy about having a deaf driver, some thinking it would put them in danger. This is clearly just people lacking a bit of common sense, because you know ... lights and visual cues exist."

    According to Milkie, society still has a lot of work to do when it comes to treating people with disabilities with equality and respect.

    "Within society in general and the spaces in which we exist, it's clear that those with disabilities are not always greatly catered to," she said. Milkie pointed out a few examples, such as Victoria Station in London. She observed that even though it's one of the busiest train stations in London, there is "no way to access the tube station from the train station without stairs."

    Milkie also commented that people with disabilities might find it difficult to attend gigs. While larger event venues have viewing platforms or designated wheelchair spots, she noticed that some of the smaller venues simply don't have those facilities.

    "I definitely think there are steps to be taken in order to make the spaces in which we exist and occupy more welcoming to those with disabilities," she concluded.

    One of those steps, according to Kerey, is learning sign language. "My family can sign, which is easy for me to talk to them," he told INSIDER. "It is important for parents with a deaf baby to learn sign language."

    Kerey thinks that everyone should learn sign language, not just those with deaf family members.

    "I want to see schools teach sign language," Kerey said. "Instead of teaching French or German, because some people never go abroad, it's better to learn sign language and communicate with deaf people in their own country."

    Since most people haven't learned sign language, Kerey finds some aspects of everyday life difficult. For example, he often has trouble communicating with people because they simply don't know how to talk to him.

    "I feel like nobody knows how to react properly when they meet a deaf person," he said. "They might feel awkward, but they don't need to. They can still ask me a question and I will reply — they just need to write it down." 

    Kerey also spoke about the need to find an interpreter whenever he visits the doctor or goes for an interview. "Sometimes it takes a long time to find an interpreter, and I have to cancel the appointments because no communicator is available," he said.

    "Lots of places don't teach sign language," Kerey concluded. "But it is definitely important for deaf people to have sign language, and to feel proud."

    Here's the full caption from An Articulate Austistic's Facebook post:

    In a group this was being shared as "pure" and "wholesome" and it annoyed me to the point where I felt the need to make this comment explaining the issues with it. If you've seen the original, share this one because this kinda thing is everywhere.
    [image is a picture of a sign where an Uber driver named Onur says he's deaf and provides methods of communicating with him with the caption THIS WAS THE PUREST THING WE LOVE ONUR]
    "In the disability activist community we have a term for this stuff
    It's what we all "inspiration porn".
    Essentially what you're all doing is cheering his ability to achieve victory over his disability to...drive a car.
    We adapt to exist that's not something that we deserve to be lauded for and it squicks me out.
    It puts us in a position where learning to be like you deserves to be put on a pedestal and it separates us from you because we're all people who find our ways to survive and calling us pure and wholesome for doing so objectifies us (where the porn part comes from).
    The picture is turning his method of communication into a spectacle to be oohed and ahhed at, when I'm pretty sure that he felt like he was just doing his job not desiring an internet applause.
    Also the "this is so pure""we love him""I'm crying because of this"...Gods he's not a puppy doing a cool trick he's a human that learned to accomplish a basic task. We need you to support us like equal human beings not turn us into memes and feel so happy when we learn to exist the same way as you do...and treat us as equals deserving of the same respect as you do when we don't manage to be so "inspirational" by managing to exist like you do. 
    I would encourage you all to read the transcript/watch this TED Talk because it goes over this
    https://www.ted.com/talks/stella_young_i_m_not_your_inspiration_thank_you_very_much/transcript 

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    Holly Maniatty

    • Audiences can't get enough of Eminem's ASL interpreter who was jamming along during a concert.
    • Holly Maniatty has been interpreting for many years and has also reportedly worked with artists like Snoop and The Wu-Tang Clan.
    • This isn't the first time she's gone viral for her skills.

    The deaf community is often severely underrepresented when it comes to the music and entertainment industries, despite being 466 million people strong. So when an American Sign Language interpreter makes headlines for her killer skills, it's deserving of all the praise.

    But really, it's no surprise that rap fans are obsessed with ASL interpreter Holly Maniatty who they are now referring to as a "rap god."

    In a recent viral video, posted by Twitter user mattwhitlockPMManiatty is filmed while interpreting at hyper-speed an Eminem concert. Not only is she signing, though: she's jamming out just like the rest of the crowd and the audience was soon in love with her infectious energy.

    This isn't Maniatty's first time going viral, however.

    In the past, she's also interpreted for Snoop and the Wu-Tang Clan. A 2013 viral video garnered the ASL interpreter a lot of unexpected attention. When interviewed then by WPTZ, she explained, "I didn't have like any concept that anyone was like filming us. So when it came out, it was — I was really shocked."

    And now, five years since the Vermont native first went viral, audiences are still in awe of her immense talent for interpretation.

    INSIDER reached out to Maniatty but did not immediately receive a response.

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    christine sun kim, deaf artist, ted fellow

    Deaf since birth, artist and TED Fellow Christine Sun Kim learned the rules of what she calls "sound etiquette" by watching how hearing people behave and respond to sound. She knew, for example, not to slam the door or eat noisily from a potato chip bag. Now she's ditching the rules in favor of creating her own.

    While sound etiquette ensured that Kim was considerate, it often made her feel like a foreigner in another country. She blindly followed the customs and norms without ever questioning them.

    Kim ultimately decided that instead of allowing sound to disempower her, she would reclaim it through art. Her music uses the audience's voices as her own; her drawings interpret sound and put its meanings on paper. She's exhibited at MoMA, held residencies at the Whitney Museum, and served as guest artist at the MIT Media Lab.

    Earlier this year, Kim recounted her journey on stage at the TED Fellows Retreat in Carmel-By-The-Sea, California, where I met up with the burgeoning artist.

    By reframing her relationship with sound, Kim hopes to open others' eyes, and ears, too.

    christine sun kim, deaf artist, ted fellow

    Growing up without the ability to hear, Kim was taught to believe sound wasn't a part of her life. In fact, Kim probably thinks about sound more than most hearing people do.

    "I know sound. I know it so well that it doesn't have to be something that's just experienced through the ears," Kim says through her American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter. "It can be felt naturally, or I can feel it as a visual or even an idea."

    She offered this analogy to explain the relationship: Image a musical score. If you see a small letter p, named for the piano, it means the artist should play softly. See two p's, play even softer. Three p's, extremely soft.

    "This is my drawing of a p tree," Kim says on stage, standing in front of a coarsely drawn illustration done in red ink. "[It] demonstrates no matter how many thousands upon thousands of p's there may be, you'll never reach complete silence. That's my current definition of silence — a very obscure sound."

    p tree, christine sun kim, ted fellow

    In 2008, Kim journeyed to Berlin, Germany, where she met other artists who were experimenting with sound as an artistic medium. It encouraged her to be bold.

    "Everything that I have been taught regarding sound, I decided to do away with and unlearn," Kim says. "I started creating a new body of work."

    She first began tinkering with a friend's subwoofers, making what he identified as "good sounds" and "bad sounds," though she didn't really understand the difference. She made abstract paintings by placing wet paintbrushes on top of the vibrating speakers.

    Her projects quickly grew more conceptual.

    Using marker, pastel, charcoal, and pencil on white paper, she drew her own visual interpretations of sounds and ideas — some of which were included in the Museum of Modern Art's first major exhibit on sound art in 2013.

    The illustration below, titled "All. Night.," mimics the hand gestures you'd use to sign the phrase in ASL.

    christine sun kim, visual art

    Kim's work doesn't end in the visual arts.

    Two years ago, in a brick-faced gallery in New York, Kim led seven hearing presenters in a lecture on Isaac Newton's design of the color wheel. The speakers communicated to the audience using projected images, laptops, tablets, their bodies — nearly all modes of communication except the human voice.

    christine sun kim, deaf artist, ted fellow

    She then gathered a group of friends, all deaf since birth or an early age, for a musical performance at the High Line Hotel. Members of the choir took turns acting as a singer or conductor, and could only use facial expressions "sing" words displayed on a tablet. They relied on visual nuances, such as furrowed brows or glaring eyes, to translate.

    Kim says the performance, titled "face choir ii," is one of her favorite projects to date.

    christine sun kim, deaf artist, ted fellow

    Later, Kim attempted a similar feat by engaging hearing people in a silent choir workshop.

    Earlier this month, Kim unveiled one of her most interactive and tech-savvy projects yet, The Game of Skill 2.0, which premiered at MoMA PS1's Greater New York exhibit.

    The installation, designed by Kim and built by electronic artist Levy Lorenzo, features an old-fashioned radio that attaches via magnets to an overhead cable. Museumgoers are invited to carry the radio along the line, altering the produced sound depending on their speed and direction.

    "I've been fascinated by how people take listening for granted," Kim tells Tech Insider. The goal with Game of Skill 2.0 is to affect how a person hears and interprets their hearing of sound.

    Over the years, Kim's artistic practice has allowed her to stretch and poke and twist her understanding of sound. The rules of sound etiquette don't apply in her studio.

    Still, she doesn't plan to abandon sound etiquette all together. Kim honors her roommate's right to sleep peacefully, and is mindful of scraping utensils against her plate in restaurants.

    "I think what's changed the most is my relationship with other people," Kim says. "I used to let people restrict my use of sound has changed. Now I think about me first, rather than bowing down."

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