deaf and hard of hearing
Petition to BONO and U2
Meniere's Disease: Raise Awareness
Bono we really need your help….. We are speaking on behalf of the millions of people, worldwide, who suffer lifetime's filled with constant ‘vertigo’ from a little known and very misunderstood disease, known as Meniere's disease. Meniere’s disease steals lives, leaving those unable to function as they once did. Many sufferers are reduced to bystanders to their own existence, unable to work, drive, attend family gatherings, or simply play with their kids. Meniere’s causes dizziness, severe vertigo, tinnitus, and sensitivity to light and sounds. Meniere’s attacks leave their victims so dizzy, and unable to walk or balance, with even the slightest movement bringing hours of nausea and vomiting. If that wasn’t enough, most Meniere’s sufferers develop hearing loss and many go completely deaf. Recently a fellow musician, the founder of the Trans Siberian Orchestra, Paul O'Neill died from the effects of Meniere's and another chronic illness. His band mates said: "For Paul, this was a constant battle, causing him to race against time to write and record as much music as possible, before, like Beethoven, his ears ultimately betrayed him. At the time of his death, he was writing two rock operas." In the research paper “Impact of Meniere’s Disease on Quality of Life” by the University of California at San Diego, researchers found that the quality of life of Meniere’s patients, while not actively experiencing vertigo, was comparable to adults with life-threatening illnesses such as cancer and AIDS. They further discovered that during periods of ‘acute vertigo’ their quality of life dropped to a point that Meniere’s sufferers were on par with non-institutionalized Alzheimer’s, Cancer and AIDS patients six days from death. In a 2009 study on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) performed by Kirby, S.E. and Yardley, L. it was found that the incidence of (PTSD) and health anxiety, is much higher than in non-sufferers. Nearly one in eight people with Ménière’s were found to meet the criteria for full PTSD, compared to the general population where just one in sixty has PTSD. Yet, Meniere’s remains relatively unknown worldwide, and dramatically underfunded when it comes to crucial research dollars. Presently, The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have "0" dollars directly allocated for Meniere's research based on their 2017 online report found here: NIH Estimates of Funding for Various Research, Condition, and Disease Categories (RCDC) budget:https://report.nih.gov/categorical_spending.aspx This is why we are reaching out to you - Bono, and your U2 band mates, to read of the thousands of heartbreaking comments from petition supporters and decide to 'help us' in our cause to 'raise awareness' for this most debilitating disorder. We are requesting that you would consider creating a public service video for 'YouTube', using your song vertigo to address Meniere’s disease. This would greatly help the worldwide Meniere's community to spread awareness for this complex disease by raising interest and empathy, and hopefully increase the 'desperately needed' research dollars that will provide us better treatments, and ultimately a cure. Right now there are Meniere's sufferers waiting in Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Croatia, Canada, Columbia, Cyprus, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, India, Israel, Italy, Korea, Latvia, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Mexico, New Zealand, Netherlands, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela and the Virgin Islands, all who have supported this petition. Petition Supporter: Dr. Jose A Lopez-Escamez MD PhD Our Meniere’s Awareness petition has received the support of the prominent Meniere’s researcher, Dr. Jose A Lopez-Escamez MD PhD who's research team in Genyo, Granada, Spain has identified the ‘first genes’ causing familial Meniere's disease. We welcome Dr. Lopez- Escamez’s support and commend his work, which brings those who suffer from Meniere’s disease, one step closer to a cure. Dr. Jose A Lopez-Escamez is the author of 120 research studies addressing Meniere's disease and other vestibular disorders: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jose_Lopez-Escamez/publications/4 The Vestibular Disorders Association VEDA's Mission is to inform, support, and advocate for the vestibular community. VEDA envisions a global community where vestibular disorders are widely recognized, rapidly diagnosed, and effectively treated. VEDA recognizes their responsibility to be a champion for the vestibular community and to achieve measurable results. VEDA serves all people with vestibular disorders with dedication, understanding and compassion. http://vestibular.org/understanding-vestibular-disorder/types-vestibular-disorders
Petition to Rick Scott, Pam Bondi, Adam Putnam, Jeff Atwater
Grant Executive Clemency to Felix Garcia
Thirty-two years ago, Felix Garcia was framed and sentenced to life in prison for a crime he did not commit. In 1981, Joseph Tramontana, Jr. was murdered during an armed robbery. Felix Garcia, a deaf man, who was only 19 at the time of the murder, signed a pawnshop receipt for a ring at the request of his older brother and sister. He was unaware the ring was stolen, and he did not realize that by signing the receipt, he was signing his life away. From birth, Mr. Garcia suffered from crippling ear infections.By the age of three, his ear infections had become so severe that he suffered from massive hearing loss. Ashamed of and often punished for his impairment, Mr. Garcia hid it as best as he could, relying on others to help him with his studies, and, as a result, never received a proper education. By the time he received his GED, he was considered severely hearing impaired and had only attained a fourth grade level of reading and comprehension skills. In 1983, Mr. Garcia went to trial for the murder of Joseph Tramontana, Jr. The court failed to provide Mr. Garcia with an interpreter or adequate services for the deaf, to ensure his understanding of the proceeding. He was provided with a loud speaker, which he had to turn up to full volume, but was ordered to turn it off when it produced too much feedback. The court then provided him with a court-appointed hearing aid, but because it was not made for his ears, it did not aid him in comprehension. Therefore Mr. Garcia experienced the entirety of the legal proceeding as noise. In addition to these injustices, during the trial, Mr. Garcia was positioned in such a fashion at the defense table, that he was unable to read the lips of those called to testify. When his sister was called to speak, he believed she was testifying to his innocence. He was unaware, until he received his trial transcripts and had them read to him, that she had, in fact, testified against him. He answered yes to the questions he couldn’t hear or understand because, he said, he believed that would allow the proceeding to end sooner so he could go home. There is only one actual piece of physical evidence linking Mr. Garcia to the murder, and it is the pawnshop receipt his brother asked him to sign, for a ring stolen from Mr. Tramontana, Jr. during the robbery. Mr. Garcia was convicted of first-degree murder and armed robbery on the basis of this one piece of physical evidence and the testimony of his older sister. His inability to hear and the lack of appropriate support, to ensure that he understood the proceedings, played a central role in his conviction. His brother and sister have since recanted and had provided affidavits attesting to his innocence. Two witnesses, his girlfriend and his girlfriend's mother, testified that he was across town at the time the murder was committed. During his time in prison, Mr. Garcia has remained positive, never wavering in his belief that justice will come. While in prison, he has learned American Sign Language (ASL) in English and Spanish. He has also been very proactive in continuing his education and has been committed to gaining vocational and life skills, completing multiple vocational programs. He is very involved in faith-based work and is currently teaching ASL and computer programming to other inmates. We have every confidence that Mr. Garcia is ready to transition successfully into society. Mr. Garcia has applied for an Executive Clemency Request for Review and a Commutation of Sentence. This petition has been written because Felix Garcia is in need of champions; people to rally and take up his cause, because an injustice to one is an injustice to all. Your signatures on this petition can return a life that was stolen from him at the age of 19. “The case of Felix Garcia is a tragic failure of our justice system, triggered in no small part by his disability and the systems failure to respond,” said Reggie Garcia (no relation), an attorney who is an expert specializing in clemency actions, is representing him pro bono. “Justice is supposed to be blind, but it should not be deaf. We urge the Governor and Cabinet not to turn a deaf ear to the injustice this man has endured for more than three decades.”
Petition to Joliet Township High School District 204 Board of Education
ASL III Class for Joliet Township High School
Dear Students, Faculty and Public, As some of you may be aware, American Sign Language III is not being offered as a course in the coming 2018-2019 school year. This deeply hinders the future careers of many of those who are currently taking the preceding courses, ASL I and ASL II. Most students taking the course would like to move on to have careers such as interpreters, sign language teachers, and Deaf education teachers. Sign language can also be used in many different careers to aide the deaf, for example, the medical field and police force. Many students would like to continue learning the language, especially to aide their career choice. There are enough ASL II students currently to create either one large or two small classes, and more children will be signing up for ASL I and II in the coming years. If there is no course, then many students taking the course could be stuck waiting until college to take it, which will indefinitely create a loss of prior knowledge. Students may then have to re-take ASL I or ASL II. It would be greatly appreciated to receive as much support as possible in light of this problem. Hopefully you all will consider signing the petition to send the course through. Sincerely, ASL I and II Students of Joliet Township High School
Petition to Scott Walker, Wisconsin State Senate, Tammy Baldwin, Paul Ryan, Ron Johnson, Sean Duffy, Jennifer Shilling, Scott Fitzgerald, Reid Ribble, Sheila Harsdorf, Department of Education, Wisconsin State House, Gwen Moore, Mark Pocan
ASL classes offered in all schools
In the United states alone, there are approximately 10 million hard of hearing individuals and an estimated 1 million Deaf individuals. One of the problems that Deaf/HoH people face is the communication barrier between those that are hearing and those that are Deaf/HoH. This problem comes from the lack of ASL classes offered to children and adults. ASL is a language that should be offered in k4-12th grade for all students, not just those who are Deaf/HoH. Finding schools that offer ASL are few and far between. I care about this cause because I have a 7 year old who was born with a progressive hearing loss. We have struggled with ASL because of the lack of resources and classes offered. Below I have pasted text from the NAD (National Association of the Deaf) website. www.nad.org "Developments in the field of linguistics and an emerging body of research in education have validated the historical views of the NAD on ASL and its value in the education of deaf and hard of hearing children. The inherent capability of children to acquire ASL should be recognized and used to enhance their cognitive, academic, social, and emotional development. Accordingly, the NAD supports the bilingual approach for deaf and hard of hearing children. Deaf and hard of hearing children must have the right to receive early and full exposure to ASL as a primary language, along with English. Studies have shown that when deaf and hard of hearing children are exposed to ASL at an early age, they are given the opportunity to reach their full potential." Thank you, Heather Fisher.
Petition to Amazon Studios, Movie Theaters, Roadside Attractions
Turn on Open Captions for "Wonderstruck" for Deaf Moviegoers!
What is Wonderstruck?This October, Amazon Studios is releasing the movie Wonderstruck, which is based on the juvenile fiction novel by Brian Selznick. The movie has two parts -- a black-and-white "silent film" part with a Deaf character (played by a Deaf actor), and a color film part with a character who loses hearing in one ear. The Deaf actor, Millicent Simmonds, will be in the spotlight as the deaf community's latest example of #DeafTalent! See her in the (open captioned) trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeh-HfGdOEAWhat are open captions? Open captions, in movie theaters, are words that appear on-screen for dialogue, sound effects, and music. In contrast, there are closed captions, which are captions that appear on an individual captioning device and are "closed" to the moviegoer using it. Captioning devices only exist in the place of open captions on the off-chance that some hearing moviegoers do not want to accommodate deaf moviegoers with words on-screen as a matter of accessibility.Why open captions for Wonderstruck?Open captions are already available for movies from all six major studios, and even smaller distributors like Wonderstruck's Amazon Studios have them available. They just have to be turned on in movie theaters! Since Wonderstruck is a deaf-themed movie, it is absurd not to have open captions. These would make the movie immediately accessible for any deaf and hard of hearing moviegoer to simply walk in, sit down, and enjoy the show.What can I do?Sign this petition, share it with other deaf and hard of hearing people who like going to the movies, and share it with hearing allies as well! We welcome hearing moviegoers who support open captions and even enjoy having them. Contact Amazon Studios asking them to ensure open captions for Wonderstruck. The movie has a limited release on October 20th and will be in more theaters in November, so get in touch with your local movie theaters and their general managers to have them set up open captions for all screenings of Wonderstruck.DC Deaf Moviegoers is a group for deaf and hard of hearing moviegoers in the Washington, DC area. Organizers for the group set up open captioned movie screenings on the behalf of its members. To find out more, check out its Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dcdeafmoviegoers/
Petition to David P. Moran, Mark J. Wildenhain, Terrence E. Mercer, John J. Barry, III, Meghan E. Kallman, Timothy P. Rudd, Jr., Sandra C. Cano, Albert J. Vitali, Jr., Lorenzo C. Tetreault
Promote social inclusion by passing the closed captioning ordinance in Pawtucket, RI
The Pawtucket City Council needs to pass the ordinance to require televisions in public places during regular hours to have closed captioning turned on and left on. This is a simple solution which benefits a significant number of people and costs almost nothing to turn on. However, a small number of people think they have the freedom and the right to exclude people. We need your support to show that they are wrong and that the public should be able to access information equally at all times. Public places include restaurants, bars, hotel lobbies, fitness centers, and waiting rooms where televisions are visible to the public. When turned on, closed captioning on televisions makes sure that the public can read text of the dialogue and other important sounds. This information is critical during breaking news of storms, natural disasters, terrorist attacks and other life threatening situations. In most cases, the closed captioning is not turned on quickly enough for the public to completely benefit from the information. When turned off, a significant number of people in the public are excluded from enjoying programs and accessing information. According to a study, about 1 out of every 5 people use closed captioning on their televisions, even if they are not Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Closed captioning has an additional benefit of boosting the literacy rate for people of all ages. In noisy public places or when the volume on televisions cannot be turned up, closed captioning increases the number of people who can benefit from the television programs. Almost all television programs are required by federal law to include closed captioning which can be turned on or off by the viewer. All modern televisions include closed captioning and most can be turned on by pressing the "CC" button on a remote control. In fact, many public places already have closed captioning turned on or routinely turn it on at the request of the public. The new ordinance will make sure that televisions in public places have closed captioning turned on and left on. Other cities such as Portland, Oregon and Ann Arbor, Michigan have a similar ordinance which had few complaints and a lot of success. With your support, Pawtucket and many more cities around the country will have this ordinance and create more social inclusion.