Photo courtesy of Animal Pictures Archive .

Did you know...

...that NAD is advocating for more Deaf truck drivers?

...that NAD is currently working to make airports more accessible to deaf and hard of hearing people?

Check out what Howard Rosenblum, Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of the Deaf has to say about NAD's advocacy for Deaf truck drivers throughout the United States!

...that NAD is currently working to make airports more accessible to deaf and hard of hearing people?

On January 9, 2012, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) took the lead, and was joined by other consumer groups, in submitting comments in response to a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on proposed rules concerning accessibility of air travel web sites and kiosks at U.S. airports to provide greater accommodations for individuals with disabilities in air travel. The DOT is working to update their accessibility rules for air travel.

The NAD explained that the standards for websites and kiosks should be mindful of the needs of people who are deaf or hard of hearing and all audio content must be visually accessible. For instance, if an airline website or airport kiosk includes a video accompanied with audio, it must include high quality captions. Also, looking to the future, we asked that if any website or kiosk allows customers to communicate directly with an agent, such a system be made accessible. If the communications is via audio, then real time text communications should be provided, and if by video, then a sign language interpreter or video based real time text should be provided. We also asked that airline companies work with national deaf and hard of hearing organizations to make sure that the communication needs of deaf and hard of hearing people are being met.

...you can get tax help from a deaf CPA through videophone?

Need help with your taxes? Work with a deaf CPA who can help you! Check out all services available (including accounting services) at www.deafcpa.com.

Feel free to VP John Skjeveland, CPA at 317-493-0771 or send an email to john@deafcpa.com.

...that KCDHH has released videos explaining their TAP application process, TAP wireless plan, and information about iPhones?

The Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has released three new videos. One with our very own President Sharon White explaining the application process and two with KCDHH Executive Director Virginia Moore explaining how the wireless plan works and how to get started with your new iPhone.

You can see the videos at KCDHH's web site. The videos are signed and captioned.

If you want to view these videos on your mobile device such as an iPhone, click here.

...that KCDHH is now accepting applications for free pagers?

The Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing are now accepting applications for free pagers. To get your application, simply go to their online form then select "Telecommunications Access Program (TAP)" and then complete the form and submit. They will then send you an application to complete and return. Cole Zulauf, Document Processing Specialist III at KCDHH, said:

"The Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH) is currently working with the Department of Finance for the wireless pagers. The process is in the bidding phase and it is anticipated to take another month for this process to complete. You will be notified as soon as a vendor and pager has been selected."

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact KCDHH.

...that if your car breaks down on some Kentucky highways, you can get help through email?

Image of Safe Patrol truckIf your car breaks down on specific major highways in Kentucky and you need to reach someone for help, you can use your pager to send an email to Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's "Safe Patrol" and someone will come out to help you. This service has been available for a while and hearing people have been able to call for help when they were stranded on a highway. The good news is that the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has made this service accessible to deaf people using pagers.

The email address to contact Safe Patrol is kytctocadministration@ky.gov. Be sure to save this address in your pager's address book or write it down and keep it in your car.

You can get more detailed information directly from the Safe Patrol website or a flyer from KCDHH.

...that you can now get a ticket for texting while driving?

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 14, 2010) - A reminder to all Kentucky drivers: Fines begin Jan. 1, 2011, for anyone caught texting while driving and for those under 18 who use a cell phone while driving. Violators will be liable for fines of $25 on a first offense and $50 on each subsequent offense, plus court costs.

“Safety is a top priority of this administration,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “I am convinced that this new law, which many people worked with us to pass, will reduce crashes and fatalities on Kentucky roadways.” In Kentucky last year, there were more than 57,000 crashes - and more than 200 fatalities -- attributed to driver distraction, inattention and cell phone use.

Gov. Beshear signed House Bill 415 into law on April 15, 2010. The law bans texting for drivers of all ages while the vehicle is in motion. For drivers over 18, it allows the use of global positioning devices and reading, selecting or entering a telephone number or name for the purpose of making a phone call. Texting is allowed only to report illegal activity or to request medical or emergency aid.

For drivers under 18, no use of personal communication devices such as cell phones and pagers is allowed while the vehicle is in motion. The use of a global positioning system is allowed, but manually entering information must be completed while the vehicle is stopped.

Emergency and public safety vehicles are exempt when the use of a personal communication device is essential to the operator’s official duties.

“We believe the law will encourage drivers to stay focused on the task at hand,” said Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock. “And with tighter provisions for those under 18, our new drivers will automatically be educated on this important safe driving practice.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driver distraction and inattention contributes to 25 percent of police-responded traffic crashes nationwide. Inexperienced drivers under 20 years old have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes.

Kentucky was the 22nd state to ban texting while driving. Currently, 30 states and the District of Columbia ban text messaging for all drivers. Twelve of these laws were enacted in 2010 alone.

Information on distracted driving is at http://distraction.gov and http://highwaysafety.ky.gov/.

...that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has become more accessible to the deaf?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has their own YouTube Channel complete with ASL/captioned videos!

It's that dreaded time of year again for Americans...TAXES! Everyone hates to do their taxes especially because it can be very confusing. To make matters worse, information about taxes has been rather inaccessible to deaf people. Perhaps the IRS understands this since they are now releasing ASL/captioned videos. After all, taxpayers are taxpayers regardless of whether they can hear.

An example video explains that if you meet certain criteria, you can e-file your taxes free of charge. Who knew?



Before you start sweating over all those tax forms, be sure to take a look at the videos on the IRS YouTube Channel. Maybe you'll learn something and save yourself a headache!

...that Governor Beshear regularly releases captioned videos?

Governor Beshear regularly releases videos "About Kentucky" in his YouTube Channel . The great news about this is that he has made them accessible to deaf and hard of hearing Kentuckians by captioning them! Here's one such video:



At the time of this writing there were 27 captioned videos available for you to watch and more are being added as time goes by. Be an informed Kentuckian and always know what our Kentucky government is up to by being sure to regularly visit Governor Beshear's YouTube channel!