United Airlines--Are You Listening?
Karen The service industry ain't what it used to be... This morning, my friend John sent me the link to a story about poor customer service on United Airlines: Not-So-Happy Flying Last week, I wasn't so happy with United Airlines myself. After two phone calls trying to get them to load a subtitled movie into the plane, I learned that I was going to have to create a new ...
Tue, May 20 2008
Hawaii School for the Deaf and Back Home Again
Karen On Friday morning, our last full day on Oahu, we headed over to the Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind. We were met by Harry Hayler, the school counselor, who gave us a tour of the school. The school currently has 72 deaf and deaf blind students and no students who are blind. All of the blind students on the island are in other schools. The school was down to 20 s...
Mon, May 19 2008
ooVoo--A Great Way to Communicate
Karen Have I told you about ooVoo lately? I don't work for the company and there's no financial incentive for me to promote this, but I'm going to tell you about ooVoo because it's an amazing tool for communication over the internet. I first used ooVoo when I participated in "My ooVoo Chat" back in February of this year. A short video featuring the conversati...
Thu, May 08 2008
Steak 'n Shake Issue Still Creating PR Waves
Karen Remember when I had the drive-thru window shut in my face (not once, but twice!) back in January? The issue continues to ripple on. In April, it was the subject of Laurel Papworth's presentation at the RMIT Communicator of the Year event in... Australia. That's right, Steak 'n Shake has gone down under. Laurel has an excellent presentation on why companies need ...
Wed, May 07 2008
Vote for Marlee, Says Her Friends at the Deaf Volleyball...
Karen Yesterday, I spent the day refereeing at the Harper Deaf Volleyball tournament. There were about 300 people there with hands flying everywhere (including a couple of cuers). This tournament brought back a lot of memories, for my first introduction to volleyball was in college, when I played for the NIU deaf team. At that time, the tournament was hosted at Waubonsee ...
Sun, Apr 20 2008
Dawn Niles Case--Gary Albert Pleads Innocent
Karen The Southtown Town Star posted an update on the case of Dawn Nile's murder: Gary Albert Pleads Innocent Dawn was a deaf student at Hinsdale South High School and she was found murdered in March of 1981. Gary was held in jail on a one million dollar bond and his family bailed him out to the tune of $100,000. A hearing is scheduled for May 22nd. To read all of t...
Wed, Apr 16 2008
Can Negative PR Result in a Positive Outcome?
Karen Jennifer Laycock tackled the issue of how negative campaigns against competitors rarely serve a positive outcome in her post, Spite is not a Marketing Strategy. Jennifer encourages companies to make themselves stand out from their competitors in a different way, a way that highlights something positive about their company. In her blog, Jennifer used the example of ...
Mon, Apr 14 2008
Raising Deaf and Hard of Hearing Kids--Here, There and...
Karen Today was nuts. I went food shopping at 2:45 and picked the youngest kiddo up at 3:30. Together, we put the food away and Steven tossed dinner in the oven while I hopped in the car to pick up Lauren at school. She stayed after school to play volleyball. As soon as we arrived home, I sent her upstairs to pack a bag for her sleepover. Her friend was on her way home...
Fri, Apr 11 2008
Marlee Matlin--Still Dancing!
Karen It's another week and Marlee Matlin is still kicking up her heels each week on Dancing with the Stars. I missed Monday's show as I was on a plane coming home from California. Last night, I spoke to a group of parents up north and came home just in time to see that Marlee and Fabian made it through another week. Just then, the dish went out due to a storm. Last wee...
Wed, Apr 09 2008
Insurance Companies Don't Cover Hearing Aids--Let's Change...
Karen Two years ago, my family had hearing aid coverage by our insurance company up to $1,000 per year, thanks to my husband's employer. We now have HMO insurance that doesn't cover hearing aids. I am hoping that my current hearing aids continue to work for several more years. My cousin recently purchased hearing aids and was so shocked to find out that her insurance co...
Sun, Apr 06 2008 · Moved from DeafRead Extra
"Beautiful" Video is Indeed, Beautiful
Karen D-Pan has released a new video based on Christina Aguilera's song, "Beautiful." Kylie Sharp, the co-director of Michigan Hands & Voices has a daughter in the video--check out the girl in the pink: The lyrics for the original song: Don't look at me Every day is so wonderful And suddenly, it's hard to breathe Now and then, I get insecure From all th...
Mon, Mar 31 2008
Swimmer Aims for the Deaf Olympics
Karen Karen Meyer at ABC News Chicago did a segment this morning on deaf swimmer, Will Landgren: Deaf Swimmer's Teammates Learn Sign Language. When Will first began swimming, his teammates wore sweatshirts to welcome him to the team. When Will's cochlear implant comes off and he slips into the water, his teammates communicate with him by signing or through an interpreter...
Sun, Mar 30 2008
Matthew Gets an Implant--Six Months Later
Karen "How's Matthew doing?" a reader recently asked me. You may remember Matthew from earlier posts: Matthew Gets a Cochlear Implant and Matthew's Cochlear Implant Activation. I have gotten several emails from readers wondering about Matthew's progress with his cochlear implant and what he's doing today. From the very first day of activation, Matthew instantl...
Fri, Mar 28 2008
Adversity University Interviews Karen Putz
Karen Stephen Hopson over at Adversity University has a series of interviews that allow readers to get a deeper glimpse into the life of bloggers all over. I'm really honored that Stephen chose to interview me and share a bit more about my life. Stephen asked several questions that made me pause and think before answering. Of course, after completing the interview, I th...
Wed, Mar 26 2008
Why Culver's Gets My Drive-Thru Money
Karen My mom and my sister excitedly emailed me. "We went through the Culver's drive-thru!" they said. So why were they so excited? They liked the "Order Assist" system that Inclusion Solutions installed in several of Culver's restaurants. Quite simply, there is a sign with a large button near the speaker of a drive-thru. When customers press the bu...
Sat, Mar 22 2008
Steak 'n Shake--Will We Move Forward?
Karen "What's happening with Steak 'n Shake," a friend asked me recently. I figured it was time to blog about it once again. First, I have to say that the Steak 'n Shake incident has turned my life crazy upsidedown. The latest to pick up the story was Diversity, Inc.: Second Class Citizen: Deaf Mother of Three Denied Service At Restaurant. Protecting Rights o...
Mon, Mar 17 2008
I'm Allergic to Glitter Earmolds
Karen My daughter Lauren has glitter earmolds with pink and purple glitter in them. They look really cool sparkling in her ears so I figured I'd get some blue glitter earmolds myself. After all, my current earmolds were several years old and quite nasty looking. It was time for something fresh and different. I loved my blue glitter earmolds, but after the first day, my...
Fri, Mar 14 2008
Dancing with the Stars--Marlee Matlin is Ready
Karen For seven hours a day, the stars from Dancing with the Stars practice. All day long, they twist, twirl, and tango-- and in high heels to boot. Marlee Matlin looks really good in today's Chicago Tribune (above), which shows her dancing with her partner, Fabian Sanchez. Not only does she have to follow Fabian's lead in high heels, she'll have to do it backwards as wel...
Thu, Mar 13 2008
Disability Blog Carnival--Communication Allies
Karen The 33rd Disability Blog Carnival is being hosted by Ruth at Wheelie Catholic. The theme is Appreciating Allies. My tribute today is to the many interpreter and CART (real time captioners) allies that I've met over the years. I grew up hard of hearing, but I basically lipread my way through life. I didn't know American Sign Language and I wasn't introduced to it ...
Wed, Mar 12 2008
17-Month Old Toddler Learns to Read
Karen On the Today Show, a 17-month old toddler was shown reading off words like kangaroo and sentences like "Nice to meet you." The parents are both speech therapists who signed with their baby when she was younger. The video, unfortunately as usual, isn't captioned but you can see the mom signing in parts of it: The Today Show This brought back memories when ...
Mon, Mar 10 2008
Dawn Nile's Sister Speaks Out
Karen In the Chicago Tribune today, Dawn Nile's sister, Heather, talked about how the family tried to investigate Dawn's murder twelve years ago on their own. They didn't get far by trying to investigate on their own. A family friend urged the local state's attorney to get involved and two years ago, they began investigating the case, interviewing several of the Hinsdale ...
Fri, Mar 07 2008
1981 Murder of Dawn Niles--Deaf Man Charged
Karen In 1981, Dawn Niles, a deaf student at Hinsdale South was found murdered in a Chicago area forest preserve. My husband was a student there at the time and knew Dawn. He described her as a beautiful, popular student. Gary Albert, a deaf man from Sugar Grove, is being held in a local jail with bond set at one million dollars. Here are the news stories: Victim's S...
Wed, Mar 05 2008
Tree Wise Author on ABC News
Karen Karen Meyer featured deaf author, Antoinette Abbamonte, who wrote "Tree Wise," a story about a tree teaching children about Deaf Culture. Antoinette is a deaf actress who was featured in the film, "Wrong Game" along with Chicago local, Liz Tannebaum. She's also found in the video, Sign and ABCs. You can view the entire ABC interview here: Mom'...
Sun, Mar 02 2008
Midwest Deaf Academic Bowl
Karen David took off for the Indiana School for the Deaf last Thursday to compete in the Midwest Academic Bowl hosted by ISD and Gallaudet. Hinsdale South is shown on the left and Minnesota North Star is on the right in the photo above. Indiana won first place and Hersey took second. Hersey won the National competition last year. For those who are not familiar with the comp...
Mon, Feb 25 2008
Marlee Matlin on Oprah and Dancing With the Stars
Karen Ah yes, the rumors are so true, Marlee Matlin is in the line up for the new Dancing with the Stars season. She will be on Oprah today along with the other cast members. USA Today published an interview with Marlee: Deaf Matlin Follows in Mills' Footsteps. Marlee isn't worried about following the music. "The stairs at the top of the stage--I'm thinking heels, s...
Thu, Feb 21 2008
Now Over at Parenting Squad!
Karen I'm now a Contributing Writer over at Parenting Squad and my first article is up: Ten Hearing Aids at My House
Wed, Feb 20 2008
Featured Articles on Disaboom
Karen I have been contributing articles to Disaboom since late last year and I thought I would share those articles here: Peace Corps Years Inspire The Unheard For Better or Worse, and Kids with Disabilities Spunky Mom Takes on School District Marlee Matlin: What My Parents Understood (reprint)
Mon, Feb 18 2008
Business and Blogging Examines Steak 'n Shake Incident
Karen On Wednesday, January 28, 2008, I experienced discrimination at a local Steak 'n Shake restaurant when a manager slammed the window in my face and refused to fill an order for two milkshakes. After briefly debating whether to sit in the drive thru in protest and allow the manager to fulfill his threat to call the cops, I decided to blog about it instead. Thanks to t...
Thu, Feb 14 2008
MTV True Life Chooses Deaf Student
Karen MTV is coming to town. MTV is producing a documentary, True Life, I'm Deaf and has chosen Aubrey Millar from my hometown. You may remember Aubrey from a previous post: The Oldest Goes off to High School. David and Aubrey have been friends since they were babies. I'm so excited for Aubrey and I look forward to watching this documentary unfold!
Tue, Feb 12 2008
Deaf Bookclub Meets Via Video!
Karen On Saturday night, after sending my oldest kid off to the Turnabout dance, I headed over to my BookHands meeting. Two of our members couldn't make it and one had to leave early. Two of our other members moved out of state but they continued to read the books along with the rest of us. We discussed the book, They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky, about three boys who li...
Mon, Feb 11 2008
Join Me on Oovoo!
Karen The great folks over at Oovoo, are hosting My Oovoo Day, an event where bloggers from all over are hosting a chat day to interact with their readers using webcams and text and voice chat. This chat is in honor of Susan Reynolds, a blogger who was diagnosed with breast cancer and has been sharing her journey in her blog, Boobs on Ice. You may have heard about the Froze...
Sat, Feb 09 2008
Join Me at the Reader's Cafe
Karen Glenda Watson Hyatt has invited me to share the spotlight at her Reader's Cafe, Wednesday, February 6 from 4 to 7 p.m. Pacific Standard time. That's from 6 to 10 p.m. Central Standard Time. Glenda plans to tackle some questions related to the recent denial of service at Steak 'n Shake such as: Why didn’t you go inside to order your milkshake? (I know why, but I wou...
Tue, Feb 05 2008
Pepsi Commercial Interview with ABC
Karen Last night, I met up with Darren and Sheri Therriault at the West Suburban Association of the Deaf. I am one of the past presidents of this club and Dennis O'Brien, the current president has taken the club to new heights. Darren played the passenger in the Pepsi Commercial that will be airing today during the Super Bowl pre-game. During the "Deal or No Deal&...
Sun, Feb 03 2008
Culver's Served Me Through the Drive Thru
Karen Yesterday, I joined Patrick Hughes, Jr. and Carey Siegel at the Romeoville Culver's to discuss drive thru solutions for fast food restaurants. Patrick is the owner of Inclusion Solutions, a company that provides products for improved access for people with disabilities. Inclusion Solutions has installed a product called "Order Assist" in 28 Culver's locati...
Fri, Feb 01 2008
Steak 'n Shake-- The Meeting
Karen This morning, I had a meeting with three of the executives from Steak 'n Shake. Joining me at the meeting were Beth Donofrio, a board member from Illinois Hands & Voices and Howard Rosenblum, an attorney from Equip for Equality with me. Beth assisted me in taking notes at the meeting. Steak 'n Shake started off with an apology and said, "We believe in adm...
Wed, Jan 30 2008
Steak 'n Shake Customer Says I Owe an Apology
Karen Here's an interesting comment that was left on a Steak 'n Shake post: My dear aunt is physically handicapped and has a tendency to take things personally. For example, even when family members give her corrective feedback, she easily gets hurt. When she doesn't receive the special treatment she expects, she assumes she's being mistreated for her disability. I've b...
Tue, Jan 29 2008
FOX Interview with Darren from Pepsi Commercial
Karen I turned on the TV this morning to catch Mike Barz interviewing Darren Therriault on his participation in the Silent Pepsi Commercial: Good Day Chicago. A big thank YOU, hand wave and shout out to Michelle who took the time to type out the transcript and send it to me: Announcer: For a lot of folks, the best thing about the Super Bowl are the commercials. This year...
Mon, Jan 28 2008
So, I Planned this Steak 'n Shake Fiasco?
Karen Dear Anonymous Commenter who left a nasty comment at 11:10 p.m. on Friday night: Unfortunately, you had too many f-bombs and b-words in your comment for me to allow it on this site. One previous f-bomb comment was enough for me to let through already. You accused me of planing (I think you meant planning) this whole thing for money. I think you're missing somethi...
Sat, Jan 26 2008
Fox News Coverage on the Milkshake Denial
Karen Fox News Chicago covered the Steak 'n Shake Denies a Milkshake story: Deaf Woman Says Steak 'n Shake Refused to Serve Her How ironic is it that I can't access a news story on the web because it isn't captioned? I dream of the day when it's all accessible!
Fri, Jan 25 2008
Steak 'N Shake on the News
Karen Here's ABC New's coverage: ABC News It is not captioned, but the story is below. Fox News is covering this at nine and ten p.m. and tomorrow morning.
Thu, Jan 24 2008
Steak and Shake--Looks Like This Touched A Nerve
Karen Yesterday, I just wanted a shake from Steak 'n Shake and was turned away. Today, I'm seeing how amazing the internet is: Emoms At Home: Standing up for a Friend and Fellow Blogger Jim's Blog: Steak 'n Shake Denies Service My Wooden Spoon: Boycott Steak and Shake A Cowboy's Wife: Boycott Steak and Shake The Marketing Eggspert: What Steak and Shake Will Do For...
Thu, Jan 24 2008
Disability Blog Carnival--What I Wish Professionals Knew
Karen This week's Disability Blog Carnival focuses on the theme, "What Professionals Should Know About Disability" and is hosted over at Ryn Tale's Book of Days. If I had a dime for every time a professional predicted an outcome for a child with a disability based on what they "learned from many years in the field," I'd be a millionaire. Make that a ...
Thu, Jan 24 2008
Steak and Shake Denies Service
Karen After picking my youngest son up from school, we decided to grab some shakes at the local Steak and Shake before heading over to the middle school to pick up Lauren. I went through the empty drive through and drove past the speaker. After waiting a few minutes at the window, I finally honked the horn and waited some more. After a second honk a few minutes later, ...
Wed, Jan 23 2008
Dr. Robert Davila's New Book
Karen Dr. Robert Davila's book, Moments of Truth: Robert R. Davila, the Story of a Deaf Leader,was recently released and it is on my pile of "books to read". I first met Dr. Davila at the Chicago Hearing Society Volunteer Lunch in October, 2007. He is shown above with Jill Sahakian (CHS Director) and Mary Clark. Bob was the keynote speaker and he shared stories...
Fri, Jan 18 2008
Central Institute for the Deaf--My Sister's Memories
Karen My sister Linda and I recently went out to dinner at our favorite restaurant, Luigi's House. On the way home, we were reminiscing about the past and Linda brought up some memories about her three years at Central Institute for the Deaf. We had never really talked about her time at the auditory oral school that she attended from preschool until third grade. So tonigh...
Thu, Jan 17 2008
The Dance of Language, by Sara Kennedy
Karen I met Sara Kennedy several years ago when I first joined the board of Hands & Voices. I knew I liked this hip mom from the beginning, as she was also a homebirth mom. Sara wrote a beautiful article about the delicate dance of language and communication and I wanted to share it with my readers: Not so long ago, I looked down at a 14 month old toddler in my lap aft...
Sat, Jan 12 2008
The Impact of Hearing Loss on Kids
Karen Paula Rosenthal posted an interesting article from the Better Hearing Institute on her blog: One Million Youth in America with Hearing Loss May be Left Behind, National Survey Finds; Even ‘Minor’ Hearing Loss Causes Major Problems The study focused on unilateral and mild hearing loss and found that when left untreated, several areas of life were affected, namely: S...
Tue, Jan 08 2008
Captioned Radio--Don't Read and Drive!
Karen Tim Poindexter over at Disaboom posted a recent release about captioned radio: Closed Captioned Radio? That's Right, It's Here! The first over-the-air broadcast is set for January 8, 2008. Back in April, 2006, the actual idea was demonstrated at a Broadcasting Conference: Harris Corporation and NPR Labs to Demonstrate New HD Radio Services for Hearing and Visually...
Sun, Jan 06 2008
Non-Fiction, Non-Captioned Movies
Karen Arrrghhhh! The oldest son has a few extra credit projects that include watching non-fiction movies from the library. The few movies that I found aren't captioned, and have no English subtitles. I'm off to browse the Described and Captioned Media Program list to see what they have on there. We have encountered this same issue in the schools. I do wish that we co...
Sat, Jan 05 2008
Heather Whitestone--From her Mom's View
Karen When Heather Whitestone became Miss America back in 1995, I watched the pageant with great interest. This was the first time in history that a profoundly deaf contestant had become Miss America. A video clip of that moment can be viewed here: Video of Heather Whitestone. I read Heather's book, Listening With My Heart shortly after it was released. Two weeks ago, m...
Wed, Jan 02 2008
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