Raped deaf-mute preggy with twins?

This is a repost from The Negros Chronicle dated March 12, 2012.

A gang rape scandal involving minors in Bayawan Cty is overshadowed by reports that the victim, a deaf-mute, is pregnant with twins. However, there is no official confirmation to this belated pregnancy report as of press time.

Mayor Rene Gaudiel said that the victim was apparently raped three times, with the first two instances by her boyfriend and the third incident involving his boyfriend’sgang. Only two have actually raped the victim with the four other minors serving as accessory to the crime.

The city has a center for children in conflict with the law, but Gaudiel is unsure if thesuspects ageing 16-17 years old were already committed there. It was also learned that the incidents happened last December 2011 but was only reported lately as the victim’s family were at first hesitant to publicly make the charge for fear of humiliation.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development is currently collecting the affidavits for pos sibl e multiple r ape charges but are prevented by the fact that under the Juvenile Delinquency Law, they cannot be sentenced nor held in jails.

Mayor Gaudiel joins calls for the amendment of the law authored by Senator Francis Pangilinan as it is being abused by criminal gangs using minors to perpetuate some offenses knowing that they would most likely be freed.



ANC gives the deaf a voice

This is a repost from The Philippine Star. The article even mentioned our school. Great! 🙂

ANC gives the deaf a voice
(The Philippine Star) Updated March 21, 2012 12:00 AM Comments (0)View comments
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From left: Deaf consultant Maria Rowena Rivera, sign language interpreters Catherine Villareal and John Baliza singing letters ANC
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MANILA, Philippines – When the sign language interpreters of Chief Justice on Trial: the ANC Coverage first encountered the term “subpoena duces tecum” and other obscure legal terms, they had to text colleagues who were off-duty and scrabble for the nearest dictionary to find out their meaning and devise ways to interpret them.

Nine weeks into the legalese-heavy trial, the interpreters-instructors from De La Salle’s College of Saint Benilde School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies (CSB-SDEAS) and Philippine National Association of Sign Language Interpreters (PNASLI) still get on with their preparation practices before they sit on-air at 2 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays — bring a dictionary, consult with lawyers and the deaf community, and on their off days, meet and discuss difficult legal phrases and the best ways to “sign” them.

Two sign language interpreters take turn every 20 minutes on a single trial day in interpreting the argument among the prosecution and defense panels and the senator-judges live. Off-camera, a deaf coordinator, a hearing coordinator — and at times, a legal consultant — synergize to ensure legal technicalities are correctly interpreted.

The initiative of ANC, the ABS-CBN News Channel, to fortify its uninterrupted coverage of the impeachment trial has spawned wider political participation by making information accessible to the deaf.

ANC has established itself as “the news channel” that delivers non-stop reportage of news events including the groundbreaking blow-by-blow coverage of the former Pres. Joseph “Erap” Estrada’s impeachment trial, a first on Philippine TV.

ANC managing director Ging Reyes expressed that the sign language initiative serves as another milestone for the news channel and recognizes that the deaf have a stake in the growth of the country.

Catherine Joy Villareal, an instructor at CSB-SDEAS and one of the interpreters, said the team has garnered significantly excellent reactions from the deaf community in provinces and even Filipinos abroad.

“We get to perform our roles, however little, in this historical event. Our goal is to serve the deaf community for them to be able to be aware of what’s happening and for them to have a voice. They participate in what’s happening through us and through ANC’s efforts,” she said.

ANC first incorporated sign language insets during the airing of President Benigno Aquino III’s 2010 and 2011 State of the Nation Addresses. Following positive feedback on the efforts, ANC once again tapped the CSB-SDEAS faculty to make sure the Filipino deaf community is not left out on the historic hearing.

The interpreting team also hopes to promote support for legislations that would require sign language insets in all newscasts and TV programs.

“The effort is significant in a sense that we’re making history not just for the deaf as a community but for the Philippines as a country. We’re slowly integrating the deaf into the society and opening opportunities to them,” said Oscar Sherlo Reyes, CSB-SDEAS’ coordinator for employment opportunities and one of the hearing coordinators in ANC’s coverage.

Aside from the CSB-SDEAS faculty and PNASLI, sign language interpreters from partner groups CAP College, Philippine Association of Interpreters for Deaf Empowerment and Manila Christian Computer Institute for the Deaf also volunteer for ANC’s impeachment trial coverage.

 Chief Justice on Trial: the ANC Coverage airs on ANC (SkyCable Ch. 27) or online streamed live on  HYPERLINK “http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/cjontrial” http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/cjontrial, while those mobile can get instant updates by following @ANCALERTS on Twitter.

Scientists translate sign language to text in pioneering phone software

All I can say to this is, WOW! 

This app will be available in iphone.

PIONEERING technology which translates sign language into text is being developed by Scottish scientists in a major boost for people suffering from speech and hearing difficulties.


The new software – the first of its kind in the world – has been developed for use on portable devices, such as smartphones, and will allow users to turn sign language into words. Users will even be able to customise the sign language to their own specific needs.

The Aberdeen University scientists behind the breakthrough claim the technology has the potential to transform how sign language users – from the profoundly deaf to those who have lost hearing in later life – will be able to communicate.

The Portable Sign Language Translator (PSLT ) has been developed by computing scientists at Technabling, a spin-out from Aberdeen University. The PSLT recognises sign language using a small camera which can be integrated in most mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablet Pcs and netbooks, and then renders it as text displayed on the device’s main screen.

Dr Ernesto Compatangelo, a lecturer in computing science who is director of Technabling, said: “The aim of the technology is to empower sign language users by enabling them to overcome the communication challenges they can experience, through portable technology.

“The user signs into a standard camera integrated into a laptop, netbook, Smartphone or other portable device such as a tablet. Their signs are immediately translated into text which can be read by the person they are conversing with.

“The intent is to develop an application – an “app” in Smartphone terms – that is easily accessible and could be used on different devices.”

He said the PSLT technology had the potential to be used with a range of sign languages including British Sign Language (BSL) and Makaton. More than 50,000 people with speech problems use BSL as their first or preferred language.

Dr Compatangelo said: “One of the most innovative and exciting aspects of the technology, is that it allows sign language users to actually develop their own signs for concepts and terms they need to have in their vocabulary, but they may not have been able to express easily when using BSL.”

The research is being funded by the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to enhance the lives of deaf people with special emphasis in benefiting young people who are either in education or training.

A spokesman for Technabling said: “As a learning tool, the PSLT can be easily and effectively used by those who are learning to sign. So far, these learners needed a sign language expert in front of them to check that they were able to sign correctly. This is a problem, due to the scarce availability of sign language experts and to the consequent cost of such training.

“The PSLT can replace the human expert in many occasions, allowing learners to practice sign language whenever and wherever they like, driving costs substantially down.”

A university spokeswoman said: “Scientists on the project are now encouraging sign language users from Aberdeen city and shire to get in touch to become involved with its ongoing development. It is anticipated that the technology will be available as a product by next year.”

Repost from www.scotsman.com website.

Yay! First 200,000 Visits!

Wow! Wow! I reached a great milestone in my blog experience. Today I celebrate my 200,000th visits since I created this in 2008! Hooray!

English: Filipino Sign Language Font
Download MCCID FSL Font

I now have 319 posts, 792 comments, 22 categories, 685 tags, 24 active followers, 40 comment followers.

Since my last Yay! post in November 11 or four months ago, I was able to blog thirty three times. My top referrer is now Google search followed closely by Deafread.com and a far third by WordPress tags, fourth by Facebook, fifth from our school’s official website and sixth from deafvideo.tv. This is probably because I was able to post ten video logs.

My top search engine term remains the Deaf Icon Marlee Matlin followed by “Dinig Sana Kita“, a Filipino movie about being deaf, Heather Whitestone and Filipino Sign Language . My most popular blog post is still about the most popular Filipino Person With Disability, ex-governor Grace Padaca while my most popular video log post (vlog) is about the Philippine National Anthem in Filipino Sign Language.

Thank you very very much to my dear readers for staying patient with me! Now, on to my first 220,000th visitors hopefully still within 2012! 🙂

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