Matlin had a guest appearance on [Family Guy Presents: Seth & Alex’s Almost Live Comedy Show](http://www.hulu.com/watch/107556/family-guy-presents-seth-and-alexs-almost-live-comedy-show). You can find her part around 14 minutes into the show. Her sign off cracked me up.
She has an [interview about her appearance on Hulu](http://www.hulu.com/watch/107551/family-guy-presents-seth-and-alexs-almost-live-comedy-show-special-guest#s-p1-sr-i0). It’s not captioned, but you the [amazing Bill Cresswell](http://billcreswell.wordpress.com/2009/11/09/marlee-matlin-interview-about-almost-live-cc/#clip/) provides the script.
Wow. Who knew she and I have the same accent? 🙂
We know *The Miracle Worker* is a wonderful play about Helen Keller. We’ve come a long way since the 1962 movie starring Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke. Deaf actors have landed more roles even several were the stars of their own shows. (Marlee Matlin starred [Reasonable Doubts](http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101175/) in and Deanna Bray in [Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye](http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0329934/).)
So, Broadway is welcoming a revival of [The Miracle Worker](http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000056HEB/?tag=expert-20). Who did the producers tap to play Helen Keller? Don’t bother trying to recall every teen actor who is deaf, blind or both. Instead, they went with Abigail Breslin of [Little Miss Sunshine](http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000K7VHQE/?tag=expert-20).
Can you guess what happened? You betcha. Advocacy groups like the Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts share their disgust for the casting with the show’s producers. Oh, but they’re open to casting a deaf or blind actor as an understudy. You can see the scores of [news articles on Google](http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news;_ylt=A9j8eu4ZLexKroUAzAfQtDMD;_ylu=X3oDMTBhNjRqazhxBHNlYwNzZWFyY2g-?p=abigail+breslin+deaf&c=&ei=UTF-8&fr=&x=wrt).
By Lise Hamlin
Director of Public Policy and State Development
October 2, 2009
“This is NOT a test: Will the Nation’s Emergency Alert System Deliver the President’s Message to the Public?” That was the topic of a 3 ½ hour hearing before the US House of Representative’s Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management. In addition to the testimony provided by Hearing Loss Association of America, the Subcommittee heard testimony from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), the Government Accountability Office, Maryland State Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), a Florida County Commissioner, National Council of La Raza, and Las Vegas PBS.
If an emergency happened tomorrow, do you know how you would get the information you need? Would it be accessible to you? If you live in a rural community that does not regularly caption the news, are you sure the emergency news that has been provided has captions or uses some other visual method (scrolling or crawling text, for example) to get the information to you? These are the kinds of questions we need to answer before an emergency.
Chairwoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and Ranking Member Mario Diaz-Balart had some hard hitting questions for FEMA. Others on the panel provided information to help the Committee ensure that information on emergencies gets out to everyone.
Still, in an emergency, we need to be sure that every one of us is prepared. It’s up to us to provide information to Congress and FEMA about what we need in an emergency. It’s also up to us to talk to local emergency responders, to join in CERT teams and to be actively involved with emergency planning to ensure that you are safe in an emergency.
[View HLAA’s testimony](http://www.hearingloss.org/advocacy/pdfs/Hamlin_NOTaTest_9-30-2009.pdf) (PDF format)
You can read the testimony of all invited to testify or view the video of the hearing on [http://transportation.house.gov](http://transportation.house.gov) (go to Hearings section) – but will not be available for long. Or click here for a temporary direct link (look on the right column for the list of testimonies). The Committee has a number of hearing s coming up, so plant to keep the video only for a few days; the written testimony should be available longer.
For those or you who are curious about House proceedings: open captioning is not provided all the time: HLAA requested the captions. Captioning was provided remotely, even though there is a court reporter in the room who is responsible for the official record. In fact, there are two official court reporters – each one working no more than an hour at a time. We were also told that if the court reporters go on the House floor, they need only work for 15 minutes at a time. Each reporter cleans up the text during their breaks so that it can be ready for the official record as soon as possible.
We also learned from staff that several people in the room told staff said the captioning was great and they would love to see that all the time. Isn’t’ that always the case?
Date: Saturday, October 3, 2009 at 1:10pm
New York Mets vs. Houston Astros
– A pre-game ceremony at home plate will honor key community supporters.
– Each person will receive a Citi Field Inaugural Season Scroll Pen (with advance purchase through this flyer or group ticket window).
– All deaf and hard of hearing supporters will sit together in Promenade Reserved and Promenade Box seating.
– Interpreters will be placed throughout the ballpark for assistance.
You can [order tickets on the site](http://www.mets.com/groups) by using the login HEAR and password METS to purchase tickets. The flyer has all the information.
Contact for more information: Matt Gulotta at firstname.lastname@example.org or Citi Field Phone: 718-559-3044.
Congress is working on HR 3101 known as the “21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2009”, which would require making the internet more accessible using closed-captioning, real-time texting and video description.
[NY Daily News](http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/health/2009/09/01/2009-09-01_gov_bill_sends_the_digital_age_to_the_disabled_via_realtime_texting_and_other_in.html) reports, “The new bill would make closed captioning mandatory for large Internet television and movie distributors, excluding user-based sites such as YouTube. The bill would also lift an outdated standard enforcing closed captioning only on TV sets of 13 inches or greater, opening up captioning to smart phones and other portable devices that display video.
“The H.R. 3101 bill also aims to bring back a revoked standard on video description for the blind, a technology where a narrator depicts a televised scene in-between character dialogue.”
The trick thing about internet videos is that many of us individuals who know how to operate a video camera, don’t necessarily know how to do much more than upload the video. So how do you create a reasonable law? Of course, I’d like to see more online captions, but I also know we need to be realistic.
The real-time texting targets cell phones to speed response for 911 emergencies.
The baby boomers’ aging compels Congress to come up with more laws and smart businesses to ensure they provide accessible content. This [Many Tribes video discusses the impact of HR 3101](http://manytribes.blogspot.com/2009/08/impact-of-limited-captioning-on.html) (captioned and ASL).
Links: [Laura Carlson](http://webstandardsgroup.org/features/laura-carlson.cfm)