The Daily Moth 5-3-2019

Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Friday, May 3. Ready for news?


Hawaii legislature passes movie open captioning bill

Yesterday leaders from Hawaii’s Deaf community took to social media to celebrate the state legislature passing a bill that would require movie theaters to provide open captioning twice a week per movie.

The bill, H.B. 1009, applies to movie theater companies that have more than two locations in the state.

This bill is stronger than a previous version because it removes an option for theaters to offer eyewear devices in lieu of open captioning, and by removing a sunset date, which would make this law permanent.

The bill awaits the governor’s signature to make it law. When signed, it will take effect on July 1, 2019.

Aloha State Association of the Deaf President Darlene Ewan posted a vlog yesterday right after it passed.

Ewan: It’s 2019. It’s finally passed. We’re the first state in the U.S. to require open movie theater captioning. I wanted to let you all know because you are a part of this event. Hawaii is the first, which is notable, and we Americans can make a difference by working together. Working together means loving each other and striving for success in fighting barriers. So today we broke one barrier but we will break more barriers.

Alex: Here is a video tweet from Mary Harman, who works with state Senator Karl Rhoads, one of the legislators who supported the bill.

Harman and Rhoads, signing in unison: Hawaii movie theater bill passed! Yay!

Alex: Harman tweeted that the win felt surreal because they had to fight against wealthy lobbyists.

So, Congratulations to the Deaf community there. For those of us who live in 49 other states, we have another reason to envy Hawaii.



Bill Text:


Canadian Senate considers ASL/LSQ recognition after testimony by CAD President

On Wednesday, the Canadian Association of the Deaf President Frank Folino testified before a Senate committee in Ottawa for over two hours to answer questions and advocate for ASL/LSQ recognition to be amended in the pending Accessible Canada Act bill, which would be the “Canadian version” of the American with Disabilities Act.

This is the wording of the proposed amendment.

“All Deaf persons must have barrier-free access to full and equal participation in society, recognizing that American Sign Language (ASL) and lange des signs quebecoise (LSQ) are languages of persons who are Deaf in Canada.”

I was able to watch parts of Folino’s testimony through a live streaming platform on a Canadian government website.

[Clips of Folino’s testimony before Senate committee]

Alex: I was able to interview Folino after he finished the meeting on Wednesday.

Folino: I have an optimistic feeling. I felt open and it was a wonderful environment. They were very open-minded and willing to listen and ask questions. Yes, it was a lot they asked, but I was able to provide answers. I feel satisfied overall.

During Folino’s testimony, he mentioned that ASL/LSQ recognition would lead to more job opportunities for Deaf people. I asked him to expand on that.

Folino: There are many great opportunities. For interpreting, we could start employment opportunities and growth for federal jobs. For example, we want to see the Prime Minister of Canada, during a live address, stand with Deaf interpreters for ASL and LSQ. Secondly, it would enable video interpreting for federal services. Examples are Passport Canada, employment insurance, and various federal services for Canadians. When a Deaf person who is employed on the federal level and has a video interpreter, a hearing client can come and communicate for things such as a new passport with VRI interpreting. This is a federal government service. This means employment opportunities for deaf people. That is the purpose of the bill, to achieve a barrier-free Canada. This means we must break down barriers at the federal level.

Alex: Thank you for sharing, Folino.

I got information from Lisa Anderson, another Deaf leader and activist, that the Senate committee has unanimously passed a motion to amend recognition of ASL/LSQ and Indigenous Sign Languages in two places in the ACA.

What is next? The amendment will go before the full Senate for a vote. If it goes well, it will then return to the House of Commons.

I want to mention that during Folino’s testimony, there was one funny moment when a senator proposed that, instead of “American Sign Language,” they change it to “American Canadian Sign Language.”


I could see that the testimony was a rare moment for lawmakers to truly listen and learn about Deaf people’s linguistic and cultural values and needs.

Good luck to CAD and the Deaf community there as they await the amendment’s progress.

Video of Testimony:


YLC to celebrate 50 years at reunion in Pennsylvania

Youth Leadership Camp Alumni Foundation (YLCAF) is hosting a 50th year reunion this month from May 24th to 27th in Pennsylvania.

The Daily Moth reached out to Linda Hatrak Cundy, a member at large for YLCAF and the chairperson for YLC 50th reunion. The first question I asked: Can you explain what the difference is between the YLCAF and the YLC reunion?

LINDA HATRAK CUNDY: There’s a new organization called YLC Alumni Foundation (YLCAF) being created. It has two purposes. First, it was created, in maybe 2011, to plan for the 50th anniversary that was to be hosted in 2019. Secondly, it’s to develop an endowment fund of one million dollars. After YLCAF organization hosts the reunion, YLCAF will continue their operations by providing camp scholarships in order to provide the deaf youth an opportunity to attend YLC.

Renca: You mentioned about raising 1 million dollars, could you explain more about that?

LINDA: The YLCAF is developing an one-million-dollar endowment fund. With the budget, one of its purposes is to provide camp scholarships for the underprivileged, those in need, for the underrepresented youth across the country. Those who are in mainstream programs have limited opportunities to have deaf leadership trainings. So we’ve identified their needs through our scholarship program.

One other intention is to finance the camp program itself to maintain its high-quality services.

Renca: What are you most excited about?

LINDA: We have everyone that went to YLC last year, 2018, all the way back to the 1969 group. All of whom are between age 18 and 89 will be attending. Personally, I’m really excited to see how people who are 89 years old, went to YLC in 70s and 80s, will interact with the younger groups. It’s excited and I’m mostly looking forward to see what they all will think after the reunion. That’s my job anyhow.

Renca: There is a small buzz going around about Frank Turk’s (one of the co-founders for YLC) book, can you explain briefly about that?

LINDA: Frank Turk’s book is a draw for people to come to the reunion. People heard that Turk will launch his book at the reunion. It will have its first sales there. He’ll be giving a presentation about his book. Its topic is on the Deaf youth movement.

It’s based on the time when he was turning over the reins to the next generation. The book will be released at the reunion and we’ll be seeing the book for the first time. Afterwards, it’ll be up for sale. I’m really excited about Turk’s book.

Renca: Any last comments?

LINDA: Really, it’s now May, it is not too late to come. Even on that day, if you decide to come, we’ll accept registration. Come and join us!

I have room for you…come and join us…to celebrate the 50th anniversary over 3 days!

Renca: Linda did mention that it is a huge milestone for YLC to reach to this point- 50 years! So this is definitely a big celebration for the Deaf community. Thank you Linda for sharing! You can find more information with the link provided in the transcript below.



Lost River Vacations Kickstarter campaign raises $10k in 3 days

About a month ago I did a news report about three Deaf people who purchased 23 acres of land in Lost River, West Virginia with a dream of turning it into a campground with tiny houses.

On Sunday they were supposed to have a launch party for their Kickstarter campaign at a Deaf-owned brewery, Streetcar 82, but there was a water main break in the street front of the bar. They had to change their party to Red Bear Brewing, but it was still a success with over 500 people attending.

In only three days, they have surpassed their $10,000 goal on Kickstarter, but they hope the amount will go ever higher so they can build more on the land.

Here are comments from two of the founders, Andrew St. Cyr and Jane Jonas.

Andrew St. Cyr: It was our goal, our hope, to collect $10,000 in 30 days, but we already achieved more than this in only 3 days! This was such an inspiration for us and we are truly grateful for you, the community, for valuing our mission. It’s made us really roll up our sleeves and move things along even faster. Again, you’re really an inspiration to us and we love you!

Jane Jonas: Keep in mind that, with $10,000, we’re not satisfied and it’s really only the beginning. It’s seed money and we want to plant more seeds so we can grow even more! We want as many seeds as we can get because we want to build many houses! Also, the Kickstarter is only open for 30 days and you can still participate. There’s a number of rewards where you can get different things like one of our shirts, artworks and even cooler, you could stay at our tiny house. Remember if you choose to stay at the tiny house, there’s no expiration date attached to it! That means you can wait as long as you want before using the reward. You can give it to a friend. Pretty neat, right? Also, the pricing list on the Kickstarter includes amazing discounts! You will not see these same deals again. So, it’s an opportunity for you to participate in our Kickstarter program. We would truly appreciate your support. We love you!

Alex: Nice. You can check out their Kickstarter at the link below. There are varying levels of rewards, starting at $5, for varying amounts of pledges.

If you pledge $160, you’ll get a two-night stay at their tiny home.

Jonas told me that Lost River team will be featured in the Washington Post on the front page of Metro this Sunday.

Best of luck to the Lost River team as they continue to grow as a Deaf-owned business and contribute to our ecosystem.


That is all for this week! Thank you for watching The Daily Moth. Have a wonderful weekend and stay with the light!