LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — JenniferZelezhas struggled with her health since before birth.
While her mom was pregnant with her, she had multiple strokes. She is deaf and suffers from grand mal seizures. Although she graduated high school, got married and had a child, her cognitive function has deteriorated over the years.
“In many ways, her thinking is like a child’s thinking and then you’ll just see amazing adult thinking and behavior,” said Coleen Humble, Jennifer’s mom.
Now in middle age, Jennifer has spent much of her life being cared for but over the last year, Coleen had two major surgeries – the caregiver needing care herself. Jennifer stepped up in an incredible way.
“I help her a lot – feed her. I asked her, ‘do you need anything? Do you need anything?’ She said, ‘no, I’m fine.’ Sometimes she’d say, ‘yes,'” saidZelez.
“She did the laundry, cleaned the house, helped me so much without even complaining. I think she was delighted to be the caregiver for once in her life,” said Humble.
Coleen wants something simple for her daughter: recognition.
“She thinks that people don’t even notice her but I keep on telling her that she’s amazing, beautiful, she’s so sweet. She’s our angel and the kindest person,” said Humble.
Zelezwas surprised for our 13 Days and Knights of Giving, sponsored by the Vegas Golden Knights Foundation, Subaru of Las Vegas and America First Credit Union.
GOODING, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) – Some students at the Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind can’t attend class this week after a pipe broke Friday.
Administrator Brian Darcy told KMVT they had a sprinkler pipe break on Friday at around 4:30 p.m.
Classes for part of the deaf/hard of hearing elementary school have been cancelled for the rest of the week as crews clean up the damage.
Darcy said many of their students come to the school from across the state, so they had to make the decision of cancelling those classes rather quickly.
“It’s just anytime we lose instructional time with our kids, it’s a major hit for us and our kids. We haven’t come to any decisions regarding whether not we’ll be able to return. We have to wait until we get the all clear that it’s safe and secure environment before we make that decision,” he explained.
Darcy said six classrooms had water impact, three or four that were “pretty heavily damaged.” About 40 students attend those classes, he said.
They are still waiting for the final count of damages and restoration time, hoping to have more information by the end of the week.
Thomas Gallaudet was born on December 10, 1787 in Philadelphia, PA. He graduated from Yale and began a study of sign language and European methods of education for the deaf after meeting Alice Cogswell, a nine-year-old deaf girl. In 1817, Gallaudet established the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Connecticut.
Gallaudet’s future changed when he met Alice Cogswell, a young deaf mute girl. He became determined to help her and, upon the request of her father, went to Europe to learn educational methods for teaching the deaf. Dr. Mason Cogswell and others had offered Gallaudet the opportunity to open and become principal of the first deaf school in the United States. Upon his return, in 1817, the Connecticut Asylum for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons opened in Hartford. Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc, a European teacher he had recruited, began teaching students. The school’s success brought the attention of President James Monroe, and subsequent government funding for large lands and a big facility for the growing institution.
Thomas Gallaudet’s work was instrumental because it allowed society to understand that those who are deaf could be educated. His school was one of the country’s early grass roots efforts that diversified education and brought it to the disadvantaged. Also, his work helped develop the American Sign Language, the most widely-used form of communication for the deaf community in the world.
In September 1851, Gallaudet passed away from complications of the lung disease that he had suffered from since he was a child. His youngest son, Edward, had followed in his footsteps as an advocate for deaf education. Dedicated to starting the first college for the deaf, and with the support of President Abraham Lincoln, Edward turned Colombia Institution into a college for the deaf and became its first president. Graduates of the college, asked its governing board to change the institution’s name to Gallaudet University in honor of Thomas Gallaudet’s work to promote education for the deaf community.
BOISE – It’s a classic way to spend your Saturday night. Grabbing a tub of popcorn, heading into the theater and watching the drama on-screen unfold, but it isn’t an experience that translates well for everyone.
“Hearing people wouldn’t enjoying having put a headset on every time they enjoyed a movie, but yet deaf people are required to put on all this extra equipment to their bodies, to enjoy a movie,” said Idaho Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Steven Snow.
In Idaho, there are more than 200,000 people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Newer statistics show nearly 20% of our state’s population has some hearing loss. Per ADA rules, movie theaters must have equipment to provide deaf and hard of hearing moviegoers with closed captioning. These glasses don’t always meet the needs of those wearing them.
“I’ve used the caption glasses but they are really, really annoying, they’re heavy on my face and they often don’t workout throughout the movie,” said 9th grader Katie Baker.
The deaf community wants to see more open captioning options. Local movie theaters are typically on board.
“We don’t want limit anyones availability to our films. It’s entertainment, everybody should have access to the entertainment,” said movie theater manager Josie Pusl.
However, they’re facing a problem on the distributors end, who are either not sending films with open captioning or not approving open caption showings on a corporate level.
“The open caption is maybe about 50% but closed caption and glasses is almost 100% of the films,” said Pusl.
Leaders with the Idaho Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing say besides lack of comfort and embarrassment associated with the closed captioned glasses, it’s more cost-effective to use open captioning.
“The glasses cost a few thousand dollars per one set, so if you buy a few for a theater not only are they bulky and cumbersome, but they’re expensive whereas a more simple solution and in fact the deaf community would prefer to have open captions,” said Snow.
One movie theater in Boise and one in Emmett have a weekly open-caption showing, but with help from Boise State’s ASL department they’re trying to share the message with more theaters.
John Krasinski’s debut feature “A Quiet Place” tells the story of a family with a deaf child, and the “Jack Ryan” star wanted to make sure he included a deaf actor in the film.
“It was a non-negotiable thing for me,” Krasinski told Rosamund Pike of the casting during their conversation for Variety‘s “Actors on Actors.”
Acknowledging that “A Quiet Place” was his first time directing a studio movie, Krasinski gave props to Paramount for having faith in him despite his lack of experience with visual effects or using sign language to work with a deaf actress.
When it came to casting Millicent Simmonds as Regan, besides the benefit of an organic performance, “the more important reason to me was I needed a guide,” Krasinski said. “I was writing a movie about a family who had a deaf child, and I know nothing about that. I needed someone to walk me through, ‘What do you feel when you wake up in the morning to be the only person who can’t hear in your family?’”
Simmonds’ family was very open to answering all of Krasinski’s questions, which lead to one of his most dramatic choices in the film — to show the audience how Regan’s character heard the world by going silent when shifting to her perspective.