Actor John Maurcere, known for his role in SuperDeafy, displayed his usual charm and dynamic energy on screen as he engaged real-life Deaf people (not actors) and their real-life #deafchallenged and #deaffriendly stories.
Jules Dameron, Director and Editor says about John, “This was the first project I officially worked on with John Maucere. I loved working with him. His work ethic and professionalism is the best. I respect him for that.” John’s chemistry with William Fidail, the hearing owner of Viscous Dogs where much of the filming took place, was fun, upbeat, and positive. Watching their relationship unfold is the perfect example of Deaf and hearing people working together to create a more #deaffriendly world. By the end, one of the webisode’s best moments was completely unscripted and spontaneous.
Willie takes the black and white #deaffriendly sticker, walks outside his restaurant, and slaps it on the door with a huge grin. Now that’s what we’re talking about!
Watch the webisode below and don’t forget to plug in your #deaffriendly and #deafchallenged reviews on deaffriendly.com
Dear fans and followers, Pssst! Have you noticed what happened to our website? After months of scheming, debugging and tinkering, we've updated our website … and our brand! We’re now deaffriendly.com and we are open for reviews, nationwide.
So, what's new? Not only did we re-skin our masthead, change our tagline, and re-position our query boxes, we've escalated our ever-popular hashtag into new branding heights.
With support from the community, we evolved into something much bigger than just a website for consumer reviews. We found that on a subconscious level, just about everyone wants to be deaf-friendly… even if they have no idea what the ADA is, how to fingerspell their name, or have never written reviews critiquing their local barista. Opening nationwide allows us to broaden our reach.
Despite the name change, our mission to create a #deaffriendly world through consumer reviews, resources, and Community-building, is staying.
Goodbye awkward screen resolutions. Hello, responsive design for all your gadgets
Most of you are hooked on the ease of your iPhones, Androids, and tablets. After all, that’s where all your VP apps and text messages are. You check them obsessively, while dining at establishments, comparing store prices, and making doctor appointments. That’s why we’ve introduced our sleek, new look and responsive design.
That means you can write your reviews on the go and much faster than you ever could before.
We’re branching out. Big-time. Like 10,000-reviews-big-time
Before today, deaf, deaf-blind, hard-of-hearing, and hearing allies were only able to write reviews in one of 12 reviewable cities.
From the very beginning, we always knew we’d go nationwide because there are over 38 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the U.S.A – and some of them live in remote areas. Do you know the problem with remote areas? Oftentimes, they lack the infrastructure and ideas to implement deaf-friendly business practices.
We’re excited to see #deaffriendly and #deafchallenged reviews coming in from highly deaf-populated, but previously un-reviewable cities like Chicago, Denver, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Boston, Henrietta, Indianapolis, Jacksonville and Columbus among many others.
Bottom line: You can now review from anywhere in our 50 states! That’s why we’ve set a national goal of 10,000 reviews!
A focus on large corporate brands, VRS providers, and the medical industry
Small businesses are the backbone of America – they comprise 93% of all businesses. But there’s no doubt that big companies make a Walton-sized impact. Some good, and some bad.
Previously, you may have tried to review an airline or chain restaurant that wasn't in one of 12 reviewable cities. Or maybe a start-up company was so new, that even though it had operations nationwide, only its headquarter office was listed in our API database.
Case in point #1: Video Relay Service (VRS) providers
Despite being such a critical part of our everyday needs as deaf and hard of hearing individuals, there remains a lot to be said about how the VRS industry can improve their services for our community.
But up until now, only Convo (headquartered in Pleasanton, CA) and Communication Axess Ability Group (located in Houston, TX) have been reviewable. Starting now, many others – such as Purple Communications (Rocklin, CA), Sorenson (Salt Lake City, UT), and ZVRS (Clearwater, FL) now have the opportunity to receive #deaffriendly or #deafchallenged reviews.
Case in point #2: The health and wellness field
Medical technology has grown leaps and bounds in the 21st Century, but doctors and hospitals remain primitive in their understanding of what it means to be deaf-friendly.
From accepting relay calls to hiring qualified interpreters and creating an accessible environment (lighting, visibility, alert systems), hospitals and doctors have a long way to go in making their practices #deaffriendly.
Their #deafchallenged reputation has become a nationwide epidemic. While many emergency responders (law enforcement, firemen and emergency medical technicians) deserve positive reviews for interacting smoothly with deaf/hh patients, #deafchallenged interactions have resulted in just as many injuries and even death.
This is inexcusable. But now that we have a national footprint, we can get a clearer picture of what’s going on in the health and wellness field throughout the U.S.A.
Mega-thanks to our deaf tech team Cox Consulting and Satdaya Studios, for their tireless implementations and consultations that turned our dream into something you can finally use right at your fingertips.
Join us as we continue to evolve and add new features to www.deaffriendly.com Please write a review TODAY! Through consumer reviews like yours, you can help us on our mission to create a #deaffriendly world.
Yours for a more accessible world,
The #deaffriendly team
P.S. If you haven’t already, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to our email newsletters, we’ve got tons of new content, showcases, and resources to benefit you!
Fashion fiends, this is the week to literally wear your Deaf pride. Breast cancer awareness comes with pink ribbons, and "LIVE STRONG" armbands showcase our dedication to health and fitness. This year, Deaf culture awareness comes with a #deaffriendly tee.
You already know #deaffriendly as a conceptual meme that's making its rounds around the Web. You're starting to see it on Twitter, on Tagboard, and Facebook posts. For Deaf Awareness Week, you'll literally see it paired with jeans.
An RIT sweatshirt or Gally cap is one way to reinforce your Deaf pride. But only deaf/hh people will make that connection. That's why, to broker a dialogue between hearing people and deaf/hh people, we created a#deaffriendly tee – available in unisex or girly.
deafREVIEW founder and CEO Melissa "echo" Greenlee discovered while wearing a tee one day while running errands, that #deaffriendly tees work on a subconscious as well as conscious level: People glanced at the hashtag, and visibly self-adjusted their behavior. You could see the gears whirring in their heads, as she described her sartorial experiment, "What does deaf-friendly mean? Am I deaf-friendly? Am I speaking at an appropriate pace? Should I attempt my crude knowledge of the ASL alphabet I learned in school?"
Opening up our Shopify store to get these tee’s in the hands of deaf consumers and allies was the first step. The second, and equally exciting, was commissioning award-winning photographer Meryl Schenker to create a series of viral images. For two afternoons, Schenker, a former Seattle Post-Intelligencer staff photographer, was hard at work in her SODO studio capturing the essence of 12 local Seattle deaf, hard of hearing, or allied models.
You may recognize Schenker's most viral images: She captured LGBT couples registering for Washington state gay marriage licenses late last year, making her the perfect candidate to immortalize another oft-misunderstood community: Deaf and hard of hearing citizens. We fought for our rights through last year's #captionthis hashtag revolution, and still the battle continues ... by making others more deaf aware.
The photo shoots were inspired in part by LGBT campaigns such as NOH8, the brainchild of co-founder and celebrity photographer Adam Bouska. While searching for models to wear our tees, we found 12 members of the local Seattle Deaf community who, through their lifestyles and attitudes, are ambassadors of deaf-friendliness.
Each day for seven days, we will showcase one deaf-friendly ambassador. We won't reveal spoilers, but here's a few hints: Two of them are twins. One sits on the board of Deafhood Foundation. Another recently completed the most grueling athletic event known to man.
Hashtags are so deeply ingrained in our tech culture, that the New York Times published a one-word headline last month: "#TwitterIPO." Kanye West has coined the term "hashtag rap." It's short, it's sweet, and it sticks into the consciousness of those with short attention spans. Just like our tee’s and stickers.
Most hashtags have the half-life of a few days, or weeks, at most. And Deaf Awareness Week lasts exactly that: A week. But #deaffriendly isn't just a hashtag -- it's our lifestyle. And Schenker's images will last more than a lifetime ... here for future generations to remember.
4 ways to promote #deaffriendly this week:
1) Use the #deaffriendly hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram ... and see what others are saying on Tagboard!
2) Like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see our daily campaign images. SHARE and tweet them to spread the message of deaf-friendliness across the globe!
3) Make a fashion statement: Pair your tee with your favorite jeans (or preppy blazer), take a selfie, and post it on your/our Facebook wall. Be sure you use the hashtag #deaffriendly in your post.
4) Find a cool spot for your #deaffriendly sticker. Is it your car? Your MacBook? Your bike helmet?
Did your shirt or sticker spark a conversation with a curious stranger or friend? Did it change the behavior of service professionals and businesses you interacted with? Tell us about it! Also SHARE our Shopify link so that your friends and family can also join the #deaffriendly campaign.