Public Speaking Appearance at the Hawaii Republican Party Fundraiser

January 25, 2012

During a private  fundraiser for the Hawaii Republican Party on January 16th, 2012, Mr. Beal was given the opportunity to present the “DeafME – Silently Changing the World” film trailer to a group that included Party Chairman David Chang and Hawaii’s former Governor Linda Lingle.  After the trailer, he spoke briefly about the film and how it related to the principles that the Republican party values such as competition, charity, free enterprise and personal responsibility.

After his brief remarks, the Governor spoke about her upcoming campaign for Hawaii’s Senate seat.  It’s apparent that she is well-prepared and ready to capture the seat for the Republican party.

Once she finished speaking, Joshua had the opportunity to talk with Governor Lingle over dinner and he was surprised to find out that she graduated from California State University Northridge (CSUN), which has a substantial Deaf student population.  It was gratifying to see that she is very aware of the Deaf community starting back from when she was a college student.

After dinner, Joshua was invited to take photos with the Governor.  He is definitely committed to supporting her campaign for U.S. Senate this upcoming Fall of 2012!

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Ouch, a $95,000 Mistake!

December 19, 2011

With the right training, planning and implementation such as through the workshops The DeafEconomist offers, businesses would be able to avoid a $95,000 mistake!  It’s still surprising to see that large organizations continue to expose themselves and their shareholders to unnecessary liability under ADA when they can easily create an accessible environment for Deaf employees.


CALIFORNIA: UPS Unit to Pay $95,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit
Los Angeles, Calif. / EEOC / – UPS Supply Chain Solutions (UPS SCS) will pay $95,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC had charged that UPS SCS, a business unit of the United Parcel Service, the world’s largest package delivery company, unlawfully denied a reasonable accommodation to a deaf employee. Aside from the monetary relief, the three-year consent decree settling the suit requires UPS SCS to adhere to the following provisions for its operations in California:
– Designate an ADA Coordinator to review and revise policies with respect to reasonable accommodations;
– Ensure that deaf or hard-of-hearing employees understand their right to receive effective accommodations and do receive them;
– Engage in the interactive process with employees who request accommodations, including face-to-face meetings to discuss potential accommodations;
– Provide prompt and thorough investigation of complaints of disability discrimination and/or retaliation;
– Conduct live sensitivity training on how to accommodate deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals for all supervisors and managers, with enhanced training for those in the human resources and occupational health departments;
– Create and maintain an accommodation log to track the handling of accommodation requests; and
– Post a notice of the consent decree at each facility.

Source: World Without Hearing


Job Recruiting for the Deaf and Disabled

December 17, 2011

In today’s difficult employment climate, which is attributed to outsourcing and specialization has proven to be a boon for some disabled professionals.  The reason for that is due to the emerging field of disability recruiting.  One such firm making progress in this area is Big Tent Jobs LLC, which is headed by founder and CEO, Adam Kaplan.

Adam’s firm is a Michigan-based recruiting agency which places college educated, ready-to-work people with disabilities in positions at leading companies.  He saw there was a natural fit for companies seeking reliable, motivated and skilled people with disabilities, so he left his job at Reachout Healthcare America to pursue the risky road of running his own business.

Personally, I’ve found Adam to be savvy and skilled in recruiting qualified individuals with disabilities.  If you’re looking for work, send him an email at: 

Good luck and let him know that you read about him at The DeafEconomist!


Business – Media in the Deaf community

October 4, 2010

It’s been interesting to see the growth of ‘deaf’ media over the years.  The U.S. Deaf community has seen the rapid rise of deaf ‘vlogs’ which basically is a self-directed video, similar to a blog, using PC/Mac webcam video technology to communicate a topic or issue in ASL.  This has turned into a free-for-all forum with deaf vloggers trying to ‘scream’ over each other with controversial topics, making outlandish statements or publicly debating other deaf individuals over their statements made on earlier vlogs.

Deafvideo TV image on Internet website

Page view of Deafvideo TV

The undisputed champion of this realm is a website called Deafvideo.tv which is the highest trafficked website in the deaf community in terms of overall participation by commentators and viewers.  It also has a very loyal following with some vloggers commenting, on video, dozens of times a day, thus scoring high in follower intensity and leaving others wondering where people get all this time to commentate all day long.  What’s most intriguing is the inability of these vloggers to convert this time and energy into creating an income.  Like in gambling, they always say, “The House Always Wins”.  In this case, the House is DeafVideo.tv, which is run by TaylerInfomedia.

Commercial advertising is what sustains most websites that cater to a relatively small market niche such as the U.S. Deaf community, which numbers anywhere from 1/2 million to 2 million deaf and hard-of-hearing people who rely on ASL as a primary means of communication.  In the past, DeafVideo.tv had a video relay sponsor, the defunct Viable Inc that was ensnared by an FBI investigation and literally run aground by the ensuing ruckus, that saw the indictment of 26 deaf individuals across the country, which still is rippling across the landscape.

Today, there is no visible sponsorship of DeafVideo.tv, however as one of the companies run by deaf entrepreneur Taylor Mayer, who runs TaylerInfomedia, I have no doubt his visibility from this fanatical following and well-earned reputation for web design

innovation in the deaf community niche has translated into a career that is satisfying and rewarding.  Some other good work that he has done includes DeafRead.com, a blog aggregator and Fomdi.com, a nationwide open/closed caption movie theater listing on the Internet.  It’s good to see another RIT alum doing well!

The next “Business – Media in the Deaf Community” story will be about Seth Gerliss at iDeafNews and his role as an upstart news provider for the deaf community….


FREE Financial Counseling service for the Deaf!

September 29, 2010

With today’s tough financial times, it is not uncommon for many people we know, ourselves also, to be struggling with debt.  There’s all kinds of debts, starting with credit cards, automobile and student loans.  For those who have been lucky enough, or others today would say “not so lucky” to buy a home financed by bank loans, the monthly mortgage payment is often the largest financial obligation anyone has.

Given the increasing cost of living and relatively stagnant income growth levels coupled with a recessionary economy, we are seeing and hearing about foreclosures, personal bankruptcies and businesses closing down more than we are used to.  This leaves many people unsure of where to turn to for an objective assessment of their current debt and how they will be able to pay them down.

There are many options to reduce your debt, but many people have different situations and not every answer is clear on what can be done.  Some people are unable to increase their income, limited by their current jobs or welfare income.  Others are unable to reduce any expenses as they are already stretched bare by spending on only the basic necessities: housing, food, transportation, medical care and such.

Many people are in-between.  They can reduce their debt by cutting expenses such as credit cards, giving up a car and using public transportation instead or eating out less often.  Others can increase their income by taking a 2nd job on the weekends, asking for more hours at work or to start a business of their own.

Some of you who are not sure what your options are for reducing debt and freeing up your financial resources for a better quality of life, you can find help at GreenPath.com.  This non-profit organization provides free debt counseling service and helps you find options for debt consolidation, financial reorganization or personal bankruptcy.  Should you pursue one of their service options, there is a fee that is included.  However, for a financial counseling session, it is it is free!

If you are deaf and need to access financial counseling, you can simply call GreenPath using the VRS and spend about 30 to 45 minutes developing a personal budget with the counselor.  They will ask you all the questions relating to your monthly expenses, your current income, credit card amounts and interest rate for each credit card and loan.

After the call is completed, they follow up by sending you a completed report of your budget, expenses and recommendations for your financial situation. All for free…

Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement or paid advertisement for GreenPath.com.  The author performed due diligence in researching the mentioned non-profit and found them to be legitimate and in good standing.


Power of your Vote!

September 28, 2010

Today’s presidential elections loom just two years from now.  In many states, there are numerous races to fill legislative office in the Senate/House of Representatives, Mayoral races and City Council spots.  For many people, it seems to be repetitive seeing the election ads on TV, in the newspapers, hearing it on the radio and even now, you can see candidates pitching their campaigns on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

One mustn’t forget that as Americans, we do have a duty to step forward and exercise our rights.  One of those rights, which many others died for over the years in numerous conflicts over the globe, is voting.  Setting aside any agenda that one individual or an organization may have when trying to influence the American public, one must consider the power of voting.  Voting has given us a functioning democracy, which at times could be debated to the relative efficacy of politics today, there is no doubt this right has given us enormous sway and power in respect to self-determination.

While looking to register myself and my wife here in Hawaii, I found a great resource that helps you find out how to register to vote in your state.  Check it out here at: http://www.presidentialelection.com/students/wiki/index.php/Category:Register_to_Vote

Please don’t forget, even though it doesn’t seem like it, that your vote is a power invested in you by the U. S. Constitution and that it does make a difference in your future and America’s.  The voting polls do not distinguish whether or not you are deaf, each American counts as 1 vote!


Deaf Money

August 19, 2010

Deaf Money strives to become the deaf community’s number ONE resource for obtaining financial information whether it’s ASL video on YouTube, captioned video, written commentary or links to relevant agencies for jobs, services or education.

Numerous people, deaf and hearing, have contacted our firm, Schwarz Financial Services LLC, for information that is not specific to our services but generally to the everyday needs in our lives such as getting in touch with Social Security (SSI/SSDI) or how to find a last minute ASL interpreter.  The requests are wide and varied, so thus the need for an easy point of access for the Deaf community to find the financial-related information they may need.