Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Officer Duties & Descriptions


Responsibilities include taking minutes at meetings and posting them to the blog for online members to see; keeping track of points and attendance for all members; making the sign-ins for the meetings. Also taking minutes at officer meetings on non-general meeting Tuesdays at 5pm, helping the officers stay organized, and maintaining the google calendar linked to the blog!


Responsibilities include carrying the cashbox to meetings, events, and anything we are selling anything at; collecting dues from members during meetings as well as from online members at a separate time; applying for grants, taking any money, checks, etc to Chase bank on Guadalupe, being up-to-date on the amount of money in our account and helping the other officers decide on budgets for their events. Also presenting to comm council in order to receive money for the organization by explaining to them what we need and what we will use it for.


Responsibilities include setting up two fundraisers per month (usually profit-shares at restaurants, bake sales, or in the past selling items like water bottles). Feel free to come up with your own ideas!


Responsibilities include planning two socials per month and usually one larger social per semester (last semester's tailgate). Biggest responsibility is planning our trip to TSHA (which always happens in the spring). There is a lot of paperwork involved with student travel and the social chair also makes hotel arrangements and helps get students registered for TSHA.


Responsibilities include planning two service events per month. Trying to incorporate new service events. Biggest responsibility is Cochlear Implant Kids Day, which involves getting food donations, arranging for interpreters, advertising to parents of kids with CIs, setting up game ideas, getting entertainment, etc.


Responsibilities include advertising all events, maintaining the Facebook and website; making Prezis for meetings; posting things to the NSSLHA bulletin board inside the clinic. Usually advertise through fliers around campus, sending the flier to Lorena and Cory to send out about meetings/upcoming events, emailing our sponsors weekly event updates, making facebook events, emailing the member list-serve. It sounds like a lot but it's not bad!


It's the historian's job to come to everything! As many events and meetings as possible and to photograph everything. MUST have a camera if you want to be historian. At the end of each semester, the historian hosts a scrapbooking meeting or event (depending on the meeting schedule) to have members make a group scrapbook.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

NSSLHA General Meeting - A Visit From Dr. Bedore, Shelley Adair, and Mayra Mata

Hello NSSLHA! I hope you all had a restful/eventful Spring Break and enjoyed attending TSHA this year :)
Below is recap of our upcoming point opportunities!

Forty Acres Fest: Saturday March 28th. We will be doing facepainting and handing out earplugs! Follow up information will be coming soon.
3rd Annual Head for the Cure 5K Central Texas: Head for the Cure Foundation is a national organization that raises money for the Brain Tumor Trials Collaborative by hosting 5K events. This will be taking place Sunday, March 29th at 6am at Camp Mabry (2200 West 35th Street). Updates to follow as well!
Stroke Awareness Talk: Austin Speech Labs and Dr. Marquardt will be presenting on Thursday April 30th at the SAC 2.412 Ballroom South from 6:45-8:30pm. NSSLHA will be hosting but several students and other groups will be in attendance. We will be needed many volunteers!
Cochlear Implant Kid's Day: This event will be taking place in April. More details to follow!

Also, please start turning in your ASL service sheets ASAP, as well as any other volunteer forms you've had signed off for this semester (i.e. Growing Roots, Capitol School, TSD, Best Buddies, etc.)

T-shirt Sale: This Wednesday, 3/25, from 11am-4pm at the CMA plaza. This year's teal shirt will be sold for $12 and older shirts will be sold for $8. You will receive 1 fundraising point for volunteering.
Sign up below:
T-Shirt Sale sign up
Need volunteers for the 12-1 and 1-2 shift!

points have been updated so please double check and let Gabby know if there are any points missing!

TSHA: One social point for attending the Praxis Bowl and one miscellaneous point for Convention Registration
AudiologyNOW! Conference: March 25-28th (Wed-Sat). Dress business casual. You will have to register for the conference on site ($75) unless you are already an SAA Undergraduate Associate. NSSLHA will not be reimbursing or paying for the conference. If you do attend, make sure to send a picture with another NSSLHA member with a sign-in in the background to utexasnsslha@gmail.com
If you are interested, please contact Tyler as soon as you know your availability!
Deaf Nation Expo: March 28th (this Saturday!) Send a picture with the sign or stage in the background to utexasnsslha@gmail.com. This event will take place at Austin Convention Center - Exhibit Hall 3 (500 E Cesar Chavez St) from 9am to 5pm.

Have any pictures from TSHA? Send to: mandy_agui123@utexas.edu or utexasnsslha@gmail.com

NSSLHA Group picture: After next meeting, 4/7. We will be walking to the tower for a quick picture. Wear your green NSSLHA shirt! :)

Interested in becoming a NSSLHA officer for next year? Attend our info meeting, NEXT Tuesday, March 31 at 5:35pm at Belo 1.202. If you are unavailable to attend, we will post notes online :)
For the information addressed at today's meeting, follow this dropbox link https://www.dropbox.com/s/jcj51omn2p5ga4p/20150324%20171434.m4a?dl=0
(make sure to raise the volume since they didn't use mics during their presentation)
Dr. Bedore will be sending us some ppts that address the key points in becoming an assistant! I will also add those once I receive them. 

As always, comment below to have your attendance accounted for. Have a great night and good luck on upcoming exams! :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

NSSLHA General Meeting - Scott Novich

Hey NSSLHA! Sorry for the late post, but here's last night's minutes! Don't forget to comment for attendance :)

SXSW Earplugs: Event rescheduled - now taking place Thursday from 11-noon OR noon-1pm at West Mall in front of the Union Starbucks by the dried out fountain

You can seek other opportunities that require Volunteer Sign Off Forms:
Growing Roots - every Tuesday afternoon
Best Buddies - organization on campus that holds different events for adults with disabilities 
Capitol School of Austin
Texas School for the Deaf - does not require prior ASL experience but it is highly recommended! 

TSHA School Supplies: 3 lightly used or new school supplies = 1 point. A box will be outside of the NSSLHA office (inside the Student Leadership Suite) until this Friday to drop off the supplies if you were unable to do so at today's meeting.

T-Shirt Sale: tentatively set for March 25th from 11-4pm (or until we run out). Email will be sent out later with more information!
Fundraising points should be updated by tonight - if there are any discrepancies please be sure to email AFTER they are updated
April profit shares will be announced after Spring Break :)

TSHA Convention
All registrations will be completed by tonight!

Scott Novich - V.E.S.T. (Versatile Extra-Sensory Transducer)
Current electrical and computer engineering PhD student at Rice University conducting research at Baylor College of Medicine 

Mapping sound information to touch information

Sensory substitution - emerging neuroscience that all of our sensory receptors, whether it's the ones under the skins or in your ear, they are tuned to picking up specific type of information but they don't really care about the content

What he's working on is a wearable vest which is lined with little vibrational motors (basically what's in cell phones that causes them to vibrate). He takes sound information using a device like a tablet which is responsible for mathematically converting the sound signal to a dimensionality and periodicity suitable to the sense of touch. The idea came about 4 to 5 years ago.

Through a Kickstarter campaign, they were able to raise about $40,000! And he will be at a Ted talk this coming week!

So far, they've run a simple experiment with both hearing and deaf participants by taking a set of 50 spoken word samples (single syllable words) and on a given trial, they pick a word on random and play it back on the vest, just like the word would be presented if it was spoken. They present the person with four possible options and they have to guess what the word was. As the people answer, they get feedback and they start to memorize the patterns of vibrations that correspond to the words. The participants are then given a break for 10 days, brought back, and introduced a new set of words. As a result, the participants have been able to identify words that they've never encountered before.

What are you doing to make the vest more wearable in order for it to be implemented? (currently there are a lot of wires on the back side)
Undergraduates are currently working on weaving the wires and fibers into a fabric grid.

Was there a difference in the rate in which the hearing and deaf individuals were able to pick up the information?
There haven't been enough participants just yet - however generally speaking, the people who perform better are younger individuals (+25 and up) regardless if they are hearing or not.

Were the participants given articulatory or phonemic cues when they were wearing the vest or was it more blinded and based on guesses?
Definitely more blinded - they could make some educated guesses since they were single syllable words and base it on consonants and vowels

On the vest itself, are each of the vibrating components representing a single phoneme?
The vest works together all at once. It's mapped based on frequency, lower on bottom and higher on top. Essentially we are doing a Fourier based composition (sum of sinusoids). The intensity of the motor is the strength of the composition of a specific frequency.

Do you allow your test subjects to use lip reading when they are being tested?
At the moment, no. We have just started doing more research that involves person to person interaction but we are thinking about incorporating lip reading. But it's kind of messy because on one hand can help guide people but people's ability to lip read is on a spectrum and if you get people that rely on lip reading, it won't help in understanding the tactile stimuli.

Are the deaf participants congenitally deaf? Or was it acquired post language acquisition?
There have been congenitally deaf individuals as well as those who have already acquired language and then became deaf.

What could this mean for the future of sign language? Do you have thoughts as to what's going to happen down the road with sign language considering this technology?
We'll probably run into the same issues as what happened with cochlear implants because this is essentially a non-invasive cochlear implant. So as far as the future of sign language goes, it's maybe working against it culturally. That being said, what I think about long term as far as this technology goes, this is more about taking arbitrary information from a framework to feeding this information. If you were to extrapolate, this is definitely along the lines of a cochlear implant.

That's all for now! See you at our next meeting, March 24th, right after Spring Break :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Skating Social!

Thank you to you lovely members that came out for our skating social! Here are some pictures from our event :)