2016 Sign Shares’ Facebook Reflections

Sign Shares Interpreter Your WorldThe Sign Shares’ Facebook page provided insights during 2016 on Deaf news, advocacy, and civil rights events, respect for all humanity, celebrating ability, reflections on the loss our Founder, Deborah Gunter, and the deaths of David Bowie, Prince, Muhammad Ali, and Star Trek’s Anton Yelchin, sports victories, and holiday celebrations.

As of early January 2017, Sign Shares’ Facebook page has 58,386 likes.

Men and women in holiday sweaters pose in front of a lit Christmas tree inside a restaurant.
Sign Shares’ Executive Assistant, Anthony Butkovich, and CEO, Eva Storey, pose with Deaf community members Darla, Robert, and Nancy.

December 2016
Sign Shares shared a quote: “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.”

Uber driver Scott Anderson has Cerebral Palsy. “Uber for all,” we said.

H3 Network Media Alliance broadcasts 2016 highlights in International Sign. A year of signed and captioned news in 29 minutes.

george michael link to video Wham! Wake Me Up Before You Go-GoGeorge Michael died on Christmas. “You made my 80’s,” said Sign Shares’ CEO, Eva Storey. “Props to you Mr. George Michael. May you Jitterbug them Angels! Peace! Love & Neon Lights!”

Happy Holidays 2016-The Sign Shares Family.Sharing Time: “Miracle on 34th Street’s” Santa Claus signed to a young girl.

Sign Shares wishes Happy Birthday to a team member and shares a Sparkling Christmas Tree Cocktail recipe.

Picture of a single blue rose.Reflections: Our CEO, Detective: Eva Storey shared, “Dec. 15, 2016, was a pause from posting on social media as it was a day of reflection for us at Sign Shares. Five years ago we lost our Founder and there isn’t a day we don’t cherish her amongst the community; continuing the legacy. As we ‘evolve,’ one of Debbie’s most used words for Sign Shares; we stay true to her reminding us she just held the mirror up for us as we got to where we are at by just being ourselves.’

‘We are who we are today because we are people who know our own truths and wisdom. We are respecters of respecters. We are dareful communicators. We honor spirituality and authority. We are passionate people who are entrusted because we are loyal and trustworthy. We welcome all humbly who have all these listed traits; with no hidden agendas.’

Eva Storey picture: a woman with dark hair smiles.
Detective: Eva Storey, Founder of Capsule.

“We Advocate, Educate, and Share our knowledge to all who truly seek it with open minds, open hearts, and not an ounce of doubt or hatred. We are creative thinkers who will always offer individuals solutions and options. We happily help the willing; exalting all measures…’

“To Debbie, our Mentor, Friend, Mother, Daughter, and Sister to most all … Keep enjoying the universe and keep watching over us! On behalf of the Sign Shares Team, All is Well~”

Sign Shares' Kathy Fritsche wears a green sweater with attached ornaments and tinsel.
Kathy won the ugly sweater contest with win her spin on holiday threads.

Sign Shares held its Ugly Sweater Christmas Party on Dec. 10: “Like tradition, Anthony’s cousin’s restaurant [Massa’s South Coast Grill] is always good times & great food! Thanks to family and friends who came out and just had a hilarious time at our Ugly Sweater theme party! Our Ugly Sweater Winner, Kathy! She decorated her sweater to win! Hahaha, some showed up too cute to win ugly sweater (wink Darla), you were adorable! Marco, well you make a potato sack look good! Thanks to Joe Massa, Massa’s South Coast Grill for always being top charts with fabulous food and incredible hospitality!”

Man walks toward camera smiling while people dressed in holiday reds talk and eat behind him.
Anthony Butkovich acting as one of the holiday party’s hosts, while Deaf consumers and Sign Shares’ staff and interpreters eat in the background.

See the Christmas Party Album.

November 2016

I love my Cowboys with Dallas Cowboys blue star.The Dallas Cowboys won 10 straight games.

Sharing Time: “Every Thanksgiving we like to pick drinks to mix that we share with you. One of our chosen drinks is below . . . Below is a gluten-free Tito’s speciality!” Drinks we shared: The Jalapeño Daisy and the Marsellian Martini.

For Thanksgiving, we said, “We are thankful to our families, friends, clients, staff team, and advocacy groups! We are thankful to our communities from local to international!”

The EEOC and FedEx Battle to Define Employer Requirements Under the ADAOur Facebook page shared Christina Goebel’s blog post, “The EEOC and FedEx Continue Battle to Define Employer Requirements Under the ADA.”

Sign Shares' Deaf Advocate, Marco Segovia in scary Halloween costume with hat and shroud over his face.
Sign Shares’ Deaf Advocate, Marco Segovia can scare you in sign language.

We posted a belated video of Sign Shares’ Deaf advocate, Marco Segovia, signing in his Halloween costume.

Chicago Cubs: Two players celebrate their championship.The Chicago Cubs won their third title in the World Series. According to The New York Times, “World Series M.V.P. Ben Zobrist hit a go-ahead double, and Miguel Montero followed up with an R.B.I. single to give the Cubs the insurance run they needed.”

October 2016

Two people in business attire stand with their daughter, wearing a police uniform.
Sijaama with Whitney.

Tragedy struck on the home front and the daughter of Sign Shares’ Office Manager, Sijaama Branch, had a serious work-related injury.

According to CBS7, “On Saturday Oct. 1st, 28-year-old Whitney Branch fell off the side of a patrol unit while chasing a suspect who was believed to be involved in a shots fired call. Branch suffered a severe head injury and was rushed to Medical Center Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.”

On the blog, we said, “Prayers to one of our own. Much love and light to the Branch family! May God bless every person aiding in the recovery to your lovely, strong daughter! God bless the wonderful community of Odessa! The SS & Capsule Team Family! Facebookers stretch out your hands in prayer to our wonderful office manager!”

Update: As per our Christmas party 2016, Whitney is doing well!

On Oct. 20, Sign Shares was proud to support the Houston Deaf Grassroots Movement. “We are excited to show our support to such a wonderful cause. Thank you Earl Holloway and Thurman for creating such a great movement! Homegrown fresh out of Houston.”

Woman signs. Facebook post shows she blogged from Louisiana.
This woman was denied an interpreter at a medical appointment.

We shared a post about a woman who was denied accommodations and deprived of the ability to communicate with nurses. They contacted the local news.

August 2016

Picture of many people in white T-shirts with signs and T-shirts that say Deny VRI.
Picture with: Brenda Vance, Eva Prune, Darla Connor, Janie Morales, Dana G. Mallory and Angela Trahan in Houston, Texas.

Aug. 18 Rally: Sign Shares on Facebook: “We are proud to say that we had our ‘Deny VRI’ Rally at the Houston City Hall, one month after the Affordable Care Act, Section 1557 stated on July 18, 2016, that we have a choice in our care.”

Picture of people with T-shirts and signs that protest Video Remote Interpreters.
Deaf Advocate Marco Segovia and HCIL’s Darla Conner stand up for the rights of those who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

“Regarding the voice of the community … ‘Deny V.R.I.’ … We love all these wonderful people in the photos, even in the rain, we made our voice heard! Peace out!”

See a video of the Houston rally.

View Rally Album 1.
View Rally Album 2.

Sign Shares Houston rallyFrom the radio transcript from 90.1 FM, KPFT Houston, covered by Local News Reporter Jacob Santillan, about the Sign Shares Inc./The Capsule Group, and Houston Deaf community’s Rally for the Deaf Community Protesting Against VRI (Video Remote Interpreting) as the Deaf Community chooses a Live, In-Person Interpreter):

A police officer and a woman use sign language, while others take notes.
Detective: Eva Storey and Capsule’s Founder advocates for greater access for people who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

{Detective – Eva Storey: “There are several things, first, to make it understandable to a hearing person or hearing world it’s a 3-D language. … So it’s a gestural language; it’s a 3-D language. Making someone write English or let’s say Spanish it’s like having someone foreign speaking write in a different language they don’t know. … The second bad thing is that technology goes down. We’ve had historic floods in the past 6 – months or so, on and off, and technology goes down. … The third thing is that it’s very impersonal. You just can’t have that flat-screen work with a language that is a body language. It’s a whole body, facial communication, the whole structural, and the choice factor. It’s just not giving them a choice…”

{Reporter, Jacob Santillan:} “Sugarland resident, Dana Mallory says that Live Interpreters can be critically necessary in emergency situations for which VRI may not be entirely effective. Sherri Frost Interpreting… (Dana Mallory): “So I am here to recognize the problems we are noticing here in the Deaf community, preferring to have in an emergency situation a live person rather than a video remote interpreter. To meet their goals, we as Deaf would prefer to have a live person we want to be able to have the choice.”

{Detective – Eva Storey:} “This is unique. I love the fact that we get the hearing world especially public radio coming in here, because the only way to get and make effective for the Deaf community is going to the hearing world, and mainstreaming them and with education. Its three words we use Advocate, Educate, and Legislate, and that’s all we are here to do.”

Two men sit, one signs, Hello, my name is Dana Mallory.
Dana Mallory and Marco Segovia.

In a video, Dana Mallory and Marco Segovia share information about the upcoming Houston Rally.

Screen Capture of the Capsule website with black and white logo and pictures of Eva Storey, Anthony Butkovich, and Christina Goebel.
The Capsule Group’s website went live in August of 2016.

The Capsule Group’s website went live. On Facebook, Sign Shares’ CEO, Detective: Eva Storey said, “We are proud to announce our advocacy group’s website is now live! Right before the Aug. 18 rally at Houston, City Hall. Well that just gives us goosebumps! Yayy! This group was developed by community demand. Sign Shares has been interpreting since 1986 and through observations, now it is time we amplify the voice of the entire community’s struggles.’

“Our hearts are within advocacy on a daily basis. Our later founder asked me one day to bring my passions for all disabilities forward and collaborate my love for advocacy. This includes a main focus on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities from local, statewide, to international.’

“It is far time for a different way to advocate, educate and legislate beyond the scope of the interpretation and with flexible, creative freedoms. The struggles of the disability community happen on a daily basis…’

CapsuleLogoThe Capsule Group's Founder, Detective: Eva Storey“I myself am a five-time stroke survivor with an autoimmune deficiency, but I don’t go around introducing my disabilities. I introduce myself, raw and real. ‘Hi, my name is Detective: Eva Storey, founder of The Capsule Group.’ And when I say ‘Group’ that means the community. Meet my team partners via this website and come share with us. It would be our pleasure to meet you in person. Love & amazing blue light! – Capsulate Life!

Capsule on Facebook.

Capsule’s mission: “To advocate, educate, and legislate on behalf of people of all disabilities to have unlimited access to resources and support needed to achieve their fullest potential.”

Capsule’s Chief Operating Officer, Christina Goebel, reports on the upcoming rally.

Woman signs showing a small computer screen. Captions read, "Let me explain to you about that."
Dr. Angela Trahan signs about the VRI video screen, showing how it reduces the size of communication.
Deny VRI Deaf Rally-Houston, Aug. 18, 2016 @ 10 a.m.
See the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1j8R6zVBcs

Sign Shares’ broadcasted a signed and captioned video advertising the Aug. 18, “Deny VRI – Video Remote Interpeting” City Hall Rally.

Man uses sign language for interpreter and captions read: "My friends said 'VRI Deny. We choose a live interpreter.' That's a great idea."
Deaf Advocate Robert Yost signs about the right to choose a live interpreter.

Aug. 5-7, Sign Shares and Capsule exhibited at the Houston Abilities Expo at booth 625, next door to the Houston Center for Independent Living’s booth. Sign Shares provided interpreters for the event.

Woman with unreal blue eyes and black hair and background, reads, Sign Shares, Interpreting Your WorldSign Shares updated its Facebook profile picture on Aug. 1.

Starbucks hires 10 Deaf baristas in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

July 2016

One of the original Sign Shares’ cast members, Basil Reyna, stopped by our Facebook page to pay respects to our founder, Debbie Gunter. “Sign Shares in Houston, Texas a Wonderful Agency to work for. My job history there was over 30 yrs. I met so many wonderful people through Interpreting for Sign Shares in the colleges and grade Schools throughout the Houston surrounding suburb communities. Miss my boss Debbie Gunter. .. May she Rest In Peace and may her legend continue in the establishment “

July 4th with Captain America and Wonder Woman pictures.Sign Shares’ celebrated July 4th with Captain America and Wonder Woman.

June 2016

CGLogo_Confetti_ROUNDEDThe Capsule logo appeared for the first time on the Sign Shares’ Facebook page on June 6, 2016.

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. You have the right to request your choice of accommodation with your health care provider.Sign Shares promoted the upcoming Section 1557 deadline. “Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act backs you up even more. You must be given the choice for proper language access. It is your right, knowing your language is 3D.”

As a reminder, Sign Shares began offering Section 1557 wallet cards to assist in the communication process with health care providers.

June 7, the Texas State Independent Living Council held a public hearing for the State Plan for Independent Living. The hearing was held in Houston at the Houston Center for Independent Living. Our blog said, “We show our support toward the Texas State Independent Living Council and the Houston Center for Independent Living. As far as our industry goes, we encourage Deaf and Hard of Hearing people to attend this public hearing. It would be another way to express yourselves.”

Galveston County Daily News reads, "At Galveston rally, a call for live language interpreters"Capsule’s Founder, Eva Storey, shared about our Galveston, Texas rally on Friday, June 3, “This past weekend we extended our outreach to our fellow brothers and sisters in the Deaf communities in Galveston, Texas area. Their voices are important in this crusade as these meetings are turning into a major movement, a march on supporting and preserving the rights for a Deaf and Hard of Hearing individual. These meetings are based upon a diverse, think tank team, who have a heart for Deaf people and for people of all disabilities. Sign Shares Inc. and The Capsule Group, known as ‘Capsule’ is there to amplify the voices of these dynamic communities in mighty ways.’

“For 30 years, Sign Shares has pioneered the individual voices of Deaf people, interpreting for them. Now, through ‘Capsule’, they will be (Advocating, Educating, and Legislating) for all of them in one harmonious accord. Capsule advocates for people with all disabilities, but the first community that needs servicing, immediately, is the Deaf and Hard of Hearing; since they are communities that are very misunderstood, under valued, and under served for so many assumed reasons, especially in Houston, Texas and surrounding areas.’

Galveston County Daily News, says, "At Galveston rally, a call for live language interpreters and shows an interpreter and people who are Deaf watching her.
Sign Shares provides live interpreters for its events.

“Our latest rally in Galveston, Texas was critical since the demand of the communities required us to visit. When we learn of a need, Sign Shares and Capsule will be there and do more after the discussion. We will make things happen on behalf of each individual’s name. We send kudos to The Galveston Daily News for attending the rally, with a special shout out to reporter: John Wayne Ferguson, who wrote the story with a very factual and empathetic approach.’

Galveston Deaf advocate, Janie Morales.

“A special thank you to those who paid for the article access like the group ‘Reality of Interpreting,’ we appreciate you! Including: people like Darla Connor one of our think tankers & Janie Morales a Deaf Galveston community member, who made front page, and whose story is very impacting to learn about.’

“No one is trying to push technology away, but if you do not give a person an option, you are doing an injustice. Also, please do not force the person or mislead the person of their option.’

Card says: "No VRI. I know my rights. My choice is a Live Interpreter. I'm Deaf and my language is 3D. Call my agency, Sign Shares, Inc. www.signshares.com p 713.869.4373."
Order your My Choice cards from the Sign Shares website at http://www.signshares.com

“When The Community Sleeps Well, We Sleep Well… or We Just Keep Working On Behalf of The Community Even When They Sleep!“New Law Revisons Gives Patients the Choice of Accommodations.ssblogs.com

Four people look on as people present.
Eva Storey and Christina Goebel look on as Deaf advocates present their views at a focus group at the Houston Center for Independent Living.

The Facebook page also shared pictures from Sign Shares’ June focus group, held at the Houston Center for Independent Living.

Iran beat Sweden in the Deaf World Cup.

The Sign Shares’ blog posted information about Section 1557 Affordable Care Act revisions.

Collage of Muhammad Ali saying he's one of the greatest.Muhammad Ali died. “Celebrate how great you are!” our Facebook page shared. Muhammad Ali quotes:

  • “What you are thinking about, you are becoming.”
  • “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”
  • “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

The Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2016 NBA Championship, 93-89, Final. Our blog said, “Lebron James, you gave the old school to the new school and you served this game! Irving you rocked Cleveland! Come back from a 3-1 deficit! Yeeehawww from Texas and the SS Team!”

father's dayThe Sign Shares’ Father’s Day post wished fathers and those who have the role of fathers a happy day–including Darth Vader and son.

June 19th’s Goodie Bag was: “Sharing makes the world a better place.” Quotes:

  • “From my heart to yours. Those we love and lose are always connected by heartstrings into infinity.”
  • “The essence of spirituality is to be kind and loving to all life.”
  • “I am not this hair, I am not this skin. I am the soul that lives within—Rami.”

anton yelchin news notice of the Star Trek's star's death.The new Star Trek movie’s Chekov, Anton Yelchin, was killed when his car failed at his home.

orlando shootingThe Orlando nightclub shooting was June 12, prompting several Sign Shares’ Facebook posts concerning peace. “Our hearts and prayers go toward the families hurt by the Orlando shootings this week. May peace surround you during this hard time. America the home of the brave.”

Promoting peace, our Facebook page shared John Lennon’s “Imagine,” with captions.

May 2016

Sign Shares' pictures show Happy Birthday, Sijaama, Bettye, Eva, and Anthony.Sign Shares shared an album of birthdays and other events from the first part of 2016.

nyle dimarco winsNyle DiMarco, who is Deaf, won Dancing with the Stars. We loved his tango. DiMarco performed part of the tango blindfolded. “Congratulations to winner of Dancing with the Stars, Nyle DiMarco! Deaf Proud and you go, Nyle, you have rhythm!”

mr momSign Shares’ wished moms and Mr. Moms a Happy Mother’s Day with a scene from Mr. Mom.

April 2016

Once they got a break from the rain, our Facebook page shared Jimmy Cliff’s song, “I Can See Clearly Now,” with captions. “I can see clearly now the rain is gone. I can see all obstacles in my way… It’s gonna be a bright (bright), Bright (bright) sunshiny day.”

Ladder 16 of the Houston Fire Department insignia and two big red firetrucks.
Ladder 16 of the Houston Fire Department

April brought floods to much of Texas, including Sign Shares’ home office area in Houston. CEO Eva Storey shared, “I want to give a personal shout out to ‘Ladder 16,’ who helped guide people that were on a particular highway that day struck by high water. I was amongst those people. I remember saying to misled as I started my vehicle, “God part the waters like you did for Moses.’ Wow, and there was Ladder 16!’

picture from a rooftop of houston
Our Houston home base was prone to flooding in 2016.

“Granted safety is always first, but in our profession, we pretty much adopt the postman’s creed: “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their rounds.”

houston flood picturesSee the Houston flood album.

prince of purple rain diedPrince died at 57, prompting us to say, “So young to go so soon. My goodness what sad news. Thanks for all your uniqueness and talent! Rest in peace Mr. Purple Rain!”

houston flood legal help blog postOur blog shared information for legal assistance regarding the Houston floods.

deaf lawyers swear in for the supreme court barLike many of those in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, we celebrated the swearing in of 13 Deaf or Hard of Hearing lawyers to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bar.

Our Facebook page celebrated doctors in a series of posts. “Every day, we should celebrate those physicians who chose a professor of compassion and those who tread our lands without borders helping all different kinds of communities. So, here is a share of love for you docs. Thanks for playing a part of our healing process. We embrace you. Please remember to be kind to provide proper communication access for all. Every language counts!”

March 2016

easter including quote that it's not about the bunny...it's about The Lamb.Easter wishes included peeps and painted eggs and the quote: “It’s not about the bunny … its about The Lamb.”

The Persian New Year is Nowruz.Ever mindful of diversity, our Facebook post provided a link to understand more about the Persian New Year, or Nowruz, which began on March 20 in 2016.

February 2016

The Sign Shares’ team had some purging beginning 2016: “Can you say, Facebook detox? Well, it was a New Year’s resolution! We didn’t even post a Happy New Year’s? Oh, the humanity! Not even, Happy Valentine’s Day? Could this mean we were actually doing stuff, outdoors, within the world? Ahhhhh! Well now we are back in full effect.”

January 2016

david bowie rainbow with a rainbowDavid Bowie died on Jan. 10. His death was a shock, and Sign Shares’ CEO took a breath before posting about it. “Deeply saddened to learn of David Bowie’s passing. He practically raised me. So much I want to say right now … but have to go into meditation over this and spin some of his vinyl first.”

She later posted, “You reshaped the world with your talents and now you’re on another level reshaping the universe. RIP David Bowie … David Bowie changed the face of music, entertainment, fashion, record producing, and until age 69, he never lost his style, his talent, and kept reinventing himself, hence the record release of ‘Blackstar’ in 2016, keeping his old school sax and unique expressions. What a legacy indeed.”

deaf playSign Shares’ first Facebook post of 2016 was about “Spring Awakening,” a play with actors who are deaf and hearing.

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