top of page

Febuary 2020: Bayor College of Medicine latest projects and Star Signs for the deaf in Astronomy

Upcoming Meeting!

Monthly meetings every 2nd Saturday of the month.

This month's meeting will be held on Saturday, February 8th, 2020 at 9:30 am

Meeting Location:

We now meet at St. Luke Presbyterian Church

8915 Timberside Drive Houston, Texas 77025

(Visible from Bethany Methodist parking lot.)


Our speakers for February,

Michaela Stapp Au.D & Angela Shu-Yuen Peng, M.D.

On February 8 audiologist Michaela Stapp and Dr. Angela Peng from Baylor College of Medicine will give a brief overview of their program, current clinical services and projects, and share some exciting developments on the horizon for hearing healthcare.

Michaela Stapp, Au.D. is a clinical audiologist with particular interest in cochlear implants, amplification, and aural rehabilitation. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Speech, Language, and Hearing Science from the University of Wyoming. She earned her Doctor of Audiology degree at Arizona State University after completing a residency specializing in cochlear implants at the University of South Carolina.

Dr. Angela Peng, board certified in both Neurotology and Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, specializes in the comprehensive medical and surgical management of chronic ear diseases, different types of hearing loss, vestibular disorders, and lateral skull base disorders with emphasis and interests in educating the future of otolaryngology/neurotology.

These beautiful and intelligent women are striving to bring us a better future. They are ready to answer your questions. We hope to see you there!


Our Chapter Board Members

Jan Connolly President email:

Allan Ofield Past President email:

Enriqueta Martinez Treasurer email:

Mike Quinlan Secretary email:

Teri Wathen Advisor email:

Lois Johnson Advisor email:


Upcoming Events!

For our science lovers, this one's for you!

As humans continue to discover new and exciting territories of astronomy, never-before used words have grown the science vocabulary beyond the deaf community. There are many new words in anatomy courses that signing deaf don't see therefore, they not receiving the education they desire. Here's how the University of Leeds is working towards changing that!

Article to read

The deaf community risks being excluded from aspects of modern science because the number of new advances is outpacing the development of sign language to explain them, a leading researcher says.

Dr Olja Panic, an astrophysicist at the University of Leeds, argues that deaf people are among the most disadvantaged when it comes to opportunities to engage with science.

She is leading a project to develop 50 new "signs" which will help explain her research into the way planetary systems are formed.

This project is a great example of how to put into practice one of our key strategic priorities – to demonstrate the importance of science to everyone. PROFESSOR CARLOS FRENK, ROYAL SOCIETY

Most deaf people in the UK who use sign language use British Sign Language(BSL), which has about 100 basic signs that describe astronomical concepts. But it takes time for new science to be translated into sign language. For example, black holes have been talked about for decades but it is only in the last few years that a sign has been created to describe them.

Watch our video to explain. more about the project.

Dr Panic said: “When it comes to astrophysics and other areas of science, the deaf community face considerable challenges because the language that would allow them to explore and discuss astrophysics is not there.

“It is important that science is accessible, and the new signs will allow scientists like myself to give talks, lectures and workshops through which, with the help of a sign language interpreter, I could share my research.”

The project is funded by the Royal Society and is led by the University of Leeds.

It is important that sign language develops so people can join in the important scientific discussions about the origins of the universe. DEREK ROWLEY, BRITISH DEAF ASTRONOMICAL ASSOCIATION

Professor Carlos Frenk FRS, chair of the Royal Society’s public engagement committee, said: “This innovative and exciting project will not only help members of the deaf community to deepen their own scientific knowledge but will allow them to also share their experiences with researchers. “

“This project is a great example of how to put into practice one of our key strategic priorities: to demonstrate the importance of science to everyone.”

At a two day workshop in Leeds, Dr Panic worked with sign language experts, deaf scientists, astronomy enthusiasts and science communicators, to design more than 50 new signs to cover such tricky concepts as protoplanetary disc, exo-Solar planet and interferometric telescope.

Part of the session was filmed for a report broadcast on BBC News.

Creating signs to describe astronomy 

Gary Quinn is a deaf linguist and sign language expert from Heriot-Watt University. He led the discussion, which he admitted was challenging.

“Sign language is a very visual language," he said. "For example a ‘bird’ can be shown using the index finger and thumb for a beak or using two hands flying.

“But the terms used in astronomy and astrophysics are highly specialised and often don’t readily connect with a visual image. What we have tried to do is build-on and extend the astronomy signs that already exist.

“The next step is to see if they work. Essentially, we’ll be road testing their usability – do people understand them and can they be easily recalled.”

Dr Panic hopes that when the new vocabulary is adopted it will allow members of the deaf community to learn about a rapidly advancing area of astronomy.

Derek Rowley is a sign language user and deaf amateur astronomer who acts as the co-ordinator for the British Deaf Astronomical Association. He was involved in formulating the new signs.

He said: “There are increasing numbers of deaf people who have either a professional or amateur interest in astronomy. It is important that sign language develops so people can join in the important scientific discussions about the origins of the universe.

“Ensuring sign language keeps up with the advances in science will also ensure that deaf people can be part of the scientific research community. It will also excite people about the wonder of astronomy.”

Dr Panic is a Royal Society research fellow. 

Top picture courtesy of NASA. 

Further information

For media enquiries, please contact David Lewis at the University of Leeds media relations office via

Article to read

We are HEAR for you!


The Hearing Loss Association of America Houston Chapter is your local support group and organization for the deaf and hard of hearing of Houston, Texas. We wouldn't be here helping those in need without YOU! We are continuously growing in support, technology, and resources to help all who we can.


If you have any Hearing aid products that have been used or gently used, please donate them to give to another Hard of Hearing person in need. We are a non-profit group that helps our community through your generosity.


Last week we met with Jennifer Meeks from Hear-Say to deliver all of our members donations.

Audiologist list

Do you know an Audiologist? Our Newsletters are printed to be placed in offices of ALL of these audiologists in Houston, TX and surrounding areas to spread the word about our support group. If you don't see your doctor, help us reach out to their office by emailing their location to

C0set Media Management

With the internet & media rapidly growing, I am here to help the HLAA Houston Chapter reach those in need of support and to raise awareness of hearing loss to audiences through social media, thus giving the organization more outreach than ever before.


Photography, Videography, Editing, Website Development, Social Media Management

Follow us on social media! @HLAAHOU

This concludes our February E-newsletter of 2020!

A special thank you and Happy New Year to the readers and sponsors supporting the HLAA Houston chapter.

2020 is here. We are turning the page to a new chapter in our book at HLAA Houston! Will you help us write our story?

Refer to us any articles you believe are desperately needed for your community to read right here on the E-news letter for your local Hearing Loss Association of America Chapter.

Our Newsletter is proudly created by C0set Media Management & Content Creation

53 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Come to our NOVEMBER meeting!!!

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)- Houston Chapter invites you to its monthly meetings. Come and meet people who understand the challenges and joys of living with hearing loss Meetings ar


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page