Washington, D.C., June 8, 2022 – Gallaudet University and Sorenson announced today a new strategic partnership that aims, through a series of progressive initiatives, to inspire and facilitate collaboration between people who are Deaf as well as the prospective government, education, and Fortune 500/1000 companies who engage them. The short- and long-term goals of this partnership support a universal understanding of Deaf culture and the unique, diverse insights and experiences Deaf and hard of hearing people add to organizations – and to the world.

The partnership begins with an endowment gift from Sorenson that will support the growth of the Center for Black Deaf Studies, founded and directed by the renowned Black Deaf scholar, Dr. Carolyn D. McCaskill. The $3 million endowment will honor Kenneth Miller, a Black Deaf man who, as a child, attended a segregated school on the Gallaudet campus until his mother, Louise B. Miller, filed suit against the District of Columbia Board of Education to force integration of Black Deaf and White Deaf children. This case, unheralded at the time, today is widely considered to be a precursor to the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.

This strategic partnership will feature an Accelerate Inclusive Excellence Symposium at Gallaudet on September 23, 2022, the International Day of Sign Languages. Gallaudet and Sorenson also will collaborate on additional strategic initiatives that will drive significant impact with a diversity focus, as well as job and career opportunities.

Gallaudet University President Roberta J. Cordano praised Sorenson’s commitment to education, innovation, health care, and community, and commended Sorenson’s ongoing efforts to improve the lives of people from every walk of life. “Sorenson Communications has long supported Gallaudet University, and we could not be more grateful. It is heartwarming for the entire Gallaudet community to experience first-hand that kindness and generosity prevail, and that we can all work together to make people and places better than we found them. We are especially pleased that Sorenson has chosen to support our Center for Black Deaf Studies, which, in just two years, has become a vibrant hub for education, research, and support for our Black Deaf students and the greater community.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Gallaudet. Sorenson’s focus on advancing human connection between Deaf and hearing people and our commitment to equal communication access, diversity, and inclusion aligns with the overall purpose of this partnership,” said Sorenson Chief Executive Officer Jorge Rodriguez. “Through collaborative discussions with key professionals and industry thought leaders, we intend to demonstrate how integrating these values is mutually beneficial for everyone – students, employees, customers, suppliers, philanthropic supporters, and partners. We are fully invested in training the Deaf leaders of tomorrow.”

Dr. Carolyn D. McCaskill, Founding Director of the Center for Black Deaf Studies and professor of Deaf Studies, and Dr. Elizabeth A. Moore, Interim Chief Diversity Officer and professor of Social Work, are leading the creation of the Louise B. Miller Pathways and Gardens: A Legacy to Black Deaf Children, which honors the students and teachers of Kendall School Division II, a segregated school program of the early 1950s. Drs. McCaskill and Moore expressed their appreciation of the Sorenson donation, noting the company’s long-standing support of Gallaudet University 

About Gallaudet University
Gallaudet University, federally chartered in 1864, is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of Deaf, hard of hearing and Deafblind individuals through American Sign Language and English. The university enrolls over 1,600 students in more than 40 undergraduate majors and many master’s and doctoral programs. It also conducts research in various fields, including accessible technology, Deaf history and culture, Black Deaf history and culture, brain imaging, educational neuroscience, education, linguistics, and psychology. For more information, visit www.gallaudet.edu.

About Sorenson Communications

Sorenson Communications taps the power of language for human relationships to thrive. As one of the world’s leading language services providers and the world’s leading provider of accessible communication for Deaf and hard-of-hearing people, Sorenson combines patented technology with human-centric services to connect signed and spoken languages. Sorenson offers caption and video relay services, over-video and in-person sign language and spoken language interpreting, real-time event captioning services, and post-production language services. For more information on how Sorenson advances human connection, visit www.sorenson.com or es.sorenson.com.

Media Contacts

Robert Weinstock
Director of Public and Media Relations
Gallaudet University
202-250-2411
robert.weinstock@gallaudet.edu

Ann Bardsley
Director of Public Relations
Sorenson
801-287-9400
abardsley@sorenson.com

Deaf community celebrates a win for inclusive communication

SALT LAKE CITY – (May 19, 2022) Every day, the Xbox team streams on the channel on Twitch, the latest and greatest titles from the world of Xbox. Now, in partnership with Sorenson, the world’s leading provider of inclusive communication services for Deaf and hard-of-hearing people, Xbox has launched a new channel – Xbox ASL – that features American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation for original livestreams.

The partnership delivers gaming to a larger audience as well as first-looks, specific tips, interviews, and strategies to Deaf gamers – in their natural language – to support their gaming craft and winning! For Xbox, it’s an opportunity to spotlight classic and indie games that never received captioning .

“Gaming with Twitch is a very communal experience for fans and gamers as celebrities. With ASL interpretation, Deaf gamers can join and fully participate in that community,” notes Lance Pickett, Sorenson Chief Relationship Officer, who is Deaf. “Seeing ourselves in all aspects of life and across all industries gives us equal grounds to compete!”

The announcement comes on  Global Accessibility Awareness Day, dedicated to learning about digital access and the inclusion and support of people with disabilities. And now, for Deaf gamers, digital accessibility support in gaming includes ASL.

Currently, the ASL Xbox channel provides sign language interpretation for approximately 25 hours of livestreams each week.

“As a company known for revolutionizing communication access via technology, we offer huge kudos to Xbox. Gaming is an open community, and we are proud to partner with any opportunity that provides Deaf gamers with improved experiences through direct engagement and ASL accessibility. We urge others within and beyond the industry to follow,” said Jorge Rodriguez, CEO of Sorenson, which interprets more than 140 million conversations each year and remains the industry leader in accessible communications, services, and technology for Deaf and hard-of-hearing communities throughout the U.S., U.K., and Canada. Sorenson services include ASL interpretation for Teams, events, livestream, and Video on Demand needs.

“We are excited to partner with Sorenson and bring the power of play to even more people with the new Xbox ASL Twitch channel,” shared Anita Mortaloni, Director of Accessibility at Xbox. “At Xbox, we understand the importance of continuing to innovate when it comes to accessibility, and this partnership with Sorenson is another step toward ensuring everyone can experience the joys and connection of gaming.”

About Sorenson 
Sorenson taps the power of language for human relationships to thrive. As one of the world’s leading language services providers and the world’s leading provider of accessible communication for Deaf and hard-of-hearing people, Sorenson combines patented technology with human-centric services to connect signed and spoken languages. Sorenson offers caption and video relay services, over-video and in-person sign language and spoken language interpreting, real-time event captioning services, and post-production language services. For more information on how we advance human connection, visit www.sorenson.com or es.sorenson.com.

Press Contact 
Ann Bardsley 
Director of Public Relations 
Sorenson 801-287-9400 
abardsley@sorenson.com

Press Contact
Gaming for Everyone, for Xbox
gamingforeveryone@assemblyinc.com

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Sorenson and Canary Speech Forge Strategic Partnership 

SALT LAKE CITY – (May 17, 2022) Sorenson, the company that revolutionized communication between Deaf, hearing, and hard-of-hearing people, today announced a key strategic partnership and investment in Canary Speech, the company that uses digital biomarkers to analyze consumers’ vocal information to explain or predict energy levels and health-related outcomes. 

Both Sorenson and Canary Speech create value-oriented, next-generation language and speech technology. The companies intend to use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to leverage their unique strengths and connections to their respective communities to create new synergies. 

“We create highly reliable, large-scale audio and video streaming systems that connect people and help relationships thrive,” notes Sorenson Chief Technology Officer Rick Kreinfeldt. “And Canary creates cutting-edge speech analysis technology. Our combined expertise has implications to change the way diagnoses are made and the potential to be incredibly valuable for telemedicine providers, clinicians, and solution partners.” 

With Canary’s patented technology, health can be monitored in a fast, non-invasive, and accurate way. The technology has the potential to track the presence and severity of a variety of targeted diseases, such as anxiety, depression, and cognitive decline. The resulting Vocal Scores can replace subjective measurements with objective, actionable care solutions.

Canary Speech CEO and Co-founder Henry O’Connell says, “We are thrilled to join with language services leader Sorenson to continue our important work of improving our health, one voice at a time. Canary’s new approach captures and measures critical data and has the potential to improve how certain conditions are diagnosed.”

Sorenson CEO Jorge Rodriguez adds, “We’re at the forefront of language technology. We look forward to collaborating with Canary to create new AI-based solutions that combine our natural language technology with Canary’s innovative vocal biomarker work for those who matter most – patients and consumers.”

For more information, visit www.sorenson.com and www.canaryspeech.com.

About Sorenson 
Sorenson taps the power of language for human relationships to thrive. As one of the world’s leading language services providers and the world’s leading provider of accessible communication for Deaf and hard-of-hearing people, Sorenson combines patented technology with human-centric services to connect signed and spoken languages. Sorenson offers caption and video relay services, over-video and in-person sign language and spoken language interpreting, real-time event captioning services, and post-production language services. For more information on how we advance human connection, https://www.sorenson.com/.

Press Contact 
Ann Bardsley 
Director of Public Relations 
Sorenson 801-287-9400 
abardsley@sorenson.com 

About Canary Speech      

Canary Speech is the global leader in the speech digital biomarker industry by achieving real time vocal analysis on as little as 40 seconds of speech using smart devices. Canary Speech is seeking to advance speech and language applications for the hospital, health and wellness, and pharmaceutical markets, the Utah-based company enhances patient care and outcomes by improving quality of care and quality of life with its patented AI speech technology. Canary Speech technology also provides the opportunity to enhance telemedicine and remote medical services. For more information, visit www.canaryspeech.com

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