January 19, 2005
Vol. 1 No. 14
Editor: Tom Willard
Deafweekly is an independent news report for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. It is mailed to subscribers every Wednesday morning and available to read at www.deafweekly.com. For information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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SEVEN DEAF PATIENTS SUE MARYLAND HOSPITAL
The Laurel (Md.) Regional Hospital was served with a lawsuit last week on behalf of seven deaf patients who say their requests for interpreters fell on deaf ears. The plaintiffs include Elizabeth Gillespie, her husband David Irvine, Cary Barbin, Kathryn Hale, Xiomara Porras, Brian Leffler and Erin Whitney. They say the hospital provided them with inadequate video interpreting, cryptic notes or no communication at all, said a statement from the law firm Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan. According to the Laurel Leader, at one point a male attendant snapped a deaf woman’s bra to indicate that it needed to be removed. The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages, and attorneys fees and costs. The suit also seeks an order requiring the hospital to provide deaf patients with effective communication, including qualified interpreters and closed-captioned televisions.
DEPUTIES RESCUE CALIFORNIA MAN’S SPECIAL PET
Fernando Galo Ponce was watching TV in his Bouquet Canyon, Calif. home Jan. 8 when his ceiling collapsed, The Signal (Santa Clarita) reported last week. “A ton of water got into the house,” said Ponce, who is deaf. “I ran out.” He screamed for his dog, a Chihuahua-dachshund mix named Pehchehgac (meaning “Guardian” in the Brazilian Indian language) who has been trained to serve as his ears, but she did not respond. Fearing for his life, he had to get out fast and drove off in his truck. Ponce, a Vietnam veteran, was rescued by the U.S. Forest Service after getting stuck in 2-foot-high water. Three days later, sheriff’s deputies staged another rescue – airlifting Ponce’s dog from his home. The dog is “crucial to (Ponce’s) day-to-day life,” said Deputy Chris Young. “We went the extra mile for him.”
CITY WORKERS RESCUE MAN WHO FELL THROUGH ICE ON LAKE
Two city workers in South Beloit, Ill. rescued a 32-year-old deaf man who had fallen through the ice over Lake Victoria last week. Robert Clark Jr. was curious about a large hole in the ice and decided to check it out, the Rockford Register Star reported. He fell in and was unable to pull himself out after dislocating his shoulder. The two city employees happened to be driving by when one called out, “There’s a guy in the lake!” The ventured out on the ice, pulled him up and dragged him back to shore. Clark, who was wearing only a flannel jacket and jean shorts, was treated at a local hospital and released. “He could have drowned,” his father, Robert Clark Sr., told the newspaper. “I’m glad someone was there.”
LAWSUIT FILED ON BEHALF OF 15-YEAR-OLD DROWNING VICTIM
A lawsuit was filed last week against the Kingsley Association in East Liberty, Pa., operators of a swimming pool where a partially deaf boy drowned last summer. Degaulle Ngankam, 15, was swimming alone July 20 with a lifeguard and another worker nearby. When he failed to surface, the lifeguard pulled him out and performed CPR, but the boy died an hour later at a local hospital. Degaulle had come to Pittsburgh from Cameroon to attend the DePaul Institute for deaf children, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported. The lawsuit, filed by his mother, Gladys Amanadong, seeks unspecified monetary damages and accuses the association of failing to assess the boys swimming abilities, post pool rules or adequately train its workers.
92-YEAR-OLD DEAF, BLIND WOMAN SUES HOSPITAL FOR ASSAULT
A deaf and blind 92-year-old woman filed a lawsuit last Wednesday against the Legacy Emanuel Hospital & Health Center in North Portland, Ore., claiming that she was sexually assaulted in her hospital room last fall. The unidentified woman entered the hospital Oct. 8 for problems related to her pacemaker, Oregon Live reported. The next day, an unknown man allegedly entered her room and assaulted her, resulting in personal and psychological injuries. The lawsuit seeks $520,000 from the hospital and blames authorities for failing to control access to her room. Legacy Health System replied in a statement that the allegations are “highly unusual, given our culture of patient safety and quality clinical care.”
ALASKA MAN CHARGED WITH ASSAULT AGAINST DEAF WOMAN
Vincent Williams, 23, of Birch Creek, Alaska, could face up to 20 years in jail and a $50,000 fine following his arrest earlier this month on a domestic violence assault charge. An unidentified deaf woman is hospitalized with life-threatening injuries following the Jan. 5 assault, with extensive brusing and a large blood clot on her brain. The woman’s relationship with Williams was not immediately clear, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported, but she told police through a sign-language interpreter that she woke up in bed when Williams began punching her in the face and body and choking her. Williams told police he drank a half gallon of whiskey that night and doesn’t remember the assault.
HAWAII MAN DIES AFTER BEING HIT BY CAR
A roadside memorial popped up in Nanakuli on the Hawaiian island of Oahu last week in memory of Marcus Chong, a deaf homeless man who was hit by a car and killed. According to KHON2 News, a 25-year-old man was arrested, and police believe alcohol was a factor in the accident. Chong didn’t let his disability keep him from communicating, friends said. “I don’t know really how to use sign language, so I just do my own version like a charades, and he understands it,” Rob Abadam said. “I never did learn and he understands me. So that’s how he was.”
STATE COLLEGE WON’T TAKE OVER N.J. DEAF SCHOOL
The College of New Jersey has decided not to take over governing control of the Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf, The Times (Trenton) reported last week, because the state can’t afford the cost of renovations and repairs, estimated at $73 million. The state Department of Education had ordered a study in the fall of 2003 to see if the college could take control of the school. Katzenbach Superintendent Dennis Russell told The Times he was disappointed with the decision, but said it wasn’t his school’s only option. State DOE Commissioner William Librera said the school was in no danger of closing, but suggested partnerships with private businesses would be needed to help fund necessary improvements to the 100-acre campus, which has many older buildings with serious maintenance problems.
SCHOOL BOARD AGREES TO SETTLE IN COURT CASE
The school board in St. Johns County, Fla. has voted to allow Superintendent Joseph Joyner to settle a court case that involves two brothers with cochlear implants. Full details were not available due to the children’s minor status, but court records indicate that the district had not provided the brothers with a free and appropriate education, as required by law, when they attended Ketterlinus Elementary School in Jacksonville. According to the St. Augustine Record, the settlement will include a $7,500 reimbursement to the boys’ family for tuition paid last summer for them to attend the Clarke School in Jacksonville, a school for deaf and hard-of-hearing children.
WISCONSIN SCHOOL TAKES UP COLLECTION TO HELP TSUNAMI VICTIMS
The high school student body council at the Wisconsin School for the Deaf is taking up a collection for victims of the Dec. 26 tsunami. According to Sheryl Aleksinski, the students are especially interested in helping Mohd Afifi Bin Ishak, a former exchange studen, as well as his school, the Penag School for the Deaf in Kedah, Malaysia. “As of this writing (Jan. 12) there has been no word from him,” said Aleksinski. “We pray he is alive.” She noted that his school is near the coast, but his home is more inland. To make a donation, write WSD Tsunami Relief Fund, 309 W. Walworth Ave., Delavan, WI 53115.
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Attention California Relay
From 1996 to 2004, California Relay Service (CRS) calls were handled primarily by MCI Relay operators. In January of 2005, a new CRS system was put into operation. In the new CRS system, 711 relay calls are handled by THREE different relay providers. This change means that when you dial 711, you will not always get the outstanding, dependable MCI service you have come to expect. However, you can continue to place your calls through MCI CRS by dialing 1-866-735-2929 (voice users call 1-866-735-2922).
All relay calls made through MCI operators are confidential.
In-state long distance calls are free when you place calls with MCI as the long distance carrier (additional surcharge applies to calls made from pay phones).
Soon, it will be possible for you to fill out a 711 choice form to choose your PREFERRED relay provider for your CRS calls. Filling out this form with MCI as your choice will automatically route your CRS calls to MCI when you dial 711, and all of your calls will be handled by experienced MCI Relay operators. We will let you know when the 711 choice forms become available.
If you'd like to call the MCI CRS Customer Service number now and give us your name and email address, we will get back to you as soon the 711 choice forms are available. The MCI customer service number is 1-800-735-0193 (voice users call 1-800-735-0373). You may also request an appointment with an ASL-fluent MCI representative to demonstrate and explain MCI products and services.
In the meantime, please dial 1-866-735-2929 to make calls through MCI Relay.
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HARD-LUCK COUPLE FROM NEW ZEALAND HOPE FOR BETTER FUTURE
The Daily Post of Rotorua in New Zealand reported last week on a hard-luck deaf man named Guy Benfield and his wife, Delwyn Gainfort. His troubles started with a car accident in August 2002 that left him with head injuries. Then he had an accident at work, and the couple’s home was burglarized five times within a few months. Last February, after celebrating his first 40-hour work week since the car crash, Benfield was the victim of unprovoked and brutal attacks outside his home – two times in one night. His jaw was broken in two places, and he had to eat through a straw for weeks. With Gainfort unable to work, financial pressures got to his wife and she began to suffer from depression. She lost her job after missing too much work, and the couple went on to separate. Gainfort tried going back to school, but found the school was ill-prepared for a deaf student. He now lives with his parents and hopes to return to work soon. Said his wife, who is now studying computers: “Things are going to get better.”
DEAF U.K. MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER
Malcolm Martin, 32, a deaf man from Cardiff in the U.K., was charged Jan. 15 with the murder of Courteney Davies, 53. The body of Davies was found dumped in the woods near Staunton in the Forest of Deaf, Gloucestershire, on Dec. 20, “PA” News reported. With a sign-language interpreter on hand, Martin appeared in court Monday and spoke only to confirm his name and address. He was held in custody and the case was adjourned until Jan. 25.
CANADIAN HEARING SOCIETY APPOINTS INTERIM PRESIDENT/CEO
The Canadian Hearing Society has appointed Ron Aldridge as interim president and CEO, following the controversial firing of Kelly Duffin in November. Aldridge, who is hard of hearing, is a retired businessman with a background in sales and marketing. Among his accomplishments was the launch of the Brita water filter system in 1984. A longtime athlete, he has represented Canada in the Olympics in field hockey, cricket and squash. Aldridge has signed a six-month contract, and says his two objectives are to find a permanent president and CEO, and keep the agency moving forward. A membership meeting will take place in Toronto Jan. 29, at which community activists hope to replace the agency’s entire board of directors in the wake of the board’s dismissal of Duffin.
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LIFE & LEISURE
MOTHER MEETS WOMAN WHO RECEIVED HER DAUGHTER’S HEART
When Lisa McAbee met Tina Buck for the first time last week, she placed her hand on the younger woman’s chest and felt the beating heart that had once belonged to her own daughter. Natalie McAbee was 11 in 1994 when she was hit by a truck and killed. Her mother made the decision to donate her organs to those in need, and Buck received the girl’s heart, which saved her life. The two began corresponding in 2001, and last week they came together in the Virginia Beach, Va. office of LifeNet, an organ transplant network. “You are a beautiful girl,” McAbee said, using sign language to communicate with Buck, 26, who is deaf. McAbee had learned the language years ago, for her own daughter, heart donor Natalie, was also deaf.
TRAINING PROGRAM TO TEACH HOW TO READ TO DEAF CHILDREN
Gallaudet University has announced plans for a workshop March 14-19 called “Keys to Success,” part of the national Shared Reading Project that helps families learn how to read with their deaf children. Educators, administrators and parent leaders are encouraged to attend the five-day training program, which is designed to prepare schools and programs to join the 39 sites currently existing nationwide in the Shared Reading Project. For more information, visit http://clerccenter.gallaudet.edu/tpd/workshops.html.
ABANDONED DOG PRESENTS SHELTER WITH UNIQUE CHALLENGE
When staffers at the Sayreville (N.J.) Pet Adoption Center arrived for work one morning last September, they found a 90-pound pit bull tied to a tree outside. “Dudley” was unusually quiet and did not socialize with the other animals, and it was soon determined that he was deaf. Shelter volunteer Cathy DiMatteo, a certified obedience trainer, took it upon herself to develop a unique training program based primarily on vision and smell, the Suburban newspaper reported last week. Dudley has made significant process, and the shelter is now seeking someone to adopt him. They prefer a family without small children or other pets. “We also need to find someone who can physically handle him because he’s very strong,” said DiMatteo. “He can lift men off their feet.” Interested? Call the shelter at (732) 727-3895.
“A LIFE TURNING POINT” IS THEME FOR ESSAY, ART CONTESTS
Gallaudet University invites students ages 15 to 19 to enter the sixth annual National Essay Contest for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students and the World Around You magazine art contest. This year’s theme is “A Life Turning Point,” and students may submit either a written essay or an artwork using media such as pen and ink, pastel, watercolor, mixed media, acrylic, crayon or pencil. Feb. 11 is the postmark deadline. Prizes include deaf culture books, a cash award and scholarships up to $1,000, which will be doubled for winners who choose to attend Gallaudet. For details, visit http://clerccenter.gallaudet.edu/WorldAroundYou/essay.html.
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NAD FORMS NEW COMMITTEE ON TELECOMMUNICATIONS, TECHNOLOGY
The National Association of the Deaf has created a new committee to monitor federal, state and local telecommunications issues of importance to deaf and hard-of-hearing Americans and respond as the need arises. The new NAD Technology Committee replaces the NAD Telecommunications Advocacy Network, formed in 1997 and chaired by Pamela Holmes. NAD president Andrew Lange has appointed Sheila Conlon Mentkowski to chair the new committee, and people who are well-known and proven advocates in telecommunications and technology matters are invited to apply to serve on the new committee. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
SCHOLARSHIP CREATED IN MEMORY OF IDAHO INTERPRETER
A scholarship has been created in the name of an Idaho interpreter who was murdered in 2003. Curt Thorngren was 42 when he was found dead in his home in 2003. He had been an interpreter in his spare time, after learning sign language in his 20s – inspired by a deaf man he had met in church. His friend, Janeale McClees, told KTVB-TV that he used to save his vacation hours to attend interpreter training programs. The new scholarship, created by the Boise Valley Deaf and Hard of Hearing Club, will allow other interpreters to attend training sessions.
DAWN NAMES RALENA MCDEVITT TO EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR POSITION
DAWN (the Deaf Abused Women’s Network) in Washington, D.C. has announced the appointment of Ralena McDevitt as the agency’s new executive director. McDevitt joins DAWN after serving as Deaf Program Coordinator at People Encouraging People, Inc., where she managed a program that included day care, case management and residential services. Before that, she was a mental health counselor for the Family Services Foundation, Inc. McDevitt co-founded DAWN and served on the agency’s first board of directors. She has an M.A. in mental health counseling from Gallaudet University and has been very active in the deaf community, serving on the board of the Maryland Disabilities Forum and as co-chair of the Mental Health Advisory Committee.
NTID OFFERS FREE MASTER’S DEGREE THROUGH FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM
The National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, N.Y. invites deaf and hard-of-hearing college graduates with a bachelor’s degree to apply to the Professional Fellowship Program, which offers a master’s degree in a professional or technical field for free. Feb. 15 is the deadline to apply to the program, which provides a full tuition waiver, free housing and a $15,000 annual stipend in exchange for working a career-related part-time job. You must be a U.S. citizen and be accepted into a two- or three-year master’s program at the Rochester Institute of Technology to qualify for this fellowship. For more information, call (585) 475-6433 V/TTY or write to email@example.com.
GALLAUDET ALUMNI ASSOCIATION NAMES 2005 AWARD WINNERS
The Gallaudet University Alumni Association and the Laurent Clerc Cultural Fund Committee has announced its 2005 award winners. The are: Steven Florio, ‘92, of Rhode Island, recipient of the GUAA Outstanding Young Alumnus Award; Timothy “Timo” Owens, ‘79, of Kentucky, who received the GUAA Pauline “Polly” Peikoff “Service to Others” Award; Dr. Stephen Nover, ‘78, of New Mexico, who won the LCCF Alice Cogswell Award; and Eiichi Mitsui and Nariko Mitsui of Japan, recipients of the LCCF Edward Miner Gallaudet Award. All will be honored April 9 at the 36th Annual Charter Day Brunch and Awards Program.
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
COMIC ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR ‘ABABABA ROAD TOUR 2005'
Alan Abarbanell has developed a stage performance based on his upbringing as the youngest of four hearing sons born to deaf parents. Going by the stage name “Abababa,” given to him by a fellow child of deaf adults who could not pronounce Abarbanell, the storyteller has announced plans for “The Abababa Road Tour 2005.” He’ll be bringing his comedy show to Boston, Long Island, Michigan, Mississippi, California, Oklahoma, Rochester and Las Vegas. Both of his parents died in 1988, and he is quick to point out that he’s not making fun of anyone: “This show is a tribute to my parents, my deaf heritage and the bicultural experiences of living in between the deaf and hearing worlds,” he said. To learn more, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.geocities.com/theabababatour.
ACTRESS VIKEE WALTRIP AVAILABLE FOR ARTIST RESIDENCIES
Vikee Waltrip, a comedienne and actress based in Swansea, Ill., announced this week that she is available for artist-in-residency bookings. “I really want to pass on what I have to the younger generation,” said Waltrip, who began her career in 1981 with a theater course in Pasadena, Calif. She toured with the National Theatre of the Deaf and Cleveland Signstage Theatre casts, and in 1992 she trained and performed with the famed Groundling Theater, where she discovered her love of comedy. Waltrip has given theatrical workshops at more than 15 schools, saying they are “such fun exercises in teamwork, visual expression, self-esteem and confidence-building.” Said Tom Bastean of the Missouri School for the Deaf: “She has the magic touch.” For more information, visit Waltrip’s website: www.v-dreamer.com.
Upcoming DIIT Workshops at
NTID/RIT, Rochester NY
or 585-475-2225 V/TTY
Deaf Initiative in Information Technology (DIIT) would like to inform and invite you to attend their upcoming workshops held at NTID.
DIIT sponsors computer and information technology workshops designed especially for deaf and hard-of-hearing professionals.
The workshops provide a unique opportunity:
* An All Sign Environment
* Learn New Technical Skills
* Network with Other Deaf IT Professionals
Creating Web Pages with HTML
Instructor: Elissa Olsen
Date: February 21-25, 2005
Place: NTID/RIT, Rochester NY
Introduction to Microsoft Access Database
Instructor: Ari Ogoke
Date: February 21-25, 2005
Place: NTID/RIT, Rochester NY
Introduction to Macromedia Flash MX 2004
Instructor: Karen Beiter
Date: February 28-March 4, 2005
Place: NTID/RIT, Rochester NY
PC Hardware Maintenance and Repair
Instructor: Tony Spiecker
Date: February 28-March 4, 2005
Place: NTID/RIT, Rochester NY
Building and Managing a Secure Wireless Network
Instructor: David Lawrence
Date: May 9-13, 2005
Place: NTID/RIT, Rochester NY
For more information visit: http://www.rit.edu/diit
. If you are interested in attending, click "Registration" on the
left side of that web page, or call 585-475-2225 V/TTY.
DIIT is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.
FIRST NATIONAL DEAF WRESTLING TOURNAMENT SET
The California School for the Deaf, Riverside is hosting the first annual National Deaf Prep Wrestling Tournament this Friday and Saturday. Schools from California, Arizona, Texas and Washington, D.C. are scheduled to participate. Following the tournament on Saturday evening, the school will host the “Battle of California,” a basketball showdown between the Fremont and Riverside schools, both boys and girls teams. It all takes place in the CSDR gym and you can get more information from athletic director Len Gonzales at Lgonzales@csdr-cde.ca.gov.
STEFAN LEFORS HELPS LEAD EAST TO WIN IN 80TH SHRINE GAME
Stefan LeFors, a hearing football player for Louisville (Ky.) who credits his upbringing in a nearly all-deaf family for his success on the football field (Deafweekly, Nov. 3, 2004), helped lead the East to a 45-27 victory over the West in the 80th Shrine Game in San Francisco last weekend. LeFors was named the offensive Most Valuable Player, going 10-for-17 for 165 and tying the Shrine Game record for touchdown passes in just one quarter of work.
LEARNING CENTER’S JAKE BENNETT ZEROES IN ON 1,000 POINTS
Jake Bennett, a point guard on the
basketball team at the Learning Center for Deaf Children in Framingham, Mass.,
was just 18 points shy of 1,000 career points after a 67-41 win over Boston
Trinity Academy last Friday night. According to Metro West Daily News, he might
have already passed the magic mark, but in an earlier game last week an opponent
fell on his leg and he had to sit out most of the game, finishing with just
seven points. He’s hoping to reach the milestone today or tomorrow, when
the team plays two games at home. Jake’s older brother, Justin, graduated
from the Learning Center seven years ago and scored 2,048 career points, the
only deaf player in the state to pass the 2,000-point barrier.
ADARA SETS BIENNIAL CONFERENCE FOR MAY 26-29 IN ORLANDO
The American Deafness and Rehabilitation
Association (ADARA) has announced plans for its 2005 biennial conference. It
will take place May 26-29 at the Renaissance Orlando Resort at Sea World, with
a theme of “Navigating the Course to Quality Service.” Keynote presenters
are Jerome Hanley of the South Carolina Department of Mental Health and Chuck
Tompkins, vice president of animal training at Sea World. John Evans will be
a presenter at the Saturday evening banquet, and Annette Reichman will speak
at the Eugene Peterson luncheon earlier that day. A pre-conference golf outing
has been set for May 25. For more information, visit www.adara.org
or contact Steve Larew, conference chair, at GRCDirect@aol.com.
DON PETTINGILL, 84, FORMER NAD PRESIDENT
Don G. Pettingill, who served as the 19th president of the National Association of the Deaf (1972-74), died in Annapolis, Md. on Jan. 6 at the age of 84. According to the Washington Post, Mr. Pettingill was born in 1920 in Jerome, Idaho and attended the Idaho School for the Deaf. After graduating, he entered the printing business, and in 1970 he bought and operated his own print shop. His clients included the NAD, which hired him to print “The Silent Worker,” which was later renamed “The Deaf American.” Later, Mr. Pettingill left the printing industry and became Director of Off Campus Studies for Youth at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf at Gallaudet University. In 1989, he retired as Assistant to the Vice President. He then founded a golf club for retired deaf golfers, many of whom were fellow veterans of the printing industry. He and his wife Polly had four children.
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MENTAL HEALTH WORKER
PT Mental Health Worker positions providing direct care to Deaf adults w/ mental illness living in the metro area. Must be able to read/write and ability to document daily logs. HS dipl and current MN drivers lic req. Fluency in American Sign Language and various other forms of non-verbal communication a must. Exp working with mental illness is desired. Pls reference Job Code DW-ARRAY on resume. Send resume with Job Code to People Incorporated, 317 York Ave, St Paul MN 55101 or Fax 651-774-0606. You may also email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Deaf Resource Center (DRC) a non-profit organization located in Toledo, Ohio is actively seeking an Executive Director for a center that provides community support services for individuals who are Deaf, Deaf-Blind, Hard of Hearing, Late-Deafened, or Hearing. DRC, established by a majority of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Incorporators, operated by a Board of Trustees serves clients in 17 counties of Northwest Ohio and is supported by public and private funds. The Director must possess proven skills in leadership and organization, administrative and financial management, fund raising, political savvy, personal and public communication. The Executive Director is responsible to and works closely with the Board of Trustees; leads in creating long range strategy, monitors progress, and assures appropriate funds and resources to achieve long and short term goals.
Fluency in ASL, knowledge of Deaf culture, experience in financial management and minimum of B.A. required.
Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications; salary range $35,000 -- $45,000.
Submit cover letter and resume to: The Deaf Resource Center, 1801 Adams St., Toledo, OH 43624
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