deafweekly

 

January 25, 2006
Vol. 2 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 mail@deafweekly.com.

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The contents of Deafweekly are Copyright 2006. Any unauthorized use, including reprinting of news, is prohibited. Readership: approximately 5,000 including subscribers and website readers.

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NATIONAL
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STUDENTS SAFE AFTER HIGHWAY CRASH IN MARYLAND

A bus carrying 27 students and five staff members from the Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf crashed into two tractor-trailers and a passenger car on Interstate 95 near Baltimore, Md. last Wednesday night, tying up traffic for five hours. The bus was returning from a basketball game at the Maryland School for the Deaf in Columbia. Parents from the Ewing, N.J. school breathed a sigh of relief that none of the students were seriously hurt, reported the Trentonian. Maryland police say the school bus rear-ended one truck and then rolled into reverse, hitting a second truck and a small car. The 11- to 15-year-olds were rushed to four local hospitals and most were released into their parents' custody. Bus driver Keith Schmitt, 55, of Plainfield, N.J., was taken by helicopter to a hospital where he was in serious condition. “School personnel will provide counseling services and further medical attention to students if necessary,” said MKSD Superintendent Dennis Russell in a prepared statement.

LENSMAN CAPTURES D.C. POLICE OFFICER RIDING ON HOOD

Police in Washington, D.C. were on the defensive last week after a deaf resident photographed an officer riding on the hood of a patrol car speeding down a residential street. Jason Lamberton told NBC-4 News he was lucky to have his camera handy when the scene unfolded in front of him. “I saw the cop cars whizzing by with sirens blazing,” he said. “I thought it was stupid – lack of common sense.” Lamberton captured the scene from a second-floor window and then posted the photos on a friend’s blog (ridor.blogspot.com). The officer, who admitted to riding on the hood while being transported to his squad car two blocks away, could be suspended or face a reprimand.

MAN ADMITS TO THREE-HOUR ASSAULT ON DEAF WOMAN

A Pekin, Ind. man was arrested Monday in connection with a three-hour assault on a 69-year-old deaf woman at her Indianapolis home last week, reported the Indianapolis Star. Jerry Jackson, 29, admitted to repeatedly attacking the unidentified victim over a three-hour period late last Thursday and early on Friday, said a police report. Jackson was arrested Friday after being found in possession of prescription painkillers belonging to the woman who was attacked. He is being held in county jail and faces charges of rape, criminal deviate conduct, burglary and residential entry.

IDAHO STATEHOUSE CONSIDERING INTERPRETERS BILL

Idaho is thinking of joining 20 other states that have minimum standards for sign language interpreters in schools, reported KTVB-TV News in Boise last week. A recent test showed that half of the K-12 school interpreters don’t know what they’re signing. “The bottom line is that 62 percent of those who took the test could not interpret 60 percent of the classroom material,” said Wes Maynard of the Council for Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Sen. Michael Jorgenson of Hayden Lake is sponsoring legislation to require all interpreters to pass a national test and expects his bill to get a hearing in the coming weeks. Some students are worried about an unintended possible consequence. “We need interpreters and if you make it even harder, then we wouldn’t have any interpreters at all,” said Emily Pennie, “and I don’t know if that’s worse than having a bad interpreter or not.”

CLARKE SCHOOL EXPANDS TO CANTON AND BEYOND

The students at the Clarke School East in Canton, Mass. “act and sound like a normal bunch of pre-school children,” reported the Canton Journal last week, "so it is startling to discover that the children are a bit different.” The Journal sent a reporter out to tour the school, which six years ago became the first satellite school for the Northampton-based Clarke School for the Deaf. Director Cara Jordan used to serve deaf children out of her car, visiting families in their homes “until we found there were enough interested parties to start a school.” The Canton school is supported by local school funding and has about 35 students enrolled. The Clarke School organization has expanded beyond Northampton and Canton, said the Journal, and now serves some 500 children who attend similar schools in New York, Philadelphia and Jacksonville, Fla.

NEWSPAPER PROFILES RETIRED COLLEGE LEADER

The Eagle-Tribune of North Andover, Mass. did a profile last week on William Huston of Haverhill, who devoted 20 years to the deaf studies program at Northern Essex Community College. Huston, 56, was born hearing into a family with a mother, grandparents and almost 50 distant relatives who were deaf. He didn’t start speaking until he enrolled in school and received help from a speech therapist. The experience motivated him to dedicate his life to helping deaf people and training others to communicate with them. He studied sign language at Gallaudet University after being discharged from the Marines in 1971 and worked for several years as an interpreter. In 1982, Northern Essex asked him to coordinate the school’s new deaf studies program. He was honored last fall with the Thomas Gallaudet Service Award, given by the Massachusetts Association of the Deaf to a hearing person whose work benefits the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

STUDY: ANCIENT FISH GILLS EVOLVED INTO HUMAN EARS

Human ears evolved from gill openings in fish, said a new study reported in the January 19 issue of the journal Nature. Humans and other land animals have special bones in their ears that are crucial to hearing and similar to structures ancient fish used to breathe underwater. Researchers compared the ear bones of a 370-million-year-old fossil fish called Panderichthys to those of another fish and early land animal and determined that Panderichthys displays a transitional form. Scientists had thought the change from gills to ears occurred after animals established themselves on land, reported LiveScience, but the new study suggests ear development was set into motion long before any creatures crawled out of the water.

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INTERNATIONAL
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AMERICAN SOLDIERS HELP REOPEN IRAQ SCHOOL FOR DEAF

American soldiers from the 172nd Stryker Brigade were on hand December 12 for the grand re-opening of the Al Amel Institute for the Deaf and Mute in Mosul, Iraq. Students pressed their faces against windows to watch the soldiers arrive and lined up patiently to receive new backpacks filled with school supplies. Mosul Mayor Ahmer Jihand and school Vice Headmaster Alkrem Abdul Kareem cut the ceremonial ribbon and made a few comments for the local press. The soldiers waved to the kids and smiled at the teachers, trying to look comfortable while carrying rifles and wearing body armor, helmets, eye protection and gloves. After receiving their backpacks, the students “tore into their cake and frosting with vigor,” said Capt. Marcus Grimes. “I regretted not knowing at least some sign language to communicate with the kids.”

SOLAR-POWERED HEARING AID WINS AWARD IN SOUTH AFRICA

Most hearing aids are too expensive for people in the developing world, said the Toronto Sun, but a sunlight-powered aid sold by a Botswana company for $100 (U.S) was judged by the University of Copenhagen just as good as high-priced digital aids . More than 4,000 SolarAids, manufactured by Godisa Technologies, have been sold in over 30 countries. The parts are made in Europe and the insides are coated with lacquer to protect against sub-Saharan heat and humidity. Godisa – which means “doing something to help others grow” in the Setswana language – is Africa’s only manufacturer of hearing aids and the only one in the world that involves deaf people in the manufacturing process, said the Star. Last year, two deaf Godisa employees traveled to Pretoria, South Africa for the South African Design Excellence competition, where Akanyang Kelaotswe delivered the medical category’s winning entry in sign language. She and her co-worker were the only black woman in attendance.

PILOT PROJECT IN CHINA TEACHES DOCTORS SIGN LANGUAGE

Fifteen doctors at a health center in Shanghai, China passed a sign language examination from teachers at a deaf school last week. The Xinhua Neighborhood Health Center in Changning District is China’s first hospital providing doctors with basic signing skills to serve deaf patients, reported the Shanghai Daily News. Despite 175,000 deaf people in the city, no hospital has interpreters on staff and it’s inconvenient for deaf people to receive treatment. “To prevent misdiagnosis, doctors always have deaf patients take more tests, which is a financial burden to many people,” said Dr. Liu Shuo, who initiated the pilot program.

HEARING AID MAKER ANNOUNCES CLOSURE OF IRELAND PLANT

A Danish company announced last week that it is closing its hearing-aid manufacturing operation in Cork, Ireland, leaving 180 people out of work. Just weeks ago, workers at GN ReSound A/S were told the company had experienced a great year, reported the Irish Examiner. But officials confirmed they would close the Cork facility by March 31 and move production to China. “The Cork site has performed excellently and this was a very difficult decision for us,” said Peter Lindquist, a ReSound official. “However, the company has to maximize the low cost base we have in China from a manufacturing perspective.” Staffers, reacting with shock and tears, gathered afterwards at a nearby bar.

BANK IN INDIA ‘GOES THE EXTRA MILE’ FOR CUSTOMERS

The staff of the Vijaynagar branch of the Bank of India have learned the basics of sign language and “are all out to help these special customers,” said Indian Express. More than 50 deaf customers have signed up for accounts since the bank began targeting the market six months ago. “No bank was ready to entertain them so we decided to go the extra mile,” said branch manager S. K. Chaudhary. Most of the new customers come from a nearby school for the disadvantaged. “They don’t repeat their mistakes and don’t push their way through demanding special attention like some normal customers do,” said cashier Prabha Marathe.

HEARING DOG INJURED IN MUGGING OF LONDON MAN

A news report from London Friday told of the mugging of a “deaf and dumb man” by a trio of “yobs” who apparently thought the 41-year-old victim was blind because of his hearing dog. The three muggers blocked the man’s path and stole cash from his pockets, reported icSouthLondon, and though he escaped unhurt, his hearing dog suffered injuries to the mouth, nose and paws. Police called it a “despicable robbery carried out on a vulnerable member of the community” and called upon witnesses to come forward.

AUSTRALIAN RUGBY PLAYER FEARS LOSS OF HEARING

An Australian rugby player fears he will go deaf after surgery to correct a degenerative ear condition proved only partially successful, Fox Sports reported earlier this month. Luke Bailey of the St. George Illawarra Dragons told The Sunday Telegraph he had surgery to clean out both ears but the results are far from perfect and he faces the prospect of losing his hearing. “There is not much getting through,” said Bailey, who admitted to making errors on the field and sleeping through a burglary at his home, which left him fearful for his family’s safety. “I’m half deaf anyway but for the sake of my family and my footy I want to at least look after it the best I can.”

CHARGED WITH ASSAULT, MAN SAYS HE HAD TO MOVE IN CLOSER

A former government manager in Canada charged with assault and sexual assault offered a unique defense in court last week, reported CBC Saskatchewan. Murdoch Carriere, who helped run the Saskatchewan Environment Department, said he had to move in closer to women because he is hard of hearing and women tend to speak more softly than men. Carriere is facing assault allegations by four women who used to work for him, and last week his wife was in court to back him up. Terry Carriere said her husband has a hearing problem and tends to stand close to people when talking to them. She also backed up his claim that it was his habit to hug and kiss both male and female workers when leaving on a long trip.

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LIFE & LEISURE
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MRI PREFERRED OVER CT FOR COCHLEAR IMPLANT PRE-OP

When it comes to determining the correct type and method of cochlear implant surgery, doctors have traditionally relied on high-resolution CT scanning to check for inner ear abnormalities, nerve condition and ear duct obstruction. A new study from the University of Texas Southwestern suggests that MRI examination is a better approach. Researchers compared the records of 56 cochlear implant candidates and found that MRI offered a more detailed view and better information on which surgical technique to use, the specific electrode arrays employed and where the cochlear implant should be placed. “Thirty percent of patients had abnormalities on MRI we would not have seen on CT,” said Dr. Peter Roland, “whereas in none of the patients were there findings on CT that we wouldn’t have seen on MRI.”

REMOTE CONTROLS FOR HEARING AIDS SAID TO BE ‘GREAT OPTION’

The Kingsport (Tenn.) Times-News reported last week on remote controls for hearing aids, “a great option for those with dexterity issues due to arthritis, stroke, cerebral palsy or another neurological disorder.” Hearing aid remote controls are smaller than TV remotes and contain just a few buttons that perform limited functions such as adjusting volume or changing the listening mode. (Some remotes allow users to check the battery level.) A remote control is the only option for those who need to see the controls to change them, but there are disadvantages: “A remote control is one more thing to keep up with that can be misplaced or left behind.”

DIGITAL HEARING AIDS NOT NECESSARILY BETTER

Digital hearing aids aren’t always better than traditional analog aids, said a recent report in the Boston Globe. Many users pay thousands of dollars more for digital aids but end up with features they don’t need or use. “We really don’t have good independent, verifiable research to show us that these particular features may be good,” said Dennis Van Vliet, a California audiologist with national hearing aid sales company HearUSA. For Kimberley Shaw, a digital hearing aid is a godsend. Shaw, a library assistant at Wellesley College, struggled for years with analog aids and says digital aids “are so much better, they only amplify what I need.” But an elderly person who rarely leaves the house may not need a digital aid. “The person who’s just sitting in the nursing home watching TV all day, I don’t want to sell her a high-end expensive hearing aid that has a lot of technology in it that they’re not going to be using,” said Michael Skrip of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

PH.D. STUDENT SEEKS FAMILIES FOR RESEARCH PROJECT

A Ph.D. candidate in California is seeking participants for a study of deaf and hard-of-hearing adolescent development. Angelica Almeida, a student at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University in San Francisco, is seeking families with a mother and at least two children between the ages of 12 and 18. One child must be deaf or hard of hearing and the other must have no physical disabilities. Both children must be in a fully inclusive classroom, although an interpreter is permitted. All three family members will be given a questionnaire that takes less than an hour to complete. If you’d like to participate, call 510-520-8239 or email to hhearing_deaf_research@hotmail.com.

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WORKING WORLD
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POSTAL FACILITIES ADD VIDEO INTERPRETING

The U.S. Postal Service announced last Wednesday that it is installing two types of video interpreting services in postal facilities around the country. The services will allow deaf and hard-of-hearing employees to communicate without the need for TTYs or on-site interpreters. Twenty-five postal facilities have been equipped with this service and more are planned by the end of the year. The services use two forms of Web-based interpreting, one for communication within the same facility and the other for use by people in multiple locations. It also provides an alternative to bringing in interpreters, an ongoing challenge due to the Postal Service’s 24-hour-a-day schedule. “This project reflects the Postal Service commitment to employee diversity,” said Postmaster General John E. Potter.

XEROX LOANS EMPLOYEE TO BELL ASSOCIATION

A New Jersey woman will be taking a paid leave of absence from the Xerox Corporation to help develop networks and resources for parents of deaf and hard-of-hearing children. Susan Schmidberger, a national sales support associate from Glen Rock, N.J., will work six months with the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to develop a parent-to-parent network with the New Jersey and New York chapters and a national parent support database. Schmidberger was granted time off through a Xerox program called Social Service Leave, established in 1971 by company officials who thought it wasn’t enough to donate millions of dollars to charity. Schmidberger is one of 469 people granted sabbaticals since the program began.

CENTER SEEKS LETTERS OF SUPPORT FOR GRANT PROPOSAL

WGBH’s National Center for Accessible Media is preparing a grant proposal to the Department of Education for a three-year research project into making Internet video accessible. The inaccessibility of Internet-based video offerings “is of enormous concern to consumers and to those of us at NCAM,” said Mary Watkins, outreach director of WGBH’s Media Access Group. The grant would fund the work to bring captioning to the Web and to portable devices such as Video iPods and cell phones. It would also fund user testing with deaf and hard-of-hearing consumers. WGBH, a PBS station in Boston, pioneered captioning in 1971 by establishing TV’s first captioning agency, The Caption Center. Watkins said it is vital to maintain and build on captioning wins of the last few decades as more and more video becomes available on the Web. She is seeking letters of support to include with the grant application, with letters due by February 1. Contact her at mary_watkins@wgbh.org.

N.C. BAGEL SHOP BECOMES COMMUNITY HAVEN

A Bruegger’s bagel shop in Greensboro, N.C. has become a haven for the local deaf community, reported The News & Record, thanks to general manager Erica Shanahan’s willingness to hire deaf employees. Shanahan learned sign language within a few months of hiring her first deaf employee, and seven months ago hired an assistant manager, Crystal Bryant, who is deaf. “I didn’t know how it would go at first,” said Shanahan. “But I love it. Deaf people come here to eat and feel comfortable, which is kind of neat.” Alicia Price, executive director of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Davidson County, was the first deaf person hired by Shanahan several years ago. Some customers were nervous at first, she said, “but after a while it was fine and they all got used to being around the deaf.”

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
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NEW YORK FASHION SHOW TO RAISE MONEY FOR FILMS

DeafVision Filmworks and JADE Films will host a fashion show June 17 in New York City to raise money to complete the films “Somalia” and “9/11 Fear in Silence: The Forgotten Underdogs.” The fashion show, titled Millennium International Caribbean Africa (MICA) Runway 2006, will be “a great opportunity to see new work, network and have a great time,” said event chair Ann Marie Bryan, also known as Jade. Sprint has signed on as a sponsor, and deaf and hard-of-hearing visual, performing and literary artists will showcase their work. Cash prizes will be awarded for the talent portion of the evening, including ASL poetry, dance, drama and film screening showcase, and a scholarship will be awarded to a student artist. More information may be found at www.micarunway2006.com.

ORCHESTRA MEMBERS PERFORM AT CENTRAL INSTITUTE

Performers from the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra had pre-kindergartners at the Central Institute for the Deaf squealing in delight last week, said the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. A community outreach program brought the musicians to the school, where they treated students to an original 25-minute piece revolving around a mischievous tuba. “Tuffy, the Silly Tuba” was written by Jim Meyer, a 40-year orchestra veteran and husband of Virginia Meyer, the institute’s school nurse. Meyer, who wrote the piece in a low register for children with a limited or low hearing range, believes “Tuffy” may be the only piece of music ever composed specifically for “children of the silent world.” The performance was a hit. Said tuba player Michael Sanders: “To see those little kids look up with that look on their faces was unbelievable.”

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SPORTS
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NEW JERSEY HOOPSTER SCORES 1,000TH POINT

Tavian Atkins of the Marie Katzenbach School for the Deaf entered a boys basketball game Monday needing only four points to reach the 1,000-point plateau. The senior guard did so with ease, reported the Trenton (N.J.) Times, scoring 15 points and adding eight rebounds as the Colts beat Mercer Christian Academy, 66-60, for their ninth win of the season. “Tavian always works hard and we’re proud to see him reach this milestone,” said assistant coach Lauren Durkin. “He’s a leader during games and practice and just loves basketball. He deserves it.”

ALABAMA COACH EARNS ENTRY INTO SPORTS HALL OF FAME

Among nine inductees in the 16th class of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame is Don Hackney, who led the Alabama School for the Deaf to six deaf-school national basketball championships. According to the Mobile Register, the 19-member hall of fame committee made the selections from 47 nominations. Hackney and other honorees will be inducted at a March 20 banquet at Garrett Coliseum in Montgomery. Tickets ($35) can be obtained by calling 334-263-6994.

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EMPLOYMENT
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Assistant Professor-English with a Specialization in Teaching Deaf Students at San Diego Mesa College. 10 month, full time, tenure track position Fall 2006. Application deadline February 26, 2006.

See www.sdccd.net/employment/ go to: Current Openings (Academic, Mesa College); Assistant Professor-English with a Specialization in Teaching Deaf Students; download application forms; job flyer, etc. Minimum Qualifications in English or ESL or equivalent.

See www.cccregistry.org go to link for minimum qualifications. Additional information may be requested from SDCCD Human Resources Employment Office at (619)388-6580 (voice) or (619)388-6896 (TDD)

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Non-Profit mental health agency in Edgewater, MD has positions available in Deaf Program. BA/BS in Human Services or related field preferred, and/or related work experience. Applicants must be fluent in American Sign Language. Must have valid driver’s license.

Rehabilitation Specialists-Duties include; transporting mentally ill adults to appointments, medication monitoring, applying crisis intervention, and providing daily living skills support in a residential setting.

Full Time, 3:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m., Monday-Friday
Part Time, Saturday & Sunday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. & 1:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Part Time, Weekend, Awake Overnight

ASL Interpreter/Mental Health Specialist-Full Time, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Mon-Thurs as Interpreter, other hours as needed for Mental Health Specialist (will include weekends). Interpreter must be able to interpret a variety of situations and must be certified in ASL. Specialist duties include; coordination of doctor appts., transport clients to appts., medication monitoring, provide daily living skills & job support, and apply crisis intervention

Send resume and cover letter to Arundel Lodge, Human Resources, 2600 Solomon’s Island Road, Edgewater, MD 21037; fax to (410) 841-6045; or email to Lmurphy@arundellodge.org.

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JOB OPPORTUNITIES AT GLAD

GLAD is an Affirmative Action Employer with equal opportunity for men, women and people with disabilities. For more information on the following positions, please go to: www.gladinc.org. The status of all positions is: Regular, Full-time, Non-Exempt, Full Fringe Benefits unless otherwise noted. All positions are open until filled.

JOB DEVELOPER/INTERPRETER - Anaheim, Crenshaw, Norwalk
HARD OF HEARING SPECIALIST - Riverside
HIV HEALTH EDUCATOR (MSM) - Los Angeles
LIFESIGNS DISPATCHER - Los Angeles
GLAD BUILDING/MAINTENANCE MANAGER – Los Angeles

If interested for any of these positions then please submit resume and application to:

Jeff Fetterman
Human Resources Specialist
Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness, Inc.
2222 Laverna Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90041
V/TDD: (323) 550-4207
Fax #: (323)550-4204
E-mail: jfetterman@gladinc.org

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DIGITAL MEDIA ARTIST

POSITION DESCRIPTION:
Under the general supervision of the Art Manager, Digital Media Artist utilizes desktop publishing, graphic designing and spreadsheet software to create and print a variety of marketing materials, including physical (publications) and digital (websites) media. Applicant must be a self-starter who is highly motivated and capable of multi-tasking. Plans and devises layout of text, photos or illustrations for websites, newsletters, flyers, brochures, posters, manuals, overheads, or other advertising or presentation materials.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS:
Produces original graphics using Illustrator and/or Photoshop software for online content.
Works with animation using Flash software.
Determines size and arrangement of images and layers.
Selects style and size of type and arranges layout based on available space.
Retouches photographs for websites.
Completes assignments using graphic designing/layout integrated software, creating effective pay layouts, charts, diagrams, and computer graphics for physical and digital media.
Has knowledge of commonly used concepts, practices, and procedures within website development/graphic designing/publishing field.
Perform graphic art changes to files per client requests.
Create and maintain production masers.
Maintain organized filing system of all project files.
Review proofs for inconsistencies in borders, headers and footers and font substitution.
Verify the data accuracy and quality of masters.
Multi-task in fast-paced environment.
Prepare and package files for outsourcing.
Utilizes experience and judgment in planning and achieving goals.

NONESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS:
Performs other various duties as requested by supervisor.

QUALIFICATIONS:
Bachelor’s degree in art, design or related field or equivalent experience.
Experience working with the deaf community is mandatory. Must be familiar with deaf culture and American Sign Language to communicate effectively with deaf consumers.
Proficiency with PowerPoint, Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and Flash required.
Experience with computer animation.
Ability to scan and optimize images.
Should have an eye for art, including color schemes.
Knowledge of commonly-used concepts, practices and procedures within a particular field.
Must be able to code in HTML and CSS with confidence.

SALARY: Commensurate with experience and qualifications.

BENEFITS: Group Health Insurance, Life Insurance, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, Retirement Program, Paid Time Off (PTO), Short Term Disability, Paid Holidays and Employee Assistance Program.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: February 6, 2006.

SEND RESUME AND COVER LETTER TO:
Barbara M. Forinash, Human Resources Director
Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc.
102 North Krohn Place • Sioux Falls, SD 57103
(605) 367-5760 Voice or (605) 367-5761 TTY • (605) 367-5832 FAX
or email to:  bforinash@c-s-d.org
Toll Free Voice (800) 642-6410 · Toll Free TTY (866) 273-3323
An EOE committed to a drug- and alcohol-free workplace

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