February 6, 2013
Vol. 9, No. 15
Editor: Tom Willard
Deafweekly is an independent news report for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community that is mailed to subscribers on Wednesdays and available to read at www.deafweekly.com. These are the actual headlines and portions of recent deaf-related news articles, with links to the full story. Minor editing is done when necessary. Deafweekly is copyrighted 2013 and any unauthorized use is prohibited. Please support our advertisers; they make it possible for you to receive Deafweekly.
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Last issue's most-read story:
MOLLY SACHS, GALLAUDET STUDENT, ARRESTED FOR ALLEGEDLY DEALING DRUGS / WJLA
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New Orleans, LA
SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETER JOHN MAUCERE LIGHTS UP SUPER BOWL
Sign language interpreter John Maucere took a page from Lydia Callis, the interpreter for Mayor Michael Bloomberg during Hurricane Sandy, at the Super Bowl on Sunday night when he performed his duties with gusto. Maucere, an author, actor and comedian for the deaf community, upstaged Alicia Keys, Beyonce, and even the power outage during the game, bringing grins and chuckles to football fans around America with his winning smile and his stunning tan. / Uinterview
See Also SUPER BOWL 2013 SIGN LANGUAGE GUY -- 'I GOT HAND INSURANCE' / TMZ.com
GALLAUDET UNIVERSITY MARKS 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF 'DEAF PRESIDENT NOW' PROTESTS
Gallaudet University is marking the 25th anniversary of the “Deaf President Now” protests. The grassroots effort was launched by students in 1988, generating national and international headlines and resulting in the university’s first deaf president. Since 1988, three deaf men have served as president of the university. This week, they gathered to reflect on the so-called DPN movement’s anniversary. “Expectations were very high, very, very high,” says Dr. I. King Jordan, Gallaudet’s first deaf president. / WJLA
16 STAFF MEMBERS RESIGN FROM ORALINGUA SCHOOL FOR THE HEARING IMPAIRED IN WHITTIER
Sixteen staff members of Oralingua School for the Hearing Impaired, including 11 of the school's 12 Deaf and Hard of Hearing credentialed teachers, have resigned since September, according to teachers and parents. Also giving notice were three teacher aides, one audiologist and one speech-language pathologist. The teachers said they hadn't been paid in two months. Despite that, they said the primary reason they resigned was a lack of confidence in the school's board of directors and disagreements with and distrust of the school's executive director, Elisa Roche. / Whittier Daily News
DEAF MAN SUES CITY, ALLEGES MISTREATMENT WHILE IN PRISON
A deaf former D.C. inmate sentenced last year to 60 days for assault alleges in a lawsuit filed Friday that he was denied medical care in a correctional facility, held in solitary confinement for complaining about conditions and handcuffed in a way that kept him from communicating through sign language. William Pierce, 44, also said in the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court by the American Civil Liberties Union, that he was denied access to an interpreter and handcuffed during visits from his mother and his partner. Pierce, who is HIV-positive, was unable to take one of his prescribed HIV medications, according to the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified monetary damages. / The Washington Post
SETTLEMENT REACHED IN LAWSUIT INVOLVING DEAF AND BLIND STUDENTS
It's been a year and a half since the State was sued by a group of students at the Hawaii Center for the Deaf and Blind. The students alleged they had been sexually abused by other students. Friday, the attorney representing the group announced that a multi-million dollar settlement has been reached. The State has now agreed to pay $5M to settle the lawsuit -- money that'll go to the victims, and to pay for counseling and treatment. / KHON2
Silver Spring, MD
DOT RECOGNIZES DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING TRUCKERS!
In a historic victory for deaf and hard of hearing truckers, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) announced today, after decades of prohibition, that deaf drivers can operate commercial motor vehicles such as large trucks. Today, the DOT granted 40 applications filed by the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) seeking exemption from the hearing standard that has barred deaf drivers from obtaining commercial drivers’ licenses (CDLs). In announcing this historic decision, the DOT cited research demonstrating that deaf drivers are as safe as hearing drivers. / NAD
FIRMS SETTLE EEOC LAWSUIT FOR NOT ACCOMMODATING HARD-OF-HEARING WORKER
Two firms that sell electronic billing, discovery and litigation management products have agreed to pay $130,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit in which they were charged with failing to accommodate a hard-of-hearing employee. Christopher Vely, a sales representative at Wilmington, Del.-based D.O.E. Technologies Inc. and doeLegal L.L.C., repeatedly asked to telecommute or to work in a quiet area because his disability impaired his ability to make sales calls from a noisy sales office, according to a lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. / Business Insurance
Silver Spring, MD
NAD PREVAILS ON APPEAL FOR DEAF MEDICAL STUDENT
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD), along with the law firm of Stein & Vargas and Disability Rights Nebraska, secured an important victory on January 15th, 2013, in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit which reversed and remanded in favor of a deaf medical student. Michael Argenyi, a student who began attending medical school at Creighton University in 2009, requested that Creighton University provide him with real time captioning for classes and oral interpreters for clinics. Creighton refused to provide him with such services and also refused to allow Mr. Argenyi to bring interpreters even if he paid for the interpreters himself. / NAD
OFFICIAL GIVES COST TO MOVE ROMNEY SCHOOLS
It would cost close to $20 million more to move the state schools for the Deaf and the Blind from its location in Romney than it would to rebuild and renovate, according to an architect. David Ferguson, a principal and architect with ZMM Architects and Engineers of Charleston, said it could cost close to $100 million to build the schools in a different location, compared to the roughly $82 million price tag expected for the project planned at the Romney site. "Financially, it would be my recommendation to stay," Ferguson said Tuesday in a phone interview. / Charleston Daily Mail
AT WEST SIDE CHURCH FOR THE DEAF, SIGN-LANGUAGE LEADS THE WORSHIP
In American Sign Language, there is a finger combination for the word "love." There's also a sign for the word "God." And when Melinda Gerstein beats her hand harshly against the wooden lectern as she's teaching from the Bible, her movement needs no interpretation. When she holds her arms out straight in front of her chest, her palms facing the audience of Praetorium Sign Language Church of Chicago in a gesture of surrender, the meaning is understood. / Chicago Tribune
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MALALA: 'I'M FEELING BETTER' AFTER SKULL SURGERY
Malala Yousufzai, the Pakistani teenager who defied Taliban attackers to promote education for girls, says she's "feeling all right" after two weekend surgeries. Doctors attached a titanium plate to her skull and implanted a cochlear device to restore hearing to her left ear. "I'm happy that both of the operations are successful," she said Monday from her bed at a Birmingham hospital. "I can walk a little bit and I'm feeling better." / CNN
ATTACKED FOR £40: DEAF MAN PUNCHED AND ROBBED FOR 'PALTRY AMOUNT OF MONEY'
A deaf and vulnerable 45-year-old man was repeatedly punched in Bury for a wallet containing just £40 ($63 US). Police are still searching for the “coward” who attacked the man from behind. The incident occurred on Market Street whilst he was walking to the Bus Interchange on Monday January 14. PC Kim Hawksworth said: "The offender should be ashamed of himself for putting the victim through such an ordeal for such a paltry amount of money.” / Mancunian Matters
FATHER OF DEAF SCHOOLGIRL THREATENS TO SUE EDUCATION CHIEFS FOR FAILING TO FIND ONE SINGLE EXPERT IN WELSH SIGN LANGUAGE
The father of a deaf schoolgirl is threatening to sue his local council because they have failed to find his daughter a Welsh signing expert. John Clarke, 45, is furious because he believes his child Hafwen, 8, should be taught in the language they speak at home. Hafwen was born profoundly deaf and has until recently been taught at a Welsh-speaking school with a qualified signer helping her in class. But the signer retired and the local education authority has been unable to find a replacement despite advertising the post twice. / Daily Mail
Isle of Man
CHAMPION FOR THE DEAF IS APPOINTED
A new champion to look after the interests of deaf people in the Isle of Man has just started a two-year tenure. Gareth Foulkes and his hearing dog Derfel are based for three weeks in every month with the Manx Deaf Society at its offices in Somerset Road, Douglas. For the other week he will work from home in his native Anglesey. / Isle of Man Today
Montreal, QC, Canada
THE MONTREAL ORAL SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF RECEIVES GIFT FROM 6-YEAR-OLD ECS STUDENT
Recently the nursery school students at The Montreal Oral School for the Deaf got a special treat….a visit from 6-year-old Ilayda Hall and her best friend Sophie Birks, both of whom are grade 1 students at ECS. The reason for their visit was that Ilayda had a gift for the school – $170 that she had raised for charity by selling greeting cards which she had designed and created herself. She chose the MOSD because her best friend Sophie Birks has a hearing loss. / The Westmount Examiner
CONGRESS URGED TO PASS LAWS FOR DEAF COMMUNITY'S WELFARE
Some 30 members of the deaf community on Monday trooped to the House of Representatives to ask lawmakers to pass more bills protecting their welfare. Dean Veronica Templo-Perez of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies called on Congress to have a "sense of urgency" in passing laws for hearing-impaired Filipinos. "The deaf community hopes that someday, we will have a Philippines that accommodates everyone," Templo-Perez said in a speech on Monday afternoon. / GMA News
JULIUS OMUGUR: INTERPRETER FOR THE DEAF, ACADEMICIAN AND AN ADVOCATE
If you are an eagle-eyed viewer, you might have noticed Mr Julius Patrick Omugur gesturing at the bottom right of your screen during the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation TV newscast at 10pm. A section of viewers have become fascinated by Omugur’s ability to quickly convey the anchor’s words into sign language. However, his job gives Ugandans a brief glimpse of a job that is largely invisible in our society. But with the recent passing of the law for all television stations to employ sign language interpreters at newscasts, the career is now becoming vital. / Daily Monitor
DEAF WANT A FAIR HEARING ON FILM AND TV SUBTITLES
The quality of life of deaf people would dramatically improve if subtitles were introduced on TV and in cinemas, according to campaigners. “Think how much general knowledge you get from the TV,” said Alison Vere from the Deaf People Association, which is behind the Subtitles Now campaign launched recently. “With the exception of the five-minute Deaf News in Maltese sign language, local TV is inaccessible to deaf and those hard of hearing." / Times of Malta
ALL-DEAF COURIER SERVICE TURNS A SOCIAL LIABILITY INTO AN ASSET
Ganesh Sawant is like any other ordinary Mumbaikar. As a courier delivery boy, he saves enough to live comfortably and still send money back home to his village where his family lives. Yet, till about four years ago, Sawant was written off as a liability by his family because he was deaf. That was until he met Dhruv Lakra, founder and CEO of Mirakle Couriers, an innovative Mumbai-based courier service manned entirely by a 48-member team of hearing-impaired boys and a back office run by 20 deaf women. / SME Mentor
DEAF GIRL KIDNAPPED BY DAD REUNITED WITH MOM
The Gujarat high court handed custody of a five-year-old deaf girl to her mother after the child was forcibly taken from her home in Vadodara by her father and grandparents, while the mother was out of station. A division bench of Justice M R Shah and Justice S H Vora ordered Delhi-based Shashikant Prasad to give custody of minor Kritika to her mother, Radha Sinha, whose family lives in Vadodara while she works in a multinational in Bangalore. She is an engineer with B Tech and MS degrees. / Times of India
MAN RAPES MINOR DEAF AND DUMB NIECE
A minor deaf and dumb girl was raped by her uncle on Tuesday in a village in Hardoi, police said. Rishi Pal raped his 13-year-old niece at Murari Kheda Majra Jeyo village, they said. As the mother of the girl came to know of the incident, Rishi Pal took out a hand-made weapon and threatened to kill her before fleeing from the spot. / DNA
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LIFE & LEISURE
GENE THERAPY RESTORES HEARING IN DEAF MICE
A new gene therapy tested on deaf mice proved to partially restore hearing and balance, giving hope to many who suffer from Usher syndrome, a form of human deafness that usually comes with blindness. While the research, which was published in the journal Natural Medicine, is still in its early stages and has not been tested on humans, it has made many hopeful of a future therapy for the deaf. / Opposing Views
EC PROVIDING ID FOR HEARING-IMPAIRED DRIVERS
Erie County is making cards available for motorists who are deaf or hard-of-hearing to display on their visors. The cards are meant to be kept there in the event that the driver is pulled over by law enforcement, then placed in the vehicle’s window to be seen by an officer approaching the vehicle. “Having a visor card gives a deaf or hard of hearing driver the chance to communicate their disability to law enforcement at the outset of their interaction, and will cut down on misunderstandings throughout the process,” said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. / Buffalo Business First
DEAF TEEN FINDS HIS NICHE AT RICHMOND SCHOOL
The seventh grade has been a whirlwind for Alex Brown. From relocating to Richmond and playing on the Test Intermediate School football team, the 14-year-old has had his share of new experiences. He was even credited with saving someone's life last December. But perhaps the most significant experience during the school year has been that Brown, who was born deaf and without the ability to speak, was accepted like any other student at his school. / Paladium-Item
El Paso, TX
DEAF MOTHER HEARS 8-YEAR-OLD SON'S VOICE FOR FIRST TIME AFTER BREAKTHROUGH SURGERY
A Texas mother has emerged from more than a decade of silence to hear her eight-year-old son talk for the first time. Dawn Keim, 43, from El Paso, began losing her hearing 15 years ago due to a debilitating genetic condition. The mother-of-three never thought she'd hear her older sons' voices again and, when her youngest child, Asher, was born, she was devastated that she'd never be able to hear him speak. / Daily Mail
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ARE DEAF AND HARD-OF-HEARING PHYSICIANS GETTING THE SUPPORT THEY NEED?
A number of accommodations are available for hearing-impaired physicians, such as electronic stethoscopes and closed-captioning technologies, but are these approaches making a difference? A team of researchers from the University of California, Davis, the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the University of Michigan surveyed Deaf and hard of hearing (DHoH) physicians and medical students to determine whether these and other accommodations enhance career satisfaction and their ability to provide care. This research has important implications for DHoH medical students, educators, employers and patients. / Medical Xpress
West Hartford, CT
FARMINGTON BANK SUPPORTS AMERICAN SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF
John J. Patrick, Jr., president and CEO of Farmington Bank, recently spent some time reading with students from the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford. Patrick is chairman of the school's Foundations for the Future Bicentennial Capital Campaign that is funding the construction of a new state-of-the-art education facility on the school's West Hartford campus. / Hartford Business
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The Dream Must Go On!
Deaf West Theatre honors retired Founding Artistic Director at a gala fundraising event on Saturday, Feb 9 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles, California at 7:00 pm. Scenes and vignettes from Deaf West productions including "Cyrano", "Children of a Lesser God", and "Big River" will be featured amid a lineup of special guest stars from Deaf West Theatre's history.
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
DEAF WELLESLEY COLLEGE GRADUATE WINS ROUND-THE-WORLD TRIP WITH COUCH-SURFING VIDEO
You might not think of a couch as your ticket to travel around the world – but Wellesley College class of 2012 alum Jenny Lu went couchsurfing through Europe and won herself a round-the-world trip in the process. Couchsurfing is a cheap way to travel: surfers create an account with Couchsurfing.org and connect with fellow surfers in far-flung locations. Instead of paying for a hotel, travelers stay for free with locals. Lu, who is deaf, had always wanted to meet people like her around the world – and the video she made about her journey won her a round-the-world trip. / Boston Globe
'SWITCHED' PUTS DEAF CULTURE IN THE MAINSTREAM
Recently, I watched the first season of ABC Family’s Switched at Birth, a show that centers around two teenage girls from Kansas City, Mo. who were accidently switched at birth. Bay Kennish was raised by two parents, has a brother and comes from wealth. Daphne Vasquez lost her hearing after contracting meningitis, grew up an only child of a single mom and lives with her Puerto Rican grandmother in a working-class neighborhood. What I was most interested in, however, was seeing how Deaf and hard of hearing culture is handled. / Teaching Tolerance
DEAF MUSICIAN'S MUSIC, TALENTS, EXPERIENCE BRING COMMUNITY TOGETHER
Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) alumnus and deaf musician Sean Forbes, accompanied by pianist Jake Bass and guitarist Mark Levin, blew the audiences away last Friday night, Jan. 25. The event in Todd Theatre started with Forbes speaking about his life and how he developed his career in the music business. Forbes repeatedly emphasized that his primary mission was to “make music accessible for the deaf community.” He does not want merely to write songs about experiences unique to the deaf, but to perform songs with more general themes and make music accessible to the deaf. / Campus Times
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INDIE FILM DEBUTS BASKETBALL MOVIE STARRING DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING KIDS FROM THE STREETS
Unless you are filming a reality show, movies don’t get made by kids off the street. Then add to that the majority of them being deaf or hard of hearing and get them to work together at various movie locations , play basketball, learn lines and participate in the art and craft of Independent Film-making. That's exactly what Darla Rae has done in the creation of the movie “Spirit of Love”, a story inspired by a camp for kids in Atlanta, GA created by retired NBA basketball record setter Mike “Stinger” Glenn. / Newswire
INSPIRATIONAL NEW ENGLANDERS PREPARE FOR WORLD DEAF ICE HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIPS
While most of us tend to take for granted the sounds of hockey, the men of Team USA preparing to play in this April’s World Deaf Ice Hockey Championships have developed their own ways to succeed. Some of New England’s most talented hockey players created their own tricks to communicate on the ice — a shortened form of sign language that doesn’t even require them to remove their gloves. / NESN Daily
JEFF SAUER BRINGS HOCKEY TO DEAF, PARALYZED INDIVIDUALS
Jeff Sauer spent decades coaching men's hockey at Colorado College and the University of Wisconsin, winning nearly 500 games and two national championships, but these days he finds himself rejuvenated and his love for the game strong as ever through his work with both the United States Deaflympics and the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. Sauer, who began his collegiate coaching career more than 40 years ago as an assistant to the legendary "Badger" Bob Johnson, is in the process of putting together a team to play at the World Deaf Championship in Finland at the end of March. / NHL.com
ASPEN CAMP FOR THE DEAF INSTALLING NEW ROPES COURSE
The Aspen Camp for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has teamed with Roaring Fork Leadership on the planning and installation of a new ropes course. The school lost its ropes courses in a windstorm last spring. It approached Roaring Fork Leadership, which trains community leaders, for help. The organization provided a team from its 2012-13 class to assist in planning and installing a new low-ropes course. The new course will have a variety of challenging elements and possibly a cross-country ski track and fitness trail. / Aspen Times
Council Bluffs, IA
DEAF COMMUNITY LOSES CHAMPION IN RICHARD HAGEN, 80
Richard Hagen was a champion of the deaf community. The longtime Council Bluffs resident served as chairman of the Iowa Western American Sign Language interpreting program for more than a decade, assisted students at Iowa School for the Deaf and was consulted by lawmakers for portions of the Americans With Disabilities Act pertaining to deafness. Hagen, 80, died Monday after suffering a heart attack. He was living in Bellevue at the time of his death. / Omaha World-Herald
LANIETA GARBUTT, SCHOOL INTERPRETER
LaNieta "Niety" Garbutt, 69, of Abington, a sign-language interpreter in Montgomery County schools, died Thursday, Jan. 24, of pancreatic cancer at her home. Mrs. Garbutt spent 27 years as a sign-language interpreter for the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit. She was so popular with deaf students and her teaching colleagues that they turned out in droves to her signed memorial service Monday, Jan. 28. "She gave generously of her time and herself to the many deaf students for whom she was an interpreter," her family said. / Philadelphia Inquirer
CALL FOR PRESENTERS: DEAF BUSINESS SYMPOSIUM
The Deaf Business Symposium committee cordially invites you to participate in the 2013 Deaf small business owners symposium to be held on April 19 to 21, 2013 at the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley, CA hosted by Deaf Counseling, Advocacy & Referral Agency (DCARA). The Deaf Business Symposium is organized to provide an educational forum in ASL for the exchange of business strategy and expertise to an audience of Deaf small business owners and entrepreneurs. / DCARA
Dear Editor, this article is untrue and offensive!
“I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I AM HEARING IMPAIRED SO YOU CAN ONLY EMAIL ME”
If you ever receive an email from someone, who says that they can only email you because of being hearing impaired, this simply is not true! People who are hearing impaired make phone calls, all of the time. There is technology especially for the hearing impaired. One example of this is “Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD)” or “teletypewriter (TTY).” / BBB
I can only use email and I am profoundly deaf due to Meniere's Disease. TTD's and TTY's are expensive as much of the technology out there is. So I'm unable to afford even the least expensive one the is $297. I have gone through many different phones and current own a CAP TEL which I got when my hearing loss was single sided and I had one ok ear and I was working. I was told that when I got my C.I that it would hook up to the phone, it dose not! The CAP TEL captions are actually worse than that on TV and many times it will just tell you the speaker is unclear so the sentence and the conversation breaks down. Also when you go to the BBB to see the article its not there!!!! You may want to look at this again and write a retraction!
-- Kala L Plante
Editor replies: This was a Better Business Bureau article to warn BBB members about scam artists who pretend to be deaf to avoid talking with them on the phone. You are correct that the article is no longer available at that link and I could not find it posted elsewhere. It looks as if the BBB has already retracted it.
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