February 10, 2010
Vol. 6, 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 2010 and any unauthorized use is prohibited. Please support our advertisers; they make it possible for you to receive Deafweekly.
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THE START OF CONSTRUCTION OF THE APACHE ASL TRAILS APARTMENTS / News
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DEAF PATIENT WAS DYING, BUT NO ONE TOLD HER
David Nelson got the bad news about his wife in December 2005. He just didn't know it. For three months, the Nelsons met with doctors at North Memorial Medical Center, but they weren't aware Mary Ann was dying of cancer. So they were stunned in March 2006 when her oncologist abruptly put an end to their hopes with a terse note saying, "We can't cure the cancer!" It was the first time the Nelsons, both deaf, understood the cancer was terminal, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. Mary Ann Nelson died in May 2006. / Star Tribune
PROFOUNDLY DEAF MAN GETS 1 YEAR, PROBATION IN MURDER CASE
A profoundly deaf man charged with first-degree murder has been sentenced after he earlier pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. Alex Smith appeared before Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern on Monday. He was given a six-year sentence that includes 11 months and 29 days of incarceration. Smith will then be on intensive probation for the remainder of the term. He was directed to live with his sister in the Highway 58 area and must not possess weapons. He was also told not to come into downtown Chattanooga, and he must complete the Endeavors program. / The Chattanoogan
SCHOOL FOR DEAF STUDENT CENTER NAMED FOR LONGTIME EDUCATOR
Though he's now retired, Gerald "Bummy" Burstein has left a lasting mark on Riverside and its sizeable deaf community. Today he'll lend his name to a small part of it when the California School for the Deaf in Riverside dedicates the Gerald "Bummy" Burstein student center, a renovated room to be used for student government and leadership programs. "His entire career was around the deaf and the deaf community and leadership," school spokeswoman Laurie Pietro said of Burstein, who was a teacher and administrator at the school for 37 years. / Press-Enterprise
Sioux Falls, SD
SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF COULD SERVE HIGH SCHOOL OR COLLEGE CLASSES
With the last remaining students probably heading elsewhere next school year, portions of the South Dakota School for the Deaf soon could be available for lease. The Board of Regents plans to empty the classrooms after 130 years, sending the handful of remaining students to a mainstream school or another state's residential deaf school. The outsourcing and layoffs would save an estimated $678,000 next year. The campus would continue to serve as the administrative hub of deaf education in South Dakota with offices for a dozen outreach workers. But much of the campus is likely to be leased out in the short-term, and perhaps eventually sold. / Argus Leader
FLORENCE TEEN BECOMES MS LEGISLATURE'S FIRST DEAF PAGE
The pages at the Mississippi Capitol must be quick on their feet and stay alert to the needs of legislators. 19-year-old Derek Schmitz of Florence jumped right in, despite the fact that he's 100 percent deaf. "I have a variety of duties here," Schmitz told us through translator Zachary Breland. "I run errands for different representatives. I do whatever the head page asks me to do." Schmitz is a senior at the Mississippi School for the Deaf in Jackson. / WLBT 3
New York, NY
MAYOR BLOOMBERG SPORTS NEW HEARING AID IN PUBLIC
Mayor Bloomberg is making it easier to hear from New Yorkers. Hizzoner wore tiny, flesh-colored hearing aids Wednesday as he toured the underground construction site of the No. 7 train extension, and later at a homeland security meeting. It was the first time Bloomberg has been spotted in public trying out the pair of sound amplifiers. / NY Daily News
See Also: JUST LIKE THAT, MAYOR BLOOMBERG'S HEARING AIDS ARE GONE / NY Daily News
FREDERICK CHURCH MEMBERS TRAVEL TO BELARUS
Belarus is not exactly the place many people would choose to travel to in winter, but three members of the Frederick Church of the Brethren spent 12 days there after Christmas to visit local orphanages and spread the word about a relief program for Belarussian children. Joe Ortiz, Richard Parente and Elaine Persons left this area's relatively mild climate for the frigid region of Mogilev, in eastern Belarus, to visit two orphanages, including one for deaf children. / Frederick News-Post
CHANGE IN RIT'S ACADEMIC CALENDAR FROM QUARTERS TO SEMESTERS
Message from President Bill Destler: I am writing to convey my decision on the proposal to change RIT’s current academic calendar from the current quarter system to a semester system. With the benefit of input from all RIT stakeholders in an open and public discussion of this topic, and with the support of RIT’s Board of Trustees, I have decided the following: RIT will move from the current quarter system to a semester-based academic calendar starting fall 2013. / RIT University News
Editor's Note: RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) is home to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf.
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QuestFest Returns March 1-14
QuestFest 2010, the premier international visual theatre festival produced by Quest in partnership with Gallaudet University in Washington, will return to the Baltimore/Washington area March 1-14, 2010, with a two-week long festival of performances and workshops in venues and schools throughout the area.
The festival will feature an array of family-friendly, cutting-edge work that welcomes all people to the fascinating world of visual theatre. Audiences can expect cutting edge performances that have been described as ‘breathtaking,’ ‘inspiring,’ and ‘profound.’
For further information about the performances and tickets for the shows, visit www.questfest.org.
HELPING DEAF PEOPLE IN HAITI
My wife, Yolette, and I are involved with Friends of Deaf Haitians, a group formed recently in Gallaudet University by staff and students who are Haitians. Their goal is to make sure any contributions go specifically to help Deaf in Haiti. Friends of Deaf Haitians give donations to organizations that focus on Deaf in Haiti, and one organization that serves only Deaf is Institut Montfort Pour Enfants Sourds (Montfort Institute for Deaf Children) – a school with over 600 Deaf students. The school was destroyed by the earthquake, but fortunately all the children who lived in the dorm were safe; however, we don’t know what happened with the children who went home after school. / DHHSC
HELPLINE'S AWARD-WINNING WEBCAM FOR DEAF PEOPLE IN DISTRESS
People who are deaf are almost twice as likely to experience a mental health problem as people who can hear, and the very nature of the disability creates problems accessing helplines that could offer support in cases of stress, depression or suicidal thoughts. However, an innovative webcam service that allows deaf people in Scotland to communicate face-to-face with trained mental health advisers has been honoured in this week's awards by the Helplines Association. / The Guardian
GRANT TO PROVIDE SPORTS ACTIVITIES FOR THE DEAF
Deaf adults and young people in Malvern are being given the chance to take part in some sporting activities thanks to a funding boost from the Worcestershire Partnership. Deaf Direct has been awarded £30,000 ($46,975 US) from the Partnership’s health improvement fund to run a pilot healthy lifestyle programme tailored towards the needs of deaf adults in areas of Malvern and Worcester. Activities will include keep fit and sports sessions at local leisure and sports centres and a healthy living course covering topics on nutrition, alcohol awareness and quitting smoking. / Malvern Gazette
ANGER AS DEAF GROUP LOSE PARKING RIGHTS
For nearly 40 years hundreds of deaf people have used a council-owned car park to be able to access a vital Norwich service. However, members of the Norwich Deaf Community Centre have now been told by council officials they can no longer park there. Now, calls are being made to reopen an unused underground 80-space car park nearby, to ensure users of the centre can still park there. / Norwich Evening News
Peterborough, ON, Canada
INTERPRETER TAKEN FROM DEAF PUPIL
A Peterborough mother is speaking out after the local Catholic school board cancelled the interpreter support in junior kindergarten for her four-year-old son who is deaf. Jonah didn't go to St. Patrick's School last Wednesday because he was so upset that the interpreter who was working with him had been reassigned, said Jessika Van Spronsen, Jonah's mother. "They're saying he does not qualify because he does not initiate conversation so therefore he does not sign," she said. "He's deaf, obviously he signs.... He will be deaf, mute for the rest of his life." / The Peterborough Examiner
KAGAME DONATES TO SCHOOL OF THE DEAF
President Paul Kagame, last Friday donated 12 hand knitting machines to the Butare centre of the deaf that is run by the Brothers of St Gabriel. The donation follows a visit by the President in 2003 where he pledged support to the school. This latest donation follows that of Rwf30million ($52,360 US) which was used in renovating of the school's buildings. AllAfrica.com
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HEALTH AND ADVOCACY INFORMATION
FOR PERSONS WHO ARE DEAF, DEAF-BLIND, AND HARD OF HEARING
Persons who are Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing are grossly underserved by both the physical health and the behavioral health care system. In many cases, the patient as well as the health care provider who may provide service to them, is unaware of laws that mandate the provision of accommodations in the health care setting so that all persons have equal access to health related information. A new web site called http://www.healthbridges.info was created by people who are Deaf, DeafBlind and hard of hearing.
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LIFE & LEISURE
DETERMINED TEEN TAKES ON TOUGH TASK IN RURAL AREA
Starting a neighborhood watch is a difficult task for anyone, according to the Niagara County Sheriff’s Department. Consider a 17-year-old freshman at St. Mary’s for the Deaf taking on the task in the rural communities of Hartland, Middleport and Gasport. James Solomon, who was declared functionally deaf as an infant and has a speech impairment, is doing the job. The Stone Road resident has set up a Web site, printed business cards, made professional signs and brings in speakers for his monthly meetings at the Hartland Town Hall on Ridge Road. / Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
LAURIE PULLINS GIVES HOPE TO DEAF, HEARING IMPAIRED
When Laurie Pullins first heard the sweet voice of a child speaking to his mother, she cried. “I didn’t know until then what I had been missing,” said Pullins, who was diagnosed with severe, profound hearing loss at the age of 2. Five years ago, she received a cochlear implant and for the first time, was able to hear children’s voices, something she had been unable to do when her own children were small. Pullins, who now serves as president of the Hearing Loss Association of Knoxville, said, “Growing up with a hearing loss, I was very isolated." / The Daily Times
EMPOWERMENT IN THE DEAF COMMUNITY:ANALYZING THE POSTS OF INTERNET WEBLOGS
Here's an August 2009 Masters of Art thesis paper entitled: Empowerment in the Deaf Community: Analyzing the Posts of Internet Weblogs. In this paper it covered several well known deaf/hh blogs or "the nine amazing bloggers whose words can inform the world of the strength of their community." No contacts were made by the author of this study in order to reduce any interference or biasing. / Kokonut Pundit
Spartanburg County, SC
DEAF, BLIND STUDENTS MAKE VALENTINES FOR SICK CHILDREN
Children forced to spend this Valentine's Day in the hospital will get a handmade hug from an artist their age who is all too familiar with overcoming obstacles. Students at the South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind in Spartanburg County are making cards in their art classes. "It's important because we're friends with all children," said Kayla Weigand through an interpreter. / WYFF4
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AN ENGINEER'S QUEST TO CAPTION THE WEB
The Internet used to be a place where Ken Harrenstien could do anything. The Google engineer, who has been deaf since childhood, loved the Web because he could e-mail and chat without the aid of a sign language translator. But as the Web evolved and got faster, online video started to flood in. And all of a sudden, this place that once allowed for limitless communication started to feel walled off to Harrenstien. The reason for Harrenstien's trouble is simple: Almost no video on the Internet comes paired with text captioning for the deaf. But Harrenstien isn't sitting back and complaining. He's dedicated his career at Google to developing technology to bring closed captioning to the Internet. / CNN
NURSING STUDENT FINDS INSPIRATION IN SILENT CAUSE
Miriam Mahfoud, a nursing major and American Sign Language (ASL) minor, became interested in ASL while sitting in her chemistry class watching an interpreter translate the class to another student. " I was just amazed," she said. "An interpreter was able translate a semester’s worth of chemistry without words! I was mesmerized by how quickly the interpreter’s hands would fly about and translate the lecture. After that chemistry class I knew I wanted to at least take ASL 1." / The Collegian Online
DEAF EDUCATION PROGRAM FINDS SUCCESS WITH SOFTWARE
A software program designed for general education has become an essential learning tool for students in the deaf education program at Lawrence Elementary School. “Deaf education took the program and made it work better for their students,” said Paige DeWitt, principal. “They did some adapting and figuring out what works best for them.” DeWitt is speaking of the Waterford Early Learning and SuccessMaker, a digital learning software program from Pearson Education. / Star Local News
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
DEAF COMMUNITY GETS VISIT FROM HOLLYWOOD
Bremerton got a small taste of Hollywood, Saturday, when hundreds of people filled the Bremerton High School theater to view the first public showing of “See What I’m Saying: the Deaf Entertainers Documentary.” The film follows the lives of deaf actor Robert DeMayo, hard of hearing singer TL Forsberg, deaf rock ‘n’ roll drummer Bob Hiltermann, and deaf comedian CJ Jones. The entertainers are of different ages, race, sex and background, and show many unique sides of a single, compelling story. The film beautifully illustrates what it means to be deaf and ultimately, what it means to be human. / The Olympian
JONES SPONSORS LEGISLATION REQUIRING CLOSED CAPTIONING IN THEATERS
Sen. Ray S. Jones II, D-Pikeville, has filed a bill to open up the magic of Hollywood to the 646,000 deaf and hard of hearing persons in Kentucky. Senate Bill 102 requires theaters with five or more screens to offer some showings of their current movies with closed captioning technology. It gives the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights the ability to specify the minimum number of showings of a movie that must be offered with closed captioning technology as well as to specify the types of closed captioning technology that meet the bill’s requirements. / The Advocate-Messenger
DANVILLE MURDER-MYSTERY WRITERS PENNY WARNER IS BACK
In an earlier incarnation, Danville author Penny Warner was the creator of Connor Westphal, a deaf newspaper publisher/reporter and amateur sleuth whose string of mysteries now stands at seven. She published her first Connor Westphal mystery, "Dead Body Language," in 1997, near her 50th birthday. "My first agent didn't want a deaf person, thought it wasn't mainstream enough, not enough hearing people would be interested in reading about a deaf person, and that deaf people don't read. Fortunately, my second agent liked it and sold it almost right away," says Warner. / San Jose Mercury News
POETRY JAM DRAWS 50 TO LOVIN' CUP IN HENRIETTA
In her turn at the microphone Saturday during the "Def Meets Deaf" poetry jam, Luane Davis Haggerty of Henrietta delivered a poem in American Sign Language, recited Shakespeare in a theatrical voice and half-sang an original piece she wrote. "I'm what I would consider a bridge person..." Haggerty said, "standing between two cultures." Haggerty, a teacher at the Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technical Institute for the Deaf, was one of several performers who wowed the crowd during the jam, which combined poets from the deaf community with slam poets, who perform poetry competitively. / Democrat and Chronicle
SINNOTT NOMINATED FOR HELEN HAYES AWARD
Ethan Sinnott, an assistant professor in the Theatre Arts Department, was the set designer for the world premiere of the play, Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth, performed last March at Imagination Stage in Bethesda, Md. The play has been nominated to receive a Helen Hayes Award in the Outstanding Production for Young Audiences category. The Helen Hayes Awards were established in 1983 to recognize excellence in professional theater in the Washington, D.C. area. / GU Daily Digest
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Keith Wann's ASL Comedy Tour
Keith Wann, renowned for his hilarious, sidesplitting comedy performances, is now producing and hosting the ASL Comedy Tour 2010, which will travel the U.S. this year. With American Sign Language (ASL) artists presenting solo performances incorporating comedy, skits, songs, improvisation, and stories, each show lasts two hours. Sponsored by www.CallVRS.org, the multi-city tour is designed to be affordable for each location – making it ideal as a fundraiser for participating organizations.
“We really want to reach out to all communities, so we are sharing in the costs and profits at each location. We will work closely with booking parties to maximize profits for their organization and to bring in as many people as possible for a night of laughter, socialization and fun,” Wann said. “We also offer workshops by some of our performers, which can be held the day of the performance. People can come to our workshops, and then unwind by attending the comedy show that evening.”
PROVING 'DEAF PEOPLE CAN'
Conquering his fears has shown Brandon Johnson anything is possible in the pool. Johnson, a sophomore at the Hawai'i School for the Deaf and Blind, is having a record-breaking year in the pool. He finished the 1-meter dive with 447.90 points at Saturday's O'ahu Interscholastic Association championships, breaking the record of 413.10 set in 1985 by Kaipo Fajardo. Two weeks ago, he set the OIA Eastern Division championship record with 447.95 points. "I was kind of surprised. I knew about this (OIA) record that was a really old record and I thought maybe I could beat it," Johnson said through his coach and foster father Jeff Stabile, who also teaches at his school. / The Honolulu Advertiser
Silver Spring, MD
NAD, NFL AND CBS COLLABORATE TO INCREASE CAPTIONED SUPER BOWL COMMERCIALS
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and the National Football League (NFL) along with CBS Corporation, the network airing Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010, have collaborated to make advertisers who purchase Super Bowl commercials aware of the importance of captioning their content. As a result of these efforts, viewers should notice an increased number of captioned commercials compared to previous Super Bowls. The NAD thanks the NFL and CBS Corporation for their efforts to promote closed captioning of the television commercials. / NAD
Editor's Note: According to Captions.com, 41 of 56 (73%) commercials on this year's Super Bowl were closed-captioned, compared to 27 of 55 (49%) last year.
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ADVOCATE FOR DEAF COMMUNITY MARCIA DUGAN DIES AT 78
Marcia Dugan, an international advocate for people with hearing loss, died Sunday at age 78. Her children -- Maggie, Elizabeth and Michael Dugan -- were by her side at her home in Penn Yan, Yates County. She had battled leukemia for a year but refused to let it slow her down, they said. "Last June, she went to a Nashville convention for the Hearing Loss Association of America," said Maggie, who lives in France. "She visited me in Paris a year ago. Nothing stopped her." Mrs. Dugan directed public relations for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (1980-1995) in Henrietta. But she made her strongest impact as a spokeswoman for hard-of-hearing persons like herself. / Democrat and Chronicle
LONGTIME BLACKSBURG COBBLER HARLEY HELMS DIES
Retired cobbler and avid league bowler Harley Helms died Saturday at home. He was 86. Born deaf, Helms never learned to read or write but worked as a cobbler in the New River Valley for seven decades, until he was put out of his downtown Blacksburg shop in 2008. His landlords rented the space to a Verizon wireless store. Before it closed, Harley’s Shoe Repair functioned as an old-time community center, where workers and cops stopped for a cup of coffee and a chat. It might also have been called the unofficial town museum, given Helms’ affection for old photos and nick-knacks that chronicled some of Blacksburg’s history. / The Roanoke Times
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EXCITING CAREER OPPORTUNITIES AT GLAD, INC.
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Sign Language Interpreter/Coordinator
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View complete position announcement and submit application, resume, and cover letter to DATC HR online at www.datc.edu/hr or at 550 E. 300 S. Kaysville UT 84037, or fax 801-546-4824.
Superintendent, School for
SALARY: $83,210.10 - $116,476.58.
Department of Education, Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf, Trenton, NJ
DESCRIPTION:Administration of educational, residential, support & operational programs and services designed to meet the needs of over 200 Deaf and hard of hearing students. Provide direction for the provision of outreach services throughout the state in accordance with school’s mission to serve as the state’s center on deafness. Lead the school in meeting entrepreneurial objectives including but not limited to collaborative efforts with other educational and state agencies and organizations.
REQUIREMENTS: Master’s degree required, doctorate in education preferred. A minimum of 8 years of employment in educational programs for the Deaf and hard of hearing students K-12 with a minimum of 4 years of administrative experience, with demonstrated organizational, managerial and interpersonal skills required. Must possess or be eligible for New Jersey certification as a school ad ministrator. Please review the entire job vacancy announcement at: http://www.nj.gov/education/genfo/vacancy.htm
For more information on the Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf, visit www.mksd.org. Please forward a cover letter/resume by February 22, 2010 to:
Personnel Director, New Jersey
State Department of Education, Reference #: DOE-002-10,
PO Box 500, Trenton, NJ 08625-0500.
Resumes may be e-mailed to: email@example.com
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