deafweekly

 

March 1, 2006
Vol. 2 No. 19

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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HUNDREDS ATTEND FUNERAL FOR VANDERGIESEN

Hundreds of family, friends and deaf community members attended a funeral Saturday for Darlene VanderGiesen, the 42-year-old deaf Sioux Falls, S.D. woman who was allegedly killed and dismembered by a deaf acquaintance on February 1. According to KELOLAND TV, those gathered at First Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Falls “hoped to find peace with a death that seems so wrong.” Said Pastor Clyde Teel: “She was happy. She didn’t like if other people were upset ... Every time I saw a photo of her, I saw a big smile and now gone.” Among the mourners, reported the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, were about 35 of the victim’s co-workers from JDS Industries, all wearing lapel buttons with VanderGiesen's picture. Her alleged killer, Daphne Wright, 42, “rolled her eyes” in court Monday as she was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of kidnapping. If convicted, she could face life in prison or the death penalty.

CALIFORNIA CHURCH TO RECEIVE $4.5 MILLION IN SETTLEMENT

Calvary Deaf Church in Riverside, Calif. has reached a settlement with Caltrans and will receive more than $4.5 million for the property it lost to a highway construction project. The agreement was reached last Tuesday, reported The Los Angeles Times, shortly after Superior Court Judge Gloria Trask found Caltrans’ original appraisal of $1.65 million to be flawed and outdated. The case had been set to go to trial this week. The 45-member church, founded in 1956 by Beatrice and John Berry, has been struggling to survive since losing its sanctuary, parsonage and duplex in September 2003 when the property was condemned to make room for new ramps on Interstate 215. “We feel we can now replace what we have lost, rebuild our church lives and get on with the point of the ministry,” said Joyce Mather, who shares the deaf ministry with her husband Tom.

PARENTS SUE UTAH SCHOOL OVER ALLEGED ABUSE

The Utah School for the Deaf and Blind in Ogden was sued last week by the parents of five first-graders who say their children were physically abused by a teacher and school officials did nothing to intervene. According to the Deseret Morning News in Salt Lake City, the case focuses on teacher Jacquilyn M. Shasky, who is no longer with the school. The alleged abuse includes slapping the children, pulling on their arms and hair, cursing at the children and unnecessarily punishing them. The parents learned in 2004 that Shasky was under investigation by the Department of Child and Family Services. Superintendent Linda Rutledge and school director Theresa Martin are also named as defendants. Joseph Shasky, Jacquilyn’s father, said his daughter “used customary and approved” deaf teaching methods and is innocent of the charges.

SORENSON TO ALLOW USERS TO CALL OTHER VRS PROVIDERS

Sorenson Communications announced last week that it plans to allow the users of its VP-100 videophones to call not only Sorenson Video Relay Service interpreters but also the interpreters of other VRS providers. The change is expected to take effect by July 1. “Although we continue to believe that our interpreters cannot be beat for service and quality, we want to meet the requests for easier access to other VRS interpreters,” said Pat Nola, president and CEO of Sorenson Communications. The news was welcomed by Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (TDI) in Silver Spring, Md. “The TDI board of directors is elated over this good news,” said TDI board president Roy Miller. “VRS users will ultimately benefit substantially by experiencing greater choice and better quality.”

OHIO MAN FIRST DEAF PILOT TO EARN FAA INSTRUMENT RATING

A deaf Ohio man passed a three-hour oral and flight exam last Friday to become the first deaf pilot to earn an instrument rating from the Federal Aviation Administration. Stephen Hopson, 45, had earlier received FAA approval to seek the instrument rating, which requires two-way radio communication with air traffic controllers. According to The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Hopson must fly with an instrument-rated pilot, who relays orders with hand signals and symbols written on a dry-erase board. Hopson moved from Michigan to Akron, Ohio last October to take lessons at American Winds Flight Academy. The school waived the $10,000 tuition because officials were inspired by Hopson and believe he will help others. Hopson, a former banker and stockbroker who is an inspirational speaker and author, plans to stay in Akron and perhaps work for American Winds as a pilot. He also hopes to become the first deaf flight instructor.

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SACRAMENTO STATE CONSIDERS DEAF STUDIES MAJOR

The California State University Board of Trustees is considering a plan by Sacramento State to offer a deaf studies major as early as Fall 2007. There has been talk of a deaf studies major for years, reported the State Hornet, but it was only recently that American Sign Language Professor Donald Grushkin decided the time was right to propose the major. Grushkin said it could take more than two years to receive approval, and the proposal could be derailed by budgetary setbacks, no qualified faculty and lack of facility space. The biggest concern is whether the chancellor’s office will approve the program, he added, since the major is not in the “master plan” of the CSU system. But chances of approval could be boosted by a 2003 California law that requires interpreters to possess a bachelor’s degree by 2011 in order to maintain certification.

ALASKA MAN SENTENCED TO JAIL FOR MOLESTING TWO GIRLS

A deaf man in Juneau, Alaska was sentenced to eight years in prison after admitting to molesting two girls when they were children. Arley Dominguez, 48, “hugged his wife, smiled and waved his shackled hands at other family members” as he was led out of court last Friday, reported the Juneau Empire. Assistant Public Defender Eric Hedland said his client accepted guilt in the case ever since he was charged in November with eight felonies. “He was willing to take his lumps,” said Hedland. Sitka Superior Court Judge Larry Zervos placed Dominguez on probation for 10 years after his release and ordered him to register as a sex-offender and participate in sex-offender treatment arranged by the Department of Corrections.

SOUTH CAROLINA WOMAN STRUCK AND KILLED BY TRAIN

An Amtrak train struck and killed an elderly woman in Ridgeland, S.C. last Friday morning, reported The Beaufort Gazette. Witnesses said Aretha Scott, whose age was not available, did not realize the train was coming toward her because she was hard of hearing. Although the exact speed of the train has not been determined, passenger trains typically run as fast as 80 miles per hour. “It was a pretty severe impact,” said Ridgeland Police Department Capt. Chris Stevers, and emergency responders declared Scott dead at the scene. The train, which originated in Savannah, Ga., stopped about a mile up the tracks and continued on to New York after a wait of about three hours. None of the 25 passengers on board were injured.

CABDRIVER FOUND GUILTY OF SEXUAL ASSAULT

A Torrance (Calif.) Superior Court jury deliberated two hours last Tuesday before finding a cabdriver guilty of sexually assaulting a deaf and developmentally disabled woman in the back of his parked taxi. Oscar Dela Cruz, 37, showed no reaction to the guilty verdict, reported The Daily Breeze, while the 28-year-old victim’s mother said, “I’m just so grateful.” She said her daughter talks with her in homemade sign language about the July 28 rape, which occurred as Dela Cruz was driving her to work. “She tells me she wants to pray that the bad man will go away,” she said. Jurors said they did not believe Dela Cruz, who changed his story during the trial and presented a version of events that jury forewoman Karen Wine said was “totally impossible.” Dela Cruz will return to court March 22 and is expected to be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

THIEVES USE SIGN LANGUAGE TO ROB DEAF MAN

Washington, D.C. police were seeking three men who used sign language to rob a deaf man in the back yard of his Northeast Washington home. According to The Washington Post, the unidentified man, a Gallaudet University student, told police the assailants used sign language to demand money that they said he owed them. When he refused to comply, they grabbed his wallet and fled the scene. The victim said he did not know the thieves, but police believe they live in the area. Investigators say the crime could be connected to two other recent thefts at nearby Gallaudet University, in which two female students were robbed of their electronic e-mail devices. Police are working with Gallaudet officials to solve the crimes.

SOUTH CAROLINA STUDENTS PERFORM FOR LEGISLATORS

A group of students from the South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind performed on the floor of the state House of Representatives last Wednesday. According to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, the nine students “had the audience eating out of their hands” as they did a dance routine to the sounds of Wynonna Judd singing “What the World Needs Now.” The annual event “is a way to say thank you to the legislators for their support,” said SCSDB president Sheila Breitweiser, who was called a “great advocate” for the school by Rep. Mike Anthony, D-Union. “These folks need to come and perform the day we’re doing the budget,” said Anthony. “We’d give it all to them.”


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ATTENTION TEACHERS OF THE DEAF

If you are interested in becoming an expert in the education of children with cochlear implants, we invite you to apply for the next 6 week Educational Consultant Training Program (ECTP) which will begin in mid-June. This will be the 8th time that the ECTP program has been offered. Over 60 teachers from 38 states have completed the ECTP program.

This intensive and field -tested 6-week training program will be held at three sites: The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Phila, PA), the California Ear Institute (Palo Alto, CA) and the Atlanta Speech School (Atlanta, GA). Each class will be limited to 8 experienced teachers of the deaf. Each graduate of this full-time program will receives a certificate and 9 graduate credits.

Students also receive FREE tuition, books and materials and a stipend to cover living expenses while they are in Philadelphia, Palo Alto or Atlanta.

Please go to www.chop.edu/ectp to learn more about the program and complete the online application. Deadline for the summer class is March 15th. If you want to assist your educational program with the increasing number of children with cochlear implants, this is a great training program for you. You are immersed in the medical, audiological, speech-language, social-emotional and educational aspects of this specialized field for six weeks. Our graduates have made an impact in the quality of education for children with cochlear implants in mainstream program, deaf class, residential programs, etc.

Richard W. Fee, PhD, CED, Director

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INTERNATIONAL
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LIP-READING SOCCER FANS ALLEGE RACIAL ABUSE

Police in Manchester, U.K. are investigating complaints made independently by two deaf soccer fans that a Liverpool player used racist language against a Manchester United star during a match on January 22. According to Channel 4 News in London, the fans were watching on TV and claim to have lip-read the outburst. Neither the police nor the Liverpool club would identify the player, though a team spokesman said, “The player vehemently denies these allegations. He has not used any such language.” No one from the Manchester team would comment.

COMMITTEE VISITS DEAF FAMILIES IN ISOLATED DESERT AREA

The Khaleej Times in Dubai, United Arab Emirates reported last week that a committee has been formed to look into the case of a mini tribe of three families, all related and deaf, who live in an isolated desert oasis. The committee consists of three government representatives, the directors of a rural center and a health center, and a doctor. They traveled to the Malawi desert and stayed one day and a night with the families. Their resulting report describes the living and social conditions of inhabitants “who are at one with the solitude and emptiness of the desert that is around them.” One family has nine children between 2 and 12, the second family has three children and the third family has seven children. All of the children are illiterate due to the lack of schools in the area.

AIDS WORKER ENCOURAGES ATTENDANCE AT CONFERENCE

Kevin Henderson, coordinator of a Deaf AIDS/HIV program in Nairobi, Kenya, announced last week that he and his colleagues are arranging to hold a skills building workshop between August 8 and 13 at the Toronto International AIDS (IAS) conference. “IAS is a big conference with 20,000 delegates from the HIV field worldwide,” said Henderson, “and it is an important message if as many deaf people as possible from around the world, working on this field, can attend.” Questions may be emailed to enquiries@liverpoolvct.org; include "IAS Toronto Deaf workshop" in the subject heading.

AUSTRALIAN EXEC SAYS HE DIDN’T HEAR ABOUT KICKBACKS

The former chairman of Australian wheat exporter AWB told an investigative commission in Sydney last week that he knew nothing about the company’s kickbacks to Saddam Hussein because he is hard of hearing. Trevor Flugge, 56, said his left ear was “virtually ineffective” and his right ear “somewhat impaired,” reported the Herald Sun. The former AWB boss said he never suspected his company was funneling almost $300 million ($223 million U.S.) to the former Iraq regime to get around the United Nation’s strict oil-for-food program. “Unless someone directly speaks to me, I am unable to follow or keep track of a conversation in a restaurant environment,” Flugge said in a statement. After Flugge quit AWB, the Australian government sent him back to Iraq in 2003 to advise the new government on agriculture, where he was paid a $978,776 consultant’s fee and earned a label as the government’s “million dollar man.”

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Trip to Israel

When: August 13-25, 2006

Who: Jewish Deaf and Hard of Hearing People (single, married, Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, etc. ).
What: 12-day trip includes most meals, hotel, ASL interpreters, direct El Al flight, air-conditioned bus guided tour to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Masada, Golan Heights, etc. Meet with other Israeli Jewish Deaf people.

LAST extended deadline to register is April 1, 2006!
Please see proposed itinerary and letter of interest on the website:
http://www.njcd.org/ourway/sections.php?id=C0_70_9

For contact or more information:
Email: Landau9@optonline.net

Fax at 908 352 7395

Write to:
JDSR
PO Box 2005
New York, NY 10159-2005

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SCOTLAND RAIL WORKERS LEARNING SIGN LANGUAGE

Railway workers in Scotland have been learning sign language to communicate with deaf travelers, reported BBC News on Monday. Train conductors, ticket collectors and administrative staff of First ScotRail have all signed up for the voluntary classes. The Royal National Institute for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People, which represents some of Scotland’s 758,000 people with hearing loss, welcomed the move. “Anything that improves access is welcomed by the RNID,” said Chris Underwood. Passenger Focus, a consumer group for rail passengers, also applauded the plan. Said Robert Samson, passenger link manager: “The initiative will make rail travel more attractive and hassle free for people who are hard of hearing.”

GROUP IN MALAYSIA WANTS FREE OFFICE

The Selangor Association of the Hearing Impaired (Sahi) is finding it hard to pay its rent and hopes the state government will reconsider its appeal for a free office in Meru, Klang. According to the Malaysia Star, the association asked to use a government-owned office 18 months ago free of charge, but the government wanted RM450 ($120 US). The rent was later reduced to RM300 ($80 US) and the group took the office. But with a limited budget that comes from “well-wishers” and the Klang Welfare Department, the group is appealing to the government to reduce the rent to a nominal fee. Sahi has about 800 members, half of whom attended a recent festive celebration in Shah Alam.

CANADA POST MAILMAN RECOVERS LOST HEARING AIDS

A Westmount, Quebec man can thank Canada Post for the recent return of his hearing aids. Robert Stevenson had the two small devices and a special wristwatch device for controlling them in a small black satchel, reported The Westmount Examiner. He placed the satchel on the trunk of his car and drove off, forgetting it was there. With a total value of $15,000 ($13,213 U.S.), Stevenson was determined to recover the valuable items. He placed a classified ad in The Examiner, and the satchel was eventually found near his home by Andre Belanger, the Canada Post mailman who serves his neighborhood. Stevenson said he was “very much relieved” to recover the devices. “It was very expensive stuff,” he said.

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CSDVRS VCO video: http://www.c-s-d.org/default.aspx?tabid=276

Our Voice Carry-Over (VCO) capabilities have been significantly expanded to meet the needs of deaf, late-deafened and hard of hearing people who wish to speak for themselves!

Choose from one of three communication settings:
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-- English with lip-reading option

Speed up the VCO call process:
Register your “call back” telephone numbers

To use these new features, designate your communication setting preference and “call back” telephone numbers through an user profile!

CSDVRS VCO video: http://www.c-s-d.org/default.aspx?tabid=276

CSDVRS VCO INFO: www.csdvrs.com

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Free Shipping!

March is beginning like a Lion at Potomac Technology with free shipping on orders over $50.00! This special roars through the entire month bringing that savings right to your home or office. Take your pick from a kingdom of items ranging from TTYs, signaling systems or ”ILY” jewelry.

Visit us online at http://www.potomactech.com or call 1-800-433-2838 (V/TTY). Use code “PTEC306D” when ordering.

Potomac Technology. Everything You Need Under One Roof!

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Www.deafpagers.com has a brand NEW website with the LOWEST price & LOW Upfront Payment for Sidekick II! Our price is too low to advertise here, plus Free Case, Auto Charger, and Two Set of Bumpers!, so check it out FAST at www.deafpagers.com. Until February 27th we're having our biggest Madness SALE on all our accessories! Carrying cases, Skins, Bumpers, Chargers; you name it, we have it! Want the newest, most stylish carry case for your Sidekick II? Then hurry and order a Shuttle case from www.deafpagers.com. Available in various colors, you're sure to get compliments with this NEW sleek case! Is PINK your favorite color? Then hurry online and order a PINK Mobo case!

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LIFE & LEISURE
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STUDY OFFERS HOPE FOR TINNITUS SUFFERERS

Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have released a study that suggests melatonin supplements may be helpful in curbing tinnitus. About 15 million Americans suffer from tinnitus – a ringing, roaring or humming sound in the ears – and melatonin may bring relief by regulating sleep. Melatonin, a natural hormone made in the brain, helps regulate sleep and wakefulness, said a report on WebMD.com, but levels tend to fade with age. The study tracked 18 adults with an average age of 61 who had experienced tinnitus an average of 11 years. Researchers noted several limits to the study, including the small number of participants, brief testing period and lack of a comparison group taking empty pills (placebos).

FDA APPROVED MIDDLE-EAR TESTING DEVICE

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a device that can identify hearing problems related to the middle ear, reported The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Mimosa Acoustics, a Champaign-based firm, got word from the FDA on February 10 that its wideband Middle Ear Power Analyzer had been approved for commercial use. FDA approval came surprisingly quickly, said Mimosa president Pat Jeng, who submitted an application November 14. The new device is especially useful for testing newborns’ hearing, as it can distinguish between major hearing problems and minor disorders, such as ear canal blockage that may clear up in days. “Ultimately, every hospital should have it,” said Jeng’s husband, Jont Allen, a University of Illinois engineering professor. “When it’s properly designed and priced, it should be in every pediatrician’s office.”

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS TO HOST DEAF HISTORY EVENT

The Library of Congress will host the first National Deaf History Month program on Monday, April 6 from 11 a.m. to noon. The American Library Association and the National Association of the Deaf are cosponsoring the event. Alice Hagemeyer, chair of the NAD’s Deaf History Month committee, said President Bush has not responded to a request to proclaim Deaf History Month (March 13 to April 15), but the Friends of Libraries for Deaf Action (FOLDA) is compiling a list of public libraries in the country that plan to help celebrate the month. Libraries that are planning events are asked to send details to FOLDA86@aol.com. In addition, a National Deaf History Month kit is available on the FOLDA website: www.folda.net.

NEW WEBSITE OFFERS GLIMPSES OF ‘WORDS OVERHEARD’

Deaf people who are unable to overhear other people’s conversations may be interested in a new website called Words Overheard. The site allows people to submit interesting or unusual snippets of conversation they hear while out in public. “Whether you witness an extremely witty remark, or an incredibly mucked up response, we want to hear it,” said the WOH webmaster. Newer comments are posted on the main page, while older submissions are archived under such headings as Hipsters, Public Transit and Teenagers. Check it out at www.wordsoverheard.com.

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The Northeast Technical Assistance Center (NETAC) at NTID/RIT is proud of the Web site and videos produced by the project that feature individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing in various career fields. The Web site includes a list of different job categories that you can click on and learn more about many individuals who work in a particular career. You can read about their stories and how they reached their goals. The Web site includes individual photos, names, position descriptions, and much more. The videos feature individuals of diverse cultures, educational backgrounds and professions. Visit the Web site: www.netac.rit.edu/goals

Also, we want to feature you Deafweekly readers! We would like to include your career story on the Web site. If interested, check out the Web site: www.netac.rit.edu/goals

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WORKING WORLD
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WOMAN OPENS SALON AFTER FOUR-YEAR ‘JOURNEY’

Four years ago, when she was 35, Kathy Smith woke up one night to discover that she had become deaf. By the time doctors diagnosed the cause as bacterial meningitis, the infection had already caused irreversible damage to her hearing. Smith was unable to continue her job at a Racine, Wisc. hair salon, reported The Journal Times last week, but a “four-year journey of recovery and rehabilitation” has brought her back to the beautician’s chair. With help from state officials, physicians and audiologists, Smith was able to open her own salon in Racine last September. She credits Patsy Vegter, a counselor for the deaf with the state Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, for much of her success. “Patsy is an angel who specializes in getting people back into the workforce,” said Smith.

CONNECTICUT MAN DEVOTED TO ‘HELPING THE DEAF’

The Danbury (Conn.) News-Times did a story last week on Morton Warnow, 80, a Danbury man “who has devoted the last 30 years of his life to helping the deaf.” Warnow has worked to provide TTYs to people who need them and promoted the use of modified TTYs to help deaf people in job interviews. He wants to put the devices – basically two TTYs hooked together – in homes of families with deaf children so parents can communicate with their kids and help teach them English. His idea got a thumbs down, however, from the state Commission on Deaf & Hearing Impaired, whose Advisory Board members felt there were other things available that are more useful to the deaf, including text messaging, pagers and videophones. “Mr. Warnow’s intentions are good,” said Dianne Wixted of the state commission, “but he’s gotten steamrolled by technology.” Warnow’s website can be seen at www.danbury.org/moderndeafcommunication.

HANDS ON STOCKHOLDERS APPROVE GOAMERICA MERGER

Stockholders of Hands On Video Relay Services, Inc. and Hands On Sign Language Services, Inc. approved a merger agreement with GoAmerica at separate stockholder meetings last Wednesday. GoAmerica’s stockholders were due to vote on the merger two days ago, but the meeting was adjourned until March 13 to provide additional time for stockholders to cast their votes. Stockholders have voted overwhelmingly for the proposal, said a GoAmerica news release, but the number of votes was less than the number needed to constitute a quorum. The two companies have developed an Internet primer on telecommunications relay services, which can be seen at www.goamerica.com/merger (click on Relay Services Overview).

NEW VRS COMPANY PLANS TO USE MOTOROLA’S OJO DEVICE

Another Video Relay Service company plans to open its doors soon. Snap!VRS will make use of the Ojo, a videophone that Motorola began selling for $798 last May. Snap!VRS is a program of CAN of America/Snap Telecommunications, a Charleston, S.C. firm owned by interpreter Daryl Crouse. The company plans to provide free Ojo devices to its customers and expects to hire about 50 outreach specialists to educate the public about video relay. A launch date has not been set, but more information is available at www.snapvrs.com.

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Sorenson IP Relay™ expands communication possibilities for deaf and hard-of hearing individuals by enabling free text-to-speech relay calls with any standard telephone user in the U.S. Sorenson IP Relay calls can be initiated by visiting the Web site at www.siprelay.com from a personal computer, or can be made with a Sidekick, Blackberry, Trço or other mobile device. A trusted Sorenson Communications Assistant (CA) instantaneously facilitates the conversation between the Sorenson IP Relay user and a friend, doctor or business associate. Sorenson IP Relay calls are free for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.

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Your pot o’ gold is at the end of this rainbow!

St. Patrick’s Day may not be until March 17th but your luck will start on the 1st and continue for the entire month with these golden specials. You’ll be on time for an important appointment, work or school with the Sonic Shaker Portable vibrating alarm clock. The powerful bed shaker and super loud pulsating alarm will get you up in a hurry! It comes with travel case, pillow clasp and batteries. It’s priced at only $24.95. For that person on the go, it’s easy to keep track of time with a VibraLITE Watches. The bright blue “night light” helps you see the time, even in the dark. All varieties are $10.00 off in March!

Call us now at 1-800-233-9130 (V/TTY) or visit us online at http://www.weitbrecht.com (use code WCI306D when ordering). To get a copy of our NEW catalog email your request to: sales@weitbrecht.com.

WCI. Your Single Source for Assistive Technology

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
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SENIOR AT GEORGIA ART SCHOOL IS ‘TOP TEEN’

Jennifer Hutchinson, a senior at Savannah Arts Academy, was named Top Teen last week by WTOC-TV News in Savannah, Ga. “I major in music, I’m in the school band and I play piano,” said Jennifer. “It’s really exciting.” Jennifer lost her hearing as a toddler after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain stem tumor. Experimental surgery saved her life, but months of chemotherapy destroyed her hearing. Still, “she has never allowed her hearing impairment to hold her back,” said teacher Elise Shernoff. Jennifer is first chair in the flute section and can detect all the right notes. “I really don’t know how to explain it,” she said. “It just sounds right.”

VERMONT STUDENT WRITES PRIZE-WINNING POEM

Maggie Schiller, an eighth-grader at the Austine School for the Deaf in Brattleboro, Vt., has had a poem recognized in a national contest. According to the Brattleboro Reformer, Maggie’s poem, “Unfamiliar Silence,” was chosen for publication and is a finalist for one of the top 10 poems for Creative Communications, a national publisher of poems and stories by students. Maggie, 13, was encouraged by her English teacher to enter the contest. “I didn’t think they would pick someone who is deaf,” said Maggie. “I’m kind of different.”

WASHINGTON RELAY ANNOUNCES LOGO CONTEST

A contest is underway to create a new logo for Washington Relay, a joint service provided by Sprint and the Washington State Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services. The grand prize is $1,000 and logo entries are due before April 15. Contest information may be found at www.washingtonrelay.com/LogoContest.pdf.

DEAF FILMMAKERS INVITED TO SUBMIT WORK

Deaf U.S. filmmakers are invited to submit their work for an on-air film festival that will be broadcast on WETA TV-26 this fall. WETA, CINE and Gallaudet University are sponsoring the program and will assemble a panel of film and video professionals to select winning entries. A screening event will be held in Washington, D.C. around the time of the broadcast. Short films or videos of three to 12 minutes in any genre are welcome. Entry is free and the postmark deadline is June 30. Entry forms may be found at www.weta.org/pdfdocs/deafcinema_submission.pdf.

DEAF ACTOR TO APPEAR ON ‘ER’ IN APRIL

An email circulating in the deaf community last week says a deaf actor named Marc Bowman will appear as a guest star on NBC's ER on Thursday, April 6. “It is really deep and very good,” said the unnamed originator of the email. No further details were available.

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Deaf Yoga DVD on Sale at Harris Communications

If you always wanted to reap the benefits of practicing yoga but could not find instruction, this is the DVD for you. "Deaf Yoga for Beginners" is the first yoga DVD taught in ASL with subtitles and music for the hearing and hard of hearing. Guided by traditional Hatha Yoga instructor, Lila Lolling, this DVD offers an excellent introduction to various yoga topics, such as proper breathing, Chakras and more. For a limited time we have this DVD on sale for only $21.95 (regularly $24.95). Sale ends March 5, 2006. For more information, go to http://www.harriscomm.com/link/?www.harriscomm.com?sr=dw or contact us at mailto:info@harriscomm.com.

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===PREPARE TO BE DAZZLED!===

~See JUST MINDY in full action!~
A beautifully designed web site full of video clips and ASL!
*www.justmindy.com*

~ORDER YOUR DVD TODAY!~
MUSIC FOR THE EYES is a DVD featuring Deaf storytellers Mindy Moore and Theron Parker.
* ABC stories
* Personal narratives
* Humor
* Poetry

Only $24.95 - LIMITED EDITION! SUPPLIES RUNNING OUT FAST!
Bulk orders available

~PERFORMANCES/WORKSHOPS AVAILABLE~
Don't miss out on these exciting workshops!
* WOMEN FROM VENUS, MEN FROM MARS
* MEETING WITH DEAF MINDS: Deaf History
* DEAF HUMOR
* And more!

Visit www.justmindy.com for the latest in ASL adventures!

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SPORTS
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TWO WRESTLERS WIN BIG IN BAY AREA CHAMPIONSHIP

Two wrestlers from the California School for the Deaf in Fremont finished first and second at the Bay Area Conference championship February 18-19, reported the Woodland Daily Democrat. Kyle Benedict won the championship and Eric Taylor was runner-up. The two juniors, who both transferred to CSD after the fifth grade at Plainfield Elementary in Woodland, went on to compete in the North Coast Section Tournament last weekend. Kyle, who wrestles at 160 pounds, won one match and lost two, finishing the season at 25-7. Eric, who entered the tournament with a 4-4 league record, lost both of his 145-pound matches.

ASPEN CAMP PROGRAM ATTRACTS 38 STUDENTS

The Glenwood Springs (Colo.) Post Independent reported last week on the 26th Annual Aspen Camp School for the Deaf Ski/Snowboard Winter Program at Snowmass Mountain, which took place February 1-4. The camp attracted 38 deaf and hard-of-hearing students from fifth grade to high school who came from seven different states. “The opportunity for these students to meet and interact with other deaf teens has been invaluable,” said ACSD executive director B.J. Blocker in a press release. Aspen Ski Co. instructors were on hand to show participants how to ski and snowboard. “We had fun,” said Brandon Cruz, 10. “Sometimes we fell.”

JUNIOR GOLF CLASSIC PLANNED FOR JUNE IN MARYLAND

Plans were announced last week for the first National Deaf Junior Golf Classic at the Challedon Golf Course in Mount Airy, Md. Deaf PGA instructor Mike Houston has signed on to help teach participants the fundamentals of golf. The June 26-28 event, open to boys and girls from 8 to 18, is sponsored by Sorenson Communications and hosted by DeafNation, with proceeds benefitting the DeafNation Foundation. “It’s great to start this first National Deaf Junior Golf Classic, because it will build future deaf elite athletes,” said Joel Barish, CEO of DeafNation. More information is available at www.deafnation.com.

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ARE YOU STRESSED?

* No time to edit a project?
* Have a report due?
* Want your ASL translated into English?
* Need a brochure or newsletter designed?

Relax... and let us take care of your words.

We can do essays, resumes, letters, press releases, newsletters, proposals, ASL/English translations, and much more. Check our web site for a free estimate or to set up a videophone appointment.

www.trudysuggs.com

T.S. Writing Services, LLC
Writing - Editing - Design - Translation

*Note: All of our writers, designers, and editors are deaf or hard of hearing.

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COMING EVENTS
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ADA SYMPOSIUM SET FOR APRIL 10-12 IN ST. LOUIS, MO.

St. Louis, Mo. will be the site of the National ADA Symposium & Expo, set for April 10-12. The event is said to be “the most comprehensive conference available on the Americans with Disabilities Act and related disability laws.” Nationally recognized presenters will be on hand, including reps from the U.S. Dept. of Justice, EEOC, U.S. Access Board, U.S. Dept. of Labor and the U.S. Dept. of Education. Lex Frieden, chairperson of the National Council on Disability, will be the keynore speaker. An expo hall will be filled with the latest disability-related products and services. The registration fee is $350 (it goes up to $425 after March 17). To learn more, visit www.adasymposium.org.

CALIFORNIA'S MATA EXPO 2006 TO TAKE PLACE IN NOVEMBER

Plans have been announced for a two-day MATA Expo 2006 for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The November 3-4 event will take place at the Ontario Convention Center in Ontario, Calif. According to organizers, MATA means “see you later” in Japanese and “eyes” in Tagalog, and the MATA Expo is more than just a trade show. It will include announcements of new products and services, a showcase for deaf performing artists and a look at recent legislation that impacts the quality of life for deaf and hard-of-hearing people. The first MATA Expo took place in November 2005 in Long Beach, Calif. and attracted a crowd of more than 5,500 participants. Organizers say they have a website at www.mataexpo.com, but it does not appear to be working at this time.

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MILESTONES
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RALPH WHITE, FORMER NAD PRESIDENT

Longtime leader Ralph H. White died on February 15. Mr. White was president of the National Association of the Deaf from 1978 to 1980 and served on the NAD board for 12 years starting in 1968. More recently, he founded Deaf Seniors of America, Inc. and served as its first president. A graduate of the Georgia School for the Deaf, Mr. White earned a bachelor’s degree from Gallaudet University and went on to earn two master’s degrees related to education. In 1995, he was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree from Gallaudet. He taught at the Georgia and Texas Schools for the Deaf, coordinated vocational rehabilitation services in Texas, acted with the National Theatre of the Deaf, directed the Gulf Coast Regional Program for the Deaf in Texas and served as superintendent of the Oklahoma School for the Deaf. Mr. White also served as interim executive director of the Texas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and was executive director of the Texas Association of the Deaf. “The national deaf and hard-of-hearing community has lost a bonafide activist in the passing of Ralph White,” said NAD President Emeritus Robert Sanderson.


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EMPLOYMENT
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PRESIDENT

The Board of Trustees and Presidential Search Committee at Gallaudet University invite applications and nominations for the position of president to succeed Dr. I. King Jordan, who is retiring after eighteen years of outstanding leadership. The new president will assume office in January 2007.

Gallaudet University is the world’s only comprehensive, multipurpose institution of higher education for deaf and hard of hearing individuals. In addition to its undergraduate and graduate academic programs, the University also offers national demonstration programs for elementary and secondary education through the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center. Gallaudet currently enrolls approximately 1,800 post-secondary students who attend classes on the beautiful and vibrant Kendall Green campus in Washington, DC. In addition, last year Gallaudet served more than 48,000 individuals worldwide through conferences, sign language classes, the Office of International Programs and Services, the World Deaf Leadership Program, and summer enrichment programs for the deaf and hard of hearing community of Greater Washington, D.C.

Gallaudet University seeks a president who will provide bold vision in strategically positioning this unique institution as the University adapts to rapid technological advancements, global developments and career opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing individuals. The community is eager to identify a president who will serve as a role model for Gallaudet students and for the deaf and hard of hearing community, just as the Deaf President Now movement accomplished in the last presidential appointment. The successful candidate will possess an earned terminal degree, fluency in American Sign Language and English, and the abilities to: ensure full access and open communication throughout the University, inspire the Gallaudet community to continue to plan and implement strategic goals, provide effective fiscal management and fundraising, and encourage and develop faculty and staff to offer the best programs and services possible for Gallaudet students.

Nominations and expressions of interest should be sent electronically (MS Word) to: gallaudet@academic-search.org

Applications will include a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and five professional references with e-mail and telephone numbers included. Review of applications will begin immediately, and will continue until the position is filled. Materials received by the end of March will be assured of full consideration.

The search committee is being assisted by:
Dr. Tobie van der Vorm and Dr. Tom Gerety, Senior Consultants
Academic Search Consultation Service

Dr. van der Vorm can be reached at:
ptv@academic-search.org 202/263-7473 Voice 202/223-0667 TTY

Gallaudet University is an equal opportunity employer.

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JOB OPENING

ACCOUNT MANAGER

Hamilton Relay, Inc. currently has a full-time position open for “Account Manager”. This position will be staffed in Albany, Georgia.

Interested individuals may send all inquiries and/or resumes to hr@hamiltontel.com or to the attention of Cindy Blase in Human Resource Department by March 17, 2006.

We are an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or disability.

Position summary: Manages the contract between Hamilton Relay and the State of Georgia. Ensure contract compliance. Responsible for determining that Hamilton successfully completes all assigned duties and responsibilities. Will also assist with Hamilton’s marketing efforts for relay services.

Applicants with the ability to communicate through the use of American Sign Language are preferred. An Associate or Bachelor's Degree or comparable work experience along with a minimum of three years public relations experience is preferred. Strong written, analytical and interpersonal skills as well as a driver's license and ability to travel alone are required. Direct work experience with a Telecommunications Relay Service is also preferred. Deaf and hard of hearing individuals are encouraged to apply.

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School Psychologist - NY School for the Deaf

Immediate opening for School Psychologist 1 (10 month position). Candidate must possess NYS Certification as a School Psychologist. Successful candidate should have, or is expected to obtain, expressive & receptive ASL skills. Must be available for additional days of work beyond the normal school year. Hours are Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Some hours may flex due to programming needs. Expectation for one day to include evening hours to accommodate residential program support. Send cover letter and resume to: Superintendent, New York State School for the Deaf, 401 Turin Street, Rome, New York 13440.

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AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE - INTERPRETERS & INSTRUCTOR FOR DISABLED

F·E·G·S is one of the largest health and human services organizations in the country with a budget in excess of $230 million and 3,500+ employees in more than 300 locations throughout the New York metropolitan area. We seek experienced professionals, fluent in ASL, to work with staff and adult disabled, deaf population at our Manhattan facility on Hudson Street.

Staff Sign Language Interpreters

FT: Reports to AVP for Deaf Services, provides sign language interpreting services in a wide variety of situations and settings throughout the organization. Occasional staff training on use of sign language interpreters.

PT: Provides interpreting services for individual and group counseling sessions, meetings, and other program activities for Continuing Day Treatment Program serving deaf, chronically mentally ill clients. Must have flexibility in working with client’s personal signing styles.

INSTRUCTOR/SPECIALIST – F/T

Day Habilitation Instructor/Specialist to supervise and support deaf adults with developmental disabilities in a classroom setting. Provide group and individual instruction. Tri-state driver’s license required.

Positions require BA (or equivalent combination of education and experience) and full fluency in ASL. Prior experience working with disabled population and RID/NAD certification strongly preferred.

Generous benefits. Send resume to our HR Consultants: HR Dynamics, Inc. (DEPT. JG/ASL), 345 Hudson Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10014. E-mail: jgardner@hr-dynamics.com. Visit our website: www.fegs.org.

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Executive Director New England Homes for the Deaf

New England Homes for the Deaf seeks strong resident centered executive leader to manage its skilled nursing, assisted and independent living units in Danvers, MA. The qualified applicant should have 5 years executive experience, excellent interpersonal skills, knowledge of Federal & State regulations as well as strong financial management skills. Knowledge of American Sign Language or Deaf Culture necessary. Current NHA license or ability to become licensed required. NEHD will support the right candidate through the licensure process. Send resume to: New England Homes for the Deaf Search Committee, 154 Water Street, Danvers, MA. 01923 or info@nehomesdeaf.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, Norwalk
HARD OF HEARING SPECIALIST – Riverside
HIV HEALTH EDUCATOR (MSM) – Los Angeles
LIFESIGNS DIRECTOR – 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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PLEASE CIRCULATE AND POST
California Department of Education
JOB ANNOUNCEMENT

POSITION: Supervising Teacher III (FYE)
Director of Instruction
TIME BASE: Full time
LOCATION: CA School for the Deaf in Fremont
SALARY: $6,921 - $8,830 (plus $700 for R & R and $100 for sign language) monthly

EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION

DUTIES: Provide visionary shared leadership training, support, guidance, supervision, and direction to the Division of Instruction; provide leadership and direction to ensure school-wide consistency in management practices and adherence to school and state policies, education code and federal legislation; provide guidance in achievement testing; guide the WASC/CEASD accreditation process; work collaboratively with other school staff to facilitate coordination of services that support the instructional program; serve as a member of the school’s administrative leadership team; monitor division budget; coordinate the instructional division’s emergency response training procedures and school wide drill.

QUALIFICATIONS: Five years of experience as a classroom teacher in a program for the Deaf; three years of experience as a supervisor of teachers; fluency in ASL; fluency in standard written English and experience writing reports; Master’s degree and possession or eligibility for California credentials authorizing teaching and administrative services; knowledge of state and federal education laws; and ability to use technology effectively.

DESIRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, and ABILITIES: Knowledge of professional standards for the teaching profession; skill in establishing consistent accountability practices among educational staff; ability to provide comprehensive mentoring for program supervisors; knowledge of all aspects of standard-based education and effective instructional strategies; knowledge of accreditation process; ability to model effective leadership techniques; ability to work collaboratively with staff, students, parents and the community; ability to facilitate change; knowledge of the dual language philosophy; knowledge of Deaf culture and ability to engage the Deaf community in fulfilling the mission of the school; knowledge of effective recruitment and hiring practices; skill in managing multiple tasks; ability to make effective presentations; skill in facilitating groups; ability to make decisions based on potential long-range impacts and school-wide needs.

WHO MAY APPLY: Candidates must submit a completed Faculty Application, Form SSS 100 to the Superintendent no later than April 1, 2006 or until position is filled. Applications will be screened and the most highly qualified applicants will be asked to interview. It is anticipated that interviews will be held in April, 2006.

LOCATION: California School for the Deaf
39350 Gallaudet Drive
Fremont, CA 94538
Contact: Henry Klopping, Superintendent
Telephone: (510) 794-3685 (V/TTY)
E-mail: HKlopping@csdf-cde.ca.gov

Employment provisions as outlined by the Department of Personnel Administrations State Restriction of Appointments (SROA) policy will prevail. In addition, current or future executive orders relative to filling vacant positions may also affect this process.
California Relay (Telephone) Service for the Deaf or Hearing Impaired: TDD Phones 1-800-735-2929 Voice Phones 1-800-735-2922

CALIFORNIA STATE GOVERNMENT AN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EMPLOYER EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TO ALL REGARDLESS OF RACE, COLOR, CREED, NATIONAL ORIGIN, ANCESTRY, SEX, MARTIAL STATUS, DISABILITY, RELIGIOUS OR POLITICAL AFFILIATION, AGE OR SEXUAL ORIENTATION.

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