deafweekly

 

April 19, 2006
Vol. 2 No. 26

Editor: Tom Willard

Deafweekly is an independent news report for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community that is mailed to subscribers every Wednesday and available to read at www.deafweekly.com. Please visit our website to read current and back issues, sign up for a subscription and advertise.

Deafweekly is copyrighted 2006 and any unauthorized use, including reprinting of news, is prohibited.

Please support our advertisers; they make it possible for you to receive Deafweekly at no charge.

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NATIONAL
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GALLAUDET ANNOUNCES FINALISTS FOR PRESIDENT

Gallaudet University announced last week that its Presidential Search Committee has selected three finalists from 21 candidates to succeed I. King Jordan when he retires December 31. They are: Jane Fernandes, Gallaudet’s provost; Ronald Stern, superintendent of the New Mexico School for the Deaf; and Stephen Weiner, associate professor in Gallaudet’s Department of Communication Studies. Each finalist will conduct two days of appointments and activities, including an open presentation to the campus community. “We are pleased with the progress of the search,” said Pam Holmes, chair of the search committee. By this morning, the three candidates had garnered over 87,000 page views and 680 comments on a website created by anonymous Gallaudet alumni – www.gallypreswatch.com.

LOUD MUSIC CITED IN DEADLY CAR-TRAIN ACCIDENT

A train-vehicle collision in Colorado last Thursday killed six people, two of whom – Ventura “Vinny” Becerra, 26, and Melisa Sue Resendez, 23 – were deaf. The other four fatalities were a mother and three of her children. Only the 15-year-old driver – Christopher Cruz, who was in critical condition in Denver – survived the 10:22 a.m. accident west of Granada. The farm workers had been in the area a short time and were planning to return home to Texas after stocking up at a local Wal-Mart. First-responders noted the stereo in the victims’ Ford Explorer was still wailing after the crash. “They were preoccupied with music and apparently did not hear the train whistle,” coroner Joe Giadone told the San Antonio Express-News.

MINNESOTA SCHOOL MOURNS STUDENT’S DEATH

A funeral was held Saturday at the Tiowakan Spiritual Center in Prior Lake, Minn. for David Bowen Jr., a Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf student who died last Tuesday. Bowen, 18, succumbed to injuries sustained when he fell 50 feet from a highway overpass, reported the Faribault Daily News. Police investigators spoke with several witnesses who said that foul play was not involved and that Bowen might have jumped intentionally.

MICHIGAN WOMAN ARRESTED IN HITMAN ATTEMPT

A deaf Michigan woman was charged with solicitation of murder Friday after allegedly trying to hire a hitman to kill her ex-boyfriend. According to WXYZ-7 in Detroit, Karen Martin, 34, was being held in county jail after her arrest following a parking lot meeting with an undercover officer posing as a murderer for hire. The intended victim, Darrell Bedwell, 48, who is also deaf, said he is scared and only wants to protect his 6-year-old daughter, who is at the center of a custody battle between him and Martin. “Things don’t surprise me anymore,” said Michigan State Police D/Sgt. David Robertson, “but this is a very unique case, as far as the hearing impaired.”

TRIAL IN SOUTH DAKOTA MURDER PUT OFF TO SEPTEMBER

The trial of Daphne Wright, the deaf woman accused of killing and dismembering Darlene VanderGiesen in February, has been put off for four months. The trial had been set to begin May 1, reported the Aberdeen (S.D.) News, but was rescheduled to September 11 to give the defense more time to prepare. The trial is expected to last a month. Wright, 42, appeared in shackles and handcuffs last Friday at a hearing that was also attended by VanderGiesen’s parents, sister and several friends. The remains of VanderGiesen, a deaf 42-year-old South Dakota resident, were found in a Sioux Falls landfill and in a roadside ditch in Minnesota. Prosecutors have not yet decided if they will seek the death penalty.

SEX OFFENDER GIVEN 30 DAYS TO RELOCATE BUSINESS

A judge in Provo, Utah ordered Roger Wilkins to find a new location for his home-based business within 30 days or spend the next year in county jail without work release. According to the Deseret Morning News, the former sign language instructor was sentenced in February to 12 months in prison for sexually abusing an 18-year-old deaf woman. Judge Lynn Davis ruled that Wilkins, 38, could leave jail for eight hours a day to work under supervision so that he could support his family and pay restitution to the victim. However, jail officials balked at the plan because of their inability to monitor self-employed inmates working from home. Last week, Davis said if Wilkins doesn’t find a suitable location for his eBay-like business in 30 days, he will be jailed without the benefit of work release.

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HEARING-AID DEALER FACES TWO FELONY CHARGES

A hearing-aid dealer was jailed last week and faces two felony charges, reported the Oneonta (N.Y.) Daily Star. Kathleen Marcie, 45, was charged April 10 with second-degree forgery and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing. Marcie, of Westford, N.Y., was jailed on $5,000 bail and ordered to appear for a felony hearing last Thursday. Marcie’s company, Expert Ear Inc., and an affiliate, Hearing Aids Wholesale, were shut down in November under a court order because the businesses had not been properly registered with the New York Department of State. She was permanently banned from selling and servicing hearing aids in the state, but allegedly continued to run her business through mail order from her home.

BOSTON PRIEST CLEARED OF SEXUAL ABUSE CHARGES

The Boston Archdiocese has reinstated a priest accused of sexually abusing a child at a school for the deaf in the 1970s, the Boston Globe reported last week. The Rev. Charles Murphy, who was placed on administrative leave in August 2004, had been accused in a lawsuit of fondling a 12-year-old female student and, two years later, walking into her dormitory room while she was undressing. An investigation found the claims to be unsubstantiated, and Murphy will resume his duties at St. Francis Xavier Church in Weymouth. Murphy was one of several nuns, priests and administrators sued by former students of the Boston School for the Deaf, which closed in 1994. The students’ lawsuit was dismissed by a judge in December.

DENIED INTERPRETER, FLORIDA WOMAN FILES SUIT

A deaf Florida woman has filed a federal lawsuit against a school district for refusing to provide a sign-language interpreter for an adult education class on motorcycle riding. Merrie Carol Paul, 46, claims the Hillsborough County school district violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, reported the Tampa Tribune. “They are discriminating against me, which I felt is not right,” said Paul. The Brandon resident, who needs to take the course to obtain her license, was told she could bring her own interpreter but claims it would have cost her $2,340 on top of the $175 class fee. “This case is an easy case,” said her attorney, Matthew Dietz. “They don’t really have an option.”

COLORADO LAWYER LEADS WAY IN $13 MILLION LAWSUIT

A Colorado woman who lost her hearing, vision and mobility to a progressive neuromuscular disease after graduating from college was the lead plaintiff in a landmark $13 million settlement in a lawsuit against Kmart announced last month. Carrie Ann Lucas, 34, may struggle with disability, said the Rocky Mountain News, but she doesn’t think her life is unfair. “What’s unfair is the systems I have to deal with that are supposed to work, and don’t work,” she said. Lucas has earned three degrees – one in sports medicine and history, one in divinity and one in law – while raising two adopted children who also have disabilities and use wheelchairs. “I just do what I do,” said Lucas, who has been a plaintiff in at least nine other disability suits and has filed four other lawsuits on behalf of clients with disabilities. “In many ways, I’m not any different than any other single mom who works.”

JUDGE JAILS MAN AFTER HEARING LOSS ANGERS HIM

A 55-year-old Florida man facing a marijuana charge was jailed without bail last week by a judge who apparently became angry that the man was having trouble hearing him. Seminole Court Judge Ralph Eriksson locked up Daniel Bradshaw “after determining Bradshaw was wasting the court’s time,” reported WFTV last Wednesday. When Bradshaw’s public defender informed the judge that his hearing-impaired client was having trouble hearing him, Eriksson responded by shouting at the man and ordering him locked up – even though prosecutors had not requested jail time. The Public Defender’s Office is reviewing a video to see if Eriksson “went too far in a bout with anger.”

LOUISIANA SCHOOL MUST CUT 30 JOBS

“The stress level is off the Richter scale” at the Louisiana School for the Deaf as employees wait to learn if they will be among 30 workers who will lose their jobs effective July 1, an anonymous teacher told a 9 News reporter in Baton Rouge. Last November, the school lost 20 positions – 11 workers and nine vacant jobs – when Gov. Kathleen Blanco ordered all state agencies to cut their budgets by eight percent following the hurricanes. Interim school director Kenny David says the 30 new cuts will affect teachers, custodians and supervisors. LSD, founded in 1852, serves 350 deaf and hard-of-hearing children across the state, and the unnamed teacher fears the worse. The job cuts “may be only the beginning of the demise of our school," she said.

TEN TEAMS VIE FOR TOP SPOT AT ACADEMIC BOWL

Ten teams from around the country will be in Washington, D.C. this weekend for the 10th annual National Academic Bowl for Deaf and Hard of Hearing High School Students. The April 22-25 event takes place at Gallaudet University after a series of regional competitions across the nation. Participants are Edmonds-Woodway H.S., Edmonds, Wash.; Florida School for the Deaf, St. Augustine; John Hersey H.S., Arlington Heights, Ill.; Indiana School for the Deaf, Indianapolis; Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind, Colorado Springs; University H.S., Irvine, Calif.; Rochester (N.Y.) School for the Deaf; Monroe #1 BOCES, Rochester, N.Y.; Mountain Lakes (N.J.) H.S.; and W.T. Woodson H.S., Fairfax, Va. More information can be found at http://academicbowl.gallaudet.edu.


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GEARING UP

This is to announce that the hosts of last year's successful and historical 1st annual Las Vegas World Deaf Poker Tournament are now rolling up their sleeves for another major poker tournament. The 2nd annual event will be held on October 11, 2006, 6 PM, at the Palms Casino and Resorts, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ask any of the previous players and fans from last year how they enjoyed the experience. They will tell you how exciting it became. Interesting enough, after the event, several poker tournaments were being held due to our success. We take pride in creating interest among the deaf poker players throughout the USA. We wish them success.

This year will be better. For example, based on 300 entries, 1st place winner will receive $27,000. In addition we have joined with DeafNation, Inc. on the World Deaf Poker Tour. It will be exciting. Also it is best to be playing in Las Vegas, the poker capital of the world. There is no place in the world like it.

For the records, we are a non-profit 501 [c] 3 organization and all of us are volunteers without pay. All the net proceeds will go to the aid and welfare of the needy deaf communities.

To access our web site and flyer, go to www.deaflasvegas.com/poker

All players must be 21 years of age and older. Unfortunately this tournament is for the deaf and hard of hearings only.

Hope to see you all in Vegas for another exciting experience.

Chair

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INTERNATIONAL
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JAPANESE DEAF MAY WIN RIGHT TO DRIVE

Deaf people in Japan may finally be able to drive in about two years, said the National Police Agency last Thursday. Some 129,000 deaf Japanese people have been asking for drivers licenses “to make it easier for them to participate in society,” said The Japan Times. They want to remove a requirement that drivers hear a car horn 10 meters away. A test of deaf drivers by the International Association of Traffic and Safety Sciences revealed that they could drive if they had wide mirrors. The NPA said it will work with driving schools on the special needs of deaf drivers and how to use the mirrors. Deaf people still will not be able to drive taxis or large vehicles, and the matter of motorcycles remains to be seen.

DEAF PILOT ON ‘FIRST-OF-KIND’ FLIGHT AROUND WORLD

One of two pilots who made a recent stopover in Oman in the United Arab Emirates faced an obstacle growing up, reported the AME. Johan Hammarstrom’s severe hearing impairment disqualified from getting a pilot’s license but he “refused to let his disability hold him back and became a pilot anyway." Hammerstrom and co-pilot Henrik Ejderholm will stop in 50 cities and almost as many countries during their trip, the “World Flight for Hearing,” which began March 15. Sponsor Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts is providing lodging, and the Muscat Radisson in Oman organized a seminar where Hammerstrom discussed his trip – the “first flying expedition of its kind” – with an audience of deaf people. Afterwards, the two pilots flew eastward toward India with their sights set on completing the trip in August.

‘MARRIAGE ASSISTANCE CAMP’ HELD IN INDIA

The Delhi, India-based Deaf Way Foundation held a recent marriage assistance camp for hearing-impaired people, reported the Indian Express. Detailed catalogs with “bio-data of marriageable males and females” were given to all 38 participants – 22 women and 16 men – along with their parents. “It has saved us from unwanted interaction,” said one man who had come to the Punjab event to find a bride for his deaf uncle. The foundation – started nine years ago by Arun and Christina Roa after their daughter became deaf – has held similar events in Agra, Delhi and Hyderabad. Some participants were disappointed, however. “We were under the impression that we would find a suitable girl today and marry off our brother,” said farmer Jatinder Singh, 30. “We had come with all preparations, including gifts.”

UKRAINE’S FIRST LADY VISITS DEAF CULTURAL CENTER

The First Lady of Ukraine paid a recent visit to the Cultural Center of the Ukrainian Deaf Association, reported ForUm in Kiev. Kateryna Yushchenko checked out the center’s museum and enjoyed a production of “The Little Match Girl” by the Rainbow Mime Theatre. She praised the staff for their work and used sign language to thank the students for their performance. Yushchenko is head of the Ukraine 3000 Supervisory Council, which has a goal of “helping deaf people adapt to normal social life.”

WOMAN BUTCHERED AT TRINIDAD MEAT SHOP

A woman in Trinidad was attacked last Thursday morning by her deaf former common law husband in the meat shop where they both worked. The unidentified couple reportedly argued at Bisram’s Meat Shop in Sangre Grande over the custody of their child, a fight that escalated when the man, 34, began chopping the woman, 26, about her head, arms and fingers. She collapsed in a pool of blood, said the Trinidad & Tobago Express, and the man fled. The woman was in critical but stable condition after emergency surgery and the man was arrested at home and charged with attempted murder.

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TELETUBBIES EARMOLDS SAID TO ‘BEAT BULLIES’

U.K. children with hearing aids can “beat the bullies” by having pictures of the Teletubbies and other characters printed on their earmolds, said a recent news report. “The images encourage all children to take an interest, start conversations and form friendships,” said Michael Nolan of Starkey Laboratories in the Manchester Evening News. The nonprofit project, called the Better Hearing Initiative, began six years ago when soccer team Manchester United agreed to let Starkey use its logo. Characters from several BBC shows have been added, with the most recent being the popular teen show Grange Hill. Starkey is also jazzing up the look of the devices themselves, moving away from traditional brown in favor of bright colors that Nolan said “help children show that they are proud of their ‘cool’ hearing instruments.”

‘DEATH MUTE’ IN RUNNING FOR MISTER SINGAPORE 2006

A “death mute sportsman” has moved up in the competition for Mister Singapore 2006, reported PRWeb. Terence Thaddeus Lew, 27, surprised many people last week when he advanced to the second round in the country’s most prestigious annual male pageant, “as it is unprecedented for a handicapped person to be selected for a beauty contest anywhere in the world.” Lew, one of 24 contestants, “is expected to woo the audience with his athletic physique displaying his ripped six-pack abs when he struts the stage in the swimwear section.” The titleholder will go on to represent Singapore at male pageants around the world. To learn more, visit
www.mistersingapore.org/mistersingapore/Home/home.htm.

FIRST SCHOOL FOR DEAF OPENS IN SOMALIA

Children with hearing difficulties in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, “now have reason to enjoy a normal childhood” with the opening of the country’s first and only school for the hearing impaired, reported the UN Integrated Regional Information Networks. School director Usman Muhammad Mahamud saw the need after returning from South Africa with a university degree and noticing his neighbor’s deaf and hard-of-hearing children “watching their siblings go off to school while they had nowhere to go but play in the sand.” The demand to get in the school “has been amazing,” said Mahamud, and the children “are so eager and happy to be in school – you should see them.”

FAMED CHOREOGRAPHER TEACHES DEAF CHILDREN TO DANCE

Indian dance instructor and “choreographer to the stars” Sandip Soparrkar traveled to Nepal to lead a three-week dance school for deaf children, reported the Afternoon Dispatch & Courier in Bombay. Soparrkar was invited by Sarah Giri, wife of the former prime minister of Nepal and director of an institution for deaf children. “For the first time in my life I danced to silence,” said Soparrkar. His assignment was made more challenging, said the report, because deaf people “have no sense of balance,” but by the end of three weeks the students “mastered every move taught to them.” Practice went on for eight hours at a time and “there was no talking or gossiping or breaks or idle chatter,” said Soparrkar. “They concentrated on their dance and nothing could distract them.”

INDIANS BLAME FALL ON DIFFERENCE IN BALLS

A deaf cricket team from India returned home last week after being swept by Pakistan in a six-match series, a defeat the Indians blamed on their opponents’ balls. “Our players train and play with red balls,” said the wife of Indian team coach Gaur Mohan Goswami, “but in Pakistan white balls were used.” The father of one player further explained to Express News Service that the red ball “is heavy and comes slowly on to the bat, whereas the white ones used in Pakistan were coming on faster.” Still, there were some bright spots in what was otherwise a forgettable trip – 20-year-old Akash Singh returned with a team-high haul of nine wickets.

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LIFE & LEISURE
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KOREAN ADOPTEE TO COMPETE IN MISS DEAF AMERICA

When Kim Ja-young was left as a baby in front of a Korean health clinic, police could not find her parents and she was sent to an adoption agency. She was adopted by Timothy and Mary Getman of Minnesota at 9 months old and became Teiya Getman on what she calls “the luckiest day in my life.” Her childhood was not uneventful, reported Donga in Seoul, South Korea in an article on the first Korean Adoption Day on May 11. When Getman turned 6, for example, she began to question her identity after realizing that her blue-eyed and blond-haired neighbors looked different. She sometimes got mad at her biological parents for abandoning her, but “felt more grateful for her adoptive parents and pulled herself together.” Getman, 23, will represent Minnesota at the Miss Deaf America pageant this summer and hopes to become a teacher – and adopt two children of her own.

CONVENTION NOTE: HEARING AIDS SHRINK, GROW IN POWER

Six major hearing aid manufacturers were mixed in with hundreds of exhibitors at the recent American Academy of Audiology convention in Minneapolis, sharing the latest ways to help an estimated 30 million Americans with hearing loss. Among the developments, said WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, were ever smaller hearing aids that are custom tuned by computer to the specific needs of each user. Through microscopic nanotechnology and new computer software, scientists are now able to pack the equivalent of 10 million transistors into the space that once held just a few. “It’s truly a computer in your ear,” said Starkey Labs president Jerry Ruzicka of the company’s Destiny models. “They’re so smart. They really allow people to hear your voice and my voice and the wind and background noise all differently.”

TWO-PIECE HEARING AID OFFERS CLIP-ON TRANSMITTER

A two-piece hearing aid called the iEar could be available soon in the U.K., said Business Weekly. Clinical trials have been fast-tracked by U.K. regulators and the Cambridge-based Auriplex hopes to have its product on the market by June. CEO Abol Chizari, who is hard of hearing himself, founded Audiplex two years ago and began by looking at the physiology of hearing loss and the deficiencies of aids currently on the market. Most aids “do nothing to differentiate between important and background sound,” he said, “they just amplify everything, including the 90 percent that people do not want or need to hear.” The two-piece iEar is different because it consists of an ear piece receiver and a transmitter that, for example, a mother can clip on the clothing of her child or a TV viewer can plug directly into the set. As a result, users can focus on "the all-important 10 percent” they want to hear within a distance of about 80 feet.

‘MEMBRANE’ INTRODUCED FOR IN-EAR HEARING AIDS

The most frequent cause of customer complaints and repairs to in-ear hearing aids is moisture and receivers clogged with earwax and debris, said a press release last week. Siemens, however, has come up with an “innovative membrane technology” that seals the hearing aid and prevents such intrusions. The outside of the membrane can be easily cleaned with nothing more than a soft cloth, and it can be checked every three months or so and easily replaced with a new one in only a few seconds. Siemens calls the innovation the “C-Guard” membrane and said starting this month, all of the company's in-ear hearing aids will come with it.

RELEASE PARTY SET FOR DEAF YOGA DVD

Deaf Yoga founder Lila Lolling will be at Border’s Bookstore in Austin, Texas this Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. to host a release party for her new DVD, “Deaf Yoga for Beginners.” The subtitled DVD introduces yoga’s basic principles in American Sign Language and shares practical information on how to breathe properly, the history of yoga, energy systems and more. Lolling, who is hearing, notes that Border’s is the first retail store to openly sell the DVD and “it’s important that the signing community show up to represent the need for accessible yoga.” A video featuring Lolling and deaf yoga enthusiasts can be found at www.deafnation.com and more information on Deaf Yoga, including workshops, retreats and the DVD, is available at www.deafyoga.com.

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Simplicity Products 20% off and Free Shipping

Spring has sprung and so have the savings at WCI! Take 20% off all Simplicity products. Choose from the complete line of signalers for your home or office. Or, pick up one or two individual signalers to add to your existing system. Add free shipping on all orders over $100.00. Call us now at 1-800-233-9130 (V/TTY) or visit us online at http://www.weitbrecht.com (Use code WCI406D for free shipping). To receive a copy of our catalog, email sales@weitbrecht.com to request it.

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WORKING WORLD
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ALABAMA INTERPRETERS CAN DO IT ONLINE

Interpreters in Alabama can apply for or renew permits and licenses through the state’s official website, said Business Wire. The Alabama Licensure Board for Interpreters and Transliterators recently released its new online application and renewal service. “The board is very excited to have the ability to offer such innovative services and conveniences to our interpreters and transliterators,” said chairwoman Belinda Montgomery. Current interpreters can log into the system with their license or permit number; first-time registrants can use the online service by providing a Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) membership number. The web page can be found at https://www.alabamainteractive.org/albit/.

NEWLY HIRED WORKERS MAKE HEADLINES IN OHIO

The People’s Defender reported last week on two hearing-impaired men in Columbus, Ohio who are “proud of going to work each day” at their new jobs with Columbus Industries. “We both appreciate having jobs!” said Joe Duffey and Roy Craft in a letter to the Defender. They were assisted with vocational services provided through the Shawnee Mental Health Center, Inc., which began providing services to the mentally ill with a grant in 2003 and is now branching out to help others with disabilities. The two men thanked Julie Cadwallader, a senior vocational specialist, for “working very hard to meet our goal of employment.” Said Cadwallader: “We help people find a job that they want to do, and once they get the job, we do whatever it takes to help them keep it.”

COCHLEAR WINS DESIGN EXCELLENCE AWARD

Cochlear announced last week that it has received a 2006 Medical Design Excellence Award, a premier award that recognizes the achievements of medical product manufacturers and engineers, scientists, designers and clinicians who change the face of healthcare with their groundbreaking innovations. The award honored Cochlear’s Nucleus Freedom Implant System, which the company calls the newest, most advanced cochlear implant system. “We strive to provide the most innovative, reliable implants on the market,” said Cochlear Americas president Chris Smith, “and we are thrilled that this implant system has been recognized as doing so.”

RESEARCH PROJECT USES VIRUSES TO BUILD BATTERIES

An international team of researchers led by a group from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is engineering a virus to attract metals and then use it to build minute wires for microscopic batteries. According to Reuters, reporting from an issue of the journal Science, the resulting nanowires can be used in minuscule lithium ion battery electrodes that could power very small machines. The researchers, using the easily manipulated M13 virus, hope to build batteries that range from the size of a grain of rice up to the size of existing hearing-aid batteries.

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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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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
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MORE DEAF-MADE FILMS IN THIS YEAR’S MAINE EVENT

The third annual Maine Deaf Film Festival took place Saturday at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. Unlike last year’s festival, reported Blethen Maine Newspapers, this year’s entries were either made by deaf people or have deaf characters in key roles. The quality ranges “from thoroughly professional to low-budget substandard efforts,” said critic Marty Meltz, but viewers leave “more aware of this life’s challenge and its implications.” The festival was presented by the USM Linguistics Department and the USM ASL Club of Maine. A festival web page can be seen at www.deafmaine.com/usm-dff-4.htm.

CSUN PLAYERS GET READY TO GO ‘STONE DEAF’

Students from the California State University in Northridge are putting the final touches on “Stone Deaf,” a play that showcases “the constant struggle of Deaf people against language oppression for the past 150 years” and “promises to be an exciting play, too.” This Friday and Saturday (April 21-22) are the nights, CSUN’s Little Theatre is the site, and tickets are $10 a bite (bring $4 for parking, a’ight?). Call 818-677-2488 for the school’s ticket office or order through www.ticketmaster.com. The play’s website is: www.stonedeafplay.com.

FREMONT SCHOOL PRESENTS ALUMNUS TO ‘BRAGG’ ABOUT

Bernard Bragg will be on the Fremont campus of the California School for the Deaf next Saturday, April 29 to do a one-night, one-man show. CSD’s legendary alumnus, the deaf son of deaf parents, learned to communicate visually at an early age and studied with the great French mime Marcel Marceau. He continues to perform and teach worldwide. A California resident, Bragg enjoys painting, traveling, performing and digital filmmaking – a new chapter in his life. To learn more, write to Cheryl Boyd, cboyd@csdf-cde.ca.gov, or call 510-794-3707 tty/voice.

WEBSITE OFFERS ONE-STOP SHOPPING FOR TALENT

A new website has been launched for producers, directors and casting agents who are seeking deaf and hard-of-hearing actors and actresses. DeafCasting.com was founded by Vikee Waltrip with the assistance of David Pierce at Davideo Productions and artist/actor Chuck Baird . The database includes people involved with film, television, theater and live entertainment. To alleviate privacy concerns, all contact information will remain confidential and inquiries are handled for by Waltrip, who emphasizes, “I am in no way an agent or manager. We only serve as a starting point.” Performers and groups are encouraged to submit pictures and information at no charge until December 31, after which a membership fee will apply. For more information, visit www.deafcasting.com or write to info@deafcasting.com.

ROSA LEE SET TO PERFORM AT MICA RUNWAY

Performance artist Rosa Lee will bring her one-woman show, “R,” to the MICA Runway 2006. The MICA (Millenium International Caribbean Africa) Runway is a community affair designed to celebrate the arts and disability while “recognizing diversity of all colors, shapes, sizes and backgrounds.” It will be held Saturday, June 17, at Crobar Nightclub in New York City. The event offers a unique opportunity for talented fashion designers and attracts creative makeup artists, trend-setting hair stylists and stunning runway models. It’s “the perfect place for Rosa Lee to perform," said event chair Ann Marie Bryan, also known as Jade. Proceeds will go toward the completion of two films produced by Bryan’s non-profit DeafVision Filmworks: “Somalia” and “9/11 Fear in Silence: The Forgotten Underdogs.” Ticket information can be found at www.micarunway2006.com.

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New Lance McWilliams DVDs on Sale at Harris Communications

Two new DVDs called, "Improving Receptive Skills Through ASL Storytelling" are now on sale. In Part I, Lance McWilliams tells the story of "The 3 Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf" with Rodney Coffey presenting "Goldilocks and the Three Bears". In Part II, Lance presents the story of "The Image of the Lost Soul" and Willy Moers tells the story of "Jack and the Beanstalk". As you watch, questions will pop up and pause the story, providing you time to read the questions. Afterwards, the questions will disappear and the answers will show. Stories may also be viewed without interruptions. Each DVD is regularly $25.00, now on sale for $19.95. Sale ends April 23, 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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SPORTS
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MARYLAND BOYS VOLLEYBALL OFF TO GOOD START

The Maryland School for the Deaf in Frederick is the only school in its county to field a boys volleyball team, said the Frederick News-Post. MSD doesn’t field a baseball team, so many of the school’s year-round athletes signed up for volleyball this spring. The teammates communicate well, perhaps because many have been around one another all their lives. In fact, the team includes three groups of brothers, two of whom are twins. The MSD gym boasts three deaf prep national championship banners – all earned by the girls team – but Andy Bonheyo’s boys team is “continuing a legacy of volleyball excellence at MSD," winning six of its first seven games.

BROTHERS MAKE IT TO GOLDEN GLOVES FINAL

One of two brothers who represented Western Pennsylvania in the recent Golden Gloves championships in Pittsburgh has been deaf since the age of 3. Jimmy Lubash, 22, came down with bacterial meningitis two days after his third birthday and “we thought we were going to lose him,” said Jim Lubash, a divorced father who raised Jimmy, fellow boxer Jesse, 20, and Justin, 19, an Army Ranger in Texas. Eight months ago, against his father’s wishes, Jimmy decided to follow his brothers into boxing and “now he’s one fight from going to the nationals,” trainer Bob Healy told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette last week, “which is amazing.” (Alas, both brothers lost in Saturday’s event.) Jim Lubash, who was a boxer himself, said he worries about Jimmy not hearing in the ring, “but he wants to do it, so I have to support him.”

INDIANA SCHOOL FIELDS FIRST SOFTBALL TEAM

There were moments in spring training when the Indiana School for the Deaf softball team looked is if it had never played the sport before, said the Indianapolis Star last week. Two years after a petition launched a boys baseball team and led to requests for a girls softball team, too, this is ISD’s first softball season and coach Rita Mowl has found herself teaching the basics. “I asked the girls if they could catch and throw, and they said, ‘Oh yeah,’” said Mowl. “Then we started and they couldn’t catch or throw.” The players are good at volleyball and basketball but “got a “reality check” on the first day of practice when they realized softball is a different sport. Athletic director Brian Bippus hopes to add two home games to the Deaf Hoosiers’ seven games on the road, a schedule that began last Wednesday with a 14-4 loss at Monrovia.

DEAF RACER CHOSEN FOR NATIONAL SOAP BOX DERBY

Connecticut resident Jessica Schwabe will be in Akron, Ohio in July for the All-American Soap Box Derby, reported the Meriden Record-Journal last week. Schwabe, a 15-year-old Platt High School student who is deaf, has competed in the national competition for the past two years. “I think that racing is my favorite sport,” said Schwabe. “I love it.” Around 60 racers gathered for a regional rally in Meriden on April 8-9 to compete for a spot in the national competition. Schwabe steered her pink, single-person car to victory and earned enough points to move on to the nationals. “These guys that are here are serious,” said race director Kevin Curry, who noted girls often have an easier time racing “because they are more limber and can focus better.”


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COMING EVENTS
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LAS VEGAS TO HOST ASL FESTIVAL IN MAY

An ASL Language & Cultural Celebration has been announced for Sunday, May 7 at the Clark County Government Center in Las Vegas, Nev. Organizers are expecting a crowd of thousands to attend the event, which will include exhibit booths and performances by actors, magicians and others. Information can be obtained at www.aslfestival.com.

EASTERN LADY GOLFERS PREPARE TO TEE OFF AGAIN

Plans are set for the 11th Annual Eastern Ladies Golf Tournament. The Cross Creek Golf Club in Beltsville, Md. (www.crosscreekgolfclub.net)will host the June 10-11 event, and the Holiday Inn in Laurel will providing lodging for $89 a night (301-776-5300). A $160 tournament fee for greens, carts and prizes needs to be paid by June 1 (for a check) or June 5 (for money order) to Camilla Lange, 10100 52nd Ave., College Park, MD 20740. For more, write to emailcamy@aol.com.

SOUTH STREET SEAPORT WELCOMES DEAF EXPOSITION

The American Deaf Exposition will be held for the sixth straight year in New York, said organizer Al Lepre. The South Street Seaport at Fulton and South Streets wil host the event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, August 13. Admission is free and there will be door prizes and entertainment by D.J. Supa. Vendors can purchase a table for $150. Lepre's “largest exposition in the Northeast” has several sponsors, including a number of relay companies. For the full story, go to www.americandeafexposition.com and www.southstreetseaport.com or write to allepre@aol.com.


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MILESTONES
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CARMELLA MATHIEU, 100, RETIRED MANHATTAN SEAMSTRESS

Carmella Mathieu died Easter Sunday at the age of 100. Deaf from scarlet fever at age 6, Mrs. Mathieu was educated at the now-defunct Hope School for the Deaf in Providence, R.I. and worked many years as a seamstress for Manhattan clothing designer. Her first husband, Joseph Siggia, died in 1949. She remarried to George Mathieu, and the couple eventually retired to Cape Cod, Mass. For the past 20 years since her husband’s death, Mrs. Mathieu lived with two hearing daughters in New York and Las Vegas. Funeral services will be held next Tuesday, April 25, in Yarmouthport, Mass. The family is attempting to locate a dear friend, Joyce Vittoria, who organized tours for deaf people all over the world and was last heard from in August before undergoing surgery. Granddaughter Deana Paddack would love to hear from anyone who remembers Carmella and George Mathieu. Write to her at carmella100@cox.net.


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EMPLOYMENT
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American Sign Language Instructor
Riverside Campus


Qualifications:
A bachelor’s degree and two years of experience or any associate degree and six years of experience. Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in ASL instruction or in Deaf Studies related fields preferred, with a minimum 2 years teaching ASL/Interpreting preferred. ASLTA certification preferred. RID/NAD certification level 4 or higher preferred.

Starting salary range: $41.77 - $54.21 per hour

A required District application form can be downloaded from our Website: http://www.rcc.edu or obtained by contacting RCCD Human Resources, 3845 Market Street, Riverside, CA 92501, Phone: (951) 222-8588.

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DCARA has a few exciting job openings in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area:

Full-Time Client Support Specialist position (San Leandro)
Part-Time Staff Interpreter position
Full-Time Job Developer/Interpreter positions

SALARY & BENEFITS: Salary for all positions is negotiable depend on experience and education. DCARA offers extremely competitive benefits such as 4-day work week schedule, 12 days of holiday leave plus one week paid winter holiday, and full medical, dental, vision and life insurances.

DEADLINE: All positions are open until filled.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: Applications and full employment position descriptions are available at www.dcara.org, then click on “Employment”.

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CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

Society’s Assets, Inc is seeking a qualified individual to work as a Customer Service Representative at the Wisconsin Telecommunications Relay System in Madison, Wisconsin.

General Information
The Customer Service Representative performs a variety of job functions in order to provide an optimum level of relay customer service. The primary job responsibilities of the Customer Service Representative are to serve as the principal point of contact for WTRS consumers and give educational presentations about the relay system. This position requires travel and schedule flexibility.

Requirements
- Bachelor’s Degree
- Three or more years of exposure to Deaf Culture and the diverse communication needs of people who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing and/or Speech Disabled.
- Fluency in American Sign Language (ASL)
- Ability to communicate effectively on the phone and in person
- Experience in public speaking
- Excellent presentation skills
- Excellent customer service skills

Additional Skills Preferred
- Preference for studies in Communications or Social Services
- Basic data entry skills and knowledge of a variety of computer programs (Microsoft Office Suite preferred)
- Knowledge of telecommunications equipment
- Experience teaching ASL classes

Salary
Salary is commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package!

Submit cover letter and resume to:
Wisconsin Telecommunications Relay System
Attn: Human Resources Manager
8383 Greenway Blvd, Suite 90
Middleton, WI 53562
Phone (Voice/TTY): (800) 600-7826
Fax: (608) 827-0402
Email: kathy.ottelien@hamiltonrelay.com

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer

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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.

Community Advocate – Los Angeles
LIFESIGNS Clerk – Los Angeles
Job Developer/Interpreter – Norwalk
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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PRINCIPAL EXECUTIVE MANAGER-C
(Telecommunications Assistance Program Manager)
$3,287 - $4,840 monthly

AS THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM MANAGER for the Oregon Public Utility Commission, you will supervise the subordinate staff and provide direction to and monitoring of the three Residential Service Protection Fund programs that deliver telecommunications services to disabled and low income Oregonians, and represent the agency as a liaison between constituent groups, legislature and the programs

If hired, the state will pay your medical/dental premiums, and you will receive nine paid holidays per year, generous sick and vacation leave benefits and 24 hours personal business leave. You will also receive significant technical training opportunities at no cost to you. All this plus living in Salem in close proximity to Portland, Eugene, the Oregon Coast and the Cascade Mountains! To learn more about Oregon, check out the following web pages: http://bluebook.state.or.us and http://www.salemchamber.org/community/about.html.

For more information about this recruitment, visit the State website at www.oregonjobs.org and look for Announcement Number LE060150. This website also has the necessary application forms. Or you can call (503) 373-1368 (voice), or (800) 648-3458 (TDD/TTY) and ask for a copy of the announcement. Completed applications must be received by 5:00 PM on May 23, 2006. An EEO/AA employer.

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CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, NORTHRIDGE
Director
National Center on Deafness (NCOD)

Recruitment ID: M0623

The Position:
The Director of National Center on Deafness provides leadership, vision, and management direction for a student-focused department that supports the transition and mainstream education of approximately 200 students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing each semester, by creating student-learning outcomes and assisting students with academic planning leading to timely degree completion. Supervises all department personnel. Directs the daily operation of a comprehensive support services program, which include Academic Advisement, Student Development, and Leadership Programs; coordination of direct communication courses (regular university courses taught in sign language) with colleges in the university; and tutoring, captioning, and note-taking services. Manages the operating budget, prioritizes and allocates departmental resources, and approves all departmental expenditures. Develops procedures, program design and assessment, and fiscal policies. Works closely with the Office of Human Resources to implement new policies, procedures, and job standards. Establishes working relationships across the university to enhance the academic and personal success of students within NCOD. Provides leadership in obtaining external funding through development of funding proposals and extensive networking with funding agencies. Maintains close relationships with federal and state sources, other education and rehabilitation programs for deaf or hard-of-hearing people, and with the deaf community locally and nationally. Interacts with the University Corporation to oversee the operation of cooperative agreements and grants awarded to NCOD from federal, state, and private sources. Acts as ambassador representing NCOD in the deaf and hard-of-hearing community locally and across the country. Shares in division leadership through the Student Affairs Management Council. Serves on university, CSU system-wide, and divisional committees, as appropriate. Assumes other duties as assigned.

Qualifications:
Master’s degree in education, administration, or related field from an accredited institution required. Equivalent to five years of responsible, related professional experience managing diverse and complex programs. Demonstrated ability in management within complex organizations, strategic planning, budgets, assessments, and evaluation practices. Familiarity with the concept of the learning-centered university model. Thorough knowledge of issues and trends in the field of deafness; demonstrated leadership ability; and a record of team building, problem solving, and organizational effectiveness. Ability to supervise, train, and evaluate staff; use sign language; communicate effectively with hearing, deaf, and hard-of-hearing individuals in a variety of settings; develop and maintain cooperative working relationships in a highly diverse community both on and off campus; and prepare clear and concise reports. Excellent interpersonal, written, and verbal communications skills required. Successful record in obtaining external funds preferred.

Applications: Submit cover letter, current resume including names and contact information of three professional references, and salary history for the last five years. Review of applications begins March 27, 2006 and will continue until position is filled. Submit application to: California State University, Northridge; HR; 18111 Nordhoff Street; Northridge, CA 91330-8229.

See our website at: http://www-admn.csun.edu/hrs/Employment/index.html for complete details.

EOE

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