April 25, 2012
Vol. 8, No. 24
Editor: Tom Willard
Deafweekly is an independent news report for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community that is mailed to subscribers on Wednesdays and available to read at www.deafweekly.com. These are the actual headlines and portions of recent deaf-related news articles, with links to the full story. Minor editing is done when necessary. Deafweekly is copyrighted 2012 and any unauthorized use is prohibited. Please support our advertisers; they make it possible for you to receive Deafweekly.
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Last issue's most-read story:
DEAF BOY STRUCK BY CAB IN FRONT OF TERRIFIED PARENTS IN BROOKLYN / NY
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New York, NY
STATE ENGLISH TESTS DISSED DEAF STUDENTS: EDUCATORS
State Education Department officials were blind to the feelings of deaf students on this week’s English exams — heartlessly asking them questions about sounds such as the clickety-clack of a woman’s high heels and the rustle of wind blowing on leaves, educators claimed. One sixth-grade teacher of hearing-impaired kids said they were completely thrown off by a lengthy listening passage rife with references to environmental noises — such as a cupboard door creaking open or the roar of a jet engine. The kids were then asked to write how a boy who hears those sounds as music in his head is like a typical sixth-grader. / New York Post
DEAF INMATE SUES OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
A deaf inmate is suing the state prison system for at least $600,000 saying it has repeatedly denied him an American Sign Language interpreter to communicate with doctors or attend religious services, Alcoholics Anonymous or a GED program at the Columbia River Correctional Institution. The suit claims that Merle Baldridge has been denied desirable jobs at the prison because the Oregon Department of Corrections has made good oral communication skills a requirement for those jobs. He has been given menial jobs, such as cleaning toilets, the suit states. / The Oregonian
DEAF STUDENT SUES, CLAIMING PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY DIDN'T ALLOW HER SERVICE DOG IN SOME HOUSING
A deaf student and the Fair Housing Council of Oregon are suing Portland State University for more than $1 million claiming that the university has repeatedly discriminated against students with disabilities. Student Cindy Leland claims that in fall 2010 university housing employees refused to let her and her service dog live in Stephen Epler Hall because it was carpeted. She and her dog instead were allowed to move into another university building, The Broadway, which does not have carpets. / The Oregonian
TWO EMPLOYEES REMOVED FROM BLIND AND DEAF SCHOOL AFTER ABUSE LAWSUIT
Two employees at the Hawaii School for the Deaf and the Blind have been removed from their positions following allegations of years of sexual assault and other misconduct by students against other students at the school. The civil lawsuit filed in August 2011 against the state for allowing criminal wrongdoing by students at the school has gone to mediation, a source said. That means most of the new details of this case will never be disclosed in a court room. / Urban Oahu
El Sereno, CA
CAUGHT ON TAPE: DEAF WOMAN, DOG ATTACKED BY PIT BULL
A deaf woman and her dog were attacked by a neighbor’s pit bull in El Sereno Saturday morning. The woman’s dog, a Chihuahua named Muffy, had to be put down. Another neighbor’s surveillance camera caught the vicious attack on videotape. June McMahon, sustained painful bites on her arm and buttocks. But she told KCAL9 and CBS2's Melissa Maynarich, her real pain is emotional. / CBS Los Angeles
Cedar Rapids, IA
REGENTS WILL CONSIDER STUDY OF BRAILLE, DEAF SCHOOLS
State regents this week will consider having the state conduct a study of the functions of Iowa’s two special schools that are overseen by the board, a required step if the board wanted to merge the two schools or close either one. The Board of Regents will consider approval for board staff to contact the Iowa Department of Management to conduct a feasibility study to examine “administrative and programmatic functions” of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School in Vinton and the Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs. / The Gazette
OCCUPY DETROIT RALLIES TO SAVE SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF
On April 5, organizers from Occupy Detroit and BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) staged a protest outside the Detroit Day School for the Deaf, which the Emergency Financial Manager for Detroit Public Schools wants to shut down. But the school receives most of its funding from the federal government – very little comes from the city and the Detroit Public Schools. Some say that the school – one of the oldest schools of its kind in the United States, founded in 1898 and specially designed for deaf students – shares valuable property with many parties interested in gaining control of it, including including Wayne State University. / The Occupied Wall Street Journal
UNIVERSITY APPROVES ASL/DEAF STUDIES MINOR
Penn has signed off on the first American Sign Language/Deaf Studies minor in the Ivy League. The minor was granted final approval by the faculty of the School of Arts and Sciences in their meeting Monday, following its approval by the College Curriculum Committee in March. The vote for approval was unanimous, according to Gillian Sankoff, undergraduate chair in the Department of Linguistics, which is where the minor will be housed. / The Daily Pennsylvanian
Daytona Beach, FL
DAYTONA STATE BOARD TO CONSIDER SETTLING 3 LAWSUITS
Daytona State College is looking to settle three separate lawsuits against the college for more than $650,000, including a discrimination complaint by three students who are deaf. The board of trustees will be asked to approve the settlements Thursday. The lawsuits include $40,000 plus attorney fees for a 2011 discrimination case filed in U.S. District Court in Orlando involving three students, Laura Koschuk, Suzanne Bergman and Paige Allison, who are deaf, claiming discrimination involving lack of disability services, such as interpreters and note-takers. / The Daytona Beach News-Journal
DEAF KIDS' HEARING AIDS AREN'T SCHOOL-FUNDED
A school district's obligation to educate disabled children does not require it to pay for hearing-aid maintenance, the D.C. Circuit ruled. The plaintiffs in this case are parents of children with severe hearing loss in both ears who have been fitted with cochlear implants. / Courthouse News Service
DEAF STUDENTS WIN AT MATH COMPETITION
California School for the Deaf in Riverside students have been declared winners in Rochester Institute of Technology’s sixth annual Math Competition for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. The competition, held at RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf on March 31 welcomed 111 deaf and hard-of-hearing middle school students from 21 states. / Press-Enterprise
Studio City, CA
CARPENTER KIDS LEARN ABOUT BEING BLIND, DEAF, IN A WHEELCHAIR AND MORE
They learned what it was like to be deaf, or blind, or dyslexic. They learned about walking in crutches, or using a wheelchair, or what it feels like to be numb over most of your body. It was the the second annual Every Kid Counts Fair held at Carpenter Community Charter School. Deaf comedienne Kathy Buckley showed how she learned how to speak through vibrations. "This is the way I learned to talk, and how to modulate," Buckley said. "The children love to see what it's like." / Patch.com
TIMOTHY KEITH'S FUND
Timothy Keith, a 5-year-old deaf boy, was a victim of a tragic accident -- he was struck by a cab when visiting New York City with his family. He died on April 17th as a result of injuries sustained. Timothy brightened the lives of all who knew him. Help Timothy Keith's Fund reach its goal of $5,000 by June 9. / EverRibbon
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CALLS FOR ASSURANCES OVER DEAF SCHOOL'S FUTURE
Governors, staff and parents of pupils at Elmfield School for Deaf Children in Bristol are seeking further assurances about the school's future. The city council announced last month that the school would stay open with a reduced capacity of 30 places. But supporters, who have fought a long battle to prevent Elmfield being closed on cost grounds, were shocked to see that council officials intended to review the provision if pupil numbers fell too low. / This is Bristol
FIRST DEAF MP JACK ASHLEY DIES FROM PNEUMONIA AT AGE 89
Disabled rights campaigner Lord Ashley of Stoke, who was the first deaf MP, has died aged 89. The Labour peer, formerly Jack Ashley, lost his fight against pneumonia on Friday. He was credited with winning major victories for victims of Thalidomide, Army bullying and domestic violence. Jack Ashley won the seat of Stoke-on-Trent South in 1966, but lost his hearing less than two years later after an unsuccessful ear operation. After fearing he would be forced to give up politics, Lord Ashley learned to lip-read. / Daily Mail
Toronto, ON, Canada
CHS BRINGS A STRONG MESSAGE TO QUEENS PARK ABOUT VISUAL FIRE ALARMS
The Canadian Hearing Society will be delivering thousands of postcards signed by Deaf, oral deaf, deafened, hard of hearing people and other concerned individuals, to a press conference scheduled at Queens Park on April 26. Deaf consumers will also share their horrifying first-hand experience of escaping fires in their home, highlighting the importance of visual fire alarms. The press conference will focus on the message that the Government of Ontario needs to implement the following two measures in the name of fire safety, accessibility and equity. / Canada Newswire
Belleville, ON, Canada
DEAF RESIDENTS SHARE THEIR CONCERNS WITH CITY HALL
Unemployment and the establishment of a community centre for the deaf are the top issues needed to be addressed, says a spokeswoman representing the city’s deaf community. For the third time, city council invited representatives from the deaf community to city hall to discuss their concerns, learn what is happening in the community and offer any advice on how barriers can be broken. / Belleville Intelligencer
Yorke Peninsula, South Australia
PUBLIC SCHOOL LAUNCHES CAREER FOR DEAF ARTIST
When Allyson Parsons was born profoundly death her family faced the prospect of having to leave their home in rural South Australia and move to the city for specialist education. Instead they turned to their local public school, from where a brilliant career was launched. Mike Sexton reports. MIKE SEXTON, REPORTER: In a converted dairy on a property on South Australia's Yorke Peninsula, Allyson Parsons spends her days doing what she loves. ALLYSON PARSONS, ARTIST: I'm just fascinated by colour and light, and Australia has such an amazing light, and so I'd like to sort of paint that. / ABC
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LIFE & LEISURE
New York, NY
ARE THOSE HELEN KELLERS YOU'RE WEARING?
Chinese companies rarely have a very light touch when it comes to branding. But one Chinese fashion company has come up with a particularly, uh, eye-catching brand: Helen Keller sunglasses. Helen Keller is apparently a staple of China’s school curriculum – an exemplary figure that overcame her disabilities to make a mark – and a socialist to boot. But picking a famously blind person as the brand name for an eyewear company still seems a little strange. / The Wall Street Journal
DEAF STUDENTS GET SIGN-LANGUAGE DOLLS
Deaf children at California School for the Deaf in Riverside recently received the first-ever signing doll for the deaf as a gift from the local Lions Club. The dolls have hearing aids and fingers that can be manipulated for sign language. A member of the Lions Club in Long Beach, Rob Hartley, saw the dolls about six months ago and thought it would be wonderful if they could be given to children at every deaf school in the nation. / Press-Enterprise
GERALD BURSTEIN IS BENEFACTOR FOR DEAF CAUSES
Young Gerald “Bummy” Burstein rose at 5 a.m. to commute to a New York City public junior high for 500 deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Burstein was born deaf in 1926. The school was “oral” -- no sign language allowed. There were no text- or relay-telephone services, no close-captioned TV or other technologies that help today’s deaf students communicate. Burstein had to manage without. He managed fine. Today Burstein, 85, is benefactor to programs and schools serving the deaf, most recently endowing the Gerald “Bummy” Burstein donor-advised fund at The Community Foundation. / The Press-Enterprise
GWYNN: DEAF COMMUNITY HAS IDENTITY BEYOND THEIR DISABILITY
My parents do not consider Deafness a medical condition, or a disability, or a bad draw out of the genetic bag of luck. It is a cultural identity integral to who they are —their identities do not center around being deaf, but being Deaf factors into who they are as much as their religion, race, gender, etc. My parents don’t condemn cochlear implants as a whole, but they dislike the way that their culture is being swept aside as some sort of ailment to be fixed. / The University Daily Kansan
WHY DIABETES CAN MAKE YOU DEAF
With all the extraordinary medical advances of the past few decades, medical professionals have been able to enumerate innumerable causes of deafness. Research is continuing in this area, and the latest on the possible cause of deafness is diabetes. A new study has found that diabetes may cause men and women to experience a greater degree of hearing loss as they age, especially if their blood sugar is not well controlled with medication and diet. / Nigerian Tribune
DISCOVERING DEAF WORLDS BENEFIT
The Second Annual Discovering Deaf Worlds Benefit was held Friday at the Harro East Ballroom. The non-profit organization has over the past five years logged 30,000 hours of service to help support deaf communities in more than 50 countries. The goal of DDW is to improve deaf education, employment opportunities and human right conditions for hearing impaired individuals throughout the world. / YNN
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San Francisco, CA
MOZZERIA'S DEAF OWNERS DISCUSS DEALING WITH HEARING CLIENTELE
We're now about five months in since the opening of Mozzeria, the 16th Street pizzeria that's also San Francisco's first deaf-owned restaurant. Today, KQED shares this video interview, via American Sign Language, with owners Melody and Russ Stein, as well as a new review of the place by Anna Mindess (hint: she really likes it). We especially enjoy the extremely animated Russ as he talks about how some of their hearing guests have gotten "really excited" about learning how to sign the word for "pizza." / Grub Street San Francisco
St. Augustine, FL
FLAGLER PROFESSOR RELEASES DEAF EDUCATION TEXT
Flagler College education professor Carl Williams has released his latest book, "Starting Points: Preparing Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students for Literacy Success," through Butte Publications. "Starting Points" is a textbook for use in programs preparing teachers to meet the educational needs of students who are deaf or hard of hearing. It will also benefit practicing teachers and other professionals in the field of deaf education. Williams says he wrote the book primarily because the text he had been using in one of his Deaf Education courses was going out of print. / readMedia
St. Augustine, FL
DAN HUTTO RETIRES AS PRESIDENT OF FSDB
Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind announced to Historic City News local reporters that the school’s 16th president, L. Daniel Hutto, would officially retire this week -- his board meeting April 27 will be his last official event. Communications Director Miki Kristina Gilloon reported that Hutto served 34 years of his 40 years in education at the local campus of the state school. “The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind has been a vital part of my life since I began teaching here in 1968,” Hutto said. / Historic City News
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
HUFFPO COVERS FAKE ASL MUSIC VIDEO
Last week, the Huffington Post did a story on a music video that was supposedly done in American Sign Language. The video was done by Mark Nakhla, Greg Faxon And Sam Choi, doing a cover of Kayne West and Jay-Z’s ‘No Church In The Wild’. Numerous Deaf people, including myself, who are either fluent or native ASL users, upon seeing this video are quite upset. The signing is barely comprehensible to us. It has been described as gibberish and babble. / The Deaf Edge
See Also DEAF PEOPLE ATTACKED FOR DEFENDING ASL / Mishka Zena
Los Angeles, CA
STELLA MCCARTNEY HOSTS PARTY FOR SIR PAUL MCCARTNEY'S NEWEST SINGLE
Hollywood fell back in love with The Beatles' revered frontman with the release of his new single “My Valentine” last Friday night. Rumer Willis, Jane Fonda, Zooey Deschanel, Joan Jett, Ginnifer Goodwin, Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Kristen Stewart and Gwen Stefani were just a few of the stars adorning the red carpet in honor of Sir Paul McCartney’s newest release. The video was praised by the British Deaf Association for raising awareness about deafness and sign language. “It would have been nice if genuine deaf people had been used, but it’s still great,” a BDA spokesman said. / Neon Tommy
West Lafayette, IN
DEAF HIP HOP ARTIST PLAYS SLAYTER
The Purdue American Sign Language club hosted a concert on Slayter Hill Sunday that wasn't like most concerts. The first deaf hip-hop artist, Signmark, held a concert Sunday at Purdue's campus. Signmark, who was born deaf, writes lyrics for his songs. He signs them on stage while his partner raps along with him. From Finland, Signmark already has a following in Europe and hopes his first tour of the United States gains more fans for himself. / WLFI
Council Bluffs, IA
SCHOOL FOR DEAF PUTS ON MUSICAL
It's been nearly a decade since the students of the Iowa School for the Deaf have produced a live musical. That changes Friday night as the kids stage the 1971 musical, "Grease." The production has been two months in the making. "We practice every day, plus sometimes we have double practices in the day," said Johanna Scherling, who portrays Sandy in the play. "We put speakers up underneath the stage so the sound goes right up into the floor and vibrates the floor so they can feel it," said the musical's director, John Cool. / KETV
New York, NY
LEXINGTON SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF PRESENTS CLASS ACTION, JUNE 1
Lexington School for the Deaf will present "a series of vignettes that show you all the things you don’t see in a classroom: relationships, illness, bullying, alcohol, gossip, prom, and of course, graduation. Funny, sad, and serious with just a dash of poignant, this show is a fantastic romp through the crazy world of the teenager." CLASS ACTION is performed in American Sign Language with voice-interpreters. CLASS ACTION will be performed at 2626 75th Street East in Elmhurst, NY. / Broadway World
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Colorado Springs, CO
USA SWIMMING WILL ALLOW HAND SIGNALS TO ACCOMMODATE DEAF ATHLETES AT OLYMPIC TRIALS
USA Swimming decided Thursday to allow hand signals at the U.S. Olympic trials in July to accommodate deaf swimmers at the start of their races, reversing the organization’s decision, issued less than 48 hours earlier, to not use the signals because they did not comply with international rules. The governing body announced its decision shortly after Marcus Titus, one of the nation’s top breaststrokers and a deaf athlete, created a Facebook page asking supporters to e-mail USA Swimming officials. / The Washington Post
LOCAL SOCCER PLAYER TRYING OUT FOR ELITE
Craig Verdin of Houma has played on many different levels of soccer. A goalie, he has competed in recreational leagues, played four years of high school ball and spent time on a premier league team in New Orleans. The 21-year-old junior at LSU -- who is studying kinesiology -- also plays indoor soccer in Baton Rouge and is making plans to attend medical school. He has done all this while overcoming a hearing impairment. / Daily Comet
GREEN'S MESSNER HOPING TO TOUR WORLD WITH U.S. DEAF SOCCER TEAM
Facing challenges in life is nothing new to Stacy Messner. Perseverance and faith helped the former Green High School and Malone University soccer player get through the toughest of times. It also has given her a chance to possibly represent her country playing the sport she loves. Messner will be one of 25 athletes trying out for 20 spots on the USA Women’s National Deaf Soccer Team traveling squad next week in Columbus. The team will compete at the World Deaf Football Championships in Turkey in July. / Canton Repository
DEAF BASEBALL PITCHER DOMINATES THE MOUND FOR INDIAN HILLS HIGH SCHOOL
Austin Solecitto wears an FM receiver in his ear, and his teachers speak into a small microphone they wear around their necks, so that the Indian Hills High School senior can hear what’s going on in his classes. But when Solecitto takes to the pitching mound, he ditches the hearing aid. It’s just too uncomfortable. He doesn’t want any distractions. And that means he can’t hear the pop when his 90 mph fastball hits the catcher’s mitt or the ping of a bat when it makes contact with the ball. / NorthJersey.com
Salt Lake City, UT
UTAHN'S VIDEOS HOOKING THE DEAF ON FLY FISHING
Fly fishers pride themselves on being keen environmental observers. But there may be a group of people even more visually aware than anglers. "Vision is really important to deaf people," said Bryan Eldredge, the American Sign Language and Deaf Studies Program director at Utah Valley University in Orem. "That makes them a perfect fit for fly fishing." Eldredge, who doubles as a fly-fishing guide, recognized that natural link and created two series of videos to help the deaf community put those observation skills to use on the water. / The Salt Lake Tribune
Corpus Christi, TX
CORPUS CHRISTI HOSTS ANNUAL DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING GAMES
Deaf and hard of hearing people from all over South Texas gathered right here in Corpus Christi today for the North of the Border Games for the Deaf. Folks from Brownsville, the Rio Grande Valley, and Corpus Christi come together every year to catch up with each other and play volleyball and other sports. The cities take turns hosting the event each year. This year the event was held at Cabaniss Field. / KRISTV.com
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Mental Health Program Consultant
(Mental Health Specialist)
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division
Minnesota Department of Human Services
Two positions available:
St. Cloud, MN
$ 46,312-$ 68,257 annually / Full benefits
This position provides culturally affirmative mental health services to D/HH adults coping with mental health issues. The main responsibility of the Mental Health Specialist is to provide psychotherapy/ counseling services and the remaining of time will include clinical case management/coordination, consultation, training, aftercare planning, and community placement assistance for D/HH adults.
Fluency in American Sign Language (ASL)
At least 2 years advanced profession experience, OR 1 year advanced professional experience plus 2 years professional experience providing direct mental health services to D/HH individuals.
Master's Degree in Counseling, Psychology, Social Work or behavioral-health related field
Licensed or license-eligible for LPC, LPCC, LP, LICSW or LMFT in the state of Minnesota
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