deafweekly

 

May 20, 2009
Vol. 5, No. 2

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 2009 and any unauthorized use, including reprinting of news, is prohibited. Please support our advertisers; they make it possible for you to receive Deafweekly.



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NATIONAL
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SCHOOL CHIEF QUITS IN RESPONSE TO 10-DAY SUSPENSION

Scranton (Pa.) State School for the Deaf Superintendent Monita Hara resigned last Tuesday after being given a 10-day suspension for talking with the media. According to the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, the state Department of Education also accused Hara of speaking with the attorney for parents who are suing the school. She denied talking with the attorney and asked how she could lead the school if she couldn't speak with the media. Her resignation was announced by Gerald Zahorchak, state secretary of education, who took the opportunity to announce SSSD's new 18-word name.

SCHOOL RESPONDS TO STUDENT SIT-IN

Calm has returned to the West Virginia School for the Deaf, where earlier this month students staged a two-day sit-in to protest school conditions. According to the Cumberland Times-News, Superintendent Patsy Shank met with staff, students and parents to discuss student grievances, which include wanting kitchen workers to wear hair nets and learn to sign, installation of doors on bathroom stalls, a light alert system for sports players and a better gym floor. One request has already been filled, said parent Betty Watson, when air conditioning was installed in the girls' dorm.

SEX-ABUSE ADVOCATES DECRY NEW MEMOIR

Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland's forthcoming memoir, "A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church," is catching flak from the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests. The national advocacy group released documents Monday to counter Weakland's claims that he didn't understand the criminal nature of sexual abuse or its long-term effects on victims, said the Milwaukee (Wisc.) Journal Sentinel. Weakland worked in Milwaukee alongside the late Father Lawrence Murphy, who is thought to have abused as many as 200 deaf children in the 1960s and '70s. The archdiocese said in response that Murphy's actions were a "horrendous betrayal of his priestly vows," but it had long ago acknowledged and addressed this problem.

ANOTHER COP SHOOTS ANOTHER DEAF GUY

Jacob Medina, 21, is expected to recover after being shot by Houston, Texas Deputy J. Pedraza early last Saturday morning. Medina was allegedly seen firing a gun into the air by Pedraza, who ordered him to drop the weapon. Instead, police spokeswoman Jodi Silva told the Houston Chronicle, Medina "pointed the gun toward the deputy, and the deputy fired one shot and struck the suspect in the lower back." Relatives said afterwards that Medina is profoundly deaf and "doesn't hear anything."

DEAF BOY, 4, FACES DEPORTATION WITH DAD

Daniel Ricardo, a deaf boy born four years ago in Morgantown, W.V., faced the possibility of having to move to Mexico this month because his father is an illegal immigrant. Without a government reprieve, father Ben Ricardo -- a restaurant worker and taxpayer in the U.S. for 14 years --would be forced to return to Mexico and most likely would take Daniel with him. But the West Virginia University Immigration Law Clinic is helping the family, said the Charleston Daily Mail. In documents and testimony, they said Daniel would be "plunged into a nearly silent world and his education stunted" if he had to move to his father's old village.

DEAF BOY, 3, GRANTED ASYLUM WITH DAD

Mustafa al-Nadawi, a 3-year-old Iraqi boy who was deafened in an American air raid in 2007, was granted U.S. asylum along with his father three weeks ago. Mustafa came to San Francisco on New Years Eve and received free cochlear implants and school tuition, said the Contra Costa Times. His mother and younger brother still live in a violent Baghdad suburb but will receive visas to come here soon. "I am happy," said dad Mustafa Ghazwan, "that my boy will never again hear the sounds of war."

CALIF. FIREFIGHTER CLAIMS DISCRIMINATION

Brett Smith filed a claim last month against his former employer, the Newport Beach (Calif.) Fire Department, saying the city discriminated against him because he is hard of hearing. Smith, of San Luis Obispo, says he was offered a full-time job in March 2008 but had the offer taken back by Fire Chief Steve Lewis in November because of his hearing problems. According to the Daily Pilot, Smith is seeking more than $1 million in lost pay, emotional distress and alleged violations of his civil rights.

MOM WITNESSES SON, 6, HIT BY TRUCK

Deaf boy Alek Steele, 6, needed 30 stitches after running into the path of a semi truck May 11. Alek was back at play three days later, though, and his rapid recovery earned him the nickname "Boy of Steele" in last Saturday's Fostoria (Ohio) Review Times. The accident occurred when Alek was leading his mother to his twin brother Richie and suddenly turned into the street. "And because he's deaf," said Renee Steele, "there's only so much screaming I can do."


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INTERNATIONAL
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HAITI GIRL CAN NOW SEE AND HEAR

Two years ago, Fort Myers, Fla. resident Marie Popkin met a deaf and blind 9-year-old girl in a Haiti village and "knew she had to get the child out of there," said the News-Press on May 4. The girl, Marie Cadet, was living without electricity, running water, health care or even a bed. Today, after coming to the U.S. and having cataract surgery and getting two hearing aids, she can now see and hear and is learning to speak. Marie Popkin, an office manager, and husband Rob, a fire department captain, made a combined 13 trips to Haiti. The girl's medical visa expires July 27 and after that it is up to God, said the Popkins. "To try to keep the girl here would be selfish," they said.

SON OF HARRODS OWNER OPENS HEARING CENTER

The London Evening Standard reported this week on Karim Fayed, 25, who runs a hearing center in the basement of London's famous Harrods department store. Karim, who became deaf at 2, proposed the idea to his father, Harrods owner Mohamed Fayed, and opened the center last July. The shop has some of the most advanced equipment in the country, said Karim, and gives half its profits to his old school, Mary Hare.

NEW ZEALAND BIG SPEAKS ON REPORT FINDINGS

Robyn Hunt, New Zealand's Human Rights Commissioner, spoke May 6 at the release of a report titled "Deaf People and Human Rights." The report, by the Swedish National Association of the Deaf and the World Federation of the Deaf, spotlights the lives of deaf people all over the world. It recognizes New Zealand as the only country out of 93 surveyed to have a sign-language specific law (the New Zealand Sign Language Act 2006) and as one of only two to offer full interpreting services in universities, Voxy News reported. "But New Zealand could do better," said Hunt, calling for the creation of a New Zealand Sign Language Commission.

CHARITY FILLS FUNDING GAP FOR DEAFLYMPIAN

Soccer player Louise Hogan, 14, was one of 150 deaf athletes in Great Britain forced to raise nearly $5,000 to fund their own trip to this year's Deaflympics in Taiwan after the government withdrew its support, said the Enfield Independent. Louise's mother Christine raised $1,600 by writing and calling friends, family and businesses, then the newspaper ran a story about Louise and a group called A Little Bit of Everything offered to put up the rest. The charity has been run for 30 years by three local woman who are now in their 70s. "We've got the money and can give her whatever she needs," said member Eileen Collier.

IRISH PUBLISHER UNVEILS NEW ALPHABET BOOK

An Irish company called Simply Signing unveiled its second children's book, I Can Sign the Alphabet, on a TV show last week. The company's first release, last year's First Animal Sign Book, was described in the Fingal Independent as the first-ever Irish sign language children's book. The new book, illustrated by Stephen Wylie and written by Lorna McCormack, can be purchased through www.irishdeaf.com.

JAPANESE HOSTESS PENS AUTOBIOGRAPHY

The blog Deaf Japan News revealed this week that Rie Saito, a deaf woman who became a popular hostess at a Toyko nightclub, has published an autobiography. Saito, 25, writes of her strict upbringing and tells of being the bad girl in school, drinking, smoking and stealing things. Eventually, hired as a hostess, she resolves to become the best at her job, using only writing to communicate. She became known as "the hostess with the pad and pen" and ended up earning more money than her co-workers.


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Keith Wann's ASL Comedy Tour 2009-2010

Keith Wann, renowned for his hilarious, sidesplitting comedy performances, is now producing and hosting the ASL Comedy Tour 2009, which will travel the U.S. this year. With American Sign Language (ASL) artists presenting solo performances incorporating comedy, skits, songs, improvisation, and stories, each show lasts two hours. Sponsored by www.CallVRS.org, the multi-city tour is designed to be affordable for each location – making it ideal as a fundraiser for participating organizations.

“We really want to reach out to all communities, so we are sharing in the costs and profits at each location. We will work closely with booking parties to maximize profits for their organization and to bring in as many people as possible for a night of laughter, socialization and fun,” Wann said. “We also offer workshops by some of our performers, which can be held the day of the performance. People can come to our workshops, and then unwind by attending the comedy show that evening.”

www.aslcomedytour.com
Contact KemiProductionsInc@gmail.com.

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Are you shocked by rude behavior on VRS from hearing callers and video relay interpreters?
Do you think deaf and hearing people have different ideas of polite behavior for using pagers?
Do you ever wonder about the appropriateness of an email message?

New technology such as email, pagers and VRS has made life easier for many deaf people. But the rules of politeness regarding their usage can vary between deaf and hearing users. Are you curious to know the different expectations and how to describe them to your hearing friends, family and co-workers?

Let Miss Deaf Manners and Miss Hearing Manners explain it all to you in the new expanded and updated DVD

SEE WHAT I MEAN:
Differences between Deaf and Hearing Cultures –2nd edition
by Thomas K. Holcomb and Anna Mindess

With 4 new scenes depicting cultural differences involving pagers, email and VRS

Includes an updated Teachers’ guide plus classic scenarios depicting attitudes toward time, leave-taking, privacy, giving and receiving criticism and comments on personal appearance -- all discussed from each culture’s point of view.

Go to www.treehousevideo.com for more information and a sneak preview of a frustrating VRS call.

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LIFE & LEISURE
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STUDY: DEAF IN DARK ON CANCER PREVENTION

The deaf community is poorly informed about cancer prevention, a University of Michigan study has found. Deaf subjects who were shown a video with sign language interpretation and captioning were found to answer questions about the video correctly only 22.9% of the time. Lead author Philip Zazove, MD said this means deaf people are at a greater risk for miscommunication with their doctors. "If we can figure out how to help this group," he said in Oncology Nursing News, "there's potential for helping other non-English-speaking minorities."

HEARING TEST GOES BEYOND BEEPS, BOOPS

A story in the Sunday New York Times tells of a new hearing test designed to be more representative of real life. Instead of the traditional beeps, tones and word lists, the test employs city sounds such as cellphone conversations, office chat and traffic noise. The test takes place in an architect-designed listening studio with a 52-inch plasma screen, five speakers and 102 interlocking wooden slabs. Funded by private donors, the $90,000 studio in Lower Manhattan is one of a kind, said audiologist Barbara Weinstein. "We've been looking for it," she said, "and we need it desperately."

SEA LION SHOW TO ADD DEAF CLAPPER

A sea lion named Harley is bound to be a star at his new home in the Milwaukee County Zoo, reported WISN last week. Found stranded in California seven years ago, Harley was discovered to be deaf -- and has turned out to be a bit of a ham. His trainer communicates with hand signals, said Shelley Ballman of Oceans of Fun, "very similar to how you would communicate with a child or adult who is deaf." Harley is expected to join the sea lion show around Memorial Day.

NEVADA WOMAN, NATIVE HUNGARIAN, RECEIVES DOCTORATE

Edina Jambor, who lost her hearing at 15 in a car accident in her native Hungary, received her doctoral degree in social psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno last Friday. Jambor, 35, came to the U.S. in 1997 and earned a master's degree in social psychology from the California State University, Northridge, learning sign language in the process. "I could communicate with people," she told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "I had my life back once more." Jambor, the first deaf UNR student to earn a doctorate, is now the executive director of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advocacy Resource Center in Sparks.

FIERY BLOG ESSAY RILES READERS

"I Hate Deaf People" is the provocative headline of a March 28 blog posting by an unidentified male who calls himself Skanlyn. Supposedly satire, the essay claims that it is only natural for one group of people to hate another group of people and it was time for the deaf to accept their share of the burden, lest the hatred become concentrated too much toward another group, as in Nazi Germany. The author went on give reasons to hate the deaf, saying they are lazy, shiftless, stupid, dirty, talk funny and do annoying things with their hands. (They also caused the recent housing crisis by bringing down property values.) As could be expected, the essay garnered several replies from unappreciative readers.


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Christmas Wonderland River Cruise
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Greater Rochester Physical Therapy
Life is full of Choices… Choose Well… Choose GRPT
www.grpt.com

We are pleased to announce access to physical therapy services for the Deaf community!

Please help us welcome

Gretchen Roman
Licensed Physical Therapist & Certified Sign Language Interpreter

2000 Empire Blvd., Building 2
Webster, NY 14580
(V): 585-671-1030
Email: GreaterRochPT@gmail.com

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WORKING WORLD
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NEW VRS COMPANY 'CONVO' OPENS DOORS

This week brought news of a new Video Relay Service company called Convo Relay. Based in Austin, Texas, Convo is owned by Ed Bosson, described as the "Father of Video Relay Service" in a news release. He is joined by Chad Taylor, Wayne Betts and Robin Horwitz, all deaf and industry-experienced. "We are all dedicated VRS users," said Horwitz, "and we feel that this gives us a head start in research and development."

GOAMERICA MOVES TO CALIFORNIA, BECOMES PURPLE

GoAmerica announced in February that it has changed its name to Purple Communications. This comes after last November's news via the North Bay Business Journal that the company was moving from New Jersey to Novato, Calif. after completing a merger with Hands On Video Relay, of Rocklin, Calif. Purple's website contains links to HOVRS, i711 and IP-RELAY, all former competitors that have come under one umbrella. Purple reported $34.6 million in revenue during the first three months of 2009.

CAPTIONING VET PROFILED IN 'JOURNAL'

The Wall Street Journal last week did an interview with Marc Okrand, 60, a Los Angeles resident and director of live captioning for the National Captioning Institute. Okrand said he joined the company during the infancy of captioning 30 years ago because "it was language related and broadcasting, which is what I was doing before." He used to oversee transcriptions of videotaped TV shows and movies, then switched over to live broadcasting. The company once relied on court reporter steno machines, he said, but now makes use of speech recognition technology.


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All Silent Call Products Are 10% Off!

During the entire month of May all Silent Call products are 10% off. Whether it’s a Carbon Monoxide Detector, Weather Alert System, Shake-Up Kit or your choice of several different Transmitters, you can count on Silent Call to keep your home safe and secure. Call now at 1-800-233-9130 (V/TTY) or go to http://www.weitbrecht.com to order (use code WCID509 when ordering). To receive our catalog, email your request to sales@weitbrecht.com.

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The long awaited coda Cruise...!!!

This is a chance for us to gather and share our stories not only with ourselves but with our loved ones... Codas of all ages and their Deaf parents are welcome! "Odas (...of deaf adults), including dodas, godas, sodas, wodas ... are welcomed here to share their stories and expereinces and relate to others who have had the same.

We will have many activities that help us to learn and share in a fun family-oriented atmosphere.

Workshops, panel discussions, and performances that include you. The Workshops will be led by Arlene Malinowski, "Storytelling", and Alan Marcus, "Codas and their spouses". We will have workshops for both children and adults. The performance will be emceed by Keith Wann and have an open stage for you to come and share your hilarious stories. A children's show will also be led by Keith and Arlene. The panel discussion will be a great time for Deaf parents with young codas to ask questions...

It's now time to sign up at www.ASLcruise.com
A ny questions email Jen@ASLcruise.com

Your Coda - Keith Wann

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
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TWO YEARS IN MAKING, FILM TACKLES TEXAS

Journey Through Deaf Texas, a documentary about the history of the Texas Association of the Deaf since its 1886 founding, will make its world premiere June 11 in San Antonio. The film, a collaborative effort of TAD and Davideo Productions, was funded by the TAD and a grant from Travis County. Directed and edited by 24-year TV veteran David Pierce and researched and written by TAD President Stephen Baldwin, the film took two years to complete. It will debut at the 45th biennial TAD conference at the El Tropicana Riverwalk Hotel, said a news release.

GALLAUDET GUESTS ATTEND WHITE HOUSE POETRY JAM

The White House held its first "poetry jam" May 12 and five Gallaudet University students were on hand for the event. Jiayi Zhou, Audrey Pope, Alexander Abenchuchan, Kathleen Roberts and Alexandria Pucciarelli were chosen to attend after Gallaudet President Robert Davila received an invitation from the White House's special assistant for disability policy. According to a Gallaudet report, the students rubbed elbows with celebrities Spike Lee, James Earl Jones, George Stephanopolous and Zach Braff, and were welcomed by President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, who invited guests to "enjoy, have fun, be loose."

LUKE, MARGIE LOOK BACK IN 'AMAZEMENT'

Still feeling blue about deaf Luke Adams and his mother Margie after their last-minute letdown on The Amazing Race? Reality TV World interviewed the duo following their third-place finish on the May 10 finale, and TV Guide did, too. Read them and weep.

NEW BOOK UNCOVERS 200 YEARS OF DEAF POETRY

Gallaudet University Press announced in March the publication of Deaf American Poetry: An Anthology. The collection of 95 poems by 35 deaf American poets was edited by John Lee Clark, who said it shows a "remarkable parallel" to the verse of better-known poets throughout American history. Clark, a deaf and blind writer from St. Paul, Minn., selected poems that "reflect the sensibilities of their time" and mark the changes witnessed by deaf people, said a news release. The 280-page paperback is available for about $35 on Amazon.


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Want to motivate your ASL students to follow Deaf cultural norms? Need to make it less scary for your hearing students to attend Deaf events? Looking for “ready-made” materials to teach Deaf culture?

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A SIGN OF RESPECT:
Strategies for Effective Deaf/hearing Interactions
by Thomas K. Holcomb and Anna Mindess

This unique DVD presents 18 culturally challenging situations and allows viewers to pick from three possible solutions. Then narrator, Tom Holcomb explains why the answer selected is or isn’t correct. Try it yourself with a scene at www.treehousevideo.com.

The DVD/workbook set contains an interactive DVD and a 69-page workbook with readings and exercises to help instructors present an entire module on Deaf cultural behaviors and expectations for their ASL or Deaf Culture students. Topics include: choosing deaf events to attend, developing a good attitude, making appropriate introductions, asking a personal question, giving and receiving hugs, making deaf friends and many more. Workbook exercises are designed to be used by individual students as homework assignments and/or in-class activities.

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SPORTS
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TEXAS TEEN A FOOTBALL, TRACK STANDOUT

Cooper (Texas) High School student Carlos Woodard has been busy of late, said the April 28th Abilene Reporter News, competing on the school's track and field team and taking part in off-season football practices. Woodard, 19, is totally deaf but can still feel the vibration of starter pistols and appreciate the revelry of teammates. "I told him when he got here, it doesn't matter whether you can hear or not," said Cooper football coach Mike Spradlin. "That's the great thing about sports."

FREE ASL BASEBALL CLINIC OPEN TO KIDS 7-13

A baseball clinic for children ages 7-13 who are deaf or hard of hearing or use American Sign Language to communicate is scheduled for three Saturdays next month (June 6, 13 and 20, from 10 a.m. to noon) in Danvers, Mass. The free clinic is jointly sponsored by Boxford Baseball, Boxford Athletic Association and the Beverly School for the Deaf. ASL interpreters will be provided, and rides can be arranged for children who do not have transportation to Danvers. For more information, send an email to Anthony D'Ambrosio.

CHOIR SET TO PERFORM ANTHEM AT BASEBALL GAME

The 70-member Sign Choir from Eastover Elementary School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. was set to perform the National Anthem in sign language before Tuesday's Tigers game with the Texas Rangers at Detroit's Comerica Park. None of the performers opened their mouths during a recent warm-up show, said the Free Press, but instead communicated with their hands and facial expressions. Director Tony LaPerna Jr. said his choir would be the largest ever to perform the anthem before a Tigers game.


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Sorenson Video Relay Service® (SVRS®) is an industry leading communication tool for the deaf community provided by Sorenson Communications. Created with high-quality video technology, SVRS brings life into the conversations of our customers as they call family, friends, and business associates at no cost through a professional SVRS sign language interpreter and a cutting-edge videophone. SVRS is provided 24-hours a day, and 365 days a year, connecting the deaf and hard-of-hearing to anyone at their convenience. For more information, visit the SVRS Web site at www.sorensonvrs.com.

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Sign Language Inc presents CruisEUs 2009

Just south of the U.S. border lies a vibrant culture, world-class beaches, lush green rain forests, a a vividly painted architecture that will dazzle your eyes. Whether your idea of adventure is exploring a colonial city or discovering the joys of a siesta on a white-sand beach, a Mexican cruise vacation is "almost" perfect for you...making it PERFECT would be while at all these great locations, also attending workshops presented by Peter Cook, Byron Bridges, Mark Morales, Lynne Weisman, Emilia Lorenti-Wann and Keith Wann!

Costs for CruisEUs 2009 Workshops
$150 plus your cabin costs.

August 16, 2009 to August 23, 2009
Los Angeles, California
Cruising
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Mazatlan, Mexico
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Cruising
Cruising
Los Angeles, California

IF YOU NEED MORE INFORMATION, EMAIL EMILIA LORENTI-WANN cruiseus@cruiseus.net
or call (916) 412-6241

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EVENTS
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MISSOURI FUNDRAISER TO BENEFIT NAD

Brandon, Mo. will be the site of a fundraising event August 8 for the National Association of the Deaf. The Midwest DeaFest, hosted by the Arkansas Association of the Deaf, will feature emcee Michael Davis and guest speaker Bobbie Beth Scoggins, the NAD president. Dinner is $30 (deadline June 15), entertainment is $20, and a combo ticket is $45. Click here to access a web page with a PDF registration form.

WRAD PLANS NEW YEAR'S CRUISE

WRAD organization has announced plans for a New Year's cruise to Cozumel, Mexico and Belize City, sailing out of Miami on December 28 and returning January 2, 2010. Navigator of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean Cruise Line ship, is the venue, and travelers will enjoy sign-language interpreters and captioning at selected performances. WRAD, which hosted a Halloween cruise last fall with 225 attendees, will host a private New Year's Eve party. A $100 deposit will hold your space and you can make monthly payments. Visit Deaf Travel Club to learn more.


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READER RESPONSE
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'CONSTANTLY NEGATIVE, INCITES HATRED'

I find the newsletter constantly negative. It only incites hatred towards those who hear. I would LOVE to read some good news instead of all the bad news and terrible things happening to the Deaf..

-- LOIS DIAMOND

Editor replies: Readers, do you agree? Yes or no, please send your comments to mail@deafweekly.com and we'll print some next week.

VIDEOPHONES, VRS & COURT ORDERS

Re: Video Death Threats Lead to Boy's Arrest (May 13):

Amendment 4 says law enforcement officers have the right to get a search warrant to search a suspect's home, or get a court order to obtain classified information from a company, the question is...are video phone companies excluded from this?

-- IRENE TUNANIDAS

Editor replies: Sorenson initially refused to release information about this incident and complied only after a court order was obtained.


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EMPLOYMENT
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POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT

POSITION: Technology Teacher

DATE POSITION TO BE FILLED: September 1, 2009

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES:
Teach a variety of courses to Deaf students, with technology as the primary focus. Serve as a resource to teachers and students in the area of technology. Serve on Technology Curriculum Committee. Participate in weekly team meetings with other staff members to plan programs, behavior management techniques, and strategies for student success. Follow required NYS curriculum standards and prepare students for required NYS assessment tests. Write and implement student IEPs.

DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS:
Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Education of the Deaf or computer technology. New York State certification as a teacher or the ability to obtain same. Previous experience working with Deaf students and classroom integration of technology. Advanced Rating on the SCPI.

FILE APPLICATION WITH:
Harold Mowl, Jr., Superintendent/CEO
Rochester School for the Deaf
1545 St. Paul Street
Rochester, New York 14621

Applications received will be screened and the most highly qualified will be asked to interview.

CLOSING DATE: Open until filled

RSD is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in employment on the basis of non-qualifying disability, race, religion, color, sex, marital status, age, national origin, and veteran status.

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Purple Communications
JOB DESCRIPTION

JOB TITLE: Manager, Customer Care
DEPARTMENT: Customer Care
REPORTS TO: Director, Customer Care
FLSA STATUS: Exempt
SUPERVISES: Supervisor, Customer Care; Customer Care Representatives I, II & III

POSITION SUMMARY:
Under broad supervision, plans, organizes and directs the activities of the Customer Care department in implementing post-sale marketing strategies and providing technical product support to customers. Employees in this job class establish processes and procedures to ensure timely delivery of products and overall customer satisfaction. This job requires technical and operational knowledge of the company’s products and video relay services, the skill to lead staff in attaining objectives, the ability to work with diverse populations, and excellent customer service skills.

TYPICAL DUTIES:
* Manage departmental call staff, and ensure their competence and motivation through effective hiring, training, coaching, and performance management.
* Manage a variety of large and small departmental projects such as integrating new systems, services and technical improvements.
* Implement departmental goals and delivery expectations. Establish departmental policies and procedures consistent with company processes, rules and regulations; and ensure adherence while maintaining a high level of customer service.
* Respond to escalated customer care issues, complaints and questions; and work with staff to resolve.
* Deliver departmental communication directives to external customers.
* Develop departmental improvements in training, mentorship, quality processes, career paths and performance reviews.
* Forecast headcount and overall efficiency based on operational statistics such as average speed answered, abandoned calls, and win backs.
* Manage customer retention and other loyalty programs.
* Provide training to department staff in technical and product knowledge and in providing excellent customer service.
* Conduct and participate in a variety of meetings including regular staff meetings.
* Act as an information source regarding Customer Care department operations.
*Administer human resource programs and address employee relations issues under the guidance of Human Resources Department personnel.
* Perform other duties and special projects as assigned.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:
* Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management, or comparable related experience
* At least 5 years of supervisory experience in customer service, and experience troubleshooting computer systems and phone/video equipment.
* Knowledge of both PC and Mac operating platforms. Knowledge of computer software and video equipment installation.
* High level of computer literacy of specialized software related to departmental operations including database, Email, Internet, spreadsheet, and word processing programs.
* Ability to effectively supervise and develop assigned staff to meet production goals and departmental goals/objectives in a high volume call environment.
* Knowledge of departmental operations, organization policies, applicable laws, procedures, and processes
* Human relations skills to build effective working relationships with staff, management, vendors and others.
* Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing; and present information and respond to questions from clients, customers, managers, and others.
* American Sign Language (ASL) proficiency
* Familiarity with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Regulations
* Mathematical skills to include the ability to apply concepts such as fractions, percentages, ratios, and proportions to practical situations.
* Time management skills to handle multiple, competing priorities and work effectively under pressure.
* Human Resources Management skills to hire and train employees, appraise work performance, address employee relations issues, and resolve problems.
* Business management skills to establish priorities and effectively supervise and develop assigned staff to attain optimum skill and performance levels.
* Demonstrated organizational, problem solving and analytical skills.

To apply for this position, please go to www.purple.us and click on the “career” and “search listings” tabs.

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Tier 2 Customer Care Representative

Reports to: Call Center Director
Department: Cust Care
FLSA Status:
Location: Rocklin

About Purple Communications:

Purple Communications is one of the nation's largest providers of communication services for the deaf, hard of hearing, and speech-disabled communities. As a leading provider of onsite interpreting services, video relay and text relay services, and video remote interpreting, the Company delivers a wide array of options designed to meet the varied communication needs of its customers.

Purple Communications’ vision is to improve the quality of life of its customers by being their premier provider of high quality, innovative communication services that break down communications barriers.

We are experiencing tremendous growth and are looking to add strong expertise to our world-class teams!

Brief summary of duties:
Assist in troubleshooting complex home router issues, working with ISP on some barriers occurring in their network for the home users to use Video Relay Services. Supporting sales engineer with some projects. Do extensive testing with home based routers to duplicate problems in the field to find the best solution
Areas of Responsibility:
· Uses knowledge of H.323, SIP to support home based users and small businesses environment
· Test and evaluates network configurations to eliminate problems and make improvements.
· Assist customers with connectivity issues
· Advise customers on how best to use the products or services provided.
· Use technical skills to demonstrate to potential customers how and why product/services suit the end user’s needs better than competitor’s products
· Using “consultative” style to focus on customer’s/client’s particular environment and show how it best be configured for the products and services
· Help customer solve any problems that arises when the product is installed
· Proficient with all videophone on the market for the deaf
· Support sales engineer with testing and documentations
· Research into patterns of common issues that is being seen out in the field
· Support our outreach representative out in the field
· Installing as needed where an outreach installer may not be available
· Provide top level technical support for all inbound callers
· Resolve complex network, router and firewall support
· Conduct technical training workshops for Customer Care
· Keep abreast of current video and technology trends

Minimum Qualification Requirements:
· Knowledge and ability to use American Sign Language (ASL) and Knowledge of Internet Video technology is a must
· Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology or equivalent experience
· Ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot majority of home based routers.
· Working knowledge of appropriate network technology and network applications such as TCP/IP
· At least 1 year related experience with customer care
· Customer facing communication skills
· Must be willing to work at nights and weekends.
· Advanced knowledge of PC and MAC platforms
· Industry knowledge of firewalls, routers, switches
· 1+ years of technical troubleshooting experience with emphasis on customer satisfaction
· Video conferencing technical knowledge ( h.323, SIP, h.264 )
· A+ Certification a plus
· Excellent presentation skills
· Excellent writing and grammar skills

Preferred Qualifications:
· Knowledge of Deaf Culture

Physical Requirements: 
Employees may experience the following physical demands for extended periods of time: 
· Sitting, standing and walking (95-100%)
· Keyboarding (60-80%)
· Viewing computer monitor, videophone, and pager requiring close vision (60-80%)

Work Environment: 
Work is performed in a customer care environment. Some travel to company, customer and vendor sites, including some that are out of state may be required.

Disclaimer: 
The above information on this description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification.  It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of employees to this job.  Employees are expected to follow their supervisor’s instructions and to perform the tasks requested by their supervisors.

Purple Communications is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Principals only please.

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Tier 3 Customer Care Rep.

Reports to: Director of Customer Care
Department: Technology
FLSA Status: Exempt
Location: Rocklin, CA

About Purple Communications:

Purple Communications is one of the nation's largest providers of communication services for the deaf, hard of hearing, and speech-disabled communities. As a leading provider of onsite interpreting services, video relay and text relay services, and video remote interpreting, the Company delivers a wide array of options designed to meet the varied communication needs of its customers.

Purple Communications’ vision is to improve the quality of life of its customers by being their premier provider of high quality, innovative communication services that break down communications barriers.

We are experiencing tremendous growth and are looking to add strong expertise to our world-class teams!

Brief summary of duties:
Assist in troubleshooting complex home router issues, working with ISP on some barriers occurring in their network for the home users to use Video Relay Services. Supporting sales engineer with some projects. Do extensive testing with home based routers to duplicate problems in the field to find the best solution

Areas of Responsibility:
Uses knowledge of H.323, SIP to support home based users and small businesses environment
Test and evaluates network configurations to eliminate problems and make improvements.
Assist customers with connectivity issues
Advise customers on how best to use the products or services provided.
Use technical skills to demonstrate to potential customers how and why product/services suit the end user’s needs better than competitor’s products
Using “consultative” style to focus on customer’s/client’s particular environment and show how it best be configured for the products and services
Assist with maintaining current customers with Tier 2 support
Help customer solve any problems that arises when the product is installed
Proficient with all videophone on the market for the deaf
Support sales engineer with testing and documentations
Research into patterns of common issues that is being seen out in the field
Support our outreach representative out in the field
Installing as needed where an outreach installer may not be available
Provide top level technical support for all inbound callers
Resolve complex network, router and firewall support
Conduct technical training workshops for Customer Care
Keep abreast of current video and technology trends

Minimum Qualification Requirements:
Knowledge and ability to use ASL strongly preferred
Knowledge of Internet Video technology is a must
Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology or equivalent experience
Ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot majority of home based routers.
Working knowledge of appropriate network technology and network applications such as TCP/IP
At least 1 year related experience with customer care
Customer facing communication skills
Must be willing to work at nights and weekends.
Advanced knowledge of PC and MAC platforms
Industry knowledge of firewalls, routers, switches
1+ years of technical troubleshooting experience with emphasis on customer satisfaction
Video conferencing technical knowledge ( h.323, SIP, h.264 )
A+ Certification a plus
Excellent presentation skills
Excellent writing and grammar skills

Preferred Qualifications:
Knowledge of American Sign Language and Deaf Culture, preferred

Physical Requirements: 
Employees may experience the following physical demands for extended periods of time: 
· Sitting, standing and walking (95-100%)
· Keyboarding (60-80%)
· Viewing computer monitor, videophone, and pager requiring close vision (60-80%)
 
Work Environment: 
Work is performed in a customer care environment. Some travel to company, customer and vendor sites, including some that are out of state may be required.

Disclaimer: 
The above information on this description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification.  It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of employees to this job.  Employees are expected to follow their supervisor’s instructions and to perform the tasks requested by their supervisors.
 
For more information on Purple Communications or its services, visit http://www.Purple.us or contact Purple Communications directly at TTY 201-527-1520, voice 201-996-1717, Internet Relay by visiting http://www.i711.com or http://www.ip-relay.com, or video phone by connecting to hovrs.tv.

TO APPLY:
Please submit your resume to:
jobs@purple.us
Please note job title in Subject line

Purple Communications is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Principals Only

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