May 23, 2012
Vol. 8, No. 28
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 PROTESTERS SAY HOSPITAL RELIES TOO MUCH ON VRIs / Peoria
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NAD SENDS MIXED MESSAGE ON CIVIL RIGHTS
The NAD invited Dennis Daugaard, the governor of South Dakota, to present a prominent speech at the upcoming conference in Louisville on the subject of how deaf people can become more involved in the political process. This invitation generated furor within the deaf community surrounding Daugaard’s position on gay marriage and the closing of the South Dakota School for the Deaf. Why should NAD members care about Daugaard’s position on same sex marriage? Because the NAD’s invitation and response leaves us with some damning messages. / Deaf Politics
WERE DEAF MAN'S RIGHTS VIOLATED?
"It's like I'm nothing; it's just that simple. I feel like I'm nothing," Andy Scofield said through a sign language interpreter. Why would Scofield, a fourth generation deaf person, feel that way? He said it's because of what happened when he and his three children took their deaf dog, Glacier, for a walk. / FOX 26
DEAF BRADLEY MAN SENTENCED TO 8 MONTHS FOR SEX ABUSE; SIGNS TEARFUL APOLOGY IN COURT
A Bradley man was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison with all but eight months suspended for sexually abusing a female relative in 2008 and 2009. Timothy Damien, 44, also was sentenced to four years of probation. Damien pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of unlawful sexual contact, both Class C crimes, as his trial was about to begin. Through an ASL interpreter, Damien, who was born deaf, issued a tearful apology to his now 16-year-old victim at his sentencing. / Bangor Daily News
TEXAS SCHOOL DISTRICT PULLS YEARBOOKS FOR USING 'MENTALLY RETARDED' TO DESCRIBE SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS
A Texas school district has been forced to pull yearbooks at Dallas-area Mesquite High School after it described students with special needs as “mentally retarded.” The contested language was denounced by parents, forcing the Mesquite Independent School District to apologize for a section dedicated to students with disabilities. The section read that “some of the disabilities the students in the Special Education Program have are being blind, deaf or non-verbal,” said district spokeswoman Laura Jobe. / NY Daily News
West Hartford, CT
AMERICAN SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF BREAKS GROUND FOR NEW BUILDING
A crowd of several hundred students, teachers, alumni, administrators, board members, and dignitaries gathered Monday morning at the American School for the Deaf for a ceremonial groundbreaking for the school's state-of-the-art education facility. Onlookers were shielded from the sudden rainfall by a large tent as a team of teachers, students, and others donned hardhats and put their shovels to the dirt. / Patch.com
Sands Point, NY
$6 MILLION GIFT FOR THE HELEN KELLER NATIONAL CENTER
The Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults (HKNC) has received a $6 million gift from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. Operated by Helen Keller Services For The Blind and authorized by an Act of Congress in 1967, HKNC is the only national vocational and rehabilitation organization that exclusively serves individuals with combined vision and hearing loss. The funds from this grant will be used to establish the Information, Research and Professional Development department. / PRWeb
NEW SCHOOL FOR DEAF STUDENTS ONE STEP CLOSER TO REALITY
A new school for students who attend Rocky Mountain Deaf School is one step closer to reality. The school is currently holding classes in a strip mall in Golden. The director said they’ve outgrown the space and it is falling apart. The school wants to relocate to the Hutchinson Park area. People who live in the neighborhood believe the school will bring things they don’t want like traffic congestion and disruption to wildlife. / CBS Denver
Silver Spring, MD
NAD ANNOUNCES FIRST BLOCH LEADERSHIP & ADVOCACY SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is pleased to announce that Lisa Bothwell, a fourth-year law student at Loyola University in New Orleans, is the first recipient of the Nancy J. Bloch Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship. Bothwell recently completed her tenure as a student attorney at the Loyola Law Clinic. As a student attorney, she handled fair housing discrimination complaints and represented indigent clients in cases where landlords withheld security deposits. / NAD
Des Moines, IA
DEAF IOWANS BENEFIT FROM SPECIAL SMOKE ALARM PROJECT
An effort is underway to install special smoke alarms in the homes of deaf and hard of hearing Iowans. Iowa State Fire Marshal Ray Reynolds was on hand Tuesday as electricians installed one of the alarms, equipped with a strobe light, in the Des Moines home of Dale and Donna Kern. A grant from State Farm Insurance has allowed the Fire Marshal’s office to purchase 171 strobe light alarms, which cost $150 per unit. / Radio Iowa
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New Delhi, India
DEAF, DUMB CAN BE KEY WITNESS, SAYS APEX COURT
Gone are the days when law considered a deaf and dumb person an “idiot," the Supreme Court said in a judgment on Monday. Stating that a court can bank on a deaf and dumb person as a star witness in a criminal trial, a bench of Justices B S Chauhan and Dipak Misra said statutes have changed to embrace the scientific fact that such people are “generally found more intelligent and susceptible to higher culture than one was once supposed." / Indian Express
SMALL ROOM ROOM HOUSE BUILT FOR FAMILY WITH DEAF PARENTS
The team at Takeshi Hosaka Architects underwent the task of building a beautiful contemporary home in Tokyo Japan that was specifically designed for children that live with their 2 deaf parents. It can be quite the challenge to communicate without verbal signals through a dwelling, which is why this entire home was built with this in mind. / Inthralld
DEAF CHILDREN SET TO LOSE VITAL SUPPORT, CLAIMS CHARITY
Deaf children in Notts are set to lose vital support which helps them develop, a charity has claimed. Speech and language therapists, who help children and adults to learn how to communicate, are to be made redundant at the Nottingham Cochlear Implant Centre based at The Ropewalk. The National Deaf Children's Society claimed the centre is to axe a third of its staff, but this has been denied by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust which runs the centre. / This is Nottingham
Calgary, AB, Canada
CALGARY SCHOOL FINDS SUCCESS WITH DEAF STUDENTS
Sheila Klassen was stunned when she found out she had been awarded a $2,000 scholarship to Mount Royal University. “I was shocked, I could not believe it,” Sheila says. “My family could not believe it — it was wonderful.” While an unexpected scholarship would elicit an enthusiastic response from anyone, it’s easy to see how the moment might be sweeter for Sheila. The 17-year-old Calgary girl is deaf, and for that reason, school has never been easy for her. / Calgary Herald
THE GREATEST RUGBY STORY YOU'VE NEVER HEARD
The faces. That was the worst part for the deaf players in the St George rugby third grade team - which was most of them. They didn't get to hear the final whistle in the grand final, couldn't hear it, but they suspected that an almighty dream had come crashing down in that instant. On this brisk September Sydney afternoon, it was the way their teammates looked to the floor, drowning in disappointment. In that split-second, they had to scan their mates’ faces. The dream, gone. / News.com.au
DEAF BASKETBALLER BOUNCES TALENT
Morgan Williams may be the best basketballer Gladstone has produced. And it just so happens he is hearing-impaired. Williams, 20, was selected to play basketball for Australia in 2010 and tomorrow will board a plane to Seoul for the Asia Pacific Deaf Games. "When I found out I had the chance to play for Australia it overwhelmed me," Williams said. "I didn't know what to do." / Fraser Coast Chronicle
Changsha, Hunan province, China
DEAF ART ON EXHIBITION IN CENTRAL CHINA
An exhibition of art created by young deaf people opened Thursday in central China's Hunan province, marking the largest exhibition of its kind to take place in the country. About 30 deaf artists have contributed around 200 works of art, including paintings, calligraphy, carvings, photographs and handicrafts, to be displayed at the exhibition, which will run from May 17 to 20 in the provincial capital of Changsha. / China Daily
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LIFE & LEISURE
Menlo Park, CA
GOOGLE GLASSES PATENT HINTS AT SPEECH-TO-TEXT DISPLAY FOR DEAF USERS
Google is bulking up on patents to protect its new augmented reality glasses project from legal attack, with at least nine new patents issued in the past week to cover various aspects of the futuristic devices. Perhaps most interestingly, one patent shows Google is working on a system to help hard-of-hearing and deaf users detect and interpret nearby sounds. The glasses' heads-up display would show arrows and flashing lights to indicate the direction and intensity level of the sound, and even display the words nearby people are speaking. / Ars Technica
PA. SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF TO HOST FIRST-EVER ON-CAMPUS PROM WITH A 'HOLLYWOOD' TWIST
Students at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf rolled out the red carpet for their prom last Saturday. The PSD's prom theme this year was "Hollywood," and students and staff were similarly excited for the event, the first to be held on the school's Germantown campus. Unlike archetypal high school prom offerings, where separate events are held for junior and senior classes, the intimate size of the PSD necessitates a departure from traditional grade delineations. / NewsWorks
AMHERST FAMILY CAN'T HEAR BUT THAT DOESN'T STOP THEM
It's dinnertime at the Wantucks and it looks just like every other household only at the Wantuck's everyone is deaf. They communicate by sign language, even with the family dog. / WKBW
West Milford, NJ
ANIMAL SHELTER LOOKING FOR HOME FOR DEAF DOG
The West Milford Animal Shelter Society (WMASS) is hoping to find just the right home for one of its resident canines that has charmed the hearts of its volunteers. Holly is a playful and sweet-natured white Boxer mix, who due to her deafness will require the care of an experienced and attentive owner. / NorthJersey.com
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BLIND AMERICAN VETERANS TRAINED TO MAKE PHONE CALLS FOR DEAF AMERICAN VETERANS
Emory Finefrock, 89, a blind Navy veteran from Yukon, Oklahoma has been in training for weeks and is now preparing himself to make phones call to the White House and to the Romney campaign, acting as a relay operator for a deaf American veteran. / PRWeb
CAN WE MAKE DEAF EMPLOYEE -- AND HIS BOSS -- LEARN AND COMMUNICATE WITH SIGN LANGAUGE?
Q. We recently hired a deaf employee who communicates exclusively by written notes. We are finding that this process is time-consuming and harms productivity. May we require the deaf worker and his supervisor to learn sign language? A. Employers generally have the right to require employees -- especially managers -- to acquire the skills the employer believes are necessary to effectively perform the functions of the job. Requiring the deaf worker to learn sign language, on the other hand, may lead to legal liability. / Business Management Daily
At 21, I’m the youngest employee at 1000memories, the startup where I work1. I’m also their first deaf employee. At a startup, I likely always will be the first. For a startup to succeed, the team must communicate well together. Since I can’t hear, that presents a large challenge for my employers. On top of that, there are certain things about being deaf that people have never considered, understate, or are mistaken about — so I must clear up exactly what being deaf means. / David Peter
ROANOKE'S TOP TEACHER HAS SPECIAL GIFT
Tracey Nielsen has worked for 15 years teaching preschool-aged deaf children at Roanoke's Virginia Heights Elementary School -- but it wasn't until her now-3-year-old daughter came to her through foster care a little more than two years ago that she realized parents needed education too. Nielsen started inviting parents of her students into the classroom for sign language classes so they could speak to their children at home using what they learned at school. / The Roanoke Times
San Francisco, CA
YOU'VE GOT ... MELODY AND RUSSELL STEIN
Husband-and-wife restaurateurs Melody and Russell Stein, who are deaf, sign about how they were able to create a successful pizzeria. The Steins opened Mozzeria in San Francisco's Mission neighborhood in December 2011. / Huffington Post
Mountain Lakes, NJ
DEAF FBI AGENT SHARES STORY WITH MOUNTAIN LAKES STUDENTS
Former FBI agent Sue Thomas on Friday told students at Mountain Lakes High School how she landed her barrier-breaking job. Thomas,who was born with hearing, was the first deaf person to work as an undercover investigator doing lip-reading of suspects for the FBI. She was the keynote speaker at the Lake Drive Foundation’s For the Babies Gala on Thursday night. / Daily Record
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
HEARING-IMPAIRED NEW HAMPSHIRE BOY INSPIRES NEW MARVEL COMICS SUPERHERO
Marvel Comics has created a superhero called "Blue Ear" in honor of Anthony Smith, a 4-year-old boy from Salem, N.H., who was born with a chromosomal disorder that left him with severe hearing loss. The boy, who has no right ear and only partial hearing in his left, wears a blue hearing aid that has enabled him to speak and attend school. But Anthony -- a devoted comic book fan -- told his mother three weeks ago that he was no longer wearing the device because "superheroes don't wear blue ears." / Fox News
OU LANCASTER DEAF STUDIES STUDENTS INTERPRET 'THE MOUSETRAP'
One showing of the Ohio University Lancaster Theater’s The Mousetrap will be done in a different language--sign language. For the first time, students in the deaf studies program will be interpreting the play using American Sign Language. "I think it’s really exciting," said Becky Brooks, interim coordinator of the deaf studies program. / WOUB
Mount Tamalpais, Calif.
SIGN-LANGUAGE ACTOR RE-CREATES MOUNTAIN PLAY FOR THEATERGOERS
With Sunday's opening of the 99th Mountain Play, "The Music Man," Patricia Sirianni will be performing in multiple roles — all of them. This will be the 32nd year she has interpreted the annual outdoor musical on Mount Tamalpais for a special audience: the deaf and hearing impaired. The San Anselmo resident, who is herself hard of hearing, translates the script and the musical score in American Sign Language, a subject she teaches at College of Marin. / Marin Independent Journal
Cedar Rapids, IA
'DEAF POETS SOCIETY': SOLO PERFORMANCE CASTS LIGHT INTO SHADOWY REALM
When psychologist Nancy Margulies stepped into her deaf clients’ world in the ’70s and ’80s, their stories shattered the silence. Margulies, now 64, was fresh out of college. Her clients were born into poverty and abandoned to a mental hospital in St. Louis. Together, they embarked on an educational journey that Margulies, daughter of Joan Thaler of Cedar Rapids, has turned into a one-person show she calls “Deaf Poets Society.” / Eastern Iowa Life
San Jose, CA
SAN LEANDRO NATIVE BECOMES THE VOICE FOR CELEBRATED ACTRESS
Jack Jason loves to talk. Ask the former San Leandro resident one question, and you're instantly cruising on a jet stream of words, jokes, and anecdotes. When Jason was a young boy, his chatter got him in trouble. But later, it put him in front of millions of television viewers and face-to-face with Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin. Jason began working as Matlin's sign language interpreter in 1985, meeting her through actor William Hurt, who starred with her in "Children of a Lesser God." / San Jose Mercury News
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Q&A: LANCE ALLRED
Kyoto Hannaryz center Lance Allred took time out of his busy schedule to discuss the upcoming bj-league (Basketball Japan League) Final Four, the culture of basketball in Japan, the challenges of playing with a hearing impairment and much more. Allred represented Kyoto in the ’11-12 All-Star Game. As the NBA’s first legally deaf player, Allred also participated on Team USA’s silver-winning squad in the 2002 World Deaf Basketball Championship in Athens. / SLAM Online
New Britain, CT
HEARING LOSS DOES NOT STOP NB'S GROMAN
The prognosis of Jenny Groman’s doctors was spot on. The New Britain softball player contracted spinal meningitis at birth, a condition that deprived her of her hearing. Her mother Mary was told that by the age of 21, Jenny probably would be totally deaf. But with graduation from Sports and Medical Sciences Academy coming on June 12, and softballs zipping off her bat as a result of her diligent training regimen, Jenny has a new lease on life. / New Britain City Journal
TWO TEAMS WITH DEAF ATHLETES TO COMPETE IN SKI TO SEA
During Ski to Sea, folks might see some competitors quickly kiss the back of their fist before pulling it down and away from their face. It's a symbol of their love of sign language and of deaf pride. "It's a cool sign -- and this is the team camaraderie that I love!" Cara Frank, team captain for the Ski to Sea team The Grateful Deaf, said in an email interview. Two teams with deaf athletes will compete in this year's relay race. / The Bellingham Herald
ERIN LAFAVE SMASHES HER OWN RIT AND U.S. DEAF ATHLETE MARK
Junior Erin LaFave smashed the RIT and United States Deaf Athlete record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase for the second straight week, as the RIT women's track and field team competed in day one of the 2012 ECAC Championships hosted by Rensselaer at Ned Harkness Field on Thursday on Friday. / RIT
DEAF LESBIAN FESTIVAL COMING TO CHICAGO
The seventh biennial Deaf Lesbian Festival is coming to the Midwest for the first time, featuring workshops, entertainment, socializing, sightseeing and more. The four-day DLF is July 18-21 at the Center on Halsted in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood. "The Deaf Lesbian Festival is a celebration of who we are," said Debby Sampson, DLF 2012 committee chairperson. / Windy City Times
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