June 4, 2014
Vol. 10, No. 31
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 2014 and any unauthorized use is prohibited.
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Last issue's most-read story: VIDEO REVEALS WHAT IT'S LIKE TO LISTEN TO SOUND USING A COCHLEAR IMPLANT / Daily Mail
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BABYSITTER WHO LET BABY DROWN IN TUB GETS 15 YEARS IN PRISON
A judge sentenced a 20-year-old deaf babysitter to 15 years in prison for spending time on Facebook while, in the other room, a 9-month-old baby drowned in the bathtub. Mariah Berry pleaded no contest to aggravated manslaughter in March. Assistant State Attorney Sara Shumway asked that Berry be sent to prison for 14 years, the lowest punishment recommended by state sentencing guidelines. But Circuit Judge John Galluzzo opted for 15 years, calling what happened a tragedy and saying that he had little recourse but to punish her for the baby's death. / Orlando Sentinel
GREENSBORO'S BELL PARTNERS TO PAY $190K IN FAIR HOUSING COMPLAINT
Greensboro-based Bell Partners is the first apartment management company to settle anti-discrimination complaints after a nationwide study showed that some large apartment companies treated deaf or partially deaf callers differently than hearing callers who were inquiring about rentals. The National Fair Housing Alliance investigated 117 companies that owned 715 apartment complexes and found reason to file nine complaints with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. / The News-Record
DEAF AND BLIND STUDENTS PROTEST NEW SCHOOL POLICY
Students at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind left class in protest on Monday to fight a new policy that requires on-campus caretakers to obtain degrees, and could ultimately push out school employees who have worked closely with the students for years. In March, the state Board of Education approved a plan that will require the school’s 35 “dorm parents” – caretakers who provide basic assistance for deaf and blind students who live on campus outside of instruction time – to get associate degrees in child development by 2018 in order to keep their jobs. / The Charleston Gazette
JUDGE: DEAF DRIVER'S RIGHTS NOT VIOLATED BY BOONTON POLICE
Boonton police did not violate a deaf motorist’s rights when they could not provide her with an ASL interpreter to explain the consequences of refusing to take a breath test for suspected drunken driving, a state Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday. Judge Mary Gibbons Whipple rejected Kelly Romano’s claims that Boonton police discriminated against her as a disabled person on May 26, 2012, when they failed to bring in an interpreter after arresting her for suspected DWI. / Daily Record
PARENTS OF DEAF BOY SUE GREENSBURG FOR NOT PROVIDING SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETER FOR SOCCER LEAGUE
The parents of an 8-year-old boy who is deaf are suing Greensburg for failing to provide an interpreter for the child while he plays in the city soccer program. The suit was filed Thursday in federal court in Pittsburgh. The parents asked the court to rule the city discriminated against the boy by not supplying an ASL interpreter and to order the city to supply one in the future. But the city contends it is under no obligation to provide an interpreter for a non-resident playing in a voluntary league. / Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Las Vegas, NV
CLAIM OVER INTERPRETER FOR DEAF PATIENT REVIVED
A deaf man can pursue claims against a Nevada doctor who allegedly refused to provide a sign-language interpreter to his deaf wife before she died of cancer, the 9th Circuit ruled Thursday. The federal complaint in Las Vegas alleges that the Pahrump-based Desert View Regional Medical Center and Dr. Georges Tannoury consistently and for several years refused to provide an ASL interpreter for Charlene Ervine's appointments. Charlene's husband, Sie, is also deaf. / Courthouse News Service
DEAF MAN CLAIMS HE LOST JOB DUE TO DISABILITY
A deaf man says he lost his job due to his disability and his repeated requests for phone equipment that would be compatible with his hearing aids. David Coltrane began working with Heartland Payment Systems on Oct. 15, 2012. He says he told his supervisor he would need a phone that had Bluetooth wireless capability that would work with his hearing aids. Although he was promised he would be provided with the equipment, Coltrane was not given access to it, the suit states. / Southeast Texas Record
GALLAUDET RECOGNIZED FOR EFFORTS TO COMBAT SEXUAL MISCONDUCT ON CAMPUS
Sexual assault on college campuses has been making headlines in recent months due to the re-engagement of the White House and Federal Government to create safer campus communities. For years, Gallaudet has been designing and implementing creative and collaborative ways to approach this very serious issue on its Washington, D.C. campus. / Gallaudet
Fort Drum, NY
FORT DRUM HONORS 8-YEAR-OLD GIRL'S HEROIC ACT
Last month 8-year-old Jazlynn Weintraub made a crucial call to 911. She found her deaf mother in the bathtub, unable to get up. Through an interpreter, Jazlynn's mother described the emergency. "What happened was I lost my balance," said Christy Weintraub. "I tried to grab the towel rack, but I fell." Luckily, Jazlynn was there to help. / Time Warner Cable News
New York, NY
SILVER ALERT: RUBEN NUNEZ, 69-YEAR-OLD DEAF MUTE
Authorities are turning to the public in their search for Ruben Nunez, a 69-year-old man last seen Sunday afternoon on Ocean Avenue and Avenue R. Nunez, who is deaf and mute, and takes medication for hypertension, disappeared sometime after 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. He was last seen wearing a green shirt, blue pants and brown sandals. / Sheepshead Bay News Blog
MSD GRADS TOLD TO PRESERVE DEAF CULTURE, PREPARE FOR CHALLENGES
The 27 students who graduated Saturday from the Maryland School for the Deaf were told to preserve the deaf culture and not give up their dreams. "You will be challenged. You will be told, 'Deaf people can't do that,'" said Howard Rosenblum, CEO of the National Association of the Deaf. "Do we put our dreams on hold? No." While Rosenblum and others signed, an interpreter shared their words with the hearing audience. / The Frederick News-Post
St. Augustine, FL
FSDB HOLDS COMMENCEMENT EXERCISE FOR 100TH TIME
Friday afternoon the seniors at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind demonstratively told the real world “here we are now, entertain us” at the school’s 100th commencement ceremony in St. Augustine. This group of young men and women, who aspire to become engineers, horticulturalists, law enforcers, teachers of future students of their alma mater and much more, filled four rows in the center of the Claude R. Kirk Jr. Auditorium. / The St. Augustine Record
DEAF VALEDICTORIAN DELIVERS INSPIRATIONAL SPEECH
“Who could ever have imagined someone like me would make it this far?” asked Evan Mercer last week during his high school graduation speech as class valedictorian. Mercer offered classic advice to his fellow classmates to never give up -- except the words meant much more coming from him. That's because Mercer is deaf, and he told the story of the serious setbacks he faced to graduate first in his class at Harrison High School in Kennesaw, Georgia. / Yahoo! News
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DEAF WOMAN BARRED FROM SITTING ON A QUEENSLAND JURY
A Queensland judge has ruled that a deaf woman cannot serve on a jury because of her disability. Justice James Douglas told the court that while the woman can lip-read, she’s incapable of performing the functions of a juror because she needed an interpreter. Lawyers have defended the move, but the disability discrimination commissioner Graeme Innes says the decision is not supported by evidence. / ABC.net
MAN CLEARED OF MURDERING ACCLAIMED DEAF ACTOR
A Crouch End man accused of killing a deaf Shakespeare actor with a single punch broke down in tears as he walked free from court. Matthew Powe was acquitted of murder and the lesser alternative of manslaughter at the Old Bailey jury on Monday. The 30-year-old had told the court he was acting in self defence when hit Vitalis Katakinas at a pub on June 29 last year. Mr Katakinas suffered severe head injuries and died a week later. / Islington Gazette
GOVERNMENT BOWS TO PRESSURE FROM DEAF LOBBY OVER ACCESS TO WORK
The minister for disabled people appears to have bowed to pressure from Deaf campaigners over new rules that made it harder for them to secure the support they needed to communicate in the workplace. The new government guidance, introduced last year, meant that any deaf person who needed more than 30 hours a week of communication support through the Access to Work (AtW) scheme had to employ their own full-time communication support worker on a salary. / DisabledGo News Blog
DAVID ELLINGTON ON HIS BRISTOL DEAF CLUB DOCUMENTARY
In this BSL video, director David Ellington tells us why he is making a short documentary about Bristol's Centre for Deaf People. The documentary will be called Lost Community, and it will be available here on the BSL Zone soon. The documentary is being made with the BSLBT's funding for web clips, and in the video, David explains what his most difficult moments have been, and the effect he is hoping the film will have. / BSL Zone
POLICEMAN RESCUED DEAF DOG FROM RIVER THAMES
A Spelthorne policeman rescued a young dog's life at the weekend when she got stuck in the River Thames. PC Alex Savage saw Lottie struggling in the river near to Thameside on Saturday (May 31) and waded in to pull her from the water. The lost Staffordshire bull terrier, who is also deaf, was coaxed out of the river by PC Savage and returned to her family. / Get Surrey
Nova Scotia, Canada
911 TEXTING CELEBRATED BY DEAF COMMUNITY IN NOVA SCOTIA
Starting in the new year people in Nova Scotia will be able to text 911, a coup for those who can’t hear or speak. Jim McDermott, who is deaf, welcomes the change because currently he can’t call for help during emergencies. “I was driving on the highway and saw a car off the road...I want to call into 911. Right now there's very little I can do,” he said. / CBC News
COLLEGE GIRLS DEVELOP APP FOR HEARING- AND SPEECH-IMPAIRED PEOPLE
A team of four girls from the city-based Vishwakarma Institute of Information Technology (VIIT) have developed an android app to bridge the communication gap that exists between hearing and speech impaired people and normal beings. This unique app converts sign language into speech that actually helps a hearing and speech impaired person to talk to others who don't understand sign language. / DNA
DEAF-MUTE 'RAPIST' BEATEN TILL ARREST
In a dramatic showdown, members of a local women's organisation dragged a 25-year-old deaf-mute man to Bhosari police station while beating him with their chappals, after allegations came to light that he had raped a 21-year-old deaf-mute student who was taught by his wife in a school for the physically-challenged in Pradhikaran. The incident was discovered on Tuesday, when the girl told her parents that the alleged-accused had been sexually abusing her for more than a year. / Pune Mirror
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
BARACK OBAMA PRAISES HEARING-IMPAIRED BOY FROM UAE FOR ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE
A little boy who has overcome deafness to become an academic star at school has received a personal letter of praise from Barack Obama. “I am proud of you for pushing yourself academically,” the US president told Yusuf Batha, “and I am counting on you to continue to set a good example to help others whenever you have the opportunity.” / The National
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LIFE & LEISURE
RICHMOND HIGH STUDENT HELPS DEAF PARENTS
It’s quiet in Meuy Phan’s kitchen, even when she and her parents are all bustling around. They are both deaf, and Phan is their connection to the outside world. As a family, they communicate in sign but whenever they need something outside the home, Phan is their interpreter, guide and negotiator. “My responsibilities at home are basically being a parent,” Phan said. “I’m like a parent to my parents.” / CBS San Francisco
FAMILY SHARES STORY OF TRANSGENDERED DEAF CHILD
A family recently shared their story of their deaf daughter who told them she was boy. The Whittington family posted a video on YouTube about their first child, Ryland. In the video, the family said they learned sometime around Ryland's first birthday that Ryland was deaf. They decided to get Ryland cochlear implants, which helped Ryland eventually learn to hear and speak. "As soon as Ryland could speak, she would scream, 'I am a boy!'" according to the video. / Live5News.com
ROCHESTER SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF HOSTS ANNUAL 5K
Missing Saturday's River Ramble 5K is not an option for Xiomara Getrouw. An Olympic hopeful in the backstroke, the 19 year-old Getrouw is a triathlete in training out of state all week. Yet she wanted nothing more than to return for the race -- because it is for Rochester's deaf community, one of the largest deaf communities in the country. / Democrat and Chronicle
TRENTON FIRE DEPARTMENT DONATES SPECIAL SMOKE ALARMS TO HEARING-IMPAIRED CHILDREN
Throughout the year, the fire department holds fundraising events to collect proceeds to benefit their charities. One of their main focuses is to use the funds to purchase special smoke alarms for hearing-impaired students. The department recently presented 55 special smoke alarms to students of the Hearing Impaired Program. / The News-Herald
10 DUMB THINGS THE HEARING SAY TO THE DEAF (FEATURING CAPTAIN PICARD)
I am deaf, and have been since I was a child – and after asking hundreds of other deaf people about dumb things that have been said to them, I compiled a list based on the results. In honor of May being Better Hearing & Speech Awareness Month, I thought this would be a good time to post this! / A Little Moxie
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HEARING AND SPEECH CENTER SEES UNCERTAIN FUTURE AFTER BUDGET CUTS
Nancy Frame sits at the low table with 12-year-old Yaritzi Hernandez, going over a journal entry the girl has written. The structure is off, with sentences circling back and repeating themselves and tenses switching halfway through. Yaritzi and her younger brother, Francisco, 2, come from Sunnyside to Yakima once a week for hearing and speech therapy. If the center were to close its doors, their parents say, it’s not clear where else they could go. / Yakima Herald Republic
Great Falls, MT
FAREWELL RECEPTION TUESDAY FOR GETTEL
After 30 years serving in various capacities at the Montana School for the Deaf and the Blind, Superintendent Steve Gettel is stepping down from his post to take a job in Iowa. Gettel, superintendent of the state's only such school for the last 13 years, will be the head of Iowa's deaf and blind schools, with services split between two campuses in different communities as well as outreach programs across the state. / Great Falls Tribune
GRACE SALUD SEES A FUTURE AS A SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETER
Asked why she thinks her academic advisers suggested her for a graduation profile, Grace Salud hesitates for a moment before responding. “Without bragging?” the North Eugene High School senior says with a slight smile on her face. Salud is sweet and humble, but she’s got plenty to brag about. She maintains a 4.0 grade point average and her senior schedule is packed with Advanced Placement classes. Upon graduation, she’ll have earned 40 college-level credits. / The Register-Guard
DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING PROGRAM RECOGNIZED
The Minnesota Department of Education recognized Edina Public School’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing program as one of five districts showing high testing achievement for DHH students on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment test taken annually by students. Edina’s DHH students exceed Minnesota’s combined proficiency in both math and reading. / Sun Current
Ocean City, NJ
STUDENTS' SIGN LANGUAGE VIDEO OPPOSES BULLYING
High School’s American Sign Language students are taking a “Stand for the Silent” against bullying. They’ve created a video. So far, thousands have viewed it on YouTube. At a Wednesday, May 28 meeting of the Ocean City Board of Education, Andersen and several of her American Sign Language students showcased the video. / Shore News Today
SOMALI DEAF GRADUATED UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
The founder of Somali National Association for the Deaf, Abubakar Sheikh Abdulle is Somalia-born America. Somalia bred deaf student to graduate in the US. He graduated from the university of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), New York, USA with a double major. / Geeska Afrika
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