deafweekly

 

June 7, 2006
Vol. 2 No. 31

Editor: Tom Willard

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

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

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

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GALLAUDET
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NO REPRISALS FOR GALLAUDET PROTESTS: BOARD

The Gallaudet University Board of Trustees said in a statement May 19 that protestors will not be punished for staging rallies, pitching a tent city and faculty no-confidence votes, the Washington Post reported. Brenda Brueggemann, acting chair of the board, promised there would be no reprisals in a memo to the campus community and said that newly named president Jane Fernandes will work with the community to address concerns about diversity, leading a panel of students, staff, trustees and professors.

‘NEW SEARCH, SAME FLAWED PROCESS,’ SAYS FSSA

A May 24 news release from the FSSA (Faculty, Staff, Students, Alumni) said that the search process established by Gallaudet President I. King Jordan to seek candidates for the interim provost post “contains flaws that mirror those of the presidential search.” The process “lacks transparency and does not appear genuinely inclusive nor equitable,” said the statement. The FSSA also said on its website (www.gallyfssa.org) that it will have a presence at the National Association of the Deaf conference, June 29-July 3 in Palm Desert, Calif., with both a workshop and an exhibit booth planned.

NAD EXPLAINS INVITATION TO KEYNOTE SPEAKER JORDAN

The National Association of the Deaf released an open letter May 25 to address concerns about the organization’s invitation to I. King Jordan to serve as keynote speaker at the upcoming conference. The NAD came under criticism last month after praising Jordan as a “remarkable individual” in a news release only a few days after criticizing Jordan for “playing the deaf card” during the recent campus protests. Jordan had actually been invited and accepted the invitation in January, said the NAD. No reason was given for the delay in announcing Jordan’s participation, but the timing of the recent news release “may have unintentionally sent a confusing message.” Jordan was invited because it will be his last NAD conference as Gallaudet president, said the statement, and despite the criticism, “Our invitation to Dr. Jordan still stands.”

NEW WEBSITE FOCUSES ON LEGAL ANGLE

Another website has been developed to focus on the protests at Gallaudet. “Gallaudet Protest” (www.gallyprotest.org) contains background information including a list of board members and bylaws, possible legal strategies and material on the Education of the Deaf Act. The website, which includes a prominent request for attorneys to assist the protestors free of charge, was created by Brian Riley of Fresno, Calif. Says Riley: “If our case goes to trial, we will capture the attention of grassroots America and be in the international spotlight.”

FERNANDES GIVES KEYNOTE SPEECH IN THAILAND

Jane K. Fernandes escaped Washington, D.C. and the controversy over her appointment as Gallaudet’s next president to give the keynote speech at the opening of the First World Congress on the Power of Language: Theory, Practice and Development in Bangkok, Thailand. She gave her speech after meeting with Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, said a Gallaudet news release. The university has been working in Thailand, with the assistance of the Nippon Foundation, to help several deaf Thai people graduate from college and become sign language teachers.

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‘12 DAYS IN MAY’ MEMORABILIA AVAILABLE

Deafweekly has made it a bit easier to remember the Gallaudet University Protest of 2006. A unique headline-style design has been created that says “12 DAYS IN MAY: The World Hears Gallaudet University.” The design is available on a wide variety of products, including shirts, mugs, tiles, aprons, caps, tote bags, buttons, magnets, journals and small posters. For more information, visit www.cafepress.com/deafweekly.

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NATIONAL
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LAWSUIT SETTLED OVER CAPTIONING OF DVD ‘EXTRAS’

A class-action lawsuit over the non-captioning of DVD “extras” has been tentatively settled, said a statement from three law firms last week. “Boltz v. Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc. et al.” alleged that movie distributors misled the public by stating on packaging that DVDs were captioned when in reality only the main feature was captioned, not the DVD “bonus material.” The lawsuit targeted 10 of Hollywood’s biggest studios, which have denied liability but agreed to settle the suit to avoid litigation. Under settlement terms, which will be reviewed for final approval in August, the companies agree to caption bonus material on DVDs over the next five years and pay $275,000 to non-profits serving the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. The big winners are the lawyers, who will receive up to $1.3 million. To learn more, visit www.dvdcclabelingclasssettlement.com.

FLORIDA MAN ALLEGES WOMAN STOLE HIS CHILDREN

Tampa Bay’s WTSP-10 News reported May 18 on the puzzling case of Ron Perry, a deaf Florida man who says a woman took advantage of his deafness to obtain custody of his children. The woman is Kristi Allison, president of Support Services for Independent Living, which allegedly helps handicapped people. Perry says Allison convinced his girlfriend, the children’s deaf mother, to let her take the children to her $700,000 waterfront home while Perry recovered from an April 2004 car accident. In January 2005, less than a year after Allison met the children, she convinced Perry and his girlfriend to sign adoption papers. But Perry says he had no idea what he was signing, a statement backed up by a sign language expert familiar with the case. “It is my strong opinion that Ron does not understand the word adoption,” said interpreter Linda Losacano. Unless a judge decides the adoption was not proper, Perry may never see his children again. “She is really stealing my children and I’m very upset,” he said.

DEAF AND BLIND MAN ORDERED TO LEAVE HIS HOME

A deaf and blind man who lives at the Bayou Courtyard apartments in Tampa, Fla. has been told to move out by officials who say his “violent temper” scares staff members and residents. Rusty Ackerman, 41, filed a lawsuit in May against Deaf & Hearing Connection of Tampa Bay, which owns the deaf residence, after his lease was not renewed. He has lived there since 2002. The St. Petersburg Times reported last week that a judge refused to grant an order allowing Ackerman to remain in his apartment after a three-day hearing that required at least five interpreters. Ackerman, a former hotel cook and caregiver at an assisted living facility who lost his eyesight in 2004, will be given time to find another home, said Julie Church, DHC’s executive director. “It’s not our intention to put anyone out on the streets,” she said.

MISSISSIPPI TEACHER FIRED FOR ‘INAPPROPRIATE CONTACT’

WLBT-3 in Jackson, Miss. reported May 17 that a female teacher at the Mississippi School for the Deaf has been fired for inappropriate contact with a male student. State Superintendent of Education Hank Bounds would not identify the teacher or the student, but WLBT reported that the student is 19 and the woman, a literature teacher at MSD since 1988, is 53. Sources said the teacher was sexually involved with the student and traded many emails with him containing intimate conversation. Two state investigators confiscated a school computer on May 16, and two other men later escorted the woman off school grounds. It was unclear whether any criminal charges will be filed.

SCHOOL OFFICIAL SUES EMPLOYER OVER RIGHTS VIOLATION

Terry Gregersen, a top administrator at the California School for the Deaf in Riverside, has filed a lawsuit against the school and the state Department of Education. According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, Gregersen claims Superintendent Harold Kund violated his rights to freedom of speech and equal protection when his contract was not renewed after he alerted state officials to problems at the school. Gregersen, who has been director of instruction for less than a year, is seeking unspecified damages and an injunction to stop administrators from retaliating against employees. “The kids weren’t getting an education; that’s the bottom line,” he said. “Never in my 30 years in education have I seen a system so inept.”

MARYLAND WOMAN FILES COMPLAINT AGAINST HOSPITAL

A deaf Maryland woman has filed a disability discrimination complaint against a hospital that allegedly failed to provide qualified interpreter services as required by law. Alma Andrews filed the complaint against the University of Maryland Medical System and one of its hospitals, Baltimore Washington Medical Center (formerly North Arundel Hospital). Andrews spent 11 days at the hospital earlier this year and repeatedly asked for interpreting services. An interpreter was provided on two days, but on the other nine days the hospital used notes and gestures and asked the woman’s visitors to interpret for her. Andrews, who is represented by the National Association of the Deaf and Baltimore civil rights attorney Beth Pepper, is seeking compensatory damages “for the significant harm that she suffered,” said an NAD news release.

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HOMELESS MAN ARRESTED FOR ATTACKING POLICE OFFICER

A deaf homeless man was arrested in Framingham, Mass. last Tuesday after attacking a police officer, reported the MetroWest Daily News. Edward Mullholand was taken into custody after striking Officer Felipe Martinez’s arm, said the report. Mullholand, 41, had been drinking liquor with friends in the backyard of a Framingham home when the unidentified homeowner called police and said he would not leave her house. When officers arrived and asked Mullholand to move along, “He became angry and got into a boxing stance,” said Lt. Paul Shastany. He now faces charges of assault and battery on a police officer and trespassing.

LAWSUIT CLAIMS MAN WAS FIRED FOR HAVING CANCER

A former service coordinator with Deaf Education and Advocacy Focus (DEAF) of South Charleston, W.V. has filed a lawsuit against his former employer, alleging he was fired because he has cancer. According to The West Virginia Record, Kristopher Cook filed the lawsuit May 24 against the agency and his former supervisor, Patrick Black. Cook, who began his job in April 2005, said he told Black of his cancer on August 17 and was assured he would not be fired for missing work. However, Cook said Black became hostile toward him and suggested he look for another job. When Cook missed work due to what he calls a wrongful arrest by police, “the defendant saw this incident as an opportunity to get rid of the plaintiff,” says the complaint. Cook is seeking damages for loss of wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress and humiliation, as well as punitive damages.

GOVERNOR VETOES VIRGINIA SCHOOLS CONSOLIDATION

Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine has vetoed legislation that would consolidate the state’s two schools for the deaf, the Associated Press reported. The bills would have combined the schools in Staunton and Hampton onto the Staunton campus and transferred the Hampton school to a nonprofit educational center. Kaine said in a statement that he vetoed the bills over uncertainty about the future use of the Hampton campus. Lawmakers voted in 2004 to consolidate the schools because of declining enrollment and increasing costs. Each school has an annual budget of $7 million. Kaine said he would continue to work with lawmakers to determine the future of the two schools.

NEW HAMPSHIRE MAN FOUND COMPETENT FOR TRIAL

The Nashua (N.H.) Telegraph reported May 27 that a “deaf-mute man” has been found competent to stand trial for the alleged sexual assault of a 5-year-old girl and an adult woman. Victor Laporte, 32, has been charged with six counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault. Laporte, a former American School for the Deaf student, has been identified as having severe learning disabilities, emotional problems and below-average mental abilities. A two-day hearing held April 24 and May 1 that required at least five interpreters was described by Judge William Groff as “slow and cumbersome.” Dr. Peter Isquith, a psychologist who examined the defendant, told the court it took him an hour to explain to Laporte who he was and what he was doing, and another two hours to explain the charges against him.

ARIZONA MAN ARRESTED FOR MOLESTING STEP-DAUGHTER

An Arizona man was arrested last month for alleged improper sexual conduct with his deaf and developmentally disabled step-daughter over a period of several years. William Bowers, 69, of Cottonwood, is facing six counts of sexual abuse and sexual assault and one count of child molestation, reported the Bugle. The victim’s grandmother contacted police after finding Bowers sexually involved with the woman in their home on May 18. The woman, who is 19, told sheriff’s detectives that Bowers had been molesting her since she was 10 or 11 years old.

DEPORTATION DELAYED FOR 9-YEAR-OLD DEAF BOY

The deportation of a 9-year-old deaf boy was temporarily halted by a federal appeals court in Philadelphia last week over concerns that he would be mistreated in his native Indonesia. According to the Associated Press, Joshua Tantoro’s family came to the United States on visitors’ visas and sought political asylum, saying they faced persecution as Chinese Christians in what is a mostly Muslim nation. Their request was denied, and Joshua’s father was taken into custody by immigration officials. The family’s attorney argued that the family should be granted asylum because Joshua would be mistreated because of his disability. A judge granted the stay of deportation to allow the family time to prepare its case.

TEXAS SCHOOL UNVEILS MEMORIAL FOR TARA MCAVOY

The Texas School for the Deaf in Austin unveiled a memorial May 24 for Tara McAvoy, an alumna who died in March at the age of 18. McAvoy, who was the reigning Miss Deaf Texas, was hit by a train while walking alongside railroad tracks. The memorial includes an oak tree and a place to sit and reflect on McAvoy’s life, reported News 8 Austin. The school also honored the young woman’s life with three $1,000 scholarships, and superintendent Claire Bugen said the scholarships will be permanent. “It will help us remember her,” said TSD 2006 Salutatorian Roy Lotz. “Not to forget her memory and what a great person she was.”

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INTERNATIONAL
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CHINESE POLICE ARREST 13 IN PICKPOCKET RING

Police in China have broken up a pickpocket ring that was run by a deaf inmate from his prison cell. Shanghai police arrested 13 gang members, all of whom are deaf, and recovered more than 100,000 yuan ($12,000 US) from at least 73 thefts on public buses over the past year. According to Shanghai Daily, police are uncertain if any charges will be filed against the leader, Wang Weidong, 40, who is doing a life sentence for manslaughter. The gang members rented an apartment to use as headquarters and gave cash and other stolen items to their leaders on a daily basis. “We found they kept very detailed books of how much they stole every day,” said police officer Dai Min. “These materials actually provided us with important clues.” Last week, police returned more than 60 percent of the recovered money to 73 victims. “I thought I would never get it back,” said one woman who lost 1,700 yuan ($210 US) on a bus last October.

WOMAN IN SCOTLAND WINS BIG IN BINGO

A deaf woman in Glasgow, Scotland has captured a £200,000 ($374,300 US) prize in a national bingo competition, reported the Evening Times. The 74-year-old woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said her previous best win was £500 ($936 US). The woman and her husband, who have two sons and four grandchildren, plan to take a cruise to celebrate the windfall. “This hasn’t sunk in yet,” said the woman. “I’m still in shock and I never slept at all.” Said her 75-year-old husband: “I had a few beverages so I managed to sleep.”

TORONTO MAN ON TRIAL FOR ATTACKING A DOG

A deaf man is on trial in Toronto, Ont., Canada for allegedly attacking his stepfather’s dog and trying to throw the animal by its leash into traffic, the Edmonton Sun reported May 19. Evan Dwight Lockwood was “utterly out of control” when police arrested him on Toronto’s King Street on March 22. Lockwood, 32, “kicked, punched and whipped” the Rottweiler with a heavy metal leash, prosecutors allege. Lockwood pleaded not guilty to two cruelty to animal charges and a dangerous weapons charge for swinging the leash. He is also accused of assaulting a witness to the incident. The dog survived after an unidentified man performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. The trial continues on Friday.

HEARING LOSS COSTS AUSTRALIA $12 BILLION: REPORT

Researchers in Australia have determined that hearing loss costs the country almost $12 billion (nearly $9 billion US) per year, reported the Perth Sunday Times. A report compiled by Access Economics reveals a loss to the economy of $3,314 ($2,454 US) for every one of the 3.55 million Australians with a hearing loss. More than half of the economic loss is due to productivity loss, with 160,000 people not working because they can’t hear well enough. Reduced wages cost the government $1.3 billion ($963 million US) in tax revenues, while an equal amount is paid out in welfare to deaf and hard-of-hearing citizens. About one in six Australians are affected with hearing loss, and by 2050 it is estimated that one in four will be affected. About 37 percent of present hearing loss is due to excessive noise exposure, the report found.

SOUTH AFRICA STUDIES TREATMENT OF DISABLED TRAVELERS

The South African government is looking into the treatment of people with disabilities on airlines operating in the country. According to the Pretoria News, the inquiry follows an incident in March in which members of Disabled People of South Africa were asked to disembark from an SAA flight on their way back home. Members of parliament heard from Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen, a deaf woman whose husband was nearly arrested on an airplane because of confusion over his hearing aid. The matter was cleared up when he used his cell phone to tell officials he was deaf.

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NEW DEVICE SAID TO AID DEAF MUSEUM VISITORS

The Evening Times in Glasgow, Scotland reported last week on a gadget said to make museums more accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing visitors. The portable device allows users to choose from captions, subtitles, sign language or enlarged text, said the report. It was invented by Kim Robertson, a 21-year-old design student. The invention won her the British Museum Award and an Adapt Trust Award, as well as prize money totaling £4,000 ($7,450 US).

DEAF COMMUNITY IN UGANDA ‘FACES EXTINCTION’

The deaf community in Uganda “will be wiped out” by the HIV/AIDS epidemic if no action is taken to improve access to information, reported The New Vision last Friday. Ninety percent of deaf people in the country cannot read or write, said Alex Ndeezi, director of the Uganda National Association of the Deaf (UNAD), and some people take advantage of their ignorance to sexually abuse them. “Our community faces extinction,” he said. The situation is worsened because some people think deaf people are immune to HIV/AIDS “and flock to them to have unprotected sex.” Ndeezi said Uganda has worked hard to fight the AIDS scourge, but the deaf community has been left out. UNAD information officer Joseph Mbulamwana added that deaf people in the country are often beaten, chained, denied food, sexually abused and abandoned in large cities.

INDIAN BOY, 11, ORDERED TO DO 300 SIT UPS

An 11-year-old “deaf and dumb boy” in India was hospitalized with dehydration and fever after being forced to do 300 sit ups as punishment for allegedly attempting to rape a 10-year-old girl. According to Newindpress.com, Subrata Biswas fainted while doing the sit ups ordered by a “shalishi” (conciliatory) meeting two weeks ago. Police say the girl’s father had complained that Subrara attempted to rape his daughter, but neither the victim nor the medical report corroborated the charge. The boy’s father, who was fined $43.54 (US) at the meeting, filed a complaint against the man who led the meeting and his wife, and police are investigating the matter.

NEW ZEALAND MAN HAILED AS HERO

An unidentified “middle-aged deaf mute” was hailed as a hero in New Zealand after chasing down a man who stabbed a preacher two weeks ago. According to Fairfax New Zealand Unlimited, the preacher was preaching in the rain outside a cathedral when a man lunged at him and stabbed him in the hip. The deaf man took off after the attacker and alerted police officers, who joined the chase. The man was arrested and taken in for questioning. A police officer said another officer who knows sign language would interview the deaf man to learn more about the attack.

DEAF-RELATED PROJECTS WORLDWIDE GAIN FUNDING

Several recent news items have discussed funding for deaf-related projects. In New Zealand, the National Foundation for the Deaf is celebrating after the government committed $16 million (about $10 million US) over four years to create a universal hearing screening program for all newborn babies. In Canada, the province of Ontario is spending $11 million ($9.86 million US) this year to provide services for residents who are blind, deaf or both – an increase of nearly 65 percent over current funding levels. In the U.K., the Gay Men’s Health Charity has been awarded an undisclosed amount of funding from the National Lottery to provide interpreters for deaf gay men, allowing them for the first time to access the charity’s services. And in Iceland, the Nordic Cultural Fund has awarded DKK 200,000 ($34,395 US) to sponsor a major cultural festival for the deaf in Akureyri, July 10-16 (www.deaf.is/2006/FIN/index.html) that is expected to draw over 600 people.

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LIFE & LEISURE
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WISCONSIN SECOND-GRADERS WRITE ‘HARD OF HEARING BOOK’

Four second graders from Sand Lake Elementary School in Holmen, Wisc. have been recognized for a book they wrote called “The Hard of Hearing Book.” According to the Holmen Courier, the 10-page book explains about being deaf, what hearing aids do, sign language and reading lips. It was created by Jackson Kalas, Sean Deml, Kassie Freismuth and Rebekah Olson, who are all students in the Sand Lake Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program under teacher Tracie Happel. The book was chosen from 400 entries to receive a Judges’ Choice award in the second grade category of the Wisconsin Public Television’s Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators contest. Last Saturday, the students went to Sun Prairie, Wisc. to receive recognition and rewards. The book will be posted on the Reading Rainbow website at http://gpn.unl.edu/rainbow/.

EXHIBIT EXPLORES OLD-TIME HEARING AIDS

Ever wonder about the hearing devices people used 100 years ago or more? The Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo. maintains a digital exhibit called “Deafness in Disguise: Concealed Hearing Devices of the 19th and 20th Centuries.” It includes pictures, advertising pamphlets, trade catalogs, patents, rare books and other materials about old mechanical and electrical hearing aids, with an emphasis on devices that were designed to be concealed or camouflaged within everyday items. A timeline of hearing devices and early deaf education goes all the way back to 1551, and there’s also information on rare books on deafness, hearing and hearing devices. Check it out at http://beckerexhibits.wustl.edu/did/index.htm.

STUDENTS RAISE MONEY FOR JANITOR’S COCHLEAR IMPLANT

Students at Olympus Jr. High School in Salt Lake City, Utah have been raising money to help Terry Birch, the school custodian, get a cochlear implant. Money will also be used for breast cancer treatments for Birch’s wife and repairs to the family’s home, reported KTVX-4 News. Birch, who has a communications degree from the University of Utah, lost most of his hearing as a child and began working at the school more than six years ago. Students have been contacting celebrities and requesting autographed items to be sold on eBay. John Travolta, Peyton Manning and The Desperate Housewives have all sent packages, and one star – Emily Tyndell, who played the girlfriend on “Napoleon Dynamite” – actually stopped by to help. “I think it’s awesome,” she said. So far the students have raised over $4,000, which Birch said is unbelievable. “Most people don’t like the deaf,” he said. “They are scared of them.” Info: www.help-terry.org.

MARYLANDERS NAMED MR. AND MRS. DEAF TEEN AMERICA

Celine Daze, 15, of Frederick, Md. and Zachary Ennis, 16, of Middletown, Md. were crowned Mr. and Miss Deaf Teen America 2006 at a pageant in Spartanburg, S.C. on April 29. According to the Frederick News Post, Celine and Zachary won the titles of Mr. and Miss Maryland School for the Deaf on March 24 and went on to compete with five other pairs from deaf schools across the country for the national title. Competitions included talent, interviews (confidential and on-stage), state spotlight and evening gown. Celine said she has wanted to enter pageants ever since she was little, but Zachary wasn’t so sure. “Before I joined the pageant, I thought it was a girl thing,” he said. “Celine recruited me.”

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DEAF POKER CRAZE

No Limit Texas Hold'Em is the most popular of all poker games. This game is so exciting is that any player can bet ALL of his money at any time [or go ALL IN]. This will occur in Las Vegas, reputed for fast, risky and sinful behaviors.

With deaf poker tournaments gaining so much popularity and attention, it has become a large impact on the deaf society. It is a venue whereby players can participate and enjoy playing the game. For sure, without doubt, interest for deaf poker is spreading and has taken over Las Vegas and other parts of the country.

With this interest the deaf community here in Las Vegas hosted a highly successful tournament in October of last year at the famous Palms Casino Resort. The committee have received many positive responses from the players and they showed great interest in attending the next tournament which is scheduled for October 11, 2006; again at the Palms Casino Resort. The past experience by the players were unequal to anywhere in the world except here in Las Vegas, the poker capital of the world.

The Las Vegas host welcome all of you to the 2nd annual Las Vegas World Deaf Poker Tournament, October 11, 2006 at the Palms Casino Resort. All net proceeds will be donated to charities for the deaf communities.

For all information about this tournament, go to the web site- WWW.DEAFLASVEGAS.COM/POKER.

Join us for this fantastic experience and a chance to go home as a winner.

See you all in Vegas,

Committee

Co-sponsored by Southern Nevada Silver Knights and Southern Nevada Coalition of Organizations of and for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. This tournament is in association with the DeafNation, Inc. poker tour.

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Call 1-800-233-9130 (V/TTY) or visit us online at http://www.weitbrecht.com to order (use code WCI606D) . For a free WCI catalog, email sales@weitbrecht.com.

WCI. Providing Solutions for People with Hearing Loss.

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WORKING WORLD
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NEBRASKA MAN NAMED WAL-MART ‘TEACHER OF THE YEAR’

Brad Czaplewski, a teacher at Newell Elementary School in Grand Island, Neb., was honored as Teacher of the Year by the local Wal-Mart store. The selection was made by balloting done at the store, reported the Grand Island Independent. The “ballots” are actually letters explaining why a certain teacher should win the award, and one letter on Czaplewski’s behalf came from one of the deaf and hard-of-hearing students in his class. The student credited Czaplewski with her ability to read at the proper grade level and said, “I can go on some day without extra help.” Czaplewski received a plaque, a $100 gift card and a polo shirt as awards, and the school received $1,000. Czaplewski’s wife, Susan, also teaches deaf and hard-of-hearing students. “We learned to share a lot of things from deaf culture,” he said.

NEW STORE FEATURES TOYS FOR DEAF CHILDREN

The North Adams (Mass.) Transcript reported last month on a new store that includes products geared toward the deaf and hard of hearing. Store owners Patrick LeBeau, who is deaf, and his fiancee, Dione Kickery, opened Creative Designs because “we want to open a store that strikes a balance between the hearing and deaf community,” said Kickery. The store, which held its grand opening last Saturday, includes toys for deaf children such as baby blocks, flash cards, cloth books using the sign language alphabet and an assortment of crafts and goods. LeBeau was inspired to open the store after the couple’s son, Patrick Jr., was born. “He was born deaf, and we needed to find alphabet blocks, sign-language books and they were not easy to find,” he said.

AMARILLO COLLEGE ANNOUNCES INTERPRETING PROGRAM

Amarillo College in Amarillo, Texas is the latest school to announce it is launching a program in American Sign Language and Interpreting. The new two-year program will lead students to an associate degree, reported the Amarillo Globe-News. The program is designed to help Texas interpreters meet higher qualifications to become certified. By 2012, interpreters will need an associate degree to be eligible for certification, and by 2016, a bachelor’s degree will be required. The new program will benefit more than just people pursuing interpreting careers, said Robert Boyd, chair of the division of language communication and fine arts. Any student can take the classes to satisfy foreign language course requirements, he said.

TEACHER KNOWN AS THE ‘PINK LADY’ RETIRES AFTER 40 YEARS

A Minnesota teacher known as the “Pink Lady” retired last week after 40 years of educating deaf and hard-of-hearings students. Jane Borson, known for her pink hearing aid and the pink walls of her office, tried to retire five years earlier “but found herself unable to leave,” reported the Brainerd Dispatch. Brainerd, 61, the only teacher for the deaf and hard of hearing in the Brainerd School District, recalls that sign language was forbidden when she launched her career in the 1960s. “The field has come a long way,” she said. She was honored with a retirement party and took several students to a fast food restaurant for a final fun lunch. A display case at the school includes photos and personal mementos documenting her 40 years as a teacher. She and her husband plan to move to a log home on Lake Vermillion, where her plans include “a lot of boating and snowmobiling,” as well as volunteer work for the school district there.


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With Hamilton Relay Wireless, there is no software to download!!

Hamilton Relay Wireless is available nationwide and does NOT require you to download any software. You could choose another Wireless Relay provider, but WHY?
No other provider makes using relay on the go so simple!
Place Hamilton relay calls with your Blackberry, Treo and Sidekick or with ANY device that runs AIM® or has a Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) browser!
How? With AIM®, send an instant message to HipRelay.
With a WAP browser, go to http://www.hamiltonrelay.com/.

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Want a better IP relay option? Try i711.com and go beyond plain IP relay.

IP relay service is old news, right? Not anymore! If you haven't tried i711.com, you're missing out on an IP relay service that gives you faster, easier relay calls, and a whole lot more.

Only i711.com offers you all this:

** Smart Dialing ** A built-in phone book, one-step redialing, and speed dialing let you make most of your calls in just one click.

** Custom Calling ** Choose how your call happens. Font size, color, and more. Even pre-enter operator instructions for any call.

** Bonus Features ** Only i711.com gives you a bonus! New community articles each week by deaf authors. Exclusive call tools like the i711.com Toolbar with ClickRelay(tm). Even a customized list of open-captioned movies playing near you, updated every time you sign in.

AIM calls? Yes. Wireless options? You bet! Say goodbye to old fashioned IP relay. Try i711.com and experience better IP relay.

Visit www.i711.com and try it for yourself.

i711.com is Relay & Beyond

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SPORTS
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HALL MISSES CUT IN MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT

Deaf professional golfer Kevin Hall earned an exemption to play in the Memorial Tournament last week at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Columbus, Ohio. Unfortunately, Hall missed the cut by 10 strokes after two rounds of 79, reported Fox Sports. Crowds of fans followed his every move, and afterwards Hall remarked, “It was very special, in front of all these people. I will cherish this memory forever.” Asked by a reporter to rate the weekend, he said with a grin, “On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say it was about a 15.”

‘DUMMY’ TAYLOR INDUCTED INTO KANSAS SPORTS HALL OF FAME

Luther “Dummy” Taylor was one of 14 coaches and athletes inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in Wichita last Saturday, reported Leonard Hall in his weekly Olathe News column for the deaf community. Taylor was one of the top pitchers in the early years of Major League Baseball, playing nine seasons (1900-08) with the New York Giants and winning 115 games (21 by shutouts) and losing 106 with an earned-run average of 2.75. According to the San Francisco Giants’ website, manager John McGraw made the entire team learn sign language to communicate with Taylor, the earliest form of “signs” in baseball. Upon his retirement, Taylor went on to coach several sports at the Kansas School for the Deaf. He died in 1958.

STUDENT ATHLETES BEAT LAWMAKERS IN BASKETBALL

For the tenth straight year, students from the Lexington School for the Deaf in Queens, N.Y. traveled to Albany to tour the state capital, learn about government and take part in a basketball game against several state lawmakers. According to NY1 News, the student athletes won the game, snapping a three-year winning streak by the legislators. “They’re a lot younger than us, so we have to play hard to be competitive,”said Queens Assemblyman Michael Gianaris. “Try not to pass out before halftime, that’s the strategy.”

DEAF SOCCER TEAM PLAYS IN EXHIBITION GAME

Members of the U.S. Men’s Deaf Soccer Team were set to take on an all-star team of college and former professional players from the Pensacola, Fla. area last Saturday, reported the Pensacola News Journal. The team is coached by Ken McDonald, a member of the Pensacola Football Club coaching staff. “Because I felt like Pensacola has welcomed me with open arms, I felt bringing the team here was like a bit of payback,” he said. Members of the team, who have their sights set on winning a gold medal at the 2008 World Championships, also hope to win a few fans from the deaf community. “We’re just basically hoping to influence deaf people’s feelings about the sport of soccer,” said Mark Sorokin, who played with the 2005 squad that went to the Deaflympics in Australia.


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SOBERCAMP 2006 - August 20-26 - Camp Mark Seven Old Forge, NY

SoberCamp returns to Camp Mark Seven (CM7) in Old Forge New York once again! Signs of Sobriety, Inc. and SAISD are collaborating to coordinate an exciting retreat for people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in recovery from substance abuse and their families. Sobriety maintenance focused activities for the week will include fun outdoor recreation, team building games, family/relationship bonding, 12 Step meetings and more. This is an event not to be missed.

Requirements For Attending SoberCamp 2006

At least 30 days sober/clean time (no drug or alcohol use for at least 30 days)

Individuals must be Deaf or Hard of Hearing
(Hearing family members or spouses may attend as a guest)

SOBERCAMP 2006 REGISTRATION INFORMATION:

$25 non-refundable registration fee (will be applied to full camp cost)

Children = $60
Adults = $250
Before Apr 1= $175
April 1– May 1= $200
May 1– Aug 7= $250

Registration fees include 3 nights at the lodge at Camp Mark Seven and all meals.

Additional activities such as water tubing, canoeing, and shopping trips to the town of Old Forge are the responsibility of the “campers.”

For more information, please feel free to visit sos website: www.signsofsobriety.org
Or contact:

Mike Dorsey, MSW
Signs of Sobriety, Inc.
100 Scotch Road, 2nd Floor
Ewing, NJ 08530
609-882-7177 - TTY
Phone: 609-882-7677 voice
Fax: 609-882-6808
Email: mike.dorsey@signsofsobriety.org

Wendy DiMatteo
SAISD (Substance and Alcohol Intervention Services for the Deaf)
115 Lomb Memorial Drive, Bldg 23A
Rochester NY 14624
Phone: 585 475 4963
Fax: 585 475 7375
Email: wmdgrl@rit.edu

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EMPLOYMENT
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EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

Position: Community Marketing Manager (F/T)
Location: Hackensack, NJ

This position is responsible for creating and managing the company’s community marketing team. The community marketing manager, together with the community marketing team, will maintain, build a preference for, and cultivate awareness and adoption of the company’s relay and wireless brands within the company’s targeted regions. The community marketing manager will also play a public role within the community, delivering company messaging to community influencers and advocacy groups.

This position has five central responsibilities; to (i) co-develop and refine a community marketing plan and support tools; (ii) develop, manage and deploy GoAmerica’s Community Marketing Team; (iii) select, staff and travel to events; (iv) promote brand awareness and preference with the community; and (v) generate sales, leads, and assist with customer satisfaction.

QUALIFICATIONS:
-- 3-5 years of demonstrated success in a sales, marketing, or outreach role within the deaf community
-- Impeccable management and interpersonal skills, and a passion for developing and coaching people
-- Must possess the energy, effervescence, and verve necessary to recruit, inspire, and motivate a nationwide community marketing team
-- Ideal candidate must enjoy technology and its use in building bridges between the deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing communities
-- A solid understanding of the deaf and hard of hearing communities and their various cultural strata, advocacy organizations, and community influencers, online and off line.
-- Must be conversant in American Sign Language (ASL).
-- Must be a polished presenter and comfortable with giving live presentations to large groups of people of mixed hearing levels.
-- Must possess current, positive relationships within the deaf community and among current and proposed market influencers, partners, and customers.
-- Must have solid written and verbal or signed communications skills.
-- Must be able to work with minimum supervision and be proficient with Microsoft Office applications and using the Internet.

We offer competitive salaries and a comprehensive benefits package.
Please submit your resume or application to: hr@goamerica.com

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CEO Position Announcement
Deaf Counseling, Advocacy and Referral Agency (DCARA)

DCARA is seeking a Chief Executive Officer to build on over 40 years of continuous growth and evolution of the non-profit, community-based social service agency. DCARA serves the Deaf Community in the San Francisco Bay Area and 14 counties in Northern California. The CEO will be responsible for all aspects of the agency’s operations, programs, finances, and personnel. To see the full job announcement including information about DCARA, minimum qualifications and application process, visit http://www.dcara.org. CLOSING DATE: Open until filled.

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AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE - INTERPRETERS & INSTRUCTOR FOR DISABLED

F·E·G·S is one of the largest health and human services organizations in the country with a budget in excess of $230 million and 3,500+ employees in more than 300 locations throughout the New York metropolitan area. We seek experienced professionals, fluent in ASL, to work with staff and adult disabled, deaf population at our Manhattan facility on Hudson Street.

Staff Sign Language Interpreters

FT: Reports to AVP for Deaf Services, provides sign language interpreting services in a wide variety of situations and settings throughout the organization. Occasional staff training on use of sign language interpreters.

PT: Provides interpreting services for individual and group counseling sessions, meetings, and other program activities for Continuing Day Treatment Program serving deaf, chronically mentally ill clients. Must have flexibility in working with client’s personal signing styles.

INSTRUCTOR/SPECIALIST – F/T

Day Habilitation Instructor/Specialist to supervise and support deaf adults with developmental disabilities in a classroom setting. Provide group and individual instruction. Tri-state driver’s license required.

Positions require BA (or equivalent combination of education and experience) and full fluency in ASL. Prior experience working with disabled population and RID/NAD certification strongly preferred.

Generous benefits. Send resume to our HR Consultants: HR Dynamics, Inc. (DEPT. JG/ASL), 345 Hudson Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10014. E-mail: jgardner@hr-dynamics.com. Visit our website: www.fegs.org.

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CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

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

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

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

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

Salary
Salary is commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package!

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

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer

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JOB OPPORTUNITIES AT GLAD

GLAD is an Affirmative Action Employer with equal opportunity for men, women and people with disabilities. For more information on the following positions, please go to: www.gladinc.org. The status of all positions is: Regular, Full-time, Non-Exempt, Full Fringe Benefits unless otherwise noted. All positions are open until filled.

LIFESIGNS Director – Los Angeles
Network I.T. Administrator - Los Angeles

If interested for any of these positions then please submit resume and application to:

Jeff Fetterman
Human Resources Specialist
Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness, Inc.
2222 Laverna Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90041
V/TDD: (323) 550-4207
Fax #: (323)550-4204
E-mail: jfetterman@gladinc.org

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