June 15, 2011
Vol. 7, No. 33
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 2011 and any unauthorized use is prohibited. Please support our advertisers; they make it possible for you to receive Deafweekly.
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CONVICTED EX-CEO OF ROCKVILLE DEAF-SERVICES COMPANY ORDERED JAILED / The
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DEAF MAN FACING TRIAL 30 YEARS AFTER PREGNANT TEEN GIRLFRIEND WAS MURDERED
Dawn Niles was 15 years old and three months pregnant when she went missing on March 17, 1981 after leaving high school that afternoon with her boyfriend Gary Albert. Her body was discovered five days later and appeared to have been stabbed repeatedly, authorities said. Thirty years later, the now 48-year-old Albert faces murder charges for the killing, with a trial date expected to be set for later this summer, according to a report. Albert was charged with first-degree murder in 2008, after his DNA was linked to the victim's body. / CBS News
PROTESTERS UPSET BY DANIELS SELECTIONS FOR SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF BOARD
Members of Indiana's deaf community braved the heat Tuesday outside the Indiana Statehouse to protest Gov. Mitch Daniels' appointments to the board of the Indiana School for the Deaf. They were there "to let everyone know we are a loud group of people who care about our school," said Britta Schwall, 15, a student at Indiana School for the Deaf. Protestors touted signs with the slogan "Equal Representation Now" and made three demands of the governor. / Evansville Courier & Press
VIRNIG CHOSEN AS NEW CSD SUPERINTENDENT
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson yesterday announced that Sean M. Virnig has been selected to serve as the new superintendent of the California School for the Deaf, Fremont (CSD), where he graduated as class valedictorian in 1992. Virnig is the school’s 10th superintendent since its inception in 1850, and its first Deaf superintendent. Virnig succeeds Dr. Henry “Hank” Klopping, who is retiring after 36 years. / deafbayarea.com
See Also LONGTIME DEAF-SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT TO RETIRE / Contra Costa Times
R.I. SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF PRINCIPAL PUT ON PAID LEAVE
The state-operated Rhode Island School for the Deaf, labeled as one of the lowest-performing schools in Rhode Island, has embarked on its improvement plan by abruptly removing its current director just a couple of weeks before the end of the school year. School Director Lori Dunsmore, who was hired in 2007, was placed on paid administrative leave from her $116,000-a-year job on June 2. Dunsmore, who is deaf, said she and her husband were planning to move to Florida with their two young children and that she is considering applying to Ph.D. programs in deaf education. / The Providence Journal
Iowa City, IA
BOARD OF REGENTS VOTE TO TERMINATE IOWA SCHOOL FOR DEAF TEACHER
The state Board of Regents voted unanimously Monday to terminate Iowa School for the Deaf physical-education teacher Karen Lechner. Regent President David Miles said at the meeting the School for the Deaf Superintendent Jeanne Prickett recommended in April to end Lechner’s contract because of a lack of funds. Lechner, who made about $50,000 in 2010, then requested a private hearing before the regents. Lechner is one of five School for the Deaf teachers who received “reduction in force” notices this year, though she was the only one to request a hearing. / The Daily Iowan
Baton Rouge, LA
DEAF COMMUNITY MOBILIZING PROTEST IN BATON ROUGE
Over several decades, the Betty and Leonard Phillips Deaf Action Center (DAC) has successfully provided services to the deaf community of north Louisiana. So we were stunned when we recently found out the DAC lost two state contracts from the Louisiana Commission for the Deaf for interpreting services and distribution of equipment to the deaf community. Instead, they were awarded to New Horizons Independent Living Center, an organization that works with developmentally disabled adults. / Shreveport Times
POLICE SAY CLAIBORNE COUNTY MAN SHOT AT TRAIN
Authorities say Claiborne County resident Mark Anthony Bruce was irate when he learned a train struck and killed his deaf friend. So he allegedly got drunk, grabbed an AK-47, walked to the tracks where his buddy died and opened fire on a Norfolk Southern Railroad train. No one was injured during the late-night June 2 shooting in the Tipprell community, but it did land Bruce, 47, behind bars. / Knoxville News Sentinel
See Also TRAIN STRIKES, KILLS HARROGATE MAN WALKING ALONG TRACKS / Knoxville News Sentinel
MAN ACCUSED OF RAPING DEAF GIRL CLAIMS HE THOUGHT SHE WAS HER MOTHER
A young Oklahoma girl tells her mom she was sexually assaulted, attacked while sleeping in her own home. Chickasha police say they have the prime suspect in custody. Tristian "Rosco" Bowens, 25, sits in the Grady County jail Monday, four days after allegedly raping the 10-year-old daughter of a friend. Police say the girl's mother invited Bowens to spend the night early Thursday morning because he was locked out of his residence. According to police, Bowens claims his encounter with the girl was a case of mistaken identity in the middle of the night. / KFOR
RETIRED MILITARY MAN POSING AS A LESBIAN ON BLOG PRETENDED TO BE DEAF, WIDOWED WITH TWINS
A retired military man created a fake voice mailbox, posted pictures online of children he claimed were his, and described spreading his partner's ashes all in an attempt to maintain his alias as a lesbian on the website he edited called "Lez Get Real", a fellow contributor to the site revealed today. Bill Graber, 58, pretended to be a lesbian named Paula Brooks so that the site could be taken more seriously, he told The Washington Post, but he took his new identity - as a widowed, deaf lesbian taking care of twin toddlers - a little too seriously for some contributors. / Herald Sun
PETITION TO DENY PAROLE
Gregory Douglas Turner, born with progressive nerve deafness and severely hearing impaired, wore two hearing-aids and glasses. On the morning of December 3, 1992, age 23, Doug went to work, happily engaged and full of hope. After work, Doug exercised at Gold's gym in Xenia, Ohio, and then detoured to Fulmer's Grocery. Arriving home, Doug parked, got out and, with a groceries in his arms, a gym bag in his hand, was shot as soon as he closed the door to his vehicle. Not once but three times. / The Petition Site
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HEAD OF DEAFLYMPICS IN SLOVAKIA SENTENCED TO 13 YEARS IN JAIL
The Banská Bystrica District Court found Jaromír Ruda, the chairman of the Organising Committee for the 17th Winter Deaflympics, guilty of embezzlement on June 1 and sentenced him to 13 years in a medium-security jail as well as ordering confiscation of his property, the TASR newswire reported. The court found that Ruda and Stanislav Furda, Ruda’s Košice-based public notary, together embezzled approximately €1.6 million – money allocated for the preparation of the 17th Winter Deaflympics in High Tatras which were cancelled as a result of the theft. / The Slovak Spectator
Chatswood, NSW, Australia
NEW HEARING DEVICE FOR BABIES HAILED
A new device that shows whether deaf babies are benefiting from hearing aids and cochlea implants has been hailed as a step forward. The device developed in Australia at a cost of $2.2 million during the past 11 years measures changes in brainwave patterns via electrodes placed on a baby's head. Professor Harvey Dillon from National Acoustic Laboratories said until now there was no test that could tell how much hearing some babies had until the child was old enough to cooperate. / Herald Sun
LIVERPOOL SIGNING CHOIR HELPS DEAF CHARITY CELEBRATE 100 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
Liverpool's signing choir helped to celebrate the centenary of the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) with a rendition of happy birthday. Guests at the birthday bash at the Plaza, Old Hall Street, were treated to a slice of cake and a performance by the choir. The event also marked another important development for the charity – a name change. After 100 years as the RNID it will now be known as Action on Hearing Loss and will help those who are hard of hearing, deaf and suffering tinnitus. / Liverpool Echo
DEAF DIPLOMAT DENIED FOREIGN POSTING APPEALS
Jane Cordell, 45, was offered the post of deputy head of mission in Kazakhstan last year, only to have it revoked when the FCO decided that facilitating for her disability would be too expensive. Ms Cordell, who had worked for the FCO since 2001, challenged the decision at a London employment tribunal, but lost her case when the tribunal ruled that the cost of sending her to Kazakhstan was beyond the "reasonable adjustments" which employers are obliged to make to help disabled staff. The diplomat will have her appeal heard at the Employment Appeal Tribunal this Thursday. / Telegraph
DEAF COLLEGE TEACHING COUPLE LOOK FORWARD TO HOLIDAY TIME
A married couple who have clocked up a combined 45 years of service at Doncaster Deaf Trust are set to retire together this summer. Staff at the school say Derek and Maureen Morris will be “sorely missed” when they leave the college at the end of the current term. Mr Morris, 62, said: “Taking a holiday abroad out of peak season will be a novelty, as we haven’t been able to due to school term time at the Trust for at least the last 27 years.” / Yorkshire Post
PARTIALLY DEAF DANCER KIRSTY SWAIN LOSES IN 'SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE' FINAL
A partially deaf dancer from Hackbridge lost the final of a BBC talent show Saturday night. Kirsty Swain, 29, missed out on her dream of being crowned the winner of BBC1 prime time show So You Think You Can Dance, finishing fourth. The dance teacher at performance art school Stagecoach Sutton has had hearing problems since birth, and dances by being able to feel the vibrations and bass of music. / Sutton Guardian
West Lothian, Scotland
WOMAN LEFT DEAF AFTER STREET ASSAULT
A young woman was left profoundly deaf after being attacked in the street. Elizabeth Boyce, 33, was punched several times after a drunken argument in Whitburn, West Lothian. The blows damaged an ear implant inserted because of a genetic hearing problem. Ms Boyce now suffers tinnitus -- or ringing in the ears -- and the success of an earlier operation she had to improve her hearing was reversed. / Scotsman
Ottawa, ON, Canada
SIGN-LANGUAGE INTERPRETATION IN COMMONS QUESTION PERIOD INCLUDES ANY HECKLING
Heckling has been sharply reduced during question period in the new session of Parliament, and that makes Ann Missud's near-impossible job a little easier. Missud interprets the daily question period in sign language for the deaf, which includes conveying the heckling as best she can. You can often see her inside a bubble at the top right of the television screen, with the letters LSQ underneath, during official broadcasts of question period. / The Canadian Press
Laval, QC, Canada
DEAF STUDENT OVERCOMES ADVERSITY TO EARN DIPLOMA
Graduation is a time of reflection for all high school students, and for one Laval teenager, looking back on her accomplishments is a school-wide celebration. When Lisa Mezza first walked through the doors at the CDC Vimont Adult Education Centre, she had to overcome major hurdles. Mezza is deaf, and the school had no resources for the hearing impaired. / CTV News
DISAPPOINTING DEAL FOR THE DEAF AND MUTE IN EGYPT
They used third generation cell phones to keep in touch with each other and other people, according to Naglaa el-Deghidi, a sign language expert who works as an interpreter for the deaf and dumb in the Egyptian Society for the Rehabilitation of Hearing Impaired People. Sami Fouad, who is responsible for sporting activities in this society, is still single, even though he's 66 years old. He blames the previous regime for the fact that he's never had enough money to get married. / The Egyptian Gazette
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
NSHR SETTLES DISPUTE BETWEEN DEAF MAN, SCB
The National Society for Human Rights has intervened to end a dispute between the Saudi Credit Bank and a deaf and dumb client who flew into a fit of rage after he was told that his brother had stolen SR40,000 ($2,285,000 US) in compensation paid out to him for damage caused by the recent rains and floods in Jeddah, the organization said Tuesday. It said one of its members saw the man raging at staff who were not able to communicate with him. The society asked the bank to train their staff on how to communicate using sign language. / Arab News
HANNAH'S VOCATION FOR DEAF STUDENTS
Hannah Whalley was like a student talking in sign language to students of Gospel School for the Deaf at Samabula. She was in casual clothes -- shorts and slippers -- but she caught my attention. I had gone there to see her and what she was doing and she told me how she came to be at Gospel School for the Deaf. Hannah, 18, volunteered to come all the way from London to Fiji and help teach the deaf students at Gospel. / The Fiji Times
“Father’s Day is coming up on June 19th!
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LIFE & LEISURE
New York, NY
HINDUSTAN SURROGATE DELIVERS TWINS FOR AMERICAN DEAF, MUTE GAY COUPLE
Doting over their month-old twins born to a surrogate mother, Alan Roth and Brian Blais, an American gay couple, do not want the children to forget their Indian roots. As the partners, both of who are speech and hearing impaired, prepare to take their twins home to New York on Tuesday, they plan to bring the children to India often. “We want to give them an opportunity to understand their culture. Besides sign language, we want them to learn Hindi,” said Alan, 43. / Hindustan Times
NON-PROFIT HORSE RANCH HELPING DEAF CHILDREN OPENS IN PARKER
A non-profit horse ranch that caters to children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing opened Saturday in Parker. Rosie's Ranch celebrated its grand opening with pony rides, a meet-and-greet with horses, crafts for kids, a silent auction and an overview of the program. The ranch helps children learn and expand listening, verbal and reading skills through engagement with horses, Mary Mosher-Stathes, the ranch's founder, said in a statement before the grand opening this afternoon. / The Denver Post
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Last week to see our ASL billboard in Austin, TX!
Read about it: http://www.convorelay.com/blog/?p=1087535159
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SIGN UP: FORMER SERVICE MEMBER BECOMES ASL INTERPRETER
Roshawn Smith wears plain, pale shirts a lot. It's not a fashion statement. It's a job requirement: Smith is a freelance ASL interpreter, and her clients must be able to see her fingers translate spoken words and concepts in real time. She used to wear more of a uniform -- a real one -- as a member of the Navy and, later, the Air Force, doing human resources and IT work. The door to a new life opened by chance when she got to know a deaf man at church. "He didn't like writing notes, so he taught me a few signs," she says. / The Washington Post
MONTESSORI DEAF SCHOOL GIVEN E-READERS FOR CLASS
Students at Clearwater Montessori school received a donation that could change their lives. Nurse On Call donated the funds for Blossom Montessori School for the Deaf in Clearwater, to purchase 22 e-readers from Barnes and Noble. Last Wednesday morning, Key Jones gave out the E-Readers to the students. It looked like a scene from Christmas morning. Some of the children hugged each other. Some hugged Jones, who organized the fundraiser for Nurse On Call. Some simply hugged their E-Readers. / TBO.com
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Abused in Wisconsin? If you, or someone you know, were sexually abused as a child at St. John’s School for the Deaf in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, we have an important message for you: Because the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has declared bankruptcy, you may now be able to bring a claim — even if previously you were told you could not. However, because there will be a limited amount of time the courts will allow for you to bring a claim, you must act now or you may be forever prohibited from doing so. Go to www.AbusedinWisconsin.com Today! Jeff Anderson & Associates
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Los Angeles, CA
'SWITCHED AT BIRTH' OFF TO A GOOD START
“I’m not reacting well to finding out that I’m a plot device in a Mark Twain novel.” This was a complaint lodged by Bay, one of the title characters in Monday’s premiere of ABC Family Channel’s “Switched at Birth.” Literary references in a television environment are often watered down, made accessible. In this case, the show simply acknowledged its debt to “The Prince and The Pauper.” Bay and Daphne, the other switchee, discover the long-standing lack of “belonging” they’ve felt all their lives stems at least in part from the fact that they are daughters of different families. / Minot Daily News
Los Angeles, CA
WHY IS EVA LONGORIA LEARNING A NEW LANGUAGE?
Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria is learning sign language so she can communicate with deaf fans after releasing a cookbook. The actress has published her favorite recipes in a cookbook called Eva's Kitchen, including foods she grew up with and those she enjoys cooking herself at home, according to KOIN. No word on what style of cooking this might be, just that they are her favorite recipes. One reason Eva feels a kinship with those who have a disability is because her sister has Down's syndrome. / Gather Celeb News Channel
San Diego, CA
MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR, THE REFUGEE
This Sunday, June 19, is World Refugee Day and we'll be celebrating local refugees and their contributions to San Diego with an event at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park. I'll be there presenting a photo essay about Har Sin, a 24-year-old refugee from Burma who is deaf. He arrived in the United States with no way to formally communicate and we watched as he learned about sign language and the opportunities it could create in his life. / Voice of San Diego
AT&T INTRODUCES VL5
In April AT&T Video Relay Service launched VL5 for Mac, PC, iPhone 4, iPod Touch, and iPad 2. AT&T VRS partnered with Yellow Pages to provide new search features in video calling.
The AT&T VL5 app for the iPhone 4, iPod Touch 4th Generation, and iPad 2 allows Deaf and hard of hearing individuals to place and receive VRS and Point-to-Point (P2P) calls – wherever WiFi or mobile broadband is available. The VL5 app includes one-click calling and direct access to YPmobile.
Learn more about VL5 at www.att.com/vl5
Salt Lake City, UT
HARDWORKING SALT LAKE BEE PITCHER TOILS IN SILENCE
Salt Lake Bees pitcher Ryan Ketchner was settling into his seat behind home plate, getting ready to chart pitches for a teammate last month before a game in Oklahoma City, as he traditionally does between starts. As he readied his radar gun, clipboard and pen, he glanced out at the field and saw a group of students from the Oklahoma School for the Deaf signing the national anthem as it played before the first pitch. The scene brought a smile to Ketchner’s face as he watched Francis Scott Key’s lyrics interpreted into sign language. He couldn’t hear the music, either. The Salt Lake left-hander, you see, is also deaf. / The Salt Lake Tribune
DEAF MOTOCROSS STAR ASHLEY FIOLEK SHOWED RESOLVE EARLY
Her shiny blond hair framing wire-rimmed glasses that look three sizes too big, Ashley Fiolek giggles and smiles as she signs autographs just beyond the steps of California's golden-domed state capitol. Petite and bubbly, the 20-year-old in neon colors looks more like a rock star than someone who spends her days in the dirt. In a way, she kind of is. Deaf since birth and one of the best female motocross riders in the world, Fiolek is an inspiration and role model on two wheels and two feet. / The Associated Press
BERNELLA HAS MEMORABLE DAY
When Megan Bernella arrived for Sunday's all-star softball game at Brookside Park, it took the former Indiana Deaf standout a few minutes to acclimate herself to being around teammates who could speak and hear. "I wasn't sure exactly where to go, what to do," Bernella, a graduated senior, said through her interpreter and former high school coach Chris Fetzer. With Fetzer's help, Bernella shook off the early nerves and had a productive day at the event. / The Indianapolis Star
BETHEL PLAYER OVERCOMES HEARING LOSS TO LEAD JAGUARS
Alexis Madayag has played basketball all her life yet has never heard the sounds of her sneakers on the hardwood, the swish of the net or even the referee's whistle. Madayag nearly died at birth. Later, a bout of pneumonia left her in the hospital for nearly a month. Complications from that illness left her deaf by the time she was 2. She was 7 when her uncle Jed introduced her to basketball, and what began as a way to build self-esteem soon became a life-long passion. / Vallejo Times Herald
Carson City, NV
FIGHTING SILENCE: DEAF STUDENTS LEARN CONFIDENCE AND SELF-DEFENSE THROUGH ART OF KARATE
They call themselves the Deaf Ninjas -- a group of three Carson City young adults learning the art of karate at the Carson ATA Blackbelt Academy. They may be the first ever all-deaf class to be certified and after 12 weeks were ready to earn their yellow belts. “They learn incredibly fast,” said Joan Lopas, who serves as their interpreter, along with Tori Robinson. / Nevada Appeal
Denver Township, MI
DEAF GIRL ENJOYS PLAYING ON LITTLE LEAGUE TEAM
When Little League coach Jim Elliott pitched the ball to Rachael Pedjac at a recent practice before a game, the little girl took a big swing and got a thumbs-up. While Elliott gave Rachael the sign for doing a good job, her mother, Shelley Pejdac, stood by, waving her hands in the air. That sign is what Rachael takes for cheers and applause, since she can’t hear spectators rooting for her. / The Morning Sun
UNIQUE GOLF CAMP CATERS TO DEAF CHILDREN
Speaking with their hands and fingers and listening with their eyes, a corner of the driving range at Panther Creek Country Club in Springfield, Ill., was abuzz with activity. Around a dozen deaf students participated in a camp while golfers competing in the 36th annual LPGA State Farm Classic practiced just a few feet away. The daylong affair included a clinic with LPGA professional Natalie Gulbis, golf lessons, lunch and other activities. / The State Journal-Register
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Job Title: Business Account
Department: Video Communication Solutions
Reports To: Senior Director of Sales
FLSA Status: Exempt
Summary: The Business Account Executive will be responsible for introducing ZVRS to new business customers and residential customers. Also responsible for sharing new exciting products and features with customers who desire to use video relay service in their place of employment by performing the following duties personally or through subordinate supervisors.
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Send Resume and Cover Letter to: email@example.com
Director, Deaf Services
Advocates is looking for a full-time 40 hour a week Director for our Deaf services programs. Deaf candidate strongly preferred or candidates that are fluent in ASL (American Sign Language).
The Director of Deaf Services is responsible for the successful administration and management of the clinical, budgetary and business operations of the residential services and programs assigned. Provide clinical and administrative supervision to all employees who work in the residential services and programs assigned to the Director of Clinical Services.
Master’s degree in social service or related field plus 5 yrs supervisory/clinical experience. Provides crisis on call coverage as assigned.
1. Master’s degree in social
services or related field supervisory experience.
2. Must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.
3. Must have sensitivity to the needs of the population.
4. Strong computer knowledge.
5. High energy level, superior interpersonal skills and ability to function in a team atmosphere.
6. Strong analytical, numerical and reasoning abilities.
7. Ability to execute a variety of decision-making models.
8. Ability to communicate effectively in writing, and ability to use good judgment.
9. Ability to read English and communicate effectively in the primary language of the programs as assigned ( ASL and English).
10. Must hold a valid drivers’ license. Must have access to an operational and insured vehicle and be willing to use it to transport clients.
Deaf candidate strongly preferred and candidates that are ASL (American Sign Language) fluent.
Advocates' philosophy is based on common values and principles that guide the delivery of all of the services we provide. We believe that all individuals have the right to pursue their personal goals and to contribute to the community. We believe they are entitled to receive accessible services; to live in decent and affordable housing; to be treated with dignity and respect; and to live in inclusive and diverse communities. The employees of Advocates and the recipients of the services we provide work together with the community to ensure that these universal rights are promoted and protected.
Advocates offers a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental and life insurance, tuition reimbursement, 410(k) plan and a six-week holiday/vacation package.
Advocates is an EOE committed to employing a diverse workforce.
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