deafweekly

 

July 5, 2006
Vol. 2 No. 35

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 & NAD
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NAD HOSTS 48TH BIENNIAL CONFERENCE IN CALIFORNIA

The National Association of the Deaf kicked off its 48th Biennial Conference last Thursday with a speech by Gallaudet University President I. King Jordan and wrapped things up Monday night with the crowning of a new Miss Deaf America. The conference took place near Palm Springs, Calif. after the original site, New Orleans, was dropped because of Hurricane Katrina. Many eyes were on Jane K. Fernandes, Gallaudet’s embattled president-designate, who reportedly left early Monday, skipping the Miss Deaf America pageant. For the first time, the NAD maintained a blog of conference events (www.nad.org/2006confblog), allowing non-attendees to share in the news and events.

JORDAN: ‘THERE IS NO CRISIS AT GALLAUDET’

I. King Jordan opened the NAD conference with a keynote presentation titled, “Working Together to Change the World for Deaf People.” Jordan, who will retire December 31 after almost 19 years as Gallaudet’s president, echoed N.Y. Yankee slugger Lou Gehrig when he said, “I consider myself to be the luckiest deaf man alive.” Jordan devoted most of his speech to the ongoing protest against Jane Fernandes’ appointment and raised eyebrows when he said, “There is no crisis at Gallaudet.” Said Jordan: “Gallaudet is strong and I’m very confident that under Dr. Fernandes’ leadership, Gallaudet will be even stronger in the future.” To read his remarks, visit http://president.gallaudet.edu/x3236.xml.

FERNANDES: ‘I WILL GET THEM OFF THE BOAT’

Jane Fernandes revealed her thoughts on leadership during an interview with Jared Evans and Shane Feldman, NAD’s conference bloggers. Asked what it takes to be an effective leader, Fernandes said, “A leader is like the coxswain of a boat with the team rowing the boat. My job as the leader is to make sure that everyone is rowing in the right direction. If someone isn’t rowing, then I will get them off the boat.” Blogger Ricky Taylor (www.ridorlive.com), whose readers contributed $1,700 so he could attend the conference, responded for many when he wrote: “Everyone has to comply her way, or she’ll remove them just like that.”

PRESIDENT-DESIGNATE COMPETED IN 1984 PAGEANT

It was noted during the NAD conference that Jane Fernandes was a Miss Deaf America contestant herself back in 1984, representing Iowa and finishing as third runner-up. DeafDC Blogger Rob Rice posted photos of Fernandes as a contestant and a copy of the poem she interpreted for the talent portion of the contest – along with his plea to discontinue the pageant, an idea he says is backed by several deaf VIPs. Check it out at www.deafdc.com/blog/rob-rice/2006-07-02/the-miss-deaf-america-beauty-pageant.

CHELSEA TOBIN OF SOUTH DAKOTA NAMED MISS DEAF AMERICA

Chelsea Marie Tobin was crowned Monday night as the new Miss Deaf America for 2006-08. Tobin, who was Miss Deaf South Dakota, was crowned by Erin Casler in her last official duty as Miss Deaf America 2004-06. Tobin's talent performance, “Dr. Seuss ASLized,” was termed “brilliant” in the NAD conference blog. Tobin, one of 27 women who vied for the title, said she plans to promote the NAD by focusing on young deaf people and encouraging more girls, regardless of their background, to become involved with the Miss Deaf America program. “I met other girls who were so intelligent that I was humbled to be in their presence,” she said,


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BOBBIE BETH SCOGGINS ELECTED NAD PRESIDENT

The NAD held elections Monday for its 2006-08 board officers and the following results were announced (with the candidates’ websites): President, Bobbie Beth Scoggins (www.bobbiebethscoggins.com); Vice President, Chris Wagner (www.teamwagner.org); Secretary, Nancylynn Ward (www.looking4ward.org); and Treasurer, Tom Dillon (http://home.att.net/~tomdillon). New regional representatives for the NAD board 2006-2010 term are Julie Bourne, Jack Cooper, Lissette Molina and John Dickinson. Linsay Darnell will replace Scoggins as Region II representative.

PRESS RELEASE CLAIMS FERNANDES WANTS SCHOOLS CLOSED

A press release last week claimed that Jane Fernandes “wants all state deaf schools closed down.” The release was issued by Brian Riley of Gallyprotest (www.gallyprotest.org) and distributed through a free service called Press Method. If Fernandes survives the protests and becomes Gallaudet’s ninth president, “she will continue policies that will lead to the permanent closure of all state residential schools for the deaf,” said the release. Fernandes countered with a statement saying, “I am now, have always been, and will continue to be a strong proponent of the efficacy of the nation’s public and private schools for deaf and hard-of-hearing children.”

FSSA: ‘PROTEST IS FAR FROM OVER’

The FSSA Coalition (www.gallyfssa.org), a group of faculty, staff, students and alumni of Gallaudet University who came together after Jane Fernandes’ appointment on May 1, wrote in an open letter last week of its “great disappointment” with the university’s Board of Trustees. In contrast to the board’s willingness in May to address serious issues, the board has retreated “to its passive role of policy review” after being told by I. King Jordan, Jane Fernandes and their consultants that the protest “is over,” said the letter to acting board chair Brenda Brueggemann. Additionally, “we have seen no attempts by any of the responsible parties to move toward a positive resolution,” the FSSA wrote. As a result, “the protest is far from over.”

JORDAN ISSUES GUIDELINES ON CAMPUS ASSEMBLIES

I. King Jordan issued a memorandum to the Gallaudet community last Wednesday titled “Guidelines for Expressive Activities and Assemblies” (http://pr.gallaudet.edu/dailydigest/?ID=9014&Date=6/29/2006). Jordan said the university’s Crisis Management Team developed the guidelines at his request. The guidelines would require any march, rally or peaceful assembly to register two days in advance. In addition, any symbolic structures, such as the tents in which protesters lived on campus for two weeks in May, must have prior approval and be taken down every day. Jordan also issued a memo (www.gallaudet.edu/x3192.xml) clarifying the role of ex-provost Jane Fernandes in the months leading to his retirement. Fernandes will hold the title “president designate,” said Jordan, and would be given an office and staff support to focus on her responsibilities. Fernandes’ most important job? To lead the selection process for a new provost.


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NATIONAL
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FATHER, SON PLEAD GUILTY IN ’97 SLAVERY CASE

The case of a New York deaf slavery ring that first came to light in 1997 drew closer to an end last week when two deaf Mexicans pleaded guilty to extortion. Jose Paoletti-Moreda, 63, and his son, Renato Paoletti-Lemus, 33, flashed their right hands quickly to deliver their guilty pleas, reported The New York Sun. Their cases had been put on hold while the two served eight-year prison terms in Mexico. Prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed to five-year prison sentences in the U.S. Several former captives are expected to deliver victim statements at a formal sentencing on September 27. The slavery ring drew national attention in 1997 when dozens of deaf immigrants were found living in slave-like conditions in two Queens apartments, where they were threatened, abused and forced to sell trinkets on the subways.

PSYCHIATRIC SOLUTIONS ACQUIRES NATIONAL DEAF ACADEMY

Psychiatric Solutions, Inc. announced in Franklin, Tenn. this week that it has purchased the National Deaf Academy (NDA), an 84-bed residential treatment center in Mt. Dora, Fla. The NDA is nationally known for providing mental healthcare to deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind and autistic children, adolescents and adults, said a news release, and produced revenues of about $14.2 million in 2005. “There continues to be a tremendous need throughout the U.S. for our specialized services,” said Alan Cohen, M.D., a founder and CEO of the NDA. The acquisition is one of 15 by Psychiatric Solutions since the start of 2006, adding 1,500 beds to its portfolio.

RHODE ISLAND GETS GREEN LIGHT FOR NEW SCHOOL

Months of wrangling over a location for a $31.3-million Rhode Island School for the Deaf have led to an agreement to build the school in Lincoln, said the Providence Journal. The new 91,400-square-foot school will replace a building in Providence that officials call inadequate for deaf students. RISD currently serves about 105 students ages 3 through 21. The design plan for the new school includes a multipurpose athletic field that will be shared with two neighbors – the Davies Career and Technical School and the Community College of Rhode Island’s Lincoln campus – and built on the land of all three institutes. The new school is expected to open in Fall 2008.

IN DEATH PENALTY CASE, MAN DENIES KNOWING SON

Jack Bocharski “did not once acknowledge the existence of his son, Phillip” while giving testimony in a Prescott, Ariz. courtroom last week, said The Daily Courier. “I don’t believe I’ve seen him before,” said Bocharski, described in the report as a “deaf-mute.” Phillip Bocharski faces the death penalty for the 1995 stabbing death of Freeda Brown, 84. Last Wednesday, Jack testified that he had five children from four marriages. He did not include Phillip’s name but acknowledged Phillip’s older sister, whom he hadn’t seen since she was an infant. He admitted that he never provided any support for his daughter, Carol Ann Tucker, after leaving the family in 1960. Tucker, 46, testified that she thought her father was dead because that’s what her mother told her. Last week she met her father for the first time when she traveled from Texas to testify.

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Bullying Hurts! Stop it!

See Dr. Hodgdon's website for workshop information www.stopdeafbullying.com

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WOMAN AWAITS SENTENCING IN KILLING OF HOUSEMATE

WROC-TV in Rochester, N.Y., reported last week on a deaf woman who was convicted of killing a deaf man in front of witnesses who were deaf. Theresa Vargas, 22, was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter in the stabbing death of her housemate, Johnnie Frazier. According to her attorney, John Parrinello, Vargas was trying to stop Frazier from taking her car and her boyfriend to a home where Frazier said he’d been robbed. Vargas didn’t want her boyfriend getting in trouble, said Parrinello, “so she grabbed the keys and jumped in the car and [Frazier] tried to get at her in the car.” Vargas was awaiting sentencing last week and Parrinello hoped to keep her out of prison. “She had great fear that he would wrestle the knife from her and stab her!,” he said.

MAN HELPS POLICE CATCH SUSPECTED DRUNK DRIVER

A deaf Colorado man helped police apprehend a suspected drunk driver last week, reported the Greeley Tribune. Eric Fifer, an American Sign Language instructor at Front Range Community College, was driving toward Fort Collins when he noticed several emergency vehicles parked alongside the road. After passing the scene, he came across a man trying to flag him down. Fifer initially thought the man was an emergency worker but became suspicious because the man was barefoot and smelled of river water. When the man asked Fifer to avoid the emergency vehicles, he became even more suspicious. He stopped in the middle of the road, got out quickly and told a police officer, “I am deaf. I don’t know him. I think you are looking for him.” The incident occurred on the same road where Fifer was hit by a drunk driver four years ago, a crash that killed his beloved hearing dog, Fancy.

PROPOSAL TO MOVE BLIND SCHOOL BASHED IN OREGON

A proposal to move the Oregon School for the Blind to the campus of the Oregon School for the Deaf came under attack by two Statesman Journal letter-writers on Sunday. Robert Pope of Salem questioned the makeup of committees that “had no one from either school or who have connections with the schools on them.” Using oil and water for comparison, Pope writers, “blind and deaf also do not mix well.” Annie Holsworth, of Albany, noted that the School for the Blind has been around since 1873 and recently had a weekend program “cut by the Legislature so the enrollment would look poorly and cause closure.” She criticized the lack of school employees and parents on the task force and said the public input meetings were not announced until after the schools had closed for the summer.

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GROUP LOSES STATE CONTRACT OVER PRIVACY CONCERNS

A nonprofit agency in Washington state that serves the deaf and hard of hearing is losing 20 percent of its budget after state officials decided not to renew a $157,000 contract the agency had received since the early 1990s. The Tacoma Area Coalition of Individuals with Disabilities is in no danger of folding, executive director Chris Ensor told the Tacoma News Tribune, but “we’re unhappy and disappointed with the decision.” The state Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing chose not to renew the grant after trying for almost two years to get the coalition to provide data to prove it is serving its clients. Ensor says the group has a policy not to divulge information without client consent but was able to obtain release consents from 48 of 65 clients. It was too little too late for state lawyers, who said the contract outweighed the group’s privacy policy.

CALIFORNIA GROUP MARKS 10TH YEAR OF SERVICE

The Escondido (Calif.) North County Times did a story Sunday on Signs of Silence, a San Marcos nonprofit that is celebrating 10 years of service to North County’s deaf population. The group was founded by Roy Hensley after he witnessed a tragedy in 1991 – a woman died when her deaf husband could not get through to 911 on a TTY. After four years of research and a year as a volunteer with a sign language agency, Hensley launched Signs of Silence in the small office where it still remains. The group is less of a program and more of a gathering place, said Hensley, and attracts mostly young men from 19 to 24. To date, Hensley has helped orchestrate over 700 successful job placements. “Our purpose is to improve the quality of life for the deaf, and we’re doing that,” he said.

DEAF, BLIND BOY, 3, FACES EVICTION FROM PUBLIC HOUSING

A deaf and blind 3-year-old boy in a near vegetative state is facing eviction from his home in a Worcester, Mass. public housing complex, reported the Worcester Telegram. Ricardo Olivencia uses a wheelchair, breathes with an oxygen tank and is fed through a stomach tube. Officials with the Worcester Housing Authority want to evict him and his sister, Solimar, 6, along with their mother, Catalina Olivencia, after police allegedly found marijuana in her apartment during a February 2005 raid. Olivencia said police didn’t have a warrant to search her home, and the plastic bag they found in her trash came from sweeping the landing outside her door. “They are always leaving weed bags on the stairs,” she said.

DEAF TEEN HEADED TO CAMP AFTER 28 OFFERS OF HELP

In just a one-day span last week, 16-year-old Violet Blake of Derby, Conn. went from little hope to too much help. The deaf teen had little hope of raising the $1,250 tuition to attend the National Association of the Deaf’s Youth Leadership Camp in Portland, Ore. – until the Connecticut Post did a story on her plight. Violet’s mother, Viola Ann Fiorino, opened her email inbox last Wednesday and found 25 offers to help pay the camp tuition. An additional three offers were received by the Derby Public Library. “The response has been wonderful,” said Fiorino, who chose an offer from Griffin Hospital. “Violet is very excited she is going to camp.” The 64-student camp, from July 19 to August 15, focuses on scholarship, citizenship and leadership skills.


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Sorenson IP Relay™ expands communication possibilities for deaf and hard-of hearing individuals by enabling free text-to-speech relay calls with any standard telephone user in the U.S. Sorenson IP Relay calls can be initiated by visiting the Web site at www.siprelay.com from a personal computer, or can be made with a Sidekick, Blackberry, Trço or other mobile device. A trusted Sorenson Communications Assistant (CA) instantaneously facilitates the conversation between the Sorenson IP Relay user and a friend, doctor or business associate. Sorenson IP Relay calls are free for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.

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INTERNATIONAL
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PALESTINIAN DEAF SOCIETY SAID DAMAGED BY SONIC BOOM

A news release from Gaza City on Monday claimed that the Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children was damaged by the massive sonic booms of Israeli warplanes. The organization, which provides deaf education, vocational training and income-generating programs, suffered damage to its building and had several deaf vocational trainees injured from shattered glass. Israel’s “Operation Summer Rain” left Palestinians in Gaza with no electricity, water, sewage, refrigeration, food, communication, gasoline or work, said the report, and without international support it is unknown how such Palestinian groups as the Atfaluna Society can continue to function.

CANADIAN HEARING SOCIETY NOTES MILESTONES

It’s been a year since Kelly Duffin returned as president and chief executive of the Canadian Hearing Society following a public battle that resulted in a total overhaul of the agency’s board of directors. Two weeks ago, with Duffin and chair Bob Alexander at the helm, the new board marked the society’s 65th birthday at its second annual meeting. According to the Toronto Star, tokens of appreciation were presented to leaders of the Friends of CHS, a union that banded together to support Duffin after her dismissal in November 2004. Deaf artist Enza Iovio created 30 bronze castings featuring a life-sized hand with the first two fingers crossed – “symbolizing hope and friendship in American Sign Language and English.”

STARBUCKS BARISTA SAYS COMPANY DISCRIMINATED

A deaf woman in Canada has filed a discrimination complaint with the British Columbia human rights tribunal against Starbucks, reported the Vancouver Sun. Barbara Burdick, 39, a barista (beverage maker) since January 2005 in Starbuck’s Children’s Hospital branch, claims the coffee giant failed to provide interpreters for staff meetings and performance reviews. Starbucks counters that they tried to get an interpreter for a staff meeting and the lack of an interpreter “had no negative impact” on her job review. The company also noted that during Burdick’s first five months, she was provided with interpreters on five occasions for a total of 20 hours. Nonetheless, the tribunal agreed to hear the case, ruling last week that it would hold a hearing in January to determine the merits of Burdick’s case.

WALES MAN CLEARED OF MURDER CHARGE

A deaf man in Wales, U.K. who was due to stand trial this week for killing a man and dumping his body in the woods has been cleared of murder, reported the Western Mail. Malcolm Martin, 33, was accused of killing Courtney Davies, 53, and hiding his body in the Forest of Dean at Staunton. He was due to stand trial in Bristol Crown Court this week, but a Gloucestershire official said the charge was dropped earlier this year at a hearing after no evidence was offered and a not-guilty verdict was entered.

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Have you seen ASL Comedian Keith Wann perform?

And his explosive energy on stage described as controlled chaos.
Did you see his video clip about Deaf technology?
And his observations on ASL students.
Did you see the interpreter's nightmare with the rap music?
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Visit www.keithwann.com to order your DVD. 85 minutes of ASL comedy!
Performed in ASL, and voice interpreted for signing-impaired.

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COUPLE FIRST TO USE NEW EMERGENCY PROGRAM

Robert Walker used a new service for the deaf to send a text message to emergency services when his wife, Michelle Mitchell, thought she was having a heart attack last week. According to the BBC News, an ambulance arrived at the deaf couple’s home in Kirkcaldy, Fife within 10 minutes. They were the first to use the new service, which was launched in April. Mitchell’s symptoms turned out to be a false alarm, but “I was so relieved that Robert was able to contact the police,” she said. “If we had not registered I don’t know what we would have done.”

CUBANS MARK INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE DEAF

Cubans celebrated the International Day of the Deaf on June 27, reported Ahora, and noted that 18 children on the island have had their hearing restored through cochlear implant surgery. The operation costs tens of thousands of dollars abroad but is carried out for free in Cuba, said the report. The government also provides specialized schools for Cuba’s 140 non-hearing and non-speaking children. Overall, 669 citizens are deaf/non-speaking, of whom 78 are employed and the others receive social assistance. The International Day of the Deaf is held June 27 to mark the birth of U.S. citizen Helen Keller in 1880, said the report.

INDIAN DEAF SCHOOL CELEBRATES WORLD MUSIC DAY

Students, teachers and administrators of the Government Rotary Deaf school, Bhavani nagar, in Hubli, India came together recently to celebrate World Music Day. According to NewIndPress.com, they were joined by special guest Prof Swapna Rani Das, who observed that Music Day “would be meaningful when people with impaired hearing enjoyed music.” She sang a song while students with hearing aids joined her in the chorus. “Music has the divine power to inspire an inarticulate and deaf person to lead a cheerful life,” she said.


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MILESTONES
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FATHER JAMES HALL, 70, DEAF CATHOLIC PRIEST

A funeral service took place last Friday in Aurora, Ill. for Father James Hall, 70, a deaf Catholic priest who died June 26 at his home at the Aurora Community for the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. Father Hall was born in 1936 in Painesville, Ohio and became deaf from spinal meningitis at age 9. He graduated from St. Rita’s School for the Deaf in Cincinnati in 1955 and went on to earn a B.A. in psychology from Gallaudet in 1983. He was ordained a deacon in 19998, serving in Indiana, and was ordained a priest at the age of 64 on June 9, 2002, the seventh deaf person to be ordained in the U.S. Father Hall’s service included ministries to the deaf in Gary, Ind.; Rockford, Ill.; Joliet, Ill.; and Chicago, and retreat work across the country. He is survived by a sister, a sister-in-law, and many nieces and nephews.


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EMPLOYMENT
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Position: Deaf Habilitation Service Specialist

Full time with the Center for Disability Rights, Inc. in Rochester, NY

Description: Responsible for the supervision of 15 staff that provide Res Hab, Day Hab, and OMRDD services to individuals in a community setting. This position requires on-call availability.

Qualifications: ASL fluency, Associates’ Degree, previous experience in Supervisory position, and experience serving individuals with DD.

If interested, please, send your resume with cover letter to:

Attn: Meg Stevenson, HR
Center for Disability Rights, Inc.
497 State Street, Rochester, NY 14608

Or cover letters/resumes can be e-mailed to: mstevenson@rochestercdr.org

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Blossom Montessori School for the Deaf (FL) invites applications and nominations for the position of Director. Founded in 2003, Blossom educates deaf and hard of hearing children, their hearing siblings and children of deaf adults (CODA), in an innovative and specialized academic environment using the Montessori curriculum. The founder, Julie Rutenberg, opened the school in Clearwater, Florida with the vision to provide students with the best education and prepare them for a lifetime of success. http://www.blossomschool.org.

The Director will be responsible for overseeing the curriculum, educational programming, Montessori training, grant writing and fundraising for the school. Reporting to the Founder, the Director will manage academic programs and record keeping required of the teachers, relationships and functions between Blossom and government agencies, manage daily administrative duties, and, as a partner with the Founder, run the school.

Qualifications: B.A. degree (preferably Deaf Education); 5+ years of teaching experience (preferably in a Montessori school); American Sign Language fluent. The ability to represent the mission of Blossom Montessori School, a strong balanced work ethic, the ability to think strategically, and a ‘can do’ attitude are also required.

Confidential applications include: focused cover letter, a resume including salary history, and three (3) professional references (including e-mail address). Please forward to: Cheryl A. Hyatt, President, TCR Group, email: tcrgroup@attglobal.net or mail: 400 Ninth Street, Suite A, Conway, Pennsylvania 15027.

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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: July 7, 2006.

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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, CA
Network I.T. Administrator – Los Angeles, CA

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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