deafweekly

 

July 25, 2007
Vol. 3 No. 20

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 2007 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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NATIONAL
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‘ADA RESTORATION ACT’ TO BE INTRODUCED IN CONGRESS

The ADA Restoration Act will be introduced in Congress tomorrow, the 17th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. People with disabilities are still being treated unfairly, says the American Association of People with Disabilities, and courts decide against people with disabilities who challenge employment discrimination 97% of the time. Employers say a person is “too disabled” to do a job, said an AAPD news release, but not “disabled enough” to be protected by the ADA. Two Congressmen – James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) and Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) – are co-sponsoring the bill, but more are needed to show bipartisan support. You can ask your own Representative to sign onto the bill through http://www.congress.gov.

MASSAGE SCHOOL AGREES TO COMPLY WITH ADA

A settlement announced two weeks ago by the U.S. Department of Justice will require the Utah College of Massage Therapy to provide sign language interpreters and other auxiliary aids as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act. UCMT, which has seven campuses in four states that offer a nine-month program in massage therapy, was reviewed for ADA compliance after several deaf students and applicants reported resistance to their interpreter requests. According to a news release, UCMT was acquired by FCNH Inc. during the investigation and the new owners “worked cooperatively with the Department of Justice to reach an agreement.”

SIGN LANGUAGE TRIGGERS ALASKAN BRAWL

Several shots were fired during a brawl in Anchorage, Alaska that apparently began over a misunderstanding about sign language. According to the Anchorage Daily News, Raymond Keith McWain, 26, noticed a car next to him with three occupants, one of whom was signing. He took it as some kind of disrespect toward him, police said, and responded with some gestures of his own. The two cars pulled into a Papa John’s parking lot, where McWain’s cousin, Daniel Harris, 20, joined the fight. The three men from the truck left McWain lying in the parking lot bleeding heavily. The deaf man went to the hospital later for treatment. Harris, who was found with drugs and cash in his pockets, was the only person arrested.

FLORIDA WOMAN REPORTS BACKYARD RAPE

WFTV in Daytona Beach, Fla. reported earlier this month that a woman was raped in the backyard of a vacant house and “couldn’t even scream for help” because she is deaf. The unidentified woman was walking to a store when “a young black man waved her over, convinced her to come to the backyard, put a gun to her head and raped her,” said the report. Afterwards, the woman ran to a park and wrote notes to get a man to call police. Investigators hope someone in the area saw something. “If you know who it is, it behooves you to call us to get this kind of scum off the street,” said Police Chief Michael Chitwood.


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OHIO MAN CHARGED IN ATTACK ON FORMER CLASSMATE

An Ohio man was arrested last week for allegedly beating a former St. Rita School for the Deaf classmate so severely that the victim has been hospitalized for more than a week. Christopher Stamper, 18, was charged with felonious assault, which carries a maximum eight-year prison sentence, and held on $10,000 bond. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Stamper attacked John Roberts, 21, with his fists, a belt and a skateboard, causing broken ribs, a punctured spleen, kidney damage and other internal injuries. Roberts had been staying with Stamper for a few days, said Stamper’s uncle, and Stamper had tried several times to kick him out.

TEXAS MAN CARJACKED AT KNIFEPOINT

A deaf driver was carjacked at knifepoint Sunday night in San Antonio, Texas, reported WOAI. Police say the victim, who was not identified, offered a ride to a man walking alongside the street and moments later the man pulled a knife and demanded the car. The deaf driver fought back but was forced out of the car and became caught on the car. He was dragged down the street before freeing himself and was later treated for minor injuries. Police said they do not have a good description of the suspect.

FUGITIVE SAID TO BE FLUENT IN SIGN LANGUAGE

A fugitive wanted by the FBI “is fluent in sign language and may try to obtain employment or volunteer work in that field,” said an FBI bulletin. Wayne Arthur Silsbee, 50, is wanted for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution on several sexual assault charges dating from 1995-96. A federal arrest warrant was issued in September 1996. Also known as Bill Lee and Bill Wayne, the 6-foot-2, 270-pound Silsbee is a reported nudist with ties to five states (Mo., Calif., Colo., Ariz. and Wash.) and hobbies that include computers, C.B. radios and singing in choirs. Anyone with information is asked to contact their local FBI office.

ILLINOIS SCHOOL CHIEF NAMED TO PERMANENT POST

Illinois state officials last Monday appointed Marybeth Lauderdale as superintendent of the Illinois School for the Deaf. Lauderdale, who began working at ISD nearly 30 years ago as a college worker in the dormitory, had been interim superintendent for the past year. A former literature teacher, media center director and assistant superintendent, Lauderdale serves on the boards of the Illinois Supervisors of the Deaf and MacMurray College Interpreter Training Program. “Marybeth is universally respected and admired within the deaf community statewide and will make an excellent permanent superintendent,” said state official Robert Kilbury.


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INTERNATIONAL
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SAUDI ARABIAN BOY, 5, DIES IN APARTMENT FIRE

A 5-year-old deaf boy in Saudi Arabia who hid under his bed to escape a fire in his apartment died from smoke fumes Saturday night, reported the Arab News. A family of six lived in the apartment in Jeddah, said a Civil Defense spokesman. When an air conditioner sparked a fire while the father was away at work, the mother immediately gathered her children to escape before calling for help. “She couldn’t find her fourth boy because he was deaf and mute and couldn’t hear his mother’s call,” said Capt. Abdullah Al-Amri. “The mother searched the burning apartment for her child, who was hiding under his bed.”

WOMAN SLEEPS THROUGH FIVE-HOUR POLICE SIEGE

A deaf woman in England awoke in her Cornwall home one morning last week to find a police dog biting both of her arms. Police had been outside the house trying to make contact, said The Daily Mail, but Sonia Pellow, 36, slept throughout the siege. It all started with a hoax call to police saying a gunman was inside. After five hours, police stormed the house, accompanied by a police dog that “proceeded to sink its teeth into [Pellow’s] arms.” Pellow, who was reported still too afraid to return home, is “very difficult to wake up once she is asleep,” said her father, Esmond.

SMOKING DEAF MAN GETS ATTACKED AT BUS STATION

A 56-year-old deaf man was beaten up at a bus station in Cardiff, England last Tuesday for smoking a cigarette. Defying a new ban on smoking in bus shelters that started in April – or unaware of the new rules – the man failed to respond when approached from behind by someone asking him to stop smoking. According to the South Wales Echo, he was then “attacked, knocked to the floor, kicked and punched.” A witness noticed the attacker on the same bus afterwards and called police, who stopped the bus minutes later and arrested an unnamed 35-year-old man for what witnesses called an “unprovoked attack.”

YOUNG JOKESTER RAISES FUNDS FOR ENGLISH CHARITY

Q: Who is the smelliest person in the world? A: King Pong. That is the favorite joke of Sunil Bhakar, a fifth-grader who has published a book of jokes to benefit the Shropshire (England) Deaf Children’s Society. Sunil amuses his classmates with the jokes, said the Shropshire Star, and “even roped them into selling copies of the book.” The literary work sells for 10p a copy (about 20 cents US) and all proceeds go to charity. “Sunil’s book of jokes has put a smile on all of our faces,” said his teacher, Louise Davis.

IN ENGLAND, ‘SPECIAL PHONE BOXES FOR DOGS’

University of York scientists have solved a problem that had been hindering trainers of hearing dogs in England. Phone boxes used to teach dogs to recognize and respond to noises were “old and unreliable and caused problems,” said This Is York David Chesmore, chairman of the university’s electronics board of studies, “found the whole idea intriguing” and designed a new system, complete with software, circuit boards and cases, that can be connected to ordinary phones and set to ring at any time, making the dogs’ training more realistic.

MAN FORMS CHURCH FOR DEAF IN MOSCOW APARTMENT

The Baptist Press reported recently on Valera Zhadan, described as the third ordained deaf pastor in Russia. Zhadan had long dreamed of forming a church for deaf people, he said, because in hearing churches the deaf “would be falling asleep in the service.” He met Kris and Frances Courson, hearing missionaries who came to Moscow in 2002 to work with the deaf, and they let him hold his church meeting in their crowded living room. The service quickly outgrew the apartment and now attracts 80 or more people each week to a Moscow Baptist church led by a supportive pastor. Zhadan and the Coursons are also making videos of 150 key Bible stories in Russian Sign Language.

ONLY 10 INTERPRETERS IN ALL OF MALAYSIA

There are only 10 qualified sign-language interpreters for 24,000 deaf persons nationwide, said the Malaysian Federation of the Deaf at a job carnival on Saturday. Siti Zubaidah Mohd Lani, a federation language trainer, said the government has allocated money to train 300 interpreters, and the first batch of 100 students started a year-long certificate course last month. The Malaysian Federation of the Deaf offers an interpreters training center that provides free food and lodging and a monthly allowance. Students then move on to an 18-month diploma program at a Kuala Lumpur program and can return to the federation for help finding a government job.

WEDDING NEWS FROM THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

From the Indian village of Thiruvananthapuram came news last week that a pre-marital meet for the physically-challenged had produced at least one pairing – that of Krishnakumar and Raji, described in Newindpress as “both deaf and dumb.” Krishnakumar, a welder with only a younger brother to call his family, and Raji, described as fond of stitching and handiworks, were “like two kids given their favorite toy” who “seemed to be talking endlessly about their lives all through gestures.” Raji’s parents will soon meet with Krishnakumar’s parents to “match their horoscopes” and plan the marriage.


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LIFE & LEISURE
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MEDIEVAL KNIGHT PROPOSES TO INTERPRETER

Rachel Morgan, an executive staff interpreter with the Kentucky Commission on Deaf & Hard of Hearing, took her morning break July 13 and found boyfriend Larry Perkins waiting outside. According to The State Journal, Perkins was dressed as a medieval knight in full armor. Kneeling beside the DeaFestival horse outside the office, Perkins presented Morgan with a diamond ring and bouquet of flowers as he proposed marriage. Morgan accepted. “People from other buildings came out and watched,” she said. “I was so embarrassed to say the least.”

COCHLEAR IMPLANT SURGERY TO BE SHOWN ON INTERNET

A cochlear implant operation at Tampa (Fla.) General Hospital will be performed live over the Internet tomorrow at 4 p.m. EDT. The procedure usually takes about an hour for each ear as surgeons open the mastoid bone behind the outer ear and slide an electrode cable into the inner ear, said a hospital news release. Tampa General has performed more than 700 cochlear implant surgeries, making it the region’s busiest cochlear implant center. A program preview can be seen here.

FLASH NEWS – DEAF TEEN LEARNING TO DRIVE

From the Billings (Mont.) Gazette via the Associated Press comes word that India Hayes, Park High School sophomore, is learning how to drive. This was deemed newsworthy because India, 15, is deaf. Driver’s education instructor Leah Dahlin provides classroom instruction and twice-a-week driving practice, having learned sign language for common instructions. Watching India drive “is just like watching any other beginning driver,” said the report, and state official Patrick McJannet said the licensing requirements for a deaf person are no different than for anyone else.

HAND-SHAPED SOAP MAKES WASHING HANDY

“Wash your hands with hands,” says online novelty vendor Foliage. For $10, the company offers a pair of soap hands 2-1/2" tall, made of shea butter glycerin with a light scent added. For $12, you can purchase a bag of soap hands from ½" to 2", made from goat’s milk and glycerin. Each hand is hand-made, using dolls’ hands for molds. “They’re kind of creepy,” owner Marie Gardeski admits, but they are “perfect for presents.” To learn more, visit http://foliage.myshopify.com.


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WORKING WORLD
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NEW BOOK EXPLORES SIGNED LANGUAGES

Margalit Fox, a staff writer with The New York Times, has written a new book called “Talking Hands: What Sign Language Reveals About the Mind.” According to Fox, Talking Hands is written for a general readership and provides a look at the signed languages used by deaf people and what science is learning from them about how all human languages operate inside our heads. The book follows four linguists – Wendy Sandler, Mark Aronoff, Carol Padden and Irit Meir – as they explore a sign language used in an isolated Bedouin village. Simon & Schuster will publish the book August 21; pre-orders can be placed now at the website: www.talkinghandsbook.com.

BOSTON UNIV. GETS $995,000 FOR TEACHER TRAINING

The deaf studies program at Boston University’s School of Education has received four training grants totaling $995,000. According to Boston Business Journal, the grants – three from the state and one from the U.S. Department of Education– will be used to train future teachers of the deaf. An estimated 20 percent of teachers of the deaf will retire within the next year, said a BU news release, creating a shortage of about 2,500 teachers. All of the programs in the country combined produce only 200 teachers per year, the statement noted.

DEAF, BLIND GRAD STUDENT NEARS PH.D. IN CHEMISTRY

Christopher Wells, a legally blind and deaf graduate student at the University of Albany (N.Y.), is nearing completion of his Ph.D. in computational chemistry. The 5-foot-3 Wells, whose disabilities stem from a premature birth, said studying chemistry as an undergraduate at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y. was “a considerable challenge,” but in graduate school he has found his niche. For his doctoral thesis, reported Chemical & Engineering News, he is “investigating the role of aromatic molecules in nanotechnology.” Wells, 28, hopes to work as a research scientist or as an academic professor and said new work environments rarely intimidate him.

OHIO MAN RUNS BUSY LANDSCAPING FIRM

The Youngstown (Ohio) Vindicator did a story last month on Kenny Bledsoe, a deaf man who operates his own landscaping business with a five-man, all-deaf crew. Bledsoe, 60, has long been known for his mechanical skills and as the city’s first deaf mail carrier. He attended the now-defunct hearing impaired unit of Youngstown city schools and was president of the Youngstown Deaf Club. His company, Ken’s Lawn Service, now manages about 50 residential and commercial accounts. Bledsoe’s marketing strategy is based on business cards and word of mouth. “One day I’m going to get around to putting a sign on my truck,” he said.


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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
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BIONIC WOMAN’S SISTER WON'T BE DEAF

TV viewers who were looking forward to NBC’s “Bionic Woman” were disappointed to learn that NBC has changed its mind about having a deaf character. Earlier accounts said the main character would have a deaf sister, and a video clip showed two actresses using sign language. But NBC hired a non-deaf actress for the role, “which understandably did not play well with the deaf community,” said The Washington Post. Producers not only eliminated the deaf angle but also recast the role. The sister was going to be deaf because the Bionic Woman worked with chimps using sign language. “The sister is no longer deaf because the chimpanzees have been written out of the show,” said an executive producer.

DEAF TEXAN COMES CLOSE ON ‘AMERICAN INVENTOR’

A 20-year-old deaf man from Austin, Texas appeared on ABC’s “American Inventor” earlier this month. Chris Khanoyan was one of three finalists in Houston with a product called The Voice Within, a voice-to-text and text-to-voice device that uses voice recognition to help deaf and hearing people converse. Khanoyan was accompanied by his mother Linda, who interpreted for him. He was close to being voted off when retired boxer and grill master George Foreman came to his defense. “You just don’t know” if $50,000 would be enough to take the product to market, Foreman told fellow judge Peter Jones. In the end, however, the $50,000 went to the inventors of the Wrap Away Dispenser.

FOXY BROWN ROBBED OF HEARING AID

Foxy Brown, the rap singer who made headlines when she lost her hearing and underwent cochlear implant surgery, made news again when a woman robbed her around 4 a.m. June 23 at a Brooklyn, N.Y. housing project. The robber took Brown’s purse, which contained a few hundred dollars, necklaces and her hearing aid, police told the New York Post. Police arrested Roshawn Anthony, 23, and believe she recognized the deaf star and targeted her. Brown, however, said she wasn’t even in Brooklyn when the robbery occurred, but the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office insists she was robbed.


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SPORTS
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KEVIN HALL WINS GOLF TOURNAMENT BY 25 STROKES

Kevin Hall won the U.S. Deaf Golf Championship by 25 strokes last Friday at the Fair Oaks Golf Course in Caseyville, Ill. It was the first time he played in the event because of previous conflicts in his schedule, reported The Enquirer, and it resulted in one of his most lopsided victories as a touring pro. Hall, 24, finished the four-day event with a 12-under-par 276. “I had heard so much about the tournament and how much fun it was,” said Hall, who won the $2,000 first prize. “For me to finally come out and meet those deaf golfers and compete against them, it was a heck of a time.”

BOSTON CELTICS PLAYER REPORTED NEARLY DEAF

The Boston Herald reported last week that basketball player Lance Allred of the Celtics is 75 percent hearing impaired. But Allred’s tiny hearing aids go unnoticed and most fans don’t know that he competed at the 2002 World Deaf Basketball Championships in Greece. “That’s probably something I shouldn’t put on the bio,” he said. Allread plans to look overseas if he doesn’t land a spot with an NBA team, and he finds his deafness “gets in the way with European clubs – they think they won’t be able to communicate with me.”

GO-KART RACER FINISHES IN TOP 11

Ron Reed enjoyed “blissful silence” while competing in the Greeley Grand Prix on Memorial Day weekend, reported The (Greely) Tribune. Reed, 17, is the only deaf racer on the Colorado go-kart circuit. While other drivers rely on their ears, said the report, Reed “does it all by feel.” Unfortunately, he finished 11th out of 12 drivers, three laps behind the leaders. Still, he loves racing on the Greeley Grand Prix course, especially with its new layout and size. “Usually tracks are all laid out the same and here you don’t know what you are in for,” he said. “This is fun because it is a lot more different.”

‘MIRACLE’ PITCHER GOES 24-1, SETS STRIKEOUT RECORD

It’s a miracle that Capri Catalano can even pitch, said sportswriter Jerry Carino in the Bridgewater (N.J.) Courier News, let alone fan 1,347 batters to set a state strikeout record for a high school softball pitcher. Capri nearly died from spinal meningitis when she was four years old. She spent three weeks in a coma and went a year without walking, losing her balance, much of her vision and all of her hearing. For the next four years, she didn’t say a word. At 8, her father Tony put her in a soccer league. The next year, she took up softball. This season, she went 24-1 with a 0.12 ERA and 19 shutouts for Governor Livingston High School in Berkeley Heights, N.J. earning Pitcher of the Year honors from the Newark Star-Ledger. “I was just hoping she was going to walk again,” said Tony.


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COMING EVENTS
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SOBERCAMP 2007 COMING UP AT CAMP MARK SEVEN

There’s still time to sign up for SoberCamp 2007 at Camp Mark Seven in Old Forge, N.Y. The August 19-25 event is sponsored by Signs of Sobriety, Inc. and SAISD and will focus on sobriety-maintenance activities that include outdoor recreation, team building games, family bonding, 12-Step meetings and more. Participants must be deaf or hard of hearing (hearing spouses and family members may attend as guests) and go at least 30 days without drug or alcohol use prior to camp. The registration fee ($250 for adults, $60 for children, due August 7) covers six nights in the Camp Mark Seven lodge and all meals. To learn more, visit http://signsofsobriety.org/events.html.

USADBO PLANS SECOND TRY AT TOURNAMENT

Al Lepre has announced that his American Deaf Exposition will host the USA Deaf Basketball Organization’s Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament March 26-29, 2008 in Parsippany, N.J. An early-bird combo ticket is available for $30 with a limit of 1,100 tickets and deadline of August 31. Make checks payable to American Deaf Exposition and mail to P.O. Box 251, Carle Place, NY 11514. The new organization cancelled its first tournament last March just days before it was to begin and has not updated its website since.


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MILESTONES
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VALERIE DANIEL, 44, ATLANTA INTERPRETER

Valerie Renea Daniel, a sign language interpreter from Atlanta, Ga. who kept her nails manicured and her wardrobe monochromatic so nothing would distract from her message, died at Emory University Hospital June 6 from complications following heart surgery. Ms. Daniel worked as an interpreter at Clark Atlanta University and was a receptionist for the State Bar of Georgia, said The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Everybody here knows her by ‘Silly Shoes,’” said co-worker Deborah Grant. “She wore very high heel shoes and a wide variety.” Ms. Daniel was approached so often to interpret that she set up her own company this year, charging $35 to $75 a day. “She didn’t live on that,” said her mother, Catherine Watson. “That was her hobby.” Ms. Daniel, who is also survived by her father, Tommy “Red” Daniel, was 44.


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EMPLOYMENT
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You can advertise your job openings here for just $20 a week (up to 100 words, 10 cents each add'l word) and reach nearly 7,000 Deafweekly subscribers. Our website gets an additional 3,000+ page views each week. Start spreading the news! To place your ad, send the announcement to mail@deafweekly.com.

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JOB COACHING POSITIONS AVAILABLE:

Are you are a high energy person? Fluent in American Sign Language? Have your own transportation? Allies, Inc. is currently searching for individuals to fill job coaching positions. Part time and full time positions available in Northern New Jersey. Associates degree required, Bachelor’s degree preferred. NJ Driver’s license required. Competitive salary/ benefits. Please email resume to Abetso@alliesnj.org.

Successful candidates must be fluent in American Sign Language and should have extensive knowledge of Deaf culture and issues pertaining to being Deaf and hard of hearing in the work place. You should also possess excellent computer and writing skills. Please contact Alyse Betso, Director of Vocational Services at Allies, Inc. v/ 609-689-0136 extension 147 or email Abetso@alliesnj.org for more information and to set up an interview.

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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.

Regional Director – Riverside
Director of LIFESIGNS – Los Angeles
Community Interpreter 1 – Riverside
Community Interpreter 2 (3 positions open) – Riverside
Placement Coordinator – Crenshaw
Lead Dispatcher – Los Angeles
Hard of Hearing Specialist – Riverside
Hard of Hearing Specialist (Temporary) – Los Angeles
Community Advocate (Part-time) – Riverside
Community Health Educator – 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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EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

Position: Product Manager, Relay Services
Location: Hackensack, NJ

This position is responsible for managing the company’s product portfolio of new and existing Internet-based relay products, services, features and platforms, in timely response to customer, market, competitive, and operational requirements.

This position includes the following responsibilities: (i) manage new and existing relay product/service offerings for deaf and hard-of-hearing customers; (ii) drive product/service development/management process within the company and with outside vendors, producing and iterating specifications throughout; (iii) develop and implement customer research and cultivate first-hand understanding of customers; (iv) monitor product/service performance and drive product/service lifecycle changes as required; (v) participate in development and management of overall customer communications strategy and customer/trade promotion strategy; (vi) develop pricing/offers and pursue initiatives for new business development. This position reports to the Vice President of Product Management.

QUALIFICATIONS:

Technical or marketing degree with 4-6 years of product management experience; telecommunications or hearing/speech industry experience desirable
Ideal candidate must enjoy technology and its use in building bridges among the Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing communities
PC literate for analyses and forecasts/budgets
Able to juggle multiple projects & changing priorities with enthusiasm; be able to give clear direction to ensure deadlines are met and quality results are achieved
Excellent verbal, written and presentation skills
Attention to detail and accuracy
Work with minimal supervision to coordinate activities with internal departmental staff and contractors
Knowledge of or interest in people with hearing loss; American Sign Language conversational abilities very desirable, or willingness to learn required
Ability to travel, especially on weekends, required

Application deadline: Until filled

Please submit your resume or application to: hr@goamerica.com

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EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

Position: Product Manager, Hard of Hearing Products & Services
Location: Hackensack, NJ

This position is responsible for managing the company’s portfolio of new and existing products and services geared to, but not limited to, the Hard of Hearing market (e.g., hearing-aid compatible mobile phones, Internet-based captioned telephone service, voice carry over services), in timely response to customer, market, competitive, and operational requirements.

This position includes the following responsibilities: (i) develop, recommend, and implement strategic/tactical product/service offerings primarily targeting (but not limited to) the Hard of Hearing Market; (ii) manage new and existing product/service offerings for hard-of-hearing customers; (iii) drive Hard of Hearing product/service development/management process within the company and with outside vendors, producing and iterating specifications throughout; (iv) develop and implement customer research and cultivate first-hand understanding of customers; (v) monitor Hard of Hearing product/service performance and drive product/service lifecycle changes as required; (vi) participate in development and management of overall customer communications strategy and customer/trade promotion strategy; (vii) develop pricing/offers and pursue initiatives for new business development. This position reports to the Vice President of Product Management.

QUALIFICATIONS:

Technical or marketing degree with 4-6 years of product management experience; telecommunications or hearing/speech industry experience desirable
Ideal candidate must enjoy technology and its use in building bridges among the Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing communities
PC literate for analyses and forecasts/budgets
Able to juggle multiple projects & changing priorities with enthusiasm; be able to give clear direction to ensure deadlines are met and quality results are achieved
Excellent verbal, written and presentation skills
Attention to detail and accuracy
Work with minimal supervision to coordinate activities with internal departmental staff and contractors
Knowledge of or interest in people with hearing loss; American Sign Language conversational abilities very desirable, or willingness to learn required
Ability to travel, especially on weekends, required

Application deadline: Until filled

Please submit your resume or application to: hr@goamerica.com

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INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS NEEDED

Position: i711 Relay Specialist
Location: Hackensack, NJ

We are seeking independent contractors to help drive i711 relay services revenue by assisting customers with installing required hardware and/or software and by providing remote and/or onsite customer training to ensure positive, sustained, and increasing customer usage of i711 relay services.

i711 Relay Specialists have the following responsibilities, among others: (1) complete an assigned number of remote installations of i711 VRS per month; (2) review and approve customer applications for webcams, and conduct follow up interactions with customers until installation and usage is confirmed; (3) provide technical assistance to customers requiring help in setting up webcams, updating their videophone directories, and placing VRS calls; (4) participate in trade shows and community events, with an emphasis on qualifying prospects, capturing installation leads, and arranging for fulfillment; (5) provide remote and/or onsite customer education and training on using i711 relay services; and (6) provide, on an escalation basis, second-tier customer support and/or technical assistance to relay users, in collaboration with the Customer Support team.

QUALIFICATIONS:

4-year college degree or equivalent experience in a sales-, technical-, or community-related field
Self-starter with firsthand experience and knowledge of what it takes to “sell” relay services in a highly-competitive marketplace
Able to work effectively both in a team environment and independently, with minimal supervision
Demonstrates strong interpersonal, communication, and presentation/teaching skills
Able to multi-task effectively in a fast paced environment, with strong follow-through on a wide variety of details
Demonstrates strong analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills
Able to travel to and from customer premises by private car and/or public transit
Able to work on a flexible schedule in order to meet sales and customer needs (some weekend and evening work time required)
Able to read and write large volumes of email and instant messages (IM)
Knowledge of or interest in people with hearing loss and communication challenges
Conversational fluency in American Sign Language (ASL)
3 years experience with Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office applications, and with using the Internet
Troubleshooting experience on PC and Macintosh; desktop support certification a plus
Technical experience with videophones, webcams, videoconferencing software, residential firewalls/routers, and wireless devices, or willingness and aptitude to learn
Experience presenting product information directly to end-user customers
Experience working in a customer service role preferred

Application deadline: Until filled

Please submit your resume or application to: hr@goamerica.com

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