August 8, 2012
Vol. 8, No. 39
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 2012 and any unauthorized use is prohibited. Please support our advertisers; they make it possible for you to receive Deafweekly.
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Last issue's most-read story:
'STUPID DEAF PEOPLE': 2090 COALITION BEHAVING BADLY / Deaf
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EDITOR'S NOTE: I started a new website this week called Please Don't Shoot Us! -- Deaf People and the Police. It is designed to serve as a repository of news stories related to the mistreatment of deaf people at the hands of the police. Let us hope that by calling more attention to these news stories, there will be fewer such stories to tell.
DEAF BOY, 11, KILLED IN LITTLE VILLAGE APARTMENT FIRE
A Chicago boy died over the weekend when a fire broke out inside his home in the 2400-block of South Lawndale. Neighbors said the boy was unable to hear or speak. Fire officials say there were no working smoke detectors in the home when flames ignited at approximately 10:30 p.m. Sunday night. The medical examiner has identified the victim as Sergio Pedroza, 11. His body was found inside a bedroom on the first floor of the two-and-a-half-story red brick home. Witnesses say his mother tried desperately to save him. / abc7chicago.com
MORE DETAILS ON A LINCOLN COUNTY MURDER PLOT
New details about a bizarre plot by deaf women to kill an 82-year-old woman in Lincoln County have come to light. Investigators say the plot was a plan of revenge stemming from a lesbian lover's quarrel. Joel Taylor says he saw four women get out of a car and knock on the front door of Lois Goode's home along Danville Road in Hustonville. When nobody answered, the women went around the back of the house. That's when Taylor called the police. Taylor says the police chief confronted two armed intruders -- Autumn Drass and Tequisha Horton. / LEX18.com
POLICE USE TASER ON DEAF CRIME VICTIM
KIRO TV’s investigative unit has discovered Tacoma police used force to arrest and handcuff an innocent deaf woman after she called 911 for their help. Instead of an apology, she ended up bloody and in jail for nearly three days without an interpreter before a prosecutor declined to press charges. After months of digging, investigative reporter Chris Halsne found significant discrepancies in the official police version of events leading up to Lashonn White’s arrest. / KIRO
DEAF GIRL SUES OVER GIRL SCOUTS DISBANDING HER TROOP
Megan Runnion, who is deaf, can’t understand the hallway chatter of her classmates at her elementary school, but for six years her Girl Scout troop gave her a social life in the hearing world. The local Girl Scouts council paid for a sign-language interpreter to attend Megan’s Girl Scout meetings, camping trips and other outings. But a federal lawsuit filed on the 12-year-old’s behalf alleged the Girl Scouts abruptly disbanded Megan’s Schaumburg, Ill., troop early this year in retaliation for her mother’s efforts to keep the 100-year-old organization paying for the interpreter. / Chicago Tribune
San Diego, CA
IT'S LIKE TALKING TO A DEAF MAN ...
In a class action for the Internet age, a deaf man claims a prepaid debit card company refused to communicate with him by email, but kept telling him to call it on the phone -- leaving him without a way to pay his medical bills. Richard Halavais accuses AccountNow of a "systematic pattern of discrimination," unfair business practices and civil rights violations. Halavias, disabled by a stroke, says the company refused to accommodate his requests by email to secure a new card so he could pay for a stay at a rehabilitation center in National City. / Courthouse News Service
Broward County, FL
MAN SLAMS WOMAN'S HEAD INTO PAVEMENT, KNOCKS TEETH OUT, HALLANDALE BEACH POLICE SAY
A 29-year-old man was accused of slamming a woman's head against the pavement and knocking four of her teeth out following an argument at the American Legion Post in Hallandale Beach, according to a police report. Roberto Artigas, of West Park, was charged with four counts of aggravated battery and two counts of criminal mischief. He communicated with Broward County Judge John "Jay" Hurley Tuesday via an American Sign Language interpreter and was being held on $50,000 bail in Broward County jail. / Sun Sentinel
DEAF MAN THREATENED OVER PARKED TRUCK
A deaf man who tried communicating with a driver about an illegal parked vehicle was threatened with a knife July 10 in Downtown Pueblo. The 39-year-old victim, who communicated through written notes, told police he confronted a man about how he had illegally parked his pickup truck. / The Pueblo Chieftain
West Palm Beach, FL
TWO DEAF WOMEN REPORTED MISSING FROM SUBURBAN WEST PALM BEACH FOUND
Authorities want the public’s help in finding two deaf women who have gone missing from their home in suburban West Palm Beach. Jean Marie Breyer, 50, and Teresa Ann Flanagan, 49, are considered endangered. Update: Police on Saturday confirmed that the two women who had been thought missing were found in Michigan. The women, according to police, have been staying with a family friend. / Palm Beach Post
DEAF WOMAN'S HOUSE FIRE HIGHLIGHTS 911 TECHNOLOGY
Kristy Hulsey’s home is a complete loss after her mobile home was engulfed in flames late Wednesday night. Her three dogs didn’t make it out alive. Hulsey’s neighbor Tim Drake saw her walking to her family’s home down the road before the fire. Hulsey’s family members say she is deaf and they don’t know if she dialed 911. “She’s very hard to understand. Usually her husband interprets everything she says,” added Drake. / 5 News
DEL. GOVERNOR SIGNS DEAF SERVICES BILL
Delaware Gov. Markell says he has signed two bills that will benefit newborns, infants and those with deafness, hearing loss or speech disabilities. The governor says the bills signed Friday in Wilmington make small changes that will have a significant impact and improve the quality of life for many in Delaware. / The Associated Press
SOME LAKEWOOD RESIDENTS WANT TO STOP DEAF SCHOOL FROM BEING BUILT
The deadline is fast approaching for a group of Lakewood residents to try and stop a school from being built on a treasured piece of land. The Rocky Mountain Deaf School plans to buy 10 acres of land in Lakewood. It’s bordered by 26 acres of open space called Hutchinson Park. Residents living around Hutchinson Park see the piece of undeveloped land as an escape — a treasure that has boosted views, home prices and affected sales, and a retreat for wildlife. / CBS Denver
See Also GUEST COMMENTARY: KNOW THE FACTS ABOUT THE 2090 COALITION'S PETITION / The Denver Post
Cedar Rapids, IA
STATE CONSIDERS FUTURE OF SCHOOL FOR DEAF
Sixteen-year-old D.J. Meyer plays quarterback on his high school football team, point guard for the basketball team, serves on the student council and had a role in the recent school production of “Grease.” Meyer also is deaf. The Iowa City resident attends the Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs, and he argues that deaf and hard-of-hearing students can’t get the same academic and social experiences in a mainstream school that they enjoy at the deaf school. “I was so isolated in the mainstream school,” Meyer said. / The Gazette
See Also EDITORIAL: DIFFERENT CHALLENGES, DIFFERENT NEEDS / The Gazette
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Jabal Akrad, Syria
FUNERAL IS A RUSHED AFFAIR IN WAR-RAVAGED SYRIA
Mohammed Aziz Mehho, a 28-year-old apple and peach farmer, had been sitting on his balcony when the thumping rotor of a helicopter gunship broke the morning silence. While Tertyah's remaining villagers hid indoors, Mehho -- left deaf by a childhood illness -- could not hear the aircraft's approach. A Syrian soldier took aim and shot him in the head. Mehho was rushed to the makeshift field hospital three kilometres away in Salma. But as night fell the family's worst fears were confirmed with the report that he had died. / The Sydney Morning Herald
Freetown, Sierra Leone
DEAF PROTEST OVER INCARCERATED COLLEAGUE
A cross section of people with disabilities July 31 converged at NEC headquarter in a mild protest over the arrest of their colleague Foday Mattia, who spent 6 days in police custody over allegations of double registration. The president of Sierra Leone National Deaf Association, Ramatu Sesay, expressed disappointment over NEC officials for not understanding their sign language and they therefore cannot communicate well with members of SLNDA. / Sierra Express Media
County Cork, Ireland
FROM EAR TO MODERNITY: CALEM HEARS FOR THE FIRST TIME
Bionic ear boy Calum Geary has heard sounds for the first time thanks to a pioneering US clinic. Calum, three, was born profoundly deaf but had a bionic computer chip implanted in February. Now he can react to sound thanks to a course at the specialist John Tracy Clinic in Los Angeles, California. Dad Andrew said: “We are all delighted. It is beyond our wildest dreams. Now things can only get better.” / The Sun
Conwy County, Wales
CHIMPANZEE 'ASKS' VISITORS TO FREE HIM FROM ENCLOSURE IN HEARTBREAKING FILM
Intelligent and inquisitive, chimpanzees have always been able to communicate with man. But this heartbreaking video shows just how desperate this chimp is to be understood and to be let out of his cage. The chimp is seen in the video motioning to a watching visitor to unlock the bolt on what appears to be a glass door and lift the window, so he can be free. Tapping on the window the chimp repeatedly urges people standing on the other side of the glass to let them outside. It links its fingers together, a signal similar to the American Sign Language representation of the word 'gate'. / Daily Mail
DEAF STUDENT PRAISES SUNDERLAND UNIVERSITY AS SHE GAINS HER DEGREE
A deaf student has finally fulfilled her dream of graduating from university. Nellie Ayiro, a single mum of four, had to give up her job in a call centre when she suddenly became profoundly deaf a few years ago. But Nellie has overcome the hurdle to graduate with a BA (Hons) Business and HR Management degree from the University of Sunderland’s Business School. She now plans to train as a business studies teacher for pupils with special educational needs. / Sunderland Echo
POPULAR DEAF CLUB TO CLOSE
A social club for deaf people attended by around 60 people every week looks set to close down due to a lack of funding and support. The Walthamstow Deaf Club has provided a venue for deaf and hard-of-hearing residents to meet since 2004. Organizers say the club is rare and unique in east London as it allows non-deaf members to attend. But continuing difficulties in securing cash to pay the £350-a-month ($550 US) rent and a lack of willingness from anyone to run the club has meant it will have to shut down in October. / Guardian
DEAF CLUB WINS BOOZE LICENSE AFTER DOING DEAL
Plymouth Deaf Association has won the right to serve alcohol to its members and their guests after a compromise deal was hammered out with local residents. The club had originally applied for a license to allow music and live dance as well. But it watered down the application after dozens of local residents objected, citing fears over noise, crime, disturbance, litter and traffic problems in a residential conservation area. / This is Plymouth
HITCHIN FOSTER CARERS OF DEAF CHILDREN COMMENDED FOR THEIR WORK
Foster carers who look after deaf children have been learning how to communicate with their young charges, thanks to the Comet’s Charity of the Year. Phoenix Group, a charity which works with young deaf children and their families, delivered a course in deaf awareness to carers at the Hitchin-based Swan Fostering agency. The course, which was held over six months, included training in sign language, with the carers gaining a new appreciation of the difficulties encountered by deaf and hearing-impaired children. / The Comet
Toronto, ON, Canada
DOCUMENTARY ON SEXUAL ABUSE OF DEAF CHILDREN PREMIERES AT TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL
A documentary about a pedophile priest who allegedly abused over 200 deaf boys at the St. John’s School for the Deaf in St. Francis, Wisconsin will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September. "Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God" chronicles the testimony of some of the victims who were sexually assaulted by Father Lawrence Murphy at the school between 1950 and 1974. The film also claims that Pope Benedict XVI, then known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was aware of the sexual abuse complaints against Murphy. / Examiner.com
Vancouver, BC, Canada
2ND SUSPECT ARRESTED IN SKYTRAIN IPAD THEFT
Metro Vancouver Transit police have arrested a second suspect wanted for allegedly stealing an iPad from a woman in a wheelchair at a SkyTrain station in May. Cassie Campbell, who has cerebral palsy and is deaf and cannot speak, was trying to get into an elevator at the Metrotown SkyTrain station, when two men allegedly stole her iPad and ran to board an oncoming train, said Transit Police. When she followed the men onto the train to try to get the device back, the men pushed over her wheelchair and ran off the train at the next station, she alleged. / CBC News
Edmonton, AB, Canada
PROFESSOR WAS CHAMPION FOR THE DEAF
When Michael Rodda, a psychologist and former university professor, emerged from a coma after he was hit by a car last fall, he wanted to get right back to work supporting the organizations he loved. The longtime advocate for the deaf and hard of hearing -- who later developed hearing loss himself -- was making a promising recovery after the hit-and-run outside his southeast Edmonton home in October. Then he was diagnosed with cancer several months ago. Rodda died July 27 at age 74. / Edmonton Journal
MISS DEAF REGRETS JOINING CONTEST
Miss Deaf Nosipho Precious Zwane regrets joining the contest and cannot wait for her tenure to end. Zwane wrote this on her Facebook page wall. She wrote, “One month left as Miss Deaf Swaziland. Tired of ‘two timing director’ that I don’t trust.” The beauty queen alleges that since last year, she has been constantly abused by Miss Deaf director Nokthula Mbatha. However, she couldn’t describe what form of ‘abuse’ she has endured at the hands of Mbatha. / The Swazi Observer
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LIFE & LEISURE
PETITION -- NBC AND NFL: INVITE MISS DEAF AMERICA TO THE NEXT SUPER BOWL AND SHOW HER THIS TIME
Earlier this year, the American Deaf Community was proud and inspired to learn that our Miss Deaf America would be signing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. Ultimately we were let down and dejected when NBC did not show Miss Deaf America (Rachel Mazique) at all. This petition calls on NBC and the NFL to invite Miss Deaf America to the next Super Bowl to sign the National Anthem and this time actually show her on camera. / Change.org
DEAF ARE NOT STUPID: COMMUNICATE WITH THEM!
When someone sees my article title, if they are deaf, it is likely that they would understand what I meant by that. There are so a lot of misconceptions about deaf people and all the time when I encounter one, I ask what is wrong with these people?! Yesterday I was with my friend at a book store in Rochester, NY. The store was about to close. We knew that it was time to close, and we were getting ready, but there was store employee who was staring at us to make sure that we were leaving without even letting us know that they were closing the store. / Deafness and Life Adventures
RIDE WILL BENEFIT BOY WITH MEDICAL NEEDS
Nothing stops Landon Jacobs from communicating with the world around him, not even the fact that he is deaf. Jacobs, a 3-year-old who lives in Burlington, was born without his fourth and 13th chromosomes causing him to be deaf and mute and to have difficulty walking. Kayla Knight, Landon’s grandmother, and Tiffany Haugle, his mother, are his primary caretakers. Knight said he will steal anyone’s heart away that meets him. / Burlington Times News
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SHERIFF ADDRESSES SERVICES TO DEAF PEOPLE AT JAIL
Johnson County Sheriff Frank Denning hosted tours of the newly renovated Central Booking Facility in downtown Olathe July 18 for the deaf community, part of his response to call to improve accessibility and services for deaf people. Last year, the Olathe Club of the Deaf sent a letter to Denning requesting improvement in accessibility and services for deaf people who use the county’s correctional facilities. Among the requests were larger televisions with larger captioning for deaf inmates to watch in the large community rooms, adding videophones and providing continuous interpreting services. / The Olathe News
REGIONAL SCHOOL FOR DEAF AND BLIND GET NEW SENSORY ROOM TO STIMULATE, OR RELAX STUDENTS
Tubes of yellow bubbles that can be changed to green or orange or red with the touch of a button. A pit of iridescent plastic balls, big enough to sit in. Plus a waterbed, vibrating platform and various objects to explore sound, including bells, tambourines and music. These are the objects awaiting students in the new sensory room at the Southwest Alabama Regional School for the Deaf and Blind when they return to class later this month. / Press Register
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
CAMP HERO BRINGS SOUND OF MUSIC TO DEAF AND HEARING-IMPAIRED STUDENTS
For about 50 deaf and hearing-impaired students, a week of music education awaits at Camp Here Everyone Really is One. Camp HERO is a weeklong summer experience at Bloomsburg University that began July 29 and runs through Friday. The program, called "Bringing Music to our Souls" and is piloted by Allentown Symphony's education initiative El Sistema Lehigh Valley, teaches students to use interpretive dance, melody bell choir and a variety of percussion instruments to make their own music. / The Express Times
TAHOE SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL PRODUCES 4-LEGGED STAR
This summer's Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival has produced an unlikely star: a deaf pit bull named Michael who narrowly escaped euthanasia. The 6-year-old American Staffordshire terrier has turned out to be a hoot in his role as Crab the dog in the Bard's comedy, "The Two Gentlemen of Verona," festival organizers and audience members said. Michael plays a miscreant of sorts who doesn't care to please his owner, they said, and his varied spontaneous reactions to his owner's laments on stage frequently prompt laughter. / WAVY-TV 10
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CAMP MARK SEVEN (CM7) 30th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
Come one, come all! Join the Mark Seven Deaf Foundation (M7DF) Board of Directors, including CM7 Founder Reverend Tom Coughlin, during the Labor Day weekend (August 31 – September 2, 2012) at the CM7 campsite located in Old Forge in the Adirondack Mountains. The celebration includes outdoor and water activities, an adult-only cruise commencing at the camp dock on the Fourth Lake, a silent/live auction, and a special unveiling ceremony involving a new Tree of Life. For information, please go into the www.campmark7.org website and click onto EVENTS tab for the registration form.
Santa Clarita, CA
FAMILY BUOYS HEARING-IMPAIRED OLYMPIAN TO THE LONDON GAMES
Olympic athletes continuously stress that the route to the Games is a family journey. To reach Olympic levels, it takes decades of training which means parents must drive to countless practices, watch innumerable games and tend to physical and emotional injuries. Team USA volleyball player David Smith, who is deaf, says he never would have reached the London Games without his family. “They’ve been my biggest support system my entire life,” he said. / NBC
Las Vegas, NV
MATT 'THE HAMMER' HAMILL ENDS RETIREMENT, WILL FIGHT AT UFC 152
A one-year retirement was just about enough for light heavyweight Matt "The Hammer" Hamill, who has opted to resume his fighting career and will compete next at UFC 152 in Toronto on Sept. 22. Hamill will meet UFC newcomer Roger Hollett. Hamill, 35, rose to prominence in 2006 during "The Ultimate Fighter 3." He is deaf and his struggle to overcome his disability and compete at the highest level of mixed martial arts earned him a large following. He was featured in a 2010 movie, "The Hammer." / Yahoo! Sports
DEAF SCHOOL TEACHER'S TEAM WINS IN SOCCER
A soccer team led by a California School for the Deaf, Riverside, physical education teacher has won the Deaf Soccer’s Women’s World Cup. The team won the crown on July 28, beating Russia, 1-0. Reagan Anders, 31, was captain of the USA Deaf Soccer Women’s team. Members tasted victory on a scorching day in Ankara, Turkey, when temperatures hit 105 degrees, Anders wrote in an email. / Press-Enterprise
FRAMINGHAM'S FLANAGAN A STUDY IN PERSEVERANCE AS HEARING-IMPAIRED STUDENT-ATHLETE
Sean “Skip” Flanagan was nervous. “It was pretty tough, standing up at that moment,” he recalled. In the summer of 2010, before his senior year at Bishop Feehan High in Attleboro, one of his classmates, Larsan Korvili, drowned while on a retreat on Cape Cod. Flanagan delivered a eulogy. “I was asked by a member of his family,” he said. “It is something I had to do.” The eulogy came silently, from his heart: Flanagan was born profoundly deaf. / The Boston Globe
'BETTY' BROECKER, 81, FORMER SILENT NEWS EDITOR
Elizabeth Joyce Leistner Broecker, at age 81 passed away peacefully in her sleep on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012. Elizabeth was an independent adventurous deaf woman who never met a challenge she would turn down. A native of New Jersey, she graduated with hearing classmates from Vineland High School. After four children, she returned and graduated with honors from Gallaudet University. She held the position of editor-in-chief for Silent News, America’s oldest newspaper for deaf people. Elizabeth always advocated for the rights of deaf and deaf-blind people and fought to have access to interpreters everywhere. / The Daily Journal
HE HEARD THE CALL FOR DEAF AS WELL
In the late 1970s, a United Methodist pastor in Delaware County felt his career-long hearing problem beginning to worsen. So, in 1981, the Rev. Paul M. Harris retired from Hancock United Methodist Church in Springfield. He then founded and helped to run DELHOH - Delaware County Hard of Hearing - and later a similar organization in Lebanon County, Pa., to inform about and advocate for people like him. On Tuesday, July 24, Mr. Harris, 96, a full-time Methodist pastor in Delaware County for 30 years and a part-time pastor from 1981 until 1990, died at Cornwall Manor, a retirement community in Lebanon. / Philadelphia Inquirer
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A Cued English transliterator is needed to offer services in a mainstream elementary educational setting for the 2012-2013 school year. Work hours will be approximately 12:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, following the school’s calendar. A minimum of two years of college and a willingness to become a certified Cued English transliterator are required. Knowledge of American Sign Language is also preferred. Pay rates will be commensurate with those of certified educational sign language interpreters. Send all inquiries to Angela Kuhn at Angela.Kuhn@illinois.gov.
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