September 3, 2008
Vol. 4, No. 13
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 2008 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.
STOLEN LAPTOP HAD INFO ON 12,700 NTID APPLICANTS
The names, birth dates and Social Security numbers of about 12,700 applicants to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf dating back to 1968 were contained on a laptop that was stolen from an office at the school's Rochester, N.Y. campus. Officials at NTID's host Rochester Institute of Technology notified the community last Saturday and sent letters to people directly affected by the incident, reported the Democrat and Chronicle. A toll-free hotline (866-624-8330 voice) will be available through September 26, and RIT is suggesting those affected call a major credit bureau to place a fraud alert on their credit files.
SUSPECT IN N.D. TEACHER'S DEATH PLEADS NOT GUILTY
A Devils Lake, N.D. man pleaded not guilty July 22 to murder in the stabbing death of 43-year-old Paula Hartze, a North Dakota School for the Deaf teacher whose body was found in her home March 1. Billy Thomas Eagleman, 27, underwent a court-ordered mental evaluation in April, said the Devils Lake Journal, and remains jailed on $500,000 cash bond. With trial set to start January 6, 2009, Eagleman faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole. A blogger claimed Hartze had an "on and off relationship" with the suspect's half-brother, and a photograph on PhotoBucket shows Eagleman attending a memorial service for the victim.
OHIO MAN FOUND COMPETENT FOR MURDER TRIAL
Five years of sign language training in a state mental health institution has left a deaf Ohio man competent to stand trial for murder, reported the Beacon Journal. Jerron Johnson, 22, faces a February trial date for aggravated murder and rape in the 2001 strangulation death of Jean Zienka, 45, of Akron. He is also accused of attempted murder, rape and voyeurism in three other cases. Johnson, said to have an IQ of 61, was born deaf but never learned sign language, using homemade signs to communicate only with family members. His mother, Tiara Cash, expressed skepticism following Judge Thomas Teodosio's ruling. "I don't see how there can be a fair trial," she said.
MINNESOTA MAN SUES OVER 3-DAY JAIL STAY
Douglas Bahl, a deaf Minnesota man who spent three days in jail without access to communication after scuffling with police during a routine traffic stop in 2006, filed suit in Ramsey County, Minn. against the city, county and Sheriff's Office, said the Star Tribune. Bahl, 57, and his wife, Susan Kovacs-Bahl are seeking damages of at least $50,000 to ensure that deaf people have equal access to communication, said their attorney, Rick Macpherson. Sheriff Bob Fletcher said he thought his office had met Bahl's concerns, making "numerous modifications" to policies and procedures, "but when all is said and done ... Mr. Bahl wanted money."
KANSAS BOY, 8, SAVES DEAF SISTER FROM FIRE
A 4-year-old deaf girl was rescued from a house fire August 22 when her 8-year-old brother disobeyed his grandmother and went back into the burning home. Rebecca Cowherd was trapped in the bedroom of her Clearwater, Kan. home, reported Topeka's KTKA, but brother Michael found her and led her safely through a burning hallway. "God was with me," he said. The children's father, former Navy firefighter Jim Cowherd, said he felt "real good, real proud" of Michael. "I lay my life down for somebody and now I know my son will do the same thing," he said.
CHURCH OPENS DOORS TO GUSTAV EVACUEES
Five deaf people who evacuated their homes ahead of Hurricane Gustav found a warm welcome at the Hands in Christ Deaf Ministry at the First Baptist Church of Lavaca (Ark.), reported 4029 News. The evacuees were pulled aside by emergency workers when they arrived and ministry members transported them to the church. When Katrina hit in 2005, "their families didn't know where they were," said church official Dee Mathis. "We don't have that problem this time."
GROUP SUES FERRY CO. OVER UNHEARD ANNOUNCEMENTS
A newly formed advocacy group in Washington state took its first legal action July 2 when it filed a lawsuit to force Washington State Ferries to provide text displays of public announcements in its vessels and terminals. "When I'm on a boat, I can't hear a word they're saying," said John Waldo, a hard-of-hearing Bainbridge Island attorney and member of the new nonprofit Washington State Communication Access Project. Even if the announcements are trivial, said the suit, deaf passengers are "subjected to constant anxiety over what may have been said." Waldo told the Kitsap Sun he's been talking with ferry officials since November but they haven't committed to any changes. "It's not exotic technology," he said.
DEAF HOUSING FACILITY ADMITS HEARING RESIDENTS
The new owner of Chestnut Lane, an assisted living facility for deaf and deaf-blind adults in Gresham, Ore., is experiencing financial problems, reported the Outlook. Sunwest Management Inc. bought the property in February and has responded to a low occupancy rate by allowing hearing residents to move in. The development concerns some employees. "The majority of the staff is deaf," said director Sherry Andrus. "What happens when someone has a need or issue?" A marketing specialist has been brought in to fill the vacancies and wants to preserve Chestnut Lane for deaf seniors, said the report, "but is realistic about fulfilling immediate needs."
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GERMAN DEAF APOLOGIZE FOR TREATMENT OF JEWS
Germany's Union of the Deaf recently sent a letter to the Association of the Deaf in Israel to apologize "for suffering caused to so many deaf Jews" during the Nazi era. Jewish people in Germany "pressured the association into reconciling," said Doron Levy, president of the Israel deaf association, "but it just recently agreed to do so." According to Ynet News, reconciliation efforts included an event that attracted the German welfare minister and a mostly deaf audience of 1,200. Said Levy, whose group was formed in 1944 by deaf refugees of Nazi Germany: "It was emotional, spine-chilling and positive."
CANADIAN MAN FOUND GUILTY OF SEXUAL ASSAULT
A deaf Canadian man was convicted of sexual assault this week in the 2005 rape of a deaf 30-year-old woman. John Stewart, 42, remained free pending sentencing on November 13 despite having 75 convictions over the past 25 years for fraud, theft, assault and sexual assault, said The Windsor Star. His attorney, Brian Dube, argued that Stewart should remain free because he is undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer. The case was unusual, said the Star, because six interpreters were employed during the six-day trial. "We all had a lot of learning and studying to do," said prosecutor Tom Meehan.
PHILIPPINES MAN FOUND DEAD IN ALLEY
A deaf man was found dead in an alley in Quezon City, Philippines on August 22, but police don't know if he was attacked or fell and hit his head. The body of Norman Ramirez, 25, was discovered shortly after midnight by his 18-year-old brother Patrick after he failed to return from a nearby store, reported the Inquirer. Police said he had a gaping head wound, a cut on an eyebrow and abrasions on his right knee that indicated he tripped and fell. An investigation was underway.
NON-VERBAL PLAY UNVEILED IN SOUTH AFRICA
The Cape Times reported this week on Gumbo, "South Africa's first full-length deaf and hearing clowning show." Gumbo tells of a young deaf boy who is treated like a slave in his father's restaurant and features a traveling salesman who puts his daughter up for bet in a game of cards. The play uses non-verbal techniques and relies on body language, physical comedy and facial expressions. "The absence of dialogue makes the serious scenes more intense," said the report, "leaving the audience holding its breath on more than one occasion."
NOTED MUSICIAN EVELYN GLENNIE IS LEARNING TO SIGN
Scotland's well-known deaf musician Evelyn Glennie is learning sign language. The Press and Journal reports that Glennie, 42, refused to learn the language after being diagnosed with deafness 30 years ago because she felt it isolates the deaf. In recent times, though, the noted percussionist -- who performs around 100 concerts every year worldwide and plays up to 60 instruments in a single show -- has begun to sign with her office staff. A Scotland Council on Deafness rep said the move will be welcomed by deaf people. "People felt she had shunned the deaf community," said Nicola Noon, "but she will be congratulated for this."
WOULD-BE FUNDRAISER TURNED AWAY BY US OFFICIALS
An English grandfather who planned to ride a motorcycle 7,000 miles from Montana to Alaska for charity was interrogated for five hours at Denver Airport in Colorado and then put on a plane back to England. Bill Singleton, who was inspired by his deaf daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter to raise money for the National Deaf Children's Society, was "absolutely devastated" by the experience, reported Professional Fundraising. Singleton had the bad luck to arrive at the same time that the Hell's Angels were planning an annual rally in nearby Montana, which raised officials' suspicions. "I can't believe I'm not good enough to be in the US for four weeks," he said.
A REMINDER TO BACK UP YOUR DATA
Lisa Townsend lost more than just a laptop computer when her home in Northern Ireland was burglarized in early August, said the Belfast Telegraph; she also lost the PhD thesis that was on it. "I need the laptop back as soon as possible," said Townsend, 30, a deaf student who has spent years researching the cultural and intellectual pursuits of Irish women between 1740 and 1840. The white laptop, described by Townsend as having a distinctive look, also contained other research and several book proposals. "I'm having problems functioning professionally without it," she said.
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LIFE & LEISURE
HEARING AID LOOP BUILT INTO A CLIPBOARD
Hearing aid loops, long a fixture in theaters and cinemas, can now be built into a clipboard, reported BBC News. Government workers in South Somerset, England, have been testing the clipboard, which works by picking up sound through a microphone and transmitting it to a hearing aid set on the T switch. A case worker with the housing department used the clipboard when visiting a woman with hearing difficulties and said the woman was "visibly surprised" at the difference it made. Officials are now looking into buying more hearing loop equipment to improve services.
TENNIS BALLS HELP KINDERGARTNER HEAR IN CLASS
Some of the 50,000 tennis balls left over at the recent U.S. Open in New York are now being used to help a 4-year-old deaf boy hear better in his classroom. Teacher Joan Cruz at the Church Street Elementary School in White Plains, N.Y. asked the U.S. Tennis Association for a donation and quickly received more than 400 balls, which were then attached to the bottom of every chair and table leg in Luc Bordier's kindergarten classroom and the school's art room and library. "It reduces the noise so that Luc can concentrate on hearing the teacher," Luc's father, Robert Bordier, told CBS News.
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SIGN LANGUAGE COMING TO YOUR CELL PHONE
University of Washington researchers have developed software that enables deaf Americans to use sign language over a mobile phone, said a UW news release. With support from a National Science Foundation grant, the team plans to conduct a 20-person field project next year in Seattle. "A lot of people are excited about this," said lead researcher Eve Riskin, after a video of the working prototype was posted on YouTube. MobileASL works in part by transmitting the person's face and hands in high resolution and the background in lower resolution, meaning less data to transmit. A feature now being developed will identify when people are moving their hands, helping to reduce battery consumption and processing power when no one is signing.
AMERICAN SCHOOL PLANS $31 MILLION BUILDING OVERHAUL
The American School for the Deaf is planning a $31 million renovation of Gallaudet Hall, an 87-year-old building on the school's West Hartford, Conn. campus. The state will provide $25 million and the school's endowment will cover the remaining $6 million, said Edward Peltier, ASD's executive director, in the Hartford Courant. Gallaudet Hall opened in 1921 when the school moved to its present location and has never had a major renovation. Workers will remove two additions built in later years and construct an outdoor dining and recreation area for ASD's 200 students. The goal, said school officials: "An upgraded, code-compliant, state-of-the-art education environment."
MERGER OF NASHVILLE GROUPS FINALIZED
Two companies serving deaf and hard-of-hearing people in the Nashville, Tenn. area finalized a merger last month, reported the Nashville Post. The EAR Foundation and the League for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing began merger talks six months ago after the directors of both organizations retired. The EAR Foundation, with assets of $334,000, will be absorbed into the League, which had $1.5 million in assets, and Sallie Hussey was appointed president in June. No jobs were lost in the merger, said Hussey, and the organization may hire even more staff because of an increased workload.
COURT REPORTERS GROUP GETS NEW PRESIDENT
The 23,000-member National Court Reporters Association has a new president. Karen Yates of Minden, Nev., a member of the group since 1978, holds numerous national certifications and was instrumental in bringing CART (communication access realtime translation) to the Nevada university system, reported the Nevada Appeal. "Having the opportunity to give back to the men and women in America who are hard-of-hearing has been one of my most rewarding achievements," she said.
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
YOUTUBE ADDS CAPTIONING FEATURE
YouTube announced August 28 that it has added a new captioning feature to help people who speak other languages or have a hearing loss. "There are over 120 languages to choose from and you can add any title you want for each caption," said a YouTube blog entry. To view the captions, click the menu button on the bottom right of the video player. Several YouTube partners have already begun using the captioning feature, including BBC Worldwide, UC Berkeley and MIT.
NTD PLANS EVENTS TO MARK 40TH ANNIVERSARY
The National Theatre of the Deaf will mark its 40th anniversary with its First Annual Angels Dinner Gala on November 22 at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville, Conn. The evening of fine dining, silent auction and entertainment will be emceed by CJ Jones, who performed with the company for two seasons (1976-78). Traveling with NTD, said Jones, "inspired me to dream bigger things: become a stand-up comedian, perform on Broadway, write a play, attend auditions for television or film, etc." The NTD is planning a series of events to mark its 40th year, beginning with a performance by Bernard Bragg of Theatre in the Sky, his one-man show, this Saturday, September 6, at St. Joseph's College Campus in West Hartford.
DEAF WEST PLANNING ANOTHER MUSICAL
Deaf West Theatre in Los Angeles is teaming up for the third time with the Center Theatre Group at the Mark Taper Forum. Stephen Schwartz's musical Pippin will be presented January 25 to March 15, 2009. Like the two earlier productions -- Big River in 2002 and Sleeping Beauty Wakes in 2007 -- Pippin will be directed and choreographed by Jeff Calhoun. The Taper's 42nd season takes place in a theater that recently underwent a one-year, $30 million overhaul. Deaf West is accepting resumes and headshots from potential cast members through September 10; visit their website for more information.
POLL REVEALS TOP 10 MISHEARD SONG LYRICS
An online poll of 2,000 people has revealed a list of the 10 songs with lyrics that are most often misunderstood. Topping the list, said Sky News, is the song When the World Is Running Down by The Police, which has a line, "You make the best of what's still around," that is sometimes misheard as "You make the best homemade stew around." The Beatles also made the list with the song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, where "The girl with kaleidoscope eyes" becomes "The girl with colitis goes by." Hearing aid maker Amplifon commissioned the poll to call attention to the millions of people with hearing loss who do not receive "any form of treatment at all."
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10TH CELEBRATION OF SIGN SET FOR OCTOBER 18
Gate Communications in Franklin, Tenn. is planning its 10th anniversary Celebration of Sign 2008, to be held October 18 at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville. Performances include signed dance, music, drama, mime and storytelling. Last year's show attracted an audience of 800 from 13 states and two countries. Auditions for this year's show were held August 16 and the lineup of performers will be announced soon. For more information, visit gatecommunications.org.
HALLOWEEN CRUISE STILL HAS CABINS AVAILABLE
There are still cabins available on a Mexican Riviera Halloween cruise sponsored by WRAD, Inc. The cruise sails out of Los Angeles on October 26 on the Vision of the Seas ship by Royal Caribbean International and returns November 2. About 250 deaf people have signed up, said trip organizer Bruce Gross, and remaining spaces "are going fast." A highlight will be the Halloween Costume Ball, hosted by Gross and Gino Giudice. For more information, go to www.deaftravelclub.com or call Bruce Gross on VP at 661-943-8879.
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EXCITING CAREER OPPORTUNITIES AT GLAD
-- Job Developer/Interpreter
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-- Community Interpreter – Bakersfield, Los Angeles, Riverside CA
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Human Resources Specialist
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2222 Laverna Avenue
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MASSACHUSETTS TRS OUTREACH MANAGER
Hamilton Relay in Massachusetts currently has a full time position open for a “Massachusetts TRS Outreach Manager”. This position can be located anywhere within Massachusetts.
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Therapeutic Staff Support—TSS Professionals
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Deaf Services Center (DSC) is a dynamic team of behavioral health professionals serving Deaf and hard of hearing children and adults. We take great pride that our program is strongly Deaf centered with about 85% of our staff being Deaf or hard of hearing. Our staff environment is one of incredible teamwork and mutual support. As a result, we are rapidly growing with new programs and expansions of our existing programs. Whether you are a high school graduate, recent college graduate or have many years experience in the field of human services we have a career building position waiting for you!
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Tutoring Positions Available Nationwide
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POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: REGIONAL OFFICE SUPERVISOR
Association of the Deaf (NVAD), Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advocacy Resource Center
(DHHARC) is a statewide advocacy, resource, telecommunications distribution,
and direct service center offering advocacy, referral and community education
services throughout Nevada. DHHARC has two offices in Reno/Sparks and Las Vegas.
Type of appointment: Full-Time
Location: Position available in Las Vegas
Posting date: August 28, 2008
Closing date: September 26, 2008
Individual will supervise staff at the designed Regional Office. Performs Quality Control, develop and strategize work activities of staff for short-term as well as long term; Coordinate Community Education and Program Initiatives for the Region the office serves; Maintain and oversee Client’s files to ensure Office maintains compliance with Case-Management practices and Confidentiality laws as required by the Laws of the State of Nevada; Generates Quarterly report stats as derived from Case-Management and Support Specialist staff work load. Evaluate staff performance. Handle more complex cases. Individual may conduct advocacy activities same as the Case Management Specialist’s description for Rural area that will ensure a higher quality of life for its clients and promote equitable access to Health/Medical, educational, social, employment and legal services. Willingness to travel is essential as well as work evening and weekend hours when needed. Ability to work independently as well as a team is essential. Do other duties as assigned by Executive Director.
SALARY: $42,953 - $46,458 DOE, plus customary benefits.
WORK EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS:
One year relatable experience (such as an advocate or case management specialist) preferably with deaf and hard of hearing in Social Services Sector
Knowledge and experience working with deaf and hard of hearing communities
Knowledge of MS Word, Excel and Access/Database
Fluency in ASL (American Sign Language)
Knowledge of Deaf Culture
Bachelors of Arts Degree Preferred but can be substituted for Work experience. Formula will be based on 2 years of work experience for one year of education beyond high school.
All applicants must submit a letter of interest, a resume and three letters of recommendation to DHHARC at: 999 Pyramid Way, Sparks, NV 89431.
APPLICATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY 5:00 PM ON OR BEFORE THE CLOSING DATE (September 26, 2008)
DHHARC selects applicants for employment based on job related knowledge, skills and abilities without regard to race, color, gender, national origin, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.
For further information contact Acting Executive Director/Office Manager Laura Daviton at 775-355-8994 (V/TTY), 775-355-8996 (FAX) or 775-333-3333 (VP).
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