September 12, 2012
Vol. 8, No. 43
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:
THESE JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES TELL DEAF PEOPLE TO STOP MASTURBATING / Buzz
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DEAF AND MUTE MAN WAS LOCKED IN A BASEMENT FOR FOUR MONTHS WHILE HIS CAPTOR STOLE HIS SOCIAL SECURITY CHECKS
Police found William Richardson, 63, locked in the basement of a South Philadelphia home, malnourished and beaten in a room with only a bed, a chair and a makeshift commode. His captor allegedly repeatedly threatened the deaf and mute Mr Richardson, forcing him to sign for his Social Security checks and then stealing the money for himself for four months. Dwayne Young, 56, has been charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault, robbery, forgery and held on $1million bail. / Daily Mail
New York, NY
EXCLUSIVE: DEAF MURDER SUSPECT WANTS HIS CONFESSION VIDEO TOSSED
Justice is blind, but that’s no help if you’re deaf. A suspect in a Bronx murder is trying to get his videotaped confession tossed because he says he was misunderstood and confused by a sign-language interpreter. Following a tip, cold-case investigators nabbed Gabriel Thompson, 48, in 2010 — 25 years after he allegedly stabbed and killed a man who was having an affair with Thompson’s live-in girlfriend. Prosecutors say Thompson confessed to the murder, but he claims the cop who interpreted his answers during an interrogation ignored his request for a lawyer and misconstrued him. / New York Post
See Also DEAF SLAY SUSPECT LOSES BID TO HAVE CONFESSION TOSSED / New York Post
Little Rock, AR
CONTROVERSIAL INTERPRETER REASSIGNED
For the past two months KATV has been reporting on the controversy surrounding the state's hire of an under-qualified sign language interpreter. There is a major development in that situation. After complaints from clients, Arkansas' deaf community and even national organizations, the woman hired as an interpreter has a new job title: vocational placement rehab specialist. For two months Career Education Director Bill Walker has defended the hire, but in a statement released August 31 he now says "I believe that I made a mistake in hiring her for the interpreter position." / KATV
SCHOOL DISTRICT BACKS OFF REQUEST, DEAF SCHOOL FUTURE IN DOUBT
When the Rocky Mountain Deaf School secured a $13 million grant from the state's Building Excellent Schools Today program, school leaders thought they could finally make plans to build a new facility. Now, those plans are in question because the land the school targeted is in dispute. "There's a title ownership question," said Bill Marcoux, member of the 2090 Coalition. "Who owns the property?" / 9news.com
West Trenton, NJ
NEW JERSEY SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF STEPPING UP ITS FUNDRAISING EFFORT
A school for the deaf in New Jersey facing financial difficulties has launched a fund raising campaign to try to save it. In February, the Katzenbach School announced its goal to raise $2 million in one year and to date have raised just shy of $300,000. In an effort to generate more awareness, actresses Florence Henderson and Linda Bove as well as sportscaster Len Berman have recorded promotional spots, which will run on the radio station NJ 101.5 this month. / NewsWorks
BEACHWOOD DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING PROGRAM ENROLLMENT DOWN, COSTS UP
Parents and community members attended the Beachwood City Schools Board of Education meeting Monday to voice support of the deaf and hard of hearing program the district administers. Currently the program serves 25 students from a consortium of 29 public school districts. Enrollment is down and the program’s costs per student – which is paid by their home school districts – is getting harder and harder for those schools to afford, said Beachwood Superintendent Rich Markwardt. / Patch.com
West Hartford, CT
PETITION: PLEASE HELP SAVE GALLAUDET HALL AT ASD
We the Concerned ASD Alumni request the Board of Directors of American School for the Deaf (ASD) in West Hartford, CT to suspend the demolition of Gallaudet Hall and give the alumni more time to seek ways to preserve it until a later date. Even though the ASD Board of Directors and the ASD Alumni Association did make some efforts in past to contact alumni about their concerns, unfortunately, those efforts were not enough. Too many alumni were never contacted, and never even knew about the demolition plans until very recently. / Change.org
TERRY GRAHAM ANNOUNCES HIS RETIREMENT
Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind President Terry Graham has announced that he will retire Feb. 1, 2013. Graham has spent 42 years in the field of education, 35 of those at AIDB as an administrator at the Helen Keller School and in Health, Evaluation and Outreach programs. He has been president of the institute for the past 10 years. / The Daily Home
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THE PARALYMPIC GAMES IS A MISSED OPPORTUNITY FOR DEAF ATHLETES
There are deaf athletes who have competed in the Olympics and Paralympics at London 2012, but they're few and far between. Another separate disability is required for them to compete in the Paralympics because, remarkably, there is no category for deaf athletes. In this country, deaf athletes have for a few years now been the poor cousins in funding terms. While the Olympics and Paralympics enjoy massive funding, the Deaflympics has a much lower mainstream profile. / Guardian
See Also LONG BEFORE THE PARALYMPICS THERE WAS THE DEAFLYMPICS / Guardian
DEAF STAR CALLS LOCOG 'COWARDLY AND IMMATURE' OVER ACCESS COMPLAINTS
A leading Deaf performer has called London 2012 “cowardly” and “immature” for ignoring his complaints about the lack of accessibility for Deaf visitors to the Paralympic Games. David Bower had spoken out after visiting the equestrian dressage events in Greenwich Park, and was highly critical of the treatment he received from London 2012 volunteers. He also pointed to the failure to provide any subtitles or interpreters on the video screens, which meant Deaf visitors were unaware of instructions to the crowd – particularly about the importance of keeping quiet while horses were performing. / Disability News Service
DEAF COMMUNITY HIT OUT AT INTERPRET SERVICE
Deaf people in Hartlepool are angry after a sign language service was awarded a contract by NHS bosses against their wishes. Leaders at Hartlepool Deaf Centre say users are unhappy at the three-year contract being awarded to Stockton-based Everyday Language Solutions (ELS). The contract covers assistance provided to deaf people when they attend GP, dentist, optician and pharmacist appointments. Deaf workers claim patients have been unhappy with ELS over some of the services provided. But ELS strongly deny the claims and say all interpreters are trained to the highest industry standards. / Hartlepool Mail
DEAF MAN ATTACKED IN PUB
A deaf man was attacked after he accidentally stood on a woman’s toes – then failed to hear her boyfriend shouting at him. The offender then started shouting at him but, because of his disability, he did not hear. The offender then punched the victim in the side of the head. PC Aieysha Bana from Preston police said: “It is a completely unacceptable way to behave and the man responsible for this cowardice act needs to be caught.” / Lancashire Evening Post
U-TURN AFTER DEAF PASSENGERS DENIED CRUISE BREAK
All Paul Harrison's parents, Karen and Peter, wanted was a quiet cruise holiday around Turkey and Greece. But there was a problem, at least for the cruise operator, Thomson Cruises. The couple are deaf. When Karen Harrison notified Thomson of this a week before the cruise was due to sail, to help the company prepare any special assistance, they were told they would be unable to travel unless they had a hearing assistant with them. / Channel 4 News
TRIBUTES TO PASSIONATE CAMPAIGNER FOR DISABLED
Tributes have been paid to a disability campaigner following her death after a long illness. Rosie Watson, 50, from Darlington, was well known in the town for the time and effort she gave to many charitable organisations. Profoundly deaf, she was a passionate campaigner for disability rights in education, having successfully fought the discrimination she faced while studying at Durham University. Her case against the university, which was settled out of court with a £25,000 ($40,000) payout, received national publicity, which she hoped would pave the way to improving access to higher education for other deaf students. / The Northern Echo
DEAF POLICE TO MONITOR SECURITY CAMERAS IN MEXICO
Deaf police officers have been recruited to monitor security cameras in the Mexican city of Oaxaca because of their "heightened visual abilities." The ability to lip read conversations is a fantastic advantage, but the project raises the question of whether deaf people would actually be better at security monitoring in general. As far as I know, there are no studies comparing hearing and deaf people on specific monitoring tasks but there is evidence that deaf people have certain advantages in visual attention. / Mind Hacks
DISABLED CHILDREN NOT ATTENDING SCHOOL DUE TO INABILITY OF PARENTS TO PAY FEES
Some disabled children are not attending school because their parents cannot not afford to pay their fees at the Mampong School for the Deaf. David Amevo, the father of three deaf and dumb children, told the GNA that three of his seven children were born with the disability and he could not afford to pay their fees at the School for the Deaf. / Ghana News Agency
New Delhi, India
GROWING MARKET FOR SPEECH, HEARING-IMPAIRED STAFF
The Costa outlet in South Delhi's Green Park is quieter than other cafes. There's comparatively less noise as the people behind the counter can neither speak nor hear. Five years ago, the RJ group began employing such hearing-impaired people at KFC and Costa outlets. Today 145 such employees have made a mark for themselves, thanks to growing corporate social responsibility. / IBNLive
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LIFE & LEISURE
THE PROS AND CONS OF TEACHING BABIES SIGN LANGUAGE
Every parent has been there: The frustration of trying to figure out what a crying baby wants or needs. Now, some parents say a new tool helps open lines of communication with children even before they can talk: Sign language. Or at least a limited form of the signing long used by the deaf or those with hearing loss. But some child development experts offer words of caution. Dr. Penny Glass says nine months is far too young to learn sign language. / WTOP
DEAF BOY TEACHES DEAF DOG SIGN LANGUAGE
Is it possible to teach an old dog new tricks? A boy from Omaha is giving it a try! Austin Luther is a six-year-old boy who is deaf. He and his family recently adopted a dog named Capri who also happens to be deaf. The family is working on breaking the communication gap between the pair by teaching Capri sign language. “I’ll just look outside and I’ll see him out in the backyard with Capri and he’ll be sitting there signing with her like telling her about his day at school,” said Stacy Luther, Austin’s mom. / WDAF
LEGACY OF MY DEAF 'BACHELOR' UNCLE
“He was a player,” my cousin, Kim said. We laughed. It felt better. My Uncle Al, her father, had died in his sleep that morning. My uncle was my father’s kid brother. They are both gone now within a year. Kim called me the day after I returned from an eight-hour trip over the Tappan Zee Bridge and the Garden State and New Jersey parkways. We had all just enjoyed a family vacation at Higgins Beach in Maine. Uncle Al had difficulty navigating the beach’s worn, wooden steps that descended from the sand filled sidewalk. He gripped the flat, salt worn wood of the handrail and grunted with each step. We were used to his grunts. My uncle was deaf. / Baltimore Post-Examiner
New Orleans, LA
DEAF DOLPHIN RESCUED IN LA. WILL GET NEW HOME IN MISS. BECAUSE HE WOULDN'T SURVIVE IN WILD
A deaf dolphin found stranded in March off the Louisiana coast is being taken to live among other dolphins at a facility in Mississippi. Suzanne Smith is the rescue coordinator at the Audubon Nature Institute. She says the 2 ½-year-old dolphin will be taken Tuesday to the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies because he would be unable to survive in the wild. She says deafness is probably the reason the 6-½-foot-long marine mammal was stranded on a mudflat where researchers found him March 6. / The Associated Press
DEAF DOG THAT SURVIVED AMONG ALASKA BEARS DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER
Mazzy Star, the deaf, three-legged old husky who was lost in Alaska bear country for eight days, is sampling the high life after making it back to her home in Whitehorse in the Canadian Yukon. That includes a steak dinner prepared on the barbecue of owner Karen Clyde and her husband, Tom Jung. But within days, troubling news darkened the happy reunion. A vet visit this past week to check out a lump on Mazzy Star's leg delivered bad news. Mazzy, age 15, likely has cancer. / Alaska Dispatch
Los Angeles, CA
HEARING IMPLANTS COMING TO U.S.
A research institute and a children's hospital, both in Los Angeles, say they've teamed with Italian researchers to bring hearing implants to deaf U.S. children. House Research Institute and Children's Hospital Los Angeles have announced an agreement with the University of Verona to collaborate on teaching and research to advance the use of the Auditory Brainstem Implant in children. The ABI has been used successfully in Italy with children and the goal of the partnership is to bring the hearing implants to deaf children in the United States. / UPI
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JOB WOES REMAIN FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
For the fourth month in a row, the unemployment rate among people with disabilities crept higher in August, the U.S. Department of Labor said Friday. The jobless rate hit 13.9 percent for Americans with disabilities in August, up from 13.6 percent the month prior. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate among the general population improved slightly, falling to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent. / Disability Scoop
AT&T'S FACETIME BLOCKING HURTS THE DEAF
When I learned that Apple would finally be enabling the iPhone’s FaceTime app to work over mobile connections, I was ecstatic. As someone who is deaf, I could now use this one-touch, always-on video chat app to communicate with friends and family in my natural language: American Sign Language (ASL). But then I found out that AT&T will block mobile FaceTime unless customers sign up for an expensive unlimited voice plan. I wasn’t thrilled with the thought of having to pay this AT&T “deaf tax” just to use the mobile data I’m already paying for. / Wired.com
POTOMAC TEACHER RECOGNIZED FOR WORK WITH DEAF, HARD-OF-HEARING STUDENTS
A Potomac educator is one of two Maryland teachers competing for a $25,000 prize, given to innovative teachers across the country. Denise Duffy, an American Sign Language teacher at McLean School of Maryland in Potomac, was recently recognized with a $2,000 grant to help fund her ASL program connecting hearing students with deaf and hard-of-hearing students through Skype and other video-call technologies. She is one of 100 winners across the United States, and one of only two teachers in Maryland to win the Unsung Heroes award from ING Financial Services. / Patch.com
Los Angeles, CA
CONSUMER AGENCY FAULTED FOR SIGN-LANGUAGE SPENDING (SERIOUSLY)
Conservatives fought long and hard to block creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which the Obama administration said was needed to safeguard people from abusive credit card and mortgage lenders. Now that the watchdog agency is up and running, conservatives have found a new line of attack: How the bureau spends its money. One document obtained under the Freedom of Information Act shows that the consumer bureau is spending about $465,000 this year for sign-language services, which officials say is needed to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act and assist deaf employees. / Los Angeles Times
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
NOT ALL IN ROYAL OAK HAPPY WITH ARTS, BEATS & EATS
Critics of the Arts, Beats & Eats festival held in Royal Oak over Labor Day weekend are saying the event was a drunken free-for-all of rock music that ran past official time limits on a school night, cut into retailers' profits and left a trail of litter and vomit. ... [T]his was the festival's first year of providing display space for deaf artists, promoter Jon Witz said. "We had 10 (deaf) artists who had space donated to them. And we had our first-ever deaf (musical) performer. We probably had 3,000 deaf attendees on Friday alone," he said. / Detroit Free Press
New Orleans, LA
SLIDELL LITTLE THEATRE PRODUCTION OF 'WILLY WONKA' WILL BE SIGNED
Slidell Little Theatre is lifting the curtain on a new program designed to expand live theatre to the deaf community beginning Sept. 9 with a special, signed performance of Roald Dahl’s “Willy Wonka.” SLT has partnered with Semantikos, LLC, to provide interpreters for the deaf for each of its six main stage productions. The signed performances will be reserved for the closing performance of each show, starting with “Willy Wonka.” / NOLA.com
Los Angeles, CA
CHRIS ZYLKA CUT FROM 'AMERICAN HORROR STORY' FOR HESITATING TO SHAVE HEAD
Chris Zylka has lost his role on "American Horror Story", so it's reported. Per Zap2it, the former "The Secret Circle" actor is cut by creator Ryan Murphy as he hesitated to shave his head to portray a deaf-mute boy. / AceShowbiz
New York, NY
CHRISTINE SUN KIM, A DEAF ARTIST, 'RECLAIMS SOUND' IN A SHORT FILM BY TODD SELBY
"I constantly questioned the ownership of sound," artist Christine Sun Kim signs in a short film made by photographer and filmmaker Todd Selby. "Now I'm reclaiming sound as my property," the California-born, New York-based artist proclaims. Deaf from birth, Kim's artwork explores what she calls the "physicality of sound," examining, investigating and reclaiming sound for herself. The beautifully shot and directed short shows us a slice from Kim's life. / The Huffington Post
SHINY PENNY PUTS ON BENEFIT CONCERT FOR LEGALLY DEAF BASSIST
Shiny Penny and the Critical Shoes took the stages at all of Kokomo’s major festivals this summer, which isn’t unusual—except for the fact they did it just months after bassist Tommy Kinne became legally deaf. Kinne had been complaining of ringing in his ears, but when he woke up unable to hear this past March, things suddenly became different. His whole life had been music, and now he wouldn’t even be able to hear his own instrument, explained member Dean Schimmelpfennig. / Kokomo Perspective
TURN A DEAF EAR: A BOOK REVIEW
I'm very pleased to tell all of you about Turn a Deaf Ear, a novel I read this week. I heard about the book through the publisher who sent me a copy to review here. Before I read it, I didn't know much about the story other than it was a book for adults (as opposed to children or young adult literature) and it featured a romance between a hearing woman and a deaf man. The book was written by sisters Janet Fiore Horger and Linda Fiore Sanders. / Speak Up Librarian
Los Angeles, CA
CABLE INDUSTRY NEEDS TO STOP ITS NOISE OVER LAW ON LOUD TV ADS
A new federal law intended to keep TV commercials from bursting your eardrums won't take effect until Dec. 13. But the cable industry already is trying to water it down. The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, or CALM Act, requires that TV commercials be no louder than the programs they accompany. The broadcasting industry has long maintained that it doesn't really jack up the volume when ads come on. But common sense and the United States Congress say otherwise. / Los Angeles Times
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OREGON SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF FORCED TO CALL IT QUITS ON FOOTBALL
In the grand scheme of Oregon prep football, you’re thinking this strange turn doesn’t register. The crowds at the Panthers’ Lair are always small, the college scouts non-existent. The Oregon School for the Deaf hasn’t flown a championship banner over its 52-acre Salem campus since 1965. But when you stand with those seven students on the unlined field that won’t see a touchdown pass or a homecoming game this year, the sudden cancellation of their football season becomes quite personal. “On a scale of one to 10,” says senior co-captain Michael Taylor Clark, “it’s an 11.” / The Oregonian
HEARING-IMPAIRED LATINO TEEN BENEFITS FROM FOOTBALL PROGRAM
Two hearing-impaired high school students at Whitney Young High School have the desire to play football even though they can't hear the whistle or their coach calling plays. Dareous Glover is a sophomore linebacker in his first year playing football; and even though he's deaf, it doesn't seem to matter on the field. "It's wonderful coming to practice," Glover gloats. Dannary Alvarez is a senior at Whitney Young, who plays offense and defense and is also hearing-impaired. / Fox News Latino
Great Falls, MT
MONTANA SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF AND BLIND HONORS ATHLETES
Dozens of former Montana School for the Deaf and Blind students are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Montana Association of the Deaf with its first Hall of Fame ceremony. Jokes were made and memories were recalled as former stand-out athletes were honored in front of family and friends as athletes from different decades and different sports became hall of famers. The coordinators said the wide range of age among athletes in the hall of fame created a bit of a division, but in a good-hearted way. / KPAX
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