deafweekly

 

September 27, 2006
Vol. 2 No. 46

Editor: Tom Willard

Deafweekly is an independent news report for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community that is mailed to subscribers every Wednesday and available to read at www.deafweekly.com. Please visit our website to read current and back issues, sign up for a subscription and advertise.

Deafweekly is copyrighted 2006 and any unauthorized use, including reprinting of news, is prohibited.

Please support our advertisers; they make it possible for you to receive Deafweekly at no charge.

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NATIONAL
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GALLAUDET STUDENT GOVERNMENT SAYS NO TO FERNANDES

The Student Congress of the Student Body Government at Gallaudet University passed a motion last week to not recognize Jane K. Fernandes as the 9th president of the university. SBG President Noah Beckman referred to an “illegitimate search process” and said the SBG “refuses to send a representative to any committee that serves the 9th president.” Fernandes was appointed May 1 by Gallaudet’s Board of Trustees to succeed I. King Jordan when he retires December 31. “Officially, the SBG does not endorse the 9th president at all,” Beckman told Deafweekly. The Student Congress (http://sbg.gallaudet.edu/legislative.htm) is made up of student organizational representatives and meets biweekly during spring and fall terms “to discuss new motions and to improve the university based on the students’ ideas.”

ADVOCATES PROTEST WAIVERS OF CAPTIONING RULES

Advocates were expected to protest yesterday morning at a Federal Communications Commission meeting in Washington, D.C. They are upset because on September 12 the FCC granted permanent waivers of closed-captioning rules to two religious TV programs. According to a report from the Northern Virginia Resource Center (www.nvrc.org), a visit to the FCC records room on September 21 revealed at least 249 similar exemptions were made and never revealed to the public. “We want the FCC to stand strong and not weaken the closed captioning rules,” said the National Association of the Deaf (www.nad.org), which set up an action alert on its website. Congressman Ed Markey (D-Mass.), a longtime captioning advocate, has asked FCC Chairman Kevin Martin for an explanation. The order “appears to open the door to many more exemptions,” Markey said.

POLICE ARREST SUSPECT IN SAN DIEGO ASSAULT

San Diego police arrested a suspect in last month’s playground beating of a deaf teenager, reported 10News. Jesse Russell Ross, 20, was charged with assault and battery in the August 13 attack on Loro Bureng, 18, who was jumped by a group of people while playing basketball at Rosa Parks Elementary School and beaten for “no apparent reason,” said police. He suffered a broken nose, fractured eye socket and other injuries in the attack. Ross, who was already in jail on an unrelated theft charge, was arrested after a Crime Stoppers tip and is being held on $90,000 bail.



MUGGING VICTIM ID’S SUSPECT FROM MUG SHOT

A deaf man in Wilmington, Del. was hit in the face and robbed of cash and jewelry last Sunday (Sept. 17), reported The News Journal. The unnamed victim was able to identify the suspected mugger, George K. Brown, 24, because he had already seen Brown’s mug shot on “Drug Mugs," the popular city website feature that posts new pictures of arrested suspects every week. Brown was arrested two days later, becoming one of about 2,000 arrests attributed to the website since it launched two years ago. He remains in a Wilmington jail for lack of $5,000 bail, said a Wilmington Police Department spokesman.

GIRLS LEAVE BEDROOM MOMENTS BEFORE CRASH

Two young daughters of deaf parents in Lafayette, La. escaped injury last Wednesday by leaving their bedroom shortly before a tractor-trailer plowed into it at 4:30 a.m. According to the Associated Press, Cori Morgan, 7, and sister Shadia, 3, apparently couldn’t sleep and had left the room less than 30 minutes before the crash. Dad Cody Batiste told a reporter that a big noise left him puzzled. “I just thought it was the rain,” he said. “Cori looked around and said the bedroom was all messed up.” The next day, mom Sally Morgan was picking up clothes from the ground where the bedroom once stood. The trucker, who also hit a light pole and traffic control box, was cited for reckless driving.


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MONTANA MAN ARRESTED AFTER SIX-HOUR ‘STANDOFF’

A hard-of-hearing Montana man was arrested last Friday after a six-hour standoff with police that he apparently didn’t realize he had been in. John Tuss, a late-60s man said to have escalating mental illness, touched off the incident around 1 p.m. by firing a handgun through a neighbor’s front door in Black Eagle, said the Great Falls Tribune. After Tuss returned home, a witness called police and within a short time 24 armed deputies surrounded the house. Three square blocks of homes were evacuated as police used a public address system and attempted to reach Tuss on the telephone. Finally, around 7:30 p.m., a six-man team broke the front-door lock and entered the home. Tuss, who faces criminal endangerment charges, “appeared surprised by the events,” said the report.

L.A. SCHOOL COUNSELOR ACCUSED OF MOLESTATION

A Los Angeles school psychologist who counsels deaf students was suspended Friday after a woman said he molested her son in Colorado in the 1970s and 80s. Peter J. Ruthenbeck was cooperating with a state investigation, reported the Los Angeles Times. Paula Morgan Johnson, 56, said her son broke his 20-year silence in April. Scott Johnson, now 35, was 8 when he met Ruthenbeck through a Big Brother program. Johnson said Ruthenbeck, then 19, began molesting him within months and continued for seven years. Johnson’s mother confronted Ruthenbeck in a recent phone call and he responded with a letter of apology that “never explicitly admits molesting a child,” said the report. Johnson, who still sleeps with his pants and belt on, said Ruthenbeck shared a bed with him and “would wait until he thought I was asleep” to molest him. Said Ruthenbeck in his letter: “I honestly thought that Scott was never aware of anything.”



‘LAURENT’ TOWN PLANNERS CLOSE OFFICE

Effort to build a town for sign language users in South Dakota suffered a setback this week when organizers had to close their office in Salem. “We simply did not have enough funds coming in to support the overhead of an office,” said Marvin Miller, who will continue to oversee operations from an office at his home. He said all operations will be conducted under The Laurent Institute, a non-profit organization, while The Laurent Company will remain inactive for now. “Despite the changes and challenges we face,” he wrote on his blog (www.laurentsd.com/laurentblog), “we remain absolutely optimistic about our future as a signing community and I know that we will yet build that town.”

NAD ADDS TWO TO BOARD, SET TO TOUR NEW ORLEANS

The National Association of the Deaf announced in a news release last week that two new members have been appointed to the NAD Board of Directors. Nathie L. Marbury of Austin, Texas and Thuan Thi Nguyen of Greenbelt, Md., join 12 elected members and non-voting ex-officio member Nancy Bloch (NAD’s CEO) on the board, which just held a training retreat September 9-12 in Louisville, Ky. “We are so pleased to have their skills to help move the NAD forward,” said President Bobbie Beth Scoggins. The board’s next meeting will take place in January in New Orleans, where officials will tour facilities for NAD’s 2008 conference.

‘OPRAH’S BOYFRIEND’ HELPS CENTER RAISE $50,000

Author/businessman Stedman Graham spoke at a Corpus Christi, Texas fundraiser last week about stepping out from the shadows of his girlfriend, Oprah Winfrey. According to the Caller Times, Graham was the keynote speaker at a luncheon last Tuesday, “Heroes for Hearing,” which raised money for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Center of Corpus Christi. An estimated $50,000 was collected from some 400 attendees, who heard Graham, 55, share a special message for the hearing impaired. “Don’t put limits on yourselves,” he said. “Find a way to unlock yourselves.”


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INTERNATIONAL
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CANADIAN DEAF CAMP HIT HARD BY THEFT OF ATVS

A “brazen nighttime act” of thievery resulted in the loss of $60,000 ($ 54,073 US) worth of equipment from the Ontario Camp for the Deaf, reported the Parry Sound North Star. Eleven all-terrain vehicles, including three 2006 ATVs with hand controls purchased two weeks ago and still uninsured, were found missing from three buildings September 15 by the camp’s executive director, Derek Rumball. “Whoever it was knew the layout and had a good insight into the operation of the camp,” he said. Rumball said the staff will try to recoup from the loss or adjust the program to operate without the vehicles. Police urged anyone who notices a property suddenly loaded with ATVs to give them a call.

CANADIAN COLLEGE STUDENT RUNS FOR CITY COUNCIL

A deaf Canadian college student is running for city council in Sudbury, Ont. Travis Morgan, 21, a Laurentian University political science major, faces four other candidates. Morgan, who speaks and reads lips, told Northern Life that, if elected, he will continue his studies and schedule daytime classes because the council meets at night. His platform includes job creation for youth and better road conditions, especially in rural areas (a friend was killed last spring when a culvert collapsed under her car). Morgan said voters shouldn’t be concerned about his age, nor his disability – since he can communicate through email, letters and meetings. “My father is also home a great deal of the time,” he said, “and he can take messages and act as an interpreter.”

SCOTLAND RUNNER INKS DEAL WITH HOUSE OF HEARING

A hard-of-hearing U.K. athletics star has secured a £3,000 ($5,625 US) sponsorship deal, said the Edinburgh News. Lauren Peffers, 17, of Dunbar, East Lothian, five times Scottish 1500m champion in her age group, is one of Scotland’s best middle-distance runners. Peffers wears hearing aids when she races but cannot hear the starting gun, taking her cue from other runners and putting her at a disadvantage. Peffer plans to use the money to travel to events around the world, and er goal is to compete in the London Olympics and the Commonwealth Games. The sponsorship comes from the House of Hearing in Edinburgh, which provides the young runner with hearing aids. “We are delighted to be able to support Lauren,” said shop director Stephen Fairfield.

THREE RUNNERS-UP CLAIM ELECTION MALPRACTICE

In Uganda, three runners-up in the February 17 people with disability (PWD) MP elections filed an election petition Friday against the five PWD MPs at a High Court in Jinja. According to The New Vision, former PWD MP James Mwandha and two others say the polls were marred with malpractices, including rigging and intimidation, and want the court to nullify the results. Moses Musenze, a sign language expert, testified that a deaf National Union of Persons with Disability member was brought in on election day as an interpreter for deaf voters. “We protested,” said Musenze, “because we had never seen such a scenario, where a person who can’t hear would take on the work of interpreting for the deaf, unless there was something fishy behind this decision.”



SHANGHAI CREATES CHINA’S FIRST INTERPRETING TEAM

Shanghai Daily reported Monday that Shanghai has established China’s first team of professional sign language interpreters. All of the first 50 interpreters to pass testing at the city’s occupational training center come from service industries, including teachers, medical staff and police officers. The announcement came as the city celebrated the 49th International Day of the Deaf. Shanghai contains a reported 170,000 deaf residents who use a variety of sign language dialects. A Shanghai school has published China’s first training materials, which “might become the standard of the sign language in China,” said the report.

GROUP OF TEENS ATTACK MAN IN AUSTRALIA

Four teenagers kicked and punched a 48-year-old deaf man in Canberra, Australia early Sunday, reported the Surry Hills Daily Telegraph. The unnamed victim could not give police a good description of the four youths because they were wearing hoods and he was attacked from behind. The assault occurred outside the man’s garage at 4:30 a.m. He was taken to a hospital, where he was treated and released. Police asked witnesses or others who know about the attack to call Crime Stoppers.

TANZANIA HOLDS TRAINING FOR DEAF HIV/AIDS WORKERS

The African Medical Research Foundation held training for deaf HIV/AIDS counselors last week in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The first event of its kind in the country was designed to help deaf people better understand HIV/AIDS and improve access to Voluntary Testing (VCT) services. A government speaker noted that in neighboring Kenya, 7,000 people attended voluntary counseling last year because they trusted deaf counselors. Thomas Crubaugh of the U.S. Agency for International Development told the trainees that their role is critical. “You are the communicators and counselors among the deaf to explain why and how we must win the battle against HIV/AIDS,” he said.

COMPUTER TRAINING PROJECT WINS PRIZE IN MALAYSIA

A project to introduce deaf students to computers has won a top prize in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, reported the Malaysia Star on Saturday. A team of students at SMK Methodist Kuala Lumpur captured the grand prize in the secondary school category in the Cyberlinq Competition organized by Maxis, said the report. Team member Chan Zhi Hao said some of the students were first-time computer users and knew little about technology. “One of them did not even know how to turn on the computer when we had the first session,” he said, “but now they can send e-cards.”



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LIFE & LEISURE
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MAINE STUDENTS TAKE PART IN PINWHEEL PROJECT

Students from the Baxter School for the Deaf in Falmouth, Maine joined with students from two other schools last week on an art installation project called Pinwheels for Peace. According to WCSH-6, Baxter students made the pinwheels last Wednesday with their counterparts from the Friends School and the Real School in Portland. The next day, they displayed their creations on the bridge leading to Mackworth Island. The Pinwheels for Peace project was started by two Florida teachers. Last year, an estimated 500,000 pinwheels were displayed around the world to make a public statement about peace and tolerance. “I don’t even know why people start wars,” said one student. “Why couldn’t they just use their words?”

BENEFIT HELD FOR 9-MONTH-OLD’S SECOND IMPLANT

Emilee Hansen and Jake Anderson of Glenwood, Iowa were “devastated” when their daughter, Kynnedi, was born deaf on December 6, 2005, said the Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil. By the time their daughter was two months old, she had already been fitted with hearing aids. Last month, the couple learned that the aids have not been helping. “That’s when they heard about cochlear implants,” said the report. Each implant will cost about $45,000 and insurance only covers one, so a benefit was held Saturday at the Glenwood Eagles Club to raise money for the second device. Hansen realizes Kynnedi could wait to have the surgery or get only one implant, but “knows it would be best for her daughter to get two implants, as soon as possible.”



DEAF AWARENESS COMES TO OKLAHOMA CAPITOL

Students from Waller Junior High School in Enid, Okla. were set to converge on the state Capitol in Oklahoma City Monday morning to promote National Deaf Awareness Week. About 40 members of the school’s speech department planned an hour-long sign language demonstration in the Capitol rotunda, said the Enid News and Eagle. Invited guests included Gov. Brad Henry, Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin and members of the Senate and House of Representatives. The students, in grades 7 through 9, planned to demonstrate sign language through the Pledge of Allegiance and with a salute to the state of Oklahoma. “Our goal is to break down communication barriers,” said adviser Sharon Kowalski.

15th DEAF DAY DRAWS A LARGE CROWD IN WACO, TEXAS

A large crowd gathered in Waco, Texas Saturday for the 15th annual Deaf Day, reported the Waco Tribune-Herald. More than 350 deaf and hard-of-hearing children and young adults joined family and friends at Lions Park for the annual event, held in September during National Deaf Awareness Month. The record attendance was a far cry from the first event, which attracted about 15 people. Wanda Christopherson, who founded the event with two others, got the idea after learning of a young deaf boy who thought he would become hearing or die because he had never seen any deaf adults. “That was so sad to me,” she said.


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WORKING WORLD
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INTERPRETER NAMED DIRECTOR OF OFFICE FOR THE DEAF

Sharon Behun has been appointed director of the Pennsylvania Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH). Gov. Edward Rendell, who announced the appointment in a news release last Thursday, said, “People who are deaf or hard of hearing contribute much to our workplaces and communities. They deserve to have a strong advocate like Sharon supporting them.” Behun, an interpreter for 14 years, will be responsible for providing advocacy, information, referrals and services to state residents with hearing loss.

DEAFCENSUS.ORG NOW OPEN FOR BUSINESS

A “grand opening” for DeafCensus.org took place Monday. Site developer Bob Plubell said the new Internet service offers “a carefully compiled database of deaf and hearing loss related organizations.” Plubell brings 21 years of experience to the project as a former consulting software engineer for NCR Corp. He said the new website is a “one-stop shop” designed to provide organizations with “a more efficient and productive way to improve their visibility and expand their marketability.” The site includes an event calendar of national and regional events. Check it out at www.deafcensus.org; registration is required.



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SPORTS
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MATT HAMILL TO FIGHT LIVE FROM FLORIDA OCTOBER 10

Matt Hamill, a deaf amateur wrestler and mixed martial arts fighter, will fight Seth Petruzelli on October 10 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood, Fla. The fight will be broadcast live on SpikeTV, the same cable TV network that airs the Ultimate Fighting Championship, which featured Hamill as a contestant earlier this year. Hamill’s training coach, Tito Ortiz, will also be on hand in Hollywood to fight Ken Shamrock, billed as “The World’s Most Dangerous Man.”

STOCK CAR RACER USES LIGHTBULBS TO NAVIGATE

Newsday did a story last week on Daryn Miller, a deaf stock car driver on Long Island, N.Y. Miller, 32, of Franklin Square, is in his third season driving race cars and finished a personal-best fifth in a race earlier this month at Riverhead Raceway. Unlike other drivers who use radio-controlled headsets to communicate with their pit crews, Miller uses a system of lightbulbs in the car that was designed by his father, Bob, a race car driver in the 1960s. Two red lights tell Miller to go either left or right, a yellow light alerts him to a caution on the track and a green bulb tells him to just keep racing. “He’s at a big disadvantage compared to us,” said fellow racer Chris Turbush. “He’s handicapped out there and he’s getting it done.”



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EMPLOYMENT
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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.

Case Manager – Los Angeles, CA
Community Interpreter – Riverside, CA
Job Developer/Interpreter – Crenshaw, Norwalk and West Covina, CA
Community Health Educator – Community Challenge Grant – Los Angeles, CA
LIFESIGNS Dispatcher – Riverside, CA
Field Coordinator – Los Angeles, CA
Community Relations – Los Angeles, CA
Accounts Receivable Specialist – Los Angeles, CA

If interested for any of these positions then please submit resume and application to:

Jeff Fetterman
Human Resources Specialist
Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness, Inc.
2222 Laverna Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90041
V/TDD: (323) 550-4207
Fax #: (323)550-4204
E-mail: jfetterman@gladinc.org

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POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT

POSITION: Director of Public Relations

TO BE FILLED BY: November 1, 2006 or soon thereafter

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES: The incumbent will develop, implement, direct, and oversee RSD’s comprehensive public relations program. In addition, he or she will manage RSD’s website to ensure it is current at all times, manage media relations, manage three waves of mail for the Annual Appeal, write grant proposals, organize major school events, and represent RSD at community organizations. He or she will assume other responsibilities as assigned.

DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS: The incumbent will be an energetic professional who has a bachelor’s degree, excellent people-meeting skills, impeccable writing skills, solid computer skills, and a good understanding about Deaf culture and deaf education. He or she will be expected to achieve a rating of Advanced on the Sign Communication Proficiency Interview (SCPI).

FILE APPLICATION WITH:
Harold Mowl, Jr., Superintendent/CEO
Rochester School for the Deaf
1545 St. Paul Street
Rochester, NY 14621

CLOSING DATE: October 6, 2006

Applications received will be screened and the most highly qualified will be asked to interview.

RSD is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in employment on the basis of non-qualifying disability, race, religion, color, sex, marital status, age, national origin, and veteran status.

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National Deaf Academy
Teachers


The Charter School at National Deaf Academy is seeking motivated, Master’s Level teachers who have dual certification in Special Education and Deaf Education to work in either elementary or high school positions with state of the art classrooms and materials. This position allows for ongoing professional growth through conference attendance. Classrooms are supported with Mental Health Technicians and trained clinicians to ensure the optimal level of education is received. Must be Florida certified, or certificate eligible. Must be fluent in American Sign Language. Salary is negotiable and commensurate with experience and level of education.

Please contact:
Barbara Tashlein
Vice President of Human Resources
National Deaf Academy
19650 US Highway 441
Mount Dora, FL 32757
Fax: 352-735-4939
btashlein@nda.com

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National Deaf Academy
Director of Therapeutic Recreation


Qualified individual needed to lead an energetic team! Must have CTRS designation. Fluency in ASL preferred, but not required. This person must be able to “think outside of the box,” as the position lends itself to creativity. Luxurious 10,000-square-foot gym facility available for use as well as other amenities.

Please contact:
Barbara Tashlein
Vice President of Human Resources
National Deaf Academy
19650 US Highway 441
Mount Dora, FL 32757
Fax: 352-735-4939
btashlein@nda.com

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