October 18, 2006
Vol. 3 No. 1
Editor: Tom Willard
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Guess what? This issue marks the beginning of Deafweekly's third year of publication. Woo hoo, as Homer Simpson would say. We now have more than 5,800 subscribers and in the past week our website has had nearly 10,000 page views. It has been a challenge to keep up with all the Gallaudet protest news -- I feel as if I've read about 10 million different items -- and like everyone else I hope a resolution is reached soon. Meanwhile, if you'd like to wish Deafweekly a happy birthday, a donation would be greatly appreciated. Please visit our home page (www.deafweekly.com) and click on the Paypal logo. Thank you to our subscribers, sponsors and advertisers for making this publication possible.
CLASSES RESUME BUT PROTESTS CONTINUE
Classes resumed Monday at Gallaudet University following the Friday night arrest of about 135 demonstrators. All but one gate at the Washington, D.C. campus remain blocked by activists protesting the selection of Jane K. Fernandes as Gallaudet’s next president. Nearly 1,000 protesters were on campus Saturday, “galvanized by the arrests,” said the Washington Post. Fernandes continues to say she has no intention of resigning, and the Board of Trustees continues to say that it will not revisit its decision.
JORDAN: HOMECOMING’S OFF. ALUMNI: WANNA BET?
Homecoming was set for this weekend, but yesterday I. King Jordan issued a statement saying, “We regret that due to the fact that Gallaudet University is not operating under normal circumstances, and the protesters continue to refuse to open all of the gates, we must postpone homecoming and all related activities.” Within 30 minutes, Gallaudet University Alumni Association President Andrew Lange issued his own statement, saying, “I. King Jordan announced ... that his homecoming has been cancelled. Excuse me, OUR homecoming continues.” See www.guaanews.com for more information.
FERNANDES: ‘IT’S NOT REALLY ABOUT ME’
Jane Fernandes told the Washington Post Monday that protesters are opposed to her selection because “people are afraid of change.” Said Fernandes: “I just happen to be in the position I am in right now, and I believe it's not really about me, and I'm not taking it personally.” She also said she made some decisions as provost that “did not please some people on campus” and claimed that her administration “will create a new order of deaf people.” In conclusion, said, Fernandes, “I think that my resignation would hurt the university very badly, and ... would result in years of instability.”
MAJORITY OF FACULTY TURNS AGAINST FERNANDES
A Monday afternoon meeting of faculty resulted in 138 of 168 faculty members present demanding that Jane Fernandes either resign or be removed from the position of President-designate. The meeting attracted about 76 percent of the faculty and was called “the largest faculty meeting ever at Gallaudet” in a press release by the Gallaudet FSSA coalition. A demand for Board of Trustees members to return to campus and resolve the crisis was approved by 131 faculty members. A vote of no confidence in I. King Jordan was passed 80-60 and a similar vote of no confidence in the Board was passed 106-10. A resolution calling for no reprisals for those involved in the protest passed 133-15 and a motion that faculty and Board members examine ways of including faculty, students, staff and alumni as Board members passed unanimously.
RUMORS PERSIST OF $2 MILLION PAYMENT TO FERNANDES
One persistent rumor is that Gallaudet would have to pay Jane Fernandes $2 million if she were dismissed as president. “The rumors have no foundation in fact,” Board of Trustees member Frank H. Wu told Deafweekly in an email. Wu, dean of Wayne State University Law School in Detroit, Mich., chairs the Board’s compensation committee. Fernandes and the Board “negotiated a contract for her service as the ninth president of Gallaudet University and it includes provisions for severance payments, none of which include any payment of $2 million.” The undisclosed amount may still be substantial: Board member L. Richard Kinney told a Wisconsin group that the severance agreement “is actually worth less than $1 million.”
SEVERAL STUDENTS GO ON HUNGER STRIKES
Nearly a dozen students have gone on hunger strikes to oppose the choice of Jane Fernandes as Gallaudet’s next president. According to Patricia Raswant’s blog, Jon Kessell was the first to go on strike, starting at 4:32 a.m. last Friday, and Debbie Potts was the most recent to join in, on Sunday at 5 p.m. “God bless those brave souls,” wrote Raswant.
DESCENDANT OF GALLAUDET’S NAMESAKE SPEAKS OUT
The great, great, great granddaughter of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet (1787-1851), for whom Gallaudet University is named, weighed in on the campus uprising in an open letter. “I am disturbed by the way the current uprising has been handled,” said Elise Gallaudet DeClue. “With as great a history as the University has from its inception and through the decades, how then can the students and faculty be treated with such disrespect?”
NAD PRESIDENT JOINS PROTESTERS IN WASHINGTON
National Association of the Deaf President Bobbie Beth Scoggins cut short a vacation in Mexico to fly to Washington and support the protesters. “The whole world is with these people here,” she said in the Washington Post. “The administration claims this is a local issue. It is not.” The NAD issued its seventh open letter on the Gallaudet crisis Sunday, calling on the Board of Trustees to “step up to their fiduciary responsibilities and remove the Administration’s involvement in resolution of this crisis.”
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TENT CITIES CONTINUE TO SPRING UP ALL OVER
As of this afternoon there were 56 Tent Cities throughout the United States and in Europe, with more being added every day. The Tent Cities are being set up by people around the country to show their support for the Gallaudet protesters. To view an updated map, visit www.deafeye.com/?page_id=5.
BOARD STANDS FIRM ON FERNANDES SELECTION
“Our decision to support Dr. Jane K. Fernandes as the ninth president of Gallaudet University stands,” said Board of Trustees Chair Brenda Jo Brueggemann in an open letter Sunday. “We look forward to her tenure as president beginning January 1, 2007. The Board has no plans to re-consider this decision.”
NEWLY UNVEILED SIGN HONORING JORDAN VANDALIZED
Two weeks ago Gallaudet renamed a campus building the I. King Jordan Student Academic Center. It was reported Saturday that the new sign has already been vandalized. Photos of the damage can be seen here. It is the only documented incidence of vandalism since the protests began. (Officials claimed that the Hall Memorial Building was damaged during the student takeover but offered no proof.) In response, the FSSA issued a statement Sunday saying, “While we understand that many people are extremely upset by the events on campus over the past week, we remain committed to acts of nonviolent resistance. Acts of violence, including vandalism, are not condoned. Please stop immediately.”
‘CONCERNED STUDENTS’ OPPOSE CAMPUS BLOCKADE
The Washington Times reported last Thursday on a group that has emerged in opposition to the Gallaudet protests. It’s called Concerned Students of Gallaudet University, and it includes faculty and staff. “We are not opposed to anybody,” said Margaret Vitullo, chair of the school’s sociology department and organizer of the group. Vitullo said the group is not united on the selection of Jane Fernandes as the university’s next president but agree that protesters are interfering with education on campus.
ASSAULT VICTIM GIVES ACCOUNT OF DPS RAID
A student who said he was assaulted by a Department of Public Safety officer during an alleged bomb threat October 6 in Hall Memorial Building released on open letter to Jane Fernandes last week. Peter Thomas said an officer whom he called Bubba Smith “put my hands behind my back, choked me and threw me against the wall.” The officer “continued to hit people, push people and choke people,” said Thomas. He criticized Public Relations Director Mercy Coogan for telling the media that no one was hurt by DPS officers. “Saying that no one was injured, excuse me, how dare someone say that when they were not involved in this situation?”
FOOTBALL GAMES POSTPONED
Last Saturday’s football game against Williamson Trade School was postponed because of the protests, reported the Washington Post. The team hadn’t practiced in several days, said Coach Ed Hottle, and he wasn’t comfortable putting an unprepared team on the field. The team was supposed to play Walter Reed this Saturday during homecoming, but I. King Jordan cancelled all homecoming activities. The Bison are 4-1 after an undefeated season last year, and Hottle said Gallaudet still plans to return to Division III status next season.
BIG NAMES IN DEAF WORLD SIDE WITH PROTESTERS
A veritable Who’s Who of leaders in the deaf community have come out during the past week in support of the Gallaudet protesters. They include: Father Thomas Coughlin, Robert Davila, Jack and Rosalyn Gannon, Merv Garretson, Jim Macfadden, Sheri Farinha Mutti and Frank Turk. Their letters, along with numerous others, can be seen at www.gufssa.org. In addition, the four student leaders of the 1988 Deaf President Now movement issued a manifesto on Monday, saying, “The decision to arrest over 130 leaders has tainted the spirit of the Deaf President Now movement and reversed King Jordan’s legacy.”
CONTACT LIST PROVIDED
Want to share your opinion with Board of Trustees members and others involved in the crisis? Ricky Taylor’s blog, RidorLIVE.com, contains a contact list that was put together by Staci Gough. Check it out at www.ridorlive.com/?p=1933.
Several websites have already been mentioned in Deafweekly’s special reports on the Gallaudet crisis (see back issues). Here are a few more:
ASL Community Journal – Patricia
Steve Brenner’s video of Lynn
Xanga site of “Lady Muck”
with photos and updates:
DO YOU READ RIDOR?
Keep up with all the HOT DEAF NEWS on RidorLIVE.com – “Home to Arguably the Most Controversial Deaf Blogger in America.” Ricky D. Taylor, a sixth-generation Deaf writer and activist, is a pioneer blogger whose no-holds-barred reports on issues of importance to Deaf America have the community buzzing. Everyone reads RIDOR, and practically every report brings in dozens of responses. It’s a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of the Deaf Community – and express your own beliefs! Check it out at www.ridorlive.com.
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FLORIDA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO 2000 MURDER OF FIVE
A deaf Florida man pleaded guilty to killing five people in 2000 and was sentenced last Wednesday to five consecutive life sentences, reported the Tampa Tribune. Dexter Livingston spent six years in a mental hospital before being found competent to stand trial. He confessed to killing his grandmother, great aunt and uncle, a cousin and a girl, 12, who lived with the family. Police said Livingston used guns, a machete, a knife, a screwdriver and scissors to commit the crime. Family members said Livingston suffered spinal meningitis as a baby, leaving him deaf and mildly retarded.
APPEALS COURT UPHOLDS RULING ON UPS, DEAF DRIVERS
A 2004 court ruling that found UPS in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act for barring deaf people from driving delivery trucks was upheld on appeal last week. A federal appeals court in San Francisco agreed with a judge’s earlier ruling that deaf people should “be given the same opportunities ... to show that they can perform the job ... safely and effectively.” The case was litigated by Disability Rights Advocates of Berkeley, Calif. “We are obviously ecstatic over the ruling,” attorney Todd Schneider told the Associated Press.
SETTLEMENT REACHED IN AIRPORT LAWSUIT
A lawsuit aimed at making Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, Calif. more accessible to deaf travelers was settled out of court, reported the L.A. Daily News. The airport agreed to install two monitors in both terminals to display public address system messages; install a video information kiosk to help deaf passengers navigate the airport; arrange for interpreters upon request; and increase the number of TTY pay phones to at least nine. The suit was filed by the Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness (GLAD) and litigated by Disability Rights Advocates.
COPPER STOLEN FROM IOWA SCHOOL’S LANDMARK CUPOLA
More than 300 pounds of copper was stripped and stolen from the historic cupola at the Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs. Students and faculty were “stunned” to discover the theft last Monday (Oct. 9), reported the Des Moines Register. The 10-foot-tall, 7,800-pound cupola used to sit on top of Primary Hall, which was demolished four years ago. The 104-year-old cupola was on the ground at the time of the theft and was going to be used for a memorial park. A Council Bluffs scrap yard said someone sold the copper to them for about $800. The Council Bluffs Police Department is conducting an investigation.
ELDERLY OHIO MAN HIT AND KILLED BY TRAIN
An elderly hard-of-hearing man was hit and killed by a train in Sebring, Ohio on Friday, October 6, reported the Canton Repository. William Bush, 81, a retired attorney, “did not have his hearing aid in,” said Frank DeMain of the Mahoning County coroner’s office. “He goes so far and takes a rest and sits on the track,” he said. There was no evidence of foul play or suicide, said Pat Gardner of the Sebring Police Department. “It appeared to be just accidental,” said Gardner.
KENTUCKY DRIVER STRIKES TEENS CROSSING STREET
A deaf driver struck two teenage girls crossing the street in Richmond, Ky. on Monday night, September 25, reported the Richmond Register. The two girls, who were both seriously injured, “ran out in front of her,” said Richmond Police spokesman Willard Reardon. “She couldn’t stop.” The unidentified driver was “very shaken up, very scared,” he added. “I do know she was deaf and we had to get her roommate to come and translate for us.”
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CHICAGO WOMAN KILLED WHEN CAR BACKS INTO HER
A deaf Chicago woman was struck and killed by the driver of a sport-utility vehicle last Monday, reported the Chicago Sun-Times. Mariann Gunner, 59, was pronounced dead at a hospital about five hours after the accident. The driver, Angelica Rangle, 26, found herself stuck behind a truck on a one-way street and hit Gunner while backing up. Gunner was knocked down and suffered severe head trauma, said a police spokesman. Rangle was cited with failure to give due care to a pedestrian in a roadway.
CHARGE DROPPED AGAINST FLORIDA JOYRIDER, 8
A deaf 8-year-old Florida boy who went joyriding in a family car will not face a charge of driving without a license, reported the Bradenton Herald Today. Kobie Stires was ticketed in August after driving approximately two miles and causing about $5,000 damage to the car. Prosecutors dropped the charge at Kobie’s arraignment on October 4 and referred the case to the state Department of Children & Families. “DCF might be able to better help this kid,” said Bill Gladson of the State Attorney’s Office.
FLORIDA STUDENT CHARGED WITH SEXUAL BATTERY
A student at the National Deaf Academy in Mount Dora, Fla. is accused of raping a fellow student while both were at the Lifestream Mental Health Center in Leesburg. According to Orlando’s WFTV, police say Justin Nicholson confessed to raping the deaf girl. Nicholson, charged with sexual battery, was imprisoned in the Lake County jail.
VICTIM OF DOG ATTACK TESTIFIES IN COURT
A deaf Ohio man who was attacked by two rottweilers in 2002 testified in court October 3 against the owner of the dogs. Dmitri McCrory, whose pomeranian was also attacked, was surrounded by angry neighbors who said Michael Ross’s dogs have long terrorized their community, said WCMH in Columbus. Ross was sentenced to 330 days in jail and fined $1,000, and the rottweilers, who killed a woman’s dog in April, were destroyed. “It sends a clear message that we won’t accept this behavior,” said prosecutor Bill Hedrick.
FIRE TRUCK COLLIDES WITH DEAF DRIVER’S CAR
A fire engine collided with a car driven by a deaf man in Riverside, Calif. last Monday, reported the Press-Enterprise. Harold Levy, 58, did not notice the approaching truck as it rushed to a medical emergency and turned left into its path. The fire engine’s driver couldn’t avoid colliding with Levy’s car, ripping off the front fender and crashing into a fire hydrant. Levy, who was on his way to Goodwill to drop off some items, was not cited. “Thank goodness I am not hurt,” he said.
MAN CHARGED WITH USING RELAY TO MAKE OBSCENE CALL
A Tennessee man who allegedly used the deaf relay service to make an obscene phone call to a 10-year-old girl has been charged with harassment, reported WATE in Knoxville. Johnny Ledford, 19, was charged with a misdemeanor count of harassment by phone and released last Friday after posting bond. He is accused of leaving a voice message on the girl’s personal phone line that included talk about having sex in a vulgar manner. The girl did not hear the message but her parents, identified only by their first names, were still angry. “He needs to be put in jail,” said Kevin, the girl’s father. “I think the relay service should not be allowed to do this,” said her mother, Tammy.
CALIFORNIA TEEN RESCUED FROM BURNING HOUSE
A 13-year-old deaf boy was rescued from his burning home in Vallejo, Calif. last Friday night, reported the San Francisco Chronicle. The fire began when a carbon monoxide detector fell from the ceiling and landed inside a halogen torchere floor lamp. Firefighters knew a deaf child lived in the home when they got the 911 call from a neighbor because the dispatch system allows residents to provide such information in advance. The boy was upstairs and unable to get out because smoke and flames blocked his exit. Capt. Michael Lionel climbed a ladder and pulled the boy to safety. The unidentified teen was treated for smoke inhalation and is expected to fully recover.
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POPE BENEDICT: ‘WE SHOULD KNEEL BEFORE A DEAF-MUTE’
A priest known for working with the deaf was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI, said Zenit News Service in Vatican City on Sunday. Italian Father Filippo Smaldone (1848-1923) was a “priest of great heart,” said the Pope at Sunday’s canonization Mass, which was interpreted in sign language on large screens in St. Peters’ Square. Said the Pope: “St. Filippo Smaldone saw the image of God reflected in deaf-mutes, and he used to repeat that, just as we prostrate ourselves before the Blessed Sacrament, so we should kneel before a deaf-mute.”
NURSE PLEADS GUILTY TO STEALING FROM CLIENTS
A mental health nurse who worked 21 years with Scotland charity Deaf Action was sentenced to 240 hours of community service for stealing more than £13,000 ($24,280 US) from her deaf and blind clients. Kim Florence, 44, pleaded guilty to embezzlement and faced a maximum of only two months in jail, so the community service was deemed a more severe punishment, said the Edinburgh Evening News. Deaf Action staff were alerted to the thefts when Florence’s partner told them of her “overspending.” Florence admitted stealing the money between September 2004 and November 2005. She repaid most of the money by selling her house but still owes £800 ($1,500 US). “Miss Florence feels genuinely ashamed and remorseful,” said her lawyer.
LANDLORD LOSES APPEAL ON UNLAWFUL EVICTION
MK News reported on a deaf landlord who was convicted of illegally evicting a tenant from a Bedford, U.K. home. Mohammed Ishaque, 38, cut off the utilities and did other work that made his brother’s property “essentially uninhabitable,” Luton Crown Court found in April 2005. Ishaque admitted unlawful eviction and was given a conditional discharge, but earlier this month he asked the court to let him withdraw his guilty plea and fight the case, saying his disability led to difficulty in understanding his situation. The court turned him down, with one judge saying, “There is nothing to justify any criticism of how the judge dealt with the application.”
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COLLEGE STUDENT TOLD TO REPAY TWO YEARS OF BENEFITS
A deaf U.K. woman is fighting back after losing her housing benefit and being told she must repay nearly £2,000 ($3,735 US), reported the York Press. Louise Moody, 25, received help with her rent for two years but was recently told the City of York Council made a mistake and she never should have received the money because she took out student loans. Moody, who is appealing the decision at a tribunal, said, “Why should I have to pay it back when it was their mistake?” Said a city council spokeswoman: “The council has a duty to seek recovery of the overpayment.”
U.K. WOMAN TELLS OF 14-YEAR WAIT FOR HEARING AID
A 76-year-old U.K. woman might have to wait 14 years to get a new hearing aid, reported 24dash in Hereford last week. June Hews of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, is number 582 on a waiting list to replace her old hearing aid with a modern digital device. She has only moved up 20 places in the last six months, and at this rate she would be 90 before she receives the new aid. “It’s possible I may be alive in 14 years’ time, but what about the people who are in their 80s and 90s?” she asked. A Gloucestershire Hospital spokeswoman said, “Our audiology staff are doing all they can to address the problem.”
HIGH COST OF SMOKE ALARMS A PROBLEM FOR MANY
A dart tournament was held in Ottawa, Canada last Wednesday to raise money to help deaf people purchase flashing smoke alarms. According to CBC News, the alarms are expensive – $250 ($220 US) plus installation by an electrician – and many deaf people can’t afford them. A Canadian Hearing Society spokesman said the organization receives 10 to 15 requests each month for the alarms and is now lobbying the government for money to help.
MALAYSIAN RAPIST SENTENCED TO 36 YEARS IN JAIL
A special education teacher in Malaysia was found guilty of raping a 12-year-old deaf student three years ago and sentenced to 36 years in jail. Shahmirul Salleh, 34, was also ordered to be caned 10 times, reported the Malaysia Star.
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RHODE ISLAND OUTREACH COORDINATOR
Hamilton Relay, Inc. currently has a full-time position open for “Rhode Island Outreach Coordinator”.
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CEO Position Announcement
Deaf Counseling, Advocacy and Referral Agency (DCARA)
DCARA is seeking a Chief Executive Officer to build on over 40 years of continuous growth and evolution of the non-profit, community-based social service agency. DCARA serves the Deaf Community in the San Francisco Bay Area and 14 counties in Northern California. The CEO will be responsible for all aspects of the agency’s operations, programs, finances, personnel and fundraising for new Deaf Community Center. To see the full job announcement including information about DCARA, minimum qualifications and application process, visit http://www.dcara.org. CLOSING DATE: November 6, 2006
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
Director of Human Services – Los Angeles, CA
Community Interpreter – Riverside, CA
Job Developer/Interpreter – Crenshaw, Norwalk and West Covina, CA
Community Health Educator – 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:
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
National Deaf Academy
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.
Vice President of Human Resources
National Deaf Academy
19650 US Highway 441
Mount Dora, FL 32757
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.
Vice President of Human Resources
National Deaf Academy
19650 US Highway 441
Mount Dora, FL 32757
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