October 19, 2005
Vol. 2 No. 1
Editor: Tom Willard
Deafweekly is an independent news report for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. It is mailed to subscribers every Wednesday morning and available to read at www.deafweekly.com. For information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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DEAFWEEKLY BEGINS SECOND YEAR IN OPERATION
After 52 issues and approximately 1,500 news items, Deafweekly begins its second year in operation this week. We would like to thank our sponsors and readers for helping to make the first year a great success.
ARTISTS, PERFORMERS CREATE WEBSITE FOR DISASTER RELIEF
A number of deaf and hard-of-hearing artists and performers have come together to create dhhrelief.org, a website designed to raise money for victims of major disasters and emergencies. Comedienne Vicki Waltrip was inspired to pull the team together after witnessing the destruction of Hurricane Katrina on her television set. "I kept thinking, 'What can I do? How can I help? I don't have much to offer,'" she said. "But then I realized I had many friends and colleagues who felt the same way." Artists and actors, including Bernard Bragg, Chuck Baird and Peter Cook, have agreed to donate works, and the National Association of the Deaf has set up a fund to administer the tax-deductible donations. "This is just a small way that we can help our community and the survivors get back on their feet," said Waltrip.
SECOND SUSPECT PLEADS GUILTY IN DEATH OF GAY HOMELESS MAN
The second of three men charged in the 2004 murder of Daniel Fetty, a deaf gay homeless man, has pleaded guilty. Martin Baxter, 29, will serve a life term in prison after pleading to aggravated murder on September 23. The plea agreement allows him to avoid the death penalty, reported the Gay People's Chronicle, and he will be eligible for parole in 20 years. James Trent, 20, pleaded no contest to reduced charges last December and agreed to testify against Baxter and Matthew Ferman, 23, whose trial is set to begin in January. The three men were arrested after police found Fetty, 39, lying naked in a trash container in Waverly, Ohio on October 2, 2004. Fetty, a restaurant worker who lived in his car after a fire destroyed his apartment, had been beaten with bricks, bottles and boards. He died in a Columbus hospital 12 hours after being found.
N.J. MAN PLEADS GUILTY IN SHOOTING DEATH OF DRUG RIVAL
Luis Aleman, described by the West Paterson (N.J.) Record as "a deaf mute," pleaded guilty in court last week to aggravated manslaughter in the death of Miguel Pomales. Aleman, 24, admitted to shooting his former friend and drug rival three times following a long-running dispute over drug turf. The shooting occurred December 20, 2003 after Aleman and Pomales, 25, got into a fistfight outside a Paterson bar after closing time. Pomales won the fight, said prosecutor Robert Pringle, but Aleman got a handgun from his car and shot Pomales as he ran away and then fired two more shots at close range into the victim's neck and head. Aleman, a Dominican Republic native who moved to Paterson in 1987, is expected to receive a 24-year prison term when he is sentenced on January 20.
CALIFORNIA MAN UPSET BY ROAD-RAGE SENTENCE
Jason Smith, a deaf Gardnerville, Calif. man, left court feeling disgusted last Tuesday, reported the Tahoe Daily Tribune. Smith, 27, was upset because Alan Elvena, the man he tangled with in an April road-rage incident, received a suspended 90-day jail sentence. "I can't even think I'm so upset right now," he said. Smith and Elvena, 36, came to blows after the two motorists stopped their cars alongside a Gardnerville road. The altercation left Elvena with a knee injury and Smith with a broken nose and sore back. Judge Richard Glasson ordered Elvena to reimburse Smith for $2,460 in medical costs, pay a $1,132 fine and complete a 26-week anger management course. Smith's mother, Karen Smith, said Elvena should have been jailed or ordered to do community service. "A slap on the hand is no punishment for a broken nose," she said.
WYOMING COUPLE WINS CUSTODY OF THEIR SON
A deaf couple who violated a Nebraska
court order in July by taking their son back home to Cheyenne, Wyoming have
won their case. Eric and Vicki Neuman learned last week that a Wyoming court
has ruled that their son Matthew, 6, can stay with them rather than go live
with his aunt and uncle in Nebraska. According to the Lincoln Journal Star,
the Neumans had been battling to regain custody of their son ever since Matthew's
maternal aunt and uncle, Ron and Dena Hohlen of Hastings, Neb., were awarded
temporary guardianship in July 2003. The Hohlens contended the Neumans were
unfit parents in part because they are deaf. The Wyoming District Court dismissed
the Hohlens' case after noting that Nebraska state law allows a temporary guardianship
for only six months.
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DEAF MOM GETS HELP FOR SNAKE-BITTEN SON
A deaf mother in Weld County, Colo. rushed to get medical treatment for her 18-month-old son Sunday after he was bitten on the hand by a baby rattlesnake. "He's really doing well, but he's been crying a lot," said Cora Will, 24, speaking to the Denver Post through an interpreter. Will was having a meal with her father around 5 p.m. when her son, Ty "Josh" Sampson, started crying. When Will saw the rattlesnake, "I was of course freaked out," she said. "My son, being so young, I thought he would die." The boy was airlifted to a hospital and treated with antivenin. He was then flown to another hospital, where a doctor said the early treatment had prevented serious damage to his kidneys.
N.J. TEEN SAYS MAN TRIED TO LURE HER INTO CAR
An unidentified older man tried to lure a deaf teenager into his car in Burlington County, N.J. last Monday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The 14-year-old girl and two boys were roughhousing around 2 p.m. in a residential area of Beverly. The man got out of his car and asked if everything was okay, said Beverly Public Safety Director Michael Morton. When the boys ran away, the man opened the passenger's door and told the girl to get in. Instead, she ran to her grandmother's house and reported the incident to police. "She may be deaf and mute, but she reads lips well and knew what the individual was saying to her," Morton said. She was so scared, he added, that she forgot to look at the license plate.
LAURENT PLANNERS NOW ACCEPTING PRIVATE RESERVATIONS
Until now, people who are planning to live in the proposed sign-language town of Laurent, S. D. were required to put their names out publicly on the company's website (www.LaurentSD.com). Last week, co-founders Marvin Miller and M.E. Barwacz announced in the Laurent Town Crier that they are now accepting private reservations. The early pioneers who allowed their names to be posted were "awesome and courageous," they wrote, and "have probably been our very best marketing tool." People who prefer to keep their plans private are now invited to send in a reservation form. Only their state or country will appear on the website. To date, there are about 150 families on the reservation list, including 80 school-age children.
SAN DIEGO AGENCY ENDS EMERGENCY INTERPRETING SERVICES
In what was described as a "difficult decision," Deaf Community Services of San Diego, Inc. announced last week that it would no longer provide 24-hour emergency interpreting services to the community. "We were forced to modify our services due to the limited availability of after-hours qualified interpreters for emergency purposes," said Glenn Liptak, the agency's director of human resources and communication services. Local hospitals were given the option of contacting the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf for a list of local interpreters, working with an Idaho company that provides local services, or contacting a group of local interpreters who plan to develop a system to service San Diego-area hospitals. "I know this will cause a hardship," said Liptak, "and I hope that a solution will be developed soon."
UNIVERSITY IN OHIO CONSIDERS SIGN LANGUAGE DEGREE PROGRAM
The Ohio Board of Regents is considering
a plan from Wright State University to offer a bachelor's degree in sign language.
The Associated Press reported yesterday that the university would become the
first in Ohio to offer such a degree. The four-year degree program could begin
as early as next fall. A university official said there's a greater need for
interpreters because more deaf people are seeking higher education.
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MAN RESCUED FROM RUBBLE 10 DAYS AFTER EARTHQUAKE HIT
Ten days after the October 8 earthquake hit Pakistan, a deaf man was pulled out alive from under the rubble of his home in Bari. The man, identified by the Lahore Daily Times as Nazir, was trapped with his family when the earthquake struck the area. Army members who were asked by Nazir's relatives to rescue the family found Nazir alive, while the rest of the family had died. Nazir was taken to a field hospital in Balakot, where he was reported to be in good health and overjoyed at his rescue.
SCOTLAND SCHOOL PLANS TO RELOCATE TO NEW CAMPUS
Donaldson's College, a well-known school for deaf children in Scotland, will relocate from its current landmark home in Edinburgh to a new campus in Linlithgow, reported the Edinburgh Evening News last week. "It's a good move," said Robin Burton, a fund raiser for the 120-student school. "It should be good for the kids, which is the important thing." The move paves the way for the school's current building to be converted into upscale apartments. The new premises will be located on the site of an old factory and will contain recreational facilities, a swimming pool and accommodations for 24 students who live on campus. It is expected to be open by summer 2007.
U.K. MAN FOUND GUILTY OF FALSE CLAIMS AGAINST TV STAR
A deaf Liverpool, U.K. man was found guilty last Wednesday of falsely accusing British TV star Michael Barrymore of sexual assault. Lee O'Brien, 23, visited Barrymore's home in December 2001 to give him flowers, reported the Scotsman. He was invited in and given coffee during a visit that lasted 10 to 15 minutes. Ten months later, O'Brien filed a police report claiming Barrymore had forced him to smoke marijuana and indecently assaulted him in a bathroom. The court learned during the six-week trial that O'Brien went on to attend two Barrymore shows being filmed in 2002 despite his claims of being assaulted by the star the previous year. O'Brien was released on bail and will be sentenced on December 1.
WOMAN IN INDIA ATTACKED WHILE SLEEPING IN HER HOME
Three men have been accused of raping
a deaf woman in Chandigarh, India. The victim was sleeping in her home while
her husband was working overtime in a factory. Police have booked a man identified
only as Shambhoo, along with two accomplices, reported the Express News Service.
According to the victim, Shambhoo and one accomplice raped her while the third
man stood guard outside the door. She was later taken to a hospital for a medical
examination. "As the rape victim is a deaf and dumb woman, she couldn't
have possibly been in a position to raise an alarm and save herself from the
inhuman act," said a police official.
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MYSTERY OF STOLEN PHONE ENDS IN BROTHEL
Police in Phnom Penh, Cambodia were baffled when a deaf man known only as Bun, 27, was accused of stealing a cell phone last week. "Neither the police nor the victim could understand why Bun would steal a telephone, as he cannot speak or hear," said police chief Khat Darasi. The mystery became clear when a witness led authorities to a pawn shop, where they found the phone. Bun was then found in a nearby brothel. "He might not be able to use a telephone, but he is human," said Darasi. "He stole the phone to buy love." The phone was returned, reported News 24 in South Africa, and Bun promised to find more appropriate means to fund his love life in the future.
CANADIAN CITY APPROVES CAPTIONING, INTERPRETING FUNDS
Officials in Edmonton, Canada have approved a one-year pilot program to automatically provide captioning or sign language services at all major civic events and celebrations. According to the Edmonton Sun, the services will also be available upon request for other public meetings. "It's something we've been wanting for a long, long time," said Marilyn Kingdom, president of the Edmonton branch of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association. City workers have budgeted $16,000 (CAN) a year for the services, plus another $5,000 for a public awareness campaign to promote the program. "This is small change to protect people's rights," said Mike Nickel, a city council member.
POLICE IN SOUTH AFRICA LEARNING SIGN LANGUAGE
Police in the South African province
of Gauteng have been learning sign language, AllAfrica.com reported last week.
About 25 members of the Gauteng police are being taught sign language to ensure
that policing is extended to members of the deaf community. The project is an
initiative between the St. Vincent School for the deaf and the police department
of Gauteng, an area that includes the cities of Soweto, Johannesburg and Pretoria.
"We can't be seen to be rendering good service if we can't cater for people
in sign language," said Gauteng Police Commissioner Perumal Naidoo.
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LIFE & LEISURE
RESEARCHER SEEKS VOLUNTEERS TO HELP WITH DISSERTATION
Are you an "individual with an accessibility need?" If so, how would you like to be described? That's the theme of Ellen Perlow's disseration research, and she is asking Deafweekly readers for help. Perlow, of Denton, Texas, is seeking volunteers 18 years of age and older who can give 30 minutes of their time to rate a list of 50 accessibility-related descriptors and respond to five questions. She plans to attend 11 conferences in the next six months to collect data, but you can also participate through the mail. If you'd like to get involved, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
TRAVEL AGENT PRESSES CEOS ON NEED FOR INTERPRETERS
Kerstin Fox, a travel agent with Hibiscus Travel who specializes in cruises for the deaf, recently attended a Cruise Lines International Association event in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. During the event, Fox had a chance to discuss accessibility issues with two CEOs: Micky Arison of Carnival Corp. and Colin Veitch of Norwegian Cruise Lines. She told them she wants to see a policy guaranteeing sign language interpreter services for deaf clients traveling as individuals or in groups, to U.S. destinations or abroad, if requested by a travel agent or individual client. Both men asked her to put the request in writing via e-mail. She complied two weeks ago and is now waiting for their response. Comments or questions may be directed to email@example.com.
WEBSITE FOR WOMEN GAINS NEW DEAFNESS EDITOR
BellaOnline, a website that dubs itself "The Voice of Women," has a new deafness editor. Kelli Deister introduced herself in a recent column, saying "it is both an honor and a privilege to be here." Deister, deaf in one ear and hard of hearing in the other, began to lose her hearing in 1998 at the age of 35 as a result of domestic violence. The mother of two teenagers, she started working with a state agency in 1999 to learn sign language and communicate with others like herself. "When I first began to lose my hearing, I felt similar to a misfit," she said. "I truly felt like a lost soul -- in between two worlds." In her new role, Deister plans to raise such issues as hearing aids, interpreters, lip-reading and "the mask that we sometimes wear out of frustration with hearing people." The website can be found at www.bellaonline.com and you can contact Deister at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TEXAS NONPROFIT PROVIDES HEARING AIDS TO CHILDREN
A nonprofit organization in Texas
has been helping to make up for legislative budget cuts that have left 6,700
low-income hearing-impaired students unable to qualify for hearing aids from
the state. CHAT (Children's Hearing Aid Texas) was founded by Carline Caven.
If a child's hearing loss is not identified early, Caven told KVUE-TV in Austin,
"often times it's irreversible and their language, ability to read, will
be irreversible and follow them throughout their life." In its first year,
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ILLINOIS SCIENCE TEACHER EARNS HONOR FROM 'USA TODAY'
A teacher from the Illinois School for the Deaf in Jacksonville was selected for USA Today's eighth annual All-USA Teacher Team, which was published last week. Science teacher Sherry Humphries was nominated for the award by ISD Junior High Principal Barb Deluhery. "I am really excited about the award," Humphries told the Springfield State Journal-Register. "I definitely find it a good challenge working with our kids. There are so many different mindsets and everything has to be so visual." Humphries, a 10-year ISD veteran, was named National Science Teacher of the Year for Students with Disabilities last year and spent the past summer studying Abraham Lincoln at Oxford University in England.
PAYROLL DIRECTOR 'HITS THE GROUND RUNNING' IN NEW JOB
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Sunday on Jim Ahearn, a 41-year-old deaf man who was recently hired as payroll director for the California University of Pennsylvania. Ahearn brings 12 years of experience to the job, including stints with Mellon Bank and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He admits, however, that "a lot of employers are intimidated hiring a deaf person at a management level." He prepared for the job by returning to college, graduating last summer from Seton Hill University. He has "hit the ground running" in his new position, said his supervisor, Gene Grilli. Ahearn, who uses sign language, lipreading and video relay to communicate, is responsible for getting paychecks to 1,000 student workers, 300 staff and 300 professors. "It's a big payroll," said Grilli.
ENTREPRENEUR WORKING ON SYSTEM TO CAPTION RADIO
Twenty-five years after captioning came to television, a deaf entrepreneur has his sights set on a new target: radio. Stephen Foster's new business, iMobile Access Technologies (iMAT), is developing technology to provide real-time text broadcasts for radio stations, movie theaters, sports arenas and entertainment venues. If successful, iMAT would serve an audience of 28 million people in the United States with hearing loss, a population expected to double in the next 25 years as aging baby boomers experience hearing loss. Foster, 32, worked in California's Silicon Valley during the dot.com boom of the 1990s and returned to St. Louis to enroll his son, now 5, in the St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf. Last month he set up shop in the Technology Entrepreneur Center in downtown St. Louis, where he has access to advisors in financial planning, fundraising and marketing strategy. Jim Brasunas, president of the center, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Foster has a good chance to succeed. "Stephen has that quality where he's on top of his game, and he's also very willing and open to learn from others," he said.
RESEARCHER: SIGNERS MAY BE SUITED FOR GEOLOGY CAREERS
Deaf people may be ideally suited for careers in structural geology, says University of Massachusetts Amherst geologist Michele Cooke. Students who use American Sign Language are adept at three-dimensional thinking, says Cooke, and this may give them an advantage when dealing with geologic fault systems. Thanks in part to a $420,000 five-year National Science Foundation grant, Cooke is putting her theory to the test. She and her colleagues have connected with six high schools for the deaf around the country, and through a combination of sandbox experiments, earthquake modeling and field trips, deaf students from North Carolina to California are getting a taste of the geologist's life. When Cooke teaches hearing students to use a specific measuring device, "it usually takes them a couple of hours to figure it out," she said. "But the deaf students were up and making measurements in 15 minutes -- they so got it."
HYUNDAI WORKER MAKES THE NEWS IN ALABAMA
The Hyundai factory in Montgomery,
Ala. has a deaf employee, reported WSFA-TV last Friday. James Moore works in
the engine shop, where he inspects crank shafts on engine cylinder blocks, checks
ball point bearings and installs baffle plates. When he started the job, "people
didn't realize I was deaf," said Moore, "so I kind of had to tell
people to relax and I told them that I read lips." He had an interpreter
his first three months but now works independently. Moore, who is married with
two children, said he loves his job and his co-workers. "There's an awesome
group of people that work with me," he said.
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
THEME ANNOUNCED FOR ANNUAL ART AND ESSAY CONTEST
Gallaudet University has announced the theme for this year's Gallaudet National Essay and Art Contests for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students. Students will write or draw a response to the question, "What will I be doing when I'm 30 years old and how am I preparing for it today?" Art contest winners will receive $500 for first place, $100 for second place and $75 for third place. Essay winners will receive scholarship money ($1,000 for first place, $500 second place, $300 third place, $100 two honorable mentions). Scholarships will be doubled for students who choose to attend Gallaudet. The entry deadline is February 10, 2006 and more information may be obtained from Timothy.Worthylake@gallaudet.edu.
MARK MEDOFF PLAY 'STUMPS' OPENS NEXT WEEK IN NYC
"Stumps" by playwright Mark Medoff (author of "Children of a Lesser God") has been chosen as the Fall 2005 show by Nicu's Spoon in New York City. Each of the five actors will be paired with an actor/interpreter signing for the deaf and co-performing. Due to "violent, sexual and very disturbing moments," no one under 16 will be admitted without a parent or guardian. "Stumps" will run from October 26 to November 13 (Wednesdays through Sundays at 8 p.m.) at the Pelican Theater, 750 8th Avenue in Manhattan. The October 26 performance is billed as a benefit night for deaf programs. More information may be obtained at www.spoontheater.org.
RAPPER FOXY BROWN REVEALS SHE IS GOING DEAF
Foxy Brown is slowly going deaf due
to a rare condition that affects 1 in 10,000. The rap artist, whose real name
is Inga Marchand, first noticed the problem when she was told the sound levels
on her new record, which she thought were perfect, were actually way too high.
She also started to miss calls because she couldn't hear the phone ringing.
"The doctor told me that if I had attacked the problem when I first realized
my hearing was going, I probably would have been able to heal it immediately,"
she told People Magazine. Contactmusic.com noted many of Brown's "so-called
friends" snubbed her when they learned of her disability. "Because
I couldn't hear, I was no longer useful to them," she said. But supermodel
Naomi Campbell did some research and found a specialist for her friend, and
Brown is now undergoing medical treatment.
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SPORTS ADVOCATE QUESTIONS IOC'S SUPPORT FOR DEAFLYMPICS
William Schyman, a deaf sports advocate from Stroudsburg, Pa., wrote to the International Olympic Committee to discuss allegations of election voting fraud at the Deaflympics Congress held earlier this year in Australia. Schyman's August 28 letter to Jean Laurent Bourquin, the IOC's sports manager, garnered a reply the following week. "IOC does not interfere with Recognized Organization's internal matters," Bourquin said in response. Not satisfied, Schyman wrote again last week. "There is a wide consensus in our deaf community that since the IOC is funding the Deaflympics organization, the IOC should do something with the questionable and unethical conduct of some top leaders in the Deaflympics organization," he said. Schyman, a former world-class basketball player who is profiled in the 1996 book, "Great Deaf Americans," also asked if it was appropriate for the IOC to finance the Deaflympics when its leaders "are engaged in acts of anarchism, election fraud, manipulation and deception before the whole world."
TOP SPOT NETS $11,620 IN FIRST DEAF POKER TOURNAMENT
Robert Brooke captured first place and $11,620 in the 1st annual Las Vegas World Deaf Poker Tournament, held last Wednesday at the Palms Casino Resort. The tournament attracted 194 players from across the United States and Canada. Rounding out the top five were Ramon Cotton, $7,760; Dan Hoppe, $3,880; Edward Mackey, $2,910; and Robert Devine, $1,940. The event was organized by the Southern Nevada Silver Knights and the Southern Nevada Coalition of Organizations of and for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The 2nd annual tournament, which organizers say will be "bigger and better," has been scheduled for October 11, 2006.
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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, 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.
PROGRAM ASSISTANT/INTERPRETER in
Brief summary: Under supervision of the Director of Health Education/Services, using the guidelines of the assigned scope of work provided by the California Department of Health Service’s Community Challenge Grant, the Program Assistant/Interpreter will:
Work closely with the Community Health Educators on activities for GLAD’s program including plan and participate in community events and educational workshops as stated in the project scope of work; Provide interpreting services for teleconferencing meetings, collaborative meetings, OFP regional meetings, FamilyPACT clinic meetings, and appointments or any other situations which may arise to facilitate communication for project staff; Make arrangements and schedule with schools, programs and clinics for project educational/prevention activities; Responsible to coordinate Deaf Youth Advocacy Presentation and Mentoring Program; Implement media including articles, publications and GLAD’s website; Prepare Collaborative Alliance meeting minutes; Compile and distribute educational and promotional materials to project staff and community; Compile all documents for filing and prepare monthly progress reports; Clerical duties as well as such tasks and responsibilities as may be delegated
JOB DEVELOPER/INTERPRETER in West
Brief summary: Employment services offered at GLAD assist deaf and hard of hearing individuals with job information, job training, job placement and accessibility for the deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Co-located at 5 Employment Development Department (EDD) Offices and at each local office. The programs under employment services are: Job Readiness Training, Workplace Accessibility, Job Development, Placement and Follow-up
COMMUNITY ADVOCATE in Riverside
Brief summary: Under the supervision of the Regional Center Director, the Community Advocate will assist deaf and hard of hearing consumers in the area of communication access via TTY relay, document translation, and other duties, provide advocacy in the areas of social security, education, employment, consumer affairs, and others, record statistics on a daily basis related to provision of services, counsel deaf and hard of hearing consumers with problems related to personal and family adjustments, finances, employment, food, clothing and housing, assists deaf and hard of hearing consumers with independent living skills, educate the deaf and hard of hearing community about various laws and programs benefiting and protecting the rights of deaf persons such as Department of Rehabilitation and Social Security policies and the ADA, etc., work with the Resource Advocate regarding updates of the Directory of Resources, refers consumers to community resources and other organizations, secure information and resources beneficial to the department pertaining to social security, immigration, mediation, etc. through workshops, seminars and through networking with other agencies, some typing and other light office duties as necessary, driving is required as part of the job, perform such tasks and responsibilities as may be delegated
If interested 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
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