December 13, 2006
Vol. 3 No. 7
Editor: Tom Willard
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GALLAUDET SELECTS INTERIM PRESIDENT
Robert R. Davila has been selected as interim president of Gallaudet University. Davila’s appointment was announced Sunday by Board of Trustees Chair Pamela Holmes. Davila, 74, is a Gallaudet alumnus (1953) who worked on campus as a teacher and administrator from 1972 to 1989 before beginning a four-year government job under the first President Bush. From 1996 to 2004, he ran the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, N.Y. “I am honored to once again serve my alma mater,” said Davila, who will assume his duties January 2 and serve up to two years. For more information, including a video of Sunday’s announcement, click here.
FOUR KILLED IN TEXAS HOUSE FIRE
A predawn house fire in San Antonio, Texas last Friday killed three deaf people and a 5-year-old girl. The victims were Rosa Bustos, 48, her two friends, sisters Olga and Yolanda Gonzalez, and her granddaughter, Samantha Medina, 5. Bustos’ husband, Julio Bustos, who is also deaf, told the San Antonio Express that he and his wife were asleep when Samantha awoke to dogs barking and alerted her grandparents. The three tried to escape, but only Julio made it out. The house did not have smoke detectors, said a fire official, and the windows were covered with burglar bars.
TEXAS MAN CHARGED IN FATAL SHOOTING OF WIFE
A deaf Texas man was arrested on suspicion of murder last Wednesday after allegedly shooting and killing his estranged wife in their South Dallas home, reported the Dallas Morning News. Archie Smith, 44, was being held in the Dallas County Jail. Beverly Smith, 43, died at a hospital hours after the shooting. According to a police report, the victim’s father heard two gunshots and his daughter screamed, “Daddy, he just shot me!” Smith reportedly fired two shots at the father, missed him and fled. He was arrested later in the day at a relative’s home.
FUND CREATED TO HELP DAMAGED NURSING HOME
A fund has been created to help repair the New England Homes for the Deaf in Danvers, Mass. after a November 22 explosion at a nearby chemical plant displaced residents and left the facility buried in debris. Executive Director Barry Zeltzer said in a letter last week that 50 deaf and deaf-/blind residents are sleeping four to a room in a local nursing home with only two bathrooms to share while others are being housed in a hearing nursing home without signing staff. “We ask you to bring them home as soon as possible,” he said. Donations may be sent to NEHD Disaster Relief Fund, c/o Eastern Bank, 4 Federal St., Danvers, MA 01923.
DEAF MOTORIST TELLS OF JAIL EXPERIENCE
Doug Bahl, the deaf Minnesota man who was allegedly beaten by police and jailed for four days, spoke of the experience last Friday with the Pioneer Press. “I can’t begin to describe to you how discouraging and how demeaning it was,” he said. Bahl was pulled over November 17 after allegedly going through a red light and was jailed on charges of obstructing the legal process with force. He was denied the use of a TTY and could not contact his family, he said. Finally, an inmate offered to make a call on his behalf. “I look at that person as sort of my hero,” said Bahl. An investigation is underway, said Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher. “We’re taking the matter very seriously,” he said.
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TEEN TESTIFIES IN FATHER’S MURDER TRIAL
Angela Rivers, a deaf 18-year-old from California, testified last Thursday through a sign-language interpreter in the murder trial of her father. Philip Charles River, 47, is accused of killing his wife, Edna Rivers, 49, in January 2005. According to the North County Times, the teen said she has worn a hearing aid since she was 4 and can hear loud noises such as screams. She recalled a fight on New Year’s Day 2005 and said the next day was the last time she saw her mother alive. Edna Rivers’ body was found a week later in the San Bernardino National Forest.
FLORIDA WOMAN TELLS COURT SHE SAW GUN
A deaf woman testified in Tallahassee, Fla. last week in the trial of Ryan Hubbard, 27, who is accused of killing two people in 2004. Tia Lurry, who lived with Hubbard, his stepson and their child, said through an interpreter that she knew Hubbard had a gun and that he kept it “for his own safety – not to hurt people.” She said she saw Hubbard talking to the victims around the same time they were last seen alive and noticed one victim was carrying a shoebox that she thought contained cash. Police say something was taken from one of the victims, said the Tallahassee Democrat, but wouldn’t elaborate.
ARIZONA SUES MOVIE THEATER CHAIN
The Attorney General’s office in Arizona has filed a lawsuit against AMC Entertainment Inc., claiming the movie theater chain violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. AMC allegedly does not have enough devices and services for hearing- and visually-impaired people to enjoy its movies, reported the Tucson Citizen. AMC spokeswoman Melanie Bell said at least one screen at each of the company’s Arizona multiplexes has captioning and voice description systems.
COLLEGE SUED OVER ‘UNQUALIFIED’ INTERPRETERS
Pima Community College in Phoenix, Ariz. has been sued by the state Attorney General’s office on behalf of a deaf student who said she could not understand her interpreters. Legal papers indicate that Stacey Duvall complained to the school, said the Arizona Daily Star, but officials insisted the interpreters were qualified and refused to replace them. Duvall, who withdrew from school this past spring, is seeking compensation for damages. The suit also asks that the college be fined up to $5,000.
CALIFORNIAN’S FM SYSTEM STOLEN FROM HER CAR
Someone stole Lori Hutchison-Doyle’s $2,000 FM system from her car at her Shasta Lake, Calif. home on Sunday, November 19, reported the Record Searchlight. Hutchison-Doyle, 32, who is deaf, uses the system – a small microphone and an ear piece – to interpret for deaf students at Shasta College. “I was very upset,” she said. “I was like, ‘I have to go to work. How am I supposed to hear?’” Other stolen items have been recovered, but not the hearing device. Hutchison-Doyle plans to ask the local Vocational Rehabilitation office for help. “She’s kind of lost her freedom,” said her mother.
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MAN ACCUSED OF RAPE TOLD ‘YOU ARE FREE TO GO’
The case against a deaf Ethiopian accused of repeatedly raping a disabled woman in London was dismissed last week, reported This Is London, after a prosecutor said, “It is not possible for this defendant to have a fair trial.” Several interpreters and a jury had already been sworn in, but prosecutors said Emmanuel Etoundi, who doesn’t speak English or know sign language, was unable to understand the case against him. Etoundi, 41, who had been charged with five counts of rape between 2004 and 2006, was told by Judge William Kennedy, “You are free to go.”
CALL CENTER WORKERS PAID MILLIONS FOR EAR DAMAGE
About 700 U.K. call center workers have receive out-of-court settlements totaling £2.5 million ($4.9 million US) in the past seven years, attendees learned in November at the Acoustic Safety Conference in Glasgow, Scotland. The workers claimed their hearing had been damaged by acoustic shock, a condition caused by a sudden increase in noise levels. Another 300 cases are pending, reported The Herald, and industry experts said that number was the tip of the iceberg. “It’s a sweatshop industry,” said one doctor. “If they get a nasty noise, that person either goes back to work or they just leave their jobs and disappear.”
AUSTRALIAN HOME FOR ELDERLY DEAF TO CLOSE
Pleasant Pines, an Australian residence for elderly deaf people, will close soon and more than 30 residents will need to find a new home, reported the Sydney Australian. The Tasmanian Deaf Society opened the low-care residence in 1995 and turned over management last year to Uniting Aged Care. The new operator, said the report, “had concluded the facility was no longer viable because of the increasing desire for people to stay at home until they needed high-care.” The closing date will depend on the availability of other suitable homes.
BORNEO TEACHER GETS 36 YEARS FOR RAPING STUDENTS
A teacher of the deaf in Borneo was sentenced last week to 36 years in prison for raping two deaf students three years ago, reported the Borneo Bulletin. Shamirul Salleh, 34, was also sentenced to 22 strokes of the cane. He was granted a “stay of execution” pending the outcome of his appeal to the High Court, said the report.
MEN ‘GO BERSERK,’ ORDERED TO PAY FOR DAMAGE
Two deaf men in England were ordered last week to pay £3,635 ($7,166 US) for damage they caused when they “went berserk with an iron bar after being thrown out of a club,” said the Lancashire Evening Post. Chris Jenkins and Liam Norman, both 23, were ejected at 2:30 a.m. October 15 after bouncers at a Preston club “took exception” to one of their friends chatting with a girl. They wrenched the bar from a railing outside and began smashing things in a rage, said the report. “They were angry that they had been thrown out when they had only been trying to help their friend,” said Jenkins’ lawyer.
SYRIAN COUPLE ALLEGEDLY BEAT DEAF TEEN
A couple in Syria hit a 14-year-old boy so hard that he is now deaf in one ear, said authorities in Bahrain. The teen was already partially deaf in his left ear and had undergone several operations to improve his hearing, said the Gulf Daily News. The incident occurred in August when the boy got into an argument with the couple’s children outside their home. The woman came out and hit him with a broomstick, said a police spokesman, and the man then slapped him on his left ear where he had his hearing aid. An arrest warrant was issued for the couple two weeks ago after a medical examiner found that a blow to the head could have caused the teen’s hearing loss.
TRIAL POSTPONED FOR LACK OF INTERPRETER
A judge in the United Arab Emirates postponed a case against a deaf man last month due to the lack of a sign language interpreter. The suspect, identified only as O.N., brought his brother to court to interpret, said the Gulf News, but Judge Ebrahim Khalil Abu Shamma “refused to carry on with the proceedings.” The case was postponed for a month to give the prosecution time to find an interpreter. The suspect is charged with having consensual sex and consuming liquor.
DISABLED LEADER CRITICIZES ARREST OF BEGGARS
The president of the Gambia Federation of the Disabled criticized a recent court ruling against 21 disabled people who were sentenced for street begging. According to the Banjul Point, Muhammed Kora sent letters to authorities saying the “begging syndrome” could be eradicated if disabled people were trained for employment. He said the Gambia Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has already begun rehabilitation and skills training for its members and “we expect the authorities to come on board to support these kinds of initiatives.”
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The 16th Winter Deaflympics
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LIFE & LEISURE
SISTER BROTHER DEAF INC. WINS $10,000 GRANT
Sister Brother Deaf Inc. announced recently that it has been awarded a $10,000 grant to continue its study of relationships between deaf and hearing adult siblings. It’s the second grant from the Laurence W. Levine Foundation for the Paramus, N.J.-based nonprofit organization. Researchers Marla Berkowitz and Judy Jonas have interviewed siblings from 10 families and plan to share their findings through conferences, workshops, journal articles and a book. They presented at the July 2005 American Society for Deaf Children conference and say other presentations are in the works. Jonas can be reached at JAJonas@verizon.net.
SAN DIEGO GROUP CHOSEN FOR FREE MARKETING SERVICES
A San Diego firm specializing in advertising, marketing and public relations announced last week that it has chosen Deaf Community Services of San Diego to receive free marketing services for one year. More than 30 organizations went through a “highly competitive selection process” before Oster and Associates chose DCS as its 2007 pro bono client, said a news release. “The entire staff was captivated by the group at Deaf Community Services,” said agency president Bev Oster. “We’re looking forward to a very fun and productive year with them.”
MOST DEAF CSUN STUDENTS NEUTRAL ON IMPLANTS
The Daily Sundial at the California State University, Northridge interviewed several deaf and hard-of-hearing students for a recent article on cochlear implants and found that the majority remain neutral on the subject. “If someone wants to get a C.I., then go for it,” said Christian Sapacay. “They might even benefit from it.” Joanna Hinojosa took a different stance. “I’m against cochlear implants because I feel like it offends us,” she said. “Why should we have to hear? I’m proud of who I am and I can’t change who I am.” CSUN educates more than 200 deaf and hard-of-hearing students each semester through its National Center on Deafness.
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NBC REPORT: MOST IP RELAY CALLS ARE SCAMS
The IP Relay system may help criminals more than the deaf community, reported MSNBC last week. About 22 million calls are placed through IP Relay each year at a cost of $92.5 million, but one former operator, Cathy Audia, said about 85 to 90 percent of calls she handled were scams. “Very rarely did we get an actually hearing-impaired call,” she said. Another former operator, Sheila Satterwhite, said, “I felt like a criminal every day I left work.” A memo obtained by NBC showed an IP Relay director warning operators not to discuss the issue publicly. “Please do not risk your jobs and your own integrity,” wrote the director.
FEDERAL GRANT TO PROMOTE ORAL COMMUNICATION
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro have been awarded $800,000 to help deaf and hard-of-hearing children from birth to kindergarten learn to talk, reported WXII-TV in Winston-Salem. Funding for “Project Duet” – so named because it involves close partnerships with the children’s families – comes from the U.S. Department of Education. Mary Compton and Judith Niemeyer will oversee the four-year program, which will train 28 students in the school’s Teacher Education program in auditory/oral communication methods.
MISSOURI PROFESSOR WINS TEACHING EXCELLENCE AWARD
A deaf professor at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo. was honored recently with an Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award. Rebecca Panagos, 54, who “prefers to downplay” her disability, was recognized for starting a remedial reading program in area elementary schools, said the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She is one of about 100 teachers in the St. Louis area, from elementary to university level, to receive the award. Panagos became deaf at age 3 and learned to read lips before anyone realized she was deaf. “Hearing aids have become so advanced that I don’t consider myself as a person with a disability,” she said.
NEVADA COMPANY ACQUIRES NEW YORK-BASED VRS FIRM
Language Access Network Inc., a leading provider of video interpretation services, has announced an agreement to acquire Healinc Telecom, LLC, a private firm in New York City that provides Video Relay Services to the deaf community. Healinc Telecom, which offers VRS in American Sign Language and Spanish 24 hours a day, seven days a week, expects to gross $2.7 million this year and projects a revenue increase of at least 35% in 2007. The acquisition gives Nevada-based Language Access Network “immediate entree to clients in major East Coast markets as well as other locations nationwide,” said CEO Michael Guirlinger.
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
COLORADO PAINTER UNVEILS NEW WEBSITE
Deaf artist Linda Arnold of Littleton, Colo. announced recently the launch of a new website to make her work available to a wider audience. The site features an online gallery with a retrospective of her paintings, some of which can be purchased as lithographs and greeting cards. Among them is a grouping of three pieces titled “Triptych of Healing,” which focuses on three American tragedies: the Columbine High School shootings, the Oklahoma City bombing and September 11. Arnold also creates portraits, landscapes and still life imagery, and recently added pet portraiture to her repertoire under the “DogGone Art” trade name. Her site can be found at www.lindaarnoldart.com.
MOVIEGOER COMPLAINS ABOUT CAPTIONED FILMS
Brenna Norval of Keizer, Ore. had a letter printed Sunday in the Statesman Journal about a local theater that shows captioned films. Norval’s son has a deaf girlfriend, she said, and “the movies that we see, for obvious reasons, need to be open-captioned.” They were given three different starting times for the same screening, “not the first time we have had this problem.” In fact, she wrote, “we repeatedly encounter this blatant act of discrimination.” They also had only six chances to see a film that has been out for several weeks. Her conclusion: “This is unacceptable, yet this is how we are allowed to see movies in this community.”
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BREWINGTON TRANSFERS TO LIBERTY UNIVERSITY
Dwight Brewington returns to college basketball Saturday after transferring from Providence (R.I.) College to Liberty University, a private Catholic school of roughly 8,000 students in Lynchburg, Va. Brewington – one of three deaf players in Division I college basketball – left Providence last winter, said the Norwich (Conn.) Bulletin. “My reasons for transferring were to search for a better fit for me,” he said. Brewington met his wife, Gabrielle, at Providence and the couple had their first child, Malakai Josiah, on October 14. “We’ve had good players here that have had similar talents on one end of the floor,” said Liberty coach Randy Dunton, “but never with the complete package.”
ATHLETE’S LATE SON INSPIRES IRONMAN SUCCESS
Terry Hampton of Fairmount, Ga. was inspired by his late son to compete in a recent ironman event, reported the Calhoun Times. Hampton’s son, Coulter, who was deaf since birth, died in March 2005 at age 8 from a cancerous blood disease. “Coulter used to take such pride in my distance training races and would sign, ‘Daddy bikes or runs a long time,’” said Hampton. He completed his first ironman event two months ago in Clermont, Fla., a grueling event that included a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2 mile marathon run. It took nearly 15 hours, and at the end he was handed $1,000 collected by his wife, Nikki. “It’s going to the Coulter Hampton Foundation,” he said.
FORMER NFL PLAYER ‘STILL PERFORMS ON SUNDAYS’
The Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram recently profiled former Chicago Bears player Caesar Rentie, who grew up with deaf parents and signed before he could talk. “Growing up in a deaf family, I learned to be flexible,” he said. Rentie, 42, is now a pastor at a Dallas church and will serve as chaplain at the new $134 million Methodist Mansfield Medical Center when it opens Monday, where he will help families cope with illness and death. Calling himself a “recovering athlete,” Rentie joked that he “still performs on Sundays, but the paycheck’s not as big.”
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NAD ANNOUNCES NEW ORLEANS CONFERENCE IN 2008
The National Association of the Deaf announced recently that it will hold its 49th biennial conference in New Orleans, La., July 7-11, 2008. The New Orleans Marriott at the French Quarter will host the conference, which has a theme of “Together, We Move Forward.” The NAD planned to hold its 2006 conference in New Orleans but had to relocate the event to California due to Hurricane Katrina.
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W.W. McCHORD, 66, DIRECTED SEVERAL DEAF SCHOOLS
Willmott Winfield McChord Jr., who ran several schools for the deaf over a long career, died of a cerebral hemorrhage last Friday at St. Joseph Hospital in Lexington, Ky. He was 66. A Lexington native, Mr. McChord graduated from Transylania College in 1962 and earned a master’s degree from Gallaudet University. He served as principal (1969-71) and superintendent (1971-81) of the Kentucky School for the Deaf in Danville and was headmaster at the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford, Conn. for 21 years (1981-2002). He later was interim president of St. Mary’s School for the Deaf in Buffalo, N.Y. and superintendent of the Georgia School for the Deaf in Cave Spring. Mr. McChord was predeceased by his wife, Charlotte Lewis Bryant McChord, and is survived by a daughter and a brother. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, a memorial service will take place Friday at the Kentucky School for the Deaf.
ANDREW GRIFFITH, 40, MASSACHUSETTS CASE WORKER
Andrew W. Griffith of Franklin, Mass., a case worker for Advocates, Inc. of Ashland, died November 2 upon arrival at Milford Regional Medical Center. He was 40. He was born and raised in Boston and attended the Boston School for the Deaf in Randolph. A former Gallaudet University student, Mr. Griffith graduated from Pittsburgh Art Institute, where he was class valedictorian. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy (Stafford) Griffith, two stepsons and several other relatives. Memorial donations may be sent to the Andrew W. Griffith Educational Fund, c/o Benjamin Franklin Bank, 58 Main St., Franklin, MA 02038.
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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.
– Building Manager
– Los Angeles, CA
– Regional Director – Riverside, CA
– Community Interpreter – Riverside, CA
– Job Developer/Interpreter – Crenshaw, Norwalk, Riverside and West Covina, CA
– Community Health Educator – Los Angeles, CA
– Grant Writer – Los Angeles, CA
– Accounts Receivable Specialist – Los Angeles, CA
– Program Assistant/Interpreter – 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
Virginia Department of Rehabilitative
Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for the Deaf
Pay Band 4 - Salary Range: $30,146 - $61,872
Closing Date – Open Until Filled***
The Field Rehabilitation Services Division is seeking a qualified VR Counselor for the Deaf to provide comprehensive vocational rehabilitation services to eligible persons with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities in the Hampton and surrounding areas.
Responsibilities: Provides comprehensive case management services including guidance, counseling, training and physical/mental restoration and job placement services. Develops, implements and manages vocationally focused service plans that identify customer goals, services and costs to help them achieve an employment outcome. Maintains detailed case notes and prepares position-related reports. Due to regional coverage, extensive travel is required.
Requirements: Considerable knowledge of the social, economic, medical, psychological and vocational issues impacting persons with disabilities; interviewing, evaluation, and counseling techniques; methods and tools for career counseling and exploration; and ADA compliance requirements. Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with community resources and individuals from diverse environments. Abilities to establish employment opportunities through contacts with businesses and organizations within the community; effectively communicate, orally and in writing; interpret and apply policies/procedures; and organize/manage multiple duties. Fluency in American Sign Language required. Successful candidate must have considerable knowledge of and understanding of the communication, cultural and psychosocial needs of persons who are deaf and hard of hearing. Working knowledge of Windows based computer software. Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling or closely related field or current CRC required. Master’s level transcripts or copy of current certification, if applicable, must accompany application. Must have a valid driver’s license and access to transportation for daily travel. Salary is negotiable above the minimum of the pay band based on qualifications. This is a sensitive position, and the successful candidate will be subject to fingerprinting/ background investigation.
Contact Information: Please visit our Career Center at www.vadrs.org for the application process. Save time by applying on-line. You can even save your application for future use! If you don’t have computer access call 804-726-1919 or contact your local VEC office for assistance. ***Applications will be accepted until at least 5:00 p.m., December 18, 2006. Applications received after this date may or may not be considered depending on the applicant pool. Applicants interviewed will be required to sign the application the day of the interview. Resumes may not be substituted for fully completed State applications. Minorities and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. EEO/AA/TTY – Reasonable accommodations upon request.
Closing Date: Open Until Filled***
State Form 10-012 Required
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