Vol. 1 No. 15
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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JENNA BUSH ADDS ‘BS’ TO INAUGURAL PROCEEDINGS
A bit of sign language by First Daughter Jenna Bush at last week’s inaugural festivities raised eyebrows across deaf America. Standing onstage with her family, the blond Bush twin raised her hand high in the air and lifted her pinkie and index fingers, Knight Ridder reported Saturday. People from Texas knew she was saluting the University of Texas’ Longhorns football team with a hand sign meaning “Hook ‘em horns,” but deaf people knew the sign she was making means “bullshit” in American Sign Language. Laura Bush’s press secretary, Gordon Johndroe, reacted with a surprised giggle and said, “Texans have been known to BS every once in a while.”
DEAF GIRL, 9, ATTENDS INAUGURATION AS REWARD FOR PHONE CALLS
Marilyn Austin, a 9-year-old deaf girl from Oakville, Conn. who made 560 phone calls on Election Day and the day before to get out the vote for President Bush, was rewarded with a trip to Washington, D.C. for the inauguration. Marilyn mingled with big-spenders and decision makers at the Constitution Ball, reported the Republican-American (Waterbury, Conn.), after earlier in the day watching the president take the oath of office. Marilyn was born deaf and received a cochlear implant when she was 4. She and her father woke up at 5:30 a.m. Election Day to call voters in New Hampshire and urge that they re-elect the president. “I felt tired, but I had to help my dad,” said Marilyn, who developed her belief in Bush, the newspaper reported, from watching Fox News with her father.
MICHIGAN MAN DIES TWO MONTHS AFTER ASSAULT
A deaf man died Sunday in Jackson, Mich., two months after he was severely beaten on a sidewalk in what police called a drug deal gone bad. According to the Jackson Citizen Patriot, Michael D. Combs of Hanover, Mich. had been in and out of a coma since the Nov. 19 assault. Police have few leads, and “one of the problems we ran into was no one was talking to us,” said Deputy Chief Matt Heins. Combs, 37, was born deaf and enjoyed outdoor sports, family members said. “He would do anything for you and never for anything in return,” said his grandfather, Faris Combs, with whom the victim lived for 21 years. “He was a wonderful boy.”
TWO MEN ESCAPE SERIOUS INJURY IN CAR-TRAIN COLLISION
Alfred Durso, 49, was treated and released from a hospital Jan. 20 after the car in which he was riding was struck by a train in Three Rivers, Mass. The driver, 50-year-old Luis Sanchez, was uninjured in the accident. According to The Republican (Springfield, Mass.), both men are hearing impaired and probably did not hear the warning bells that go off when a train is approaching. “The signal lights were blinking and everything was working fine,” a police officer said. Sanchez was given a written warning for speeding and failure to stop for a railroad crossing signal. The car, a 1994 Ford Taurus, was a total loss, but there was no damage to the train and no one on the train was hurt.
UTAH CONSIDERS BILL FOR NEW MENTAL HEALTH COORDINATOR
Utah’s two-person Division of Services for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired may get a little extra help if House Bill 178 becomes law, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Jan. 19. The bill would create a new mental health coordinator position to help the state’s estimated 200,000 deaf and hard-of-hearing residents obtain medical health services. The bill, with a $57,800 price tag, was unanimously approved last week by the House Health and Human Services Committee.
POKER TOURNAMENT RAIDED IN OHIO
All of the money raised from a poker tournament at the American Legion in Avon Lake, Ohio was supposed to go to the North Coast Associations of the Deaf, but officials believe that was not the case and they raided the tournament last Friday night. Playing cards, poker chips, poker tables and gambling records were seized, along with $22,000 in cash. More than 100 people were on the premises when a search warrant was executed, but no one was arrested pending further investigation. Poker tournaments are illegal in Ohio, a state official said, unless all of the proceeds go to charity.
AIDE TO FORMER ATLANTA SUPERINTENDENT PLEADS GUILTY
An aide to former Georgia School Superintendent Linda Schrenko pled guilty last week in federal court to lying to investigators probing fraud charges against Schrenko. According to the Athens Banner-Herald, Miller Finley, 64, oversaw federal grant money and disbursed it to state programs under Schrenko’s direction. Eleven suspicious contracts worth over $500,000 were to be used for computer-related services at three schools for deaf and gifted students. But prosecutors say no services were provided, and some of the money was used for Schrenko’s failed campaign for governor. Schrenko was indicted on 18 counts in November. She and two other aides have pled not guilty.
NAD WEIGHS IN ON JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS, FCC CHAIR
The National Association of the Deaf is asking for help to prevent the Senate confirmation of two controversial judicial nominees, William H. Pryor and Terrence Boyle. According to an NAD Action Alert issued Jan. 21, the two nominees have a history of being hostile toward the Americans with Disabilities Act and other civil rights laws for people with disabilities. You can contact your Senators on the issue by going to www.nad.org/rejectjudges. The NAD also sent a letter last week to President Bush urging him to select a new Federal Communications Commission chairperson “who is aware and sensitive to how telecommunication issues can disproportionately affect, include or exclude individuals with disabilities.” Michael Powell, who currently chairs the FCC, is resigning in March.
NEW ENGLAND HOMES FOR THE DEAF CONTINUES TO GROW
The Danvers (Mass.) Herald launched a three-part series last Thursday on the New England Homes for the Deaf, detailing the organization’s history as it marks its 80th year in Danvers. Originally opened in 1901 in Boston, the home quickly outgrew its location and moved to Everett in 1905. But by 1924, the home was filled to capacity and had a long waiting list. Danvers landowner John Frederick Hussey heard that they wanted to open a new home, and he sold them his Water Street property and donated $5,000 to help renovate the building. The organization made good use of the old Hussey home for many years, but it now stands vacant following the opening last year of the home’s new three-story facility, which contains 30 nursing home units and 30 assisted living units. Judith Good, the home’s CEO and president, said there are no plans to sell or tear down the old building. “We will find a use for it,” she said.
NEWSPAPER COMPARES VALUE OF ASL, SPANISH INTERPRETING
Sign-language interpreting of Dallas City Council meetings is often wasted, said The Dallas Morning News on Sunday, “and with it, tens of thousands of tax dollars, too.” “Only a handful” of sign language users attend the meeting, the newspaper suggested, and TV broadcasts don’t show the interpreters. The council recently approved without debate a three-year contract worth up to $125,000 to continue the interpreting services. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Spanish-speaking residents receive no council meeting translation services: “nothing in person, nothing via television or radio broadcasts,” the News noted. Said Mayor Pro Tem John Loza, “It’d be more of a benefit to have a broadcast translated into Spanish.” At least the new interpreting contract provides for televised coverage of the translators.
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CANADIAN HEARING SOCIETY TO HOLD MEMBERSHIP MEETING SATURDAY
“Emotions are raw and accusations are flying” as the Canadian Hearing Society prepares for a special membership meeting this Saturday, The Toronto Star reported recently. At issue is the fate of the society’s board of directors, with an advocacy group called Friends of the CHS hoping to vote out the current directors and elect a whole new board. Since November, the society “has been wracked by a bitter battle over the sudden dismissal” of Kelly Duffin as president and CEO, the Star reported, and some observers feel the fight will divert energy from CHS programs that help hundreds of thousands of Canadians with hearing loss. But critics say they are fed up with a board they say is secretive, undemocratic and out-of-touch. “We need to move on but we can’t if they continue to act as if nothing happened,” said one CHS member.
U.S. MILITARY HELPS PAY FOR KOREAN BOY’S OPERATION
A 5-year-old deaf South Korean boy underwent cochlear implant surgery last week after members of the U.S. military community raised about $5,500 to assist with the $30,000 operation. The boy, Jang Bong-sok, has lived in a home for abused or abandoned children since he was 3, Anthony Gray told the U.S. military newspaper Stars and Stripes. Bong-sok’s parents were uneducated and never realized that their son was deaf, said Gray, Catholic coordinator at Camp Hialeh. As a result, he was “basically neglected” until his father left him two years ago at Isaac’s House in Pusan, South Korea. The home began fundraising for the boy’s operation almost immediately and last fall the Americans got involved. Doctors are now waiting to learn if last week’s surgery was a success.
TEACH SIGN LANGUAGE TO EVERYONE, DEAF IN AFRICA URGE
Deaf people in Kampala, Africa want sign language taught in every school so that everyone learns it, said Ms. Baba Diri, a Member of Parliament representing People with Disabilities (PWD), at a meeting with deaf community representatives in West Nile last week. “We also want an article in the constitution regarding the usage of sign language in the country,” she said. According to The Monitor, Diri advised the country to adapt a standard sign language. “If there is no common language, you will see each group or region having their own signs,” she warned.
PUB WORKERS SIGN UP TO LEARN SIGN LANGUAGE
The owner of a pub in the U.K. signed
up her staff for a sign language course, Manchester Online reported last week.
Carol Holden, owner of the Spring Inn in Lancashire, said she hopes the move
will help her deaf customers order their drinks more easily. “My father
was deaf and we seem to have a lot of deaf and hard-of-hearing customers, so
I want to do all I can to relate to their needs,” she said. Linda Isaac
of the Royal Association of Deaf People applauded the move: “We think
this is a fantastic initiative and are really pleased to see the Spring Inn
trying to improve its service to deaf people.”
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LIFE & LEISURE
DEAF CHILD’S BUDDIES HELP RAISE FUNDS FOR TUITION
Students from Prospect Sierra School, a private K-8 school in El Cerrito, Calif., have embarked on a mission to raise $30,000 to allow a 2-year-old partially deaf boy stay in his school for two more years. Without the money, Samuel Brown would have to transfer to a deaf program in Oakland Unified School District when he reaches his third birthday, but his family wants him to stay where he is: at the Center for the Education of the Infant Deaf in West Berkeley. The Prospect Sierra School has a buddy program with the deaf center, and when students heard about Samuel they started making plans to help raise the funds. They held a bike-a-thon Jan. 18, with 22 children and nine parents riding 10 miles to raise over $7,000, reported The Daily Californian. Samuel’s fund has now reached $11,500, and deaf center officials say they will keep him enrolled even if the family cannot provide the full $30,000, looking for grants and donors to make up the difference.
DEAF, BLIND WOMAN BRINGS LIFE TO HELEN KELLER STUDIES
Jaimi Lard, who is deaf and nearly blind, stopped by the Coastal Ridge Elementary School in York, Maine two weeks ago to talk with second-graders about her life. The students have been studying Helen Keller and they were fascinated by Lard, reported Foster’s Daily Democrat. Lard told them she matches her clothes by the way they feel, and the students cheered when she strapped on her watch and tied her shoes. Lard is a spokesperson for the Perkins School for the Blind, which she attended from ages 5 to 22, and makes 15-20 presentations a year at schools around New England. With her on the school visit was her friend, Pam Ryan, who has helped her communicate with others over the past 30 years.
NEW PROGRAM ENCOURAGES KIDS TO READ TO DOGS
Melanie Paul has found a way to combine her love for dogs and reading, the Daily Press reported recently. Paul, a staff member for 25 years with the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind, was instrumental in starting a new program in September called “Paws to Read.” This once-a-month program at the Hampton, Va. library gives children ages 6 to 10 a chance to practice their reading skills – by reading to therapy dogs. “The dogs don’t criticize the children’s reading,” said Paul. “They’re excellent listeners.” Paul, who was deafened at age 12, became interested in therapy dogs several years ago when she took her own pet, a sheltie named Shiloh, for obedience training. Shiloh wound up becoming a certified therapy dog, and now he and Paul visit retirement communities and nursing homes several times a month.
WASHINGTON PROGRAM MAKES PROM DRESSES AFFORDABLE
High school girls from the Washington School for the Deaf have been invited to take part in a program that offers prom dresses for only $10. The Vancouver School District Foundation calls the program Operation Fairy Godmother, and it started last year to help girls attend their proms even if they don’t have $200 to spend on a dress. A one-day shopping event to be held March 19 will enable girls to purchase a new, slightly-used or vintage prom dress for just $10, and students who donate a dress can choose another for free. According to The Columbian, last year’s sale was limited to school district students, but this year’s event is open to girls from all Clark County public high schools as well as the school for the deaf. “We’re gratified that they thought of us,” said Todd Reeves, the deaf school’s superintendent.
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NXi GETS $250K FOR EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION SERVICES
NXi Communications, which makes a system that links TTY callers to PC users, is entering a new market: emergency notification services. The Salt Lake City firm is getting help from UTFC Financing Solutions, LLC, which announced Monday that it is investing $250,000 in the company. “They are the industry experts in telecommunications with the deaf,” said Damon Kirchmeier of UTFC. With the emphasis on homeland security, NXi thinks it can fill an important role. “We can facilitate messages sent to PCs, e-mail to wireless devices, phone calls to a voice telephone or TTY, send text to large messaging boards, activate warning lights and more,” said Thomas McLaughlin, NXi’s president.
NTID APPOINTS ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF EMPLOYMENT CENTER
The National Technical Institute for the Deaf has named John Macko associate director of its Center on Employment. Macko has worked in the center since 1993, where he advises students, teaches classes and develops relationships with employers. In his new role, he will add managerial and administrative duties. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s degree in human resource management.
DHH INSURANCE ACQUIRED BY SYRACUSE BROKERAGE
DHH Insurance, a Rochester, N.Y. agency that serves more than 400 deaf and hard-of-hearing clients across the country, has been acquired by CH Insurance Brokerage, Inc. of Syracuse, N.Y. DHH Insurance was founded five years ago by Gary Meyer, who told The Central New York Business Journal that he is the only deaf property and casualty insurance agent in the United States. Meyer will continue to run DHH Insurance as a subsidiary of CH Insurance and will retain the DHH name. Financial terms of the agreement were not revealed.
SIGN LANGUAGE GROWING MORE POPULAR ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES
Sign language enrollment has soared in colleges around the country, but students don’t plan to become interpreters or teachers of the deaf. Instead, they take sign language so they don’t have to take Spanish, French or another spoken language, The Los Angeles Times reported last week. The Modern Language Association reports that American Sign Language has become the fifth most widely studied foreign language in college, with enrollment up more than 400% over the past four years. But educators are divided on the merits of studying ASL, and some prominent schools, including the University of Southern California, don’t offer the course. The USC’s Daily Trojan, in an article Monday, said the college “does not view ASL as a foreign language because ASL does not foster cross-cultural communication.”
TTY NUMBER AVAILABLE TO REQUEST FREE CREDIT REPORTS
Do you know what’s in your
credit report? You should, if you want to buy a house or car, rent an apartment
or qualify for insurance. A credit reports tells where you’ve lived, how
you’ve paid your bills and whether you’ve been sued, arrested or
gone bankrupt. A new law, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, gives
you the right to a free annual credit report from each of the three major nationwide
credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). You can call a
special TTY number and order reports from all three firms or only one or two.
The TTY number is 1-877-730-4104.
SIGN LANGUAGE FOR THE
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Sidekick and HipTop wireless device users access Sprint Relay by clicking on the bright TTY icon directly from the chooser screen. To download and install Sprint Relay Wireless, access the device’s “Catalog” download feature. In the catalog, simply select “Sprint Relay Wireless” from the Applications list, and select “Purchase” to download and install the service for free. For more information on Sprint Relay Wireless, visit http://www.sprintrelay.com/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
ACTION ROLES LEAVE KIEFER SUTHERLAND ALMOST DEAF
Kiefer Sutherland, who stars in the TV series “24,” said his hearing has been damaged by the action roles he has played on TV and in movies. Sutherland said he is “pretty much deaf in one ear, and half deaf in the other,” after playing so many roles involving gun-shots and explosions, the U.K. news service Digital Spy revealed earlier this week. Wearing ear protection is not an option, the actor explained: “I can’t wear ear plugs because often you have dialogue after, so you need to hear the other actor.”
PAINTER SUSAN DUPOR WINS ARTIST FELLOWSHIP AWARD
Deaf painter Susan Dupor of Lake Geneva, Wisc. has won a prestigious Artist Fellowship Award from the Wisconsin Arts Board. Dupor, an art teacher at the Wisconsin School for the Deaf, grew up in Madison, Wisc. and attended mainstream programs for deaf children. She earned a BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MS in deaf education and art education through a joint program at the University of Rochester and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. Her work has been included in group exhibits such as “Elements of a Culture: Vision by Deaf Artists” and “20 Deaf Artists: A Common Motif,” and she’s had solo shows at Gallaudet University, Edgewood College in Madison, and the Bailiwick Arts Center in Chicago. The fellowship award will be used to support a new body of painting projects this year.
EDITOR PLANS SEQUEL TO DEAF GAY AND LESBIAN ANTHOLOGY
Raymond Luczak, whose first anthology Eyes of Desire: A Deaf Gay & Lesbian Reader (1993) scored two Lambda Literary Award nominations and rave reviews, has begun work on a sequel. He is looking for stories, poems, essays, photographs and artwork in either English or American Sign Language (in VHS or DVD format) that represent the deaf lesbian, gay and bisexual experience. The deadline for submissions is August 31, 2005. For more information, go to www.raymondluczak.com/eod2 or write to email@example.com.
LITTLE THEATRE PREMIERES ‘FINGERS AROUND THE WORLD’
The National Theatre of the Deaf has announced the 2005 season premiere of The Little Theatre of the Deaf’s “Fingers Around the World,” opening tonight at Saint Joseph College in West Hartford, Conn. “Fingers Around the World” spans five continents, and this season NTD is featuring the Far East’s adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland.” The audience not only meets some old friends from Lewis Carroll’s beloved classic, but also is entertained by short folk stories from different countries in the Far East. Want to know more? Visit www.ntd.org.
Upcoming DIIT Workshops at
NTID/RIT, Rochester NY
or 585-475-2225 V/TTY
Deaf Initiative in Information Technology (DIIT) would like to inform and invite you to attend their upcoming workshops held at NTID.
DIIT sponsors computer and information technology workshops designed especially for deaf and hard-of-hearing professionals.
The workshops provide a unique opportunity:
* An All Sign Environment
* Learn New Technical Skills
* Network with Other Deaf IT Professionals
Creating Web Pages with HTML
Instructor: Elissa Olsen
Date: February 21-25, 2005
Place: NTID/RIT, Rochester NY
Introduction to Microsoft Access Database
Instructor: Ari Ogoke
Date: February 21-25, 2005
Place: NTID/RIT, Rochester NY
Introduction to Macromedia Flash MX 2004
Instructor: Karen Beiter
Date: February 28-March 4, 2005
Place: NTID/RIT, Rochester NY
PC Hardware Maintenance and Repair
Instructor: Tony Spiecker
Date: February 28-March 4, 2005
Place: NTID/RIT, Rochester NY
Building and Managing a Secure Wireless Network
Instructor: David Lawrence
Date: May 9-13, 2005
Place: NTID/RIT, Rochester NY
For more information visit: http://www.rit.edu/diit
. If you are interested in attending, click "Registration" on the
left side of that web page, or call 585-475-2225 V/TTY.
DIIT is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.
FOX SPORTS NETWORK FEATURES SEGMENT ON RYAN DANIEL
Ryan Daniel, a freshman center for the Tigers at Auburn (Alabama) University, was featured on “NCAA on Campus” on Fox Sports Network last Wednesday. According to the Auburn Network, the feature story showed how Daniel, who is hearing-impaired, attends college, plays basketball and deals with everyday life. At 6-foot-11, Daniel rises five inches taller than the next biggest Tiger. He’s played in 11 games and scored a career-high eight points with four rebounds in 10 minutes in a victory Nov. 30 over Colorado State.
REGIONAL CONTESTS SET FOR NATIONAL ACADEMIC BOWL
Regional competitions for the ninth
annual National Academic Bowl for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students will begin
next month, and the top two teams from each of five regions will square off
in the finals April 23-26 at Gallaudet University. The program is sponsored
by Gallaudet, J.W.Marriott, Sorenson VRS and Verizon. The five regional competitions
are as follows:
West: Feb. 17-20, Utah Assoc. of the Deaf, Taylorsville, UT
Southeast: Feb. 24-27, South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind, Spartanburg, SC
Midwest: March 3-6, Ohio School for the Deaf, Columbus, OH
Mid-Atlantic: March 10-13, Maryland School for the Deaf, Frederick, MD
Northeast: March 17-20, CAPS Collaborative at Monty Tech Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, Fitchburg, MA
For more information, visit http://academicbowl.gallaudet.edu.
SALT LAKE CITY TO HOST LATE-DEAFENED GROUP’S ALDACON 2005
The Association for Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA) is now accepting proposals for workshop presentations at ALDAcon 2005. The conference will take place Sept. 7-11 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Suggested themes include technology and legislation; leisure and personal activities; leadership and organizational; living with deafness; and senior care issues. April 1 is the proposal deadline. For info, contact Carolyn Piper at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 610-604-3364.
Last week’s Deafweekly mentioned Lesa McAbee’s first meeting with the woman who received a donor heart from her deaf daughter, Natalie, who died in 1994. It was said that Tina Buck, who received the heart, is also deaf. Regrettably this was an editing error, as Buck is not deaf ... however, Lesa McAbee is. (McAbee also spells her first name Lesa, not Lisa as indicated last week.)
JOB OPPORTUNITIES @ 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
Status of all positions is: Regular, Full-time, Non-Exempt, Full Fringe
Benefits unless otherwise noted.
All positions are open until filled. Revised 01/25/05
HIV PROGRAM INTERPRETER
in Los Angeles
Brief Summary: Under the supervision of the Director of Health/Education
Services, the HIV Program Interpreter will perform all duties and tasks
as outlined in the AESD program scope of work, interpret initial HIV
antibody test and results, update and maintain a pool of qualified
HIV-trained interpreters to assist with interpreting assignments,
interpret and coordinate interpreter services to deaf and hard of
hearing consumers with HIV/AIDS for any HIV-related services including but not limited to case management, medical and mental health within Los
Angeles County, promote the availability of interpreter services to the
deaf community and service providers, implement survey to assess
consumer satisfaction of interpreter services provided….
in Riverside (Exempt)
Brief Summary: Under the direction of the Chief Executive Officer, the
Regional Director will plan and supervise the day-to-day activities of
the CODIE office in Riverside; provide direct counseling, personal
advocacy and other assistance to clients of all ages; develop and
implement education, advocacy and resource development efforts in the
service area; ensure programmatic objectives are carried out by
monitoring program progress and contract compliance; provide ongoing
consultation, support and training to staff and supervise staff;
complete progress reports to government agencies; assist in the grant
writing process and seek out additional funding to expand services….
in Riverside & Ventura
Brief Summary: Under the direction of the Regional Director the
Receptionist/Clerk will answer and transfer all incoming TTY and voice
calls, greet consumers and visitors in a professional manner, assist the
Regional Director, perform clerical duties, including but not limited to
typing, opening and logging all incoming mail, perform light
housekeeping duties as needed. The Receptionist/Clerk will work with
GLAD’s Resource Advocate regarding updates of the Directory of
Resources, provides information and referral as needed, order all office
supplies and maintain inventory of all office supplies, record/collect
statistics on a daily basis related to provision of services.
in West Covina & Crenshaw
Brief Summary: Under the direction of the EDD Program Manager, the Job
Developer/Interpreter will provide assistance with Job
Development/Placement efforts, work in conjunction with traditional
employment resources, develop employment opportunities, identify
openings and opportunities for clients in need of employment assistance,
other duties include job interviews, job counseling to clients and
in Cypress & Ventura
Brief Summary: Under the direction of the Regional 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….
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