February 1, 2006
Vol. 2 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 For information, contact

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A deaf Canoga Park, Calif. man was shot and killed by suspected gang members who may have mistaken his sign language for gang signs, reported KABC-TV and the CNS. Lee Carter, 23, was confronted by four men while walking home from a store last Tuesday night. Carter’s mother, Yolanda Emanuel, said gang members had confronted her son before about using sign language. “The hardest thing is I heard the shots,” she said. Carter’s girlfriend, a deaf woman who was not identified in the report, said in sign language, “Let me know who killed my boyfriend. Call me or call the police.”


A deaf Nashua, N.H. man accused of sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl and an adult woman may not be competent to stand trial, his lawyers say. Victor Laporte, 32, is accused of assaulting the girl twice last year and raping the woman in May or June, reported the Nashua Telegraph. Laporte’s lawyers say their client has minimal reading and writing skills and does not know sign language. They want the court to bring in an expert to evaluate his ability to stand trial. Laporte is currently free on bail, but prosecutors say he should be jailed because he has sent emails and parked outside the home of the woman he is accused of raping. A hearing on the issue is scheduled this month.


U.S. Senators Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) And Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) reintroduced legislation last week to help state and local governments pay for the costs of complying with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Eighteen Senators from both parties are consponsoring the bill, which was first introduced in 2001. Congress pledged to provide 40 percent of the funding when it passed IDEA in 1975, reported Southwest Nebraska News, but federal contributions have never exceeded 19 percent. “This is wrong,” said Sen. Hagel, “and it takes resources away from education needs in each state.” The Hagen-Harkin bill would fully-fund the federal commitment to IDEA in five years, with funding reaching $26.1 billion in 2011 - compared to $2.3 billion in 1996.


Construction crews in Wyoming have broken ground for a new 11,000-square-foot “cottage” for kids in the Cathedral Home for Children’s deaf program, reported the Laramine Boomerang. The $1.4 million building on the home’s campus north of Laramie is expected to be finished in July. Since the deaf program opened in 1995, residents have been living in a 30-year-old building that compared to others on the campus is cold, run down and crowded. The new building will give participants “a sense of permanency,” said Cathedral Home program director Dann Harvey. “The deaf program is here to stay.” The facility will be outfitted for the needs of the deaf program and feature an open floor plan that allows staff to watch over the children.


With a $100,000 federal grant to contract with interpreters, the San Antonio (Texas) Police Department last year “became the first police agency in the country to provide new services for the deaf,” reported WOAI TV-4. But when a deaf woman told police last Monday night that a man forced her into sex, officers did not call an interpreter to the scene. SAPD spokesman Joe Rios said police didn’t want the accused rapist to leave while they waited, and a suspect was arrested. But some are now questioning if the money is being used appropriately. “The grant money is a wonderful idea and it’s for an incredible cause,” said Marilyn Weber of Deaf Interpreter Services, “but if it’s not being carried out properly, it’s useless.”


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Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D. announced last Thursday that it will begin a new four-year major in sign language interpretation, reported the Argus Leader. The new program, set to begin this fall, includes a five-year partnership with Sioux Falls-based CSD (Communication Service for the Deaf). CSD will provide faculty for the program’s early years and cover some of the start-up costs, including a sign language lab. The program is expected to help address a nationwide shortage of certified interpreters. “Students see this as a real career opportunity,” said Augustana College President Bruce Halverson. “Sign language and Spanish pack them in.”


More than 3,000 Sonic drive-in restaurants throughout the country were giving out Speak in Sign flash card sets in their kids’ meals in January, reported Leonard Hall in his weekly column for the deaf community in the Olathe (Kan.) News. Sonic officials worked closely with Kansas School for the Deaf staff through several revisions as the sign illustrations were reviewed for accuracy. Sonic offered six different flash card sets, each featuring 20 words or gestures focusing on numbers, colors, animals, people, food and emotions. A key-chain-like clip allows the cards to be attached to a notebook or backpack.


If you live in California and throw a used hearing aid battery in the trash, as of February 9 you’ll be breaking a new state law, reported the Tri-Valley Herald. Consumers will be required to recycle used batteries by taking them to a household hazardous waste facility, a universal waste handler or an authorized recycling center. The ban covers virtually every kind of household battery, including AA, AAA, C cells, D cells and button batteries. The state doesn’t plan to go door to door scavenging through garbage bins, said spokesman Ron Baker, but most Californians are likely to abide by the ban voluntarily. “They care,” he said.


Several state officials gathered at the Missouri School for the Deaf last Thursday for a special dedication ceremony in honor of the late Rev. Raymond McCallister. According to the Fulton Sun, the school joined the State Board of Education and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in renaming the MSD Stark Elementary School library the Raymond F. McCallister Jr. Library. McCallister, who passed away on September 6, was remembered for his help in obtaining funds for the school’s expansion while serving on the State Board of Education. “He loved this campus and loved what this campus was about,” said State Board of Education President Peter Herschend.


Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) asked the National Institutes on Health last Thursday to determine if portable music players like Apple’s iPod are contributing to early hearing loss. He also wants health officials to recommend what people can do to prevent it from happening. According to Reuters, the issue is not new but it has reemerged with the popularity of the portable devices, the design of earbuds that fit just inside the outer ear and batteries that last for several hours. “People need to know whether they are at risk for premature hearing loss and how to protect themselves,” wrote Market in his letter to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

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If you are interested in becoming an expert in the education of children with cochlear implants, we invite you to apply for the next 6 week Educational Consultant Training Program (ECTP) which will begin in mid-June. This will be the 8th time that the ECTP program has been offered. Over 60 teachers from 38 states have completed the ECTP program.

This intensive and field -tested 6-week training program will be held at three sites: The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Phila, PA), the California Ear Institute (Palo Alto, CA) and the Atlanta Speech School (Atlanta, GA). Each class will be limited to 8 experienced teachers of the deaf. Each graduate of this full-time program will receives a certificate and 9 graduate credits.

Students also receive FREE tuition, books and materials and a stipend to cover living expenses while they are in Philadelphia, Palo Alto or Atlanta.

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A U.K. mechanic was left blind and deaf after being poisoned with antifreeze by a co-worker at Alwoodley Motors in Leeds, reported the Mirror last week. Martin Bingley didn’t realize he had drunk the sweet-tasting chemical, and Keith Lamb, 45, didn’t confess until it was too late to get medical help. Bingley has been left with no limb coordination, and his wife Sally was forced to quit her job to take care of the former Rugby League referee and father of two. Lamb pleaded guilty in court last Monday, with his lawyer saying, “The defendant regrets the prank went so tragically wrong."


Peter Julian’s reelection as a Member of Parliament from British Columbia is good news for Canada’s disability community. Julian has introduced a private member’s bill to institute a Canadians With Disabilities Act, patterned after the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act and designed to promote accessibility to services for Canadians with disabilities. This is an area that “has been neglected for decades,” said Julian, who ran the Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing before joining the House of Commons. According to the Vancouver Straight, Julian’s New Democratic Party election platform commits to the introduction of this legislation “at the earliest opportunity.”


Officials in Hamilton, Ont., Canada were moments away from issuing an Amber Alert Sunday afternoon when a missing 5-year-old deaf girl was found behind a locked apartment door just down the hall from her home. It took officials 5-1/2 hours to locate the girl after her parents reported her missing around 11 a.m., reported the Hamilton Spectator. Police Superintendent Paul Morrison explained that officers had to take advantage of daylight to search outdoors first. It also took a while to obtain master keys, he said. Officers initially thought the apartment was not rented, but later learned it was occupied. The girl was fine and did not appear frightened, police said, and foul play is not suspected.


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Sonu Nigam, a popular singer in India, wasn’t sure where his friend, the actor Kunika, was taking him recently. “I thought it might be for cancer patients or some other cause, because Kunika is always involved in social work,” he said. Nigam was surprised to find himself entertaining children at the Lion’s School for the Hearing Impaired. He kept them entertained by singing duets with about 30 students. “It is strange that my audience are these children, because they can’t hear properly,” said Nigam. “Yet in a way they are my audience.” Before leaving, he presented an assortment of gifts that included 10 hearing aids, a donation that was boosted by a London charity with another 20 aids.


The majority of citizens in Karachi, Pakistan suffer from hearing impairment due to intense noise pollution, a Pakistan Medical Association official said at a conference last week. The cause is an estimated 30,000 rickshaws, each of which produces from 95 to 110 decibels in engine noise. (In comparison, an airplane engine creates 125 to 140 decibels.) Environmental rules keep the situation in check in other major cities, said PMA general secretary Qaiser Sajjad, but Karachi rickshaw drivers and their passengers face the risk of permanent hearing loss.


Community activists in Bahrain have launched a society for people with hearing impairment, reported the Gulf Daily News. The Bahrain Society for Cochlear Implantation and Hearing Impairment aims to help children and adults to obtain hearing aids, cochlear implants and other new advances in the field. “We will also try to help adults find jobs and help in early detection programs,” said Dr. Ahmed Jamal of the Salmaniya Medical Complex. Jamal, who has been working since 2001 to establish the society, said anyone can join. “We have 34 members,” he said, “are we are still getting applicants.”


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INTERNET FORUM ALLDEAF.COM GROWS TO 6,500 MEMBERS, an Internet forum board designed to help deaf and hard-of-hearing people meet one another and discuss everyday issues, announced recently that it has grown to more than 6,500 members. Alex Chu of Garfield, N.J., who founded the service in April 2002, says the most active participants are hearing-impaired people in their 20s and 30s but members include many hearing people who are simply interested in deaf culture and sign language. offers general chat forums and specialized ones on topics of high interest. Among the most active forums are those devoted to hearing aids and cochlear implants, deaf education and sign language. Visit the site at


The Captioned Media Program has been advertising for several months in American Libraries, the official monthly publication of the 63,000-member American Library Association. The full-page ad shows a poster of “Girl With a Pearl Earring” by Jan Vermeer, a famous Dutch painter of the 17th century. A message reads, “A picture may be worth a thousand words, but ... pictures and captions together build literacy.” CMP, which is funded by the federal government and managed by the National Association of the Deaf, is offering the poster free to interested libraries; send your request to For more information on the Captioned Media Program, visit


It’s not enough to put a hearing aid in an ear, says Robert Sweetow, director of audiology at UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco. Users need to be trained to interpret the sounds they hear, he told Ivanhoe Newswire. “The hearing aid is designed to get the sound into your ear and up to your brain,” he said, “but what your brain does with it is not going to be a function of the hearing aid.” Sweetow and his colleagues have come up with a new kind of therapy they call LACE - Listening And Communication Enhancement - which is offered through an interactive computer program. Patients are asked to work with the program 30 minutes a day, five days a week for a month. A new study indicates that 80 percent of patients who completed the program showed improvement.


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The Wisconsin State Journal did a profile Monday on Jack Barr, a deaf businessman who owns The Sign Language Store in Madison. Barr, 58, started out in 1986 as Barr Productions, selling TTYs out of his home to about two customers a month. Today his business serves roughly 4,000 people every year. Barr estimates 30 percent are deaf, while the remainder are hard of hearing or hearing people who want to learn about the deaf community. The store targets parents of hearing babies, offering books, videos and other tools for teaching babies to sign. “Sign language is for everyone,” said Kathy Clark, the store’s manager. Also featured is a Deaf Culture Museum, a collection of historic items that includes a 103-year-old TTY.


A Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf teacher is the new pastor of the First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sharpsburg, Pa., reported The Herald. Rev. Mark Ruppert took over the 140-year-old church after the position had been vacant for two years. Ruppert, originally from Illinois, came to Pittsburgh in 1997 to serve as a missionary pastor for the region’s deaf population. He was pastor for seven years at Trinity Lutheran Church of the Deaf in Wilkinsburg and continues to serve as New Life Christian Education teacher at the WPSD. He and his wife, Kathy, are both accomplished in sign language. “We’re working on building vision,” he said.


Marianne Molinari is a sign language teacher with a specialty: her Bridgewater, Mass. class is designed for EMTs and paramedics. “I do a lot of emergency preparedness,” Molinari told The Taunton Gazette. “I train people to sign basic life-saving information, especially EMTs, in addition to sensitivity training.” A nationwide lack of interpreters has an effect on public safety, she said, but her class can help. With a focus on communication in emergency situations, Molinari would like to see an ASL alphabet poster “in every ambulance, police station, fire station, hospital and school.” If a rescue worker can finger spell and count to 10 in sign language, she said, they can ask basic questions and give or receive phone numbers.


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Patricia S. Hodgdon, Ph.D., is a consultant specializing in bullying and victimization. She provides consultation to teachers, parents, deaf and hard of hearing students in Public Schools and Residential Schools for the Deaf all over the country. Her consultation efforts are based on increasing faculty and staff awareness of bullying and victimization; helping school staff recognize and evaluate the amount of bullying, pecking order, and relational aggression in their schools. She is a certified school psychologist.

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“Universal Signs,” the story of a lonely, depressed deaf man, began filming in Philadelphia last week, reported The film is being shot mostly in black-and-white, and will convey dialogue through sign language and subtitles. Anthony Natale, a deaf actor who played the older son in “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” has the lead role. Also in the cast is Lupe Ontiveros, Gabrielle's meddling mother-in-law on “Desperate Housewives.” Ontiveros was drawn to the project because her sons Alex and Nicholas are both deaf. She will do her scenes in California after the six-week Philadelphia shoot ends.


The California School for the Deaf in Fremont has selected Megg Davis as 2006 Artist in Residence and director of the high school spring play, “Cinderella Waltz.” Davis, an aspiring television actress, has worked with the Seattle Children’s Theatre, Deaf West Theatre and the National Theatre of the Deaf. She enjoys choreographing dance routines and directing plays that feature deaf children as actors. “Nothing is more beautiful than making a difference in someone’s life through theater,” she said. Each year, the school brings in a noted artist in residence; past participants have included Raymond Luczak, Troy Kotsur, Vikee Waltrip and Charles “CJ” Jones. “Cinderella Waltz” is scheduled for March 15-18, and more information may be found at


Deaf performance artist Mindy Moore was in Plainfield, Mich. last Friday with her husband, Theron Parker, to perform in “Women From Venus, Men From Mars” at Northview High School. Moore, an elementary school teacher at the Texas School for the Deaf, also led a workshop that provided an overview of deaf culture. William Stokoe’s recognition of American Sign Language in 1960 was a breakthrough, she said. “ASL is a beautiful language, and the hearing people in America were trying to change that.” Jeannette Johnson, who attended Moore’s workshop and performance, approved the message. “This is who I am,” she said. “Accept me for who I am.”


David Pierce of Seguin, Texas, announced this week that he has formed a new Yahoo discussion group called the Deaf Media Group. Pierce, owner of Davideo Productions, says the new group is a forum for professionals, amateurs and hobbyists interested in all forms of deaf media including film and television. “This forum can be used to discuss anything related to deaf media, share news, and job opportunities in production or distribution,” he said. To learn more, go to


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Soccer star Mike Lawson of the Rochester (N.Y.) Institute of Technology Tigers was named for the second straight year to the 2005 National Soccer Coaches Association of America / Adidas Men’s College Scholar All-America second team. Lawson, a deaf 5-foot-9, 170-pound lefty, co-captained his team and finished second in scoring with 12 points on four goals and four assists. Lawson is one of just 10 NCAA Division III men’s soccer players to receive the Academic All-American honor. “Mike Lawson is the finest student athlete I have had the pleasure to coach in my career,” said RIT coach Bill Garno in the Asbury Park (N.J.) Press. “His contributions will never be forgotten.”


ABC-7 in Chicago reported last week on Don Bester, a “modern-day renaissance man” who balances a long-running career as a professional boxer with his role as director of deaf ministries for seven local churches. Bester, 49, coaches young boxers twice a week as he prepares for his 48th professional fight. “I never drink, I never smoke, I never abuse my body,” he said. He learned to sign 30 years ago when he was friends with a deaf family, and says sign language is “just another way of communicating.” His signing skills come in handy as he attends banquets, listens to speeches and serves as associate pastor at the Harvey Memorial Church. “God just dropped a calling on my life and I just went to the ministry, and it was strictly through the deaf,” he said.


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CEO Position Announcement

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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, and personnel. To see the full job announcement including information about DCARA, minimum qualifications and application process, visit CLOSING DATE: March 31, 2006




Hamilton Relay, Inc. currently has a full-time position open for “Relay Iowa Outreach Project Manager.” This position will be staffed in the Des Moines, IA area.

SUMMARY OF RESPONSIBILITIES: Position is responsible for outreach, marketing, and gathering information which will enable Hamilton to continue providing quality relay services, and increase the number of customers served by Hamilton. Objective is to offer an excellent one-on-one experience with relay users through a variety of means and venues. Individual will be required to travel.



Hamilton Relay, Inc. currently has a full-time position open for “Regional Outreach Coordinator.” This position will be staffed within the states of Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana.

SUMMARY OF RESPONSIBILITIES: Position is responsible for outreach, marketing, and gathering information which will enable Hamilton to continue providing quality relay services, and increase the number of customers served by Hamilton. Objective is to offer an excellent one-on-one experience with relay users through a variety of means and venues. Individual will be required to travel.

Preferred education, experience and skills for both openings:
Applicants with the ability to communicate fluently via American Sign Language are preferred. An Associate’s or Bachelor's Degree or comparable work experience along with a minimum of three years public relations experience is preferred. Strong written, analytical and interpersonal skills, as well as a driver's license and ability to travel alone are required. Direct work experience with a Telecommunications Relay Service is also preferred. Deaf, hard of hearing, and speech-disabled individuals are strongly encouraged to apply.

Interested individuals may send all inquiries and/or resumes to or to the attention of Cindy Blase in Human Resource Department by February 17, 2006 for the Relay Iowa Outreach Project Manager position and by February 21, 2006 for the Regional Outreach Coordinator (Idaho/Wyoming/Montana).

We are an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or disability.


Assistant Professor-English with a Specialization in Teaching Deaf Students at San Diego Mesa College. 10 month, full time, tenure track position Fall 2006. Application deadline February 26, 2006.

See go to: Current Openings (Academic, Mesa College); Assistant Professor-English with a Specialization in Teaching Deaf Students; download application forms; job flyer, etc. Minimum Qualifications in English or ESL or equivalent.

See go to link for minimum qualifications. Additional information may be requested from SDCCD Human Resources Employment Office at (619)388-6580 (voice) or (619)388-6896 (TDD)



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: The status of all positions is: Regular, Full-time, Non-Exempt, Full Fringe Benefits unless otherwise noted. All positions are open until filled.

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V/TDD: (323) 550-4207
Fax #: (323)550-4204


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