February 23, 2005
Vol. 1 No. 19

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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The contents of Deafweekly are Copyright 2005. Any unauthorized use, including reprinting of news, is prohibited. Readership: approximately 4,000 including subscribers and website readers.

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Travis Kuehni, 32, a 1992 graduate of the Wisconsin School for the Deaf, shot and killed his wife Peggy Kuehni on the lawn of their home in Delavan, Wisc. Feb. 11 before turning the gun on himself. The murder-suicide, one day before the couple’s seventh anniversary, reportedly occurred because Travis, a welder, could not deal with his wife’s plans to leave him. “Now I lost my beautiful wife and dream family,” Travis wrote in a scribbled note found later in the couple’s bedroom. According to The Janesville Gazette, the shootings were witnessed by two neighbors, including a woman next door who sheltered the couple’s 7-year-old daughter during the shootings. Peggy Kuehni, 36, who worked as a hospital nurse, also had a 16-year-old son. Travis and Peggy were laid to rest last Wednesday after a joint funeral at a Catholic church in Delavan.


A teacher of the deaf in Shreveport, La. drowned last Tuesday morning on her way to work after her car went off a bridge. Stephenie Vailes, 26, taught 11 deaf and hard-of-hearing students at Huntington High School, the school from which she herself had graduated eight years earlier. Vailes, who served as president of the Shreveport Association of the Deaf, is survived by her husband and two children. Vailes, who lost her hearing at age 2, is the third local teacher of the deaf to die in a car accident in the past six years, the Times noted, including one who taught in the same classroom as Vailes. “It’s not like a teacher died,” educator Natalie Thomas told The Shreveport Times. “A member of the family died.”


The quiet life of John Holmstedt, a hearing-impaired man from Cerritos, Calif., was shattered Nov. 19 when he heard gunfire and rushed to the front door of his home to find that his wife, Kristine Holdstedt, had been fatally shot at close range. Three months later the crime remains unsolved, and the family is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to a conviction. Holmstedt, a retired truck driver, visits his wife’s grave every day, reported the Long Beach Press Telegram, and Shanon Sanford, the couple’s daughter, said the family is seeking information on a door-to-door magazine salesman who came to the house two weeks earlier. Her mother may have angered the man by saying “a couple of things that maybe she shouldn’t have,” said Sanford.


A fire started by faulty wiring in a lamp claimed the life of Charles Palmer, 78, on Feb. 12. The Temple, Texas man was hard of hearing, investigators told KXXV-TV of Waco, and he may not have noticed that the smoke alarms in his house were going off. Fire officials believe that he entered the living room after the fire began and was overcome by smoke.


Eugene Cromety, 35, who was found guilty in December of sexually assaulting his former girlfriend’s deaf daughter, is seeking a new trial after the teen admitted in a letter that she lied on the witness stand. According to the Connecticut Post, which obtained a copy of the letter, the 15-year-old girl wrote,”I lied in court that Gene touched me. It is my fault. I really like Gene.” She said she lied because prosecutors threatened to send her mother to prison if she didn’t say the man touched her. Cromety’s attorney filed a petition last Friday seeking a new trial, while Kevin Lawlor, assistant state attorney, said, “We stand by the jury’s verdict.”

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A man from Matamoros, Texas was arrested Feb. 13 after he allegedly assaulted a deaf and mildly retarded woman in a Wal-Mart store in Brownsville. Police say Candelario Palafox, 34, squeezed the buttocks of the 19-year-old woman twice while she was alone in the store. The woman ran to her family, crying, and told them in sign language about the assault. Store security detained Palafox until police arrived. He admitted to touching the woman and asked for forgiveness, said the Brownsville Herald, and he remains in jail under a $15,000 bond.


When the Oklahoma state government approved a plan last year to increase teacher pay over the next four years, teachers at the state’s schools for the deaf and the blind were inadvertently left out. To correct the omission, Rep. Wes Hilliard has introduced House Bill 1435, which would provide the same pay raises for teachers at the Oklahoma School for the Deaf and the Oklahoma School for the Blind. According to the Pauls Valley Daily Democrat, teachers at the deaf and blind schools were left out of last year’s pay raise because they are paid through the Department of Rehabilitation Services rather than the Department of Education. “These men and women devote themselves every day to a noble calling, and they need to be fully compensated for their efforts,” said Hilliard.


Gerry Dulalia, an interpreter for deaf and blind students at Ohlone College in Fremont, Calif., will be allowed to remain in the United States, his attorney said last week. Dulalia was facing deportation to his native Philippines because of an expired student visa and because the U.S. government was some 50 years late in keeping its promise to grant citizenship to his father, who fought alongside U.S. troops in World War II. At a hearing last week in San Francisco, the government demonstrated a willingness to drop the case, attorney Marcia Perez told Inside Bay Area. E-mails, a petition signed by 50 Ohlone students and help from Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, helped to ensure that the 39-year-old interpreter will remain on U.S. soil.


The Alabama Legislature’s House Education Committee approved a bill last Wednesday that would make American Sign Language an official foreign language in the state’s schools. About 75 deaf residents were on hand at the Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery when the committee approved the bill by voice vote. The bill now goes to the full House for debate. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Craig Ford, was influenced by his mother, Judy Ford, a community college instructor who had been approached by deaf students saying they couldn’t fulfill the foreign language requirements for certain degrees. Thirty-nine other states currently accept ASL as a foreign language in schools.


Two women filed a lawsuit last week against their former employer for allegedly ordering them to expose their breasts to Koko, the 33-year-old gorilla famous for her ability to communicate in sign language. Nancy Alperin and Kendra Keller are seeking more than $1.3 million in damages for alleged sexual discrimination, wrongful dismissal and unpaid overtime in their lawsuit against the Gorilla Foundation of Woodside, Calif. and its president, Francine “Penny” Patterson. The suit alleges that Ms. Patterson said that “exposing one’s breasts to Koko was a normal component to developing a personal bond with the gorilla,” reported the San Jose Mercury News. Foundation attorney Todd Roberts denied the allegations and said the women were trying to “manipulate a purported employment issue and miscast it purely for publicity purposes.”


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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 or email




Deaf Puppet Theater Hitomi will perform three puppet shows in Tokyo later this month to mark its 25th anniversary. According to The Daily Yomiuri, five of the 13 troupe members are hearing impaired, and the shows are often attended by people who are deaf or hard of hearing. The company uses sign language, placards, masks, body language and musical instruments to give its audience an enjoyable experience. The company’s newest production, Daijobu, explores the role of sign language as an important communication tool. “Daijobu,” the newspaper explained, means “no problem” and is said to be frequently used in sign language.


The largest deaf community group in Northern Ireland may have to shut down soon. Hands That Talk faces closure when funding from the Department for Employment and Learning runs out next month. The organization offers classes, a social club and numerous seminars and activities, the Belfast Telegraph reported last week, and it’s the only project on the island run by and for the deaf. Plans to build a center have been shelved, and “we really are in crisis,” said funding officer Maire Scullin. A department spokesman confirmed that Executive Programme Funds will no longer be available, but officials met recently with the group to discuss other potential sources of funding.


A retired hard-of-hearing man in Glasgow, Scotland has forced a local bar to close earlier after complaining about the noise. William McAvoy, described in the Daily Record as being 70 percent deaf, told the city’s licensing board that he couldn’t sleep because of the noise from bands playing and toilets flushing in the Halt Bar next to his apartment. Owner Franki Angus said she had invested money in soundproofing and planned to move the restrooms, but was still told to close an hour earlier, at 11 p.m. “I find it hard to understand why someone with such hard hearing can complain about the noise,” she said.


Deaf people in Bahrain were urged to take part in processions held specifically for them Feb. 19, the Gulf Daily News reported. The processions, marking the anniversary of the Battle of Karbala, were the first of their kind in the world, the newspaper reported. According to event coordinator Mahmood Al Nasheet, a pickup truck with a large screen mounted on it was set to drive in front of the deaf marchers, with Hussaini carols in sign language appearing on the screen. “The deaf and mute are generally neglected in most of the events organized in the country, “ said Al Nasheet. “It is not fair for them to walk the streets with us without knowing what is being said around them.”


The Daily Post in Wales (U.K.) reported Monday on a post office robbery that almost had tragic results. An armed robber held a gun to the head of a clerk and demanded cash from the register. He threatened to kill the woman and shouted instructions to her assistant. But the assistant, a profoundly deaf 16-year-old, did not understand what he was saying. As customers dove for cover, the man fired a warning shot in the air and eventually ran off with hundreds of pounds, the newspaper reported.


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Attention Residents of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming

Recent amendments to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act give every American the right to free annual credit reports from each of the nationwide consumer reporting bureaus—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You can get your free annual reports by calling 1-877-730-4104 TTY. This is a toll-free number.

Check your credit report each year and make sure that all of the information in it is accurate. The information in your credit report is checked when you buy a home, rent an apartment, apply for a job, apply for a credit card, or apply for insurance.

Currently, only residents in the Western states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming can obtain their reports at no charge. Other regions will follow in 2005.

To request a copy of your report from any or all of the three credit reporting bureaus, call 1-877-730-4104 TTY. The law allows you to order one free copy each from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion each year.




Doug Cirino, a hearing aid consultant for Miracle Ear in Hattiesburg, Miss., recently donated 40 used hearing aids to the Temple Baptist Church for its mission in Honduras. Cirino collected many of the hearing aids from patients who were upgrading to digital aids or those who were passing on devices used by deceased relatives. “They want to see the hearing aids be of use to somebody,” he told the Hattiesburg American. Church members plan a trip to Honduras next month, where they will give the refurbished aids to deaf children at the Honduran Children and Family Institute.


The Janice Capilouto Center for the Deaf in Montgomery, Ala. has been approved for a distinctive license plate. Beginning March 1, supporters of the center may purchase a “JCCD American Sign Language” license plate at their local county license plate issuing official’s office. Supporters must complete a “Commitment to Purchase” application and pay an additional fee of $50. The center must get at least 250 commitments over the next 12 months in order for the license plates to be made. The center will receive $41 from each of the $50 fees, which it will use to promote deaf awareness and sign-language education and training. For more, see


Don Rhoten, superintendent of the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, was disturbed by an article he read in a recent Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and his response was printed as a letter to the editor last week. The Feb. 8 article, highlighting a young deaf man’s success with a cochlear implant, quoted Dr. Douglas Chen as saying, “He would have been a deaf-mute had he not gotten a cochlear implant.” Rhoten pointed out that “deaf-mute” is considered a derogatory term in the deaf community and that the implication is insulting to deaf people who choose not to obtain a cochlear implant. “As a deaf person without an implant, and doing relatively well in life, I’m offended,” he wrote. He also called on the newspaper to “showcase equally vibrant deaf students who have not been implanted.”


The national Deaf Queer Resource Center has established a scholarship for deaf lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex college-bound youth. The initial awards will be in the amounts of $250 and $500, and applicants must be under 25, enrolled in high school or college, have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better, and submit a written or video essay and other documentation. The deadline is July 15. To apply, visit




Want quicker access to Video Relay Service? Hamilton VRS encourages all D-Link consumers to add to their videophone speed dial list. This will also enable consumers to connect with their choice of VRS provider.

To add the IP address for Hamilton VRS to your list:
1. Go to "Dial" button and click on the button to enter another prompt.
2. Go to "Add" to add the video relay service address in the Speed Dial list. You will see a prompt immediately after hitting the "Add" button that will contain information such as name, telephone number field, and address field.
3. Go to the address field and enter "" and click on the "OK" button upon completion to save the address.

Contact Customer Support
Via Phone: 1-877-283-7687 V/TTY
Via Instant Messaging (AOL, Yahoo or MSN) at HamiltonVRSHelp
(from 8:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. (EST), Monday - Friday
Via E-mail:
Hamilton VRS hours are from 7:30 AM to Midnight EST daily.




Ralph and Trina Fernandez have announced their new website,, which is designed as a worldwide directory for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. The new service “offers the opportunity to expand your network and increase awareness about your business or organization,” they said. Search results on the site include websites, business type, location, videophone address, email address and more. You can add and update your own information, and best of all, it’s free. “Our philosophy is to foster growth in the deaf community,” the founders said. To sign up, go to


A business founded in 1994 by certified ASL interpreters Cheryl Pfeiffer and Rick Haffner made headlines last week when it moved to a larger office. CICS Language Solutions of Charlotte, N.C. relocated to a new 3,000-square-foot office to accommodate its growing staff, reported dBusiness News. The firm, with branch offices in Asheville and Raleigh, serves clients throughout the Southeast, offering onsite, telephone and video interpreting as well as document translation services. The company has 15 interpreters on staff and access to about 250 interpreters within its network, and says it can provide access to a qualified interpreter in 130 languages within 45 seconds.


The National Association of the Deaf is seeking deaf consumers and deaf interpreters to serve as raters for the NAD-RID National Interpreter Certification text, which will be launched this year. Raters will be selected based on criteria provided by the psychometricians involved with the new test. The application deadline for those interested in becoming raters is March 1. Interested? Go to and scroll down to “Call for Raters for the National Interpreter Certification (NIC) Test.”


The Deaf Professional Network has announced the launch of, an online publication designed to help deaf professionals advance their careers. Published twice a month, the e-zine includes news and profiles of deaf professionals, with an emphasis on trends, technology, law, policy, education and lifestyles. The publisher is Stephen Hlibok, a Gallaudet University graduate and 17-year veteran of Merrill Lynch. Check it out at


English and Spanish Versions both in video or DVD format.
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It is also available as a FUNDRAISER for your organization.
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A new movie called “It’s all gone Pete Tong” focuses on the life of European disc jockey Frankie Wilde, who ruled the club scene in Ibiza, Spain before going deaf. (The title is British slang for “it’s all gone wrong.”) According to a movie review in Dance Front Door, “everything about Frankie’s life was over the top: the clubs, the parties, the women and the drugs. But the years of pounding music and heavy toxins took their toll, eventually leaving Frankie stone deaf.” Before long, his fans, record deal, manager, wife and stepson were all gone, and Wilde isolated himself for a year in self pity. Eventually he hired a lip-reading instructor, accepted his new way of life and returned to the top ... before disappearing again. To learn more, visit


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. You will have the opportunity to learn new technical skills, in an all sign environment, while networking with other deaf IT professionals.

Introduction to Macromedia Flash MX 2004
Instructor: Karen Beiter
Date: February 28-March 4, 2005
Place: NTID/RIT, Rochester NY
Cost: $300

PC Hardware Maintenance and Repair
Instructor: Tony Spiecker
Date: February 28-March 4, 2005
Place: NTID/RIT, Rochester NY
Cost: $400

Building and Managing a Secure Wireless Network
Instructor: David Lawrence
Date: May 9-13, 2005
Place: NTID/RIT, Rochester NY
Cost: $300

Network Inspection, Maintenance, and Troubleshooting

Instructor: Dean Lauria
Date: May 16-20, 2005
Place: NTID/RIT, Rochester NY
Cost: $300

Introduction to XML-eXtensible Markup Language
Instructor: John Sweeney
Date: May 18-20, 2005
Place: NTID/RIT, Rochester NY
Cost: $200

Building Dynamic Web Applications with ColdFusion® and SQL
Instructor: Ari Ogoke
Date: May 23-27, 2005
Place: NTID/RIT, Rochester NY
Cost: $300

For more information visit: . 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.




Utah has been selected to host the 2007 Deaflympic Winter Games. Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. announced the selection last Thursday at a press conference at the Governor’s Mansion in Salt Lake City. On hand for the announcement were Deaflympics president Donalda Ammons; USA Deaf Sports Federation president Bobbie Beth Scoggins; 2007 Deaflympics Organizing Committee chair Dwight Benedict; and Deaflympics executive director Tiffany Granors. Also present were James Lee Sorenson, CEO of Sorenson Media, and I. King Jordan, president of Gallaudet University, who are co-chairs of the 2007 Deaflympics Honorary Advisory Board. A highlight of the event was Sorenson’s presentation of an oversized $250,000 check to Benedict, a donation from Sorenson Media, the nation’s largest Video Relay Service provider for the deaf. The 16th Winter Games, to take place Feb. 1-10, 2007, are expected to attract over 400 deaf athletes and 4,000 fans from 24 countries.


Planning is underway for the U.S. Deaf Golf Championships, to take place July 18-22 at the Ravenwood Golf Club in Rochester, N.Y. The Greater Rochester Deaf Golf Association, which is hosting the event, announced last week that a new website has been posted with information on the tournament. It can be found at New York Relay and Sprint have signed on as sponsors for the first hole, and several deaf-related businesses are sponsoring other holes. The tournament chair, Keith Worek, can be reached at


The Washington Post reported last Thursday on Chris Miller, 40, and his dream to become the first deaf person to referee men’s Division I college basketball and NBA games. Miller, of La Plata, Md., played football, basketball and baseball and ran track at the Kentucky School for the Deaf, and continued playing basketball after graduating, until sore knees forced him to quit. He started to think about becoming a referee after attending a deaf basketball tournament, and with his wife, Toni Williams-Miller, serving as his interpreter, he enrolled in a summer school for referees in 1996. He started working youth league games and now referees 50 to 75 games a year, mostly at the high school and junior college level. He does a good job, officials say, and “He can’t hear all the dumb stuff the coaches are yelling at him,” said Surrattsville coach Kenny Johnson.



Starting Date: August 2005

Salary Range: Commensurate with education and experience

Benefits: Comprehensive fringe benefit package

Desired Qualifications:
- Idaho Teacher Certification for Deaf and Hard of Hearing or equivalent
- One or more science endorsements
- Additional endorsements are beneficial
- Excellent receptive and expressive skills in American Sign Language
- Minimum of Bachelor’s Degree Master’s degree preferred
- Experience teaching deaf and/or blind children preferred
- Experience teaching subjects outside of endorsement areas preferred

Duties:- Assumes responsibility for providing a quality science program
- Maintains discipline within the classroom
- Works with teachers to develop a continuum of educational activities throughout the curriculum
- Attends IEP meetings and other meetings required for the delivery of educational services
- Participates in committees and other job related activities
- Other duties as assigned

Application Procedures:
Submit the following to:
Human Resources Department
Idaho School for the Deaf and the Blind
1450 Main Street
Gooding, Idaho 83330
- Letter of application
- Copies of certification
- Three letters of recommendation
- Official transcripts
- Resume

Open until filled

Idaho School for the Deaf and the Blind is located in Gooding, Idaho (population 3,500); a small agricultural community located in south central Idaho within a short distance to mountains, rivers and related outdoor activities. The city of Gooding is a quiet family oriented community. For more information about Idaho School for the Deaf and the Blind check our website at: www.

For more information contact:
Human resources Department at 208-934-4457 (Voice/TTY) or email

Successful candidate will be required to furnish a background check within three months of employment as per Idaho Code 33-130.

Hiring is done without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age or disability. In addition, preference may be given to veterans who qualify under state and federal laws and regulations. If you need special accommodations to satisfy testing requirements, please contact the Human resources Department.


The Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center is conducting a national search for three high-level positions listed below. The Clerc Center is located on the beautiful 100-acre campus of Gallaudet University, in our nation’s capitol.

JOB #05009: Principal MSSD.
The Principal promotes national mission initiatives by serving as the chief instructional leader of the model high school that serves deaf and hard of hearing students from grades 9 - 12. Promotes and facilitates an innovative instructional and educational environment; establishes a school climate in which a variety of research and dissemination projects occurs in academic departments. Promotes a school culture of high expectations that yields corresponding results. Provides leadership, in collaborating with a range of personnel, to determine and identify long and short-range plans for the school. Supervises personnel and manages budgets.

(Salary range: $76,690 to $122,705).

Please apply if you are interested and possess the following qualifications:
Master’s degree in education, educational administration or related field. Five years experience in an educational setting; at least three years of successful teaching experiences. Three years administrative experience in an educational program. Thorough knowledge of educational trends and effective teaching methodologies. Evidence of competence in best educational practices with diverse students who are deaf or hard of hearing in programs from infancy to grade 12. Knowledge of personnel practices. Knowledge of effective evaluation procedures and techniques to provide optimum educational opportunity for all involved in the school. Evidence of ability to work and communicate with diverse groups of people for the optimum benefit of the educational program. Excellent command of written English. Fluency in American Sign Language required.

JOB #05001: Director Information Systems and Computer Support.
The Director supervises all employees of the Information Systems and Computer Support department as well as the Media Services office; provides leadership for creating state-of-the-art computer support for the administrative and academic needs of the Clerc Center and in support of the national mission focus; disseminates knowledge nationwide about technological applications in classrooms with students who are deaf or hard of hearing; manages the budget for the units and approves expenditure of funds; serves as a link between the units and other offices and the demonstration schools.

(Salary range: $68,520 to $109,633).

Please apply if you are interested and possess the following qualifications:
Bachelor's degree in computer science, mathematics, or science related field. Five years experience in an information systems setting including knowledge of major information systems development and management. Working knowledge of data structures, file organization and access methods. Management or supervisory experience or clear evidence of management and supervisory capability. Ability to work collaboratively with a variety of people.

JOB #05010: Assistant Principal MSSD.
The Assistant Principal provides support to national mission efforts by performing high-level administrative duties to ensure the smooth operation of the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD), including administering disciplinary procedures for the academic program. Coordinates the placement of interns, practicum students and volunteers. Serves as the first point of contact for MSSD visitors and families. Manages the recruitment and hiring processes for daily and short-term substitute teachers for KDES (the elementary school on campus) and MSSD. Coordinates the Extended School Year (ESY) Program at KDES and MSSD. Coordinates logistics for the Stanford Achievement Tests. Supervises the work of assigned personnel; assigns work, evaluates performance and recommends personnel actions.

(Salary range: $61,756 to $98,809).

Please apply if you are interested and possess the following qualifications:
Master’s degree in deaf education, education, communication, counseling or a related field. Coursework or experience in administration and supervision; demonstrated leadership capabilities. Three years teaching, counseling and/or administrative experience in an educational program for deaf and hard of hearing students. Demonstrated knowledge of educational programming and effective school administration practices and techniques. Excellent writing and communication skills. Fluency in ASL required.
To apply, mail a resume or Gallaudet University application form to:

Gallaudet University
Personnel Office - College Hall - Room 106
800 Florida Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20002

Or FAX a resume or Gallaudet University application to: 202-651-5344

Email address:

Gallaudet University serves deaf and hard of hearing students from many different backgrounds and seeks to develop a workforce that reflects the diversity of its student body. Gallaudet is an equal employment opportunity/affirmative action employer and actively encourages deaf, hard of hearing, members of traditionally under-represented groups, people with disabilities, woman, and veterans to apply for open positions.


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