March 2, 2011
Vol. 7, No. 19
Editor: Tom Willard
Deafweekly is an independent news report for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community that is mailed to subscribers on Wednesdays and available to read at www.deafweekly.com. These are the actual headlines and portions of recent deaf-related news articles, with links to the full story. Minor editing is done when necessary. Deafweekly is copyrighted 2011 and any unauthorized use is prohibited. Please support our advertisers; they make it possible for you to receive Deafweekly.
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Last issue's most-read story:
FORMER ROCKVILLE DEAF-SERVICES EXECUTIVES TO BE SENTENCED IN JUNE / The
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EXCLUSIVE -- FUTURE OF DEAFLYMPICS IN PERIL
The future of the Deaflympic movement is in peril, according to the new CEO of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf. In an exclusive interview with Around the Rings, Mark Dolley says “securing the future of the Deaflympics” is his top priority. “I’m under no illusion as to the size of the task ahead.” Earlier in February, the ICSD learned that the head organizer of the 2011 Winter Deaflympics in Vysoké Tatry, Slovakia had embezzled organizing committee funds and the games had to be canceled. / Around the Rings
FORMER IOC COMMUNICATIONS HEAD TAKES UP NEW ROLE
Mark Dolley, the former head of communications at the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has been appointed as the new chief executive of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD), it has been announced. Dolley, who worked for the IOC between 2003 and 2006, will start his new role with the Maryland-based organisation on March 1. / insidethegames.biz
VANCOUVER 2015 UPDATE, CONFIRMED BY ICSD MARK DOLLEY
“The International Committee of Sports for the Deaf can confirm that the Vancouver 2015 organising committee has been relieved of its duty to host the Winter Deaflympics. The organising committee has been formally dissolved. The ICSD has begun examining alternatives for hosting the 2015 Winter Deaflympics. The first phase of this process will consist of examining possible alternatives in Canada.” – Mark Dolley, New Chief Executive of The International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD).” / H3 Network Media Alliance
EDITORIAL: FAME AND SHAME
Jaromir Ruda has deeply engraved his name into minds of deaf athletes and their families. They are likely to associate Slovakia with words like fraud, shame and bitterness for the rest of their lives. Ruda and his story of shame instantly pumps up the blood pressure of those working in tourism in Slovakia’s High Tatras. The man, who allegedly embezzled money earmarked for the Winter Deaflympic games, has put one of the worst possible black marks on one of this country’s premier tourist destinations. / The Slovak Spectator
DR. DONALDA AMMONS FILLS IN THE BLANKS / H3 Network Media Alliance
SPORTS MX INTERVIEW WITH TIFFANY GRANFORS, OUTGOING ICSD CEO / YouTube
SPORTS MX INTERVIEW WITH MARK DOLLEY, NEW ICSD CEO / YouTube
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FORMER PRISON GUARD INVESTIGATED FOR ALLEGED ASSAULT OF DEAF INMATE
A former Northampton County Prison guard is being investigated for allegedly assaulting a deaf inmate who smuggled a cell phone behind bars -- the same guard who sources said failed to find a loaded gun on an inmate about a week earlier. Frank C. Buccini, 39, of Upper Mount Bethel Township, claims former Corrections Officer Jorge R. Soto took him from his cell and punched him repeatedly in a shower stall, where there are no cameras, in retaliation after Buccini’s cell phone was discovered. Buccini said he used the phone to communicate via text messaging. / The Express Times
CHURCH VOLUNTEER SENTENCED TO 22 YEARS FOR CHILD PORN
A Baptist church volunteer who confessed to sexually abusing nine boys and was found by FBI agents to have gathered more than 10,000 pieces of child pornography was sentenced to 22 years in prison last Friday. Jerry Nickelsen, 46, promised U.S. District Judge John Antoon II that he would change, but the judge was unmoved. In August Nickelsen, who is deaf, pleaded guilty in federal court to two crimes: possessing child pornography and distributing it. He has not been charged with harming any children, despite his confession. / Orlando Sentinel
Silver Spring, MD
ACT NOW TO PROTECT SCHOOLS FOR THE DEAF
Schools for the deaf across the nation are facing a severe crisis and we need you to act now. Some are under threat of closure, some face drastic budget cuts that would underfund the school, and others face challenges to promoting an environment where education and interaction is provided visually, in American Sign Language. State governments are increasingly looking at sending deaf children to mainstream schools as ways to “cut costs." Schools for the deaf need your help now. Here’s what you can do: / NAD
White Plains, NY
OPINION: DISABLED STUDENTS SHOULDN'T BE PAWNS IN STATE BUDGET WARS
For more than 190 years, schools such as the New York Institute for Special Education have educated deaf, blind and severely physically disabled students. New York now has 11 of these special schools (the so-called "4201 schools" in reference to a section of state law), which provide specialized services for more than 1,500 children who are too severely disabled to be "mainstreamed" into the general student population. Yet Gov. Andrew Cuomo has just proposed that direct state funding for these special schools end, and that the $98 million cost of educating these vulnerable students be shifted to local school districts. / The Journal News
Coconut Creek, FL
DEAF AND BLIND FLORIDA MAN, 90, DIES AFTER FALL INTO NEARBY CANAL
No foul play is suspected in the death of Joseph Rabitz, 90, who wandered from his Coconut Creek condo Sunday night and apparently fell into a nearby canal, said Tony Avello, Coconut Creek police spokesman. Officers determined Rabitz left his home in the 3900 block of Carambola Circle North at about 11 p.m. Sunday. They found a note on his refrigerator that said he watched a basketball game on TV and went for a stroll, Avello said. He had dementia, was deaf and legally blind, and used a three-pronged metal cane. / Orlando Sentinel
Rochelle Park, NJ
N.J. WOMAN, 85, GETS PROBATION FOR HARASSMENT
A judge has sentenced an 85-year-old partially blind and deaf New Jersey woman to a year probation and fined her $200 for harassing her neighbors. The mayor of Rochelle Park once called Susanna Reinhardt "toxic" for calling police 35 times in 3 years and town officials an average of three to five times a week. The judge on Wednesday asked Reinhardt to submit to a mental health evaluation. Reinhardt told the judge to put her in jail. / Courier-Post
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION TO CONDUCT ANNUAL TOUR OF KANSAS SCHOOLS FOR BLIND, DEAF
The March meeting of the State Board of Education is reduced to one day next week so that members can make their annual visits to the state schools for the blind and deaf. Board members will travel to each campus to visit with teachers, administrators and students about academic progress. The state board serves as the school board for both campuses. / fox4kc.com
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by Mervin D. Garretson
An open lifestory of a totally deaf educator and advocate about growing up in an anti-sign world dominated by oralists and professional audists. Includes bits of deaf history, commentaries on ASL, deaf culture, the National Association of the Deaf, and the World Federation of the Deaf.
Also brief biographies of Gallaudet presidents the author has known since the 1940s, and other notable people in the field. Be prepared for some surprising and unexpected revelations about familiar figures in the field!
Available from Xlibris Marketing Service, 1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington. IN 47403. Toll-free phone 888-795-4274. Also available from Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Hardback $29.99 Softcover 19.99. The author also has some autographed softcover books for $15 plus shipping costs ($5.25). Merv Garretson 11577 SE 179th Loop Summerfield, FL 34491.
DEAF BIRMINGHAM CITY FANS' JOY AT CARLING CUP FINAL TICKETS
Four Birmingham City fans who were refused tickets for Sunday’s Carling Cup showpiece against Arsenal even though they had queued for ten hours will be going to Wembley after all. Taylor Capewell and three pals, who are all profoundly deaf, were devastated on Monday after being told their vouchers from an earlier round of the cup were not valid to exchange for big match seats because the unique reference number had been used by someone else. But now they will be cheering on their heroes after the club reconsidered its decision and allowed them to buy four tickets. / Birmingham Mail
GUILTY PLEA OVER ACCIDENT THAT LEFT SIAM, 17, DEAF
A man working for a council contractor has admitted four offences following an accident which left a teenager with a fractured skull. Geoffrey Lee, 28, appeared at Basildon Crown Court in connection with the accident near Tesco Extra, in Pitsea, where a girl was hit by an open back door of a van as it drove past. Siam McEwan, 17, who had been walking with her boyfriend when she was hit, suffered head injuries and a fractured shoulder blade. She was left deaf in one ear. / Essex Echo
DEAF-BLIND TEACHING CENTER FACES AXE AS FUNDING IS CUT
Scotland's only centre dedicated to training professionals for the education of deaf and blind children faces closure after being told its funding will be cut at the end of next month. The Scottish Sensory Centre, based at Edinburgh University, provides specialist continuing professional development to teachers of young people with sensory impairments. Financing for the centre, which is wholly funded by the Scottish Government, will be cut from March 31, putting at risk nine jobs, including lecturers and support staff. / Herald Scotland
Toronto, ON, Canada
DAME EVELYN GLENNIE, THE DEAF PERCUSSIONIST WHO LISTENS WITH HER WHOLE BODY
“The first performance is almost like passing your driving test,” Dame Evelyn Glennie says in a soft Scottish brogue. “It doesn’t make you into an expert Formula 1 driver.” Glennie’s astonishing abilities as a percussionist may be equivalent to those of a racer at Le Mans, but you probably get her point. No actor would say that he had got the whole measure of Hamlet after performing the part just once. / The Globe and Mail
Calgary, AB Canada
BLIND, DEAF MAN SWEARS BY THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING
An Ottawa man, determined to overcome his physical limitations, is in Calgary to compete against able-bodies athletes in an extremely high-speed sport. Kevin Frost is living proof that attitude is everything when it comes to achieving your dreams. A rare, degenerative disease has robbed Kevin of his sight and hearing – but that hasn’t stopped him from racing around speed skating tracks in excess of 50 kilometres an hour. During races, Kevin says he can ‘feel’ the sound of the start gun when it’s fired as well as ‘feel’ his way around a speed skating track, something he’s learned with practice. / Global Regina
VATICAN MUSEUMS REACH OUT TO DEAF AND BLIND
Keen to enable the blind and deaf to enjoy their art, the Vatican museums have produced a tactile sense experience of two of their most famous works as well as sign-language routes. "Works of art should be accessible to everyone," Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo told reporters who had come to see the new projects unveiled on Tuesday. / AFP
Okazaki, Aichi Pref., Japan
TEACHER AT SCHOOL FOR DEAF UNDER FIRE FOR TAPING TALKATIVE STUDENTS' MOUTHS
A teacher at a school for hearing impaired children has come under fire for attaching adhesive tape to the mouths and wrists of his students to punish them. The 47-year-old teacher at the Okazaki School for the Deaf taped the mouths and wrists of four second-grade students after some of them failed to stop talking during class. The students cleaned their classroom after class before the tape was removed. "I told them time and time again to stop talking, but they wouldn't," the teacher was quoted as telling school officials. / The Mainichi Daily News
CUBAN DEAF ASSOCIATION PROMOTES LEARNING OF SPANISH LANGUAGE AMONG DEAF
ANSOC’s educational program responds to the need to have children become familiar with both languages since early ages at the province’s school for children with disabilities so that they develop writing and speaking skills. The communication workshop “La Peña de Comunicacion,” first held in 2008, is another space for ANSOC members to broaden their vocabulary and learn new signs. La Peña also encourages discussion on sexual education and good manners, and it features lectures about historical and present-day events. / Cuba News
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LIFE & LEISURE
DEAF BOY SCOUT RECEIVES EAGLE
A high school senior is the first deaf scout in Hawaii to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. Joshua Salomon received his court of honor on Wednesday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kahala from the Aloha Council and Hawaii Troop 108. Earning the Eagle Scout rank is the highest advancement rank in boy scouting. According to the Boy Scouts of America, in 2009 about five percent of all boy scouts earned the prestigious rank. / Hawaii News Now
BIBLICAL STORY INSPIRES DBOOK
"A Deaf Man's Gospel" is the story of a deaf man who was healed in Mark 7:31-35. In the fictionalized story, George Joslin names the man Benjamin and gives him a familiar relative -- Uncle Nicodemus, a Pharisee introduced in the Gospel of John. Benjamin's family is loving, but he often prefers to stay outside the city walls with the other deaf people who have created a way to communicate with each other with hand signs. / Springfield News-Leader
RAISING DEAF AND HARD-OF-HEARING KIDS
My three kids were born with hearing in the normal range. My oldest was two when we suspected that he lost some of his hearing. It took us nearly six months to convince our HMO doctor to approve a hearing test at the local hospital. Tests confirmed what my husband and I had suspected all along: our son had a profound hearing loss. The younger two kids were four and two when they both became very sick with a high fever. It took them nearly a week to recover. / Technorati
INTERVIEW WITH THOR HALVORSEN, ACTIVIST FOR THE RIGHTS OF DEAF PAGANS
I first met Thor (and yes, that's his birth name, folks) at the "Changing Times, Changing Worlds" conference this past November. He was teaching a fascinating class on ASL (American Sign Language) and Paganism and after meeting him earlier in the day and discussing his work and some of his ongoing community concerns, even I, in no possible way anything approaching a morning person, had to take his 8:30am class the following morning. It was an enlightening experience. / Patheos
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JURY SIDES WITH FRENCH FIRM ON IMPLANT LAWSUIT
A Denver jury Wednesday awarded $5.9 million to a French company that sued a Boulder firm for misappropriating trade secrets as well as several key employees who could help produce a highly specialized hearing implant for the deaf. The verdict in Denver District Court for SA Neurtelec and against Otologics came after a three-week trial that detailed how the Boulder company, a manufacturer of an inner-ear hearing device, first planned to buy its competitor for $30 million, then hired away its top talent when the offer was rejected. / The Denver Post
AN ANCHOR BETWEEN TWO WORLDS
Steve Silverman earlier this week sat at the front of his fourth-grade classroom during a reading exercise, pulled out a crumpled ball of paper and lobbed it at a student. With their hands stretched skyward, the George Washington Elementary students talked over one another and dove across desks to intercept the errant throws — Silverman’s version of calling on someone to answer a question. When they became too loud, the 55-year-old teacher told them to quiet down, even though he couldn’t hear a word they were saying. Silverman has been deaf since he was 28. / The Burbank Leader
Block Island, RI
NEW SPECIAL ED DIRECTOR LONGTIME ISLAND VISITOR
Block Island had long been familiar territory to new school Special Education Director Mark Hawk. Originally from western Pennsylvania, Hawk grew up in a coal mining town along the Monongahela River. He went to Pennsylvania State University on a fellowship in deaf education. During that time he had an internship at the Mystic Aural School in Connecticut, where he became a teacher of the deaf and language impaired, and eventually principal. / Block Island Times
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
NETFLIX CAPTIONS MORE MOVIES -- ADDS CAPTION SECTION TO SITE
Now those looking for streaming movies with captions can find them quickly and easily. Netflix has been adding captions and subtitles to their movies slowly but surely. According to the NC-MAC-ASL blog there are currently 800 titles available to watch with English subs. That's not a big improvement since Netflix launched the initiative back in April of 2010, leaving many deaf and hard-of-hearing listeners to give up on the streaming service altogether. For these disgruntled viewers, the latest update to the Netflix website holds a bit of promise. / High-Def Digest
Land O' Lakes, FL
SUNLAKE HIGH STUDENTS TO TRANSLATE 'GREASE' FOR DEAF AT SCHOOL SHOW
Students in Sunlake High's American Sign Language class have participated in a variety of activities to aid the deaf and hearing impaired in the local community and beyond. Their latest gig came last weekend. When the Sunlake Dramahawks don leather to take center stage for the school's production of Grease, ASL students were on the side of the stage wearing dark formal wear to translate both the dialogue and songs such as Greased Lightning to I've Got Chills. / St. Petersburg Times
TUNING IN TO THE DEAF COMMUNITY
For too long, access to information has been elusive for large segments of the population – including for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. That's a problem that Ben-Moshe and her business partner, Ken Hurley, have sought to change in Austin, which has a sizable deaf population After starting Civication Inc. – an online nonprofit geared toward "civic learning and civic education" – in 2008, Ben-Moshe and Hurley applied for, and won, a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Community Information Challenge grant last summer to start their new venture, ACCESS News, a monthly news and entertainment program that will air on Austin PBS station KLRU. / The Austin Chronicle
Los Angeles, CA
MATLIN TO GUEST STAR IN 'SWITCHED AT BIRTH'
Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin is set to guest star in ABC Family’s drama “Switched at Birth.” The 45-year-old actress, who is also poised to win Donald Trump in “The Celebrity Apprentice,” will star in the upcoming one-hour series. “I’m so proud to be a part of this show,” Matlin said in a statement on Monday. / All Headline News
Los Angeles, CA
'TWO AND A HALF MEN' LOSES SHEEN; GOOD-TIME CHARLIE'S GOT THE BLUES
If you had tuned into Monday's CBS broadcast of "Two and a Half Men," the viewing choice of an average 14.6 million of your fellow citizens each week on the network and the most popular TV comedy in syndication, you would have seen this: Oft-medicated playboy Charlie Harper going through the voluminous list of call girls he keeps, in search of one who won't make a lot of noise while she works. His choice winds up being "Silent Betty," who, it is revealed near the end of the episode, is a shapely deaf mute. / Chicago Tribune
North Hollywood, CA
VIDEO: DEAF WEST THEATRE ENRICHES CULTURAL LIVES OF DEAF, HARD-OF-HEARING PEOPLE
Here is a video roundup of some of the top Patch stories from around the San Fernando Valley. / Encino, CA Patch
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COMMENTARY: FIRST DEAF MAJOR LEAGUER DESERVES RECOGNITION
The campaign to have Dummy Hoy immortalized on a postage stamp can be a lonely one. "It's a one-man operation," Steve Sandy said. That isn't surprising. Probably at least 90 percent of this column's readers have no idea who Hoy was. William Ellsworth "Dummy" Hoy was, in fact, baseball's first successful deaf major league player and an 1879 graduate of the Ohio School for the Deaf. He was good enough to play 14 seasons in the majors between 1888 and 1902 and, in Sandy's mind, show America that the deaf deserve recognition, too. Unfortunately, America doesn't seem to be listening. / The Columbus Dispatch
IN A WORLD OF WHISTLES, DEAF REFEREE IS ON CALL
By the time Jim Segala was an upperclassman at Frontier Regional School in South Deerfield, Mass., he was known for more than just his scoring ability on a team that would finish as state runner-up his senior year in 1986. During his four varsity seasons, the 5-foot-11 guard would rile up opposing fans when he'd go to the free-throw line. Like most players, he wanted to drown out the noise, so Segala would reach up to his right ear before shooting and turn off his hearing aid. Segala is deaf. / Democrat and Chronicle
DEAF SWIMMER FROM WESTLAKE STRIVES FOR PERFECTION, EARNS SCHOLARSHIP
Westlake teen Tyler McFarland strives for perfection in the swimming pool and in the classroom. Last week, while the 2010 Westlake High School graduate was helping lead his Kalamazoo College swim team to its conference championship, he was also being honored 2,000 miles away for his outstanding efforts in both arenas. A double major in math and economics, with a political science minor, McFarland hopes to someday work in Washington, D.C. as an intelligence analyst for a government agency. / Sun Star Courier
Durban, South Africa
XVI WORLD DEAF CONGRESS IN DURBAN
You may be planning to attend the World Deaf Congress and enjoy the sights of Durban, South Africa. EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION IS OPEN UNTIL 15 APRIL 2011. For further information, check on WFD Congress website: www.wfd2011.com/ The WFD Congress Registration is available now online. For fees and registration visit: http://wfd2011.com/registration / Rolling Rains Report
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