April 20, 2005
Vol. 1 No. 27
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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NTID BREAKS GROUND FOR NEW CSD STUDENT DEVELOPMENT CENTER
A groundbreaking ceremony took place last Thursday in Rochester, N.Y., where the National Technical Institute for the Deaf kicked off construction of a 300,000-square-foot student development center. The $4.5 million building will be named the "CSD Student Development Center" in recognition of Sioux Falls, S.D.-based CSD (Communication Services for the Deaf), an agency with a long history of collaboration with NTID. "We are extremely honored and delighted by this recognition," said Benjamin Soukup, CEO of CSD, which is providing the lead funding for the building. The center will provide offices for student-related clubs and departments, study and communication centers, and NTID's history collection. Students spend only 25 percent of their time in a classroom, said T. Alan Hurwitz, CEO/dean for NTID, and the new center will offer a place to gather "in a centrally located, safe, supportive atmosphere."
MISSISSIPPI SCHOOL NAMES LONGTIME EDUCATOR TO SUPERINTENDENT POST
Fresh out of Alcorn State University in 1973, Delores Mack expected to keep her first job as a teachers assistant at the Mississippi School for the Deaf for only a year. "I had to work and I needed something steady," Mack told the Clarion-Ledger April 17. She had never met a deaf person and didn't know sign language, but the job became a labor of love, the paper reported. Mack went on to work as a teacher, librarian, principal and even school bus driver, while earning advanced degrees and certifications. Earlier this month, the state Board of Education chose Mack to be the school's new superintendent, the first African American woman to hold the position. "I think that she was ready for this job years ago," said Hugh Prickett, the school's superintendent from 1993 to 1997. Her selection was applauded by Eva Sawin, whose son Joshua is a senior at the school. "I love Dr. Mack," she said. "She fights for the kids and their rights."
FORMER HOSPITAL WORKER CHARGED WITH MURDERING DEAF PATIENT
A former physician trainee was arrested at his mother's house in Houston last week and charged with the murder last April of MacArthur Townsend, a 22-year-old deaf man he had treated for cancer and sickle cell anemia five years earlier. Warren Claudius Lemons, 40, had maintained a friendship with Townsend after the two met in 1999 at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles, and two months before the alleged slaying he barricaded himself with the deaf man in an unused patient room. Security officers found him with videotaping equipment, soft restraints, a bottle of baby oil and his hospital ID badge, despite the fact that he had been fired more than two years earlier. Lemons is charged with killing Townsend by administering powerful sedatives while having sex with the victim at a Calexico, Calif., hotel, the Los Angeles Times reported, and the best evidence in the case is a videotape that Lemons made of the encounter.
DRUG DEFENDANT PLEADS GUILTY TO KILLING A DEAF MAN
David Lopez Pagan pleaded guilty in Camden, N.J. last Friday to drug conspiracy charges and admitted to killing a deaf man in March 2001 because he was stealing from drug stashes, the Courier-Post reported Saturday. Kenneth Allen was pistol-whipped on a street in North Camden by Pagan's associate before Pagan shot the man dead. Pagan moved massive amounts of heroin and cocaine, the newspaper reported, and he and three other co-defendants used violence to maintain control of Camden's street corner drug activity.
KANSAS SCHOOL TEACHER WANTED FOR QUESTIONING IN PORN PHOTO CASE
KMBC-TV in Kansas City, Mo. reported Friday that police are investigating a 15-year-old Olathe girl's report that she received a pornographic picture from a Kansas School for the Deaf teacher on her pager during an instant message conversation. Police want to talk with the 27-year-old teacher, but efforts to locate him have proven unsuccessful. The man and his family moved out of their home April 13, a day before the girl's parents went to police, KMBC reported. "He got a new job and moved to South Dakota, I think," neighbor Richard Bench told a news team. Police said the unnamed teacher has not been charged with anything and has not been answering his cell phone.
MAN PRETENDING TO BE DEAF ARRESTED ON HEROIN CHARGES
A man pretending to be deaf was arrested for heroin possession last week in Fitchburg, Mass. Police allegedly found a syringe, three bags of heroin and "multiple deaf cards and three notes saying that he was deaf also asking for money" while frisking Dante Cormier, 26, of Townsend, said a police report. The suspect was arrested shortly after he attempted to get money from a local business. A store employee, remembering that he had given the man a check for $10 less than a year ago, called authorities. Police found the uncashed check while arresting the subject and mailed it back to the business, reported the Sentinel & Enterprise. Cormier was arraigned and released on personal recognizance bail.
MAN BOUND OVER FOR TRIAL IN CALIFORNIA DRUG FRAUD CASE
A deaf man charged with obtaining prescription drugs fraudulently waived a preliminary hearing and was bound over for trial, the Chico (Calif.) Enterprise Record reported Saturday. Robert Lee Berry, 51, was ordered held for trial on 15 felony counts in Butte County, where he is alleged to have used his hearing impairment to defraud several doctors and pharmacies. Detectives are working with authorities in New York, where Berry is believed to have stolen money from as many as 65 deaf people. "The gray-haired, bespectacled defendant nodded affirmatively" when Berry was asked by the judge if he wanted to waive the hearing, the newspaper noted. He will be formally arraigned April 26 and remains in jail on $500,000 bail.
MINNESOTA WOMAN HELPS STOP BURGLARY AT STORAGE FACILITY
Lori Titus and her son had just stopped in the office at Magnum Storage Facility in Duluth, Minn. to pay her rent, when she returned 15 minutes later. "Lori is a deaf lady and she was trying to tell me what was going on in the storage unit," said owner Clint Deraas. "She basically was saying there were some open units and some guys." Deraas confronted a man near some open doors, and the man jumped in a car and sped off. Deraas beat the car to the exit, while Titus and her son also helped block the road. The fleeing car became stuck in mud, and police were soon on the scene to arrest two suspects. "We never would have apprehended these guys," without Titus' help, said Deraas. "I think it was a very brave thing on her behalf."
HIGHWAY CALL BOXES PROMPT CLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT IN CALIFORNIA
California's San Bernardino County has always struggled to maintain call boxes along 1,706 miles of highway with limited funds, the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Ontario, Calif.) reported April 14. Things got harder last week when deaf advocates filed a class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco against nine counties because their call boxes are not equipped with keyboards for deaf drivers. The lawsuit was filed by the California Association of the Deaf and four hearing-impaired people who claim the call boxes violate federal law by not providing equal access. Call boxes are maintained by a fund that gets $1 for each car registration, and some critics say counties with large, sparsely populated areas are unfairly penalized in comparison to counties such as San Diego, which has $12 million in reserve. In any event, a state official named Cheryl Donahue said deaf motorists can use call boxes by simply tapping on the receiver. "They are given top priority," she said.
INSTALLATION OF PAYPHONE TTY MAKES HEADLINES IN ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN
The Ann Arbor (Mich.) News reported last week on the installation of downtown Ann Arbor's first payphone TTY. Installation of the TTY, in the lobby of a municipal building, was in the works five years, and there are ambitious plans to install two more. According to Mlive.com, the Commission on Disability Issues began looking for funding in 2000 and got a grant four years later for $5,000. So far about $1,100 has been spent. "But hasn't new technology outdated TTY?" the newspaper asked Terri Fear, president of the Ann Arbor Deaf Club. "People will use it," she said. "It's good to have."
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PRIEST WHO GROPED SCHOOLBOYS SENTENCED TO SIX MONTHS IN JAIL
Father Neil Gallanagh was sentenced to six months in prison and placed on the sex offenders' register for seven years after pleading guilty to two counts of indecently assaulting a male. Father Gallanagh was a priest at the St. John's Roman Catholic School for the Deaf in Boston Spa, near Wetherby in Leeds, U.K., when the assaults occurred in the 1970s. On one occasion, Gallanagh touched a boy's naked bottom while the boy was pulling up his swimming trunks, and on another he stroked a boy's bottom over his clothes. The two victims, now in their 40s, came forward decades later along with five others after attending a class reunion, and the judge let 11 allegations remain on file. Gallanagh, 75, was banned from contacting anyone under 16 without supervision or applying to work in a job where he would come into contact with anyone under 16.
BRITISH MAN ON VACATION IN CYPRUS HIT AND KILLED BY SPEEDING BOAT
A partially deaf British tourist who had removed his hearing aid to go snorkeling was hit by a speeding British patrol boat from the nearby Akrotiri military base in Cyprus. Carl Wood, 40, had been swimming off a catamaran leisure cruise when the incident happened about 1 p.m. Thursday. Lynn Woodward, 39, described seeing her boyfriend killed in the Cyprus Mail: "We were all trying to tell the people on the boat to stop but it was moving at such a speed. They were going that fast and were so close that it was over in seconds. I heard him scream and I saw blood in the water." The patrol boat's two-man crew picked up Wood and rushed him to a hospital, but he was pronounced dead on arrival. The captain of the catamaran cruise and director of the unnamed company were arrested for endangering human life at sea.
AUSTRALIAN COURT FINDS SCHOOL DISCRIMINATED AGAINST DEAF BOY
A 12-year-old deaf boy in Australia was awarded $49,305 (US) by a federal court which said the Queensland government had discriminated against him by not providing sign-language interpreters at school. Justice Bruce Lander awarded the money to the student, said to have the academic skills of a 6-year-old, for future economic loss and pain and suffering that arises from his inadequate education. "From now on it is very clear that all deaf children who need an interpreter should have an interpreter, said Damian Lacey of Deaf Children Australia. Education Minister Anna Bligh said the government has been working for several years to upgrade deaf education, and the court decision supported the current approach.
AUSTRALIAN ADVOCATES WANT FUNDING FOR COMMUNITY WORKER
Advocates want the government to fund a community worker for deaf and hard-of-hearing people in Canberra, Australia. "We are the only state or territory in Australia that doesn't fund a community worker for the deaf or hearing impaired," said Jacqui Burke, disability services spokeswoman for the ACT Opposition. An estimated 38,000 residents with hearing loss "are struggling right now to get simple things, basic human rights [that] we take for granted," she said, and she called on the government to address the "basic human rights" of its deaf citizens. "We cannot claim to be an inclusive community unless we are prepared to put our actions into words."
U.K. DOCTORS' CONFERENCE: "CAN YOUR PATIENTS UNDERSTAND YOU?"
One of every seven patients in the U.K. is deaf or hard of hearing, and doctors see several patients every day who have trouble hearing what they say. So says a news release announcing an upcoming conference in London titled "Can Your Patients Understand You?" Medical professionals are invited to attend and learn about communication strategies and legal requirements under the new Disability Discrimination Act, which became effective in October. The one-day conference takes place June 15 as a joint project of the Royal National Institute for the Deaf and the Royal College of General Practitioners. Nikki Whitelock is the contact person: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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LIFE & LEISURE
STARKEY HEARING FOUNDATION FITS 113-YEAR-OLD WOMAN WITH HEARING AIDS
The Starkey Hearing Foundation donates 20,000 hearing aids to needy people every year, and one of the latest recipients was Rebecca Lanier, a 113-year-old woman who flew to Minneapolis from her Cleveland-area home for a fitting last Thursday. "Rebecca, can you hear me?" asked William Austin, Starkey's founder and chief executive, who had just slipped two tiny hearing devices worth a total of $10,800 into her ear canals. "Yeah! I like that!" she replied. Lanier had been initially skeptical of Starkey's offer of assistance, but her grandson and caretaker, Jimmie Shambley, and his wife convinced her to go for it, reported the Star Tribune. The Starkey Hearing Foundation was established in 1973 to fix the "broken ears" of the world, and Austin -- known as the "Santa Claus of Hearing" -- will continue his philanthropy when he visits Guadalajara, Mexico in a few weeks to fit 760 children with hearing devices.
WOMAN PLANS TO WALK 60 MILES FOR BREAST CANCER RESEARCH
Last week's Deafweekly told of Carolyn Hancock, a deaf woman who plans to walk 60 miles in Chicago to raise money for breast cancer research. Another reader has informed us of her plans to participate in the same program, the Breast Cancer 3-Day, although Ivanito Maldonado is signed up for the walk in Kansas City, Mo. Her goal is to raise $2,100 in donations and she is asking interested people to support her 60-mile walk with a donation of any amount. "Please keep in mind how far I am walking," she said, "and how hard I will have to train." You can write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EFFORTS TO INVOLVE DEAF IN RELIGION LEAD TO UNIQUE CHALLENGES
The Christian Post (San Francisco) took a look last week at efforts to involve deaf people in religious activities. At Gallaudet University, for example, Bob Rhoads, 40, leads a ministry for Campus Crusade for Christ, where he helps students develop "faith in Jesus." Only about two percent of deaf people are Christians, said Council Bluffs, Iowa-based Deaf Missions, with many feeling isolated in church. The Gallaudet ministry conducts its activities in sign language, but Bible studies are challenging because the writing is difficult to translate into ASL. Also, more deaf leaders are needed. According to Rhoads, there are 65 deaf churches in the United States but 42 of them do not have a full-time or part-time pastor. The problem, he said, is that "deaf spiritual leaders are not being developed."
UNDERGROUND RAILROAD CENTER 'ROCKS' FOR ANNUAL FUNDRAISING BENEFIT
Heather Whitestone McCallum, Miss America 1995, emceed this year's "Fashion on the Rocks," a benefit for the Hearing Speech & Deaf Center of Greater Cincinnati. According to the Enquirer, about 275 people turned out for the fundraiser and enjoyed cocktails, dinner, a silent auction and a fashion show. The event took place at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. The beneficiary, reported the Enquirer, "is the only non-profit organization providing audiology/hearing aid services, speech pathology and deaf services to those who can and cannot afford them.
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DCARA DIRECTOR ROBERT ROTH ANNOUNCES RESIGNATION
Robert I. Roth has announced his plans to resign after nearly seven years as chief executive officer of DCARA, a social services agency based in San Leandro, Calif. Roth's resignation, effective July 7, was announced last week "with great regret" by DCARA board president David Eberwein, who noted that Roth will serve on the new CEO search committee. No reason was given for the resignation, nor were Roth's future plans revealed. Eberwein credited Roth with a number of accomplishments in the areas of finance, public relations, planning and strategy. "CEO Roth leaves DCARA in excellent shape, an increasingly rare feat for non-profit agencies nowadays," he said.
TENNESSEE STUDENTS ATTEND FIRST 'DEAF CAREER DAY'
Middle and high school students "were on the edges of their seats" during the first "Deaf Career Day" in Nashville, Tenn., said Sharon McLaughlin, employment director for the League for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. "Our goal was to educate students about employment and the hard work it takes to be successful and independent employees," she said. More than 50 students had a chance to meet with about a dozen professionals with hearing loss, including a hairstylist, mechanic, VR counselor, teacher and police officer. After a pizza dinner, the event concluded with a comedy performance by C.J. Jones that attracted an audience of 300. Feedback has been positive and there are plans to make Career Day an annual event, said McLaughlin. "We want to encourage students not to look at welfare as an option unless it is an absolute last resort," she said.
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TO FINE-TUNE FIRE ALERTING DEVICE AT MIT
KARE-TV in Minneapolis reported last week on four high school students who will spend time this summer at MIT in Boston, perfecting a device they invented to awaken deaf people in a fire. Junior Tim Dumas came up with the idea after watching a news report and wondering how would deaf people would know if their residence was on fire. They have not named the device yet, but freshman Cory Eby explained how it would work: "One detector would be on this wall and one would be over there and it would set off both wall units." The device would be attached to the deaf person and it would vibrate, KARE reported, and the inventors plan to design a smaller model that can be attached to a velcro belt.
EDUCATOR NAMED TEACHER OF THE YEAR AT TEXAS SCHOOL
Deaf education teacher Yvonne Delgado has been selected Teacher of the Year for Travis Elementary School in San Marcos, Texas. Delgado has been the lead deaf education teacher at Travis since 1997, the Daily Record reported, and she has presented at a statewide education conference and served as a representative for the local school district. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned degrees in communication sciences and disorders/deafness studies, Delgado credits her teaching philosophy for her success. "Teaching is more than just helping students to remember facts and memorize routines," she said. "Teaching is nourishing a child with knowledge, skills, and the ways to apply these things."
RE/MAX INKS DEAL WITH DEAF LINK TO PROVIDE INTERNET INTERPRETERS
Real estate chain RE/MAX has worked out a deal with Deaf Link Inc. to provide real estate agents with Internet-based sign-language interpretive services. According to the San Antonio Business Journal, Deaf Link operates a communication center staffed with ASL interpreters that never closes. The company can arrange three-way communication between the agent, an interpreter and the deaf homebuyer, and Deaf Link CEO Kay Chiodo says the agents can help deaf clients deal with title companies, lenders, appraisers and inspectors. The goal is to provide deaf consumers with the "same opportunities and level of service that is available to the rest of the population," she said.
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SIGN LANGUAGE FOR THE FAMILY
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INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL TEAM SWEEPS TOP NATIONAL AWARDS
The boys basketball team at the Indiana School for the Deaf enjoyed a clean sweep of top national awards, the Indianapolis Star reported Saturday. The Deaf Hoosiers were selected as the No. 1 deaf team by SIGNews, The Frat, DeafSports and DeafNation -- "four of the deaf community's most influential publications," the newspaper reported. The hoopsters finished with a 15-7 and captured their second consecutive championship at the Clerc Classic, a national tournament for deaf schools. Jon Mowl was the consensus Deaf National Player of the Year and was named to the Deaf All-America squad along with senior Lucas Van Dalen. Keith Westhoelter was Deaf National Coach of the Year.
NOMINATIONS SOLICITED FOR USADSF HALL OF FAME
If you know someone who should be in the USADSF Hall of Fame, now is the time to submit your nomination. The Hall of Fame honors those "who have displayed exceptional performance or service to the deaf in the world of sports as athletes, coaches, leaders, writers and officials," said a recent call for nominations. June 30 is the deadline, and there are a number of criteria that must be observed. Application forms may be obtained from the USADSF office by writing to email@example.com; additional information may be found at www.usdeafsports.org.
Chief Financial Officer
The Laurent Company, located in rural southeastern South Dakota, which is building the world’s first fully integrated signing community, is seeking a Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
Chief Financial Officer will be responsible for all financial reporting and control, banking and maintenance of the company’s overall financial well-being. This person will be involved in both the tactical day- to- day accounting/financial management of the business as well as strategic and long term planning and implementing for growth and expansion.
*Financial planning policies and controls, accounting practices, financial reporting, treasury operations, asset management, budgeting, tax planning and compliance, corporate services and internal audit.
* Develops financial strategies by forecasting capital, facilities, and staff requirements; identifying monetary resources; developing action plans.
* Oversees timely close of monthly financial statements and distribution of monthly reporting package, which includes monthly and year-to-date comparison with budget, key performance metrics and written management discussion and analysis.
*Continually reviews financial performance results against plan for all functional areas, finance, administration, sales and participates with COO and/or other senior management.
* Hires and supervises the financial team and monitors payroll and other operating expenses, and operating profitability measures with a focus on improving those measures.
* Develops and maintains a strong working relationship with the Company's specific financial institutions.
* Works with legal counsel as a participant in key legal decisions or other legal or contractual matters relating to the business.
* Maintains awareness of new regulations.
CPA credentials strongly preferred, with 10+ years of senior financial management experience. We are especially interested in candidates with a real estate background, as well as experience in managing budgets in excess of $100M. Sign language skills preferred.
Position offers a very competitive starting salary plus a comprehensive benefits package, including fully paid group health insurance.
If interested in applying for this position, please contact Marvin Miller, Chief Operating Officer of the Laurent Company, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An EOE committed to a drug and alcohol-free workplace. Drug testing required.
Vice President of Construction
The Laurent Company, located in rural southeastern South Dakota, which is building the world’s first fully integrated signing community, is seeking a Vice President of Construction.
Vice President of Construction will be responsible for managing construction activities, overseeing and coordinating the entire construction project of building the town of Laurent. Will have overall responsibility for project deadlines, budgets, and client satisfaction during construction. Manage the estimating and bid process.
* Have commercial and/or residential construction management experience
* Knowledge of all trades, construction methods and materials
* Can read and interpret construction plans, bid packages, and spec sheets
* Requires a minimum of 10 years construction management experience, building over 25 residential and/or light commercial projects a year, and eager to do more, OR a technical degree in a related field and 5+ years construction experience
* Must have basic computer skills, preferred Microsoft Office and project management software. Experience with Macintosh computers a plus
* Strong organizational skills and be an effective problem solver
* Must have high integrity, a strong work ethic, and the ability to build and lead an organization.
* Fluency in American Sign Language (ASL) preferred. If not, willingness to take classes and learn ASL is required. Sign Communication Proficiency Interview (SCPI) will be required.
Competitive salary based on your experience. Competitive benefits package.
If interested in applying for this position, please contact Jennifer Schiltz, Executive Assitant to CEO of The Laurent Company, at email@example.com, or fax or mail resume to The Laurent Company (see information above), attn: Jennifer Schiltz.
An EOE committed to a drug and alcohol-free workplace. Drug testing required.
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