May 2, 2012
Vol. 8, No. 25
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 2012 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:
CAUGHT ON TAPE: DEAF WOMAN, DOG ATTACKED BY PIT BULL / CBS
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DEAF WOMAN GETS PROBATION IN HUSBAND'S STABBING DEATH
A 32-year-old woman who stabbed her husband to death at the Hotel Tioga last year was released from jail Thursday, after a judge determined the abuse she had suffered in her relationship played a major role in the killing. Judge Ronald Hansen sentenced Courtney Ross to a year in jail and three years' probation for killing Jonathan Ross, 25, after an argument July 11. Because of her jail credits and time served, Ross was freed Thursday night. / Merced Sun-Star
AT&T SEEKS TO DISMISS U.S. SUIT OVER CON MEN USING DEAF SERVICE
AT&T Inc. urged a judge to dismiss a lawsuit claiming it profited from government payments for a calling service for the deaf that the company knew was being used by Nigerian con men to steal from American merchants. The U.S., which intervened in the whistle-blower lawsuit in federal court in Pittsburgh, claims AT&T allowed an Internet- based phone system to be overrun by criminals and then improperly billed the government to reimburse the calls in violation of the False Claims Act. / Bloomberg
DEAF MAN CONVICTED OF SEXUALLY ABUSING YOUNG DEAF GIRL
A deaf man was convicted on Monday of sexually molesting a young deaf girl who frequently stayed at his home. Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully announced that Robert Ruiz was convicted by jury on multiple counts of child molestation. He faces a maximum sentence of 125 years to life in prison when he’s back in court June 1. Ruiz was a friend of the victim’s family. The young victim is deaf and has a learning disability. / CBS Sacramento
QUIK TRIP FILES SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTION IN DEAF WOMAN'S PERSONAL INJURY SUIT
Defendant Quik Trip on Wednesday filed a motion for summary judgment in a Madison County personal injury claim. The case has previously been dismissed twice. Plaintiff Lois Nelson is suing for damages in excess of $50,000 and other relief due to a broken leg she claims to have suffered when no one assisted her with a gas pump at an East Alton location. Nelson is legally deaf. She claims she tripped over a gas line and broke her leg, due to the defendant's alleged negligence on Aug. 26, 2005. / Madison County Record
St. Augustine, FL
FSDB PRESIDENT RETIRES, ENDING 44-YEAR CAREER
On his last night in office, Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind President Danny Hutto had dinner with two of “his kids.” The kids are part of his FSDB family and were among several who won dinner with the president during an auction where students buy items with tickets they earn for good behavior. “What better way to end my career than what we did Thursday night?” Hutto asked about the dinner to which he and his wife, Mary Anne, treated the students. / The St. Augustine Record
ALERT EXPERIMENT SPREADS AMONG DEAF
Do emergency managers care about alerting the deaf? Well, an activist/researcher/teacher with deep expertise in communicating with the deaf says, “Deaf people think emergency management doesn’t care about them.” Stephanie Jo Kent says “the American Deaf community remains essentially neglected despite generations of struggle and decades-old accessibility rights legislation”. She’s not just complaining, though; she’s trying to do something about it. / Emergency Management
DEAF, BLIND STUDENTS TAKE FLIGHT
Nestled in the back seat of a small plane, Taylor Shultz peered out the window at the expansive green fields and Gooding neighborhoods below. With a smile on her face, the Idaho School for the Deaf and the Blind student tapped her friend’s shoulder to get her attention. When Frannie Uhl turned around, Shultz pointed out the window as the two teenagers — who are both deaf — communicated using sign language. / Twin Falls Times-News
RELY ON LITIGATION AND NOT THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS
Deaf people still receive most of their services from non-deaf professionals who often know very little about deaf culture or the deaf experience. Non-deaf people teach most of the college and high school American Sign Language, deaf history and deaf culture classes. Many of these teachers have had very little experience being with deaf people and have minimal skills in ASL. What would you do if you found out that your children or grandchildren were learning English from a teacher that was not proficient in English herself? / Fulton Sun
SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF CLAIMS TOP PRIZE AGAIN AT NATIONAL ACADEMIC BOWL
Heading to Gallaudet University for the Academic Bowl after having won the competition two years in a row, Maryland School for the Deaf student Ethan Sonnenstrahl felt like there was a target on his back, he said Monday. But none of the 316 students from 79 other schools across the country hit that target. He and the rest of the MSD Academic Bowl team walked away winners for the third year in a row. / The Frederick News-Post
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JUD SPECIAL ACTIVISTS PROTEST BOUNTY ON SAEED
The blind, deaf and dumb workers of Jamaat-ud-Dawa staged a demonstration outside Lahore Press Club on Friday to condemn Washington for putting one million dollar bounty on providing information that could prove Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed’s involvement in Mumbai attacks. The disabled workers of Dawa were holding banners, placards and posters inscribed with slogans against the US administration and their allies and the silence of the rulers of the Muslim world over the issue and their alleged role in abetting the US in its crimes against humanity. / The Nation
DEAF MAN COMPLAINS OF LACK OF INTERPRETER AT JOB FAIR
An unemployed man who is profoundly deaf is campaigning for better facilities to help people like him get work. Piyush Bharania, 41, was keen to attend a job fair last September. He emailed the office of Reading East MP Rob Wilson, who co-organised the event, beforehand asking for a deaf interpreter but was told there was no budget available. He went to the fair and communicated using pen and paper. Mr Bharania, who has been deaf since birth, said: “I feel incredibly let down and upset by what has happened.” / Reading Post
THE IMPORTANCE OF DEAF AWARENESS IN THE WORKPLACE
With one in six people in the UK suffering from some degree of hearing loss, organisations, particularly those with front line members of staff, are being encouraged to raise awareness of the different types of deafness. Next week, over one hundred deaf charities and organisations across the UK will be celebrating national Deaf Awareness Week, which is co-ordinated by the UK Council on Deafness. / 24dash.com
JUDGES HAIL DEAF WRITER FROM LEICESTERSHIRE WHO TELLS OF LIVING IN SILENT WORLD
Lando Hilton was just five years old when he lost his hearing - and now he is gradually losing his sight. Although the 23-year-old, from Rothley, became deaf at such a tender age, after contracting a flu-like illness, he learned to live with it and has since had an implant fitted to help him hear. But the biggest blow, he says, has been the deterioration of his eyesight following a diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa three years ago. The disease, which damages the eyes' retinas, could rob him of his sight altogether. / This is Leicestershire
Ottawa, ON, Canada
DEAF-BLIND SPEED SKATER TO REPRESENT CANADA AT IMPAIRED SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS IN SCOTLAND
Ottawa athlete Kevin Frost almost seems more concerned with raising awareness of impaired speed skating than winning gold medals. The deaf-blind speed skater who suffers from Usher Syndrome will represent Canada at the Impaired Skating Championship in Scotland on May 12 and hopes to help raise awareness about getting the sport recognized as an official Paralympic sport. / MetroNews Canada
JOB CLUB TO HELP DEAF AND HARD-OF-HEARING PEOPLE FIND EMPLOYMENT
A new club aimed at helping young deaf and hard of hearing people find employment is to be set up in Edinburgh. Organised by Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, monthly meetings will help participants aged 16 to 25 with every aspect of applying for a job. Activities will include help with making up a CV, searching for a job, completing an application form and interview skills. / STV Local
HONORING ALL DEAF PEOPLE
When Sandra Hoopmann walked across the stage last week to receive her Honours degree, she was honouring the memory of all deaf women. The Firle resident, 62, is the first profoundly-deaf person to complete an Honours degree in the University of Adelaide’s 138-year history. “I feel like I am honouring all the deaf women, who are either here or have gone, by having this degree,” Mrs Hoopmann says. / East Torrens Messenger
Auckland, New Zealand
MINISTER CELEBRATES SIGN LANGUAGE WEEK
Hon Tariana Turia, Minister for Disability Issues, is pleased to celebrate New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) Week, which began today. Mrs Turia said "Sign Language is an official language of New Zealand, and I am pleased to announce that this week, we are celebrating and recognising this language which is used by approximately 24,000 New Zealanders." Each year Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand organises NZSL Week to help promote the language as well as raise awareness about New Zealand's Deaf community, and the challenges that they face each day. / Voxy.co.nz
BAHRAIN DEAF SOCIETY CELEBRATES ARAB DEAF WEEK
Within its celebrations of the 37th Arab Deaf Week, the Bahrain Deaf Society organized last Wednesday a lecture on “the Correct Use of Communications”, held under the patronage of the Chairperson of TRA’s Consumer Advisory Group Shaikha Haya bint Rashed Al Khalifa at the National NGOs Support Centre in Tubli. During the ceremony, Chairman of the Bahrain Deaf Society Mahdi Al Nuaimi praised TRA’s Consumer Advisory Group, led by Shaikha Haya, to support people with special needs. / Bahrain News Agency
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LIFE & LEISURE
WHY, YES, I'M DEAF. DO YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT?
Lower-case deaf, not the upper-case Deaf, since the latter is more suited to describe the Deaf culture, while the former describes a physical condition. To be more specific, I am hard-of-hearing. Or more specifically, I'm profoundly deaf, which further along the "deaf scale" than severe, moderate, and mild deafness. Only complete deafness is further along the scale than profoundly deaf. But don't ask me what the threshold levels are for each level--I don't know right off the top of my head. / Running With A Book Cart
JOEL BARISH: NO BARRIERS FOR THIS DEAF GUY
A huge map of the world hangs on one wall in Joel Barish's office. Joel and his brother, Jed, have made a career out of traveling around the globe capturing the stories of deaf and hard of hearing folks from all walks of life. They are best known for running DeafNation, a series of trade shows in the U.S. and they are now expanding around the world. I spent some time on the videophone getting to know Joel. / Barefoot In The Burbs
Los Angeles, CA
CHIHUAHUA MIX BECOMES GLENDALE WOMAN'S 'EARS'
For Judy Springborn, her Apple Pie is a blessing from heaven. Apple Pie, a 6-pound Chihuahua mix, may feel the same way about Springborn. The tiny dog, rescued from a Fresno animal shelter and put through five months of training, helps the 72-year-old deaf Glendale resident with daily living. Apple Pie moved into Springborn's home last Tuesday, her second "hearing dog" acquired through Dogs for the Deaf, an Oregon-based organization. It almost didn't happen. / Los Angeles Times
Port St. Lucie, FL
BRUSHING ON BISQUE RAISES MONEY FOR DEAF SERVICES
Saturday, April 21, marked a successful fundraiser for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services at the Brushing on Bisque studio in Tradition Derrick and Robin Peterson co-own the studio. The place was so crowded, everyone was enjoying themselves with painting and chatting with new and old friends and families. Music was playing in the background. The photographer came in and took pictures that will soon be on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) website. / TCPalm.com
WORD LENS REVOLUTIONIZES DEAF TRAVEL
Word Lens is a iPhone application that does one thing, and one thing well — it is an augmented reality application that uses the built-in iPhone camera to translate languages on the fly. It’s really simple to use; launch the application, hold up your iPhone and watch as your iPhone shows you translated text in a live video feed. The best way for you to understand Word Lens is to see it in action. / Deaf Echo
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MIDDLE-EAR MICROPHONE MAY IMPROVE COCHLEAR IMPLANTS
Cochlear implants have restored basic hearing to some 220,000 deaf people, yet a microphone and related electronics must be worn outside the head, raising reliability issues, preventing patients from swimming and creating social stigma. Now, a University of Utah engineer and colleagues in Ohio have developed a tiny prototype microphone that can be implanted in the middle ear to avoid such problems. / R&D Mag
TORY'S STORY: ARCHAEOLOGY BUFF, LANGUAGE LOVER, AND BU'S ONLY DEAF FRESHMAN
Tory Sampson would have you believe she’s like any average freshman. She is passionate about her studies, has joined several clubs, attends campus events, and has already developed friendships she hopes will last a lifetime. She wants to spend a semester abroad studying in the Middle East and plans to become an archaeologist and explore ancient Egyptian ruins. She loves languages and is picking up her fourth, Arabic. But anyone who meets Sampson knows she is anything but average. / BU Today
100 KIDS QUIETLY LEARNING COMMERCE
BizTown was uncharacteristically quiet as nearly 100 students moved from storefront to storefront, learning the rules of commerce. The Junior Achievement BizTown, which opened in 2004, brings hands-on learning to a new level with a kid-sized “village” that includes a mock restaurant, TV station, health clinic, bank and more.On most days, the Auburn facility buzzes with the voices of kids doing business. But it hosted a special day this week for deaf kids from schools in Tacoma, Federal Way, Puyallup and elsewhere. / The News Tribune
BUSINESS PLAN: DAVE ROBERTSON AND RNR INTERPRETING
As an American Sign Language (ASL) instructor with the University of Alaska Anchorage, coach of an all-deaf bowling, volleyball and softball teams, and owner of RNR Interpreting, Dave Robertson keeps plenty busy. The Press caught up with the 46-year-old at an ASL event called Passport to the Deaf World held at the University recently and talked with him about the business of sign language interpreting, which brings with it some unexpected challenges. / Anchorage Press
San Diego, CA
INTERPRET SAN DIEGO READIES ITSELF FOR THE MEDICAL INTERPRETING MARKET AND THE TRAVEL/TOURISM INDUSTRY
Interpret San Diego, a small business 100% focused on serving the needs of the Deaf and hard-of-hearing, is now a business of San Diego ASL Interpreting, LLC. Founded by Jennifer Clifford in 2009, Interpret San Diego is a locally-owned small business focused on serving the Deaf and hard-of-hearing in the San Diego, California area. / PRWeb
ISD/ISVI SUPE WILL BE MACMURRAY COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER
MacMurray College’s commencement speaker could walk to the graduation ceremony from her current job. Illinois Schools for the Deaf and Visually Impaired Superintendent Marybeth Lauderdale will be this year’s featured speaker. She is a 1979 MacMurray graduate. / WLDS-WEAI News
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
DEAF MUSIC INSPIRES ALL
The music starts, the crowd cheers and the front man begins to sing. For a musician, these sounds are the sign of a successful concert. However, when deaf musician Sean Forbes hits the stage, his experience is much different. Forbes, 30, created the Deaf Professional Arts Network in 2005 to bridge the gap between the deaf population and the music industry. Through this nonprofit organization, Forbes tours the U.S. and also delivers motivational speeches. / The Columbia Chronicle
Berkeley Heights, NJ
LOUDER THAN SPOKEN WORDS: DEAF N.J. STUDENTS FIND POETRY AT THEIR FINGERTIPS
Five teenagers gathered around a magazine clipping of a faceless man. Their challenge was to create a poem inspired by the image, and the ideas started flowing immediately. "His face is completely washed away," Marissa DiDonna, 17, told the group. "His mouth is gone, which means maybe he doesn’t use his mouth to communicate." DiDonna, who is deaf, signed that interpretation to her peers Friday at the American Sign Language poetry workshop at Governor Livingston High School in Berkeley Heights. / The Star-Ledger
LOCAL THEATER BRINGS DEAF ACTORS INTO THE ARTISTIC FOLD
Hamlecchino: Clown Prince of Denmark is a new version of Shakespeare's Hamlet, and combines hearing performers from the John Aniello Award-winning theater company, Faction of Fools, with students from Gallaudet, the federally-chartered university for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Last year, as the Fools kicked off their third season, they became artists-in-residence at Gallaudet. Hamlecchino is the second play they've staged at the university. / WAMU 88.5
St. Augustine, FL
REVIEW: 'CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD' A TRIUMPH OF ACTING
You’ve got to hand it to the Limelight Theatre, now in its 20th season: It’s sure not intimidated by the tough ones. Following on the heels of the super-challenging “The House of Blue Leaves,” with its cluttered setting and equally cluttered minds and concepts, comes “Children of a Lesser God,” by Mark Medoff, on stage through May 13. It focuses on the conflicted professional and romantic relationship between a young, determined speech therapist and a deaf former student who stubbornly refuses to speak. It’s bare-knuckles time. The setting is stark, plain, “in the mind” of the therapist, James Leeds. / St. Augustine Record
Los Angeles, CA
RAVES FOR 'CYRANO' IN ITS SIGN-LANGUAGE ADAPTATION
I can’t rave enough to adequately convey my excitement and admiration for the new adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac that opened this week at the Fountain Theatre. Written by Stephen Sachs and directed by Simon Levy, this brilliant Cyrano is performed by the extraordinary actors of the Deaf West Theatre. / San Diego Jewish World
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HARTMAN: HEARING LOSS DOESN'T STOP FREE-AGENT BACK
Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman reported that Derrick Coleman, the UCLA running back who is one of the 15 rookie free agents signed by the team, has a unique story. He is severely hard of hearing. "He does read lips, he does wear hearing aids," said Spielman, who attended Coleman's workout at UCLA and was impressed enough to sign him. "[Coleman's] a big running back that has a lot of ability. I'll be anxious to see him come in and see him compete." / Star Tribune
DEAF INLINE SKATER SWITCHES TO ICE, AIMS FOR OLYMPICS
When Michael Hubbs charges down an icy track, he can't hear the scrape of his competitors' skates behind him. That's a disadvantage at elite levels, where top skaters swoop around the competition in quad-powered bursts of speed accompanied by the tell-tale clatter of blade on ice. But for Hubbs, who was born deaf, it's just motivation to hone a new skill set. "I keep an eye out like a bald eagle," says the 29-year-old graduate of the Texas School for the Deaf. Hubbs, who trained as an inline skater as a teenager, has transitioned to the ice with an eye on the 2014 or 2018 Winter Olympics. / Austin360.com
DEAF STUDENT TO JOIN UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS MARCHING BAND
An Arkansas high school student who is completely deaf has been selected to join the marching band at the University of of Arkansas at Fayetteville when he starts as a freshman in the fall, KTHV-TV reports. Mitchell Moore says the university evaluated him on six different instruments and selected him for the cymbal line. He beat out 60 others for a spot on the Razorback Marching Band. / USA Today
HARD WORK PAYS OFF FOR ST. MARY'S SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF
Four years of hard work paid off this season for the St. Mary's School for the Deaf girls basketball team with a prestigious honor it hadn’t seen in decades. St. Mary’s School for the Deaf was awarded the Division 2 Deaf National Championship by the National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association. It's the first time in about 20 years that the Bison have earned the honor. "We've really worked hard for four years to build towards this success," Bison coach Bryan Booke said. / MetroWNY.com
STUDENTS LEARN SKILLS FROM BASKETBALL TEAM
Joshua Mata, 13, didn’t miss a beat as he learned new basketball passing techniques while signing rapidly to a friend nearby. “It’s fun to play,” Mata said. The eighth-grader at Ector Junior High was one of about 30 hearing-impaired students at San Jacinto Elementary on Friday participating in the second annual basketball camp taught by the men’s Midland College basketball team. The students ranged from pre-school to high school seniors. / Odessa American Online
TOP-NOTCH DEAF PLAYER EARNS SPOT ON NATIONAL TEAM
Even with hearing aids, Becca Dowling-Fitzpatrick doesn’t always catch the referee’s whistle, the footsteps of her opponents or the advice of coaches and teammates. The sounds of soccer posed a challenge for Dowling-Fitzpatrick during her four years at St. Francis DeSales High School, where the senior from Westerville is the only deaf student. But on the field this weekend, she won’t be at any more of a disadvantage than her teammates. / The Columbus Dispatch
ASPEN CAMP SEEKS VOLUNTEERS
The Aspen Camp of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has announced that it will hold its annual Volunteer Work Weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 19 and 20 and June 2 and 3. They will take place at the organization's campus in Old Snowmass at 486 Snowmass Creek Road. Some overnight guests are welcome, and volunteers will receive breakfast, lunch and dinner. Volunteers may work for a couple of hours, all day or all weekend. Volunteers who work more than four hours will receive a commemorative water bottle, and all volunteers are invited to experience the low-ropes course on Sunday afternoon. / Aspen Times
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