May 27, 2009
Vol. 5, No. 3

Editor: Tom Willard

Deafweekly is an independent news report for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community that is mailed to subscribers every Wednesday and available to read at Please visit our website to read current and back issues, sign up for a subscription and advertise. Deafweekly is copyrighted 2009 and any unauthorized use, including reprinting of news, is prohibited. Please support our advertisers; they make it possible for you to receive Deafweekly.



After shutting down for a month last fall over sexual abuse allegations, the Louisiana School for the Deaf is open again, but some students and parents say the school has turned into a boot camp. According to a WAFB report last week, students can no longer leave campus to go to local stores, boys and girls are separated in the dining hall, and if one student needs to go to the bathroom, the entire class must go. In addition, 170 surveillance cameras have been installed around the campus. State Superintendent Paul Pastorek said he is calling the shots, and "I think you are going to see the restrictions we put in place ... are going to have to stay in place."


A deaf 21-year-old man in Sacramento, Calif. may be responsible for a series of fraudulent crime reports to Fremont police, said The Argus. The unidentified man, a former student at the California School for the Deaf, reportedly confessed to two cases in April, saying he made the calls because he was "bored and angry." Fremont police Officer Randy Burkhammer said the man has been linked to 40 emergency calls to police agencies in Northern California this year. The suspect, who faces possible arrest after additional investigation, allegedly made the calls through a video relay service. "People who use this system think they are being anonymous," Burkhammer said, "but they're not."


Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle signed a bill into law last week that requires private health insurance plans to cover the costs of cochlear implants, hearing aids and related treatment for those under 18. Wisconsin becomes the second state (after Kentucky, in 1998) to mandate coverage for cochlear implants, said the Associated Press. The law will cost the state's 1.6 million privately insured residents an estimated 17 cents a month. Families would "no longer have to choose between putting food on the table or providing effective and proven treatment for their child," said Doyle.


Illinois lawmakers are considering Senate Bill 68, which would mandate insurance coverage for hearing aids with no age restrictions. "We're only talking a cost of $2,500 for a hearing aid," State Sen.. Ira Silverstein told ABC in Chicago. "Most insurance companies pay for a cochlear implant, which costs over $80,000." Silverstein, the lead sponsor of the bill, encouraged residents to contact their legislators and ask them to support the bill.


Mike Anderle, who became deaf in 1996 after a near-fatal bout with bacterial meningitis, was seated on the Lacon, Ill. City Council earlier this month. Anderle, 48, is a former construction foreman who wants to use his experience with road and bridge projects to contribute to his hometown, reported the Peoria Journal Star. Anderle underwent two cochlear implant surgeries, but they failed to restore his hearing. His sister, Jennifer Barrett, plans to attend City Council meetings and type notes on a laptop for Anderle to read.


Iowa school districts may have to fire some classroom interpreters this fall because they have failed to meet new state standards. The interpreters and parents of affected students met two weeks ago with a state legislative committee to make their case, reported Radio Iowa. Mike Van Sant, who has a son and daughter in the Lynnville-Sully school district, said his kids have had the same interpreters since kindergarten and are "thriving" in school. But the interpreters don't meet new accreditation standards that go into effect July 1st, and the Van Sant children face the prospect of switching interpreters in their rural district -- or having none at all -- though Gov. Chet Culver's legal counsel promised "common sense" would prevail.


Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and several top state officials came together for a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday at the Ohio School for the Deaf. After the event, said Columbus Local News, speakers and guests reconvened a mile away at the State School for the Blind, where they held another groundbreaking.. Both schools have been in their current locations since 1953 and will start construction on new facilities later this year, with a projected completion date of 2011. A website has been created with information on the construction projects.


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A documentary about a Japanese signing rock band called The Bright Eyes was shown in a Tokyo theater on May 16. The film, titled The Rock Revolver, helps celebrate the 20th anniversary of the band, said Deaf Japan News. The Bright Eyes are made up of one hearing and four deaf members. It can take the group up to six months of practice before a song can be performed perfectly. Audience members enjoy "emotional movement" and band members find "pleasure for life," said the report.


A court in China sentenced the former deputy headmaster of a school for the deaf to 12 years in prison for raping seven female students more than 10 years ago. Zhao Yuhuan confessed to having sex with the students since the school opened in 1988, reported the Shanghai Daily. The case came to light when the women contacted police last June and pressed rape charges against Zhao. He was taken away by police, who also collected evidence from the school and his home.


The African Rehabilitation Institute is working to develop a uniform sign language for Sub-Saharan Africa, reported the Zimbabwe Herald. The institute is working in conjunction with the National Associations of People with Disabilities, said ARI director Papa Malick Fal. The group is also lobbying the African Union Commission to add sign language to its list of official languages, which currently include English, French, Portuguese, Arabic and Swahili. "Sign language is a conventional language," said Fal, "and those people who use it should be respected."


A new photo essay book by Andrew Losowsky titled The Doorbells of Florence features the story of "Professor Ali Jamalzadeh," a hearing man who pretends to be deaf while he works on "the first-ever dictionary of Sordish, the international sign language for everyone." However, the professor is not an actual person, said The Guardian. Losowsky created the book by photographing doorbells in the Italian city of Florence and then writing fictional essays that imagine the lives of those who live behind the doors. The pseudo-deaf Sordish professor, for example, is "the world's only fluent communicator in twelve different sign languages [and] can also get by in eight others."


The popular British TV show Coronation Street is bringing back deaf actress Ali Briggs to revive her role as Emily Bishop's deaf niece Freda. Briggs first starred in eight episodes of the soap in 2005, helping the show win a top disability award, said the Mirror. Her character is set to return in July, bringing a fiance with her. "Freda was funny, nosy and a smart woman who just happened to be hearing impaired," said a source at the show. "We hope to carry on where we left off with her."


Where were you when Italy's Mt. Etna blew its volcanic top in 1949? Maria Russo, a deaf woman in Brisbane, Australia who just turned 70 this month, remembers her whereabouts -- she was living in the shadow of the erupting volcano as a child in her native Sicily. "We used to carry umbrellas to keep the ash and dust off our heads," Russo told the North-West News. Russo moved to Australia in 1962 after marriage, learning Australian Sign Language and landing a factory job sewing men's trousers. One of eight siblings (three were born deaf), Russo believes exercise is a key to a healthy life and has logged more than 800 visits to her local gym.


The Miss VIP Deaf pageant, held last month in Botswana, ended with Neo MMipi, an occasional model and pageant veteran, being awarded the title of Queen. She later told Mmegi she was delighted to win and hoped to compete in the Miss Botswana pageant. A few weeks later, the award winners gathered again for a prize-giving ceremony. Reported Mmegi, MMipi was given a computer and printer, a home theater system, a set of towels, a three-month gym membership, a manicure and pedicure, jewelry and one week of free lunches at the Botswana Power Corporation.


"I'll Scream Later" at Harris Communications

Critically acclaimed and award-winning actress Marlee Matlin entered our lives as the deaf pupil in the movie "Children of a Lesser God" and has since become an inspiration and role model for millions of deaf and hard
of hearing people. Marlee's new autobiography, "I'll Scream Later" (B1136), tells the story of her life, loves and show business career.

Find special pricing on this book on the Harris Communications website. In addition, we have sale pricing on two of Marlee Matlin's other books.

Sale ends June 4, 2009.

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The Iowa School for the Deaf last Tuesday conducted its annual memorial service for employees and students who are buried in the school's cemetery, reported the Council Bluffs Nonpareil. "We don't want them forgotten," said Shirley Hicks, a former ISD student and school librarian who compiled information on each of the 10 people buried on ISD grounds. Burial dates ranged from 1879 to 1900, and many died of illness or accidents -- three to malarial fever, one from croup, one hit by a train and one who died from injuries after "rolling down a hill." Only one person died of old age, said Hicks. "She was 49."


Deaf student Erick Dimayuga, 13, looked serious in the role of President Ronald Reagan during a recent class trip to the Reagan Library's Air Force One Discovery Center in Simi Valley, Calif. Erick delivered the same speech Reagan gave in 1983 after the U.S. Marines invastion of Grenada, reported the Ventura County Star. Erick and other students practiced their roles for two weeks, said teacher Heather Hewer, trip coordinator and teacher at the Cabrillo Middle School in Ventura. It was the first visit by a deaf group to the Discovery Center since it opened in June 2008, and center administrator Christy Chee said the visit was carefully coordinated to include interpreters at all times.


Corrina Veesart's hard work paid off last Friday when her name was called at Cuesta College's graduation ceremony. The blind and deaf 27-year-old Los Osos, Calif. resident completed her associate degree in general studies after nine years of work, said the San Luis Obispo Tribune. "It has been a huge effort for me," said Veesart, "but I love school and really wanted to succeed." She often took one class per semester, and when reading her text books with a magnifier she could read only one letter at a time. But Veesart said she loves learning and being around other people. "I hate the idea of being alone or isolated with my own thoughts," she said.


A brief article last week in the Washington Examiner reported that a hospital in Maine was evacuated due to a misunderstanding by a hard-of-hearing receptionist. Doctors, nurses and patients were ordered out of the building and a bomb-sniffing dog was brought in, but nothing was found to be amiss. Later it was discovered that a 12-year-old girl had reached the hospital after dialing the wrong number and asked, "Is my mom nearby?" The receptionist heard it as, "There's a bomb nearby."



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The long awaited coda Cruise...!!!

This is a chance for us to gather and share our stories not only with ourselves but with our loved ones... Codas of all ages and their Deaf parents are welcome! "Odas (...of deaf adults), including dodas, godas, sodas, wodas ... are welcomed here to share their stories and expereinces and relate to others who have had the same.

We will have many activities that help us to learn and share in a fun family-oriented atmosphere.

Workshops, panel discussions, and performances that include you. The Workshops will be led by Arlene Malinowski, "Storytelling", and Alan Marcus, "Codas and their spouses". We will have workshops for both children and adults. The performance will be emceed by Keith Wann and have an open stage for you to come and share your hilarious stories. A children's show will also be led by Keith and Arlene. The panel discussion will be a great time for Deaf parents with young codas to ask questions...

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An entire section of Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross church was reserved for the deaf community at last Saturday's ordination of six new priests. They were there to see the Rev. Shawn P. Carey ordained as the nation's 11th deaf priest, said The Boston Globe. "This is a miracle," said Carey through an interpreter. "It's been a long journey for me as a deaf seminarian and a deaf man. And becoming a priest -- I never thought it would come this fast."


Sorenson Communications announced in an April 29 news release that it has established the VRS Interpreting Institute at the company's headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah. The new institute is said to provide up-to-date teaching methods in sophisticated language labs, with a goal of increasing the supply and quality of interpreters for Sorenson Video Relay Services and the community at large. Carolyn Ball, an intepreter educator for 20-plus years, has been named executive director. Programming will address training, internship opportunities, certificate preparation, mentoring and more.


An article last week on TMCnet discussed the introduction by Novato, Calif.-based Purple Communications of its new all-in-one communication device for deaf users, the P3 optimized Purple Netbook. Weighing less than three pounds and taking up the space of a hardback book, the Netbook blends Windows computing, videophone, text relay and Internet access in a portable device that contains a built-in web cam, WiFi and pre-installed productivity software, making it ideal for office work, Web browsing, video and text relay. Stay tuned, said Purple CEO Dan Luis in a news release; the Netbook "is just one of several options we will be releasing this year."


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Life is full of Choices… Choose Well… Choose GRPT

We are pleased to announce access to physical therapy services for the Deaf community!

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All Silent Call Products Are 10% Off!

During the entire month of May all Silent Call products are 10% off. Whether it’s a Carbon Monoxide Detector, Weather Alert System, Shake-Up Kit or your choice of several different Transmitters, you can count on Silent Call to keep your home safe and secure. Call now at 1-800-233-9130 (V/TTY) or go to to order (use code WCID509 when ordering). To receive our catalog, email your request to

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The Tamarind Art Gallery in New York City opened a new exhibit this week called Sonic Chromatic, featuring the artwork of 10 deaf or hard-of-hearing artists. The exhibit, which has been assembled online, "exposes the inner workings of each artist, revealing a common experience," said a news release. The exhibit was put together by the Deaf Council, a service of the Tamarind Art Council working to break communication barriers and raise awareness of the deaf community. The show runs until June 17 at Tamarind Art, 142 East 39th St., New York, NY 10016.


The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is celebrating its 50th season, said the Newark Star-Ledger, and one of its offerings, "Go In Grace," features a dancer whose character is deaf. American Sign Language is woven into the story, which features a worried set of parents, a rebellious son and "the deaf daughter who can't hear any of it." For dancer Tina Monica Williams, who plays the mother, the role had a special resonance; she grew up with deaf parents. "There's a brief moment where I dance and sign at the same time," she said, "and it's probably been one of the most satisfying moments in my life."


DeafCode in Seattle, Wash. announced last week that it has launched Captionfish, a search engine that helps people find captioned films up to 60 miles away and seven days in advance. The site was created "because of the need to find a comprehensive list of captioned movies in one place," said company co-founder Chris Sano. Captionfish is still in testing mode and welcomes feedback to make improvements. Check it out at


Here's a last-minute opportunity for documentary filmmakers with disabilities: VSA arts (formerly Very Special Arts) is launching the first VSA arts apprenticeship at the AFI-Discovery Channel SILVERDOCS Documentary Festival, set for June 15-20 in Silver Spring, Md. Selected apprentices will receive conference registration, room and board, air and ground transportation, costs of a personal care assistant if required, and reasonable accommodation for disability. The deadline is June 2 and VSA apologizes for the short notice but said the opportunity came up quickly. Visit for guidelines and an application.


The 12th annual "Interpreting for the Theatre" Institute is set for next week, June 1-6, at the Juilliard School in New York City. The one-week intensive program offers theater interpreters from all over the U.S. the chance to explore advanced techniques for signing plays and musicals, said Broadway World. The city's top theater interpreters will teach the classes with involvement from local deaf community members, and several of this year's 16 students will take part in a sign-language-interpreted performance of Disney's The Lion King on June 6. The institute is sponsored by the Theatre Development Fund through its TDF Accessibility Programs (TAP).


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Sign Language Inc presents CruisEUs 2009

Just south of the U.S. border lies a vibrant culture, world-class beaches, lush green rain forests, a a vividly painted architecture that will dazzle your eyes. Whether your idea of adventure is exploring a colonial city or discovering the joys of a siesta on a white-sand beach, a Mexican cruise vacation is "almost" perfect for you...making it PERFECT would be while at all these great locations, also attending workshops presented by Peter Cook, Byron Bridges, Mark Morales, Lynne Weisman, Emilia Lorenti-Wann and Keith Wann!

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Lance Allred has come out with an autobiography that tells of growing up in a polygamist commune in Montana and rising to become the first deaf player in the National Basketball League. Longshot: The Adventures of a Deaf Fundamentalist Mormon Kid and His Journey to the NBA, "is the unlikely story of an unlikely athlete," said a HarperCollins news release. Allred delves into the world of college basketball and writes of playing professionally in Europe, where injuries were ignored and paychecks never materialized. Returning to the U.S., Allred planned to give up his dream and become a teacher but his agent wouldn't hear of it, landing Allred a career-changing spot with the Idaho Stampede in Boise. The story is "a tale of inspiration, dedication, and the power of a dream," said HarperCollins.


Student athletes at schools for the deaf in Indiana and South Caroline were recently profiled in their local newspapers. The Indianapolis Star featured a Q&A session with Gabriel Paulone, a standout over the past two years in football and basketball. He's on his way to Gallaudet after leading the Hoosiers to championships in both sports and helping the school win the 2008 Deaf Academic Bowl. In Greenwood, S.C., the Index-Journal wrote about the School for the Deaf and Blind in Spartanburg, where player Jartavius Price and coach Don Creech helped lead the Hornets to a national championship that was recognized last month by the state legislature.


Binghamton (N.Y.) University shot putter Joanel Lopez was the subject of a feature in Inside Binghamton University. Deaf since age 2, the former Lexington School for the Deaf (Flushing, N.Y.) student transferred to Binghamton in 2007 from Howard University, where he competed in track and field in the shot put. Lopez picked up shot put techniques from books, DVDs and Internet forums, learning the most from videos of old-time throwers. Assistant track coach Wally Yelverton learned sign language to communicate with Lopez and said the athlete "picks things up faster than most people because he's used to having to watch and learn."


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Keith Wann's ASL Comedy Tour 2009-2010

Keith Wann, renowned for his hilarious, sidesplitting comedy performances, is now producing and hosting the ASL Comedy Tour 2009, which will travel the U.S. this year. With American Sign Language (ASL) artists presenting solo performances incorporating comedy, skits, songs, improvisation, and stories, each show lasts two hours. Sponsored by, the multi-city tour is designed to be affordable for each location - making it ideal as a fundraiser for participating organizations.

“We really want to reach out to all communities, so we are sharing in the costs and profits at each location. We will work closely with booking parties to maximize profits for their organization and to bring in as many people as possible for a night of laughter, socialization and fun,” Wann said. “We also offer workshops by some of our performers, which can be held the day of the performance. People can come to our workshops, and then unwind by attending the comedy show that evening.”




The ASL Expo has announced its 2009 schedule of seven expositions in seven states from September 19 to December 12. A new website has been launched -- -- with information for attendees and exhibitors. Admission is free and people can register online. The ASL Expo "is an entertainment venue celebrating the language and culture of the deaf," said a news release. Here's the schedule: 9/19 Worcester MA; 10/10 Costa Mesa CA; 10/17 Pittsburgh PA; 10/24 Rochester MN; 11/7 Landover MD; 12/5 Lansing MI; 12/12 Mesa AZ.


Are you shocked by rude behavior on VRS from hearing callers and video relay interpreters?
Do you think deaf and hearing people have different ideas of polite behavior for using pagers?
Do you ever wonder about the appropriateness of an email message?

New technology such as email, pagers and VRS has made life easier for many deaf people. But the rules of politeness regarding their usage can vary between deaf and hearing users. Are you curious to know the different expectations and how to describe them to your hearing friends, family and co-workers?

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Differences between Deaf and Hearing Cultures -2nd edition
by Thomas K. Holcomb and Anna Mindess

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The Charlottesville (Va.) News Leader reported last week on the death of Marjorie Forehand Walls, 91, who attended the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind in Staunton and returned for two years as a librarian and teacher after getting a library science degree from Gallaudet University. After devoting herself to being a homemaker, Ms. Walls returned to work as a librarian and cataloguer for the American Meteorological Society, the Federal Power Commission and the Library of Congress. In retirement, she traveled to Beirut, Lebanon as a volunteer librarian and teacher at the school for the deaf. A member of several organizations, Ms. Walls was named Virginia Deaf Mother of the Year in 1998 by the Virginia Association of the Deaf. She was preceded in death by her husband Henry David Walls and she had a late-life 13-year marriage to Henry Walls.



Editor's Note: These comments are in response to last week's letter from Lois Diamond that says Deafweekly "is constantly negative ... and only incites hatred towards those who hear."

Very depression newsletter bad bad bad where is happy attitude and smile over few jokes?

-- Gd6wilding

no, i do not agree

-- Dudukes4731

I do not agree nor disagree, but I do think that stories about the good things the hearing do for the deaf are needed. Otherwise, each paper skews the idea that deaf people need to look after themselves because they're "a hated race among the hearing". I would also appreciate a religious section dedicated to Religious Orders and churches that accept the deaf. This information is hard to find.

Thank you, and God bless.

-- Mina

I can understand Lois Diamond's viewpoint but quite frankly I depend on this newsletter to inform me of what is happening to deaf/hard of hearing citizens around the world. Readers can choose to dwell on the negativity of the news items or continue in the fight (by being informed) for equal rights for deaf/ hard of hearing.

-- Timothy Burkhart


In response to "Deaf boy granted asylum with Dad" (May 20)

Why are immigrants given free cochlear implants when American taxpayers have to pay for their own children's CI/hearing aids? Granted, insurance now pays some for hearing aids but the difference is still up to the parents to pay. Fair? I think not.

-- Ernest McDaniel

Editor replies: The boy was deafened by American troops in Iraq and the motivation was probably to fix the problem that we had caused.


You can advertise your job openings here for just $20 a week (up to 100 words, 10 cents each add'l word). Start spreading the news! To place your ad, send the announcement to


Georgia Department of Education
Job Announcement

Posting Date: MM/DD/YYYY

Announcement: GSD ##-## Apply by: MM/DD/YYYY

Position Title:
Assistant Director for Residential Services

Position: # 00055521
Location: Georgia School for the Deaf
232 Perry Farm Road, SW
Cave Spring, GA 30124
Program/Unit: State Schools

Description of Duties:
The Assistant Director for Residential Services is responsible for providing effective leadership for all aspects of the residential program. The first priority for this position is the health, safety and welfare of our students. Expectations for successful performance include, but are not limited to, managing, supervising, and recruiting staff; enforcing the school’s Student Code of Conduct; scheduling student activities in collaboration with the Assistant Director for Instruction, Assistant Director for Administrative Operations, and the Director; coordinating student transportation; responding quickly to unforeseen disruptive events, mishaps, and conflicts involving students and/or staff that take place outside normal work hours; serving as a member of the school’s Leadership Team; helping promote the school to the general public, Local Education Agencies, and the deaf community; organizing Family Learning Weekend; securing ongoing training for staff; and collaboratively developing goals, interventions, and strategies for the School Improvement Plan.

Minimum Qualifications:
Bachelor’s degree in education, psychology, sociology, or a related field; experience managing programs in a residential setting; and American Sign Language (ASL) basic skills.

Preferred Qualifications:
Preference will be given to applicants who, in addition to meeting the minimum qualifications, possess one or more of the following:
-0 Master’s degree in education, psychology, sociology, or a related field
-1 Georgia educator certification
-2 Three or more years professional, full-time experience managing programs in a residential setting
-3 Experience working with the deaf community and/or in a school for deaf students
-4 Experience successfully managing student behavior and disciplinary issues
-5 Advanced American Sign Language (ASL) skills

Pay grade 17- Annual salary range $43,063.23 (minimum) to $75,523.31 (maximum) depending on current employment and relevant education/training and work experience. Benefit options include life, disability, dental and health insurance, annual/sick leave, and Georgia State Employees Pension and Savings Plan.

Submit an cover letter and a resume* or State of Georgia Application to:

Denise Clark, Personnel Office
Georgia School for the Deaf
232 Perry Farm Road, S. W.
Cave Spring, Georgia 30124
Fax: (706) 777-2240
Internet address:

*Resume/application should include daytime telephone number and prior employment history with addresses and telephone numbers. If a resume is submitted, it must be accompanied by a cover letter.

Consideration/interviews will begin as soon as a list of applicants is established. Applications/resumes will be evaluated and only those meeting the qualifications will be considered. Top candidates will be contacted for interviews. No notification will be sent to applicants except those who are selected for interviews. Due to the large volume of applications received by this office, we are unable to provide information on your application status over the phone.

In accordance with Public Law 99-603, also known as the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, the Department of Education employs only U.S. citizens and lawfully authorized alien workers. All persons hired by the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf are required to verify identity and employment eligibility and will undergo a criminal background investigation.

*Resume/application should include daytime telephone number and prior employment history with addresses and telephone numbers. If a resume is submitted, it must be accompanied by a cover letter.

An Equal Opportunity Employer



POSITION: Technology Teacher


Teach a variety of courses to Deaf students, with technology as the primary focus. Serve as a resource to teachers and students in the area of technology. Serve on Technology Curriculum Committee. Participate in weekly team meetings with other staff members to plan programs, behavior management techniques, and strategies for student success. Follow required NYS curriculum standards and prepare students for required NYS assessment tests. Write and implement student IEPs.

Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Education of the Deaf or computer technology. New York State certification as a teacher or the ability to obtain same. Previous experience working with Deaf students and classroom integration of technology. Advanced Rating on the SCPI.

Harold Mowl, Jr., Superintendent/CEO
Rochester School for the Deaf
1545 St. Paul Street
Rochester, New York 14621

Applications received will be screened and the most highly qualified will be asked to interview.

CLOSING DATE: Open until filled

RSD is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in employment on the basis of non-qualifying disability, race, religion, color, sex, marital status, age, national origin, and veteran status.


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