June 1, 2005
Vol. 1 No. 33

Editor: Tom Willard

Deafweekly is an independent news report for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. It is mailed to subscribers every Wednesday morning and available to read at For information, contact

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Two Mexican men have been extradited to the United States to face charges that include alien smuggling and conspiracy. They are among 20 people who were charged with forcing deaf immigrants to work as beggars in New York City, a situation that came to light in 1997 when nearly 60 immigrants were found living in two crowded boarding houses in Queens. Renato Paoletti-Lemus and his father, Jose Paoletti-Moreda were expected to arrive at Kennedy Airport last Tuesday and be arraigned the next day, Newsday reported. They were arrested in Mexico in 1997 and convicted on charges there, and having completed their sentences they will now face a federal indictment filed in Brooklyn eight years ago. All of the other 18 defendants were convicted, mostly by guilty pleas, and given prison sentences ranging from one year to 15-1/2 years.


About 300 people marched for two hours in the rain last Wednesday outside the State House in Trenton, N.J., to protest the state's plans to sell land at the Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf in Ewing. State Treasurer John McCormac wants to sell 25 acres of the 117-acre campus, or 22 percent of the property, reported The Times. McCormac called the land "a small, unusued, wooded piece of the property" and said proceeds from the sale would be used to finance school renovations. But Sharon DeVito, president of the Katzenbach Parent and Staff Education Foundation, said parents don't trust state officials. "We are told one thing one day, something else another day," she said. "We don't believe for one minute that the $14 million McCormac hopes to get from the sale will go back to fixing our buildings."


Three TV stations in the Washington, D.C. area have been fined by the Federal Communications Commission for violating FCC regulations during a thunderstorm and tornado watch on May 25, 2004. All three provided information on taking shelter and staying safe, but did not caption the reports or provide other visual information for deaf viewers. Two stations face fines of $16,000 and one $8,000, and they have 30 days to appeal. The fines resulted from complaints filed by the Northern Virginia Resource Center. According to NVRC Executive Director Cheryl Heppner, this is only the second time the FCC has acted on complaints about the lack of visual information in emergencies. The FCC action is encouraging, said Heppner, because it comes shortly after Kevin Martin became the new FCC chair. "It indicates that he is supportive of work being done by the FCC's Disability Rights Office and recognizes how important it is for us to have information in emergencies," she said.


The North Shore-Long Island Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. celebrated the opening last week of its new Apelian Cochlear Implant Center. According to the New York Daily News, the $4 million, 7,000-square-foot center is named for Queens, N.Y. philanthropists Nishan and Elizabeth Apelian and is equipped with therapy and treatment suites to assist patients with cochlear implants. The center is the first in Nassau County and Queens to offer cochlear implant surgery and therapy; previously, patients had to travel to Manhattan for such procedures. The hospital has performed about 50 cochlear implant surgeries, which can cost as much as $25,000 per ear, and expects to perform at least two implant surgeries every month.


A deaf German citizen was mugged in a Port Angeles, Wash. park Saturday and lost all his money, IDs and credit cards. Wolfjunge Wolfburger, 29, was passing through town on a road trip after graduating from Florida State University with a degree in forensics. He was on his way to Bellingham to catch a ferry to Alaska, where he plans to visit his father, also deaf, in Fairbanks. He stopped at Erickson Park to stretch his legs, reported the Peninsula Daily News, when two assailants assaulted him and stole his wallet with $300 inside. When he resisted, one of the assailants punched him and sent him into an asthma attack from the stress. Wolfburger was housed at a local hostel Saturday night while he tried to contact his father for assistance.


The Herald-Mail of Hagerstown, Md. reported yesterday on the rescue of a deaf man during a fire in an apartment next door, despite a misunderstanding. Neighbors forced their way in after seeing smoke coming from the building and woke up the unidentified man at about 5 a.m. Monday. "He thought he was being robbed," Hagerstown Fire Department Capt. Justin Mayhue said. "The guy resists, so they got him in a bear hug and brought him outside." The building contains two apartments, and no one was in the other side where the fire started. The cause is still under investigation. Mayhue said at least two deaf adults and two hearing children were in the adjacent apartment along with one adult who can hear. In addition, four cats were rescued: "I've got some wounds to prove it," Mayhue said.


The Brooklyn Manor adult home was taken over May 23 by New York State officials, who said residents of the 216-bed home in East New York were in imminent danger because of abuses by management. According to the New York Times, the move came less than a month after a fire left one resident dead and raised concern about the home's safety and management. During the fire, a deaf man was left alone in his room and given no warning, while staff members fled the building before many of the residents got out. "It is unimaginable to think what would have happened has this fire occurred during the night instead of during a daytime meal when most residents were on the main floor," said Dr. Antonia Novello, the state health commissioner.


Three students from the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf visited the Maine House of Representatives in Augusta Thursday to perform "The Star Spangled Banner" in American Sign Language. According to WLBZ-TV, representatives and guests responded to the students' rendition by applauding in sign language. The State House appearance by the students -- Kim Marr, Ashley Gorton and Clayton Marr -- took place as a bill to change the name of the Falmouth school continues its way toward passage. The bill would provide the school with an expanded name to better reflect the range of its programs: Maine Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf.


In a letter to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, James Thomas of Allison Park, Pa. wrote of a garage sale that he and his wife organized to raise funds for a legal battle with local school district officials. Thomas wrote that officials have "turned a deaf ear" on the couple's pleas that their deaf child be allowed to remain in his institute for the hearing impaired rather than be mainstreamed into a regular school. A sign explained the purpose of the sale, but the only people to acknowledge the family's plight were a senior citizen and his wife. An hour later, the elderly man returned with a van full of garage sale items -- "the first of three van loads he insisted I take and sell on behalf of my son," Thomas wrote. Overwhelmed by the man's generosity, he asked, "Why?" The man recalled when he was a boy during the Depression, a Salvation Army volunteer brought a large basket of food to his home. "I will never forget that," said the man, "and I am grateful to this day."


Hundreds of Solano College graduates and family members erupted in silent applause last Wednesday when deaf graduate Annemarie Villar gave the commencement speech in sign language. Villar was among 881 students in the largest graduating class at the Vacaville, Calif. school, and an interpreter was on hand to voice her remarks. "I was scared out of my mind when I first came to Solano College," she said. "The people I have met here helped me search for the person I was and helped me become the person I am today." She then asked the crowd to applaud the school's faculty in sign language, reported the Vallejo Times-Herald, and "almost every hand in the building shot up, shaking slightly in soundless applause."


VSA arts of Massachusetts / Show Of Hands Theatre Company proudly announce a Call for a Show Production for A SHOW OF HANDS: A CELEBRATION OF DEAF THEATRE on Nov 17-19 2005 in Boston, Ma. Join our festival and be part of the 3-day event! Please email to request a copy of Call for Show Production application.


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The badly decomposed body of a deaf and mute girl from Soweto, South Africa who went missing May 6 -- two days before her sixth birthday --was discovered Thursday in a densely vegetated area not far from her home. Xolisiwa Makhubu was described as a happy-go-lucky child who got along well with other children despite her disability. Detectives were combing the area for clues, reported The Star, and news of her death spread like wildfire through the community. An autopsy was planned to determine the cause of death. Xolisiwa's grandfather said the family was traumatized and had not yet come to terms with her murder. A neighbor added, "She was a beautiful child and did not deserve to die like this."


An American family has opened a coffee shop in Vietnam to improve the lives of local poor people, especially the hearing impaired, reported Thanh Nien of Ho Chi Minh City last week. Bob and Kathleen Huff have lived in Danang for seven years, and their recently opened Bread of Life cafe employs young deaf workers who sell Italian coffee and Western-style pies. The couple's eldest son, Jacob, came to Vietnam from the U.S. to help his parents with the project and is now the shop manager. Younger son Alex, known locally as Minh, can speak Vietnamese fluently and works as an interpreter and waiter. The Huffs plan to use profits to teach sign language and vocational skills to underprivileged people. Said Kathleen Huff of one 18-year-old worker who learned to make pies in the shop after quitting school six years ago: "It has changed her life completely."


The Hohoe School for the Deaf and Mentally Challenged in Ghana plans to publish in local newspapers the names of parents and guardians who abandon their children at the school. Headmaster Cudjoe Dzotepeh told the Ghana News that some parents refuse to take custody of their children when the school is not in session. Holidays are meant to refresh the pupils and reunite them with their families, he said. When parents don't pick up their children it is considered abandonment and an infringement on the children's rights. About 250 students ages 4 to 21 attend the school, and seven were left behind during a recent holiday. "Does that mean they are unwanted?" said Dzotepeh. He urged parents not to rule out the worth of their deaf children, and said with proper training they will be able to "contribute their quota to national development."


The first in a series of fire safety advertisements targeting Northern Ireland's deaf community was televised recently. The signed and captioned advertisement emphasizes the importance of having a fire escape plan and making sure everyone in the home knows it, the Belfast Telegraph reported. The campaign is part of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service's outreach program, which targets "at risk" populations such as very young children, the elderly and non-English-speaking groups.


More than 220,000 deaf children in China have been trained to talk, the Xinhua News agency reported Sunday, and almost 40,000 of them are now enrolled in regular schools. The children gained the ability to speak through an unspecified "special aid activity" launched by the China Disabled Persons' Federation. China has more than 20 million citizens with hearing or speaking disabilities, representing the largest group of disabled people in the country, and 800,000 are under age 7. China has more than 1,700 training centers for deaf children, which have trained over 10,000 specialists and more than 100,000 patients.


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Lifelinks Sign Language Services announced Friday that it is developing a series of videos to help educate the deaf community on medical matters. Topics will include How to Stop Smoking, CPR, First Aid, Signs of a Heart Attack, Modern Approaches to Hypertension and Diabetes Management. The lectures will be taught by physicians affiliated with New York Medical College and will be provided in sign language. LifeLinks intends to add captioning, and each video will be made available free through the Club Deaf Society website ( LifeLinks will also produce videos for the hearing community to enhance sensitivity of issues facing deaf people in hospitals, courtrooms and schools. The company also plans to provide counseling, job placement and educational services, and a national cable TV channel for deaf persons is on the drawing board. For more information, visit


Two sign-language interpreters were brought in for the first time at the weekly swing dance event in Herndon, Va. Instructors Gary and Sue Caley arranged the interpreters to make the program accessible for deaf participants, reported the Times Community of Fairfax, Va. "Sue and Gary are great; just very welcoming to the deaf community," said Beth Dukes, a deaf graduate student at Gallaudet University who was able to go out dancing with her hearing husband for the first time. Shara Carter, an avid swing dancer who interpreted along with Maureen Ritter, said she was happy to help out. "I have a lot of respect for deaf people who come out and try any kind of dance," she said. "It's a hearing person's thing."


The Alabama Institute for the Deaf and the Blind Foundation is about $175,000 richer after a fundraiser held April 29 at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, Ala. AIDB teamed up with the Talladega Superspeedway for Race Fever 2005, an annual barbecue dinner that raises funds from ticket sales and auctions of racing memorabilia and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. According to the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, more than 25 racing stars attended this year's event. Race Fever was first held in 1986, with $12,000 raised, and over the years the fundraiser has taken in more than a million dollars for the AIDB Foundation. Plans are already underway for Race Fever 2006, and you can learn more at


Doctors said Campbell "Cami" Elizabeth Garland would never go to a regular school when she was born 19 years ago with a profound hearing loss, but she has proven them wrong. Garland graduated last Thursday with a 4.0 grade point average from the St. Joseph Academy in Frontenac, Mo., a private Roman Catholic school where she was the only deaf student in a class of 630 girls. Garland has been accepted at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., and plans to study archaeology and history. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Garland's parents moved from Baton Rouge, La. to St. Louis when she was 4 so she could attend the St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf. At the time, she spoke no words, threw tantrums and screamed when she needed to communicate. But by third grade she was ready to transfer to a regular school, and after getting a cochlear implant in sixth grade, she graduated two years later at the top of her class. Stephanie Garland, her mother, said with her daughter's graduation and acceptance to Yale, "all I do is cry. I'm so proud of her."


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A new generation of cochlear implants was unveiled Thursday by Australian hearing implant pioneer Cochlear. Called the Nucleus Freedom implant, it took seven years and $76 million (US) to develop and features four tiny computers that can separate important sounds from background noise, reported the U.K. news service AFB. The new system represents a "quantum leap forward in terms of sophistication and design," said Cochlear's chief scientist, Jim Patrick, and "will revolutionize the lives of the hearing impaired." Designed for people born deaf or with moderate-to-profound hearing loss, the Nucleus Freedom device mimics natural hearing by using "SmartSound" technologies to soften distracting sounds in crowds and to automatically adjust sound levels to improve comfort in noisy environments.


Two students from Penn State Harrisburg captured third place and a $1,000 prize for a device to assist people with hearing loss. The "Hearing Assistive Device," developed by Marta Lee Kimmel and Jonathan C. Shultz, won recognition in the fifth annual design contest held by Rochester Institute of Technology's Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Student Branch. According to Penn State Live, the device uses a digital signal processing board connected to a laptop computer that allows audio to be streamed in, amplified, compressed and the frequencies shifted as needed to bring the entire hearing spectrum into the range of a specific individual. As the transformed audio plays through speakers or headphones, voice recognition software uses the same signal to create a text document that can be saved for future reference.


The National Association of the Deaf has established an ad hoc committee on American Sign Language and Deaf Studies. The purpose of the committee is to update and strengthen a 1993 position statement on ASL and Bilingual Education, and to review and update other NAD materials on this subject. Petra Horn, a bilingual specialist at the Kansas School for the Deaf and former researcher at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, has been appointed to chair the committee. "Petra is well qualified and I am confident that with her leadership, the committee will accomplish its goals," said Andrew Lange, NAD president. Other committee members are Byron Bridges, Lawrence Fleischer, Barbara Kannapell, Eddy Laird, Ella Mae Lentz, Stephen Nover and Laurene Simms.


The Billings (Mont.) Gazette reported Sunday on Todd Loughrie and his Big Sky Captions and Subtitles, a company that provides captioning for films, commercials, TV shows and training videos. Loughrie, 39, began to learn the captioning trade eight years ago in Los Angeles, where he worked for the largest editing company in California. Last year his son Wyatt, 5, was diagnosed with autism, and Loughrie felt the need to leave Los Angeles for his son's sake. He arranged with his employer to work from home in Montana, but last December the company scaled back and Loughrie was laid off. "I decided to use my years of experience and knowledge to create my own business," he said. He acquired the necessary equipment and bought a $14,000 software program that lets him break down a film frame by frame. He says his job is "very mentally draining," and notes, "It is not sitting on a couch with a bag of popcorn. It is real work, and there is an art to it."


Sorenson Communications announced last week the opening of new video relay interpreting centers in six cities: Boston, Dallas, Milwaukee, New York, Philadelphia and Charlotte, N.C. "We are experiencing a rapid rise in the number of users," said Sorenson CEO James Lee Sorenson, "and we are increasing the number of video relay service centers and interpreters to meet the demand." Chris Wakeland, vice president of interpreting, said the new centers will bring employment opportunities to local economies and help avoid wait-time for users. "We chose these six major urban areas for interpreting centers because they each have large populations of certified ASL interpreters available and excellent local interpreter training programs," said Wakeland.


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A Disability Rights Concert is scheduled for June 21 at the Music Center at Strathmore outside Washington, D.C. The concert is a fundraiser for ADA Watch and the National Coalition for Disability Rights, and will recognize the 15th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Three-time Grammy Award winner Bruce Hornsby will headline the event, and special guests include Sweet Honey in the Rock, an African-American female a cappella ensemble that interprets its socially conscious songs in American Sign Language. In addition, photojournalist Tom Olin will present a photographic history titled "Images of the Disability Rights Struggle." For tickets, call 301-581-5100 or go to To attend a special reception with the artists, call 202-661-4722 or visit


Bestselling fiction author Connie Briscoe has had her hearing restored through cochlear implant surgery. Briscoe, author of five novels including "Sisters and Lovers" and "Big Girls Don't Cry," was born with a mild hearing loss and became profoundly deaf within months at age 30. She had surgery two years ago at The Listening Center at Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center, and most of her hearing has been restored. For the first time in 20 years, she is able to use the telephone, go to the movies and listen to music. "In some ways it feels like I've been sleeping for the past 20 years and suddenly woke up," she said. Her latest book, "Can't Get Enough," was published last month, with the Boston Globe calling it "a black Desperate Housewives." Briscoe is now touring the country to promote the book, and for the first time she is traveling without a sign-language interpreter.


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Ruth Anna Spooner, a graduate of Twin Falls (Idaho) High and the Idaho School for the Deaf, received honors recently from the All-Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Association. Spooner, 19, pitches for the Calvin College softball team and, according to the Times-News of Twin Falls, was superb on the mound despite missing time because of an injury. She went 2-1 with two saves and a 0.74 earned run average in league play, and in MIAA games she struck out 31 batters and walked just 11 while opponents batted just .176 against her. In the Division III MIAA tournament, she did not allow a run in 16 innings, going 2-0 with 13 strikeouts and only two walks. Overall, she finished the season 8-1 with a team-leading 0.52 earned run average. She struck out 70 batters in 67.1 innings and walked 25. Two of her victories were shutouts.


Jeff Mansfield, a hearing-impaired architecture major at Princeton University, has been selected Disabled Athlete of the Year by USA Hockey in Colorado Springs, Colo. A goalie from Arlington, Mass., Mansfield played in three games for the Tigers during his recently completed freshman year. He has been a member of the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association for the past 11 years, and also teaches at the Stan Mikita Hockey School and serves as a volunteer coach in the Arlington area. Prior to entering college, Mansfield played in 2003-04 for the New York Apple Core in the Eastern Junior Hockey League, appearing in 35 games and compiling a 2.23 goals-against average with six shutouts. Mansfield attended the Learning Center for Deaf Children in Framingham, Mass., where he graduated as class valedictorian.


A basketball camp for deaf and hard-of-hearing players is planned for July 26-30 at Valparaiso University in Indiana. It's being organized by Milo Johnson, who was inspired by his deaf brother Matthew, and dedicated to Craig Boshart, who died in a car accident July 21, 2004. Johnson was one of the first on the scene after Boshart's car hydroplaned into oncoming traffic during a rainstorm, and he performed CPR before being relieved by medical personnel. He later found out that Boshart had died, and he contacted the victim's family to express his condolences. He happened to mention his dream of organizing a basketball camp, but said he was probably going to give up because he didn't have the necessary business skills. Boshart's mother, Debbie, and her sister, Jackie Hill, "would have none of that," reported the Northwest Indiana Times. The two sisters put their business expertise to work, helping Johnson with the paperwork and procedures to set up the camp as a non-profit endeavor. As a result, the first Swish Summer Basketball Camp for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is set to go for the last week in July. For more information, go to


Position Announcement: CEO

DCARA is seeking a strong and dynamic Chief Executive Officer to lead the agency and to build on over 40 years of continuous growth and evolution of the agency. The CEO will report directly to the Board of Directors and will be responsible for all aspects of the agency's operations, programs, finances, and personnel. DCARA is a non-profit, community-based social service agency serving the Deaf community in the San Francisco Bay Area.

SALARY: Starting at $75,000; with excellent benefits

For more information, visit or email Deadline for application: Wednesday, June 15, 2005.


Marketing Communications Director
PC# 13
College of Advancement


The Director of Marketing Communications at Rochester Institute of Technology's (RIT) National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) works strategically and collaboratively to lead and manage all department staff and projects. The Director is actively involved in the creative process, providing leadership to plan and develop, as well as produce, deploy, and evaluate, effective print, electronic, and interactive marketing communications designed specifically for NTID and its programs and services for students at RIT who are deaf and hard of hearing. The Director ensures that marketing communications for NTID builds positive relationships among individuals and groups in targeted audiences to attract prospective students, develop employment opportunities for students and graduates, and encourage financial support to NTID, while broadening national awareness of, and a positive, lasting appreciation for RIT and NTID.

Major Responsibilities:

· Provide leadership to the development, execution, and evaluation of innovative marketing strategies designed to recruit prospective students, interest prospective employers and increase the support of prospective donors to NTID.
· Work collaboratively with key leaders in the College of NTID and the Advancement cluster to facilitate the accomplishment of critical institutional objectives in recruitment, placement, development and government relations.
· Work collaboratively with key leaders in the college of NTID and the University of RIT to enhance NTID's Web-based marketing efforts.
· Work with key leaders within the College of NTID and the University of RIT to develop, execute and evaluate a strategic media relations plan in support of key institutional priorities in recruitment, placement, development and government relations.
· Provide leadership to the design, execution, and evaluation of advertising, exhibiting, product dissemination, publications and communications functions of the department.
· Work collaboratively with RIT University News Services and University Publications to design, implement, and evaluate a strategic plan for institutional visibility both externally and internally.
· Lead strategic marketing communication planning effort for College Advancement and other key departments.


· Two printed issues of the feature magazine NTID FOCUS, including a variety of 2-3 page feature articles, student and alumni profiles, faculty and staff profiles, columns by NTID leaders, as well as photographs and graphics depicting the people, places and events of NTID;
· NTID Web site and advertising landing pages;
· Coordination of exhibiting opportunities and exhibit equipment platforms;
· Various printed and electronic newsletters ranging from two to four times a year;
· Student recruitment, fund-raising/development and student/graduate employment print and electronic publications and communications;
· Database-driven email and direct mail campaigns;
· NTID Annual Report
· General NTID correspondence via email and letters;
· Consultation on formal and informal addresses given by NTID leadership;
· Various text- and video-based communications and media, including, but not limited to online chat, streaming video content, and CD/DVD/VT and satellite TV programming.

These marketing communications efforts reach and endeavor to build positive relationships among prospective deaf and hard of hearing students and their parents, teachers, counselors, and other school personnel. These efforts support NTID's recruitment goal of 370 new students each year, placement goal of 92% of graduates in jobs related to their studies, and ongoing fundraising for scholarships and technology at the college.



· MA/MS degree required in Marketing, Communications, Journalism or related field.
· Significant experience (7-10 years) in marketing, advancement, communications or public relations required.
· Demonstrated success in developing and implementing marketing strategies required.
· Knowledge of American Sign Language or willingness to learn required.
· Ability to provide strategic leadership to the Marketing Communications department required.
· Ability to work collaboratively with key NTID leaders and Advancement cluster leaders to facilitate the accomplishment of institutional priorities required.


· Significant experience in Higher Education marketing preferred.
· Experience in leading web-based marketing efforts preferred.
· Ability to contribute in meaningful ways to the college's commitment to cultural diversity, pluralism, and individual differences strongly preferred.

The hiring process for this position requires a criminal background check and/or motor vehicle records check. Any verbal or written offer made is contingent on satisfactory results, as determined by Human Resources.

Additional Information:

Internals only: No
Entry: $64,500
Market Rate: $76,300
Full Time
Date opened: MAY 13 2005
Status: Open

Apply Now!


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