July 29, 2009
Vol. 5, No. 8

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.

Note: Deafweekly no longer offers original summaries of news articles; instead, these are the actual headlines and portions of selected articles, with links to access the full story. Minor editing is done when necessary.


Las Vegas, NV
Metro Police are asking for the public's help in finding two young men suspected in the shooting death of a deaf man in a park in the northwest Las Vegas Valley early Sunday. Police identified the man who was shot as 38-year-old Kevin Franchow, who used to exercise in the park. Franchow died after emergency medical crews took him to University Medical Center, police said. Franchow was deaf and had the mental capacity of a 10-year-old, police said Monday afternoon. He could not hear any commands of the two men who are suspected of shooting him, police said. / Las Vegas Sun

Sioux Falls, SD
The parents of eight deaf or hearing-impaired children are suing to keep open the state's only school for the deaf, saying closing the school would be illegal despite a sharp decline in enrollment over the past few decades. The federal class-action lawsuit, filed on behalf of the students from South Dakota and Minnesota, argues that closing the South Dakota School for the Deaf would violate a clause in the state constitution that mandates a public school for the deaf be available and runs contrary to an obligation tied to federal education funding for a free education for students with disabilities. / AP

Atlanta, GA
A bankruptcy lawyer is fighting to get control of $1 million that the state's top educator won on a game show and planned to give to schools for deaf and blind students. Georgia Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox had announced she was giving the money she received from her August appearance on Fox's Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? to three public schools for the deaf and blind. But the superintendent and her husband filed for bankruptcy Nov. 17, claiming $3.5 million in debt, and the bankruptcy trustee is demanding the prize money. He says it's part of Cox's personal income. / AP

New Orleans, LA
A woman was killed Saturday night after she was hit by a train. It happened around 7:20 p.m. at the intersection of Taylor Street and Kenner Avenue. Witnesses say they saw 58-year-old Cynthia Tuckson approach the tracks but she did not make it across. "When I turned around I said, 'Charles, the train hit the lady behind us. It probably caught her clothes,'" said Audrey Wilson, who witnessed the crash. Family members told WDSU that Tuckson was deaf and likely never heard the train coming. / WDSU

Mobile, AL
Officers who used pepper spray and a Taser to remove a man from a store bathroom found out only later he was deaf and mentally disabled and didn't understand they wanted him to open the door, police said yesterday. A spokesman for the Mobile Police Department said the officers' actions were justified because the man was armed with a potential weapon -- an umbrella. But relatives of Antonio Love, 37, have asked for a formal investigation and said they plan to sue both the police and the store. / AP

Buffalo, NY
On Wednesday, July 22nd, members of the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Hearing Community stood protest in the Tri-Main office of WNY Deaf Adult Services (or DAS). The reason: Community outrage over the decision to hire an executive director for the agency that directly serves this population who has no experience working with the Deaf or the ability to communicate through American Sign Language (ASL). / Deaf Times

Raleigh, NC
A bill that would have provided a procedure for judges to deal with deaf jurors led to a debate in the House over whether those who cannot hear should sit on a jury. The bill would gurantee an interpreter for hearing-impaired jurors. But some House members questioned whether a such a juror could properly appreciate the nuance of testimony. "This is one example of taking political correctness too far," said Rep. Ronnie Sutton, a Pembroke Democrat. "We can't have quadriplegics running track, nor do we need to have deaf persons serving on juries." / The News & Observer

Philadelphia, PA
A Germantown man pleaded guilty last Wednesday to the early-morning rape in November of a deaf woman on her way to work at a nursing home. Clarence Moore, 24, changed his mind and pleaded guilty after Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas Dempsey denied his attorney's motion to prevent the prosecutor from using a statement he gave to police admitting the crime. / The Philadelphia Inquirer

Shreveport, LA
Representatives of the Louisiana School for the Deaf and the Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired visited Shreveport last Wednesday to talk with parents and to learn what they think of the schools' new initiatives. The biggest change will be moving the Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired onto the Louisiana School for the Deaf campus in Baton Rouge. The move comes as the state slashed the budget for the campuses, Louisiana School for the Deaf by $1.2 million and Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired by $1.7 million. / Shreveport Times

Washington, DC
Ok, so that was embarrassing. During President Obama's prime time news conference, I happily stood up and asked him some questions about health care when he called on me. The only problem was, he didn't call on me. Fact is, he called on Steve Koff of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. I have to confess that I'm hard of hearing, and I thought I heard my name. / Planet Washington


Hot Summer Sale at Harris Communications

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The World Recreation Association of the Deaf (WRAD, Inc) is happy to host the 25th Anniversary Masquerade Ball at Treasure Island In Las Vegas on Wednesday July 21, 2010 from 5pm to 9pm with a buffet dinner and dancing. This is during the DeafNation World Expo from July 18-23, 2010. Cash prizes for the best costumes/masks or both. Early bird tickets including buffet is $58 per person before 9/1/09. Online orders accepted at or mail checks to WRAD, PO Box 3211, Quartz Hill, CA 93586.



Hungary / Slovakia
Slovakia has dismissed protests by neighbouring Hungary over a new language law which would impose fines for using minority languages. The law, due to come into effect on September 1, envisages fines of up to 5,000 euros ($7,096 US) for people who use minority languages in public services. In the European Parliament last week a deaf Hungarian MEP, Adam Kosa, used sign language to protest against the Slovak law. "As I use sign language I am very sensitive to these issues and would like minorities to be able to speak in their own tongue," he said. / BBC News

Toronto, Ont., Canada
For five hours, Brenda Lussier plied the water, buffeted by waves up to two metres high as the storm gathered ahead. Determined to be the first deaf person to swim across Lake Ontario, she ref used to give up, even as the weather deteriorated and her support boats struggled to keep formation around her, said one of her supporters. Finally, 11 kilometres [6.8 miles] into the swim, she had to give up. / Toronto Star

London, England
Bryan Adams opened his Hear the World photography exhibit at the Saatchi Gallery in London last Tuesday night. The exhibit aims to create awareness around the importance of healthy hearing and the impact of hearing loss. / Season Five

Cardiff, South Glamorgan, UK
The South East Wales Deaf Church Association has celebrated its 140th anniversary. Founded in 1869, the association was originally called the Glamorgan and Monmouthshire Missions to the Adult Deaf and Dumb. The association’s first meeting 140 years ago was held at the Bethany Baptist Chapel in St Mary Street, Cardiff, where Howells department store now stands. Members of the congregation celebrated their anniversary in what is now the ladies’ shoe department, where some of the chapel’s original features are part of the shop. / Wales Online

Nassau, Bahamas
The Ministry of Labour and Social Development through the Department of Social Services and Disability Affairs Division signed an agreement with the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas to provide qualified interpreters to use sign language during special programs. The interpreters will begin signing during every newscast on ZNS television Channel 13 in August, Minister of Labour and Social Development the Hon. Dion Foulkes said during a press conference last Tuesday. / The Bahamas Weekly

Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
Overcoming physical impediments, a deaf and mute actor left people astounded with her power-packed performance in a regional film. Living up to her name, 17-year-old actor Abhinaya, displayed courage by giving a power packed performance as the lead actor's sister in 'Nadodikal', a film about friendship. Her performance, perfect timings and lip syncs are too good to believe. / Daily India

Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia
Fifty children with various physical disabilities had a rare opportunity last Tuesday to meet with members of the Bali branch of the Indonesian Commission for the Protection of Children (KPAI) to share their needs and feelings. Ida Okta Pranita Devi suddenly burst into tears when asked about her family. The 12-year-old girl with a hearing disability said she loved living in her house surrounded by her loving parents, brothers and sisters. But because of her hearing disability, she had to live in a boarding school with other disabled children. / The Jakarta Post

Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
The father of a deaf and mute teenage boy lodged a police report last Friday night after learning that his son had been allegedly sodomised by a warden at his boarding school. The 52-year-old father, a labourer from Petra Jaya, told police that he had gone to his 13-year-old son’s school in Kota Samarahan around 7:30 pm to fetch him home for the weekend, and noticed that the boy was not his usual self. The boy, who is a Primary 6 pupil, then related to his elder sister (who understands sign language) what had happened. / My Sarawak

Stapak, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
So, many of you know I am working in Midvell for 4 days. Yea, I know there isn't much to talk about, but I stumble across something real interesting today. I came across ... a deaf couple. Yeah, you heard me right -- a deaf couple. They were married and both of them are deaf. The only source of communication between them is hand signals. Yes, they do read lips, but hand signals works better. They were in the Maybank fair surveying for usable washing machines. / Knockin' From Under My Bed

Hanoi, Vietnam
"My daughter cried and cried when she had to stop going to school after the fifth grade," says Nguyen Hong Trang, mother of a deaf 14-year-old girl in Ha Noi. Like Trang’s daughter, many other hearing-impaired children miss out an opportunity to study due to the lack of qualified higher-education institutes available to fulfil their needs. According to a report by the Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss, 80 per cent of Viet Nam’s 180,000 deaf and hard-of-hearing children have no access to education. Most facilities now can only teach these students up to the fifth grade. / Vietnam News Agency


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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!

Costs for CruisEUs 2009 Workshops
$150 plus your cabin costs.

August 16, 2009 to August 23, 2009
Los Angeles, California / Cruising / Cabo San Lucas, Mexico / Mazatlan, Mexico / Puerto Vallarta, Mexico / Cruising / Cruising / Los Angeles, California




Washington, NJ
Nine-year-old Grace and her mom, Jeanine Gleba, are true trailblazers. They have fought for - and achieved - a landmark New Jersey legislation, aptly named “Grace’s Law,” which mandates all health insurers in the state to provide up to $1,000 coverage for each hearing aid prescribed for children under 15, with the exception of self-funded ones which are protected federally under Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and do not have to follow state mandates. / Healthy Hearing

Dothan, AL
There were 11,000 miles between Bryant Mixon and at least 13 other bikers who wanted to make a difference for children in need. By Sunday, the miles were behind them, and they were starting to unwind the memories. Mixon, a 62-year-old former Dale County Sheriff, was expected to return to Ozark today after his trip to Alaska to raise money through pledges for the SKI-HI Institute, an organization committed to enhancing the lives of children with special needs. / Dothan Eagle

Madison, WI
Roger is a 73-year-old retired pediatrician who opted for a cochlear implant after his hearing aids lost their zing. There are many seniors like him, but doctors often hesitate to refer them for the implants because of the surgery. "There's this perception that the elderly are too frail, they can't undergo anesthesia, because they'll have complications where there's a heart attack or they'll die," says Dr. Anil Lalwani. / WKOW-27 ABC

Paradise, CA
When Eric Millet first started learning sign language in seventh gra de, he had no idea how crucial it would be for him later in life. A car accident nine years ago left him hard of hearing and moving progressively toward deafness. Thankfully, he had been studying American Sign Language for many years and was prepared with a basic understanding of how to communicate without words. Now he is helping to spread the joy of signing by teaching a free ASL class at the Paradise library at 1 p.m. every Tuesday. / Chico ER


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Washington, DC
Karen Borchert and Martin Franklin entered the three-year MBA Evening Program at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University in 2006 with the near-term goal of acquiring skills to help them advance in their current jobs and the long-term goal of starting their own companies. That day arrived sooner than expected in 2008 when their student team won the school’s Business Planning Residency Competition. The team developed a service offering guided museum tours for the hearing impaired using iPods and other personal media devices. / Georgetown University News

Stamford, CT
July 26, 2009 marked the 19th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). New Haven teens Tim Head, Jr. and Fatu Sheriff know first hand the importance of the Americans with Disabilities Act as they are both deaf. These individuals are busy working this summer for the City of New Haven’s Department of Parks, Recreation of Trees, in its tennis program, helping to give tennis lessons and preparing for the Pilot Pen. / Stamford Plus


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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.”



Rochester, NY
A Rochester pair’s intimate documentary about a Calcutta home for deaf or disabled people had its first screening last Wednesday at The Little Theatre. David Justice and Christy Smith spent five weeks last year at Shuktara, a residence for 19 children and young adults. The stay was part of an eight-country tour to explore deaf people’s education, resources and social status in the Far East and Australia. / The Democrat and Chronicle

Olympia, WA
Even when any movie is cranked up at full theater volume, millions of Americans like me require captions to keep up with the plot. With this market of millions, their families and friends, it only makes sense that movie theaters provide lots of options for captioned movies, right? Well, maybe only in the magical world of Harry Potter. Today, the re are 82 screenings listed for Potter throughout all of Thurston County. That’s 574 screenings in a one-week period. How many screenings have captions for those who are deaf or hard of hearing? Zero. / The Olympian


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Sonic Boom Alarm Clock with Bed Shaker On Sale!

Don’t be late for the first day of school. WCI is here to help with this “timely” August special. Purchase either the Sonic Boom Alarm Clock or the Sonic Boom Alarm Clock with the vibrator at 10% off! It has many great features including a built-in receiver to pick up transmissions from other signalers. Call 1-800-233-9130 (V/TTY) or visit us at for more details. (Use code WCID808 to order) For a copy of our NEW catalog, email your request to:

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Greater Rochester Physical Therapy
Life is full of Choices… Choose Well… Choose GRPT

We are pleased to announce access to physical therapy services for the Deaf community! Please help us welcome Gretchen Roman, Licensed Physical Therapist & Certified Sign Language Interpreter

2000 Empire Blvd., Building 2
Webster, NY 14580
(V): 585-671-1030



Davenport, IA
The golf ball sounds the same coming off the club of John Ramirez III as it does those of most professional golfers. The difference is, Ramirez can't hear it. Sporting a mohawk haircut and tattoos up and down both arms, the 29-year-old Ramirez will be a different sort of pro should he succeed in an attempt at PGA Tour qualifying this fall. The fact he is deaf will set him apart as well. / The Quad-City Times

Cincinnati, OH
For four years at the University of Cincinnati, Connor Barwin kept the secret to himself. The Bearcats’ tight end turned defensive end had been born deaf and underwent six or seven surgeries as a child to have a tumor removed from his left ear. He still suffers from 30 percent to 40 percent hearing loss in his left ear. But to Barwin, it was never something that he considered a handicap and therefore saw no reason to tell anyone about it. Until about a month ago, when a Houston Chronicle reporter heard a rumor about it and asked Barwin. Never one to shy away from a question posed by a reporter, Barwin acknowledged that he had been born deaf and told the reporter the story. / Cincinnati Enquirer


Sorenson Video Relay Service® (SVRS®) is an industry leading communication tool for the deaf community provided by Sorenson Communications. Created with high-quality video technology, SVRS brings life into the conversations of our customers as they call family, friends, and business associates at no cost through a professional SVRS sign language interpreter and a cutting-edge videophone. SVRS is provided 24-hours a day, and 365 days a year, connecting the deaf and hard-of-hearing to anyone at their convenience. For more information, visit the SVRS Web site at


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...

It's now time to sign up at
Any questions email

Your Coda - Keith Wann



Las Vegas, NV
DEAFNATION WORLD EXPO -- July 18-23, 2010
The 2010 DeafNation World Conference & Expo is an excellent place to truly bring the Deaf together under one roof. Based in Las Vegas at a 200,000 sq. ft exhibit hall, the World Expo will have many things going on for the Deaf, including exhibits, workshops, performances, sporting activities and activities for the children. There’ll definitely be plenty of opportunities to learn new cultures, make unforgettable memories, and create a network of friends and professionals from all around the world. / DeafNation


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


Customer Care Technician

Reports to: Call Center Director
Department: Cust Care
FLSA Status:
Location: Rocklin

About Purple Communications:

Purple Communications is one of the nation's largest providers of communication services for the deaf, hard of hearing, and speech-disabled communities. As a leading provider of onsite interpreting services, video relay and text relay services, and video remote interpreting, the Company delivers a wide array of options designed to meet the varied communication needs of its customers.

Purple Communications’ vision is to improve the quality of life of its customers by being their premier provider of high quality, innovative communication services that break down communications barriers.

We are experiencing tremendous growth and are looking to add strong expertise to our world-class teams!

Brief summary of duties:
Assist in troubleshooting complex home router issues, working with ISP on some barriers occurring in their network for the home users to use Video Relay Services. Supporting sales engineer with some projects. Do extensive testing with home based routers to duplicate problems in the field to find the best solution
Areas of Responsibility:
· Uses knowledge of H.323, SIP to support home based users and small businesses environment
· Test and evaluates network configurations to eliminate problems and make improvements.
· Assist customers with connectivity issues
· Advise customers on how best to use the products or services provided.
· Use technical skills to demonstrate to potential customers how and why product/services suit the end user’s needs better than competitor’s products
· Using “consultative” style to focus on customer’s/client’s particular environment and show how it best be configured for the products and services
· Help customer solve any problems that arises when the product is installed
· Proficient with all videophone on the market for the deaf
· Support sales engineer with testing and documentations
· Research into patterns of common issues that is being seen out in the field
· Support our outreach representative out in the field
· Installing as needed where an outreach installer may not be available
· Provide top level technical support for all inbound callers
· Resolve complex network, router and firewall support
· Keep abreast of current video and technology trends

Minimum Qualification Requirements:
· Knowledge and ability to use American Sign Language (ASL) and Knowledge of Internet Video technology is a must
· Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology or equivalent experience
· Ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot majority of home based routers.
· Working knowledge of appropriate network technology and network applications such as TCP/IP
· At least 1 year related experience with customer care
· Customer facing communication skills
· Must be willing to work at nights and weekends.
· Knowledge of PC and MAC platforms
· Industry knowledge of firewalls, routers, switches
· 1 year of technical troubleshooting experience with emphasis on customer satisfaction
· Video conferencing technical knowledge ( h.323, SIP, h.264 )
· A+ Certification a plus
· Excellent presentation skills
· Excellent writing and grammar skills

Physical Requirements: 
Employees may experience the following physical demands for extended periods of time: 
· Sitting, standing and walking (95-100%)
· Keyboarding (60-80%)
· Viewing computer monitor, videophone, and pager requiring close vision (60-80%)

Work Environment: 
Work is performed in a customer care environment. Some travel to company, customer and vendor sites, including some that are out of state may be required.

To Apply: submit resume to or email to in the Recruiting Dept

The above information on this description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification.  It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of employees to this job.  Employees are expected to follow their supervisor’s instructions and to perform the tasks requested by their supervisors.

Purple Communications is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Principals only please.


Billing/Collections Clerk
(Temp to Hire)

Reports to: Manager of Accounts Receivable
Department: Shared Services
FLSA Status: Non exempt
Location: Rocklin, CA

Purple Communications is one of the nation's largest providers of communication services for the deaf, hard of hearing, and speech-disabled communities. As a leading provider of onsite interpreting services, video relay and text relay services, and video remote interpreting, the Company delivers a wide array of options designed to meet the varied communication needs of its customers. Purple Communications’ vision is to improve the quality of life of its customers by being their premier provider of high quality, innovative communication services that break down communications barriers.

Brief summary of duties:
The Billing/Collections Clerk is responsible for compiling information to ensure accurate payment of invoices, contacting clients for payment status and to resolve any issues, and entering data into computer system

Primary Responsibilities:
Contact customers/vendors regarding overdue accounts
Follow set collection procedures, as established by Company
Enter data in computer system
Monitor and maintain good customer relationships with internal and external customers
Escalate billing issues to manager when appropriate
Provide management with collection status on various accounts
Assist with various administrative duties as assigned, including scanning of document and filing

Minimum Qualification Requirements:
To be successful in this fast-paced environment, all applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent, along with computer proficiency, good communication, organizational, and multi-tasking skills. Must be a team player and be able to work in a corporate environment. Must be able to learn computer software necessary to accomplish the administrative tasks required in this position

*** Knowledge of American Sign Language and Deaf Culture, preferred ***

Physical Requirements:  
Employees may experience the following physical demands for extended periods of time:
Sitting, standing and walking (95-100%)
Keyboarding (40-60%)
Viewing computer monitor, and/or videophone, and/or pager requiring close vision (40-60%)

Work Environment: 
Work is performed in a business office environment. Some travel to company, customer and vendor sites, including some that are out of state may be required.

The above information on this description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification.  It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of employees to this job.  Employees are expected to follow their supervisor’s instructions and to perform the tasks requested by their supervisors.
Please submit your resume to: or directly to in the Recruiting Dept.
Purple Communications is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Principals only please


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