August 11, 2010
Vol. 6, No. 41
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 2010 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:
DEAFNATION WORLD EXPO IN LAS VEGAS A SMASHING SUCCESS / DeafNation
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INTERPRETERS FOR THE DEAF OUT OF JOBS
Thirty-five employees of a company providing video interpretation services for deaf and partially deaf people placing telephone calls were laid off when Sorenson Communications shut down its Concord office last week. The office was closed Wednesday by the Salt Lake City-based corporation as part of nationwide layoffs and cost-cutting prompted by a reduction in payments the firm receives from the Federal Communications Commission, a senior company official said. / Concord Monitor
See Also SORENSON COMMUNICATIONS LAYOFFS EMPLOYEES AFTER FCC CHANGE VRS TIERED RATE / MyVRS Relay Central Blog
Los Angeles, CA
GRIEF THREATENS TO TOPPLE A FAMILY'S SILENT WORLD
They stood on the South-Central pavement, filled with confusion and terror. On the ground in front of them they saw their brother, Eddy Hernandez, killed by a single gunshot. Eddy Hernandez, 30, and four of his five siblings were born deaf or hard of hearing. His brothers and sisters who gathered on the 3700 block of Main Street could only gaze as his body was examined and carried into the January night. / Los Angeles Times
New York, NY
ELDERLY DEAF WOMAN, 92, DIES FROM INJURIES IN CHELSEA BLAZE
An elderly deaf woman critically injured in a two-alarm blaze Monday night in Chelsea has died, police officials said. Neighbors identified the woman as Catherine Voultepsis, 92, a Greek immigrant who baked cookies for fellow tenants. "She was a really nice old lady," the building's super Namko Tahirovic, 40, said of the woman who had lived there more than 40 years. "She was amazing." / NY Daily News
SUSPECT WHO CAN'T HEAR, SPEAK ON TRIAL FOR AKRON RAPES, MURDER
Defense attorneys continued to argue that their client who can not hear or speak is not mentally fit to stand trial for rape and murder after more than six years of sign-language training. Experts who have evaluated defendant Jerron Johnson, however, say the Akron man appears to be feigning his communication problems in order to avoid trial, Common Pleas Judge Thomas Teodosio said yesterday. / Akron Beacon Journal
CT STUDENT TEACHER ADMITS TO SEX WITH SYRACUSE TEEN
A 30-year-old student teacher from a Connecticut school for the deaf admits traveling to central New York for sex with an underage girl he met in an online chat room. Micah Brown pleaded guilty Monday in Onondaga County Court to a felony count of third-degree criminal sexual act in exchange for a promised sentence of one to three years in prison. Brown also agreed to plead guilty to a federal charge carrying a sentence of at least 10 years. / WRGB
MAN ACCUSED OF ASSAULTING DEAF WOMAN ON TRAIN
A Worcester man accused of assaulting a deaf woman on an MBTA commuter train in Natick last Wednesday pleaded not guilty at his Framingham District Court arraignment Thursday. Ramzi Rezgui, 28, was arrested at 3:30 p.m. after the disturbance on the train, police said. He was ordered held on $5,000 bail and is due back in court on Aug. 30. Rezgui was charged with assault and battery on a disabled person and disturbing the peace. The victim, a 24-year-old Natick woman who is deaf, was not injured. / WCVB
DEAF WOMAN PUSHED BY MAN WHILE NAPPING NEAR CHESTNUT STREET
Paramedics were called to the Elyria police station when a 21-year-old deaf woman from Lorain arrived bleeding from the leg around 8:39 p.m. last Wednesday, according to an Elyria police report. A man in the lobby was able to translate to officers that the woman was taking a nap behind 15 Chestnut St., when she was approached by a homeless man. / Morning Journal
Glen Ellyn, IL
STATE'S ONLY DEAF-BLIND SCHOOL MIGHT CLOSE DUE TO BUDGET WOES
The state’s only educational facility for children who are both deaf and blind, the Philip J. Rock Center and School in Glen Ellyn, might be closing its doors in the coming months due to a budget crunch caused by $1 billion it is owed by the state. After receiving payment last week for a fraction of the state’s outstanding debt, the center and school will be able to keep their doors open for another month to six weeks, Chief Administrator Peggy Whitlow said. / Glen Ellyn News
Sioux Falls, SD
NEW SUPERINTENDENT, NEW DIRECTION AT DEAF SCHOOL
The South Dakota School for the Deaf has seen a lot of changes: declining enrollment, programs moved off-campus and now a new administrator. Marje Kaiser is already the superintendent for the School for the Visually Impaired in Aberdeen and has high hopes for both facilities. The School for the Deaf used to house an average of 100 students. But now, the building sits mostly empty. / KELOLAND
STATE ED BOARD CHAIRMAN OBJECTS TO DEAF/BLIND SCHOOL TAKEOVER
Legislators were unhappy with the academic performance of deaf and blind students attending schools run by the state Department of Health and Human Services, so they transferred control of those schools to the state Department of Public Instruction. But State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison wants to give back the schools to the DHHS because he does not think the DPI has the resources or experience to run the three special schools. / News Observer
SALEM HOSPITAL TO BUY FORMER OREGON SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND
Salem Hospital might soon purchase the property that housed the Oregon School for the Blind for $6 million as soon as October. The hospital has a 60-day period to investigate the 8.37-acre property. Gov. Ted Kulongoski signed a bill in March that divides net proceeds from the sale equally between a fund for the blind and the School for the Deaf. / Statesman Journal
GEORGIA WOMAN RECEIVES HIGH PRESIDENTIAL HONOR
Last Wednesday, for all her work for deaf children, Kimberly McGuiness was awarded the nation's second-highest civilian honor. With McGuiness' daughter Julia, now 21, watching, President Barack Obama presented her and 12 other Americans with the Presidential Citizens Medal, putting a little-known mother from Cave Spring in the company of past winners such as Hank Aaron, Muhammad Ali, Elizabeth Taylor and the late Sen. Strom Thurmond. / The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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DEAF DRIVERS GET NOD
The cries of the local hearing-impaired community have not fallen on deaf ears as recent amendments to the Road Traffic Act now allow them to apply for driver's licences. The amendments, gazetted on June 11, 2010, saw the removal of a clause requiring hearing-challenged drivers to install a device to alert them of external vehicular sounds via a flashing light in the car. / Jamaica Gleaner
POLICE APPEAL OVER MISSING DEAF MAN FROM BRIDLINGTON
Police are appealing for information about a deaf man from Bridlington who has gone missing. The man, believed to be 57 years old, was reported missing after walking out of Bridlington and District Hospital at 10am on June 18. Before leaving the hospital, the man gave his details as John Lewis, date of birth May 20, 1953, residing at King Street in Bridlington. Police are concerned for his safety and would like to know his whereabouts. / Hull Daily Mail
'IPOD OBLIVION' BLAMED FOR 17 ACCIDENTS A DAY
Digital music players were blamed for up to 17 accidents every day in Britain as motoring groups warned road users are driving themselves towards 'iPod oblivion'. Pedestrians and joggers as well as car drivers and cyclists are all at risk of falling into a zombie-like state while plugged into modern technology, said the AA. / Daily Mail
Edmonton, AB, Canada
HEARING MUSIC IN HIS OWN WAY
Yanik Duvoid has been volunteering at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival since he was a teenager. Back then, the music didn't sound quite so full to Duvoid, who has been deaf since birth. He can't hear anything without hearing aids, which bring only a small range of notes to his ears. Up until he got a cochlear implant six years ago, high-frequency notes would never register. But even though the music can be muddy and he still can't make out lyrics, Duvoid has not missed a chance to volunteer at the festival in 12 years. / Edmonton Journal
New Delhi, India
PRIYANKA WON'T CHOP HER MANE
Priyanka Chopra has put her foot down. After colouring her hair red for Love Story 2050, Piggy Chops has refused to experiment with her looks for Anurag Basu's Silence. Buzz is that Basu had asked Priyanka to snip her locks for the film but the actress blatantly refused. Basu felt that Priyanka, was supposed to play a deaf and dumb girl, would essay the role more convincingly if she sported a short crop but the actress refused. / Hindustan Times
DEAF AND DUMB BOY CAUGHT UP IN ASSAULT AND ROBBERY ON PATTAYA BEACH
A 15 year old deaf and dumb boy was caught up in an assault and robbery on Monday night. A Pattaya Police Volunteer was driving past Soi Yamato on Pattaya Beach when he saw a scuffle involving the boy and the alleged attacker, Khun Mondree aged 26 who was attempting to steal the boy’s wallet and mobile phone. / Pattaya One News
Akropong Akuapem, Ghana
DEAF TRAIN MEMBERS IN HAIRDRESSING
The Women's Hairdressing Wing (WHW) of the Ghana National Association of the Deaf has undertaken a 12-day training program for 22 selected women of the association in hairdressing at Akropong Akuapem in the Eastern Region. The training program was funded by the African Women Development Fund. Participants, whose ages ranged from 22 to 35 years, were selected from all the ten regions of Ghana, and the resource persons were professional hairdressers. / allAfrica.com
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NATIONAL EMPLOYMENT SURVEY NEEDS YOUR HELP!
Hello, many of you have responded to my previous advertisements for the National DETS survey, but the study needs more responses to be useful to both deaf and hard of hearing communities. Allow me to explain.
My name is James Schiller and I am a faculty member at Gallaudet University, Department of Social Work, and a Doctoral candidate at Walden University, School of Health and Human Services. This study is the basis for my Dissertation in Social Policy and Planning.
If you are deaf or hard of hearing, and currently employed, I invite you to take part in research examining how technology is associated with the employment of deaf and hard of hearing people. The purpose of this research is to equip social policy makers, programs, educators, and funding sources with current data so they can continue providing valued resources to deaf and hard of hearing communities. A link will take you to the web survey at the end of this message,.
Risks and Benefits of participating in the Study: The survey is confidential and anonymous. There may be some questions that are uncomfortable to answer. Participants are free to skip those questions or exit the study at any time. The potential benefit of participating in this study is updating the body of knowledge about deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States.
Compensation: While some organizations have agreed to advertise this study, all funding supporting the study is my own. This study relies on volunteers to submit the survey. There is no compensation for participating in this study. This study is approved by Walden University and Gallaudet University IRB committees.
I am the principal investigator for this study If you have any questions regarding this research or the survey, my contact address is: James Schiller, Social Work Department, HMB 338B, Gallaudet University. You may contact the researcher at any time during this study via videophone at 202-651-7064 Voice or VP, or email at Jschi001@waldenu.edu, or James.Schiller@gallaudet.edu.
The survey is anticipated to take between 15 and 20 minutes. On behalf of myself, educators, agencies, and advocates who may use the data in the future, thank you for responding to this survey.
Please go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DETS to fill out the Survey. Upon completion, please click the button marked “DONE.”
LIFE & LEISURE
SILENT COMMUNICATION: SIGN-TALKERS SHARE VANISHING LANGUAGE
Loretha (Rising Sun) Grinsell is fluent in a language few people understand, a language without spoken words. Grinsell, who is deaf, grew up on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation using Plains Indian sign language to communicate with her foster grandmother. She relied exclusively on “hand talk” until she went to school at age 9 and learned the more commonly used American Sign Language. / The Billings Gazette
See Also FIRST INDIAN SIGN LANGUAGE CONFERENCE IN 80 YEARS WILL BE HELD IN AUGUST / Indian Country Today
SHOULD DEAF PARENTS BE ABLE TO 'CHOOSE' DEAF CHILDREN?
In a thoughtful blog post on Meteuphoric, Katja Grace meditates on whether deaf parents who want deaf children should legally be able to use medical techniques to ensure that their kids will be hearing-impaired. The issue is more than just hypothetical: it caused a firestorm of controversy two years ago when a British couple entered into a prolonged legal battle with the parliament in order to win the right to choose deafness for their newborn. / The Atlantic Wire
IS IT RUDE FOR A DEAF PERSON TO TALK (SIGN) WITH THEIR MOUTH FULL OF FOOD? / Experience Project
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LOCAL MEN HEADING TO PERU SOON TO HELP DEAF CHILDREN
Bob Wilson has spent his entire life trying to figure out why he lost his hearing. For Wilson, a Puyallup-based hearing aid consultant and distributor, the answers to his questions have started to be revealed in recent years. He was born with significant hearing loss and wasn’t fitted with his first hearing aids until age 6. He has adapted well in the years since. Eleven years ago, Wilson was approached by a Christian missionary inquiring about hearing aids for some young girls in Peru. / The News Tribune
BARRIERS BROKEN BETWEEN THE DEAF AND FIRST RESPONDERS
Tuesday afternoon, there wasn't much talking, but there were a number of conversation in progress at the meeting in Living Well Bridges building in downtown Nashville on Tuesday afternoon. The conference room was full with emergency responders, some deaf and blind people are communicating, learning what they need from each other, to make it out of a disaster alive. / NewsChannel5
New York, NY
DRF 2010 GRANT RECIPIENTS ANNOUNCED
Deafness Research Foundation's National Hearing Health Grants Center is excited to announce that it has awarded $550,000 to 22 outstanding research scientists in the field of hearing and balance science. This year represents a 16% increase in our grantmaking. Each year, DRF awards research grants to young investigators who are exploring new avenues of hearing and balance science. / DRF
BIRMINGHAM-AREA SCAM USES TELEPHONE RELAY SERVICE FOR DEAF
Birmingham-area merchants are being targeted by scam artists using a new Internet-age twist on an old scheme, according to merchants and a credit card processing company. Scam artists are trying to place large orders using what appear to be stolen or fraudulent credit cards, merchants said. The scammers identify themselves as being deaf, and are using Web-based transcription services called relays. / The Birmingham News
HAMILTON RELAY APPOINTS NEW OUTREACH COORDINATOR FOR RELAY UTAH
Hamilton Relay today announced the appointment of Emily Simmonds as the new outreach coordinator for Relay Utah. In this role, Simmonds will lead education and awareness programs to ensure that residents who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, or have difficulty speaking will have access to Hamilton Relay services. / PRNewswire
IKOMI NAMED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF NEW ENGLAND HOMES FOR THE DEAF
Thomas Boudrow, President and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the New England Homes for the Deaf Inc. in Danvers, MA is pleased to announce the appointment of Emmanuel Ikomi as Executive Director. He is the thirteenth person to manage the Home since it was founded in 1901. / NEHD
See Also HOMES FOR THE DEAF DIRECTOR CASTS EYE ON FUN / The Salem News
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Do you wear an Advanced Bionics HiRes90k or Clarion II Cochlear Implant?
Weitz & Luxenberg P.C., a leading plaintiffs’ litigation law firm, is expanding litigation against Advanced Bionics related to defective cochlear implants. If you believe that you may have received an “Important Notification” letter from Advanced Bionics about your HiRes90k or Clarion II cochlear implant in either 2004 or 2006, we urge you to contact us to receive important legal information -- even if you CI is working. Many of our clients’ cochlear implants stopped working prematurely as described in the letter. We have a Deaf attorney and VP available. To find out more, please click here and follow instructions on the screen or go to www.weitzlux.com/failed-cochlear-implants_1937570.html.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
MUSICAL PRODUCTION CATERS TO THE DEAF AND HEARING AT THE SAME TIME
Learning lines and hitting your mark is hard enough, but there is an additional challenge facing a group of young actors this weekend. The theater is dark, there's a round of "shhhhhh," and the small audience goes quiet. Just before the lights come up, some direction comes from the front row of seats. "OK, ready with sound," says the director. "I need sound." / KOMO
SEAN FORBES PAVES THE WAY FOR DEAF MUSICIANS
"Def" has been a part of hip-hop lexicon since the early 1980s, but for Sean Forbes, it means something different. The 28-year-old from suburban Detroit has been deaf since he was a baby but says that hasn't stopped him from making music. He recently released a new single called "I'm Deaf," and is busy recording more songs for an upcoming album. Forbes says music has always been part of his life. "When I was 5, I received my first drum set, and I wanted to be a drummer," Forbes said. / NPR
FAMED DEAF SCULPTOR DIED 75 YEARS AGO IN BERKELEY
California’s most pre-eminent sculptor of the late 19th century was both a disabled Berkeley man and one of the first artists from the then-young state to earn international attention and acclaim. Three quarters of a century have now passed since his death and he has fallen into some obscurity even here in his adopted hometown. But he helped establish Berkeley’s enduring reputation as a community of the arts and a hospitable place for the disabled to live and work. / The Berkeley Daily Planet
Los Angeles, CA
SEEKING DEAF ASIAN AMERICANS IN LOS ANGELES
Got this casting call passed along to me... They're looking for young Asian American men and women who are deaf or hard of hearing, with knowledge of American sign language. Here's a little more information. / Angry Asian Man
BOOK REVIEW: 'THROUGH SOPHIE'S EYES'
Catherine Gibson has given us a very likable heroine in Sophie, a young girl who loves to dance. Sophie is deaf and cannot speak. She reads lips and communicates with sign language. Her mother also loves to dance, and encourages Sophie, who dances to the vibrations of the music coming through the floor. / Blogcritics
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New York, NY
NYSD STUDENTS ENJOY SPOTLIGHT
The fans were on their feet last Wednesday at Yankee Stadium, and 10 students in the white shirts from the New York School for the Deaf in Greenburgh were on theirs, too. Only they were on the field behind home plate, experiencing the thrill of a lifetime. They were performing the national anthem before a Yankees game -- in sign language. / The Journal News
TINO ORTIZ: 'I'VE NOTICED MATT HAMILL IS DEAF AND HAS A SOFT HEAD'
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz finally noticed that Matt Hamill was deaf and has since formulated the perfect gameplan for defeating "The Hammer" at UFC 121 on Oct. 23 in Anaheim. "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" will pepper his foe with "soft shots" because Hammil "don't have no equilibrium." Said Ortiz: "He's been babied his whole life coming from being deaf of course and he's going to be babied after when I knock him out." / MMA Mania
Flowery Branch, GA
JAMAAL ANDERSON MEETS KIDS FROM ALA. SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF
Atlanta Falcons defensive end Jamaal Anderson had a wide grin on his face after practice on Saturday. He’d just finished talking to about 30 football players from the Alabama School for the Deaf, who had made the ride over from Talladega. Anderson’s father, Glenn, is deaf. “I was just telling them that I appreciate them coming out here. I know they didn’t have to come here,” Anderson said. / The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Fort Myers, FL
DEAF UMPIRE ASSIGNED TO ASA SOFTBALL NATIONAL
Peter Rozynski was selected to work one of the Amateur Softball Associations National Championships. On 4-8 August 2010, the ASA conducted the 16U Girls A Fast Pitch Southern Nationals held in Ft Myers, FL. Peter Rozynski was one of 12 umpires selected to work this event. 8 of the umpires were from Florida and 4 were from Alabama. Roughly, 5% of the 44,000 ASA registered umpires get selected to work an ASA National Championship. This in itself is an honor. The fact that Peter is a Deaf umpire makes the feat even more remarkable. / DeafTimes
LEHI RESIDENT CREATES ADAPTIVE SWIM LESSONS FOR CHILDREN
After eight years of teaching swimming to children, Elizabeth Martin began to specialize in giving adaptive swim lessons for deaf children or children of deaf parents. Her adaptive swim lessons are a recent program she introduced at the Lehi Legacy Center. "Not a lot of deaf children swim because there are not teachers who can understand sign language," she said. / Daily Herald
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