September 9, 2009
Vol. 5, No. 13
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 2009 and any unauthorized use is prohibited. Please support our advertisers; they make it possible for you to receive Deafweekly.
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New York, NY
LAW FIRM FILES ADDITIONAL LAWSUITS AGAINST ADVANCED BIONICS
Weitz & Luxenberg P.C. would like to inform the public that our law firm is expanding its litigation against the California-based Advanced Bionics Corporation, related to defective cochlear implants implanted in young children and adults. Some of the firm`s clients have suffered multiple implant surgeries due to a defective implant being surgically removed and replaced with a second defective implant that later failed. "What is particularly disturbing," said Teresa Curtin, an attorney with Weitz & Luxenberg who is herself deaf and who has extensive experience with cochlear implants, "is that Advanced Bionics sold a device to be implanted in the delicate cochlea of young children and adults, yet violated the trust of these individuals by failing to ensure that their product was manufactured correctly." / Reuters
Los Angeles, CA
U.S. SUES COUNTY OVER ALLEGED HIRING BIAS
The U.S. Justice Department sued Ventura County last Thursday, alleging the county discriminated in its employment practices when it refused to hire a qualified applicant because she is deaf. The federal lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, claims the county violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The suit also asserts that the county, during an investigation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, acknowledged it did not hire the woman because she was deaf. County officials had no immediate comment. / Ventura County Star
DEAF MAN WINS SUPPORT IN CLAIM AGAINST POLICE
A man who is deaf has won support for his claim that he was discriminated against twice when city police officers refused to provide him with an interpreter after he requested one. An investigator for the Maine Human Rights Commission concluded that Wayne Draper of Augusta was the victim of illegal discrimination in his encounters with police on Nov. 10, 2007, and Jan. 23, 2008. The investigator, Michele Dion, is recommending the commission uphold that finding at its next meeting, Sept. 21, at the Senator Inn in Augusta. / Morning Sentinel
DEFENDANT'S DEAFNESS COULD POSE ISSUE AT MURDER TRIAL
Attorneys representing a local man who is charged with murder and legally deaf worry his disabilities will cause major logistical hurdles when he goes to trial early next year. "This will be a very painful process," said defense attorney Karla Gothard, expressing concern that her client, Alex Smith, is in danger of not receiving a fair trial in Hamilton County Criminal Court because of his inability to express himself and understand others and what she says is the court's failure to find a solution to the problem. More than five years ago, Mr. Smith confessed to shooting and killing in broad daylight a man he claimed had tormented him for years. / Chattanooga Times Free Press
HEARING IMPAIRED MAN SHOT IN NEWARK
Police are searching for the gunman who opened fire on hearing impaired man. It happened just after midnight on Chadwick Avenue. The 49-year-old was shot in the back. He was rushed to University Hospital where he is listed in stable condition. / WABC-TV
NEW SCHOOL FOR DEAF STUDENTS CATERS TO NEEDS
A new state-of-the-art school building is a reason to celebrate for almost any child. But for students at the Maryland School for the Deaf, learning in an atmosphere that caters to their needs makes all the difference. From visually innovative technology like a smart board to soundproof acoustics, the new building is helping education come alive. "This building began with a dream and now it's a reality," said James Tucker, school superintendent. / Your4State
HELP PASS BILL HR 3101 AND HELP THE HEARING IMPAIRED BENEFIT MORE FROM THE INTERNET
Bill HR 3101 will allow for captions online enabling the hearing impaired to benefit from internet applications that use sound instead of text. For example many networks are now making their shows accessible online but do not have the option of closed captioning. The bill, The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2009 was introduced on June 26, 2009 by Congressman Ed Markey. There is really no reason not to pass this bill. / About.com ENT Blog
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A new local web site called www.healthbridges.info was created by people who are Deaf.
The site is for people who are Deaf and for health providers and insurers too. This newly developed website seeks to provide reliable health and advocacy related information in a format that is accessible to all. Each month the topics discussed will change.
Please visit the site www.healthbridges.info today and let us know about topics that you want to learn more about.
DEAF MODEL KELLIE MOODY LEADS FIGHT TO REDUCE STIGMA
I was born with severe hearing loss and have encountered various issues throughout my childhood. At school, other pupils made fun of me, making up silly sign language. I learnt early on that being deaf limits access to many things, as special needs are not always provided for. Teachers even told me I couldn’t do certain courses. This made me stronger and more determined to succeed. / The Deaf Blog
HEARING DOGS FOR DEAF PEOPLE TO BE BOOSTED BY NEW BOOK
A deaf man from Martock has decided to give the profits of his heart-warming book about his hearing dog to the charity that trained him. Michael Lawson’s hearing loss was progressive, and as he lost his hearing he also lost his confidence. In 2002 Michael, aged 53, lost his home, his marriage, his business and his father. He withdrew from the world of communication, becoming more and more reclusive. His children had grown up and moved on and he felt totally alone. That was until the arrival of Matt, a spaniel cross from a litter of nine puppies specially bred by Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. / Yeovil Express
DON'T IGNORE YOUR EARS POPPING -- IT MAY MEAN YOU'RE ABOUT TO GO DEAF
Alan Knight was driving on a motorway when he heard a 'popping' in his left ear. Suddenly, all the sound from his left side seemed muffled and faint. 'It was just like the pop you get in an aeroplane or when you're driving up and down steep hills,' say s Alan, 48. 'But whereas then the "pop" makes everything clearer, on this occasion I could no longer hear anything from that side. At the time, the former footballer - the Portsmouth goalkeeper between 1978 and 2000 - was working as a coach for Dallas in the U.S. football league. When the problem didn't ease the next day, he went to see his team's doctor. / Daily Mail
Bundoora, Victoria, Australia
DEAF STUDENT SAYS UNIVERSITY DID NOT PROVIDE ENOUGH HELP
A deaf student is suing La Trobe University for allegedly failing to provide skilled interpreters and routinely forcing her to prove she was deaf, despite her condition being permanent. Mariana Crvenkovic, 24, also claims a staff member told her that "if her English was not good enough, she should not be undertaking the course." The university denies it has discriminated against Ms Crvenkovic, who is profoundly deaf and started a four-year pharmacy degree at La Trobe in 2006. / The Age
St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
OLD CAR, NEW ENGINE TAKE TO THE ROAD
Steve Hart knows how to get mileage out of a ride. This weekend, the Rochester, N.Y. audiologist and his friend Tom Megan will compete in the Targa Newfoundland, a 1,400-mile road rally around the Canadian island — without burning a drop of gas. They'll be driving Megan's souped-up 1965 Porsche, calling it the "Race for Hearing" to raise money for hearing aids, raise awareness of hearing loss and raise (civilized) hell on twisting two-lane roads, all on carbon-neutral, biodiesel fuel from a local source. / Democrat and Chronicle
MISINFORMATION ON DEAF PERSONS AND HIV/AIDS
Please permit me to respond in my capacity as public relations officer for the Jamaica Association for the Deaf to an article titled 'Ridiculous rise in HIV/AIDS cases among the Deaf', published in the Daily Observer on Monday, August 10. I would like to address some of the issues raised in this article, which we consider inaccurate. On the matter of risky sexual activities, we believe that there were considerable generalities since no actual statistics were presented to verify these assumptions. / Jamaica Gleaner
INTO THE MAINSTREAM
On the vast compound belonging to the Ministry of Education (MOE), beyond the garden and the massive, white villa, there lies a decrepit building on the margins of the property. On its fourth floor, in a small section behind a nondescript door, is the Department of Special Education, isolated and until now, mostly ignored. As it stands, children with special needs have had practically no access to mainstream schooling. Now, as the MOE moves to open classroom doors for them, families are faced with a new dilemma: will their children be better off integrated into public and private schools, or should they remain in special schools for the disabled? / Egypt Today
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Nassau and Suffolk County
EXPERT TUTORING FOR HEARING IMPAIRED ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CHILDREN
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LIFE & LEISURE
CHURCH WORK DRAWS LABORERS OF CHRIST
It’s a long way to go for a church building project. But David Griffins left his home in north central Kansas and traveled with his wife via recreational vehicle to central Illinois. All to help build a new outreach center for Jacksonville’s Christ Lutheran Church for the Deaf. Griffins is a member of Laborers for Christ, a national group composed mainly of retirees who do physical labor for congregations and church-related organizations. Groups of members meet in various cities and towns across the country to build churches, schools, parish centers, camps and other facilities. Five other couples joined Griffins to help build the church’s outreach center. / The State Journal-Register
HEARING AIDS: 5 THINGS NOT TO DO WHEN PURCHASING!
There are, unfortunately, always going to be individuals in any profession that overcharge or take advantage of people. While the majority of professionals dispensing hearing aids are good, honest people, there are exceptions. Below are 5 things to avoid or do so you don't get ripped off when you buy your next hearing aid. / News Release
La Jolla, CA
DISCOVERY COULD LEAD TO NEW THERAPIES FOR PROGRESSIVE HEARING LOSS
A team led by scientists from The Scripps Research Institute has discovered a genetic cause of progressive hearing loss. The findings will help scientists better understand the nature of age-related decline in hearing and may lead to new therapies to prevent or treat the condition. The findings were published the September 3, 2009, in an advance, online issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics, a publication of Cell Press. / Huliq News
FREE SMOKE ALARMS FOR HEARING IMPAIRED
Smoke alarms are your signal for life. But what happens when you can’t hear that warning signal? Smoke alarms save lives. But for those who are hard of hearing or deaf, they cannot rely on a standard alarm to alert them. Most fatal fires happen while we sleep, and because smoke can put you into a deeper sleep, it’s important to have that early warning to ensure you wake up and get out. Specialty alarms are available for the hearing impaired and disabled. These alarms may employ a strobe light or vibrate to shake bedding. / The Payson Roundup
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FREEDOM OF CHOICE IS THE PHILOSOPHY BEHIND CALLVRS
Freedom of choice is the philosophy behind CallVRS, a video relay service (VRS) provider that opened September 1. “Customers and interpreters alike will find that CallVRS is not your typical VRS provider,” owner Emilia Lorenti-Wann said. “We intend to provide access to those who historically have been overlooked by VRS and we will think outside of the box to find new ways to do this.” CallVRS was created by Lorenti-Wann and co-owner Keith Wann who noticed that many video interpreters were unhappy at their respective VRS employers. “This discontent was affecting the quality of their work,” Wann said. / callVRS Press Release
SENIOR GETS SIGN LANGUAGE AWARD
Senior Emily Haynes was so overcome with emotion when she received the first-ever Phyllis Perrin Wilcox Scholarship that she could only use sign language to express her gratitude. Haynes, a signed language interpreting major, received the scholarship through the linguistics department. Private donations completely funded the award, said graduate student Bryan Rasmussen. / New Mexico Daily Lobo
SCHOLARSHIPS FOR THE HEARING IMPAIRED
Being hearing impaired should never hinder anyone from receiving a good education. Besides, there are now hearing devices, listening devices, hearing phones, cell phone amplifiers, and other hearing aid equipment that can help the hearing impaired culture to live a better life. What’s more is that there are many scholarships offered for students with hearing impairment. If you are hearing impaired and want to further your education, then this article is for you. / How To Do Things.com
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Keith Wann's ASL Comedy Tour
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 www.CallVRS.org, 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.”
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Ellicott City, MD
CONNIE BRISCOE BRINGS BACK HER TRAILBLAZING 'SISTERS'
The author of five best-selling novels about black women's lives and loves, Connie Briscoe is a serene presence in the family room of her spacious home in semi-rural Howard County. Fifteen years ago, Briscoe struck publishing gold with her debut, Sisters & Lovers. Like Terry McMillan with her 1992 sensation Waiting to Exhale, Briscoe introduced America to an invisible woman — people like Briscoe. But there is one personal issue Briscoe has not explored in fiction, and she doubts she ever will: deafness. / USA Today
SHOE BRINGS RHYTHMICAL VIBRATION TO DEAF EARS, HELPS THEM DANCE
I saw this female on a talent hunt show, she was deaf yet she so effortlessly danced to the music only following her master clapping the beats. I thought how she did this, I’ll never be able to figure that, but few designers have worked out a solution to help many other deaf girls live their dancing dreams even more effortlessly. Their concept comprises a dancing shoe, called the Music-Toucher. / Gizmo Watch
A BRIEF HISTORY OF CLOSED CAPTIONING
Whether you’ve encountered its unmistakable white text on black background at the gym, in a bar, or on the couch, you’re familiar with closed captioning. Here’s a brief history of the technology that has provided a (mostly accurate) transcript of television programming for nearly 40 years. / Mental Floss
callVRS has a new facelift and continues to give you the "freedom of choice"! callVRS allows you to find your favorite interpreter for your many needs. Keith Wann is now showing his serious side by bringing us a VRS company that his parents would be proud of...and one where interpreters want to work. You have seen him do silly commercials for other VRS companies, but he is also a Nationally Certified Interpreter, NIC Master and CI CT and calls himself a profesional Coda interpreter. "For the other VRS companies, I was a paid actor, with callVRS my true voice can be heard... It's time we have a VRS provider focus on the interpreters along with the callers to make the VRS experience better for everyone!" www.callVRS.org - dial callVRS.info on your video phone.
SUMMER DEAF OLYMPICS KICK OFF IN TAIWAN
The 21st Summer Deaf Olympics officially kicked off in the Taiwanese capital, Taipei, Saturday. The games offer Taiwan an opportunity to show a positive image to the world after an August dominated by negative headlines related to the government's response to Typhoon Morakot. The twelve-part opening ceremony included singing by Taiwanese pop star A-mei, an appearance by actor Jet-Li and choreographed artistic performances themed on Taiwan's landscape, ecology, and even its food. / Voice of America
LET THE GAMES BEGIN
The 21st Summer Deaflympics Taipei 2009 opened Saturday with style, spectacular fireworks, drum performances by 80 hearing-impaired students, performances showcasing the unique Taiwanese culture and, to the relief of the organizers, no rain. The open ceremony, taking place at Taipei Stadium in Taipei Sports Park, featured a 12-act extravaganza created by an elite artistic group headed by Stan Lai, an award-winning playwright and theater director, and the introduction of over 4,200 Deaflympic athletes from over 80 countries. The ceremony began with a percussion performance by 80 students from the Taipei School for the Hearing Impaired, led by the Taiwanese group U Theater and the renowned hearing-impaired percussionist Evelyn Glennie. / The China Post
TAIWAN COMPANIES LEND SUPPORT
AS CURTAIN LIFTS ON SUMMER DEAFLYMPICS
With the 21st Summer Deaflympics about to start in Taiwan on Sept. 5 this year and a record 85 nations joining the competition, a number of well known local brands are pitching in to support this growing athletic competition. The Deaflympics Taipei 2009 Organising Committee and the Bureau of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) collaborate together, showcasing the Taiwan brands at the Deaf Culture - Taiwan Excellence exhibition. A total of 21 Taiwan brands will open exhibit on the first floor of the Taipei Arena in the Taipei International Deaf Fair, showing together with more than 100 art collections by deaf and dumb creators, and the history of Taiwan`s deaf and dumb associations. / Reuters
TAIWAN'S DEAFLYMPICS NETS
NEARLY 9,800 VOLUNTEERS
In Taiwan, Deaflympics is a big deal. Very big. Lee Yu-fan, who manages the recruitment of volunteers for the Taipei Deaflympics Organizing Committee, pulled in an amazing 9,763 volunteers to help with the Summer Games. They will host visitors, provide translation and sign language help, accompany teams, and offer traffic guidance. The Games are held every two years, switching between the Summer and Winter Games. According to an article in Taiwan News by Lillian Wu, many of the volunteers in Taiwan are students in college. Also among the volunteers are many hearing impaired people. / Tonic
EDITORIAL: THE UNHEARD DREAM
OF TAIPEI'S DEAFLYMPICS
The first ever Deaflympics to be held in Asia began in Taipei City Saturday evening with a technically spectacular opening ceremony featuring flying goddesses and a massive fireworks display, that aimed to highlight the themes of a "dream that can be heard" and a "proud Taiwan." Many if not most Taiwan citizens have cherished high expectations for the virtually back-to-back convention of the first World Games ever to be hosted in Taiwan that were successfully conducted in Kaohsiung City in July and the first ever Deaflympics now underway in Taipei. However, the opening ceremony indicated that the Taipei City's Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) administration of Mayor Hau Lung-pin has failed to transcend the habitual obsession with form over content and has failed to grasp the essential spirit of the Deaflympics. / Taiwan News
Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
COACH OF DEAF FOOTBALL TEAM SLAMS NSC
The chief coach of Nigeria’s Deaf Football team, Kamilu Banjo has decried the National Sports Commission’s (NSC) inability to sponsor the team to the 21st edition of Deaflympics, which is scheduled to hold from September 5-15 in Taipei Taiwan. Of the 42 athletes who were camped at the Liberty Stadium, Ibadan, Oyo State and were supposed to take part in both football and athletics, only 12 were finally selected, thereby dashing the hopes of the football team, which defeated Ghana in August last year to qualify for the tournament. Banjo was displeased with the situation where the players who actually booked a ticket for the games were dropped after preparing hard for the event and being given the impression that they would make the trip. / 234Next
OAK CLIFF ATHLETE JOINS U.S. TRACK TEAM AT DEAFLYMPICS IN TAIWAN
Delvin Furlough struggles to hear and speak. With ease, he lets his feet do some swift talking. And half a world away from Oak Cliff, and the streets he ran as a kid, the 20-year-old racer will soon communicate for his country -- at the international Deaflympics. Delvin is in Taipei, Taiwan, one of 21 members of the U.S. track team, one of 142 Americans competing at the 21st summer games for deaf athletes. “Because I’m fast,” he said of his selection to the team. / The Dallas Morning News
Mission Beach, CA
BEACH VOLLEYBALLER HEADS FOR SUMMER DEAFLYMPICS
On the beach volleyball courts in Taipei, Taiwan crowds will cheer, music will bump, whistles will be blown --and Mike Brüning won’t hear any of it. The legally deaf Mission Beach resident will be participating in the 21st Summer Deaflympics from Sept. 5-15. “We’ve all had the same key struggle in our lives and that struggle has been, in a hearing world, not having communication ties to a majority of the world,” Brüning said. “It is a very powerful opportunity to get the American deaf and the international deaf together. It’s a pretty amazing thing.” / SDNN
Las Vegas, NV
DEAF PREP FOOTBALL PLAYER FINDS SILENCE SHARPENS HIS FOCUS
The part about silence is fascinating. That in a time where the sounds of a Friday night seem more magical each fall -- marching bands playing, cheerleaders cheering, fans clapping, coaches screaming, players shouting words of support -- Adam Finlayson hears none of it. The kid known as A.J. is a reminder that if the deaf can't hear, what senses do the rest of us lack? That if he can discover peace amid controlled chaos, how more focused might the rest of us be with a little more quiet? / Las Vegas Review Journal
FIRST NIGHT GAME FOR ASDB FOOTBALL PROGRAM
The Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind (ASDB) hosted its first ever night football game Friday night. The school has a nearly 100-year history of a football program for its deaf students. But for the first time ever, stadium lights are now available to use on the field, making evening games possible. "It's a lot cooler at night," said Mike Lucio, 17, an ASDB senior on the football team. "And a lot more people come at night. During the day, it's real hot." / KOLD 13 News
BOWLING LEAGUE TO BRING TOGETHER DEAF, HEARING COMMUNITIES
There are few social and recreational opportunities for the deaf and hard of hearing in North County. That's about to change. North County residents Mike Covington, Nathan Brown and Eileen Harris have formed the North County Deaf Bowling league, which will roll into action later this month at the Vista Entertainment Center. Brown, a hearing child of a deaf adult, said last week that the league is also open to hearing people, adding that it's important and helpful for hearing and hard-of-hearing people to learn how to interact with one another. / North County Times
NAD ANNOUNCES NLTC '09 DETAILS
The NAD announces program and sponsorship details for the Second Annual NAD Leadership Training Conference, to be held October 29-November 1, 2009 at the Hyatt at Capitol Square in Columbus, Ohio with the theme of Conquering Challenges: Leadership Beyond Barriers. The goal of this year’s conference is to address leadership challenges and opportunities that deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals face within rapidly changing nonprofit, educational, government, and corporate environments. Conference training areas focus on promoting diversity and sharing of diverse viewpoints, characteristics of successful leaders, proactive change leadership, coalition building and teamwork, accountable leaders, communicating effectively, conducting leadership search efforts, running healthy meetings, conflict resolution, and harnessing the power of social media. / NAD News
DOROTHY SMALLWOOD, 89, TEACHER OF THE DEAF
Dorothy B. Smallwood passed away on August 30, 2009 at Riverside Community Hospital as a result of several health problems. She lived 89 years. Dorothy was born in Washington D.C. on February 11, 1920 to Reverend Lester H. Smallwood and Dorothy Earnest Smallwood. For 40 years Dorothy taught school. She spent 39 of those years teaching the hearing impaired. She worked all over the country in states such as Virginia, North Carolina, and Washington. Her final years of teaching were right here in Riverside at the California School for the Deaf. / The Press-Enterprise
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