September 24, 2008
Vol. 4, No. 16

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 2008 and any unauthorized use, including reprinting of news, is prohibited. Please support our advertisers; they make it possible for you to receive Deafweekly.



Vinnie Rodriguez, a football player for Boron (Calif.) High School, died last Tuesday from a head injury suffered September 12 in a game against the California School for the Deaf Riverside. The 16-year-old sophomore running back made what observers called a routine tackle before returning to the bench, toppling to the ground and suffering several seizures. The game was called and a helicopter landed on the Boron field to take Rodriguez to the hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries four days later. The Bobcats voted unanimously to play their next game, said Boron Athletic Director Jim Boghosian in the Los Angeles Times, because "that's what he would want."


Tampa (Fla.) police were seeking a hit-and-run driver who struck a deaf woman around 7:30 a.m. Monday morning. Wendy Anthony, 43, was hit while walking along County Road 579, said ABC Action News. She was taken to Tampa General Hospital with critical injuries. No description of the car was available, and detectives were asking potential witnesses to call the sheriff's office.


Deaf senior Elsie Barretto made headlines in New York last week when she fought back against a mugger in a hallway of her apartment building. Barretto, 83, was left with bruises, a black eye and stitches in her mouth after scuffling with the alleged mugger, who was still at large. "I beat him and beat him and beat him," Barretto told CBS. "He got mad and started beating me more." A security camera caught the suspect slipping in behind Barretto, who rode in the elevator with him and told him, "Have a nice day." If the man is found, said Barretto, "do me a favor please and get him to me ... I'm going to punch him right in the face."


A deaf man on a bicycle flagged down a Fargo (N.D.) police officer early last Thursday and communicated through notes that he had robbed of his MP3 player by a man he also saw smash a liquor store window with a baseball bat. Using the victim's description, police located the suspect, Ayub Abukar, 27, and booked him into Cass County Jail. Police officers aren't trained in sign language, Sgt. Jason Nelson told the Worthington (Minn.) Daily Globe, "but they always carry a notepad with them."


A Massachusetts man with a severe hearing impairment was jailed nearly a month in an apparent case of mistaken identity, said the New York Daily News. Jerry Santiago, 31, was arrested August 20 after officers pulled him over in Massachusetts and saw that his name, birth date and Social Security number matched an outstanding warrant for a man who jumped $15,000 bail on a gun charge. Santiago remained imprisoned for 22 days despite being shorter and thinner and having different fingerprints and written proof that his identity had been stolen two years ago. Queens (N.Y.) Supreme Court Judge James Griffin freed Santiago last Thursday, saying, "I don't think that you're the person wanted on this warrant."


The Coalition for Texans with Disabilities says 51% of able-bodied people voted in the 2004 election but only 34% of voting-aged people with disabilities did so. To address the discrepancy, voting workshops are being held throughout the state. Organizer Tracey Michol learned "how little prepared our system was" for a deaf person like herself when she was asked to be a delegate this year, and her idea for a voting workshop was welcomed by the coalition. Elected officials and candidates were expected to attend the Fort Worth event this week, where organizers planned a mock election, training on voting rights and practice on an accessible voting machine.


The Salem (Mass.) News reported this week that the 132-year-old Beverly School for the deaf is changing its name to The Children's Center for Communications. The name change "has been percolating for many years," said Executive Director Mark Carlson, and will "really help broaden and communicate what we do on campus." For the last 20 years, he said, the school has educated not only deaf students but also those with communication troubles resulting from autism, developmental disabilities or other causes. The center has been working with Montserrat College students on a new logo for about a year and plans to launch a $15 million fundraising drive for a new building. "It's sort of a total rebranding," said Carlson.


The Georgia School for the Deaf is getting a new $1.9 million gymnasium, said the Rome News-Tribune, following a groundbreaking ceremony Monday that was attended by Kathy Cox, the state school superintendent who recently announced she would donate the $1 million she won on Fox TV's "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader" to three Georgia schools for blind and deaf students. Details were still being worked out, said Cox, but she wants to start a "Go For It" foundation that would fund "robust athletic and art programs" and create scholarships for students who graduate from high school and apply for college.


A plan to turn an 1853 Victorian mansion and stone barn at the New England Homes for the Deaf into condominiums was approved Monday by the Danvers (Mass.) Zoning Board of Appeal. The hilltop estate has been vacant since 2004, reported The Salem News, after residents were moved to a 60-unit assisted-living/skilled nursing facility. Developer Thomson Companies needed a variance to build 16 two-bedroom luxury condos, and the Homes for the Deaf helped out by showing that the building had been used for offices and deaf-related events and would still be doing so were it not for a 2006 industrial explosion that left many of the building's windows boarded up. "The residential use we are proposing is less detrimental," said attorney Nancy McCann.


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Life is full of Choices… Choose Well… Choose GRPT

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

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A Spanish soccer star who tried to help a deaf boxer has found himself being stalked by the man to the point where he has had to hire two bodyguards. Jose Maria "Guti" Gutierrez, a midfielder for Real Madrid, supported Jorge Munoz in his battle to become a professional boxer two years ago, said MSN Odd News, but the relationship soured after Munoz's application was rejected because he is deaf. In a recent incident, Munoz followed Guti to the team's training camp and crashed into a car driven by security staff, leading to his arrest and a security guard's hospital treatment.


A car crashed into the Carshalton, England home of Beryl Thompson earlier this month, leaving the 55-year-old deaf woman homeless for six weeks while repairs are made. Daughter-in-law Deborah Thompson was angry at how her relative was treated, said the Sutton Guardian. "She does not deserve to be told that she will have to go homeless," said Deborah. "It is not her fault that her house was crashed into by joyriders." After the Guardian contacted the landlord, arrangements were made for Thompson to stay at a different location. "She doesn't really want to go out that far," said Deborah, "so we have arranged for her to stay with relatives."


The public funding agency UK Sport is paying for Olympic and Paralympic sports and athletes for London 2012, said This Is Gloucestershire, but providing nothing for deaf athletes. As a result, deaf hammer thrower Beth Sewell, 26, is funding her own trip to this week's World Deaf Athletics Championships in Turkey and worries that she won't be able to attend the Deaflympics in Tapei next September. Sewell, who quit a teaching job to deliver mail so she'd have more time to train, said "it is really important that Great Britain is represented" but fundraising distracts from her training. UK Sport official Jessica Whitehorn countered, "There are lots of sports and athletes worthy of funding, but we can't fund everyone."


Joanne Kerly, a policewoman in England, has embarked on a series of fundraisers to benefit the National Deaf Children's Society. Kerly, 23, was inspired by a friend's 2-year-old daughter whose hearing loss was discovered through a newborn hearing screening program promoted by the society. She's planning an "all you can eat" Indian meal next month and a black-tie dinner in February, said the Essex Echo, while training to run in a marathon next April with a goal of raising nearly $3,000 for the charity.


Last Friday was Loud Shirt Day in New Zealand. Members of the Gisborne law firm Woodward Crisp were out on the streets in their bright and clashing shirts giving fines to anyone not wearing one too, said The Gisborne Herald. Loud Shirt Day, an annual fundraiser for The Hearing House and Southern Cochlear Implant Pediatric Program, raised $48,000 US last year. Staff prepared for the day by purchasing their attire from the $2 Shop, said organizer Joan Wootton.


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The Los Angeles area's largest fair for the deaf and hard of hearing took place last Saturday at Woodley Park in Van Nuys, said the Los Angeles Daily News. Hundreds of people gathered for DEAFestival Los Angeles, an annual event that combines entertainment and education with socializing and the latest in communication technology. DEAFestival is sponsored by Councilman Tony Cardenas and organized by his aide Bertha Velasquez, who remembers when her own deaf daughter, now a college student, was young and deaf services were scarce. Colleges, community groups, city agencies and vendors were on hand with information. Most deaf people are born to hearing families, Velasquez noted, and "we wanted to be a part of putting together the people and services."


Missouri advocates are working to provide better mental health services for deaf people, reported The Fulton Sun. They met last week with Department of Mental Health Commissioners to stress the unique nature of the deaf community and explain that providing an interpreter is not always good enough. Deaf people "don't want a third party involved," said Jeff Prail of Paraquad, but want someone they can talk to one-on-one just like a hearing person does." Their work may have paid off, with $1.7 million designated for deaf services in DMH's proposed budget for next year, but state legislators still need to approve the budget, and deaf services ranks 23rd out of 27 items.


Originals by Weber, a New Jersey firm, issued a news release last week to announce the availability of its new Weber Hearing Aid Liner. Designed for in-the-ear hearing aids, the soft and flexible liners cover the hearing aid and are said to provide more comfort and a better fit while cutting down on annoying feedback sounds. Company owner Terry Weber, a longtime inventor who recently began wearing a hearing aid, said he was "confronted with the many annoying side effects of wearing this hearing device" and decided to "solve these hearing aid problems once and for all." A five-pack is $12.95 and shipping is free.


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SignTalk, a New York interpreter referral agency, issued a news release this week to say that it provided two interpreters for Columbia University's Presidential Forum on September 11. The forum featured Barack Obama and John McCain expressing their views on service and civic engagement. Interpreters "must communicate not only the message, but also the speaker's nuance and tone without voice," said SignTalk CEO Joseph Geliebter, and interpreters Laurie Nash and Debbie Olsen "are to be commended for an outstanding job in a most challenging setting."


Sorenson Communications announced last week that deaf SIPRelay users can now receive calls from hearing people on their computers or mobile devices while using AOL Instant Messenger. Hearing callers can dial 1-866-747-7352 and provide the AIM screen name of the person they wish to call, said a Sorenson news release, and a Communications Assistant will relay the call through text-based messages. To promote the new service, Sorenson has developed an SIPRelay Contact Card that can be downloaded and printed at


The Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind has received an $80,000 state grant to fund an internship program that gives seniors on-the-job training four afternoons a week. CSDB is a "pretty sheltered environment," counselor Kathy Emter told the Colorado Springs Gazette, so the program helps by giving students real-world experience. The U.S. Forest Service, McDonald's and the Humane Society are some of the employers that have hired students, with the school paying the salaries and helping with life skills such as banking and budgeting.


The Board of the Council on Education of the Deaf has a new executive director. Karen Dilka, a professor in Eastern Kentucky University's Special Education department, was appointed to the position after serving as board president for three years and as a board member for four years. According to an EKU news release, the CED board establishes and monitors teacher education standards and certifies teachers who meets its standards. The council has certified 30,000 teachers of the deaf and accredited more than 40 higher education programs.


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One of the new models on this season's Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency is deaf Texan Martin Ritchie, 20, who moved from Austin to Los Angeles four years ago to pursue a modeling career. After working at an Abercrombie & Fitch store, Ritchie auditioned for the show two years ago but was rejected after Dickinson said he needed to work on his abs. He did, said the Dallas Voice, and he was invited to move into the Hollywood mansion that serves as the setting for this year's shows. Ritchie has an advantage over the other models, said the Voice: "He can't hear [Dickinson] scream."


When ABC's Supernanny returns for its fifth season, one of the episodes will feature a family headed by a deaf couple. Kip and Dorothy Baulisch of Omaha, Neb. and their four children -- Melissa, 18; Jessica, 8; Jennifer, 7; and Kristin, 7 -- were selected after auditioning earlier this year. (Dorothy explains how it happened in a Deaf Newspaper report.) Supernanny features Jo Frost as she "criss-crosses America taking on some of its toughest parenting challenges," said an ABC web page. The Baulisch episode is set to air on Friday, October 10 at 9/8c.


Simon Carmel has published a new book on deaf magicians. "Silent Magic" includes biographies of 59 deaf and hard-of-hearing American magicians going back to the 19th century. The book "is not only a great historical resource," said Las Vegas comedy illusionist Kevin James, "but also it illustrates many personal struggles and triumphs as well." To learn more or to order the $29.95 book, visit H&R Magic Books.


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Ken McDonald coached the U.S. men's team into the semifinals of the first Deaf Football World Cup Tournament held July 1-12 in Patras, Greece, despite a complete lack of financial support for the team. "We did not receive a single cent from anybody," the Florida man told the Pensacola News Journal. "I had to wash our uniforms in my hotel bath and hang them off the balcony," he said. "It's just ridiculous." Teams from England and Italy, in contrast, received around $100,000 from sponsors. Sixteen teams competed in the tournament, and the Americans defeated Italy ("It took them by surprise," said McDonald) but fell to Turkey in the semi-finals.


The Colorado Springs Gazette recently profiled Max Wilding, a senior at the Colorado School for the Deaf and captain of the boys cross country team at Wasson High School. The deaf school does not have a cross country team, said the Gazette, so Wilding drives across town to compete for Wasson. A couple of students have interpreted for him, but the communication barrier is "never any problem," said Wasson coach Wayne Rainford. "He's outstanding." The only challenge is trying to get Wilding's attention when he's running. "When he lets it go," said Rainford, "you can't scream for him to come back."


Scott Farrell went off to Buffalo, N.Y.'s St. Mary's School for the Deaf at age 2 with a backpack and a smile on his face, said his mom, Suzanne Williams, in a WGRZ report last month. But after 12 years of excelling academically and in sports, Farrell "longed to compete on a higher level." In 2006, Farrell began attending 8th grade for half a day with an interpreter at North Tonawanda Middle School, where his swimming abilities caught the attention of varsity coaches. He did so well -- advancing to the Western New York sectionals -- that he decided to leave St. Mary's for good. His new teammates treat Farrell, 15, just like a regular kid. "We make fun of him like everyone else," said one.


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The Staunton (Va.) News Leader reported the death last month of Anthony Louis "Tony" Panella, 93, who died at his home August 6. Mr. Panella taught graphic arts at the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind and served as the varsity boys' basketball coach for 15 years before retiring in 1986. He was a member of the National Association of the Deaf, the Virginia Association of the Deaf and the Wisconsin School for the Deaf Alumni Association.



Plans have been announced for the 7th Deaf History International Conference to take place in Stockholm, Sweden, August 4-8, 2009, with the Swedish Deaf History Society serving as host. Stockholm was chosen because it is the 200th anniversary of deaf education in Sweden, and "No History, No Future" is the conference theme. Organizers have set up a website ( for the event and expect 250-300 people to attend.


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Job Announcement
Deaf Counseling, Advocacy and Referral Agency
San Leandro, CA

Positions Available:
Client Support Specialist — San Jose
Job Developer & Interpreter — Campbell, Fremont and San Francisco
Computer Instructor Part-Time, Contract-Based — San Leandro and San Jose, CA
Client Support Specialist Full-Time - Fremont Oak Gardens (FOG)

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Revised 9/17/08

Cave Spring, GA

Currently accepting applications for the following positions:

Three Teacher Positions

Middle School Science (10 mth. position)*
Literacy Content Specialist - Pre K-12 (10 mth. position)*
Reading Content Specialist - Pre K-12 (10 mth. position)*
Graduation Coach (10 mth. position)*
Paraprofessional - Classroom (10 mth. positions)*
Paraprofessional - Residential Services (Two 10 mth. positions)*
Residential Advisor (Two 10 mth. positions)*
Speech Language Pathologist (10 mth. position)*
Substitute Teachers (hourly paid, based on credentials)
Occupational Therapist (hourly paid)
Physical Therapist (hourly paid)

* 10 month employees work 200 days (10 months) but receive payroll checks during each of the 12 months of the year.

For more information about these positions, visit the Georgia Department of Education web site at

Download Job Applications at:

Completed applications may be mailed, e-mailed, or faxed to:

Denise Clark
Georgia School for the Deaf
232 Perry Farm Rd. SW
Cave Spring, Georgia 30124
Fax: (706) 777-2240


Therapeutic Staff Support—TSS Professionals

Looking for an enticing job that challenges your character and skills? Look no further! Working with children in an apprenticeship role will instill you with new skills that can be used in fields such as: psychology, education, business and government.

You will learn the magical art of healthy working relationships in the classroom, conjuring boundaries with children and learn the valuable trade of managing children’s behaviors.

You will be provided with resources and support from the behavior specialist on a weekly basis. Have strong “people’s person skills? You will find this job to be a good fit, and for those who strive to be a “people’s person” the behavior specialist s will teach you valuable skills to help you be successful in the workplace environment.

TSS candidates must possess a bachelors degree in Psychology, Social Work, Human Services or related field and one year previous work experience with children or at minimum 60 college credits and three years work experience with children.

TSS Aide candidates must possess a high school diploma and two years of verified volunteer or paid work experience with children.

All applicants must be proficient in American Sign Language (ASL).

Case assignments are generally in a school setting, however some clients require services in the home. Work hours vary from ten to thirty hours per week based on approved client hours and staff flexibility to accept more than one assignment. Work is available in Philadelphia and Bucks County.

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Tutoring Positions Available Nationwide

Signing L.O.V.E. (Live On-Line Visual Education) provides live, on-line tutoring to Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Help deaf children succeed while you earn extra money!

Fluency in sign language is required. Positions are currently available tutoring in all academic areas. Salary is very competitive, is commensurate with education, and increases with certifications and experience.

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