October 4, 2006
Vol. 2 No. 47
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 www.deafweekly.com. Please visit our website to read current and back issues, sign up for a subscription and advertise.
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I usually write about other people in Deafweekly but this week I have some news of my own to share. I’ve started a small business called Canal Street Press, which is designed to published deaf-related and photography books. The first two titles are now available: A Sorry Stick of a Man, Indeed ... and Other Short Essays on Deafness, a collection of my favorite writings from over the years, and Deaf Haiku, my attempt to creatively explore a wide range of issues in the deaf community using the strict limitations of traditional haiku form. I still have a few more books in me but also plan to recruit other writers and photographers for future titles.
Please check it out at www.canalstreetpress.com and let me know what you think.
FERTILIZER FAILS TO DISRUPT TENT CITY REVIVAL
Gallaudet University activists opposed to the appointment of Jane K. Fernandes as president-designate resurrected Tent City on the front lawn of the Washington, D.C. campus this week. GallyFSSA, a coalition of faculty, staff, students and alumni, charged the university with trying to impede the protest by spreading a manure-based fertilizer called Earth Juice (www.earthjuice.com) Monday morning, an hour after the first campers arrived on site. “Parents ... expressed their outrage at these capricious practices,” said a GallyFSSA (www.gufssa.org) statement. Public Relations Director Mercy Coogan said the spreading of “community-friendly” fertilizer had been scheduled weeks in advance. “Our grounds staff takes great pride in the appearance of the campus," she said. The protest is being covered by a number of bloggers and a good site for a quick overview is www.deafread.com.
LAURENT TOWN PLANNERS SAID TO BE $600,000 IN DEBT
KSFY in Sioux Falls, S.D. reported last week that organizers of the proposed sign-language town of Laurent are nearly $600,000 in debt. Laurent’s largest creditor is the firm that developed the town’s master plan and documents show the group’s only real asset is a list of people willing to live there. The Laurent Company’s store front in Salem is now empty, and executive director Marvin Miller runs the project as a nonprofit from his home. According to Miller, an unnamed prospective donor, said to be able to donate millions, has not come through. He and M.E. Barwacz, his mother-in-law, are now looking for other funding. McCook County Commissioner Marc Dick said he’s run out of patience. “We were pushed pretty hard to get our zoning completed and then it has come to a complete stand-still,” said Dick. Miller’s blog (www.laurentsd.com/laurentblog) promises “an alternative which is exciting." He told KSFY, “We’re going to do this, exactly how, I’m not sure.”
ARMED GUARDS SILENCE PRO-CAPTION PROTEST AT FCC
Armed guards confronted a group of deaf protesters at a Federal Communications Commission meeting in Washington last Tuesday, reported Communications Daily. The activists, upset with the FCC for waiving closed-captioning requirements for hundreds of TV programs, were told to put away their 3" x 8" signs reading, “No more excuses. No more exemptions.” The protesters claim the FCC has given permanent captioning exemptions to programs that had only sought temporary ones, including one group that received an exemption after it had started captioning its programs. Former FCC commissioner Gloria Tristani, who witnessed last week’s confrontation, said, “I never thought I’d see something like that at the FCC.”
LEADERS OF N.Y. DEAF SLAVERY RING FINALLY SENTENCED
Two of the ringleaders of a group of 56 deaf Mexicans forced to live as slaves and sell trinkets on New York City subways were finally sentenced last Wednesday, nine years after police broke up the ring. The case of Jose Paoletti Moreda and his son, Renato Paoletti Lemus, was postponed nearly 10 years because the two were imprisoned in Mexico, said The New York Sun. They received sentences of almost 13 years, based on a plea bargain struck in June, but are expected to serve only five years because of their previous jail time in Mexico. Twenty victims came to court to witness the sentencing and 10 told the judge of their experiences. “We were slaves and we have nothing to show for it,” said one young victim.
FLORIDA MAN CRUSHED TO DEATH BETWEEN TWO TRUCKS
A deaf Florida man was crushed to death when his car was sandwiched between two tractor trailers last Tuesday, reported the Miami Herald. Segundo Fernandez, 60, failed to stop at a stop sign and was hit on the right side of his car by a truck, which crushed him against another truck waiting at a stop sign. The car was left “like a little cube,” said a Florida Highway Patrol officer, and Fernandez was killed instantly. Fernandez and his wife, Barbara, who is also deaf, came from Cuba to America in 1980 as part of the Mariel boatlift. ”He will be sadly missed by the deaf community of Miami,” said a friend.
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ELDERLY IOWA MAN HIT AND KILLED BY TRAIN
An elderly Iowa man died last Thursday when he was hit by a train while walking across some railroad tracks, said KWWL-TV in Waterloo. Robert Burgess, 75, was killed by a Chicago and Northwestern train in the town of Onawa. Officials said the train’s horn was blowing and the crossing arms were blocking the road. But Burgess was hard-of-hearing, said friends and relatives, and often was unaware of his surroundings.
MURDER TRIAL LAWYERS WORK ON JUROR QUESTIONS
More than 500 potential jurors may be needed in Sioux Falls, S.D. for Daphne Wright’s murder trial, set to begin in January. Both sides will need to weed out jurors with bias toward gay people and minorities, former prosecutor Aaron McGowan told Keloland TV. Wright, who is deaf, is charged with kidnaping, killing and dismembering Darlene VanderGiesen, also deaf, in February. According to Wright’s attorneys, Wright is the only black deaf person in Sioux Falls. She is also a lesbian, a factor in the case: police say Wright thought VanderGiesen was having an affair with her girlfriend. Last week, lawyers worked on two questionnaires for potential jurors. State’s Attorney Dave Nelson will decide by November 15 whether or not to seek the death penalty.
MAN CHARGED WITH SETTING FIRES IN 120-UNIT BUILDING
New York City police arrested a young man believed to have set four smoky rubbish fires between last Thursday and Saturday at a 120-unit special needs building in the Bronx. Jason Bullock, 23, was charged with arson and reckless endangerment. He is also accused of stealing a car and computer equipment from two different residents. “We stopped [the arsons] in time, thank God,” Fire Marshall Michael Bosco told the New York Post. No one was injured and Bosco said he had no clue as to Bullock’s motive. Fire Department officials say Bullock, who lives with his deaf mother, has a police record for forgery, larceny and burglary. A neighbor called Bullock “a troublemaker” but his mother, Rhonda, disagreed. “Cops lied,” she said in sign language. “He is a good son.”
WORK-RELEASE REVOKED FOR UTAH SEX OFFENDER
Roger Wilkins, the deaf sign language instructor convicted in February of sexually abusing a former student, had his work-release revoked after police saw him shopping at Costco last month and took him to jail. Wilkins, 38, of Lehi, Utah, was allowed into work-release during his one-year jail sentence because he is the sole provider for his wife and three children, said the Deseret Morning News. Attorney Ron Yengich said Wilkins was buying supplies for his online sales business, but Utah County attorney Donna Kelly said he can only go to work, not home or shopping. Wilkins will get a second chance this week if a slot is available and he agrees to stay away from Lehi.
CLARKE SCHOOL PRESIDENT TO RETIRE AFTER 25 YEARS
Dennis Gjerdingen announced last week that he is retiring after 25 years as president of the Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, Mass. Clarke, 66, is the sixth president in the school’s 140-year history, reported the Associated Press. The school will have difficulty filling Gjerdingen’s shoes, said Board of Trustees chairman Harley Sacks. Clarke, which teaches deaf children to communicate without sign language, serves over 10,000 people a year.
PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOL OPENS NEW CHILDREN’S CENTER
A $3 million state-of-the-art children’s center opened last Friday at the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf. According to The Pittsburgh Channel, the new center, under construction for two years, contains an indoor playroom, an outdoor movie theater pavilion and a playground. “We had this vision of what we wanted it to be, a great educational facility that was fun and made them not want to leave,” said Superintendent Don Rhoten. “I think we really succeeded in doing that.” Donors included the William Randolph Hearst Corporation, which provided the playground.
ARIZONA SCHOOL ASKED TO OPEN FOURTH LOCATION
Parents and educators met last month with Sequoia School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing officials to see if the Arizona school, which runs campuses in Mesa, Phoenix and Peoria, could open a site in Prescott. According to the Daily Courier, Superintendent Angel Ramos said in response that the school would need commitments from parents of 10-12 students, a charter school to work with, proactive parents and full support of the bilingual-bicultural approach. Sequoia, which opened in 1997, serves about 70 students from kindergarten through 12th grade, teaching children fluency in both English and American Sign Language.
DENVER INTRODUCES SPECIAL NEEDS REGISTRY
The city of Denver, Colo. introduced a special needs registry during the Denver Disabled Awards Breakfast last Friday at the Denver Convention Center. The registry, described by the North Denver News as “much-needed and anticipated," resulted from a year of work between the Office of Emergency Management, Commission on the Disabled and City Attorney’s Office. The registry allows citizens with disabilities to inform service providers in advance of obstacles they may face, such as “alerting first responders that knocking on the door is not a viable idea because the resident is deaf.”
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‘FUND RAISER’ FOR DEAF USES MONEY ON DRUG HABIT
A hearing U.K. woman raised an estimated £16,000 ($30,140 US) over two years by telling people she was raising money for a deaf children’s skydiving event. Tracey McLaughlin also claimed to have a deaf son, said the Romford Recorder last week, but it was all lies – McLaughlin used the money to support a £200-a-day crack cocaine habit. McLaughlin, 39, was arrested after the Recorder did a story about her scam in February 2005. Last Thursday, she pleaded guilty to four charges and was sentenced to a one-year supervision order and a five-year Anti-Social Behavior Order, which bans her from collecting cash in the street or carrying fake sponsorship forms.
CHINESE DANCE TROUPE SUED FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT
A dance show performed by 21 deaf artists in China is being sued for copyright infringement, reported China Daily. “Thousand-hand Bodhisattva,” presented by the China Art Troupe of Disabled Persons, has enjoyed critical acclaim since its Spring 2005 debut, but retired dance director Mao Difang, 71, said the show mimics her own 1987 version and used photographs to point out similarities in structure, props and even the male-female ratio of dancers. Mao is seeking 1 million yuan ($126,500 US) in compensation. A court has agreed to hear the case, but Mao remains angry. “Some of those in the dance field are rather disrespectful to their mentors,” she said.
CAPTIONED TV NEWS COMES TO SINGAPORE
Watching the news on television became a totally new experience for Singapore's deaf population on Monday, reported Channel News Asia, when MediaCorp began captioning Channel 5's English news bulletins. Chinese and Malay news reports are expected to be captioned soon. The Singapore Association for the Deaf said it has always advocated for news captioning, not only for its 5,400 members but also for those who lose their hearing because of old age. “With captions, I can understand the news,” said Wong Siew Leng, who is deaf. “It’s better.”
DEAF-MADE FILM ‘FAMILY’ PREMIERES IN INDIA
India’s first film made by and for the deaf premiered last Tuesday during World Deaf Day, reported the Ahmedabad Newsline. “Family,” a drama featuring seven deaf couples and their real-life parents and relatives, was shot in one day at the home of deaf World Cup cricketer Virbhadrasinh Rathod. Director/producer Rajesh Ketkar wrote the script in 15 days and made the film for Rs2,500 ($54.69 US), shooting in DVD format. Educator Deepika Gajjar, who oversaw the project and provided voice-overs, said the actors were able to complete the filming quickly because “in the absence of any sound they are able to focus well on the work at hand.”
INDIAN VILLAGE TO RECEIVE SPECIAL ASSISTANCE
A village in India said to be famous for “having the highest number of deaf and dumb persons” is getting help from the government, said a press release from GreaterKashmir.com. Dhadkai village in Doda district has 79 deaf residents and all 42 families have at least one deaf member. Most deaf residents are over 20 and girls are the most affected, making it “difficult for people to get matches for their daughters.” Most inhabitants make their living by rearing cattle, so officials plan to set up a cattle unit for each of the families. The government will pay Rs50,000 ($1,094 US) for each unit and wants each family to contribute Rs6,000 ($131 US), but many cannot afford the fee so the army has been asked to pay the families’ share. Officials also plan to build a hostel for physically challenged people and recruit specialized teachers for the deaf.
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LIFE & LEISURE
PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOL TO PRESENT FIRST ALUMNI AWARD
The DePaul School for Hearing and Speech in Shadyside, Pa. will present its first Distinguished Alumni Award to Rita Mae Calvaruso at a dinner next Thursday. Calvaruso, 68, was the clear favorite for the award among school officials and alumni, said Administrative Director Dave Williams in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Calvaruso graduated from DePaul in 1954 at age 16, when work for deaf people was hard to find. After two years at a trade school, she landed a job and impressed her dubious boss with her abilities. After a few years, she got married “and had baby after baby after baby” – 12 in all, seven of whom were born deaf and also attended DePaul. “She really is just a very unique person,” said Williams.
‘NEXT-GENERATION’ COCHLEAR IMPLANT GETS FDA OK
A Massachusetts medical-products company said last week that it has received approval Food and Drug Administration approval to sell its “next-generation” cochlear implant in the United States. Boston Scientific Corp. of Natick says the Harmony HiResolution Bionic Ear System offers significantly increased hearing potential by delivering 120 spectral bands, five to 10 times more than competing systems. According to the Boston Business Journal, the device has already been cleared in Europe and Canada, where it can be implanted in all patients. In the U.S., where it will be available early next year, the FDA approval is for adults only.
MATLIN HELPS JEWISH FEDERATION LAUNCH CAMPAIGN
Marlee Matlin gave the keynote address at this year’s annual campaign kickoff for the Jewish Federation of Ottawa. According to the Canadian Jewish News, Matlin delivered her speech at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in sign language with her interpreter by her side. Matlin told the audience that she lost her hearing to childhood illness at age 1-1/2, leaving her parents “devastated.” But they chose to send her to regular schools, “never treating me as different,” she said. Matlin, a 20-year Hollywood veteran, said she is proud of her Oscar, Golden Globe and four Emmy nominations, but feels equally proud of her fundraising efforts on behalf of Jewish federations. “I have seen the important work they do,” she said.
NEW CLUB SAID TO BRING ‘SOLACE’ TO THE DEAF
A club for deaf and hard-of-hearing students and those interested in deaf culture and sign language is up and running at California State University, Sacramento, said the school’s newspaper last week. The new club, said the State Hornet's headline, “gives solace for deaf community.” (“Solace,” according to Dictionary.com, means “comfort in sorrow, misfortune or trouble; alleviation of distress or discomfort”). The club, called Advocates for Deaf Culture and ASL, is the first of its kind on campus and was created by Elena Figueroa-Ruiz and Jennifer Cole after a chance summer meeting at the library. The group plans to get together every two weeks and will organize social events such as movie screenings and potlucks.
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PENNSYLVANIAN TO REALIZE LIFELONG DREAM OF FIREFIGHTING
A 20-year-old deaf Pennsylvanian will realize a lifelong dream when he is sworn in as a fireman next Tuesday. Matthew O’Brien will be the first deaf volunteer of Lower Chichester Fire Co. and one of about 15 known deaf firefighters in the country, said the Delaware County Times. O’Brien’s father was a firefighter in the 1980s and his mom’s father was also a fireman. An uncle has a collection of firefighting memorabilia and “once had an antique fire truck he drove around,” said O’Brien’s mother. For now, O’Brien will play a support role, helping with fund-raisers, cleaning the fire trucks and maintaining the station. “We’re going to start him slow,” said Fire Chief Mike Murray. “It could take a year or two years to get into a burning building or ride fire trucks to a call.”
ONSTAR BY GM INTRODUCES IN-VEHICLE TTY
OnStar by General Motors has announced that a new TTY-compatible in-vehicle device will be available in a wide range of 2007 GM vehicles. The dealer-installed option is offered at little or no extra cost to eligible subscribers through GM’s Mobility Reimbursement Program, reported Paddock Talk. Said to be an industry first, the system links subscribers to trained TTY advisors who provide emergency services and roadside assistance 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The system, which includes an interface module, dial pad and TTY device, works only when the vehicle is stationary to prevent users from being distracted while driving. More information may be found at www.onstar.com/tty and www.gmmobility.com.
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
NEW NONPROFIT AIMS TO BRING MUSIC TO THE DEAF
A new nonprofit organization has been formed to make music accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences. The Deaf Performing Artists’ Network (D-PAN) plans to reach this goal with the “easy, simple step” of “creating deaf-centric reinterpretations of music videos using standard ASL, enabling performing artists to communicate to the hard of hearing worldwide." Co-founder Sean Forbes said D-PAN’s first ASL music video, based on the song “Where’d You Go?” by Warner Brothers recording artists Fort Minor, is now available for viewing and feedback. Check it out at www.D-PAN.org.
PREVIEW OF NEW DOCUMENTARY PLANNED FOR SEATTLE
A sneak preview of clips from the upcoming PBS documentary “Through Deaf Eyes” is scheduled for January 20 at the Seattle (Wash.) Public Library. The two-hour documenary, exploring 200 years of deaf life in America, will debut on PBS next spring. The film will look at American history, family life, education, work, sports and technology from a deaf perspective and will feature interviews with I. King Jordan, Marlee Matlin and Bernard Bragg. It will be accompanied by an educational website, interactive DVD and companion book. The producer, Hott Productions, has a website (www.florentinefilms.org/inproduction/02_deaf.htm) with more information. Questions about the Seattle Library event may be directed to Lisbeth Goldberg, email@example.com.
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OKLAHOMA’S VAN ZANT NOMINATED FOR COURAGE AWARD
Martel Van Zant, a deaf college football player with Oklahoma State University, was nominated two weeks ago for the FedEx Orange Bowl FWAA Courage Award, said an OSU announcement. Van Zant, a junior cornerback, was born deaf and has an interpreter for classes, team meetings, practices and games. A management major now in his third OSU season, Van Zant has 11 tackles in the Cowboys’ first four games. The Courage Award was created in 2002 to recognize courage on and off the field, whether overcoming an injury or disability, preventing a disaster or living through hardship. A group from the Football Writers Association of America will select and announce the winner at the end of the season.
GALLAUDET TO HONOR LEGENDARY VOLLEYBALL COACH
Gallaudet University’s legendary volleyball coach Peg Worthington will be honored Friday at a special dedication ceremony in the university’s Field House. The 7 p.m. event will kick off the inaugural Worthington Classic, a new athletic event that Worthington said “honors all the players and coaches who were ever associated with the program.” Gallaudet has invited all volleyball players from 1970 to 1997 to attend the festivities or send an email greeting to share at the event (send to Stacy.Nowak@gallaudet.edu). Worthington coached Gallaudet women’s volleyball from 1970-1981 and 1984-1997 and retired with a cumulative record of 618-305.
FCC TO HOLD SUMMIT ON 911, INTERNET-BASED RELAY CALLS
The Federal Communications Commission will hold a summit next month on 911 services for people with hearing and speech impairments. The E9-1-1 Disability Access Summit, set for November 15 at the FCC in Washington, D.C., will focus on the unique challenges presented by Internet-based relay calls, which do not go through traditional channels. Federal officials, emergency service providers, relay service representatives, disability advocates and FCC staff are expected to attend. The public is invited on a first-come, first-served basis. The summit will be webcast live with open captions and archived for later viewing at www.fcc.gov/realaudio. Cheryl King (Cheryl.King@fcc.gov) can be contacted for more information on the summit.
MATA EXPO 2006 SET FOR NOVEMBER IN CALIFORNIA
Plans have been announced for the MATA EXPO 2006, to be held November 3-4 at the Ontario (Calif.) Convention Center. The event will feature ASL media, deaf culture, technology shows, exhibits, workshops and kids playtime. Early admission is $5 per day for the Expo; at the door, admission is $10. Evening entertainment, including a DJ disco and bar party, will be provided both nights at the same location with tickets sold separately. GLAD, Sprint, T-Mobile and IP-Relay are sponsoring the event. To learn more, visit www.mataexpo.com.
CEO Position Announcement
Deaf Counseling, Advocacy and Referral Agency (DCARA)
DCARA is seeking a Chief Executive Officer to build on over 40 years of continuous growth and evolution of the non-profit, community-based social service agency. DCARA serves the Deaf Community in the San Francisco Bay Area and 14 counties in Northern California. The CEO will be responsible for all aspects of the agency’s operations, programs, finances, personnel and fundraising for new Deaf Community Center. To see the full job announcement including information about DCARA, minimum qualifications and application process, visit http://www.dcara.org. CLOSING DATE: November 6, 2006
JOB OPPORTUNITIES AT GLAD
GLAD is an Affirmative Action Employer
with equal opportunity for men, women and people with disabilities. For more
information on the following positions, please go to: www.gladinc.org.
The status of all positions is: Regular, Full-time, Non-Exempt, Full Fringe
Benefits unless otherwise noted. All positions are open until filled.
Case Manager – Los Angeles, CA
Community Interpreter – Riverside, CA
Job Developer/Interpreter – Crenshaw, Norwalk and West Covina, CA
Community Health Educator – Los Angeles, CA
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Field Coordinator – Los Angeles, CA
Community Relations – Los Angeles, CA
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If interested for any of these positions then please submit resume and application to:
Human Resources Specialist
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2222 Laverna Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90041
V/TDD: (323) 550-4207
Fax #: (323)550-4204
POSITION: Director of Public Relations
TO BE FILLED BY: November 1, 2006 or soon thereafter
PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES: The incumbent will develop, implement, direct, and oversee RSD’s comprehensive public relations program. In addition, he or she will manage RSD’s website to ensure it is current at all times, manage media relations, manage three waves of mail for the Annual Appeal, write grant proposals, organize major school events, and represent RSD at community organizations. He or she will assume other responsibilities as assigned.
DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS: The incumbent will be an energetic professional who has a bachelor’s degree, excellent people-meeting skills, impeccable writing skills, solid computer skills, and a good understanding about Deaf culture and deaf education. He or she will be expected to achieve a rating of Advanced on the Sign Communication Proficiency Interview (SCPI).
FILE APPLICATION WITH:
Harold Mowl, Jr., Superintendent/CEO
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race, religion, color, sex, marital status, age, national origin, and veteran
National Deaf Academy
The Charter School at National Deaf Academy is seeking motivated, Master’s Level teachers who have dual certification in Special Education and Deaf Education to work in either elementary or high school positions with state of the art classrooms and materials. This position allows for ongoing professional growth through conference attendance. Classrooms are supported with Mental Health Technicians and trained clinicians to ensure the optimal level of education is received. Must be Florida certified, or certificate eligible. Must be fluent in American Sign Language. Salary is negotiable and commensurate with experience and level of education.
Vice President of Human Resources
National Deaf Academy
19650 US Highway 441
Mount Dora, FL 32757
National Deaf Academy
Director of Therapeutic Recreation
Qualified individual needed to lead an energetic team! Must have CTRS designation. Fluency in ASL preferred, but not required. This person must be able to “think outside of the box,” as the position lends itself to creativity. Luxurious 10,000-square-foot gym facility available for use as well as other amenities.
Vice President of Human Resources
National Deaf Academy
19650 US Highway 441
Mount Dora, FL 32757
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