October 19, 2011
Vol. 8, No. 1
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 2011 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:
A DEAF WOMAN WHO CAN FINALLY HEAR MEETS ELLEN / The
Ellen DeGeneres Show
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KEENE HOSPITAL TO IMPROVE HELP IT PROVIDES FOR DEAF
A Keene hospital has agreed to pay a $25,000 federal fine and put in place a program to provide interpreters to patients who are deaf or hard of hearing in a settlement of a lawsuit alleging discrimination. In documents filed last week in U.S. District Court in Concord, Cheshire Medical Center – Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene disputed the discrimination claim and denied liability in the case, which is the second lawsuit against the hospital alleging discrimination against a deaf patient in seven years. / The Nashua Telegraph
Mecosta County, MI
MT. PLEASANT MAN JAILED IN MECOSTA COUNTY ON RAPE CHARGES
A 30-year-old Mt. Pleasant man is in the Mecosta County Jail awaiting extradition to Pennsylvania on rape charges. Christopher Lauer, who is hearing impaired, is jailed and awaiting trial in Mecosta County for first-degree criminal sexual conduct, Big Rapids Police Detective Brian Miller said. Lauer’s trial in Mecosta County has been put on hold until the outcome of the case in Pittsburgh, where he is accused of kidnapping and raping a woman with similar disabilities. Lauer is accused of raping a deaf woman in Big Rapids in March 2010. / Morning Sun
South Abington Twp., PA
SCHOOL FOR DEAF DEDICATES NEW CAMPUS
On a cold January day in 2009, Don Rhoten received an unexpected phone call. He was asked to travel from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg to meet with officials from the state Department of Education. There, the CEO of the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf was asked to take over the Scranton State School for the Deaf - a move that at the time sparked protests, petitions and concerns for the school's future. On Friday during a dedication of the Scranton school's new campus, Mr. Rhoten said that anger has been replaced by "pride, excitement and hope." / The Times-Tribune
FLORIDA WOMAN SHOCKED BY $200,000 PHONE BILL
A South Florida woman got a shock when she opened a recent cell phone bill: she owed $201,000. It was no mistake. Celina Aarons has her two brothers on her plan. They are deaf and cannot speak, so the easiest way for them to communicate is by texting. Normally, that’s not a problem. Aarons has a data plan that usually costs about $175. But her brothers spent two weeks in Canada and Aarons never changed to an international plan. / The Associated Press
HARKINS TO EQUIP CINEMAS FOR DEAF, BLIND TO SETTLE ARIZONA SUIT
The state’s largest movie chain will outfit virtually off its theaters with equipment designed to help those with hearing and sight problems, including those who are totally deaf or blind. In a consent decree filed late Thursday in U.S. District Court, Michael Bowers, president of Harkins Theaters, agreed to install closed caption and descriptive video systems in half of its 25 theaters it operates in Arizona by this coming June 15. And the balance of its theaters will have the equipment by Jan 15, 2013. / East Valley Tribune
SD SCHOOLS APPLAUDED FOR DEAF EDUCATION WORK
Two South Dakota school districts have been honored for their pioneering work with deaf students The South Dakota Board of Regents adopted resolutions during their meeting Wednesday commending the Brandon Valley and Harrisburg school districts for their efforts to educate children with hearing impairments. / The Associated Press
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STRONG AND PROUD: DEAF COMMUNITY HAS NO NEED FOR SELF-APPOINTED CHAMPIONS
Telstra’s Business Women of the Year awards are not usually known for attracting controversy. So, few people were prepared for the outrage that was sparked last week by Queensland winner, Dimity Dornan, the founder and managing director of the Hear and Say Centre in Queensland. In her acceptance speech, she compared deafness to polio in the 1950s, calling it a “scourge” which could soon be “consigned to history." Such comments would be unlikely to stir controversy if they were made about cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, or indeed most illnesses or disabilities. But they didn’t sit well with Deaf people. / The Conversation
See Also PETITION TO HAVE DIMITY DORNAN PROSECUTED / PetitionBuzz
$100,000 BOOST FOR QUEENSLAND ATHLETES WHO ARE DEAF OR HEARING IMPAIRED
Queensland sporting clubs and organisations will receive up to $100,000 in Bligh Government funding to bolster access to interpreter services for athletes with hearing disabilities. Sport Minister Phil Reeves said Deaf Sports and Recreation Queensland will receive $25,000 to help it access much-needed interpreter services in 2012. In addition, up to 15 State Sport and Recreation organisations will also be eligible for to up to $5,000 in funding for interpretive services. / Sunshine Coast Queensland
TEACHER WINS APPEAL OVER PUPILS EXPOSING THEMSELVES
A former teacher who avoided serving jail time for forcing deaf students to expose themselves in class has had his conviction quashed. The former teacher was last July sentenced to five months' jail, wholly suspended for a year, after being found guilty on nine counts of gross indecency by a jury. His Victorian County Court trial heard the man asked vulnerable pupils, aged between eight and nine, to expose their genitals in class in the 1970s. The father of two was diagnosed with cancer during his trial and given a 55 to 75 per cent chance of living for five years. / The Sydney Morning Herald
Auckland, New Zealand
DVD IN SIGN LANGUAGE TO HELP DEAF COPE WITH GRIEF
A new DVD in New Zealand Sign Language will help Deaf people in New Zealand learn ways to cope with grief and loss in their natural language. The resource, "Change, Loss and Grief" was launched today (Wednesday, 12 October) as part of Mental Health Awareness Week (10 - 16 October) celebrations. The resource is the result of work supported by Deaf Aotearoa and the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand. / NZ Doctor
SOUTH KOREA WRITER HOPES HIT FILM BRINGS LEGAL CHANGES
The South Korean author of a novel turned box-office hit about teachers who sexually abused disabled students has vowed to fight to the end to change what she says are outdated and weak sex crime laws. The book "Dogani," or "The Crucible," and the film of the same name, are based on a true story about a new teacher at a school for deaf children who discovers that the principal and teachers abuse the students. The crimes take place over a number of years from 2000. The new teacher decides to help the students by revealing the truth. / Reuters
DEAF EDUCATION, THE SOUTHEAST ASIAN SITUATION
The never-ending debate on whether English or Filipino should be the medium of classroom instruction has now extended to what language should be used in natural sign language for the Deaf. Natural sign language has been the most common method of communication that majority of the Deaf have been accustomed to learn and use. In the Philippines, the Filipino Sign Language (FSL) is the dominant sign language. Although there are ethnic-based or localized versions of the sign language, FSL is still generally preferred among deaf Filipinos. / The Manila Bulletin
THE IMPORTANCE OF INCLUSION: WHY I LEARNED BRITISH SIGN LANGUAGE
If you ask any of my colleagues they will tell you how important inclusion is to me as a teacher. I firmly believe, as all teachers do, that every child deserves the right to be treated equally and to receive the same quality of education as everyone else. I have worked with children from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds, and with children with varying educational needs and abilities. I constantly adapt my teaching style, learning environment and activities to suit every child in my class. / The Guardian
BUCKS NEW UNI WANTS FEEDBACK ON FILM FOR DEAF PEOPLE
A university is inviting members of the public to visit its campus to give feedback in an innovative sign-film project aimed at the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Signdance Collective, performers of innovative sign-dance theatre, is company-in-residence at Buckinghamshire New University and have performed and filmed the play Dragonfly using sign language and acting. / Bucks Free Press
I'M SLOWLY GOING DEAF, GAYBO REVEALS
Gay Byrne has revealed that he is slowly going deaf. After more than half a century on the airwaves, veteran broadcaster Byrne (77) said the hearing in his left ear was completely gone and the right was deteriorating. "I have to do something about it fairly soon," he said, after presiding over Ireland's first awards for the deaf and hard of hearing, run by Hidden Hearing in association with the Irish Deaf Society, in Dublin Monday. / The Independent
Cottesloe, Western Australia
FUTURE OF DEAF INSTITUTE UNCLEAR
THE deaf community is frustrated by what it says is a lack of action from the State Government about the future of the WA Institute for Deaf Education in Cottesloe. “The WA deaf community has not heard from the Government on what they are planning to do with the building and site since the Minister for Education Elizabeth Constable’s media release on May 26,” WA Association of the Deaf spokeswoman Patricia Levitzke-Gray said. / In My Community
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LIFE & LEISURE
A PET THAT'S ALL EARS
Imagine you would like to have your own business, caring for children in your home, even though your hearing is profoundly impaired and you don’t always hear your own son. That’s the predicament that Diana O’Shea has faced. But her counselor at Catholic Charities, Michelle Cline, has referred her to Canine Hearing Companions, a nonprofit organization run by dog trainer Debby Schaser of Vineland. / Courier News
South Lake Tahoe, CA
SOUTH TAHOE RESIDENT HELPS DEAF IN JAMAICA
Megan Hicks wants to make it very clear that being deaf does not mean being hearing-impaired, or being impaired in any way. “We are trying to promote the fact that there is nothing ‘impaired' about deaf people. The only thing they can't do is hear,” Hicks wrote in an email. “This idea is slowly being accepted here in Jamaica, not unlike the deaf community's experience in the U.S. some years ago.” Hicks, a Peace Corps volunteer, has been stationed in Jamaica for over a year, working with the island nation's deaf community. / Tahoe Daily Tribune
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Des Moines, IA
LETTER: MORE ABOUT INTERPRETERS FOR IOWA'S DEAF
In response to the article, “New Rules Leave Deaf Students Without Help” (Oct. 11), there needs to be some clarification of the issue. Hearing people who hire interpreters usually have no sign language knowledge, and therefore no idea if the interpreter has done a good job or not. How can they judge the interpreter’s abilities? The student at Valley High School in West Des Moines was subject to this kind of behavior. / The Des Moines Register
Silver Spring, MD
DEAF TRUCK DRIVERS URGED TO APPLY FOR CDL A AND B EXEMPTIONS
The National Association of the Deaf is pleased to announce that as a result of its ongoing advocacy with the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than 20 deaf and hard-of-hearing truck drivers who submitted applications for an exemption from the DOT hearing requirements through the NAD in July 2011 are now being considered for full Commercial Driver's Licenses (CDL) including CDL A and B to drive vehicles with and without airbrakes. Although the NAD has long fought for equal access and opportunities for deaf truckers, this is the first time the DOT has agreed to consider waiving its hearing requirements for deaf drivers. / NAD
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
MTV'S NEXT REALITY STAR: UNIVERSITY FOR THE DEAF
MTV’s college channel, mtvU, which has taken its cameras and microphones into lectures, concerts and protests at schools across the country, will next attempt to capture university life of an entirely different nature: a campus where nearly all students are deaf. On Monday, the cable network will formally announce the debut of a short-form series, “Quiet Campus,” that will follow four students at Gallaudet University, the four-year school for the deaf and hard of hearing in Washington, D.C. / The New York Times
THEATER REVIEW: THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER
When Rebecca Gilman's adaptation of the remarkable 1940 Carson McCullers novel, "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter," was staged at the New York Theatre Workshop in 2009, a controversy erupted over a decision to cast a hearing actor in the central role of John Singer, a deaf mute who becomes a kind of cipher, a human canvas on whom the sad and lonely residents of a Georgia mill town can paint their troubles. There was no such debate in Chicago, where Robert Schleifer, a distinguished deaf actor with a long history of work in the Chicago theater, was the natural choice for Singer. / Chicago Tribune
GALLAUDET EXHIBIT TO SHINE SPOTLIGHT ON THE DEAF PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE
Knowing that 2011 marked the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps, a member of Gallaudet University’s Museum Committee proposed an exhibition on Deaf Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs). It was to be a small, one-wall celebration to say that Deaf people were in the Peace Corps too, but it turned out to be much more. When the call went out for photographs, objects, documents and stories for the exhibit -- which opens on October 25 -- Deaf RPCVs (and 3 PCVs) flooded the Museum office with material. / National Peace Corps Association
ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS IN 'DEAF JAM'
Deaf Jam is a documentary you can't take your eyes off of. If you do, you're probably missing the point. American Sign Language (ASL) poetry must be seen, not heard. But instead of opening with an explanation of her film, and what ASL poetry even is, director Judy Lieff lets us figure it out for ourselves. At first, it's pretty frustrating. Hints are thrown at us through shots of rapid sign language and animated subtitles that are difficult to follow. As the film progresses, the metaphor becomes clear. / Charleston City Paper
SOUNDS IN SILENCE
"A mobster's deaf nephew needed a job..." begins a tale told by Ronald Burdett, Vice President of Community Relations for Sorenson Communications. Engrossed in the story, it is easy to forget that the narrator is actually two people: the person telling the story using American Sign Language enhanced by body language and expressive facial characterizations... and a skilled interpreter. Bridging the communication gap between deaf and hearing communities in the United States has come a long way from the days of Alexander Graham Bell who, while promoting communication for both deaf and hearing people and married to a deaf woman, retained a curiously antithetical attitude toward deafness. / Tri-City Voice
Abused in Wisconsin? If you, or someone you know, were sexually abused as a child at St. John’s School for the Deaf in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, we have an important message for you: Because the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has declared bankruptcy, you may now be able to bring a claim — even if previously you were told you could not. However, because there will be a limited amount of time the courts will allow for you to bring a claim, you must act now or you may be forever prohibited from doing so. Go to www.AbusedinWisconsin.com Today! Jeff Anderson & Associates
DEAF US SWIMMER MAKES IT TO BIG STAGE AT PAN AMS
For American swimmer Marcus Titus, being deaf is more advantage than disability. At least when it's time to get in the water. "It helps me stay in my own world, helps me focus on what I need to do," the 25-year-old Titus said at the Pan American Games after winning a bronze medal. "Being deaf allows me to block all the noise that could be a distraction when I'm preparing to swim." Titus won his medal in the 100-meter breaststroke in Guadalajara, earning his first ever medal it an international competition. / The Associated Press
Sarasota Springs, UT
DEAF RUNNER BUILDS UNITY WITH WESTLAKE CROSS COUNTRY TEAMMATES
It was fear that kept Calden Preece from approaching Parker Holt sooner. The Westlake senior wanted to talk with the freshman who showed up at summer workouts for the school's cross country team much sooner, but because Holt is deaf and communicates with sign language, Preece wasn't sure just how to strike up a conversation. Once school began, he felt like he had to figure out how to talk to the young runner. / Deseret News
IU RECEIVER WILSON HONORS PARENTS WITH SIGN LANGUAGE
Duwyce Wilson has a new signal he repeats after every big reception. With his thumb, index finger and little finger extended, and his middle and ring fingers touching his palm, the Indiana sophomore points toward the crowd on the east side of Memorial Stadium. It's the international sign language symbol for "I love you." Wilson's parents, who are deaf, return the sign to complete the connection. / The Indianapolis Star
Council Bluffs, IA
BOBCATS WIN TWO MATCHES AT GPSD VOLLEYBALL TOURNEY SATURDAY
The Iowa School for the Deaf volleyball team didn’t get its championship. But the Bobcats still managed a happy ending in their biggest event of the season. The host school remains in search of its first title in the Great Plains Schools for the Deaf tournament since 1990. Minnesota Deaf knocked out the Bobcats 25-9, 25-20 in the semifinals of the single-elimination playoff after ISD swept Wisconsin Deaf 25-8, 25-22 earlier Saturday at Abraham Lincoln High School. But the disappointment didn’t last long. / Daily Nonpareil
New York, NY
CHEFS, BROADCASTERS AND BROADWAY STARS GATHER FOR THE FEAST OCT. 24
Founded in 1910, the Center for Hearing and Communication (CHC) is a historic pillar of support for New Yorkers who are hard of hearing, deaf, and deaf-blind. The organization’s annual, heartwarming gala uniquely taps into NYC’s talent pools to support CHC’s services, which change the lives of individuals and families struggling with hearing loss and communication challenges. Slated for October 24, 2011 at Pier Sixty, part of Chelsea Piers, Feast co-hosts Bill Ritter, anchor of Eyewitness News, and executive producer/co-star of Curb Your Enthusiasm Jeff Garlin will lead the festivities. / Center for Hearing and Communication
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