November 8, 2006
Vol. 3 No. 4
Editor: Tom Willard
Deafweekly is an independent news
report for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community that is mailed to subscribers
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Earlier this week I started a new blogsite to discuss issues related to deaf advocacy. Deafweekly readers are welcome to visit the blog and share their own comments. "Tom's Deaf Advocacy" may be found at http://tomwillard.wordpress.com.
MCCAIN, BRUEGGEMANN RESIGN FROM GALLAUDET BOARD
Sen. John McCain has resigned from the Gallaudet University Board of Trustees, reported The Washington Post. McCain (R-Ariz.), a board member since 1995, said he disagreed with the decision to end Jane K. Fernandes’ appointment as incoming president and said it was “unfair and not in the best interests of the university.” Gallaudet also announced the resignation of board member Brenda Jo Brueggemann, an Ohio State University professor. Brueggemann said in a statement that she had “suffered considerably” since her appointment as board president in May and “can no longer justify these personal and professional costs.”
BOARD TO MEET THIS WEEKEND
Gallaudet’s Board of Trustees will begin planning a process to select an interim president when it convenes this weekend on campus. Board members plan to meet Saturday for 45 minutes each with five different constituencies: faculty, staff, students, alumni and preschool representatives. Each group will be asked to discuss the qualifications and characteristics the interim president should possess and the process they think should be used to make the selection.
DIVELY FALLS SHORT IN MINNESOTA ELECTION BID
Emory Dively’s bid for a seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives turned up short in Tuesday’s election. Dively, a deaf Republican, was trying to unseat five-term state Rep. Michael Paymar in a Saint Paul district that has voted Democrat for 20 years. Paymar was reelected with 13,326 votes and 71% of the votes. Dively, a pastor in the conservative Assemblies of God denomination, captured 5,412 votes and 29% of the votes.
DEAF PEDESTRIAN STRUCK, KILLED IN TEXAS
A deaf man in Lubbock, Texas was hit by two cars and killed last Wednesday night. According to KCBD, Luddy Hatla was struck by a sport utility vehicle and then by a second vehicle. The driver of the second car told a reporter she thought she hit a pillow or box. Neither driver is expected to be charged. A friend of Hatla said he was a good man who was facing some challenges. Hatla is the second deaf pedestrian to die in Lubbock in three weeks. Andrea Deanda, 24, was struck and killed by a truck on October 14.
ILLINOIS MAN DIES IN HIT-AND-RUN ACCIDENT
A deaf Illinois man was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Kewanee early Sunday, reported WQAD. Ritchie Grayson, 46, was walking home from a bar about 2 a.m. when the accident occurred. Police found a van believed to be involved about nine hours later and arrested the driver, Nicole King, 23, charging her with leaving the scene of a personal injury accident. Grayson, a lifelong Kewanee resident, was known for walking and riding his bike wherever he went. “Ritchie was a good guy,” said Dave Dulla, a friend of the victim. “He didn’t deserve that.”
SITTER ACQUITTED ON CHARGES IN BABY’S DEATH
A deaf babysitter was acquitted in Brooklyn, N.Y. last Thursday in the scalding death of a 1-year-old girl she was bathing. Jamilatu Williams stared at an interpreter as the jury forewoman read not-guilty verdicts on charges of murder, manslaughter and assault, reported The New York Post. The four-day trial included testimony by doctors who said burn patterns on the victim, Zakiya Butler, indicated that she had been held under the water, an account that Williams disputed. Said Williams, who served time as a teenager for a stabbing: “I’m sad for the baby.”
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MAN CHARGED IN KILLING OF CO-WORKER, 16
A hard-of-hearing Indiana man was charged last week with murdering a 16-year-old restaurant co-worker. Police say Danny Rouse confessed to killing Stephanie Wagner and told them where to find the girl’s body, but in court last Friday he pleaded not guilty. Rouse was paroled eight months ago after serving time for the 1979 murder of a 5-year-old Wichita, Kan. boy. According to KAKE, Rouse said in court that in addition to being hard of hearing, he is also a diabetic, has a thyroid problem, needs glasses, owns no property and has $15 to his name.
OREGON SCHOOL LOCKED DOWN ON GUN REPORT
State and local police conducted a “massive manhunt” at the Oregon School for the Deaf on Monday after an anonymous caller said two armed juveniles were seen on campus, reported the Statesman Journal. The caller, who placed the call through the relay service at 1:36 p.m., also said before hanging up that one of the juveniles had fired a gun. The school was put into lockdown as Oregon State Police, Salem Police, Marion County Sheriff’s Office and Keizer Police searched the campus. The school returned to normal activities after all 115 students were accounted for and no evidence of criminal activity was found.
MAN MISSING 10 DAYS REUNITED WITH FAMILY
A deaf Massachusetts man who went missing for 10 days was reunited with his family last Wednesday, reported the North Andover Eagle-Tribune. Raymundo Richiez, 41, was picked up by North Reading police after they received multiple calls of a suspicious person in a residential neighborhood. He was identified from a news article about his disappearance. Richiez does not know sign language and his family is not sure what happened to him, but they believe someone made him perform hard labor. They are just thrilled to see him alive, said cousin Lupita Valdez. Before he was found, police thought he may have fallen into the Merrimack River and drowned.
CATHOLIC DEAF CENTER IN RHODE ISLAND SET TO CLOSE
The Providence (R.I.) Journal reported Sunday that the Diocese of Providence has decided to close the Catholic Deaf Community Center at St. Ann Church. Several congregants cried when they heard the news at Mass on October 22. Some believe the closing is in retaliation for recent complaints about the Rev. Joseph Bruce, a deaf Jesuit priest brought in last year and said to be unfriendly and critical toward members. A diocese official denied the claims, saying the move will broaden the deaf ministry by mainstreaming deaf people into hearing congregations. The center was established in 1989 and serves about 150 deaf Catholics. “It does not make any sense,” said parishioner Don Rooney. “All these years we never made any trouble.”
NAD SETTLES COMPLAINT AGAINST ELLIS ISLAND
The National Association of the Deaf announced last week that it has settled a disability discrimination complaint with the U.S. Department of the Interior. The complaint was filed in 2004 on behalf of the Senior Deaf Group of the Northwest Bergen Senior Activity Center in Midland Park, N.J. after the group was denied an interpreter for a tour of Ellis Island. The group was told to “just read the descriptions on the wall” and ended up bringing their own interpreter. Under the agreement, Ellis Island reimbursed the interpreting fee and agreed to provide interpreters and other auxiliary aids to deaf and hard-of-hearing visitors in the future.
SUPERINTENDENT ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT PLANS
A Virginia school superintendent who grew up on the Gallaudet University campus has announced his retirement plans. Walter Krug, 64, will step down June 30 as superintendent of Appomattox County Schools, said the Lynchburg News & Advance. Both of Krug’s parents taught at Gallaudet: his father for 35 years and his mother for about 15 years. Krug, who communicated with his parents through sign language, lived with his family on campus until he was 20 years old. “I grew up in the college environment,” he said.
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‘IRRITATED’ HUSBAND KILLS WIFE WITH SPADE
A man in India allegedly killed his wife with a spade last Wednesday because he was irritated with her hearing disability, reported India eNews. Mahadev Oraon reportedly came home drunk and had a quarrel with his wife Cheria, hitting her in the head with the spade and killing her instantly. The couple’s four children, ages 2 to 8, awoke to find their mother in a pool of blood. Villagers heard their screams and gathered at the spot, but Mahadev had already escaped. His brother said he had to speak loudly to his wife, and that irritated him.
U.K. PROGRAM ‘SEE HEAR’ CELEBRATES 25TH ANNIVERSARY
See Hear, a TV program for deaf U.K. citizens, celebrated its 25th anniversary in October. According to The Guardian, See Hear airs midday on Saturdays for 38 weeks a year and covers a wide range of issues including entertainment, art, politics and sports. “The early shows had public service broadcasting written all over them,” said See Hear editor Terry Riley, a 20-year veteran of the show. “But over 25 years, See Hear has changed immeasurably, and in many ways we’ve pulled the deaf community along with us.” The program attracts a wide audience; while the U.K. has about 75,000 sign-language users, See Hear regularly has more than 600,000 viewers.
U.K. MAN BIKES THROUGH BRAZIL FOR CHARITY
A U.K. man has raised £2,800 ($5,335 US) for deaf children by riding his bicycle more than 200 miles across Brazil. Graham Purdam, 67, of Holmfirth, tackled the ride on behalf of the National Deaf Children’s Society, said the Huddersfield Daily Examiner. He is one of about 1,500 cyclists who have participated in NDCS challenges since the agency set up the program in 1997. It was not his first charity cycle event, said the report; in April 2005, he and friend Anna Skibinska, 32, rode 500 miles in South Africa with 38 other fundraisers, raising over $190,000 as a group for the deaf charity. To learn more about the challenge program, visit www.ndcschallenges.org.uk/.
DEAF GUITARIST ORGANIZES CHARITY EVENT
A deaf U.K. guitarist is organizing a charity concert for people with breast cancer, reported the Croydon Guardian. Alan Higgins, 51, lost nearly all his hearing when he was 4 years old and learned to play guitar by biting the strings and memorizing the vibrations of the sounds they produced. “I have had to work so hard at it you wouldn’t believe it,” he said. Higgins underwent many operations as a child and missed a lot of school, causing him to learn to read and write on his own. “When I was growing up,” he said, “no one seemed to have a clue what to do with me.” Alan’s Rock and Blues Xmas Party for Breakthrough Breast Cancer is set for December 1 at Mama K’s Blues Bar in Croydon.
NAMIBIAN STUDENTS ‘INVENT’ 24 NEW SIGNS
Five deaf students from Namibia have invented 24 new signs for various insects, spiders and reptiles. The students, who attend the Namibian Institute for Special Education, were inspired to create the signs after attending an EduVenture trip and discovering that signs for insects such as grasshoppers and dragonflies do not exist in their sign vocabulary. With help from EduVenture scientists, the youngsters created the new signs based on the animals’ typical characteristics, reported AllAfrica.com. They assembled a booklet called, “Talking With Hands About Bugs,” and received a creativity award at an International Science Fair in August.
HOLIDAY CARDS ON SALE IN CANADA
The Canadian Hearing Society is selling holiday cards to raise money for services to people who are deaf and hard of hearing. The card’s artwork, featuring three snowpeople, was created by CHS consumers Haley, 4, and Ashley, 6. A package of 10 cards is available for $12 ($10.62 US). To place an order, visit www.chs.ca/chsshop/shopexd.asp?id=189.
Last week’s Deafweekly reported that Peter Gesa, a deaf 17-year-old, was killed by a punch to the head outside a McDonald’s restaurant in Cairns, U.K. Actually, Cairns is in Australia. We regret the error.
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LIFE & LEISURE
NEW JERSEY MOMS PUSH FOR HEARING AID COVERAGE
Lawmakers in New Jersey will vote on a bill next month that would require insurance companies to cover hearing aids for children 15 years old or younger. The campaign to pass “Grace’s Law” began eight years ago under the direction of Jeanine Gleba, whose daughter Grace has a severe hearing impairment. The original bill was introduced by the late Assemblyman Melvin Cottrell in 1999. Recently another New Jersey mother, Lynn Marie Whitenight, joined forces with Gleba. Whitenight, whose son Jake was born in August with a severe bilateral hearing loss, has written to legislators and started a website (www.graceslaw.com) to promote the cause. “Our goal is for insurers to recognize that hearing aids are a medical necessity,” she said.
NEW GUIDELINES CALL FOR MORE EXTENSIVE SCREENING
Science Line, a New York University publication, reported last week on new guidelines that could lead to better diagnosis and treatment of congenital hearing loss. Updated fact sheets, first issued in 1996, were recently approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics and call for clinicians to screen newborns for a dozen different genetic diseases, including hearing loss. A new test called tandem mass spectrometry (TMS) allows clinicians to screen for more than 30 diseases with one small blood sample, at a cost of about $16. “It’ll help to identify these kids [with hearing loss] a lot sooner,” said audiologist Joan Besing.
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MERGER TO COMBINE INTERPRETING, CAPTION FIRMS
Visual Language Interpreting, Inc., a Washington, D.C. company, has announced plans to merge in early 2007 with national captioning leader Caption First, Inc. “We are going to be the first company that has expertise in both captioning and sign language interpreting,” VLI’s Brian Somers told The Examiner. VLI has 20 employees and $6 million in annual sales; Caption First employs nine people and takes in $2.4 million a year. The combined company, which has not chosen a new name yet, is expected to have up to $10 million in sales.
SORENSON INSTALLS VIDEOPHONE BOOTHS IN AIRPORT
Sorenson Communications announced last week that it has installed two videophone booths at Salt Lake City International Airport. The videophone booths, located in the airport’s baggage claim areas, connect deaf and hard-of-hearing callers to a nationwide network of interpreters through Sorenson’s VP-200 videophone and the Sorenson Video Relay Service. The new service will be especially useful in February when thousands of people descend on Salt Lake City for the 2007 Winter Deaflympics.
FREE VIDEO EMAIL OFFERED THROUGH NEW SERVICE
GabSight last week released what it calls the most powerful yet simplest-to-use video email service on the Internet. GabMail and GabJam allow users to record video messages that they can send to anyone with an email address. Recipients need only click a link to view the message. The service is accessible to 98% of Internet users without downloading or installing software, said GabSight co-founder Paul Langer. It is especially useful for deaf people who prefer signing over typing, said CEO Mark Lipsky. Check it out at www.freegabmail.com.
SPECIAL ED PROGRAM WELCOMED BY NEW SCHOOL
A special education program for deaf and hard-of-hearing students has been warmly welcomed to Grayslake North High School in Waukegan, Ill., reported the Waukegan News Sun. The program had been located at Libertyville High School for 35 years but outgrew its facilities and had to find a new home. “I could not ask for a better place to be,” said school official Terri Nilson-Bugella. The program has 12 students, all freshmen and sophomores, who attend regular classes and participate in after-school activities and athletics. “We all get along,” said Aaron Swank, 16. “I have been accepted and there are no problems.”
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
N.Y. DEAF THEATRE TO STAGE ‘BRILLIANT TRACES’
New York Deaf Theatre will stage Brilliant Traces next month at the Gene Frankel Studio in New York City. Brilliant Traces, Cindy Lou Johnson’s one-act play about a man and a woman who meet in the middle of nowhere, will be presented the first three weekends in December on Fridays and Saturdays at 7 and 9 p.m. and on Sundays at 2 p.m. NYDT, established in 1979, has “taken a long, hard look at where we’ve been and where we want to be, and re-examining our challenges,” said theater director Frank Dattolo. Several new board members have signed on in recent years and plans call for hiring a permanent artistic director through grants and government funding. To learn more, visit www.nydeaftheatre.org.
DEAF ARTIST IS FINALIST IN BREASTFEEDING SYMBOL CONTEST
Deaf designer Matt Daigle is one of three finalists in an international competition to create a graphic symbol to indicate the availability of breastfeeding facilities. The contest is sponsored by Mothering Magazine and so far more than 100,000 votes have been counted. You can see the designs of the three finalists and vote on your favorite by clicking here. Daigle’s design is number 3.
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NEW MEXICO CAPTURES FOOTBALL STATE TITLE
The New Mexico School for the Deaf football team captured the six-man football state title Saturday in Albuquerque by overpowering San Jon, 66-59. According to The New Mexican, NMSD (10-1) became the first deaf school to win a state title since Colorado won the eight-man state title in 1977 and the fourth ever to win a state title in any sport. Quarterback A.J. Williams threw for 199 yards and two touchdowns and caught a 65-yard touchdown pass. Running back Dustin Moulder scored six touchdowns to go with 147 yards receiving and 111 rushing. The players mingled on the field with about 200 fans after the game. Said head coach Robert Huizar: “What a wonderful community we have.”
GALLAUDET FOOTBALL ENDS SEASON WITH 20-19 LOSS
The Gallaudet University football team wrapped up its season Sunday with a loss to Bridgewater (Va.) College’s junior varsity team, 20-19. The Bison went 6-2 for the season, which was rocked by the month-long campus siege in October. “It’s not something I’ve ever been through or ever want to go through again,” head coach Ed Hottle told the Washington Examiner. Still, the team missed just a few practices and had only one game cancelled. “Regardless of their political opinions,” said Hottle, “they seemed to be able to put it away while they were out here.”
CALIFORNIAN ELECTED TO U.S. BOWLING HALL OF FAME
Connie Marchione, a longtime deaf bowling leader, was one of two people recently elected to the United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame. A former 13-year president of the National Deaf Bowling Association, Marchione served as tournament director for Deaf Team USA qualifiers for teams that competed in the World Games for the Deaf. He established the National Deaf Bowling Hall of Fame and was co-creator of the Deaf Bowler, the NDBA’s official publication. Marchione, 83, of Panorama City, Calif., will be inducted March 30 at the 2007 USBC Convention in Nashville, Tenn.
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Deafweekly currently has two openings for sponsors. As a sponsor, you receive a banner ad on the home page, a banner ad on the Current News page and a 100-word text ad in each issue. A sponsorship costs $50 per week and there is a three-month minimum commitment (13th week is free). To learn more, contact email@example.com or visit www.deafweekly.com/advertise.htm.
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OPPORTUNITIES AT FEGS
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The Client Support Specialist will work with deaf, hard of hearing, deafened individuals and deaf senior citizens and provide services including peer counseling, advocacy, and community education on health issues, senior citizen issues, entitlement benefits and daily living issues. DCARA offers extremely competitive benefits such as 4-day work week schedule, 12 days of holiday leave plus one week paid winter holiday, and full medical, dental, vision and life insurances. DEADLINE: open until filled. APPLICATION PROCEDURE: Applications and full employment position descriptions are available at www.dcara.org, then click on “Employment”.
the largest non-profit Human Services agency in New England, is also the region
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Deaf & Hard of Hearing Residential and Awake Overnight Counselors
We are actively recruiting persons of any background, especially Deaf and Hard of Hearing applicants, to join our team as Residential Counselors and Awake Overnights. You will provide support to adults with mental illness. Coordinate and monitor daily schedules; provide transportation, crisis intervention and access to emergency services. Counsel clients toward goals and skill development and communicate with staff/service providers to discuss clients’ progress and any changes. You must be ASL proficient and have a background in mental health, social work, chemical dependency, or psychology. Experience working with deaf clients is helpful.
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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.
-- Director of Human Services – Los Angeles, CA
-- Community Interpreter – Riverside, CA
-- Job Developer/Interpreter – Crenshaw, Norwalk, Riverside and West Covina, CA
-- Community Health Educator – Los Angeles, CA
-- LIFESIGNS Dispatcher – Riverside, CA
-- Grant Writer – Los Angeles, CA
-- Accounts Receivable Specialist – Los Angeles, CA
-- Program Assistant/Interpreter – Los Angeles, CA
If interested for any of these positions then please submit resume and application to:
Human Resources Specialist
Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness, Inc.
2222 Laverna Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90041
V/TDD: (323) 550-4207
Fax #: (323)550-4204
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