December 9, 2009
Vol. 6, No. 8
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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Fayette County, GA
WOMAN KILLED BY WRONG WAY DRIVER NOT JUST 'A VICTIM'
The news story described her as "the victim" of a wrong way driver. Jahan Zachery, age 25, was killed early yesterday morning on the connector near Langford Parkway in downtown Atlanta. Now her family wants everyone to know Zachery was much more than a "victim." Her twin sisters Jocelyn and Jacquelyn, age 16, and brother Jacques, age 19, said their sister was special. Jahan Zachery graduated from high school at the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf. She attended Gallaudet University in Washington, DC where she majored in psychology. / 11 Alive
GALLAUDET COMMUNITY HONORS PRESIDENT DAVILA
On November 17, President Davila reported to the Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES) for a meeting, only to discover a surprise awaiting him. Under the guise of "showing him something downstairs," Edward Bosso, dean of the Clerc Center, led Davila to the main level of the building, where two long lines of students, teachers, and staff awaited the president. As Davila worked the line on both sides of the corridor, a sea of hands reached out to him for high fives and handshakes. The KDES community then gathered in the auditorium for a tribute honoring Davila's many years of service. / Gallaudet University News
See also SCHOOL NAMED FOR PRESIDENT DAVILA / Gallaudet University News
GREEN SENTENCED TO LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE
John Champion of Hazel Green gave a silent sign of victory Monday, balling his hands into fists, when he knew one of three people accused in the brutal beating death of his father would spend life in prison with no chance of parole. John, who is hearing impaired, received confirmation of Derrick Green’s sentencing through a sign language interpreter just after 3 p.m. in Limestone County Circuit Court. John’s father, 74-year-old Art Champion of Ardmore, was beaten to death in his home with a hickory stick Nov. 10, 2006. John found his father’s body the next day, lying in a pool of blood on the bedroom floor. / The News-Courier
East Lansing, MI
200 RALLY FOR MSU'S DEAF PROGRAM
The crowd gathered at Michigan State University's Hannah Administration Building last Friday morning didn't applaud the speakers in front of them. Instead, they raised their hands in the air. This was a rally, perhaps 200 strong, to save the Deaf Education program at Michigan State University, which trains teachers for the deaf. The program, along with classes in American Sign Language, have been threatened with elimination as the university cuts its budget. "Closing this program at Michigan State University, I fear, will only turn the education of our deaf children back another 50 years," said Natalie Grupido, a teacher at the Michigan School for the Deaf and an MSU graduate. / Lansing State Journal
ASSISTED LIVING CAREGIVER SLAIN IN FRONT OF ELDERLY CLIENT
A caregiver was shot to death last Wednesday morning in front of one of her clients in his Theodore group home, authorities said. Cindy Longmire, 32, was found shot in the head in the Quail Run East house. Mobile police apprehended 34-year-old Demetrius Thomas, her estranged boyfriend, shortly after the 9:15 a.m. killing. He was charged with murder. Longmire, who assisted the mentally and physically disabled clients in the group home, was at the kitchen sink when Thomas shot her through the window, said Julie Veal, the owner of the group home and Longmire's employer. / Press-Register
TWO MEN NOW CONTROL ACCESS TO THE INTERNET FOR DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING
Two men have the power to get HR 3101 -- and its future Senate equivalent -- passed or kill it. Who are they? Virginia Representative Rick Boucher (D-9th) AND Massachusetts Senator John Kerry (Democratic). Why do they have this much power? Why is it that these two men have the power to move HR 3101 (and a future Senate equivalent) no matter how many cosponsors we get? They have this power because ... / Caption Action 2
AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE 101 -- WHY NOT?
Like many other Princeton students, I spent my Fall Break not going home and relaxing, but on one of the Pace Center’s BreakOut trips, learning about Deaf culture and public policy in Washington, D.C. One of the key goals of the trip was to learn the basics of American Sign Language (ASL), which turned out to be amazingly fun and rewarding. So rewarding, in fact, that I’m writing a column to ask: Why doesn’t Princeton, which even offers Swahili and Sanskrit courses, offer some kind of for-credit class in ASL? / The Daily Princetonian
DEAF STUDENTS VISIT A DEAF DOLPHIN AT CLEARWATER MARINE AQUARIUM
About 20 kids from the Blossom Montessori School for the Deaf in Clearwater visited Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) for a field trip like no other. CMA trainers planned a field trip tailored to the kids and their needs. For the first time, the students worked with Panama -- a dolphin CMA recently learned is deaf. / Zoo and Aquarium Visitor
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Ijebu Ife, Nigeria
POLICE, COUNCIL BOSS DIFFER OVER IJEBU IFE KILLINGS
Controversy is surrounding last Saturday’s killing of no fewer than 15 persons in Ijebu Ife after a fracas between youths and a vigilance group. The violence also claimed an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr. Omololu Oladokun, who was burnt by unknown persons. The police boss was said to have been killed as he tried to pacify angry youths in the town, who were protesting the killing of a partially deaf and dumb tailor, Toba Bayesan, by the town’s security outfit. / The Punch
Cape Town, South Africa
'KILLERS DESTROYED MY FAMILY'
"These men have destroyed my family." This was the reaction of Jerome Lithins, minutes after his wife Pat's killers, Alfred Phahla, Rusty Lekoko Swana and David Maditsi, were sentenced to life for the murder of his wife in December 2006. Jerome and his son Jesse are deaf, and according to the evidence before the court, both relied on Pat to communicate with customers and suppliers for their chocolate business. / Independent Online
Cape Town, South Africa
COURT EVICTION ROW OVER DEAF DOMESTIC
A prominent estate agent has been drawn into a body corporate row over the eviction of a deaf domestic worker who lives in the basement of a block of apartments in Cape Town. Anne Porter, who founded Anne Porter Properties 21 years ago, is chairman of the body corporate that wants to have Cordelia Norauzana removed from the block, Stellenberg, in Newlands. Norauzana's tiny room -- which court papers describe as a "refuse room" and "store room" -- barely accommodates a single bed, plywood wardrobe and small kitchen unit. / The Times
DEAF 68-YEAR-OLD ON WORLD EXPEDITION MAKES IT TO MALTA
Bending over an imaginary walking stick, Vladimir Yarets slowly paces around a carpet of photographs that tell the story of his silent travels around the world. The deaf 68-year-old from Belarus soon lifts his head and, smiling broadly, straightens up and starts jumping around and shaking all his limbs energetically. As he sinks back to a crouch for a few seconds, he quickly shakes his head, disapprovingly signalling he will not let himself wither away in a sedentary life because of his age. And the fact that he cannot hear will not stop him from achieving his life-long goal: to make it into the Guinness Book of world records for being the first deaf person to complete a round-the-world trip on a motorbike. / Times of Malta
CINEMAS RAISE IRE OF DEAF AND BLIND
Filmmaker Adam Elliot has joined disabled and advocacy groups who have denounced cinema companies for applying for an exemption from the Disability Discrimination Act. The Hoyts, Village, Greater Union and Reading chains have asked the Australian Human Rights Commission for a 2½-year exemption from complaints about providing captioning for the deaf and audio description for the blind. In return, the cinemas say they will install the equipment to run the technology for three screenings a week in 35 cinemas in Australia. / The Age
Wellington, New Zealand
DEAF PROTEST AGAINST EDUCATION CUTS
Members of the deaf and hearing impaired community staged a silent protest against proposed education fund cuts outside Prime Minister John Key's electorate office last Saturday. About 15 people protested in sign language against proposals to cut Tertiary Education Commission funding for the Advance Centre, which helps with the education of deaf and hearing impaired people. The centre said it would have to close if the funding was cut, putting the education of deaf and hearing impaired people at risk. / NZ Herald News
'ACCENTUATE' LAUNCHES BOLD DEAF AND DISABILITY PROJECT FOR PARALYMPIC GAMES
An ambitious transformational program to create new opportunities for deaf and disabled people and to promote the heritage and legacy of the Paralympic Games has been launched in the South East of England. Accentuate is designed to celebrate the South East’s role as the birthplace of the Paralympic movement at Stoke Mandeville and will deliver 15 cross sector projects spanning the worlds of arts, athletics and heritage before and during the 2012 Paralympic Games. The program was launched at a showcase event at the Brighton Dome last Thursday. / Culture 24
KICKED OFF BUS OVER 'NOISY' DEAF DAUGHTER
A mother of four says she suffered "public humiliation" when she was thrown off a bus because the driver would not believe her daughter was deaf. Paula Yates was asked to leave the Trent Barton Rainbow One bus after a row began because Emily Ayling, who was born severely deaf, was making too much noise. The 24-year-old, of Eastwood, said the driver accused her of lying when she said it was hard to stop Emily screaming because the one-year-old could not hear. / This is Nottingham
North Walsham, England
DEAF PUPPY SUGGS ESCAPES DEATH SENTENCE
A dog lover has come to the rescue of a deaf puppy and is now looking for funds to help buy him a new kennel. Suggs, a white Staffordshire bull terrier believed to be under a year old, was picked up as a stray by Norwich City Council's dog team. Totally deaf and unable to go on a lead or in a car, he was set to be put down. But Debbie Dennis, who works closely with the council's dog wardens, heard about Suggs' plight and said she would take him in so he would not die. / Norwich Evening News
Toronto, Ont., Canada
ANIMATED DICTIONARY FOR DEAF CHILDREN UNVEILED
The Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf and marblemedia have launched the first children’s animated dictionary of American Sign Language, with the prototype now available online at www.aslphabet.com. The project allows deaf children to look up words in their own primary language of ASL along with the English counterpart. The project was a collaboration between multiple organizations in three countries, and used funding from the Inukshuk Wireless Learning Plan Fund. Other collaborators include acclaimed deaf animator Braam Jordaan from South Africa and Sam Supalla, a deaf linguist at the University of Arizona. / Animation Magazine
SIGNS OF ENCOURAGEMENT FOR CROATIA
Overcoming the language barrier is only one issue which faces the four members of the Croatian women’s curling team which is competing in Section B of the European championships at Curl Aberdeen this week. Four members of the team - Melani Lusic, Maja Sertic, Marijana Bozic and Emina Crnaic - are deaf. Their coach is Germany-based Jamie Boutin who has no sign language skills. It gets more complicated. / Press & Journal
470 DEAF DELEGATES ATTEND JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES CONVENTION
More than 470 delegates from the deaf community in Ghana on Sunday, defied the scorching sun to participate in the international four-day convention of the Jehovah's Witnesses in Accra. Wielding handmade fans and umbrellas the delegates were exposed to the event through the use of sign language. About 49,024 Jehovah's Witnesses from Ghana, Europe and other African countries attended the convention on the theme: "Keep on the watch." / Peacefmonline.com
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LIFE & LEISURE
TARGETED VIDEO COMPRESSION BRINGS CELL PHONES TO SIGN LANGUAGE USERS
Most people use the video camera on their phone for bootlegging concert footage or recording drunken antics. But for the deaf, to whom cellphones' audio capability is moot, cellphone video offers a chance to expand beyond texting, and into the more expressive communication of American Sign Language. Unfortunately, low-bandwidth American cellphone lines can't carry video clear enough for sign language. That's where MobileASL comes in. / Popular Science
West Jefferson, OH
HE'S READY TO LISTEN TO WHATEVER HE CAN
This December, the only gift on Jim Westlake's wish list is the hearing he lost more than two decades ago. He isn't even particular about what he hears first. "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer," he said, flashing a wry smile. Westlake is a 52-year-old West Jefferson father of four. On the Monday of Thanksgiving week, he underwent a tricky cochlear implant in the hope that he might regain some of what he began losing in childhood. / The Columbus Dispatch
EXTRA EFFORT: TEEN USES SIGN LANGUAGE TO TALK TO DEAF PARENTS
Amy Harvat doesn't need to use her voice to communicate with her parents. Roger and Linda Harvat were born with hearing loss and taught their daughter and sons how to use sign language to communicate with them when the children were very young. "Growing up with parents that are deaf is sometimes a challenge. You can't just yell something at them and expect them to understand right away," said Amy, 18. / LaCrosse Tribune
A GIFT OF MUSICAL PROPORTIONS TO THE SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF AND THE BLIND
A symphonic surprise for students at the South Carolina School For The Deaf And The Blind. Monday the students received new and gently used instruments thanks to the Downtown Spartanburg Lions Club and the National Pawnbrokers Association. The school received everything from flutes to drums. The school says the instruments have been on their wishlist for a while. / WSPA
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MORE TEACHERS TURNING TO SIGN LANGUAGE TO MANAGE CLASSROOMS
Teachers come to the classroom with noble goals: closing the achievement gap, illuminating young minds. But first they must confront a more pressing problem: how to manage children's urgent requests, in the middle of the most carefully planned lessons, for permission to sharpen pencils, get drinks of water or visit the bathroom. One solution, a growing number of teachers are finding, is learning to speak without sound. / The Washington Post
Fort Myers, FL
GUIDE DOG JOINS ALLEN PARK TEACHER IN CLASSROOM
Chris Hamstra looks forward to a cold, wet nose and wagging tail greeting him in the morning. It's his four-legged alarm clock, one that follows him to work every day at Allen Park Elementary. Hamstra, who is deaf, believes he's the first Lee County public school teacher with a hearing dog, although the school district does not maintain records on employees with service dogs. California-based Canine Companions for Independence said Hiro is the first hearing dog it has placed in Southwest Florida. / The News-Press
GOLD'S GYM TRAINER INSPIRES HIS CLIENTS
If you think of workout classes, the sound of techno music and clashing weights might come to mind, but for someone that can't hear, the experience can be very different and much more difficult. "Not having that direct communication when we talk about form, style, making sure we protect the lower back and certain body parts, that communication can be a barrier," said Scott Falcone with Gold's Gym in Lexington. Falcone also works with the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind. If there's a deaf participant in one of his weekly classes, his hands get a workout. / WIS10
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
New York, NY
VISION-IMPAIRED GIRL GETS HELEN KELLER UNDERSTUDY ROLE
After a nationwide search, the producers of the coming Broadway revival of “The Miracle Worker” have cast a vision-impaired 10-year-old as the understudy for the role of Helen Keller, to the delight of advocates for disabled actors who were concerned about the choice of a seeing, hearing actress to play Helen. Kyra Ynez Siegel of Eugene, Ore., landed the understudy job after flying to New York two weeks ago for an audition. / The New York Times
New York, NY
REVIEW: THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER
Adapting a classic novel short on plot, storied for the originality of its prose, and admired for its detailed observation of time, place, and character is a tall order. Unfortunately, though respectful and thoughtful, Rebecca Gilman's dramatization of Carson McCullers' breathtaking debut novel fails to set the heart of this "Hunter" fully beating. / Backstage
See also WISHY-WASHY HEART / New York Post
DEAF WOMAN OVERCOMES CHALLENGES TO DIRECT HOLIDAY CLASSIC
This story may even make Ebenezer Scrooge smile. Every year, the New Century Community Church in Roanoke stages a production of "A Christmas Carol" full of characters at the Roanoke Civic Center, but the star of this year's show is someone of real character. Scrooge the Musical is a holiday classic people love to see and hear. But for the show's director that can be a challenge since she's almost completely deaf. "I can feel that the sound is happening," says the show's director Betsy Foster. / WDBJ7
DEAF ARTIST JAMES CASTLE USED ART TO COMMUNICATE
Without formal art training or communication skills, artist James Castle's drawings are becoming nationally recognized. More than 200 pieces of his work are currently on display at the Art Institute of Chicago. James Castle, an Idaho native, was born deaf. He was also believed to have cognitive disabilities. Unable to lip-read, fingerspell and sign, Castle used his artist's ability to communication. / WLS-TV
DEAF DOG JUMPS THROUGH HOOPS TO INSPIRE OTHERS
It sounds like an act right out of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. But “Eric Melvin and Angelyne the Amazing Deaf Cattle Dog” is no act. And it's nothing to laugh at, either, although it will bring a smile to the face of anyone who knows the pair. Angelyne, an Australian cattle dog, performs with her owner, Eric Melvin. Angelyne was born deaf and responds to more than 40 hand signals and nonverbal commands. / The Tribune
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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.”
Las Vegas, NV
ULTIMATE FIGHTER MATT HAMILL FINDS MOTIVATION FROM GRANDFATHER
One day, prior to the seventh anniversary of Stan McCoy's passing, Matt Hamill saddled up to his grandfather's gravesite in Loveland, Ohio, looking for a conversation. Born deaf, Hamill never had occasion to hear the wise man's words, though the pair seemed to have little problem communicating. Unable to assign a voice to his grandfather's maxims, Hamill thought of the facial expressions, the passion and the unconditional love. He thought of these things and two days later crushed Mark Munoz with a high kick, a lifetime of preparation trampling yet again what many would consider insurmountable odds. / Sports Illustrated
See also MATT HAMILL WINS DUE TO CONTROVERSIAL DISQUALIFICATION / The Examiner
See also MATT HAMILL SUFFERED DISLOCATED SHOULDER IN BOUT WITH JON JONES / FightLine.com
See also MATT 'THE HAMMER' HAMILL VS. JON JONES IN UFC FINALE / DeafNation
TEXANS ROOKIE BARWIN INSPIRES DEAF STUDENTS
High school senior Shaina Carthon is unlikely to ever step onto a football field. Still, Carthon, who is deaf, realized she shouldn't limit her dreams after hearing Houston Texans rookie Connor Barwin share his story of making it to the NFL despite being born almost completely deaf. Barwin spent more than an hour with about 50 deaf and hard-of-hearing students at Barbara Jordan High School in Houston this week. / The Associated Press
DOUGLAS PERSING SCORES 1,000TH POINT FOR SCRANTON SCHOOL
Applause echoed off the cinder block walls of the Anthony Ligi Gymnasium. Only Douglas Persing didn't hear the adulation. Instead he sprinted down the floor, as he had all night, getting back to his defensive position. Once the game had been stopped, and coach Doug Boersma presented the 6-foot-4 center, who is deaf, with a commemorative basketball, the hard-nosed player was able to replace his determined stare with a smile. This moment was special for the Scranton School for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children community, as the 17-year-old junior basketball standout eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for his career. / The Times-Tribune
PARTNERSHIP GIVES VSDB STUDENTS ENHANCED OPPORTUNITIES IN P.E.
They stared over the railing adoringly as the chiseled 25-year-old mixed martial arts athlete rapidly jumped rope. Cuong Huynh, 18, of Centreville, Justin Shade, 17, of Fredericksburg and Dasam Benn, 20, of Norfolk, all deaf students at the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind were touring Lifetime Fitness Center at Augusta Health on Monday. In an attempt to expand its curriculum, the school has created an advanced physical education that will last six weeks. Augusta Health offered to let students use their equipment and facilities for free. / The News Leader
POPULAR BENEFIT CHANGES SITE, COURSE AND GETS NEW LEADERS
The glittery benefit for Betty and Leonard Phillips Deaf Action Center of Northwest Louisiana will be presented Saturday by American Airlines/American Eagle. The last Las Vegas Night brought in over $160,000 in 2007 and officials hope to surpass the figure this year, said DAC executive director David Hylan. It is moving from Cambridge Club to Wine Country Bistro, Pierremont Mall. Even the chairmanship changed hands. / Shreveport Times
13TH ANNUAL ILLINOIS DEAF FINGER-SPELLING BEE
On December 11, 2009, IDHHC is hosting the Annual Statewide Deaf Finger-Spelling Bee. This event will be held at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. The Statewide Deaf Fingerspelling Bee is patterned after the Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee, but modified for Deaf students. New this year, the competitors, their advisors and their classmates will have an opportunity to explore the story of Abraham Lincoln during their visit to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. / The Community Times
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