Tuesday, July 26, 2005

OCDAC Newsletter July 26, 2005

Dear Friends,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT! TODAY IS THE 15TH
ANNIVERSARY OF THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT.

We celebrate this day everyday by helping people enforce it. We're
not going to be just saying pretty words about the law. We're going
to say the law is the sword in our hands and we've used it many times
already and we will continue to use it to help people with
disabilities get the same opportunities to safety, good health, and
productivity.

The fair is winding down to it's final week. The education operation
has already been declared a complete sucess. We are now getting
invitations by people who visited our booths to have educational
booths at health fairs, job fairs, and make presentations at
airports, Boy Scouts Camporee, Leisure World. We really need help
with booth staffing for the final 7 days as our core volunteer staff
has already been showing plenty signs of fatigue.

The Federal Communications Commission has published a notice of
proposed rulemaking in the matter of Closed Captioning of Video
Programming. We intend to file comments on behalf of the deaf
community. Richard Roehm has already been contacting community
members with this issues and has received a number of suggestons on
how to improve captioning. Our focus will be on next generation
televisions like plasma and liquid crystal displays, webcast videos,
and making captioning readable by peple with low vision.

OCDAC Communications

-------------< INSIDE NEWS >

We need a volunteer coordinator who will help us keep in touch with
volunteers and to contact them and make sure they are given the
opportunities to participate in our activities. Our volunteer lineup
has grown to over 100 people. This is one of the many great results
of our booth at the Orange County Fair.

We need to develop a program to teach young people sign language.
There has been a considerable number of requests for youth sign
language classes at the OC Fair booth. We intend to meet this need
as soon as possible.

Our Festival of Children education booth planning has already begun.
We need donations of bright colored paper to print our deaf awareness
materials on. This event is in September and was attended by 2
million people last year. A lot of the materials for this event has
already arrived at our office. We will have booths each weekend of
September at the festival.

We need to start a committee for our Tiller Days Festival, our 2nd
largest fundraising event of the year. Tiller Days is in October and
in Tustin, California. Also we have decided to elimninate our Rose
parade fundraiser and replace it with a bigger times square like
event at the Orange County Fairgrounds. We also need committees for
the Pirate's festival, Silverado Festival, and Winter Festval
fundraisers as well. Were going to be starting our nightly
fundraising activities at the bowling centers soon to help us raise
funds for the expenses of the bigger fundraising operations. We have
some new products that hold good promise in our fundraising.

We also started on our Deaf festival awareness booth planning that's
taking place in Van Nuys this coming September.

We have also started on our Deaf Expo (Mata.tv) planning for the
event in November in Long Beach.

We have begun our internal discussions on getting a grant to build a
six unit apartment building for the deaf and disabled in Salton City,
California. They recently built a casino and a major travel center
in the area and its becoming a boomtown after decades of slow
growth. Plans are on the way to re-open the airport, start a
fairground in the area too. We need to establish a committee who
will help us get the funding reservations.

-------------< OUTSIDE NEWS >

Child no longer deaf to the world
http://www.insidebayarea.com/trivalleyherald/localnews/ci_2888451

ADA legislation has opened many doors for the disabled
http://www.scsun-news.com/artman/publish/article_6661.shtml

Deaf kids tune in to celebrity
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?
AID=/20050723/NEWS01/507230321/1002/NEWS

Event lauds Disability Act's spirit
http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?
AID=/20050723/NEWS01/507230313/1006/NEWS

Implant could restore hearing to the deaf
http://www.lse.co.uk/ShowStory.asp?
story=BZ2515730T&news_headline=implant_could_restore_hearing_to_the_de
af

Law eases path for the disabled
http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?
AID=/20050725/OPINION01/507250301/1004/NEWS

Deaf golfer Kevin Hall makes PGA Tour debut
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/golf/07/23/bc.glf.deafgolfer.ap/
index.html

Deaf charity wants high fashion hearing aids
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/07/25/hearing_aids_fashion/

U-Mass professor connects deaf students with geology
http://www.wrgb.com/news/regional/regional.asp?selection=article_37571

Agency that aids disabled probed for funds
http://www.bradenton.com/mld/bradenton/news/local/12215984.htm

Camp helps area hearing-impaired children
http://www.edmondsun.com/articles/2005/07/24/news/news03.txt

Disability Activists Blast PBS for ADA Anniversary Promotion of
Better Dead than Disabled Film
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/7/prwebxml265191.php

Disabled Kids Play T-Ball at White House
http://news.yahoo.com/news?
tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050724/ap_on_go_pr_wh/white_house_t_ball_1

Radios Available for Hearing-Impaired Fans
http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=3196808

-------------< DEAF GRAPEVINE >

Next month, we will be helping a deaf client pursue a possible class
action case against the City of San Diego, their police department,
and the San Diego courts for permitting an orchestration of
communication barriers that prevented the client from having any say
in the police situation and preventing the client from having it's
day in court. This will be one of our key cases. Title II of the
Americans with Disabilities Act didnt seem to exist through the eyes
of the City of San Diego, their police department, and the courts
down there. We intend to use litigation to make Title II very
visible to them.

We are seeking more deaf people with similar situations in the San
Diego Area and we're exploring the possibility of making a class
action case out of this. If you have or know someone with a similar
experience, please let us know about it. Send it to the
ocdac@deafadvocacy.org email address.

-------------< BULLETIN >

ATTENTION DEAF PEOPLE WHO HAVE MYSTERIOUS PROBLEMS WITH THE DISNEY
COMPANY.

We are looking for DEAF People and others who have problems with the
Disney Company:

--apply, and no call back?
--apply, but no interview because deaf/ interpreter issue?
--apply, interview, but no interpreter or captions?
--got job, but then no interpreter for staff meetings?
--you feel punished because after being hired youre excluded from
training's, staff meetings, or other staff events?

(1) NEED YOUR NAME AND (2) ADDRESS (3) and E-mail (4) explanation of
your problem with The Disney Company.

We work with Morse Mehrban who is a rising star in the field of
disability access litigation. Morse needs to know about this no later
than September 4, 2005. Please email ocdac@deafadvocacy.com and
please use 'Disney Problems' in the subject line.

-------------< ADVOCACY NEWS >

Justin's "ADA Ten" message: even more true now in 2005.

July 26, 2000

Dear Colleagues:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ADA!

Congratulations to all the magnificent patriots who have fought to
pass and to implement the worlds first comprehensive civil rights law
for people with disabilities.

This is the tenth anniversary of the ADA. Has it been a success?

Yes. Relative to civil rights laws of the past considering the
millennia- deep roots of prejudice against people with disabilities,
the viciousness of the opposition by interest groups and that
compliance sometimes requires actual physical changes I believe that
the ADA has been more successful than anyone had a right to
expect.

Presidents Bush and Clinton have supported the ADA publicly and
through reasonable enforcement by their (understaffed) Justice
Departments. Many state and local governments followed suit. The
disability rights
movement has celebrated, advocated and enforced the law in most
communities.

Uncountable millions of substantial accommodations ramps, lifts on
buses, parking places, Braille signs, wide and automatic doors,
modified working places and bathrooms, assistive technology,
listening devices,
captions, telephone relays, interpreters have been provided, mostly
voluntarily. More importantly, millions of decision makers have been
forced to recognize people with disabilities as full members of the
human race, as citizens with the power to advocate and to sue for
their rights. In spite of initial business association opposition
to the law, a Harris Poll of a few years ago revealed that 83% of
business CEOs favored the ADA. All this has been accomplished
without the avalanche of lawsuits predicted by early opponents of the
Act.

It is often stated that the ADA has not been successful because there
are still 70% of people with disabilities unemployed. This criticism
does not impress me. Employment is determined by numerous physical,
psychological, educational and economic factors, many of which are
not directly regulated by the ADA.

Furthermore, I sense that the measured population of job seekers with
disabilities is changing. Far more people with severe disabilities
are training for, applying for, getting and not getting jobs. This
is a slow process, because we are just now beginning to stop paying
people not to work (WIIA, welfare reform, etc), and to lead them down
the long road from the attitudes of dependency to the attitudes and
skills of competitive work. But progress is being made, and a solid
foundation for more progress is being laid, even though uperficial
percentages have not changed much.

Finally, it is totally irrational to judge the ADA in isolation from
history. Our democracy was founded more than 200 years ago and we
still have a monstrous poverty gap. The Ten Commandments were
written more than 3000 years ago and none of them are totally
obeyed. Should we judge democracy and the Ten Commandments
unsuccessful?

It may take centuries for ADA to reach all of its goals. On its
tenth anniversary, it is a substantial success. This is not to say
that long term success is assured. Democracy is a fragile thing.
The forces of retreat are powerful, massively funded and dogmatically
determined. They may prevail. We must remain vigilant, passionate
and unified in our advocacy for a just society.

Solidarity forever. Together, we shall overcome.

Justin Dart

-------------< ANNOUNCEMENTS >

COME TO OUR MEETUPS! The Orange County American Sign Language Meetup
Group - http://asl.meetup.com/37/ - meets each 3rd Wednesdays of the
month. The Orange County Deaf & Hearing Impaired Meetup Group -
http://deaf.meetup.com/38/ - meets each 1st Saturdays of the month.

Our new ASL class schedules have been released. Please consult the
deaf center's website for the ASL class schedules.

Please visit our iGive store http://www.igive.com/ocdac

The Orange County American Sign Language Meetup Group -
http://asl.meetup.com/37/ - meets each 3rd Wednesdays of the month.

The Orange County Deaf & Hearing Impaired Meetup Group -
http://deaf.meetup.com/38/ - meets each 1st Saturdays of the month.

Please visit our bookstore that has related books and different kinds
of assistive living devices at http://store.deafadvocacy.org

If you shop at Albertsons and have a community partners card, please
consider adding your card to our list of supporters. You can now
download and print our Albertsons Community Partners signup forms at
Http://www.deafadvocacy.com/AlbertsonsSignup.pdf and have your
friends, neighbors, associates, and relatives sign up as supporters
and then mail it to the address on the form. Our goal is 25,000
supporters who shop at Albertsons. And when you shop at Albertsons,
please dont forget to use the community partners card.

We recycle used cell phones, empty printer and toner cartridges. If
you have any of these to unload from your hands, please send or drop
them at our agency at 2960 Main Street, A100, Irvine, California 92614

-------------< DEAF QUOTES >

"We use this almost every night, and we feel like we're close to
them. It's like they're in the house with us, but they're not" said
Louise Osborne of CSDVRS' D-Link system.

-------------< COMMUNITY BULLHORN >

MEDIA ADVISORY

Department of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson,
Secretary Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20410 2:00 P.M.
Monday, July 25, 2005

HUD STUDY SHOWS PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES DISCRIMINATED AGAINST MORE
THAN ANY OTHER GROUP WHEN SEEKING RENTALS

WASHINGTON The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is
releasing a groundbreaking, Chicago-based study, Discrimination
Against Persons With Disabilities Barriers at Every Step, that shows
people with disabilities are often discriminated against when trying
to rent apartments. The agency plans to use the comprehensive study
to provide fair housing advocates nationwide with a standardized tool
that will
allow them to investigate and detect discrimination against people
with disabilities.

##############

How do feel about Jerry Lewis and the telethon? Do you think his
portrayal of people with disabilities is degrading and despicable?
If you're getting a sour taste in your mouth and you feel like
throwing up
just thinking about another telethon approaching fast, then here's an
opportunity to take action.

We're asking Independent Living Centers and activists throughout the
country to organize free public screenings some time around Labor Day
of the documentary THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, a half-hour video about a
renegade Jerry's Kid named Mike Ervin.

A Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) poster child in the 1960s,
today Mike is a disability rights activist who challenges the use of
pity to raise money in the MDA's annual Jerry Lewis Labor Day
telethon. The documentary follows Mike and his group Jerry's Orphans
as they organize protests against the telethon in Chicago. The video
includes intense footage of protests from three consecutive years
paired with an interview in which Mike explains the history of
Jerry's Orphans and the reasons he confounded the group.

Our goal is to use this documentary as an anti-telethon organizing
tool within the disability community. We hope activists like you will
be interested in using the film to stir discussions in your area
about pity, charity and the perception of disability. If you wish,
you can also use the screening to generate media coverage and
protests to counteract the damage of the telethon.

We are also in the process of creating viewer discussion guides to
help facilitate your post show
discussion. We'll be glad to send free copies of the guides and the
video to anyone interested in organizing a screening.

If you would like to participate, please give me a call or send me an
email. My telephone number in Chicago is 773-929-6362, email address
wes754@sbc.com. Please check out our Web site for more information
at http://www.thekidsareallright.org

I look forward to hearing from ALL OF YOU. Take care and FREE OUR
PEOPLE.

Sincerely,

Barb Wesolek
Outreach Campaign Coordinator
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT

##############

Senator Tom Harkin is planning to introduce a Senate Resolution to
commemorate the 15th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities
Act next week, and is hoping that the Resolution will be considered
by the
U.S. Senate next Monday, July 25, 2005. On that afternoon, between
3:30 and 5:30 p.m. (EST), Senator Harkin plans to be on the Senate
floor speaking about the impact the ADA has had on the lives of
individuals with disabilities over the past 15 years. He would like
to be able to share your experiences, about how the ADA has impacted
your life. If you would like to share your story (which could be
cited by Senator Harkin or
included in the Congressional Record), please send your story to
chris_erickson@harkin.senate.gov (chris_erickson@harkin.senate.gov).
( Editor : Why dont you write to Senator Harkin that the deaf
communities need more than 4 days to submit their comments. )

-------------< DEAF FRIENDLY JOB OPPORTUNITIES >

2 deaf or hard of hearing mortgage consultants needed for a
Riverside, California mortgage company.

5 deaf or hard of hearing students needed at a store in Irvine for
work experience credit.

All candidates interested in any of the job opportunities are
required to apply for our job placement services. Our intake form is
at Http://www.deafadvocacy.com/intake.htm

-------------< DEAF FRIENDLY BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES >

Become an owner of a _________.WS website for only $10 a month! All
_________.WS owners automatically become .WS website resellers and it
comes with an automatic selling program and all you have to do is
lead people to your .WS reseller website. The WS stands
for 'website'! Link has video of the program in American Sign
Language and is a excellent self-sufficiency opportunity for people
who want to be on the top of the .WS cyber real estate market.
Hearing people can participate as the reseller link also has a video
for them. Begin your journey toward self-sufficiency by sending a
blank email to deaf@activist.com and it will auto-reply back to you
with information about this fantastic program. And you will get
another email message a few days later with the full explanation of
the program.

-------------< LETTERS >

I would like to know why almost everything on the internet, and
practically everywhere else goes on about ASL as though it's the only
sign language, and nobody / very few help you learn it.

Personally, I come from Great Britain. I use BSL. I was born with a
hearing loss, and what hearing I do have relies upon being in a near-
silent room to understand the speech, not just the tones of the
voice. If I go out publicly, the reliability of what I believe I am
hearing is very poor. I am losing my hearing, and assuming it stays
on the same decline I am likely to be severely / profoundly deaf in
5 - 10 years, and I will rely completely on Sign.

I think that the internet gives the impression to newcomers to the
deaf community that ASL is exclusive, and no other Sign Languages
exist, or those that do are cheap imitations of ASL. I do not feel
that ASL should be elevated to this status, and the other Signs
belittled.

This 'gripe' has grown since I wish to move to the States some time
in the next few years to be with a girl I've met on the internet. She
is profoundly deaf and lives in the States. I am making every effort
to learn ASL before I arrive as obviously I wish to communicate with
her when we meet. I have seen the Deaf World Web pages, and what used
to be the fabulous Deafnewspaper.com site. I have very few words I
can use to communicate in ASL. I still have to base the structure of
my signs on the structure of BSL.

Can anyone help me? I have had regular postings on Alldeaf.com, I
have an appeal on my own site, and nobody seems to be able to offer
any assistance.

If anyone can help me, please reply to this newsletter.

Many thanks...

Steve

-------------< EPILOG >

If you wish to contribute to this newsletter, feel free to send in
news, stories, and opinions relating to the disability community.
Your support for this effort to move the disability community forward
will be greatly appreciated. We will continue to aggressively
pursue justice, fairness, and equality for the disability community
as it has been doing since November 1996. We have chosen that
EDUCATION is the best way accomplish this objective.

Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center is a community based organization
that puts people with disabilities first in their advocacy for equal
opportunities in safety, health, and productive living.

The Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center provides services for disabled
individuals and their families in our community who need help in
navigating the social services maze go without proper food, shelter,
and essential medical care every day due to a variety of factors
including low wages, job loss, injuries, illness, age, domestic
violence, or divorce. While all of us are susceptible to hard times,
disabled individuals are at the most risk. With the generous support
of people like you, we are able to help many of these families and
individuals not only to meet essential daily needs, but to work
toward a brighter future with programs in job training, education,
counseling, elderly assistance, and temporary housing.

Feel free to forward this email message to any one and any of your
personal mailing lists so we can get the important messages out far
and wide and encourage them to sign up for our weekly newsletter.