Monday, December 28, 2009

This Volcano House Listing Perfect For High-End R-4 Rehab House For Deaf!

I came across this property and it looks perfect for a high-end R-4 house for wealthy deaf addicts. Ultimate privacy and free from the urban distractions. Wealthy deafies dont want to go to Awakenings, they tell me that for sure!

Volcano House

This just an idea until I have 800 grand to invest. I can run a R-4 house. I used to operate one in Midway City from '87-'92 that failed because of the urban distractions like bars, liquor stores, and big city crap. This place would definitely eliminate most of the problems I had running the R-4 house in Midway City.

The listing info

The Yahoo satellite image and map location

If you can spare me the $800 grand, I can make this dream into reality.

Richard Roehm

Friday, December 25, 2009

CSD in line for $30M contract

CSD in line for $30M contract

Communication Service for the Deaf in Sioux Falls has been notified that it probably will be awarded a $30 million contract to continue operating the equipment distribution program for the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program in California.

Last week, the California Public Utilities Commission posted an intent to award the contract to CSD. The state's Department of General Services still needs to approve it, however, said Christopher Chow, spokesman for the California PUC.

The approval would renew until 2013 with an option to extend through 2015 a contract that CSD has had with California for almost a decade, said Christopher Soukup, senior vice president of CSD Contact Centers.

It would allow the company to continue operating the contact and distribution center on behalf of the California Telephone Access Program and the state PUC, which overseas the program.

The program employs about 100 people, 75 of whom work in Stockton, Calif. The contact center receives calls from deaf and hard of hearing people who would like to receive assistive communications technology such as amplified phones. CSD processes the applications, verifies the hearing loss, helps them select the necessary equipment and ships the equipment to the person's home, Soukup said. The program has more than 600,000 residents in its database.

"We are very excited about this particular contract due to the size and scope of the program we are supporting as well as its close relationship to the mission of our organization," Soukup said. "A significant part of CSD's reason for being is to elevate the level of communications access for deaf and hard of hearing consumers, and this is fundamentally what is being accomplished for California residents through this program."

CSD will partner with San Jose Distribution Services for disseminating the equipment.

"San Jose Distribution Services Inc. is extremely proud and honored to be able to continue providing distribution logistics services for such a worthwhile state program that positively affects the lives of hundreds of thousands of Californians," said Gary Minardi, San Jose Distribution Services president.

Deaf theater staff member inspires customers, colleagues

Deaf theater staff member inspires customers, colleagues

t's a normal Friday night at the movies in mid-December. The after-work and after-school crowds make their way in from the biting cold to sample one of the many flicks that flow out of Hollywood so prodigiously this time of year.

They stop by the concession stand for the requisite popcorn and soda and are likely to receive a dose of inspiration along with their order. All thanks to Jivan Petit, a "concessionist" on the night shift at the AMC Loews Georgetown 14 theater on K Street Northwest, where he has worked for five years.

He is quick with a smile, fast on his feet and never makes a customer wait. He scoops the corn, pours the drinks and hands out the change with evident pride and satisfaction in his work.

The 30-something Mr. Petit has been deaf since he was 1 year old, save for being able to sense some vibrations. He was born in India and adopted by a French couple, Michel and Marlene Petit, as an infant. He lost his hearing when he contracted meningitis and a high fever shortly after his adoption.

Mr. Petit ended up in the United States in the 1980s after his father moved the family here to take a job.

Many people struggle using a second language, especially those in service-oriented jobs, in which communication with customers is constant. For Mr. Petit, whose native language is French, that challenge is compounded by his hearing impairment. He takes this, like other obstacles he faces, in stride.

"It depends on if they speak too fast. I told them that I'm deaf and please note [their] order," Mr. Petit explains, writing answers to questions posed to him on a small notebook he keeps by the cash register.

He asks customers to use the same notebook to jot down orders he can't quite make out by reading lips.

"Sometimes people gesture to me what's their order," he writes, adding that some people are too impatient to write a note. "I can't blame them. I respect them. I'm OK and positive."

Wayne Morgan, an AMC general manager, has observed the way customers interact with Mr. Petit.

"They see him as a hardworking guy who means well, and it makes their trip here even more unique and memorable," he says.

"He can bridge the communication gap. Customers get drawn to him very easily. I see them come through and give him a high five," says Jacob Jochum, who has worked with Mr. Petit over the past few months.

Justin Scott, director of corporate communications for AMC Theaters, estimates that "a small percentage of AMC associates have a known or visible disability. It equates to an average of approximately one person with a known or visible disability at each theater."

"We recognize that it's difficult to innovate or truly serve a diverse guest population without reflecting that diversity in our associate base," he adds.

Mr. Petit, who has twice been honored as employee of the month at the theater, explains in an e-mail that he has been able to teach his fellow employees, not through words, but by example.

"People asked me some questions about working at concession, so I'm willing [to] help them and taught them how to do work on concession," he writes.

One of the customers Mr. Petit helped recently was Kara Kennedy Allen, daughter of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat who championed the cause of people like Mr. Petit through his sponsorship of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

"I think it's terrific," Mrs. Allen told The Washington Times as Mr. Petit filled her order.

"It didn't even phase me," she explained, referring to using a note to communicate her order.

Indeed, some guests walk into the theaters with a renewed appreciation for the films they are about to see, knowing people like Mr. Petit can't enjoy them the same way.

Mr. Petit writes that "Slumdog Millionaire" is his favorite movie.

"Yes, I have been watching it often and I have [it on] DVD at my home to watch it. It is a great movie and story," he writes, noting that he, like many people who are deaf watch movies at theaters that offer special captioning for the hearing impaired.

He is on track to graduate with a degree in computer information systems in 2012 from Strayer University, but a career at the movies could be an option.

When asked if Mr. Petit could one day be a manager himself, Mr. Morgan says, "It would be a challenge, but I would not rule it out."

Google Adds Captions for Deaf to YouTube Videos

Google Adds Captions for Deaf to YouTube Videos

The deaf and hard-of-hearing Internet users now have a way to watch free videos on YouTube. Google announced earlier this year that it has added automatic caption capability to videos on YouTube.

The change has been lauded by advocates for the hearing impaired, such as the Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Milwaukee. The center called it “great news for deaf and hard-of-hearing Internet users” in a press release.

Machine-generated captions on videos from 13 YouTube "partner channels" will initially be available only in English, with plans to expand the feature to include more languages in the future. YouTube users have had a manual version of the service since last year, but it has not been broadly used and does not include most of the site’s content.

The caption project was led by Ken Harrenstein, a deaf Google software engineer.

“In some ways this reminds me of when closed-captioning (CC) was first introduced,” said Mr. Harrenstein in a Google news release. “Before that, little on TV made sense, and the only movies worth paying for were foreign films, because those were the only ones with subtitles! I now have the same sense of hope that I did then.”

According to Google, over 20 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and most online user-generated video content remains inaccessible to the deaf and hard-of-hearing users.

Google admits that the project is still in its beginning stages.

“There are still light-years to go, and I'm painfully aware of how limited our first implementation is,” Mr. Harrenstein said.

The feature only works with a Flash player embedded in a web browser.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

OCDAC Now Has A New Voice & Fax Phone Number

Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center now has a new Voice & Fax phone number 714-486-2632 and will have a TTY/TDD added to the line by January 1, 2010. Voice callers can still contact us through our 949-955-0054 number, but, this number no longer accepts fax calls.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Incoming Gallaudet President Hurwitz keeping many roots in Rochester

Incoming Gallaudet President Hurwitz keeping many roots in Rochester

Alan Hurwitz heads for Washington, D.C., next month to become president of Gallaudet University — the world's leading liberal arts institution for the deaf.

But he realizes that much of his future life will remain anchored in Rochester.

He forged his career at Gallaudet's traditional rival: the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, or NTID, one of eight colleges at Rochester Institute of Technology. Joining as a science professor in 1970, he became its first deaf dean in 1998 and president in 2008.

After 39 years, he's not willing to pull up roots. He and his wife, Vicki, will keep their Pittsford home when they move into House One — the elegant president's mansion on Gallaudet's campus.

"Rochester is far and away the most deaf-friendly town I've ever been to," said Hurwitz, speaking American Sign Language through interpreter Doney Oatman. "We intend to retire here.

"Our son, Bernard, and his family live nearby and we have many friends in the area. This will be our getaway from Gallaudet."

Two ground-breaking projects also will keep him commuting from Washington.

He plans to begin a partnership between NTID and Gallaudet to train health care workers.


"There's a critical shortage of health care professionals who can communicate with deaf and hard-of-hearing patients," he said. "I want to start this as soon as possible."

Students would begin their studies at Gallaudet, and go to NTID for technical courses. Hurwitz hopes to tap the expertise of two Rochester institutions.

Rochester General Hospital would provide internships, and UR's National Center on Deaf Health Research could share its expertise on promoting health care for deaf populations. Preliminary talks with them should begin early next year, and a national task force will be formed to shape the program, Hurwitz said.

He also has launched a new service at NTID to aid veterans who lost hearing in Iraq or Afghanistan.

"Many troops do not use hearing protection while out on missions," RIT said in a statement, citing reports from military doctors. "They feel that it affects their ability to do their job."

An estimated 70,000 soldiers suffered hearing losses in combat, the Department of Veterans Affairs estimates.

"Serving them is our responsibility, by virtue of our expertise in hearing loss," Hurwitz said.

Next year, NTID will help such veterans with communications skills and psychological support. With the help of interpreters and note-takers, some may enter RIT degree programs. RIT is a Yellow Ribbon College offering low-cost tuition to recent veterans.

Hurwitz's dual residency in Rochester and Washington might seem like having the best of both worlds. In fact, Gallaudet's offer sent his life into turmoil this past summer. He hadn't applied for the presidency, intending to finish his career at NTID. But Gallaudet wouldn't take no for an answer.

"By July, I was steamrolling along with three other candidates," he said. "My interviews went well. But right up to Gallaudet's decision (on Oct. 18), Vicki and I weren't sure what we'd do.

"Even now, we get up in the morning and look at each other: Is this really happening? It's a wild transition, everything's moving so quickly!"

At times, he becomes acutely aware of the new public spotlight aimed at him.

"Gallaudet has a lot of history, a lot of pride," he said. "I'm trying to hit the ground running. ... I view this as a call to national service, because Gallaudet needs new leadership."

He interrupted his move early this month to fly to Moscow. He and fellow NTID leader James J. DeCaro met with the leaders of Russia's largest deaf organizations. (DeCaro is NTID's interim president while it conducts a national search for its next leader.)

"It is indeed December in Moscow!" DeCaro wrote, shivering by e-mail. "We have been discussing ways that NTID and Gallaudet can work collaboratively with the organizations, to improve the circumstances of deaf people in Russian postsecondary education."

Just before his trip to Russia, Hurwitz decided to take a rare breather at home.

Dressed in blue jeans and loafers, he welcomed a few friends with easy cordiality. But even in repose, Hurwitz is notably intense. He signs pensively but with great gusto. Each emphatic gesture advances a point of logic, like a drillmaster marshaling his troops.

This sense of methodical drive has propelled Hurwitz's entire career.

Deaf since birth, he was raised by deaf parents in Sioux City, Iowa. His mother made sure that he read plenty of stories about successful deaf people — useful role models when he became the only deaf student at a large public high school.

"It was often a lonely experience," he said of that time. "But I was good at football, basketball and baseball, and made some friends that way."

Yet his firmly ingrained habit of self-reliance and his expert lip-reading soon came to his aid. He excelled as an electrical engineering major at Washington University, St. Louis. That led to five years as an engineer and programmer in that city's McDonnell Douglas aerospace company.

He first began using sign-language interpreters at the University of Rochester, where he earned a doctorate in education. His newfound teaching skills and science background were fully exploited at NTID, which saw major changes during his tenure.

In 1970, 85 percent of NTID's 339 students came from residential schools for the deaf. Today, 65 percent of its 1,474 students attended mainstreamed public schools.

They use a wide variety of communication modes, including American Sign Language, lip reading and real-time captioning. Teachers at NTID and Gallaudet are still stretching to meet their students' classroom needs.

With such a diverse population, Hurwitz saw the need for a central gathering place. In 2005, he opened the $4.5 million CSD Student Development Center housing the student government, multicultural clubs and a communication center.

He has made a point of experiencing student life first-hand, sometimes living in dormitories for several days to inspect conditions. One of his roommates last summer was Shonathan Lawrence, a student from Columbus, Ga.

"He was very friendly and told us some things about his personal life," said Lawrence, 20. "I've shared much of his wisdom and learned a lot from him."

Outside of NTID, the Hurwitzes both have been active in Rochester organizations serving deaf and hard-of-hearing residents. Vicki co-founded Deaf Women of Rochester, while Alan served two decades on the board of Rochester School for the Deaf.

"I'll miss having Alan and Vicki close by," RSD Superintendent Harold Mowl said in an e-mail. "They're genuine people who enjoy life immensely and care deeply about people."

The local deaf community will throw the Hurwitzes a farewell party at RSD today.

At Gallaudet, the Hurwitzes will find a relatively tranquil campus. But that school has witnessed student turmoil that made worldwide headlines over the last two decades.

In 1988, students staged successful protests to install Gallaudet's first deaf president: I. King Jordan. The unrest revived in 2006, when provost Jane K. Fernandes was named his successor.

Deaf from birth, she didn't learn to sign until age 23. Students who invested their cultural identity in American Sign Language judged her "not deaf enough" and occupied the campus. More than 100 were arrested before Robert Davila, NTID's first deaf CEO, was appointed president.

Hurwitz's appointment was greeted enthusiastically this fall, and his wife expects a smooth transition as Gallaudet's first lady.

She brings strong credentials to her new role. She was a student development coordinator at NTID and directed RSD's outreach center. She also moonlights as her husband's main cheerleader.

"We plan to have dinner and lunch parties at House One," she said. "I want students to come over and feel comfortable to talk with me. This won't be an ivory tower."

But next May, Alan will venture from House One to the ultimate tower of power — the White House.

"Barack Obama and I will be signing Gallaudet diplomas," he said, beaming at the thought of presidential friendship flowing along with the ink. "Well, I'm signing. Maybe he'll use a rubber stamp."

City may shut down group home for deaf teens

City may shut down group home for deaf teens

The City of Albuquerque could shut down a home that helps several deaf teens, because of a large number of police calls.

Police have been called to the La Familia group home for the deaf dozens of times, and the woman in charge says she’s doing the best she can.

The home sits on a quiet northeast Albuquerque cul-de-sac, meant to blend in with the neighborhood, but multiple police calls show that crime is standing out.

Back in June, a teen threatened to kill staff members, and in March, staff and a client were punched and slapped and a window was broken.

One neighbor said “It’s like living next to a mental hospital with a couple 7-11s thrown in for parking.”

The city says the excessive police reports are enough to warrant revoking the group home’s license, so the city will hold a public meeting next year.

La Familia CEO Beverly Nomberg says many of the teens have been abused or neglected, and all of them have communication problems.

Nomberg says she’s afraid the city will force them out of the house.

"Of course I'm worried that that could happen. Because then I have children living there that I have to figure out another place for them to live," she said.

She says they’ve taken steps to minimize problems in the house, including additional training for staff.

"We're very sorry if it's disruptive to the community and we've tried to minimize that. And we will continue to try to minimize that," she said.

The zoning hearing is set for January 11, then the zoning administrator will have 15 days to make a decision on La Familia’s future.

Combat veterans going deaf

Combat veterans going deaf

More than two-thirds of British troops returning from Afghanistan are suffering from severe and permanent hearing damage, according to the most comprehensive study into one of the less well-known side-effects of the conflict in Helmand.

Internal defence documents reveal that of 1250 Royal Marine commandos who served in Afghanistan, 69 per cent suffered hearing damage due to the intense noise of combat.

The findings indicate that complaints such as tinnitus or almost complete deafness among combat troops are considerably greater than previously reported.

One audiologist said the report revealed that hearing loss was endemic among Afghan veterans, with many suffering defects that could bar them from frontline service.

The intensity of the conflict in Helmand and its close-combat fighting, roadside devices and the noise of low-flying coalition aircraft caused the problems, according to the British Ministry of Defence study.

The report, dated December 7 and written by military consultant surgeon Chris Pearson, warns that the known scale of the problem might prove to be the "tip of the iceberg" because only the most severe forms of hearing loss, grave enough to bar troops from frontline service, are officially reported.

Professor Mark Haggard, honorary vice-president of Deafness Research UK, which is working with the MoD to resolve the problem, said: "The issue has become systemic, endemic.

Combat gunfire and explosions mean significant numbers are turning up with significant hearing problems."

Hearing tests were conducted on 1254 troops from 42 Commando Royal Marines following their six-month tour in Helmand between April and October 2008. Analysis by the defence audiology service found that 865 of the Marines displayed signs of severe hearing damage caused by loud noise. Of these, 410 were classified as more extreme cases.

Pearson concluded that 69 per cent of the Royal Marines had "audiometric evidence consistent with NIHL [noise-induced hearing loss]".

British employers must not subject staff to noise levels over 85 decibels for prolonged periods. Haggard said the blast of a gun or "medium" explosion measured 140dB, equivalent to hearing a jet plane taking off about 40m away. The sound of a pneumatic drill at 2m distance measures 126dB while an alarm clock is 90dB. The normal pain threshold is around 120dB.

The MoD study also points towards major problems among reservists deployed to Helmand. Pearson's report reveals that one in 10 Territorial Army recruits also experienced a significant degree of hearing loss following their tour of duty which was "unlikely to be due to anything other than noise or blast".

Tests comparing the Royal Marines from Afghanistan with service personnel from an RAF base in the UK found that 17.7 per cent had severe ear damage compared with 5.2 per cent of the RAF personnel.

The MoD report also scrutinised in detail the medical records of 73 soldiers who had served in Helmand province and found that 67 had problems with their hearing. Of these 39 were diagnosed with noise-induced hearing loss with 16 new cases of hearing problems thought to be from "blast injury".

A MoD spokesman said they were trying out new ear protection: "The system uses a custom moulded earplug with an inbuilt microphone to cut the noise impact of loud explosions while still giving the wearer the ability to hear colleagues. Feedback from trials with soldiers in training and in theatre have allowed the rapid development of new earplugs that stay in place."

Deaf-blind residents have all of the comforts of home

Deaf-blind residents have all of the comforts of home

Politicians and visitors got a close-up look Saturday at one of the city's most valuable group home settings, Lions McInnes House on Henry Street.

"It's given her a life," Eleanor Young of Wartburg, Ont., said of her 50-year-old daughter Cathy, during the facility's annual open house.

"She can do anything in the community with help of an intervener; she's involved in activities like swimming and karaoke."

Cathy Young, like all of the 13 residents of Lions McInnes House, is deaf-blind. She has some vision, however, enough to understand sign language when the speaker's hands are close.

Cathy thinks of Lions McInnes as home, she confirmed, adding that she likes it there, has many friends and will be going home with mom for Christmas.

Cathy is a gregarious woman, and was curious about the attention being shown Saturday by the many visitors. Flash photography brought a smile and a reporter taking notes led to an up-close inspection of pen working on paper.

"It's great here," Eleanor said. "I remember when she was coming out of W. Ross (Macdonald School for the Blind), wondering, 'What's going to happen?' "Thank God for the Lions clubs. As the mother of a child, you worry about their future . . . . Lions clubs came along (with help) at the right time."

The residents get support around the clock, with 35 interveners available to them in addition to administration and staff.

It takes a special person to be an intervener, executive director Joan Brintnell said.

"In hiring interviews, the biggest thing is that they come in and learn about the clients and the philosophy of intervention," she said. "Because there's very limited post-secondary education for interveners, most of them learn here, on the spot."

Essentially, the spirit is one of assisted independence. The intervener goes everywhere with the res- ident, finds out what they need or want, and tries to help them secure that. Not every intervener is the right person for the job.

"Everyone has a variety of needs. Sometimes they'll need a different person to go to work than go to the bar and have a drink," Brintnell said. The most important thing is a willingness on behalf of both the client and the intervener to keep on learning.

"We never stop," she said. "There's no end to the client's learning and no end to our learning."

Lions McInnes House has four three-bedroom apartments and two one-bedroom apartments. It has a couple of big anniversaries coming up in June: 25 years in operation and 10 at this location.

In addition to meeting residents' needs, Brintnell said, the house also works to help the estimated 100 to 150 deaf-blind people throughout the province. Many of them would like similar placement but there simply isn't enough room or support.

"Most of our clients have been here for some time," Brintnell said. "If there's an opening, we let the Canadian Deaf-Blind Association know.

"And when people do come to visit, we want them to realize that unless someone moves out, there may not be a spot."

Group’s £3m gift to deaf charity

Group’s £3m gift to deaf charity

The Royal National Institute for the Deaf has accepted a cheque for £3 million from the Co-operative Group.

Royal visitor, Sophie, the Countess of Wessex — a dedicated trustee of RNID — attended the event in Manchester to acknowledge the hard work of Group staff in fundraising for the charity during 2009.

The society adopted RNID as its Charity of the Year in January, and has raised £3m so far this year for its Hear to Help Project, which trains volunteers to provide support to hearing aid users in their local communities.

RNID Chief Executive Jackie Ballard said: "The Co-operative Group has raised a phenomenal amount. This is a fantastic achievement, and we are grateful to have been involved with such a successful partnership. The money raised will go a long way towards reducing isolation for those who have a hearing loss."

Thief walks off with deaf puppy from Humane Society kennel

Thief walks off with deaf puppy from Humane Society kennel

A puppy stolen Friday afternoon from the Humane Society of Huron Valley is seen as particularly vulnerable because she was born deaf.

Chilly, an 8-week-old American bulldog, disappeared from her kennel between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. at Humane Society’s headquarters in Superior Township.

“It’s feasible to think of somebody shoving her up inside their coat and walking out the front door,” said Tanya Hilgendorf, HSHV executive director.

Chilly was being treated for an infection and was not yet ready for adoption.

“She’s a beautiful little girl,” Hilgendorf said. “Somebody might be trying to make some money off her.”

Typical reasons a dog might be stolen are the desire to save money on adoption costs or to be sold to another party. Some are also sold for research purposes.

The shelter was experiencing a busy afternoon, with many animals going out for adoption, and the staff was preoccupied when the incident occurred. The fact that Chilly is “a calm and quiet” pup abetted the abductor in making a getaway.

Hilgendorf said dogs with all-white coloring have an inordinate genetic tendency to be deaf.

The shelter staff is hoping that Chilly’s whereabouts will be revealed after word of the incident spreads.

The combination of her deafness, illness and youth make her particularly vulnerable, according to Hilgendorf. Compounding the worry is the fact that Chilly has very little fur and is possibly being kept outside.

“We just want to know that she’s safe,” Hilgendorf said.

A $500 reward is offered for Chilly’s safe return.

Virgin Blue accused of losing deaf, mute woman after Melbourne flight

Virgin Blue accused of losing deaf, mute woman after Melbourne flight

A DEAF woman who boarded a flight in Melbourne went missing at Brisbane Airport for five hours and missed a connecting flight because Virgin Blue staff failed to assist her, despite assurances to her relatives they would do so, her nephew claims.

Surge Singh booked the Monday morning flight for his 38-year-old aunt Saras Wati, who is also mute and unable to read or write English, to her homeland Fiji after being promised staff would make sure they helped her onto the connecting international flight in Brisbane.

But he was later told Virgin Blue staff did not know there was a special needs passenger on board and after a frantic search the woman was found in a distressed state several hours later by staff from another airline who noticed her wandering the airport.

"It was a nightmare,'' Mr Singh said today.

"My Mum and my sister were bawling their eyes out all day on Monday.''

Mr Singh said he rang Virgin Blue on Sunday night to ensure assistance would be provided.

He checked his aunt in at 4.30am on Monday and was again assured by the check-in staff and cabin crew that she would be looked after.

But just after 10am he received a call from Pacific Blue saying the passenger did not board the connecting flight to Nadi in Fiji.

Virgin Blue staff did not contact him until around noon.

When Mr Singh asked who they were looking for they said "a hearing impaired person''.

"I said, 'what does a hearing impaired person look like?' and described what she was wearing,'' Mr Singh said.

"They said she must have run off the plane without telling anyone.''

Mr Singh then called police, but received a phone call about 2pm saying Ms Wati had been found by staff from another airline and taken to the Pacific Blue counter after she showed them her itinerary.

Fortunately a Pacific Blue member who spoke Hindi, which Ms Wati can lip read, offered to look after her overnight and she flew back to Fiji the next day.

"My biggest frustration was Virgin Blue,'' Mr Singh said.

"They basically said they couldn't do anything more (to find her).

"At one stage they tried to blame it back on me. Someone from Pacific Blue told me that Virgin Blue didn't know there was a special needs person on the plane.

"It was very traumatic for her. When she got home she told family she knew she was lost but couldn't do anything.''

Mr Singh has made an official complaint via Virgin Blue's website and believes the airline should be held accountable.

Comment is being sought from Virgin Blue.

No deaf camp resolution yet

No deaf camp resolution yet

The zoning debate that held up the use of the Ontario Camp of the Deaf for motocross and ATV races this summer is still up in the air, but getting closer to a resolution.

The Seguin Township camp’s racetrack is used weekly for non-camp-related local dirt bike and ATV practices and is part of the competition circuit for the motorized sports. The property is also used for the annual Rock Crawl four-by-four skills competition and was the site of the 2008 National Enduro Championships.

It’s use as a race track is historic, dating back to within the former Foley Township, which amalgamated with Humphrey, Christie and Rosseau to form Seguin Township in 1997. Despite the history, with neighbours’ complaints about noise, the property was discovered to not have the zoning for the non-camp-related activities in 2008 when the Enduro went to the township for permission to use a section of a township road while hosting an event at the camp. The township granted special permission to continue with the historic use of the land for the last two summers while the two sides ironed out the issues and studied the noise levels.

Last summer, the township wanted the camp to apply for re-zoning, but standing on the principle that it was a use permitted during the Foley years, Derek Rumball, executive director of Ontario Camp for the Deaf, refused to at the recommendation of his lawyer.

“I believe that very shortly, in the new year, the township and I, the camp, will be issuing a statement resolving the issues - from large issues of zoning compliance to housekeeping issues and some compliance issues for the camp,” said Rumball.

Both sides conducted noise studies last year - the township in June during a Motocross event and the camp in August during an ATV race. The file is now waiting for a peer review of the camp’s results by the township’s consultant.

“They’ve taken a different approach to their noise study. We’re not noise experts so we need our consultant to tell us (the results),” said Tom Stockie, township chief administrative officer.

The consultants would also suggest possible ways to decrease the sound emanating from the camp by using mufflers, a fence or berming.

“We’re putting together a package of information,” said township chief administrative officer Tom Stockie. “What we’ll probably be doing is bringing it to council and having some meetings in the spring.”

Township councillors should have a package on the zoning and noise issues in February, and, if not resolved by the 2010 race season, council could grant another year’s exception to the zoning use, he said.

In the meantime, Rumball is looking toward next year’s race schedule and hoping to “put this to bed.”

Deaf cat in need of a new home

Deaf cat in need of a new home

Let's start off with Boo Boo.

This cat loves attention and will follow you around.

This 5-year-old male is deaf, so he needs to be indoors only.

He does, however, like short walks on a leash either early in the morning or early evening.

He prefers to be the only cat in a home but may do well with another.

Boo Boo is house-trained and he can be found at the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Another Great Conversation With A Scammer

My scammer flagging network works!

Enjoy!

Richard Roehm

++++++++++++++++++++++

(01:42:16 PM)
(pos scammer) newslotto01: hello
(01:42:44 PM) Nesmuth827: hi scammer
(01:43:03 PM)(pos scammer) newslotto01: why ?
(01:43:09 PM)(pos scammer) newslotto01: you are rude
(01:43:28 PM) Nesmuth827: because it says (01:42:16 PM)(pos scammer) newslotto01: hello
(01:43:47 PM) Nesmuth827: i dont decide but the network warns me
(01:43:59 PM) Nesmuth827: so whats the latest scam youre gonna try on me?
(01:44:33 PM)(pos scammer) newslotto01: am on my offical work not scam
(01:45:21 PM) Nesmuth827: the network warn me your id is scammer
(01:45:39 PM)(pos scammer) newslotto01: i dont
(01:45:52 PM)(pos scammer) newslotto01: okay i want you to understand me better
(01:45:53 PM)(pos scammer) newslotto01: okay
(01:45:58 PM) Nesmuth827: someone flagged you as scammer and warn me and others
(01:46:21 PM)(pos scammer) newslotto01: who is that
(01:46:29 PM)(pos scammer) newslotto01: that been a big lie to me
(01:46:33 PM) Nesmuth827: the network
(01:46:41 PM)(pos scammer) newslotto01: there lot scammer online
(01:46:48 PM) Nesmuth827: and youre one of them
(01:47:03 PM)(pos scammer) newslotto01: but we do legal works
(01:47:10 PM)(pos scammer) newslotto01: i dont
(01:47:25 PM) Nesmuth827: you from biafra nigeria too?
(01:47:42 PM)(pos scammer) newslotto01: nope
(01:47:50 PM)(pos scammer) newslotto01: am from USA
(01:48:16 PM) Nesmuth827: ok who's picture is on a $5 bill?
(01:49:07 PM)(pos scammer) newslotto01: where is that ?
(01:49:21 PM) Nesmuth827: youre not from USA!
(01:49:30 PM)(pos scammer) newslotto01: yes
(01:51:00 PM) Nesmuth827: prove it
(01:51:18 PM)(pos scammer) newslotto01: there are lot scammers from africa general
(01:51:29 PM)(pos scammer) newslotto01: you can vist our web sit
(01:51:46 PM)(pos scammer) newslotto01: www.usadeaflottery.webs.com
(01:52:18 PM) Nesmuth827: go take a look at the website
(01:52:29 PM)(pos scammer) newslotto01: ok
(01:53:45 PM) Nesmuth827: and maybe you can tell me what's wrong with that website
(01:54:15 PM)(pos scammer) newslotto01: is under mantainace
(01:55:25 PM) Nesmuth827: oh yeah? why does it say " If you are the site owner, please contact
Our Abuse Team regarding the status of your website. "
?
(01:56:02 PM) Nesmuth827: the key word, my friend, is "Our Abuse Team" says a lot about WHO YOU ARE
(01:56:23 PM)(pos scammer) newslotto01: am not the only one here
(01:56:23 PM)(pos scammer) newslotto01: this is an organisation support by the govt
(01:56:41 PM)(pos scammer) newslotto01: who is your frined ?
(01:57:21 PM) Nesmuth827: Ok buddy I have to go pick up some furniture for a blind woman and I'm sure you'll understand I'm not going to do any business with you.
(01:57:30 PM) Nesmuth827: good bye
(01:57:41 PM) Nesmuth827: have a sweet day mr scammer!
(01:58:55 PM)(pos scammer) newslotto01: okay
(01:58:57 PM)(pos scammer) newslotto01: byee

Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center Newsletter - November 1, 2009

THE TOP STORIES OF THE WEEK

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown introduced a bill Thursday that would make Medicare cover hearing aids.
http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/news/1256286744170600.\
xml&coll=2


An expanded hate crimes bill signed into law Wednesday makes it a federal offense to commit a crime against a person based on their disability.

Brought to you by the Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center
http://www.deafadvocacy.org

*******************

DO YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING AT OUR WEBSTORE.

We have lots of new items and our webstore count stands at over 550 items!

Lots of products for the deaf, and blind, and other disabilities. Remember your parents, grand parents, brothers, sisters, family members, co-workers who need adaptive equipment. Employers can shop here for equipment and accessories for their hearing impaired workers.

Buy Here, Buy Now, Pay Less with our ADA kits! This includes long term savings associated with ADA compliance.

Stop by http://stores.ebay.com/OCDAC-Adaptive-Equipment-and-More today to start your shopping.

*******************

THE GRAPEVINES

Albertsons Community Partner Program

You Must Re-link Your Card Every year to Continue Giving!

If you are currently part of the Albertsons Community Partner program and use
your card to give 4% of all your purchases to the Mission, you will have to
re-link your card number for us to continue earning funds! Use your Preferred
Savings Card Number and link (or re-link) to "Orange County Deaf Advocacy
Center" at http://www.albertsonscp.com

The Mission's ID # is: 49001002038. You'll need to re-link your card every year
so we can keep earning 4% of all your purchases for Orange County Deaf Advocacy
Center!

Please pass this notice around to your friends, relatives, co-workers, and
neighbors so they can link their cards as well.

Brought to you by The Orange Deafie Blog
Http://www.deafadvocacy.org/blog/blog.html

*******************

FACE TO FACE TIMES

As We Reflect Upon Ourselves, Lets Stop And Think Of The Less Fortunate Hearing
Impaired And Disabled Folks.

At this time of the year, as we reflect upon our own lives, lets stop and think
about the other hearing impaired and disabled around us who are less fortunate.
Some of our friends like these cannot afford to feed their families. Some of
them live in cars, in parks, or in alleys. For a few, its by choice, for most
it's by chance.

This shopping list will be a good holiday basket to a family of 4.

* 3 cans meat (6.5 oz, tuna, pork, chicken, or beef)
* 3 cans vegetables (15 oz.)
* 3 cans fruit (16 oz)
* 3 cans soup (11 oz.)
* 3 boxes of macaroni and cheese
* 2 boxes of dry soup
* 2 boxes of hot cereal
* 2 lbs. dry beans
* 2 lbs rice
* 2 boxes powdered milk (2 qt.)
* 2 cans of evaporated milk
* 2 boxes crackers
* 1 jar peanut butter (18 oz.)

Optional items: dish detergent, toothpaste, soap bars.
Also add : Information on local food banks, food assistance programs, and local
soup kitchens.

Also if you wish, you can add other food items to spice up the holiday basket
with items like spices, ethnic foods, and cultural foods. I get messages each
year that my shopping list is either boring, flavorless, and short-sighted.

So please, if you can afford it, grab some extra groceries for a hearing
impaired and disabled's family. An ideal holiday gift to a needy family like
these would be groceries that lasts a few days. Contact your local hearing
loss/disability association for information on connecting to a needy family.

Brought to you by Modern Deaf Communication
http://www.moderndeafcommunication.org

*******************

MAXED OUT ON YOUR CREDIT CARDS?

Get yourself an OCDAC credit card through a special program at
http://www.cardpartner.com/enduser.aspx?AEID=D0974

We get a $50 donation for each person who completes the signup.

*******************

THE FINGER BOWS

A brand new film from the UK called 'Departure Lounge' has been released on the
internet in full - it's 30 minutes long.

The film was directed by Louis Neethling (who directed 'Coming Out' and the BBC
series 'Switch') and stars Hal Draper and David Sands.

It's in BSL with English captions.

Just click here: http://www.bslbt.co.uk/drama/departure_lounge/

Hope you enjoy it!

Brought to you by ASL News http://www.aslnews.com

*******************

Take a look and bookmark our new search page!
Http://www.deafadvocacy.org/search.html . It's a good source of information you
can use.

*******************

THE SOUR ORCHIDS

The infamous Aguilar VS Errigo case shows how far and ridiculous the sign
language militants can go to intimidate a cochlear implant deaf family.

See the case transcript at http://www.hear-for-life.org/r&mcasetranscript/

This is the weirdness people who favor cochlear implants have to put up with
from the sign language and deaf culture militants in California.

Brought to you by the other Orange Deafie Blog at http://ocdac.wordpress.com/

*******************

COME TO OUR MEETUPS!

The Orange County American Sign Language Meetup Group -
http://asl.meetup.com/37/ - and the Orange County Deaf & Hearing
Impaired Meetup Group http://deaf.meetup.com/38/ meets each 3rd Fridays of the
month.

We are currently pondering a new locations for all of our meetup events because
our competition appears to have hijacked the excitement, prestige, and normalcy
of our cherished monthly gatherings.

*******************

FROM THE BLOGSPHERE

Disability and the 2000 Census: What reporters need to know

The 2000 U.S. Census shows us that 49.7 million people in the U. S. age 5 and
over have a disability -- nearly 1 in 5 U.S. residents, or 19 percent.

* 5.2 million were between the ages of 5 and 20. This was 8 percent of people in
this age group.

* 30.6 million were between the ages of 21 and 64. Fifty-seven percent of them
were employed.

* 14.0 million were 65 and over. Those with disabilities comprised 42 percent of
people in this age group.

http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/2002/cb02ff11.html

Brought to you by the Hearing For Life Foundation Http://www.hear-for-life.org

*******************

DO YOU HAVE TINNITUS? ARE YOUR EARS RINGING ALOUD BY ITSELF? DO YOU WANT THAT
TO STOP?

Tinnitus affects people with or without hearing loss.

Tinnitus is the ringing sensation that occurs in the ears. Severe tinnitus can
be painful and disable a person. Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center has two
people serving in a patient advocacy council. Orange County Deaf Advocacy
Center wants to help people retain their productivity by helping them manage
tinnitus.

We are introducing a nutraceutical cocktail of Ginkgo Biloba, Zinc, and Garlic
to manage tinnitus (ringing) in the ears. New studies show that a combination
of these three working together helps manage tinnitus. We have the research
that suggest the cocktail helps manage tinnitus.

This cocktail doesn't create the flush reaction you get from using high dosage
of Niacin taken to manage tinnitus.

Tinnitus management kit contains Ginkgo Biloba, Zinc, Garlic, pill minders box,
carrying case, and 2 sets of ear plugs.

Kit is assembled by people with disabilities.

If you care about your ears, please shop through our paypal link below now

Tinnitus 2 month management kit $79.99 - Free Shipping On All Orders!
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=8502596

Refills each month $29.99 (Link will be mailed to you with your order)

The funds generated from this offering will be returned to the community in the
form of assisted housing, education, advocacy, free equipment, outreach, and
conference activities.

***These Statements have not been evaluated by the US FDA. This product is not
intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease. There is no guarantee this
will help you manage tinnitus. This may work on some people and this may not
work on some people too.

*******************

FROM THE VLOGSPHERE (VIDEO BLOGGING)

AFA Leads Boycott Against Deafread.com And Deafvideo.tv :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpAY6jsAyq8

Brought to you by the Eye Fire Vlogs Http://eyefirevlogs.com

*******************

Please donate to Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center. We have a lot of work to
do on behalf of people with hearing and speech impairments and we have a
donation form ready for your use.

Donation form :
http://partners.guidestar.org/controller/searchResults.gs?action_donateReport=1&\
partner=networkforgood&ein=33-0806007


Thank you very much for the time youve taken to read this newsletter and
clicking on the donation link above.

*******************

FROM THE NEWSLETTER READERS

Dear list members,

I am wondering.

I am a faculty member in community rehabilitation and disability studies at the
University of Calgary, Canada. One of my research areas is to look at changed
perception and impact of so called 'therapeutic' devices that might outperform
the
'normal' human body. Hearing aids might in the future give hearing abilities
that go beyond the 'normal'.

I started a study with the purpose is better understand the sentiment towards
a) today's hearing aids in general and b) hypothetical future hearing aids with
various and different features that might surpass the `normal' hearing and c)
the sentiment towards sign language and what the respondent think about the
linkage of hearing aids and sign language.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=00jR3aFM_2fTyJr5rp1xlsKg_3d_3d

It would be great if you would fill out the survey!!!

Thanks!!!!

Cheers
Gregor

Dr. Gregor Wolbring
Assistant Professor
University of Calgary
President-elect Canadian Disability Studies Association
webpage: http://www.bioethicsanddisability.org/

Brought to you by Deaf Paradise Http://deafparadise.ning.com/

**********************
**** DISCLAIMER ****
**********************

The OCDAC Newsletter is designed to share information of interest to people with
disabilities, their friends, associates, and relatives and promote advocacy in
the disability community. Information circulated herein does not necessarily
express the views of The Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center. The OCDAC
Newsletter is non-partisan. OCDAC Newsletter does not sell advertising space.

The 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. Every day people 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 IN ITS ENTIRETY to anyone 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.

Our physical address is 2960 Main Street suite #100, Irvine California 92614 and
this email is in compliance with CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.

To subscribe to this newsletter go to
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ocdacnewsletter/ or send a blank email to
ocdacnewsletter-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Advocacy Group Opposes ‘Miracle Worker’ Casting Choice

Source Link - Advocacy Group Opposes ‘Miracle Worker’ Casting Choice

Two weeks after a group of deaf actors protested the choice of a hearing actor for a deaf role in an upcoming Off Broadway production, the issue has surfaced again: Should producers have chosen a deaf or blind child actress to play Helen Keller in this winter’s Broadway revival of “The Miracle Worker”?

The producers announced on Wednesday that Abigail Breslin, a 13-year-old newcomer to Broadway who was nominated for an Academy Award for her role as the beauty pageant contestant Olive in “Little Miss Sunshine,” would play Helen in the production, which is set to open this winter. Ms. Breslin can see and hear.

Sharon Jensen, executive director of the Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts, an advocacy group for blind and deaf actors, among others, said in an interview late Wednesday that her organization strongly opposed a decision by the producers to not audition actresses for the part who shared Helen’s disabilities.

“We do not think it’s O.K. for reputable producers to cast this lead role without seriously considering an actress from our community,” Ms. Jensen said. “I understand how difficult it is to capitalize a new production on Broadway, but that to me is not the issue. There are other, larger human and artistic issues at stake here.”

The lead producer of the revival, David Richenthal, said in an interview that he had already made up his mind about his casting criteria for Helen when he chose to revive the William Gibson play -– he wanted a star. The only way to make money for his investors in a commercial Broadway revival of a play these days, Mr. Richenthal believes, is to cast stars, and his research did not turn up any young well known actresses who were deaf or blind.

“It’s simply naïve to think that in this day and age, you’ll be able to sell tickets to a play revival solely on the potential of the production to be a great show or on the potential for an unknown actress to give a breakthrough performance,” Mr. Richenthal said. “I would consider it financially irresponsible to approach a major revival without making a serious effort to get a star.”

Mr. Richenthal said that he and the production’s director, Kate Whoriskey, as well as their casting director, planned to audition deaf or blind actresses to be Ms. Breslin’s understudy, and would hire sign language interpreters for the auditions of the young deaf women.

The distinction between the lead role and the understudy is that the show can sell tickets with its lead actress, Mr. Richenthal said. He emphasized that if he could not find a “qualified” deaf or blind actress who was right for the part, he would cast a hearing and seeing actress in the role.

Ms. Jensen’s organization was among those that complained vehemently early this month that New York Theater Workshop and the director Doug Hughes had retained a hearing actor to play the deaf character Singer in the workshop’s upcoming production of “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter,” an adaptation of the Carson McCullers novel.

Deaf actors, as well as the alliance and advocacy groups for deaf artists, demanded that the actor Henry Stram be replaced as Singer by a deaf actor. Mr. Hughes and the workshop met with several deaf actors and searched for some common ground, but could not agree on the central issue; Mr. Hughes said he would not fire Mr. Stram, who had played Singer in an earlier production of the play that Mr. Hughes directed in Atlanta. Mr. Hughes had auditioned deaf actors for the role in Atlanta.

So, first Singer and now Helen Keller: Should producers and directors audition and hire whoever they see fit for these seminal roles? Or, as Ms. Jensen asserts, if deaf or blind child actors do not start getting work that will turn them into stars, how will there ever be any for producers like Mr. Richenthal to audition?

Marlee Matlin, NAD, and Purple!

Academy Award winning actress and author Marlee Matlin, a member of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), is taking on a new role as an NAD spokesperson for accessible broadband services and Internet media.

Matlin will take part in a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) hearing addressing the needs of people with disabilities in the development of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan, which will be submitted to Congress in February 2010. The hearing, along with innovative technology exhibitions, will be presided over by Commissioner Michael Copps at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., from 9:00 am -1:00 pm, on November 6, 2009. The public is encouraged to attend the event and to share their ideas and comments with the Commission. More information about the hearing is available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_publi...C-294267A1.pdf.

"Not only is Marlee a phenomenal actress, she understands our experience," said NAD President Bobbie Beth Scoggins. "The nationwide adoption of broadband and Internet services can only be achieved when those services are available, affordable, and accessible to every American, including Americans who are deaf and hard of hearing. The disability community must not be left behind as our nation’s communication, information, and entertainment services migrate to the Internet."

While in Washington, Matlin will also visit key legislators on Capitol Hill with NAD representatives and other members of the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT). Matlin’s meetings will spotlight on the need to enact the “Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2009” (H.R. 3101) introduced by Representative Edward J. Markey (MA).

An outspoken advocate for captioning Internet media, Matlin first testified before Congress in 1990, successfully paving the way for a law requiring most television sets to be capable of displaying closed captions. Presently, Matlin is leading social media advocacy efforts to urge online video content providers, such as Netflix and Blockbuster, to caption their media. Her efforts have captured both providers’ attention in making their online content accessible to 36 million deaf and hard of hearing Americans.

"Internet captioning is very important to me as a deaf person because captions provide access to content that affects my life and my livelihood," said Matlin. "Legislators need to know that captions are necessary to follow the latest news, information, and entertainment available on the Internet. I join millions of other deaf and hard of hearing Americans advocating for Internet access."

Matlin is an acclaimed actress who gained worldwide fame with her role in the film "Children of a Lesser God." Her performance was recognized by the film community with an Academy Award, making Matlin the youngest recipient of the Oscar for Best Actress at age 21. She has also starred in many popular television programs and series, such as “West Wing” and “Dancing with the Stars.” Her autobiography, "I'll Scream Later," published by Simon Spotlight, is available in bookstores nationwide.

The NAD thanks Purple Communications for sponsoring Matlin’s visit to Washington.

About the NAD
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) was established in 1880 by deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have its interests represented at the national level. These beliefs remain true to this day, with American Sign Language as a core value. As a nonprofit federation, the mission of the NAD is to preserve, protect, and promote the civil, human, and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States of America. The advocacy scope of the NAD is broad, covering the breadth of a lifetime and impacting future generations in the areas of early intervention, education, employment, health care, technology, telecommunications, youth leadership, and more.

About Purple Communications
Purple Communications is a provider of onsite interpreting services, video relay and text relay services, and video remote interpreting, offering a wide array of options designed to meet the varied communication needs of its customers. The Company’s vision is to enable free-flowing communication between people, inclusive of differences in abilities, languages, or locations. For more information on the Company or its services, visit Purple Communications or contact Purple Communications directly by voice

ND team evaluating services for deaf people

Source Link - ND team evaluating services for deaf people

A team of parents, legislators, community members and alumni of the state School for the Deaf are working on a long-term plan to serve North Dakotans who suffer from hearing loss.

The 13-member transition team is holding a series of meetings, starting with a session Thursday at the state Heritage Center.

Carmen Grove Suminski is the superintendent of the School for the Deaf. She says the Devils Lake school has 23 students, but it also offers outreach services. She says the needs are increasing and technology is changing.

State school Superintendent Wayne Sanstead said the transition team wants to take a comprehensive look at the services around the state.

Police probe report of sex assault at school for deaf

Source Link - Police probe report of sex assault at school for deaf

Police in Frederick were investigating an alleged sexual assault of a student Tuesday night at the Maryland School for the Deaf.

Police Sgt. Jason Keckler said investigators believe the male student was assaulted by fellow students in one of the school's dormitories.

Police said the student was being treated at Frederick Memorial Hospital and was in good condition.

Home > Entertainment Assistance Dogs Give Help to Hearing Impaired

Source Link - Entertainment Assistance Dogs Give Help to Hearing Impaired

The little mixed-breed who was rescued from the streets of Puerto Rico needed a home. Dobson, of Orleans, Mass., was losing his hearing.

"My wife saw me kind of dropping out," he says. "As people get deafer they get more anti-social."

Both problems were solved when man and dog were brought together by the National Education for Assistance Dog Service, which trains dogs from shelters to assist the hearing impaired. Based in Princeton, Mass., NEADS has placed more than 1,300 hearing dogs all over the country since 1976.

Goblin does for Dobson what his digital hearing aid can't.

"What the dog does for me is hears what I can't hear," he says. "She can hear the phone ringing, alarms, knocking on the door, when people call my name."

The dogs chosen for this job have to have special qualities — often exactly the qualities that land them in shelters.

"The hearing dog is usually the dog no one wants," says Brian Jennings, who's been a trainer at NEADS for 20 years. "It's usually hyperactive, willful, compulsive. They have to be. If the dog wakes you in the middle of the night because the smoke alarm's going off and you push them away, they have to not give up."

What's unique about hearing dogs, says Kathy Foreman of NEADS, is that they work without being given commands. A guide dog for the blind, for instance, is given a command to go forward, and while it knows to disobey if there's danger, it's still initially responding to the handler's direction. Hearing dogs, by definition, need to do their work when their owner doesn't know there's a job to be done.

So trainers look for dogs who are curious about sounds, but also very confident. These may be exactly the dogs that drove their original owners crazy because they were bouncing off the walls, but as Jennings observes, "sometimes a dog's weakness is its strength."

The dogs are trained to touch the owner and lead him physically to the source of certain sounds. So that they'll do this on their own initiative, says Foreman, the secret of training is to make the dog think "it's a big game, and we are happy to play it with you any time."

New owners are taught how to keep the dog's skills sharp, such as praising it for responding to sounds even in cases that turn out to be unimportant.

NEADS has no physical requirement for hearing dogs. "We've had everything from Chihuahuas to German shepherds," says Jennings, and most of them are mixed breeds.

Hearing dogs not only let their handlers know that they've dropped their car keys, but also help in less tangible ways. Social interactions are often affected by the fact that deafness is not a visible disability. Foreman says that not hearing when your name is called is a big issue for the clients: "People say, people at work thought I was the biggest snob because I ignored them."

The dog not only helps make the handler aware of sounds, but makes observers aware of the handler's situation.

"When they see the dog, it helps people understand that they need to take extra time to communicate with that person," says Jeanine Konopelski of Canine Companions for Independence.

For the hearing impaired, the dogs allow more freedom and independence, says Robin Dickson of Dogs for the Deaf in Oregon. One client told her that before she had a dog, "I never had time to think, because I was always trying so hard to listen."

Dobson's wife Joanne says that Ray, like many who are losing their hearing, was reluctant to admit the problem, and was coping by withdrawing from social interactions. "Now he's back in the mainstream," she says.

Plus there's one benefit she didn't expect.

"My friends are very jealous," she says. "When I call my husband, the dog jumps on him till he comes."

Deaf and dumb social worker feted by governor

Source Link - Deaf and dumb social worker feted by governor

Governor Dr S S Sidhu, who was moved after reading a newspaper report about the life story of Raju Anath, a deaf and dumb orphan doing social work at Ponda, handed over a cheque for Rs 25,000 to him.

Sidhu has obtained a factual report through the Goa police department about his life. The newspaper report indicated that Anath was voluntarily helping in traffic discipline at Ponda and taking special care of school children and their safety.

The report submitted by the DIG, Goa, stated that Anath was in Goa for the last 30 years and is spending his days on streets and pavements.

He is rendering selfless service in regulating traffic at Ponda which is appreciated by the media and the people. As a traffic warden, he is performing the duty early morning and spending the whole day at the bus stand.

Though Anath is deaf and dumb, people understand his gestures and communicate with him. He is seen near traffic signals where he helps the traffic police to clear chaotic traffic during day time. Anath has set an example before the public on how to serve the society selflessly, despite being handicapped.

The police felt that he needed help and assistance from the government. Taking into consideration the fact that in spite of being deaf and dumb, Anath has been rendering selfless service to the society, the governor granted him Rs 25,000, on humanitarian grounds. He was called to the Raj Bhavan on Wednesday, and the governor personally handed over a cheque for Rs 25,000 to him.

The governor has advised him to deposit the cheque in his already existing bank account, so that the interest accruing out of this amount could be of some help towards his day-today livelihood.

St Gabriel’s Castle Hill Hearing Impaired Children need funds to stay open

Source Link - St Gabriel’s Castle Hill Hearing Impaired Children need funds to stay open

The plight of St Gabriel’s early intervention centre which helps hearing impaired children was raised today by Shadow Minister for Health Jillian Skinner. The Castle Hill school is seeking $200,000 to keep their doors open and the NSW Government will not provide the funding to keep the centre open. Private sector support in now being sought so the early invention program for 20 hearing impaired children is not lost.

“Despite funding a screening program to identify children with a hearing impairment, the Rees Labor Government is not funding the critical learning centres that treat those babies identified as having a hearing impairment,” Mrs Skinner said.

“These parents are trying as hard as they can to get the funding required to allow their children to learn, but Nathan Rees has turned his back on them.

“Health Minister Carmel Tebbutt and Nathan Rees are happy to be photographed with babies as part of the screening program, but they’re nowhere to be seen when those children with hearing difficulties need help with early intervention.

“The Rees Labor Government should ensure those children identified as having hearing impairments receive the early intervention services they need,” Mrs Skinner said.

A dictionary for the deaf

Source Link - A dictionary for the deaf

In the stifling afternoon heat, a momentous occasion came to pass today. There was excited chattering all around but with a difference - it was soundless. Animated facial expressions and rapid-fire hand gestures created an atmosphere of exhilaration. This was the inauguration ceremony of the first Maldivian sign language dictionary. A book that will work as a bridge between the deaf community and the rest of society.

The event kicked off with a recitation of the Qur’an. A translation followed with Mohamed Awwam accompanying in sign language, setting the tone for the rest of the ceremony. Mariyam Fazni, the first-ever Maldivian teacher specialising in teaching deaf students presented each of the speeches through sign language. Even their applause, which came in the form of waving both hands in the air, was different.

Speaking at the ceremony, Hassan Mohamed, the principal of Jamaaludeen School said, “This will enable parents to help children with their school work and help people communicate with members of the deaf community.” He spoke about the start of special classes set aside in the school for children who were hearing-impaired.

The school first started offering classes for deaf children in 1985, after a class full of children with a variety of disabilities, proved too difficult to teach. “This year we started grade eight and we have five students,” said Mohamed. “We hope that these students will be able to finish secondary school here.”

Two years ago Jamaaludeen School introduced primary school classes for hearing-impaired children. “We still don’t have enough students,” said Mohamed. “There are still some parents who hide their children, despite the fact that it had been proven these kids perform better than average.” He called for a survey to be conducted to find out the number of deaf children and ensure they had access to education.

Amaresh Gopalakrishnan, a special educator and architect of the book, said language was of paramount importance to any community. “This will give an identity to the deaf community,” he said. Amaresh moved his mouth without uttering a sound, saying, “Even for two minutes you can’t stand this.” In response to the myth about sign language being universal, he said, “Each has its own methodical structure. The deaf community is a linguistic minority that does not depend on any language.”

When he first arrived in the Maldives in 2007, Amaresh was surprised to find he could not communicate with deaf people on the street with the signs he was learning at the school. He travelled with Ahmed Ashfag, the head of the Maldives Deaf Association, to four islands and found that each had their own set of signs. “From all this we have documented 650 signs and we have shown the book to many people to ensure that even a layman could understand it,” said Amaresh. His father, who is deaf, did the illustrations.

Mariyam Fazni said the book would enable teachers on the islands to teach deaf children, while Ashfag summed up the feelings of many of those present today by saying that it was the happiest day of his life in sign language. “This is my language. The doors have opened for this community now and we will not be silent anymore. We will scream,” he gesticulated. Ahmed Mohamed, one of the student’s parents, said those present had both the “brains and the will” to go on to higher education. “I hope they get the chance soon,” he said.

The project was funded by Handicap International and Lucy Roberts, the charity’s country manager, said the dictionary helped raise awareness about the deaf community and the problems they faced. Short theatrical productions followed, each highlighting the challenges experienced by deaf people in school, in society and even in matters of the heart.

Speaking at the occasion, President Mohamed Nasheed said he was pleased to be part of the day as he had two deaf relatives and had witnessed their problems. He also said an absence of communication hampered freedom of expression.

“I might not have stood in front of a podium and made promises about this, but I have given my word to a person from the deaf association who worked closely with me on the campaign trail that my government would do all it could to help this community,” he said. Nasheed said he hoped sign language would be taught in all schools so that everyone could communicate with deaf people. By the end of the year, he added, he hoped 1,000 people would learn sign language, equal to the 1,000 dictionaries that had been published.

The president said he envisaged a Maldives where selfishness was not a virtue and where people did not always seek out others who were like them. “What is lacking in one Maldivian should be compensated by another,” he said. At the end, students celebrated with a dance performance, throwing confetti into the air. Mariyam Rizwana, the first deaf teacher, ended the event by thanking those involved, adding that it was was “a new dawn for the deaf community.”

Municipality launches project to teach clergy sign language

Source Link - Municipality launches project to teach clergy sign language

The Istanbul municipality is sponsoring a course on sign language to ease communication with deaf and hearing-impaired citizens. A group of 40 imams from mosques across the city is now attending the course.

A group of 40 imams has voluntarily enrolled in a sign-language course in an attempt to foster better communication with hearing-impaired worshippers.

The imams volunteered for the course being run by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality in response to a call from the office of the mufti (Islamic scholar) last April.

The course is being held at the headquarters of the Department of Health and Social Services Directorate for Disabled People, or İSÖM, which is run by the Istanbul municipality.

The imams will attend classes once a week for three hours over the course of three months. They will receive certificates upon completion of the course, at which point it is expected that they will be able to communicate in sign language at a basic level.

Hüseyin Tohumcu, one of the imams to enroll in the course, told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review he was pleased to learn sign language because it would allow him to help disabled Muslims practice their religion.

“We should reach out to disabled Muslim worshippers. Imams should address the religious needs of hearing-impaired worshippers as much as they do for able worshippers,” said Tohumcu, who preaches at a mosque in Istanbul’s Haznedar district.

İsmail Tüfekçi, another imam attending the course, said he started to communicate using sign language just three weeks into the course.

“The lessons are fruitful. We are learning 10 to 15 words every lesson. I believe I will improve my ability to communicate in a short time,” said Tüfekçi, an imam at Cumhuriyet Mosque in the city’s Kağıthane district.

Prior to enrolling in this course, Tüfekçi also attended a class on Braille to help him communicate with visually impaired Muslims.

Three of the instructors of the course are hearing impaired themselves.

Samet Demirbaş, one of the hearing-impaired teachers, believes that close dialogue between teacher and student is vital for the preachers to learn this special language in a short time.

“I have tried to encourage them to repeat every word. Therefore, we do not allow classes of more than 15 people,” said Demirbaş, who added that he was pleased to see increasing attention paid to the course.

“I do not know how many students I have met so far, but I am happy to teach them,” he said.

The course is part of an education program that has been implemented since 2004. Nearly 1,700 public employees – including police officers, nurses and municipal patrol staff – have previously enrolled in this course and learned sign language.

İSÖM expects at least 3,000 people take the class within the next two years.

Yunus Karacalı, deputy director of İSÖM, said he was pleased to see increasing interest in the course among people from different levels of society and different professional backgrounds.

“We are happy with the increasing attention given to the course. Anybody who wants to learn sign language can call us to register,” he said.

The ongoing campaign also aims to support the government’s efforts to help disabled citizens in society.

İSÖM officials, supported by the Turkish National Federation of the Deaf, have set up a committee to work on a guidebook, which they hope will serve as an acceptable model for future projects for people with hearing impairments in Turkey.

Ercüment Tanrıverdi, president of the Turkish National Federation of the Deaf, said the group hopes the guidebook, which is still being drafted, will broaden the use of sign language in Turkey.

When the guidebook is published, it will include many words, simple sentences, pictures and examples that make it easy to communicate with people who have hearing impairments.

“We have researched where hearing-impaired people communicate with others the most. For example, you may come across a disabled driver in traffic or a deaf patient at the hospital at any time,” Tanrıverdi said. “The words, sentences and dialogues have been specifically designed to remove difficulties in communicating with hearing-impaired people.”