Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center Newsletter - March 27, 2010

The Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center Newsletter - March 27, 2010

THE TOP STORIES OF THE WEEK

This week eBay is making some changes to it's policies and fees. We have been actively reviewing things and getting ready for the changes. The first thing we have done is upgrade the store. We now have a premium store subscription. This is a big step in growing our assistance and fundraising efforts.

We would like to remind you that we are using the giving works program and you can use it to donate part of the sales you make on eBay. If you have some things you would like to list and sell on eBay to benifit the Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center you can find out how at http://www.ebaygivingworks.com/sell.html

We would also like to remind you that we are on facebook. Our fan page is http://www.facebook.com/pages/Orange-County-Deaf-Advocacy-Center/21508812155 Please visit us on Facebook and become a fan.

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

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

DO YOUR SHOPPING AT OUR WEBSTORE.

We have lots of new items and our webstore count stands at over 660 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

State sued for failing to provide mental health services for the deaf

While the state is focusing on repairing its damaged mental health system, the deaf who need those services have been totally shut out of getting any help, according to a federal lawsuit.

The suit was brought by 25-year-old Gwinnett County woman and a 22-year-old Harris County man, but they ask the court to allow 350 other deaf people with mental be included in the complaint as a “class.” The federal lawsuit says the state has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution because there is no system for matching those with mental disabilities with providers who are fluent in American Sign Language.

“How would you ever be able to be able to diagnose someone if you couldn’t communicate with them?” attorney Lee Parks said to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It’s a good example of a hole in the public health matrix that is heart rending."

Tom Wilson, spokesman for the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, said the state agency was already developing a plan to address the special needs of mentally ill people who can communicate only in sign language.

“We do have a plan that we’ve developed to help enhance our services for people who have hearing impairments,” Wilson said. “We have done that on a one-to one basis.”

The state’s mental health system serves about 200 deaf people but the plan under development would be more comprehensive, Wilson said.

But it’s hard to set up a system to serve so few people with specialized needs and are scattered around the state, he added. The process often requires an interpreter, who does not have training in the mental health field, to serve as a communications bridge between the patient and the health care provider, according to Wilson.

“What we’re trying to figure out is how to expand those services to even having counselors who sign themselves,” Wilson said.

According to the suit, Georgia fails to provide services that are “equally accessible to and culturally and linguistically appropriate for the deaf [who are now] excluded from the enjoyment and use of the benefits, services, programs and activities of public accommodations.”

The suit seeks to ensure that the deaf “who are involuntarily committed to state mental health facilities receive adequate evaluation, diagnosis and treatment.”

When this suit was filed on March 1, Georgia was already trying to resolve another problem in its state mental health system. A 2007 U.S. Justice Department investigation found a flawed state hospital system was to blame for more than 100 suspicious deaths in five years, all first reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Federal authorities and the state reached an agreement on ways to improve the state hospitals in January 2008, but the Justice Department said recently Georgia continues to fail to be in “compliance with federal law.”

The suit detailed the problems Renita Belton and Matthew Erickson, the plaintiffs, have faced since they were children. Both are deaf and mentally ill. It took years to diagnose their mental problems and still they could not secure services in Georgia from mental health care provoders who also were fluent in sign.

Initially, Belton's mother tried to get help when her daughter’s grades began to fall but the Gwinnett County school system was unable to diagnose her, according to the suit.

The mother turned to The Atlanta Area School for the Deaf but that organization lacked the financial resources to diagnose and treat mental disabilities, according to the suit.

Belton was sent to out-of-state programs after a “series of incidents of behavioral problems related to her mental illness,” the suit says. She was diagnosed with “major” depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and mitochondrial disorder. The suit said Belton required 24-hour “’awake’ supervision due to the risk that she poses to herself and to others,” according to the suit.

The state covered the cost of Belton’s out-of-state care until she “aged out” of the system on her 22nd birthday.

She then qualified for Medicaid to cover the cost of a “group home” but there were no programs in Georgia designed for those with hearing and mental health problems.

Erickson’s problems were similar.

After he was dismissed from the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf because of behavioral problems he too had to seek help out of state. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, Asperger syndrome and pervasive development disorder spectrum. Georgia also covered the out-of-state cost until he too “aged out.”

While the lawsuit progresses, Wilson said, the agency was still “looking at ways that will work well with people with [hearing] impairments and is doable for the taxpayers.”


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

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

FACE TO FACE TIMES

Blackboard Learn Platform Brings Accessibility Enhancements for the Blind

San Diego, California (March 25, 2010): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the nation’s leading advocate for equal education for blind students, and Blackboard Inc., will present and demonstrate the new accessibility features of the Blackboard Learn™ platform at the California State University, Northridge, (CSUN) 25th annual International Technology & Persons with Disabilities conference, held in San Diego, CA, March 22–27. The presentation of Blackboard’s improved and more accessible experience will be held on March 25 at 4:20 p.m. Pacific Time.

Blackboard Learn, an online learning platform, is used by thousands of institutions to provide online education, course materials, discussion boards, assignment submissions, electronic grading, and numerous other components intended to enhance the learning experience or to provide distance education. Previously, blind students encountered a number of accessibility barriers when using the Blackboard platform with nonvisual screen access technology. Blackboard Learn, Release 9, showed great improvement over prior releases, and during the past year, Blackboard has invested further in a range of enhancements to Blackboard Learn that represent significant improvements to the usability of Blackboard for blind users.

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “We are pleased to help Blackboard present the accessibility features of the Blackboard Learn platform to the influential audience at CSUN. These features will ensure that blind students are not at a disadvantage in classes utilizing Blackboard and can access course materials online just as their sighted peers do. We commend Blackboard for their hard work in this area.”

The accessibility improvements to Blackboard Learn include faster navigation and improved form interaction, allowing blind users to submit assignments, participate in discussion forums, send and receive e-mail, take tests and quizzes, and participate in polls. Blind instructors can also submit content with the improved accessible forms.

For more information about the National Federation of the Blind, please visit www.nfb.org.

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, and uses the card.

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

THE FINGER BOWS

Hearing Sister Takes Child from Deaf Sister

Livfully is a heartbroken mother who has posted on the forum about the fact her hearing daughter has taken custody of a young child from her deaf sister. The mom blames a communication breakdown and lack of understanding of deafness. The mother and the deaf daughter are going to court to try to get the child back. She is seeking sources of help in this battle.

This case reminds me of another, similar case years ago that ended when the deaf parents broke the law in order to get their hearing child back from the hearing people who had taken him.


http://deafness.about.com/b/2010/03/22/hearing-sister-takes-child-from-deaf-sister.htm

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

Nominee to Disability Council Is Lightning Rod for Dispute on Views of Autism
By AMY HARMON

When President Obama nominated Ari Ne’eman to the National Council on Disability, many families touched by autism took it as a positive sign. Mr. Ne’eman would be the first person with the disorder to serve on the council.

But he has since become the focus of criticism from other advocates who disagree with his view that society ought to concentrate on accepting autistic people, not curing them.

A hold has been placed on Mr. Ne’eman’s nomination, which requires Senate confirmation. Whether the hold is related to the criticism of Mr. Ne’eman (pronounced NAY-men) and what it might take to lift it is unclear.

But Mr. Ne’eman, the 22-year-old founder of the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, seems to be a lightning rod for a struggle over how autism will be perceived at a time when an estimated 1 in 100 American children and teenagers are given such a diagnosis.

Mr. Ne’eman is at the forefront of a growing movement that describes autism as a form of “neurodiversity” that should be embraced and accommodated, just as physical disabilities have led to the construction of ramps and stalls in public restrooms for people with disabilities. Autism, he and others say, is a part of their identity.

But that viewpoint, critics say, represents only those on the autism spectrum who at least have basic communication skills and are able to care of themselves.

“Why people have gotten upset is, he doesn’t seem to represent, understand or have great sympathy for all the people who are truly, deeply affected in a way that he isn’t,” said Jonathan Shestack, a co-founder of the advocacy group Autism Speaks, whose mission is to help finance research to find a cure.

Mr. Obama’s seven other nominees to the council were confirmed this month. But parliamentary procedure in the Senate allows one or more members to prevent a motion from reaching the floor for a vote by placing an anonymous hold on the action, which an official with knowledge of the proceedings said had been done in Mr. Ne’eman’s case.

The hallmark of autism is impaired social interaction, but the disorder can take an array of forms. Some people may hurt themselves or be unable to speak. Others may be hyperarticulate but unable to parse body language or facial cues. Some may have cognitive disabilities; others may have savant skills.

Mr. Ne’eman declined to be interviewed, citing the pending action on his nomination. But in previous interviews with The New York Times and other publications, he has argued that those most severely affected by autism are the ones who benefit least from the pursuit of a cure, which he suggests is unattainable anytime soon. Instead, he says, resources should be devoted to accommodations and services that could improve their quality of life.

Historically, the kind of genetic research supported by many parents of children with autism, Mr. Ne’eman has said, has been used to create prenatal tests that give parents the ability to detect a fetus affected by a particular condition, like Down syndrome, so that they can choose whether to terminate the pregnancy.

“We just think it makes more sense to orient research to addressing health problems or helping people communicate rather than creating a mouse model of autism or finding a new gene,” Mr. Ne’eman has said.

A senior majoring in political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Mr. Ne’eman himself has a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome, a form of high-functioning autism.

Mr. Ne’eman, who grew up in East Brunswick, N.J., has said his condition caused him to be bullied in high school. His social anxiety was so great, he sometimes picked at his face until it bled. He was eventually transferred to a school for students with developmental disabilities.

He founded his self-advocacy organization, which has grown to have several chapters across the country, in 2006, and he served on New Jersey’s Special Education Review Commission, where he wrote a report calling for legislative action to end the use of aversives, restraint and seclusion on students with disabilities.

Mr. Ne’eman also became a critic of Autism Speaks, the largest advocacy group in the country, organizing protests last fall over a fund-raising video.

But the split among autism advocates, suggests Lee Grossman, director of the Autism Society of America, may simply reflect the unmet needs of a growing population, for both research into potential treatments and for programs to support jobs and independent living.

“We have this community out there frustrated and bewildered and reaching out for any assistance, and that makes us battle-hardened,” Mr. Grossman said. “We need to reframe the discussion. From our perspective, it’s great to have a person on the spectrum being nominated to this committee.”


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/28/health/policy/28autism.html

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

Barbara Kay: The bourgeois tyranny of the fully-abled
Posted: March 10, 2010, 8:00 AM by NP Editor

It was revealed by The Wall Street Journal in late January that at a private strategy session in August, Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama’s chief of staff, blasted the internally divisive political ploy proposed by some aggressively left-wing Democrats as “f-----g retarded.”

An intense brouhaha, with disability advocacy groups, Special Olympics spokespeople and even Sarah Palin piling on, confirmed that the word “retarded” — though still a bona fide medical term — has almost achieved the same social radioactivity as “the N-word.”

Objectively there’s no viable comparison between the two.

The N-word is an odious racial slur targeting an identifiable group of humans endowed with immutable genetic characteristics. From its inception, the N-word has been identified with real immiseration of blacks by real racists.

By contrast, “retarded” is merely descriptive of an objective condition, and applicable to culturally disparate individuals. The term may even be said to be a euphemism: “delayed,” after all, suggests more hopefulness than is usually warranted for these unfortunates.

But, like its predecessors, “idiot,” “moron” and “feeble-minded,” the once-benign “retard” has lost dignity through constant association with juvenile humour, as well as coarsely-couched impatience with normally intelligent people acting stupidly, Emanuel’s peccadillo. Medical and support groups now prefer “intellectually disabled.” (Strangely, the same fate has not befallen “gay,” despite its parallel downward trajectory in popular usage.)

To be fair, although never enslaved or maligned as a group, the disabled, until relatively recently, were overlooked at best, and often shamed, depersonalized and marginalized in all societies. But again to be fair, the West can be proud of its progress on the disability file. Over the centuries our perceptions of the deformed, the diseased and the disabled as ritually unclean or loathsome have evolved into attitudes of compassion, inclusion and frank admiration.

The Paralympics, beginning this Friday, are a testimony to the sensible modern understanding of disability as a modifier, but not a disqualifier, for participation in athletic competition — a far cry from the original Olympics where the slightest physical imperfection (even circumcision) disqualified candidates for inclusion.

None of this happened by magic. Activism amongst the disabled and their sympathizers followed the well-trodden path traversed by blacks, women and homosexuals in their legitimate, rights-claiming phases. Slowly but surely curbs became sloped, elevators were installed and wheelchair-friendly transportation was made available. Much remains to be done, but the principle of equal accessibility to public resources has been firmly established, a principle roundly supported by liberals and conservatives alike.

Until political activism morphed into a field of academic study. Then — as with women’s, queer and African-American studies — disability studies fell prey to the post-modern anti-intellectual credo amongst intellectuals that “studies” means the advancement of “theory” and political activism rather than disinterested free inquiry. Many liberals may like what they see on campus, most conservatives not so much.

On its face, the relatively nascent phenomenon of disability studies is an attractive concept. Disability in literature (fairy tales, mythology, Homer, the Bible, Shakespeare), in the plastic and visual arts, in family dynamics, in sports, in politics: All of these make lush intellectual pickings for real scholarship.

Instead the field has been colonized by leftist ideologues. You’ll find in its academic literature all the buzz words you see in race and gender studies: “progressive,” “oppression,” “bourgeois,” “empowerment.” Riffle through a few conference papers and it’s the same old, same old: “At the heart of disability studies is a recognition that disability is a cultural construction; that is, that ‘disability’ has no inherent meaning”; and “The exciting thing about disability studies is that it is both an academic field of inquiry and an area of political activity ...”; and “Social justice is at the heart of disability theory and changing morality in the Western world.”

In other words, disability studies’ academic stakeholders have co-opted the disabled — for the most part apolitical individuals seeking nothing more than a physical levelling of the playing field in order to pursue their unique personal goals — as eternal Marxist victims of “ableist” oppressors. (The University of Toronto disabilities studies department claims it “aims to examine and deconstruct ableism.”)

That’s where the animus against “retarded” comes from. The word suggests there is a normative IQ against which the — er — “cognitively different” can, and should, be measured. Like feminists who won’t hear of discrepancies between male and female faculties in maths and sciences, disability activists rebel against the bourgeois tyranny of the fully abled. The same denial of reality prevails.

(The deaf “culture” or “linguistic community” who resist integration through lip-reading is the most egregious example of the syndrome. Extreme disability correctness led two deaf lesbians to seek a congenitally deaf sperm donor to ensure a deaf child.)

Disabled individuals are owed all the help society can reasonably provide to live as normal a life as possible. Colour me ableist: I said it — the other N-word — “normal.” For “normal” is what any reasonable disabled person wants to be. If disability studies academics resist this reality, they may be cognitively abled, but they are ethically ... delayed.

National Post


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)

Marlee Matlin - Voices on Social Justice

ILO TV interviews Marlee Matlin, Oscar winning actress, author and advocate.

Each year, World Day for Social Justice draws global attention to efforts to eradicate poverty and promote social well-being, equality and full and decent employment. In 2010 this search for a "society for all" faces severe challenges brought on by the global economic and jobs crises, resurging poverty and long-term social uncertainty.

Against this backdrop, the ILO has launched a year-long Voices on Social Justice Campaign to provide a global platform for perspectives on what social justice means today and how it might be achieved in the years to come.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OgBDkckAAI&cc=1

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 you've taken to read this newsletter and clicking on the donation link above.

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

FROM THE NEWSLETTER READERS

Please remember to send us things to post here. Thank You.

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, March 25, 2010

US priest accused of molesting 200 deaf boys

US priest accused of molesting 200 deaf boys

Contains slideshow pictures cick on title link to page.

By DINESH RAMDE and TODD RICHMOND
The Associated Press
Friday, March 26, 2010; 3:55 AM

ST. FRANCIS, Wis. -- Steven Geier says that four times in the mid-1960s, the Rev. Lawrence Murphy coaxed the then-14-year-old student into a closet at St. John's School for the Deaf just outside Milwaukee and molested him, using God to justify his actions. Geier said when he told Murphy what was happening was wrong, the priest replied, "Oh, yes. God sent me. This is confession."

Geier, now 59 and living in Madison, was one of about 200 deaf boys at the school who say they were molested by the late priest decades ago in a case now creating a scandal for the Vatican and threatening to ensnare Pope Benedict XVI.

"Father Murphy put everything into the context of God," Geier said through a sign-language interpreter Thursday. "I felt like I was really brainwashed."

Some allegations became public years ago. But they received renewed attention this week after documents obtained by The New York Times showed Murphy was spared a defrocking in the mid-1990s because he was protected by the Vatican office led by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now the pope.

The Vatican on Thursday strongly defended its decision not to defrock Murphy and denounced what it called a campaign to smear the pope and his aides.

In recent weeks, Benedict also has come under fire over his handling of an abuse case against a priest in Germany three decades ago when he was a cardinal in charge of the Munich Archdiocese.
ad_icon

In the Milwaukee-area case, Murphy was accused of molesting boys in the confessional, in dormitories, in closets and during field trips while working at the school for the deaf from the 1950s through 1974. Murphy died in 1998 at age 72.

Geier shook his fist in anger as he talked to The Associated Press about Muprhy.

"I can't believe (the pope) can be so stupid," Geier said. "He is supposed to be doing God's work and yet abusing children is in direct conflict with that. ... Where is God's punishment for Father Murphy abusing all those boys? Is that kind of behavior acceptable to God?"

Arthur Budzinski, 61, said Murphy began abusing him in the early 1960s when, at the age of 12, he asked Murphy to hear his confession. Instead, Budzinski said, the priest took him into a closet under the stairs and sexually assaulted him. There were two other assaults in Murphy's bedroom and Budzinski's bed in his dormitory room, he said.

"It seemed like my father would be walking into a trap every time," said Gigi Budzinski, his 26-year-old daughter who interpreted his sign language.

Church and Vatican documents showed that in the mid-1990s, two Wisconsin bishops urged the Vatican office led by Ratzinger to let them hold a church trial against Murphy.

However, Ratzinger's deputy at the time decided the alleged molestation occurred too long ago and said Murphy - then ailing and elderly - should instead repent and be restricted from celebrating Mass outside of his diocese, according to the documents.

Murphy's alleged victims also included at least one teen in a juvenile detention center in the 1970s.

Donald Marshall, now 45, said Murphy visited him several times a week at the center, where he was sent at age 13 for burglary. Marshall said the abused happened when the priest visited the boy while he was isolated in a cell after a fight.

"He was sitting on my bed, reading the Bible to me, and he put his hand on my knee," Marshall said. "He leaned over and started kissing me. That's when he tried to put his hand down my pants."

The Associated Press does not normally identify victims of sex crimes, but Budzinski, Geier and Marshall allowed their names to be used.

One of the documents, written by the Rev. Thomas Brundage of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and dated October 1997, said some of Murphy's assaults began in the confessional, where he began by asking the boys about their being circumcised. Brundage said at least 100 boys were involved.

"Odds are that this situation may very well be the most horrendous, number-wise, and especially because these are physically challenged, vulnerable people," Brundage wrote.

The archdiocese entered mediation in 2004 with a number of people who claimed to have been victimized by priests. The archdiocese has paid compensation to Murphy's victims, but spokeswoman Julie Wolf would not say how much. Through mid-2009, the archdiocese said, it paid out $28 million to settle allegations of clergy sexual abuse.
ad_icon

Budzinski said that when he was 26, he and two others victimized by Murphy went to police. E. Michael McCann, then the Milwaukee County district attorney, said his office couldn't file charges because the six-year statute of limitations had run out.

The Vatican issued a strong defense of its handling of the case. The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano said there was no cover-up and denounced what it said was a "clear and despicable intention" to strike at Benedict "at any cost."

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, issued a statement noting that the Murphy case did not reach the Vatican until 1996 - some 20 years after Milwaukee church authorities first learned of the allegations. Lombardi said the absence of more recent allegations was a factor in the decision not to defrock Murphy.

---

Richmond reported from Madison, Wis. Associated Press writers Gretchen Ehlke and Carrie Antlfinger in Milwaukee and Nicole Winfield in Vatican City contributed to this report.

Deaf bowlers ready to roll for unity

Deaf bowlers ready to roll for unity

SportsUnite has become synonymous with unique events since its inception six years ago and this is set to continue at the Sunway Mega Lanes on Sunday.

Together with the Kuala Lumpur Association of the Deaf, Milo and Sunway Mega Lanes, SportsUnite will bring together 32 pairs for some unique action in the Unity Tenpin Bowling Carnival.

Each pair will consist of a bowler with a hearing-impaired partner.

Bowlers from the Sunway Mega Lanes junior and senior leagues will partner the bowlers from the deaf associations.


"Several national bowlers are expected to compete as well," said SportsUnite Sports Club chairman Datuk Dina Rizal.

Dina said response from the normal bowlers was amazing as 22 have already registered for the event which is limited to just 32 pairs.

"The bowlers from the deaf associations are also primed for the event and some have been training hard."

Dina said this was an effort to bring all Malaysians together.

"This is not only about bringing different races together but also those who face different challenges to a common platform -- unity."

Each bowler will bowl three games and the top-10 pairs will win medals and Milo hampers.

Prizes will also be awarded for high game scores and there will be lucky draws for bowlers from the Kuala Lumpur Association of the Deaf.

Entry fee for normal bowlers is RM10 each. Those interested in taking part should contact Michelle Wong (012-2096012) or Dollah or Noora of Sunway Mega Lanes at 03-74926307/8/9.

Barking up the right tree with new breed of hearing aid

Barking up the right tree with new breed of hearing aid

Emma McAuley is the first person in the Republic to benefit from the Hearing Dogs for Deaf People scheme

DUBLINER EMMA McAuley became the first person in the Republic to use a specially trained hearing dog to act as her ears when Chester came into her life last year.

Chester is a two-year-old “cockerpoo”, a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle, who was bred by the UK-based Hearing Dogs for Deaf People organisation and underwent extensive training to prepare him for his life as a working dog.

McAuley explains that Chester was placed with a “socialiser” at the age of two months where he was trained in basic commands and being walked on a lead, and got used to being around people. He then passed his first assessment and proceeded to a four-month-long sound work training programme with Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

“It was at the end of this four months that our own partnership was formed. I went over to one of their training centres in Yorkshire, the Beatrice Wright Training Centre, where I spent five days learning how to handle Chester in public and private, to give commands correctly, how to groom him and what his daily care routine consisted of. It was hard work but we bonded straight away, so this made things much easier and very enjoyable, with a lot of laughs.”

Since January 2009, Chester has been her constant companion, waking her up in the morning when the alarm clock goes off by pawing at the duvet, and he alerts her when the mobile phone, the doorbell or the cooker timer rings or when a colleague calls her in the office.

“He does this by coming and touching me with his paw and then taking me to the source of sound. He is also trained to alert me to the smoke/fire alarm and burglar alarm, both at home, in work and in public places. With these sounds he alerts me and then drops to the ground which tells me it is a danger sound.”

Chester does not moult, which is important for the office and clinical environment McAuley works in as an audiologist with the DeafHear organisation. “It is important that he does not have an effect on someone who might have an allergy to dogs,” she points out.

She has a severe hearing loss but gets a lot of benefit from the use of two hearing aids. “However, I find it very difficult to understand speech when I am not lip reading the person,” she says. “I enjoy my music, but probably more from the melodies and various instrumental sounds as opposed to the actual lyrics.”

Chester has accompanied her to the National Concert Hall and the cinema, to see Christy Moore in Vicar Street, to the Olympia, and all around the city, as well as on flights to England.

“He is loved by staff and clients alike. He is especially popular with children and he is a credit to his socialisers and trainers with how well he behaves.”

McAuley’s deafness developed as a child because of a hereditary condition which also affected her mother’s family.

“My father, being a doctor, was aware of the chance that I too might develop a hearing loss. Thankfully, he made sure that I had regular hearing tests and when tested as a nine year old it became apparent that I had developed a mild/moderate hearing loss in both ears. I was fitted with my first hearing aid when I started secondary school at the age of 12.”

When she moved from junior to senior school at Alexandra College, she found it difficult to cope in larger classes and dealing with a specific teacher for each subject. At the end of her second year she moved to a class of just eight at Pembroke School.

“All the teachers were made aware of my hearing loss and always made sure that I never fell behind in my school work. It was because of their good teaching skills and dedication in encouraging their students that I left in 1989 with my Leaving Certificate and went on to study and qualify as an accounting technician in Portobello Business College.”

When she finished college she attended a DeafHear course on coping strategies for hearing loss, her first experience of meeting other people with a similar condition.

“It made me realise that I wasn’t the only pebble on the beach when it came to hearing loss and gradually over the following years my confidence to talk about my own deafness increased. Support services have improved greatly in the past 15-20 years but there are many, many hard-of-hearing/deaf people out there who are not aware of the support services that exist.”

DeafHear provides a range of support services for deaf and hard-of-hearing people and their families, friends and colleagues.

McAuley has worked with the organisation since 1997 when she joined it as an administrator before qualifying as an audiologist five years ago, a role she now combines with being team leader for the Dublin South Resource Centre, covering south Dublin, Wicklow and Kildare.

She has seen an improvement in services for deaf people. Some cinemas are now providing subtitled films, although screenings are at unsociable times.

“Just because a film is subtitled doesn’t stop other people going to see that showing, and subtitles benefit not just deaf and hard-of-hearing people but also those whose first language is not English.

“On the plus side, places like the National Gallery of Ireland really do make an effort to include deaf and hard-of- hearing people. Once every two months they put on a tour of a selection of paintings within the gallery for sign language users, and another for hard-of-hearing people complete with handouts and individual loops for those whose hearing aids are compatible.”

The Abbey Theatre also shows performances with a sign language interpretation or with Stagetext, a captioning service for arts venues.

But she finds that the majority of communication with businesses and State bodies is by telephone, which is difficult to use even for people with mild or moderate hearing loss.

“When one tries to communicate by e-mail there are often delays of several days before one gets a response. That is, of course, if an e-mail address is provided. Banks, for instance, won’t deal with a third party making a phone call on behalf of the deaf/hard-of-hearing person, and this means in most cases that they have to take time off work to visit their local branch instead.”

According to the UK’s Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID), about one in every 1,000 children is deaf at three years old, rising to two in every 1,000 children aged nine to 16. An estimated 760,000 people in Ireland have some degree of hearing loss.

“There are signs now, however, that people are presenting to their audiologists at an earlier age than previous generations and this is probably due to the increase in use of devices such as MP3 players, and listening to them at loud levels for long periods of time,” she says.

McAuley first became interested in acquiring a hearing dog when her friend and colleague, Elizabeth Ward in Derry, received hers in November 2004. “She, like me, has a severe hearing loss and through her role as a hearing therapist she encouraged me to apply for a hearing dog,” she says.

It was difficult to convince Hearing Dogs for Deaf People to extend the service to McAuley because it currently has no plans for a service in the Republic. The organisation has 14 working hearing dogs in Northern Ireland and has placed more than 1,500 dogs in the UK since 1982. It has a staff member in the Republic who sources suitable dogs for training that have been abandoned, rescued or donated.

“I took a bit of persuading to make the application, but I thought that if I was successful, it would not only benefit me, but would increase awareness of the importance of the role of a hearing dog in the life of someone who is deaf or severely hard of hearing.

“Many people have approached me to find out how to go about getting a hearing dog and are disappointed when I tell them that at the moment they are not being placed in the Republic of Ireland,” she says.

Having Chester has also been an unexpected help in her dealings with the public. Deafness is an invisible condition, but McAuley no longer needs to tell people that she is deaf and no longer gets strange looks when she fails to respond to someone talking because Chester has a burgundy-coloured coat with Hearing Dogs for Deaf People written on it.

In fact, she now finds she gets stopped in the street or in supermarkets. “I am the one at the end of the lead. People are very interested and intrigued to find out how Chester helps me. He certainly does a lot to create awareness.”

East Nashville project will provide homes to low-income, deaf residents

East Nashville project will provide homes to low-income, deaf residents

Any new development underway these days has a chance of being unique, due to lack of competition. A new project in East Nashville, dubbed 701 Porter, earns the mantle, however, as the state’s first housing development designed for low-income deaf residents.

The 46,000-square-foot building is being developed by Nashville-based nonprofit Urban Housing Solutions, with construction handled by Baron + Dowdle Construction.

Urban Housing Solutions acquired the site after nursing-home developer Forrest Preston bought Cornelia House — a troubled nursing home that was shut down by the Tennessee Health Department — solely for its certificate of need in late 2007, allowing him to license beds elsewhere.

Preston then turned to the Community Foundation and United Way to solicit proposals from local nonprofits on potential uses for the site. Twenty-five such groups toured the site in the spring of 2008; Preston liked Urban Housing Solutions’ plan to build residences for the deaf, but also suggested that they go for a more varied feel that would serve as a focal point for the community. The remodeled nursing home sits on four acres at the intersection of Porter Road and Eastland Avenue.

Urban Housing Solutions, led by executive director Rusty Lawrence, listened, and is now in the midst of 26,000 square feet of construction. In addition to 20 residential units, the first phases include eight retail bays, a Montessori School (which opened last summer) and space for a restaurant.

Each retail bay is essentially a former nursing-home room, which would’ve held two to four beds.

“We’ve had a lot of demand for those,” Lawrence said. Urban Housing Solutions has tenants for all of the first-phase retail bays, including a bakery, guitar-repair shop and florist, among others. Lawrence said negotiations with a potential restaurant tenant are also underway.

Lawrence said the first phase of construction should cost $1.6 million. Urban Housing Solutions got $500,000 in grants from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency and the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency for the residential units, while a combination of funds from Federal Homeloan Bank, U.S. Bank and The Housing Fund will cover the remainder.

If the first-phase of retailers do well, Lawrence said an addition half-dozen retail bays are available. If residential leasing is strong, Lawrence said there is a capacity for 12 more units, though that space could also be converted for office use, he said.

Deaf man fights the odds to become physician

Deaf man fights the odds to become physician

When doctors deliver babies, most of them can hear the first life-affirming cries of the infants as they enter the world.

Dr. Philip Zazove can't.

In 1981, Dr. Philip Zazove became the third certified deaf physician in the history of the United States. Now a specialist in family medicine at the University Hospital, he has spent more than 30 years in the medical field.

When asked why he chose medicine, Zazove replied, "I like to help people. I like medicine. I like relationships with people."

But obtaining his dream job was no easy task.

Now 58, Zazove was diagnosed with profound hearing loss at age four. Though Zazove can't pinpoint the exact moment he lost his hearing, he recalls the frustration he felt when he couldn't hear what his father was saying as he helped him organize books on a shelf one day.

"I said, 'Daddy, you have to turn around so I can see you, so I can understand you,' " Zazove recalls. Zazove could only understand his father by reading his lips, a task that could not be achieved when his father's back was turned to him.

The Zazoves recognized something was wrong with their son and took him to doctors who evaluated him and diagnosed his deafness.

"They said I had a profound loss, and I would never be educatable," Zazove said. "And I should go to a deaf school, and I would be lucky if I got a job as a janitor."

But because Zazove had already learned to speak English before losing his hearing, his situation differed from children born deaf who have never learned to speak.

Rather than placing him in a school for the deaf, the Zazoves decided to "mainstream" their son and educate him in public schools. Zazove says he was the first deaf child to be mainstreamed in the northern Chicago suburbs.

But school administrators met this decision with opposition. Every year, Zazove's teachers would try to convince his parents to send him to a deaf school.

"Even though I did very well the year before, the teacher would say, 'A deaf child? I can't have one of those,'" Zazove said.

According to Zazove, the majority of deaf people cannot read above a sixth grade level, while only 13 percent graduate from college.

Yet, Zazove defied the odds and attended Northwestern University in 1969.

When it came time to apply for medical school, Zazove remained optimistic.

But despite stellar grades, high medical board scores and gushing recommendations, all 18 medical schools he applied to denied him acceptance.

While none of the letters openly stated the school would not accept him because of his deafness, Zazove knew that was the underlying reason.

Despite the setbacks, he didn't allow his disability to stop him.

Zazove put off medical school and remained at Northwestern to obtain his master's degree. When his program was finished he decided to give medical school another shot, and this time applied to nearly 30 schools.

During the application process, a second-year medical student at Rutgers University — one of the schools Zazove applied to — heard about Zazove. The student himself had a profound hearing loss and decided to help by setting up an interview with representatives from Rutgers.

Today, Zazove doesn't know if that made a difference, but Rutgers was the only school to accept him.

After two years at Rutgers, Zazove transferred to Washington University in St. Louis where he met his wife, Barb Reed, who was studying pediatrics at the time. She is now a physician in the Department of Family Medicine in the University of Michigan Health System.

Reed emphasized what an "excellent" father her husband is and that his hearing loss never stopped him from caring for his daughters Katie, now 26, and Rebecca, 28.

The family came to Michigan in 1989. Both Reed and Zazove got jobs at UMHS in the Department of Family Medicine, making Zazove the first deaf physician to work in the state of Michigan.

As is the nature of family medicine, Zazove forms close relationships with his patients and their families.

"The thing about family medicine is taking care of family, continuity of care and prevention and keeping people from getting sick," Zazove said.

Zazove cares for about 2,500 patients at the hospital, of which roughly 10 percent have a hearing loss. Because Zazove can communicate in sign language, some deaf patients drive hours to see him.

However, the average deaf person earns $25,000 or less annually, and Zazove says many can't afford to see doctors.

"Some of them get Medicaid," he said. "But because of the economy, every state is trying to cut back."

Zazove admits he's not sure how many of his hearing patients realize he's deaf. Some think he has an accent, on account of his muffled speech, and ask if he's Italian because of his last name.

"Sometimes they say 'What country are you from?' and I say 'From Chicago,' " Zazove said.

Two and a half years ago, Zazove received a cochlear implant — a surgically implanted device in the ear that helps pick up sound. Since the implant, Zazove said more of his patients are making the connection that he's deaf.

Though the device is supposed to improve hearing, Zazove said his doesn't work very well. A year and half ago, he got a second implant which has slightly improved his hearing.

"It works better, and it's only getting better, but it's not what I had hoped," he said.

Instead, Zazove relies heavily on lip reading to converse with his patients and others in his life. He said people who lip read can only understand about 20 percent of what someone is saying, and must rely on context to fill in the rest.

"I know we're talking about me, my life," he said of our conversation at an interview last month. "If we were talking about Dick Cheney paying his rent, and you didn't tell me that, I'd probably have no idea. It would take me a while to figure that out."

Zazove noted that lip reading comes in handy when communicating with patients who have lost their voice from being sick or after coming out of surgery. "I can read their lips, and other people can't understand them," he said.

While lip reading may help him communicate with patients, it becomes a problem during surgery when doctors wear surgical masks.

"It's hard," he said. "People are talking, and you have no idea what they're saying."

Zazove admitted this was an issue while learning how to perform surgeries in medical school. To make up for the lack of auditory learning, he would have to ask many questions and pay extra attention.

Today, Zazove is working with the Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Losses to develop a clear mask that allows deaf doctors and patients to read lips.

The mask is just starting to be adapted by professionals in the medical field, and Zazove said it will make work easier for future generations of deaf physicians.

Besides not being able to communicate during surgeries, Zazove said many deaf physicians — of which there are now more than 100 in the country — have trouble using stethoscopes to listen to heart rates.

Zazove can hear through a stethoscope, but other deaf doctors use amplified or visual stethoscopes. One veterinarian Zazove knows has learned to read heart beats by touching her hand to an animal's heart.

"She can tell if it's a murmur or anything because she's developed the ability to do that," he said. "It's amazing, it really is, what people can do."

Despite his hearing loss, Zazove said patients rarely express concern about his diagnoses.

"Most people figure if you're an M.D. and you went through med school and residency and are certified, you know what you're doing," he said.

In some cases, his deafness helps establish better relationships with his patients. Zazove said he thinks his disability may inadvertently lead him to providing better patient care.

"I would be willing to bet as a general rule that deaf physicians are much more attentive to their patients. They have to be to focus," he said. "People tell me that all the time, 'I love the way you look at me and listen to me.' "

Joyce Kaferle, the medical director in the Department of Family Medicine, has worked with Zazove since the early 1990s. She said she has found his hearing loss helps him better connect with patients.

"I think that it's really an invaluable thing for his deaf patients because he understands what they're going through a lot more than other people do," Kaferle said.

However, Kaferle said Zazove's patient care time has become limited due to the amount of administrative work he has taken on.

Zazove is one of 25 professionals in the country who conduct research on how hearing loss impacts health. Results from Zazove's studies may be used in the future to help the deaf have a better quality of life.

Through his research, Zazove discovered people with even a slight hearing loss tend to have poorer health. He has yet to determine why, but he attributes the discovery to the fact that hearing doctors treat patients with hearing loss differently.

In 1994, Zazove published an autobiography "When the Phone Rings, My Bed Shakes." His second book, out in March, is titled "Four Days in Michigan." While the book is classified as fiction, the story describes the differences between people in the "deaf" and "Deaf" communities.

Zazove explained that people born with a profound hearing loss are considered "deaf" — lower-case "d'' — and often keep quiet about their disability, while people in the "Deaf" community — upper-case "D'' — communicate by sign language and embrace their hearing loss. According to Zazove, the "Deaf" community views him as "deaf" because he can hear slightly.

"From a Deaf person's perspective, normal is deaf. Abnormal is hearing," Zazove said.

This is also the group that makes less than $25,000 per year. For that reason, Zazove said few people in the Deaf community live in Ann Arbor because the cost of living in the city is too high.

"They can't afford to live here. It's too expensive," Zazove said. "Most of them live in Flint, or Detroit, or Grand Rapids or small towns where it's cheap. I would say there's probably 30 or 50 people in the Deaf community in Washtenaw County here for that reason."

As far as students, Zazove said there may be a total of three to 15 students with a hearing loss who attend the University every year. The Office for Students with Disabilities helps them as much as possible by providing interpreters to take notes during classes and translate lectures.

Though this may make a difference in deaf students' educational experiences, they still face challenges outside the classroom. Zazove explained how being deaf is a difficult disability to have because it's not visible.

Using a hypothetical situation, he said if students are at party and a blind student walked in, most people would go over and help him or her. But if it was the same party and a deaf student walked in, no one would know the student was deaf and no one would offer assistance.

Zazove says scenarios like this have happened often in his career. He mentioned one instance recently where, after leading a medical conference, a man wearing a surgical mask due to illness approached Zazove.

"He came up to me said 'You did a good job moving this along' and left," Zazove said. "I had no idea what he said. Somebody who knew me said, 'I bet you didn't understand him,' I said no, and he told me what (the man had) said."

From these experiences, Zazove understands why some people keep quiet about their deafness.

"I think that's why people with hearing loss would finally give up and say I don't want anybody to know, it's too much trouble, it doesn't change anything anyway," he said.

Yet, despite the myriad bumps and setbacks, Zazove has learned to live with his disability and embrace life regardless of his existence in a silent world. Reed said her husband's deafness is a characteristic that makes him so special.

"He's a very beloved physician," Reed noted. "He has a loyal patient clientele who stick with him year in and year out. So while I do think it was difficult for him to become a physician, he's a great example that deaf individuals can do all kinds of professional jobs very well."

Rabbis oppose Egged plan for audio-visual aids for deaf and blind

Rabbis oppose Egged plan for audio-visual aids for deaf and blind

Pressure from ultra-Orthodox rabbis could lead to revoking plans to install more buses with an on-board audio-visual system for people with sensory impairments.

The rabbis who object to the system, stipulated by the law for Equality for Persons with Disabilities, say the screens could be used for unworthy purposes.

The system has been installed in 72 Egged buses over the past year and a half, in keeping with the disability and equality law's regulations.

By the end of the year, Egged has undertaken to install the system in 500 more buses in urban lines, in five to six cities.

The audio-visual system is intended to serve all passengers, as well as those with hearing and seeing impairment. The latter will be able to know where the bus is and what the next stop will be with the system's help.

The law's implementation is being held up by ultra-Orthodox rabbis' objections to setting up screens in buses.

The rabbis object to having the screens in all the bus lines, not only in those passing through ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods.

Transport Ministry officials said ultra-Orthodox politicians, such as Deputy Education Minister Meir Porush and Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman (both United Torah Judaism), have been pressuring Egged to revoke the contract to purchase hundreds of additional screens.

Some of the rabbis agreed to have the screens used for commercials, which would finance the service. Egged promised to project no images or pictures on the screens, which could offend ultra-Orthodox passengers' sensibilities, but only texts.

However, the more radical ultra-Orthodox rabbis objected to having the screens installed in the first place, agreeing only to LED screens displaying the name of the next station.

The radical rabbis said after a meeting a few weeks ago that Egged promised them in writing to have only a LED display strip, not a screen that commercials could be broadcast on.

SD governor vetoes bill on deaf education

SD governor vetoes bill on deaf education

Gov. Mike Rounds has vetoed a bill that would have required the South Dakota Education Department to set up programs to promote the education of children who are deaf or have impaired hearing.

Rounds says the some of the bill's requirements are already included in federal law. He says other provisions would be difficult for school districts to accomplish.

The governor says the South Dakota Constitution gives the Board of Regents responsibility for many aspects of educating children with impaired hearing. He says the bill would have imposed requirements on the Education Department, which does not have the necessary money or staff.

Rounds says state officials are already working to accomplish the goals set out in the bill.

School for Deaf students celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday

School for Deaf students celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday

In a celebration that featured brightly striped hats and games with “green eggs and ham,” The Scranton School for Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing Children recently marked the 106th birthday of the author of children’s books, Dr. Seuss. The school’s community room was divided into a menagerie of all things Seussical with eight different sections for students from pre-K through fourth grade. The children crafted hand-puppets, made their own “Cat-in-the-Hat” marshmallow treats, had their picture taken on a “Circus McGurkus” flying trapeze, and read their favorite Dr. Seuss books in “The Reading Corner.” The activities were organized by Eileen Cosgrove, school librarian, and were facilitated by Kathy Pliska, Bonnie Long, Alice Casparro, Marge Snopek, Michele Walsh, Nellie Noschese, Tara Graef, Brittany Lustic, Anne Thomas, Stefanie Fitzpatrick, Mauri Bowen, Mary Ann Stefko and Cathy Rhoten, all members of the school faculty. Students participating were: Basel Hijazi, Britney Moctezuma, Adam Zenker, Katrena Strother, Colby Charnetski, Karissa Dreher, Joshua Evans, Bailee Pratt, Matthew Locker, Abby Romiski, Jerome Wheeler, Grace Benham, Thomas DeVoe, Desiree Rivera, Victor Rivera-Ramos, Aaliyah Sanders, Kristopher Suggs, Selena Chaikowsky, John Dougher, Sarah Gerhold, Edward Racht, Roger Romiski, Paola Camacho, Garrick Hines, Lemuel Riolo, Adolfo Rivera, Ryane Smalley and Justin Warke.

Deaf education teacher let go from program

Deaf education teacher let go from program

Last week the teacher of the deaf program housed in Mount Anthony Union Middle School was dismissed from the school, leaving many questions in the minds of supervisory union administrators and parents of students in the program.

Kathy Buck, director of Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union special education services, said Ruthann Weaver was dismissed on March 18. Since deaf education services are contracted by MAU and provided by Austine School in Brattleboro, part of the Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, MAU does not control the program.

The Austine School administration has not made public the reason Weaver was removed, or told local supervisory union or school administration, Buck said.

"It's an unusual situation where the school district has a contract with Austine to provide these services to our school," she said.

Buck said she received a one-day notice of Weaver's dismissal but wasn't told about what the program would look like the rest of the year until she and parents of the four deaf students in the programs met with Austine representatives Tuesday afternoon. Buck said the meeting was productive and concluded with agreement that two teachers will rotate teaching the class for the remainder of the school year.

"Two parents are familiar with the teachers and they felt good about that as a resolution," Buck said after the meeting Tuesday.

While a solution has been found, Buck said there are still questions around the situation. She said she and the parents have asked why Weaver is no longer in the school but have been told it is "confidential."
"I think everybody was so surprised. I really can't imagine what was happening, but they felt that they had to make this change and it had to be done now and it couldn't have waited until the end of the year," Buck said. "The parents and students were very upset, but I think that now they're feeling good about the changes that Austine was offering to do and we're going to move forward."

A phone number for Weaver could not be found Tuesday.

Buck said the two other staff members, a translator and para-professional, who have been working with the children in the program all year will remain working with the students.

Brenda Seitz, director of special education for Austine School, said Tuesday she could not answer questions about the situation.

The only comment she made was "the program is still up and running with certified teachers."

Next year a deaf education program will not be offered at the middle school, as the four students in it, three eighth-graders and one seventh-grader, will be moved up to a new high school program that MAU will operate instead of contracting services through Austine, Buck said.

The plan to not contract services with Austine was made prior to Weaver's departure, Buck said.

Miss Deaf Utah eager to show disabilities need not be disabling

Miss Deaf Utah eager to show disabilities need not be disabling

Like many pageant contestants, Andrea Vigil has spent countless hours developing her talent, trying to find the perfect song to accompany her hip-hop routine.

But unlike other beauty queens, Vigil cannot hear the music she will dance to.

Vigil is Miss Deaf Utah, serving as a role model and spokeswoman for the deaf community in Utah. Now Vigil is preparing for the Miss Deaf America pageant this summer.

The 22-year-old from Taylorsville had to overcome more than hearing loss to accomplish her goal. Born prematurely and weighing just over two pounds, Vigil had to endure years of braces on her arms and legs to correct defects. A tumor behind her left eye as a toddler left her blind on that side.

Despite her physical challenges, Vigil has always kept a hopeful attitude and, after studying at the Utah School for the Deaf and Blind, graduated from Skyline High School. She now works for Sorenson Communications, teaching hard-of-hearing customers to use video-relay services.

Vigil also works to educate the public on deaf issues, and being Miss Deaf Utah has given her a larger platform. Leadership opportunities are the focus of the pageant, said state director Andrea Anderson. Vigil made an appearance at the Utah Legislature this year, hoping to get more youth involved in the community, particularly with the National Association of the Deaf task force.

Serving as Miss Deaf Utah makes Vigil an example for young women in the deaf community.

"Her past of disabilities didn't stop her from continuing to make achievements," said Eleanor McCowan, program manager at the Sanderson Community Center for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing.

That example is important to young girls, McCowan said, who sometimes believe they cannot participate in regular activities, such as student government or cheerleading, with their hearing peers. Although those activities can present some barriers, accommodations can often be made to allow hearing impaired students to participate.

For Vigil, that activity has been dance. Most deaf people do not enjoy dancing, Vigil said, but she finds it a wonderful way to bridge deaf and hearing cultures. She blends sign language into her routines, and tries to use that to share a positive message. She generally eschews lyrics in her song selections, allowing her control of the message.

Vigil has until July to make her song selection. Then she will perform her dance at the Miss Deaf America pageant in Philadelphia.

With her family in attendance, Vigil believes it will be a perfect high point to her term of service before she returns to school, hopefully at Salt Lake Community College. She wants to study communication technology and continue helping deaf children communicate with the hearing world.

Deaf man sues over arrest in Mobile, Ala.

Deaf man sues over arrest in Mobile, Ala.

A deaf and mentally disabled man who was forced from a Dollar General restroom by Mobile police with pepper spray and a Taser has sued in Mobile County Circuit Court.

The lawsuit filed by attorney Tommy James for Antonio Love alleges the officers weren't properly trained and used excessive force in making a false arrest.

It seeks unspecified damages from the city of Mobile, the police officers involved in the July 24 arrest, Dollar General Corp. and a store manager.

City officials said officers acted professionally and didn't know who was inside the restroom.

Love was feeling ill and went to the restroom at the store. A manager who thought Love was inside too long called police, who removed Love from the restroom and arrested him.

Deaf and blind dog helps others see lessons in disabilities

Deaf and blind dog helps others see lessons in disabilities

Marcia Fishman admits it took a long time to train Rudolph, a blind and deaf dachshund she adopted, but the buff-colored dog has taught her and thousands of school children some valuable lessons about disabilities in return.

"By giving him a chance to live to his potential he can be as much fun as any other dog," Fishman said. "I tell the kids that if you assume someone in a wheelchair can't enjoy the things you do, give them a chance. Maybe they can enjoy the same things but in a different way like Rudolph does."

Rudolph is a puppy mill survivor and his inability to see or hear is the result of extensive inbreeding. Now more than 3 years old, Rudolph and Fishman have visited about 2,500 school children throughout Southeast Michigan over the past 15 months, including schools in White Lake Township, Bloomfield Hills, West Bloomfield, Novi, Southfield, Livonia and Northville.

And the friendly dog has something in common with Santa's favorite reindeer.

"I named him Rudolph because I thought his nose was guiding him in the dark," Fishman said.

Fishman and Rudolph are going to be on hand at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Fido Personal Dog Training, 703 Livernois, in Ferndale for a free outreach training workshop hosted by the Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup. She will talk about puppy mill survivors like Rudolph and what is involved in taking them to meet children in schools.

Fishman, an Oakland County resident, is the executive director of the Screen Actors Guild for the Detroit/Philadelphia branch.

Still, she finds time to volunteer with Rudolph and has even written a book called "Rudolph's Nose Knows."

"Rudolph loves kids," Fishman said. "One day I woke up and thought, I'll write a book."

The book tells the adventure of a little dog who becomes a hero against all odds. Rudolph suffers ridicule because he is deaf and blind, but his life changes when his nose guides him to a heroic feat.

The book also allows young readers to color the characters.

Rudolph and Fishman together help teach kids that teasing and bullying are wrong, while also demonstrating the potential for a productive life, even with physical challenges.

Rudolph got off to a rough start when Fishman first brought him home. The pup had spent the first year of his life caged in a puppy mill and was in four different homes before Fishman adopted him.

"For the first six months he had severe nightmares and would wake up biting," she said. "He's stopped that now. It took a year to teach him how to play with a toy because he had never had one."

Rudolph also eventually learned to get along with Fishman's older dachshund, Gunther, and learned commands to sit, lie down and walk on a leash by touch.

Fishman said she will continue to visit schools with Rudolph. She's received comments from kids telling her that they've learned to never make fun of someone with disabilities and give them a chance.

"By not giving people a chance, like I gave (Rudolph) a chance," she said, "We may be missing out on some great friendships."

To contact Fishman about school visits or her book, visit Rudolphs Nose Knows.

New location of school for deaf and blind children opens in Salt Lake City

New location of school for deaf and blind children opens in Salt Lake City

Students who attend Utah schools for the deaf and blind celebrate a new campus location in Salt Lake City after years of planning and construction. Students, teachers and administrators celebrated with a ribbon cutting earlier this week. "This has been a long time coming. I've been involved with trying to fund this school and get it built for eight years," Gregg Buxton said.

The students have been moved eight times in the last ten years. "They really needed a home. We've been moving them around because we've never had a permanent location," Steve Noyce said.

The new school is complete with all the latest technologies including new computers and a bilingual, bi cultural media center. "It has everything that we need. It as the acoustic treatment in the rooms for the children who are deaf. It has a great space and light for children with vision impairment," Noyce said.

The new campus will serve students in preschool through high school.

UC hosts health fair for deaf

UC hosts health fair for deaf

Back in the early 1990s, Betty Rosenberger, a deaf interpreter at University Hospital, had to give a patient the worst kind of bad news: He had been diagnosed with AIDS and had maybe two weeks to live.

"The doctor was actually saying it, but it was my hands, my face, the man was looking at," the Delhi Township woman said. "It was so hard."

A cluster of HIV/AIDS cases in Cincinnati's deaf community made Rosenberger realize how difficult it was for deaf people to get accurate information about protecting their health.

So in 1994, she organized a health fair targeted specifically to the deaf and hard of hearing community.

The health fair is still going strong. It takes place again 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday at the University of Cincinnati's Tangeman Center.

For the first several years of its existence, the health fair focused almost exclusively on HIV/AIDS prevention and care.

It's not always easy for public health messages to get through to the deaf community, which is often closed to the hearing world, Rosenberger said.

"For a long time, deaf people would see the word 'AIDS' and stop paying attention, because aids were something you put in your ears to help you hear," she said.

Over the years, the health fair has evolved to include a broad spectrum of health and wellness issues, Rosenberger said.

This year's fair features several breakout sessions on topics like diabetes, heart health and hypertension, substance abuse, dental care, mental health and spirituality. Information booths will be set up by a variety of vendors and health-care providers. Free health screenings will also be available.

More than 30 deaf interpreters will be working the fair.

The fair usually draws about 1,500 people a year, Rosenberger said, including about 400 deaf and hearing-impaired people.

FDA Approves Implantable Amplifier for the Deaf

FDA Approves Implantable Amplifier for the Deaf

A bionic sound amplifier that can be implanted in the human ear to restore hearing has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The Esteem system can help people with sensorineural hearing loss, which is a kind of hearing loss caused by damage to the inner ear from noise, aging or viral infection, or also by genetic factors. The Esteem system implants an amplifier between the eardrum and the middle ear, which picks up vibrations from the eardrum, amplifies them, and passes them on as amplified vibrations to the middle ear. According to the FDA's Jeffrey Shuren, the device has "no readily visible external components." How do they get the thing in there between the eardrum and middle ear? We're not sure.

Principal at School for Deaf Students Opposes Plan to Move Another School into Gramercy Buildin

Principal at School for Deaf Students Opposes Plan to Move Another School into Gramercy Building

Officials at Manhattan's only school devoted to deaf and hearing-impaired students oppose a city plan to bring more children into their building in order to alleviate school overcrowding across the borough.

Watfa Shama, principal of the American Sign Language and English Secondary School, said the Department of Education’s proposal to move Chelsea’s Clinton School for Artists and Writers into its already cramped building could compromise the children's education. She also said the city was breaking a promise made to her for more classroom space for the school’s special-needs students.

“We’re teaching children who deserve equal access to a great education,” Shama told DNAinfo. “I don’t think this move was as strategic as it could have been.”

Under the DOE’s latest plan to ease overcrowding at a Chelsea elementary school building, the Clinton School would move to the East 24th Street building that currently houses Quest to Learn, P.S. 138, P.S. 347 and J.H.S. 47 — all parts of the American Sign Language and English Secondary School.

The plan has drawn fire from members of the Clinton School community, who say the temporary move to the American Sign Language school building is a step down for the school. The middle school is currently housed at P.S. 11 on W. 21st Street, where there is a brand-new science lab and a private swimming pool for students.

Shama said introducing the 261-student Clinton School to the building could increase class sizes for deaf children.

“For children who are deaf or hard of hearing, small class sizes are crucial to learning sign language,” she said.

Shama took over the school in 2008, when it had failing reports and was on the state's list of "persistently dangerous schools," according to the No Child Left Behind program. She said the DOE had promised her on several occasions that if she turned the school around and increased enrollment, she could have more space this year to expand her school. To free up space, Quest to Learn was slated to depart to the Bayard Rustin Educational Complex in Chelsea.

Shama explained she had already begun recruiting new students across the boroughs when the DOE's plan was released on March 5. The DOE acknowledges there were discussions to increase the capacity of the school, but that was trumped by the need to alleviate student overcrowding in Manhattan.

“We recognize that the ASL Secondary School expected to expand its enrollment, and this change in plans is difficult for any school leader,” said DOE spokesman Jack Zarin-Rosenfield. “But ultimately we had to decide on temporarily accommodating an existing school over the potential expansion of another school.”

Zarin-Rosenfeld said DOE staff will talk with Shama to discuss future plans, as the Clinton School move is only temporary.

However, the latest proposal is still not set in stone. It hinges on the planned departure of Quest to Learn, which would free up space for the Clinton School, and will be put to a vote by the Panel of Education Policy on April 20.

Temp agency settles federal lawsuit alleging Wis. office discriminated against deaf applicant

Temp agency settles federal lawsuit alleging Wis. office discriminated against deaf applicant

A temp agency has agreed to pay $75,000 to settle a federal lawsuit alleging its La Crosse office discriminated against a deaf job seeker.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleged Olsten Staffing Services refused to refer Zachary Schaefer for a temporary production position at Main Street Ingredients, a La Crosse food manufacturer, because Schaefer is deaf. The EEOC maintained the ability to hear was not a job requirement.

Melville, N.Y.-based Olsten has agreed to pay Olsten $5,000 in lost pay and $70,000 damages and offer its employees training on the Americans With Disabilities Act's requirements.

Olsten spokesman Anthony Guerrieri says in statement the company did nothing wrong and provides a lawful work environment.

Deaf Iranian theatrical troupe enjoys warm Boston welcome

Deaf Iranian theatrical troupe enjoys warm Boston welcome

To the government of Iran, the United States is the Great Satan.

To the members of Mehr-Ayeen, a theatrical troupe of deaf performers from Iran, the United States is a land of opportunity for people with disabilities.

Despite frosty relations between the governments of Iran and the U.S., Mehr-Ayeen managed to make it to Boston this week as part of a cultural exchange funded by the U.S. State Department.

“Everything has been difficult because we don’t have relations with Iran,” said Tim McCarty, artistic director of Quest, the arts organization that helped arrange the group’s visit.

It took three years for the theater company to get the necessary paperwork to make the trip, which started with a performance at QuestFest, a showcase by artists with disabilities held at Gallaudet University, the college for the deaf in Washington, D.C. At the last minute, six members of the 10-person ensemble were denied visas by the United States.

Only Davood Mashayekhi, 36, Shanaz Sharifi, 32, Faramarz Talakoub, 37, and director Fatemeh Fakhri, 45, were able to make it to the festival and then to VSA Arts of Massachusetts in Boston.

Through interpreters Sharifi explained that there are few resources available to those with disabilities in her country.

“Here (in the U.S.) they have fought and gotten so many things,” she said. “To come to America was a great experience. Politically we hear negative things, but we’ve met friendly people here and know that is just politics.”

The Iranian government gives money to disabled citizens once annually, but Sharifi said there are far fewer jobs available to the disabled in Iran than in the United States.

The group plans to publish a letter about their visit to America in Iran.

Purple Welcomes New Board Members

Purple Welcomes New Board Members

urple Communications™, Inc. (Pink Sheets: PRPL), a leading provider of text, video relay (VRS), on-site interpreting services, and video remote interpreting (VRI) for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, announced the appointment of two new directors to the Company's Board -- Aaron Dobrinsky and Jose E. Feliciano.

Mr. Dobrinsky founded GoAmerica, Inc., which was a predecessor to Purple Communications, and served various roles as its Chairman, President, and CEO. He is the CEO of Kosher.com, an online national supermarket. Additionally, he is the President of Dobrinsky Management, Inc., a management consulting and advisory firm providing strategic and operational guidance to startup and mid-stage companies.

Mr. Feliciano is a partner and co-founder of Clearlake Capital, L.P., which together with its affiliates, is Purple's leading investor. Formerly, Mr. Feliciano was a partner and member of the investment committee at Tennenbaum Capital. He previously served as Chief Financial Officer of govWorks, Inc. and was an investment banker at Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Continuing with their service to the Board are Behdad Eghbali, Chairman of Purple and partner of Clearlake Capital Group, LLC, Ronald E. Obray, Vice Chairman and founder of Hands On Video Relay Services, and Dan Luis, CEO of Purple, and former CEO of GoAmerica, Inc.

Cafe serves training for area's deaf

Cafe serves training for area's deaf

EVANSVILLE — DeF CaFe has quietly operated for nearly the past six months at 417 N. Weinbach Ave., offering ham, turkey or roasted beef sandwiches, tomato and spinach wraps and a variety of coffee drinks.

Except for the menu, it differs from most neighborhood cafes. DeF CaFe also serves up on-the-job restaurant training for the community's deaf population.

The cafe shares space with the long-established Connections Sign Language Interpreting Center — both of which were started by Sara Barnett.

Connections provides interpreters for area deaf residents on visits to schools, lawyers, the courts, doctors and other essential places.

The 900-square-foot cafe is open to the public, including the deaf community, which is encouraged to visit, said Trish Cox, spokeswoman for the center.

She said the cafe serves as a training ground for deaf people wanting to learn job skills for their resumes.

More than 10 deaf people have gained the experience since the cafe opened in November, including some who have advanced to jobs elsewhere in the community, Cox said.

"Their self-confidence improved."

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center Newsletter - March 20, 2010

The Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center Newsletter - March 20, 2010

THE TOP STORIES OF THE WEEK

Federal Hiring Event for People with Disabilities

U.S. Office of Personnel Management and U.S. Department of Labor

April 26, 2010

http://www.usajobs.gov/DisabilityHiringEvent.asp

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the U S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) are sponsoring a historic day-long Federal Hiring Event for People with Disabilities. Representatives from many agencies will be reviewing resumes prior to the event, and inviting prospective candidates for interviews.

=====

The DBTAC: Southeast ADA Center is currently putting together the Spring issue of the ADA Pipeline. It will hopefully be posted to our website in May. The main, but not exclusive focus, will be the 20th ADA Anniversary.

Please take a moment and briefly tell us the ADA-related changes you’ve experienced over the past 20 years. We hope you will also permit us to provide your name and organization along with your comments. Please send your comments to sedbtacproject@law.syr.edu.

All comments and thoughts about are welcomed and appreciated.

Thanks….and, bragging is permitted and encouraged.

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

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

DO YOUR SHOPPING AT OUR WEBSTORE.

We have lots of new items and our webstore count stands at over 660 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

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Work Incentives:
You CAN Work Webinar
Thursday, March 25th 2-3:30pm

Join us on Thursday, March 25th from 2:00-3:30PM for a FREE online training webinar entitled Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Work Incentives: You CAN Work. This webinar will feature engaging presenter and benefits expert, Karla Bell. Karla will provide an overview of the SSI Work Incentives and online resources.

This training is mainly geared toward service providers (including Medi-Cal county eligibility workers, Department of Rehabilitation, Independent Living Center, Regional Center, One-Stops, benefits planners, etc.) but consumers are also welcome to attend! The webinar will provide practical information on the following topics:

Overview of the SSI Work Incentives including:

• How earnings affect SSI payments

• Impairment Related Work Expenses

• Blind Work Expenses

• Student Earned Income Exclusion

• 1619(b)

• Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS)

• Ticket to Work

To register for the webinar, please click on the following link:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KJRPVMR

During registration, you will be provided with instructions on how to access the webinar. Once you complete your registration, please keep a copy of the instructions on the second page of the survey. We will also send out a reminder email prior to the webinar.

You may need to work with your IT department to install and test the Webinar application in order to participate. Your IT department may also need to unblock access to the Webinar from your computer.

Instructions and the Webinar application can be found at:

http://onlineconferencingsystems.com/chiip/

Please note that the webinar will be closed-captioned.

Please feel free to distribute the save the date notice to your networks.

If you have any questions or comments please contact Karla Bell at kbell@interwork.sdsu.edu.

Thanks and we hope you will join us on 3/25/2010!

Karla Bell
Project Specialist
California Health Incentives Improvement Project, CHIIP
SDSURF/Interwork Institute
3590 Camino Del Rio North
San Diego, CA 92108
619-594-5381

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

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

FACE TO FACE TIMES

Dear Community Partners with the California Work Group, the CWG:

Good partners endure!

The World Institute on Disability was the sponsor of AB 1269 (Brownley), now the law of the land which will improve Medi-Cal's California Working Disabled Program (CWD) in significant ways for its enrollees for years to come.

The WID Staff and Board of Directors would like to extend our enduring appreciation to each of the organizations and individuals who worked hard to get AB 1269 signed into law October, 2009.

Your hard work and perseverance these last few years made the difference and lead to a great victory for economic empowerment within the disability community.

AB 1269 will allow those enrolled in the California Working Disabled Program to save their earnings with no cap, no maximum ceiling to those savings. The law allows those who lose their job to find another one within 26 weeks without losing this vital health coverage. The new law exempts Social Security retirement income in this program for the first time, so folks can work into their retirement years when they choose and keep this health coverage.

While we are all at risk of losing our jobs in these hard economic times, we know that people with significant disabilities are at even higher risk. Every day we hear of more cuts to social services which hurt Californians with disabilities.

Thank you for keeping this critical health coverage program at the center of California public policy, especially in these harsh economic times.

Know this: we could not have done this without you and your partnership with the author Assembly Member Julia Brownley (D-Santa Monica).

We will of course keep you posted as to when the new law's provisions take effect; this will not happen for some months to come due to the current federal funding supports in place right now to the State of California and its fiscal crisis.

If WID missed listing your organization by accident on the AB 1269 Honor Roll please contact Arlette Moreno at arlette@wid.org or (510) 251-4340 and she will add immediately.

Sincerely,

Anita Aaron Bryon MacDonald
Executive Director Program Director
Staff and Board of Directors California Work Incentives Initiative

World Institute on Disability
And its
California Work Group, the CWG

510 16th St Suite 100
Oakland, California 94612
Phone 510-251-4304
Fax 510-763-4109

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, and uses the card.

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

THE FINGER BOWS

Pacific Rim International Conference on Disabilities

April 12th & 13th

www.pacrim.hawaii.edu

The Pacific Rim International Conference (Pac Rim) on Disabilities has been widely recognized over the past 25 years as one of the most diverse gatherings in the world. The event encourages and respects voices from diverse perspectives across numerous areas,including: voices from persons representing all disability areas; experiences of family members and supporters across all disability areas; responsiveness to diverse cultural and language differences; evidence of researchers and academics studying disability; stories of persons providing powerful lessons; examples of program providers, natural supports and allies of persons with disabilities and; action plans to meet human and social needs in a globalized world.

Each year the conference hews to its traditional areas which have bred much of the interdisciplinary research and educational advances of the last three decades. But each year new topics are introduced to foment discussion and change. The intent is to harness the tremendous synergy as generated by the intermingling of these diverse perspectives, thus, creating a powerful program which impacts each individual participant in his or her own unique way.

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 HOME Investment Partnership program allocates federal housing funds both to State housing agencies and to local participating jurisdictions. The amount of federal funds depends on the population size. This program has existed since 1992.

State and local recipients have discretion regarding how to allocate these funds: (1) homebuyer assistance, (2) homeowner rehabilitation, (3) construction, rehabilitation or acquisition for rental units, OR(4) Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA). TBRA is a rental subsidy which is like housing vouchers/Section 8 vouchers.

A TBRA could be used to help people leave institutions - IF the State decided to use its HOME funds for this purpose. It's that simple!!!

Here's how your State HOME agency used its HOME funds since 1992 only with regards to TBRA.

The number of people who received a TBRA are:

Alabama 0
Alaska 197
Arizona 708
Arkansas 4,127
California. 1,428
Colorado 484
Connecticut. 463
Delaware 0
D. C. 1,811
Florida. 1,884
Georgia. 86
Hawaii. 807
Idaho 0
Illinois 97
Indiana 295
Iowa. 1,981
Kansas 11,762
Kentucky 11,292
Louisiana 397
Maine. 608
Maryland 95
Massachus 420
Michigan 1,661
Minnesota 0
Mississippi 2,693
Missouri 4,276
Montana. 708
Nebraska 0
Nevada. 0
New Hampshire. 0
New Jersey. 6,355
New Mexico 3,973
New York 383
North Carolina. 1,754
North Dakota. 10,258
Ohio 2,729
Oklahoma 229
Oregon 11,573
Pennsylvania 11
Rhode Island 16
South Carolina. 2,583
South Dakota. 280
Tennessee 0
Texas 6,571
Utah 216
Vermont 0
Virginia. 7
Washington. 9,790
West Virginia 0
Wisconsin 1,976
Wyoming 0

Steve Gold, The Disability Odyssey continues

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

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 20% of Americans have a disability. Similar statistics obtain in every industrialized nation worldwide. Current U.S. projections indicate that the population level of those with disabilities "severe enough to impair their activities" will grow to about TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT by the year 2020.

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)

It’s sad that the first and only bridge out of the Deafvideotv monopoly has to close down. Its also sad that most deafie vloggers aren’t coughing up the due respect Visual Vlogs deserves for opening the door to other vlogging sites.

They’re trashing the owner and the website instead and, recently, making cruel accolades over the announcements of Visual Vlogs’s closure. Things like these could only accelerate the mitigation of deaf society. I will use this childishness against the deaf society, you have my promise.

Shery and V‎isual Vlogs deserves a big “Thank You” and is going to be getting that from me and the folks here at Eye Fire Vlogs.

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

Greetings,

We would like you to invite you to participate in a new survey on what informational resources you use to find out about your disability and assistive technology solutions. The goal of the study is to determine better methods of providing individuals with disabilities information about disability and technology devices that may assist them. The survey should take you about 5 minutes.

You do not have to take this survey. You may choose not to answer any question, or stop taking the survey at any time. There is very little risk to you in taking this survey. You should be aware that the survey is not being run from a "secure" server, so there is a small possibility that responses could be viewed by third parties (for example, computer hackers). However, this survey will not ask you any questions that identify you in any way, so there is little risk that third parties will acces your personal information.

The Georgia Institute of Technology IRB and Office of Human Research Protections may review the responses. We will protect your privacy to the extent allowed by law. You donot waive any of your legal rights by completing this survey.

You will not benefit from taking the survey. However, results will be posted back to the CCN. As a result, you may indirectly learn of a resource that you were not aware of that may benefit you. You will receive no payment for completing this survey, and there are no costs to you.

If you have any questions about the survey, you may contact Maureen Linden at 404.894.0561. If you have any questions about your rights as a research volunteer, call Melanie Clark at 404.894.6942.

By completing the survey, you have agreed to take part in this study. To complete this survey, please follow the link below.

http://www.surveygizmo.com/s/230755/informational-resources-used-by-individuals-with-disab
ilities

Thank you for your interest.

Maureen Linden
Research Scientist

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