DeafDigest Mid-Week edition, May 18, 2011

__ Idaho’s amazing deaf drummer

Melissa Jensen is 17 years old and a junior at Idaho School for
the Deaf and Blind. When not attending classes, she spends her
free time as the drummer with the Ask Philips. All members of
this hearing band are males in their twenties, except for
Melissa. After performances, Melissa mingles with the fans
in audience and they’re all shocked upon learning that she
is deaf! She learned to drum at the age of 7, playing with
her family members, and so, drumming is nothing new to her.

__ Indiana’s deaf parents demand meeting with the governor

Indiana School for the Deaf is famous for its bi-bi approach
to Deaf Education. Will this method continue or be phrased
out in favor of a new educational method that may possibly
be oral? This is the fear expressed by deaf parents of
deaf students at the school. The school board has seven
members, but only one is deaf. Last month, Gov. Mitch Daniels
appointed four new members which has created this 6-1
imbalance. It resulted in a furor by angry deaf parents whose
children are enrolled at the school. The group presented the
governor with three demands:

* Remove 3 new Board Members
* At least 51% of the Board must be Deaf.
* The Board should be Deaf centered; promote Deaf culture, Deaf
awareness and American Sign Language

Will the governor listen? Probably not. Will the deaf parents
keep quiet about it? No. Stay tuned.

__ Deaf athlete loses his gold medal because of his deafness

This story was reported by Jim Cooney, Director, Gospel School
for the Deaf, in Fiji. He was the athletic director of Rhode
Island School for the Deaf for many years until he retired.
One of his students, Kevin Barr, won first place in the shot put
in his junior classification at the Fiji “Coca Cola” Secondary
School track meet, which involves nation’s top athletes plus
some from Australia and other South Pacific nations. The
hearing runner up contestant filed a protest, saying that
deaf athletes are not allowed to compete! The gold medal
was given to the protesting hearing athlete! When Cooney
screamed, the hosts “compromised” by giving Kevin a gold
medal for “participation” while allowing the 2nd place
shot putter to keep his gold medal!

__ Deaf Bulbs may have 100 watt brightness

What is a Deaf Bulb? The bulbs we use to alert us
– doorbell, TTY, video, wake up, baby cry, etc.
Federal law will stop sales of old fashioned bulbs
in January 2012. Not to worry? Two companies have
come up with 100 watt LED bulbs. These should be
OK to function as our alerting devices. Whew!
Just one piece of bad news – these bulbs will be
$50.00 each – but the feeling is that price will
drop in due time.

__ The slowly disappearing Clarke School

Clarke School will disappear slowly. But it is not
disappearing at all! The school will be selling off
its campus, piece by piece and bits by bits until
there is no more left. But it will not really
disappear, instead it has already reinvented itself
with affiliate campuses in four different cities
and also with an outreach program services for
deaf adults. While Clarke has had a reputation for
its rigorous oral program, many, many of its
graduates have eventually become ASL signers
and have become leaders and well respected in the
Deaf Community.


DeafDigest Mid-Week edition, May 11, 2011

__ To be deaf by not eating fruits and vegetables
Don’t eat fruits and vegetables and to be deaf? This is what
Dr Andrew Black, of the Aboriginal Medical Service in Australia
is saying. He noticed that without fruits and vegetables, the
Aboriginal people have continuing problems with infections and
health. And that some of these illnesses lead to deafness.
He is now pushing for national distribution of fruit and
vegetable crates for Aboriginal families.

__ The Sports Editor of a city newspaper is deaf
Lodi, a city of 100,000 people in the California wine country,
has a newspaper – the Lodi News-Sentinel. This daily newspaper
carries a sports section. Richard Banas, the sports editor,
is deaf – has been deaf all his life. He just won the second place
in the annual California Newspaper Publishers Association
best story honors. He grew up knowing nothing about sign
language and was a good high school athlete. He also was a
hard hitting defensive lineman with the Sacramento State
football team. Interestingly enough he only became a sports
writer while he was in his forties, but has been with it
since then.

__ An overachieving deaf teenager
Tyler Bowes, a deaf junior at Old Fort HS, near Fremont, Ohio,
is an overachiever. He just completed his first solo flight
as a student pilot on the day of his birthday (16 years old).
He is a 4.0 student, a student athletic director for his
high school athletic teams, plays the saxophone in the school
band. He has a goal in life – to become the first deaf person
to be a commercial pilot. He thinks that with his CI, it can
be done (must communicate with radio control towers).

__ Marlee Matlin angry at Bones
No one likes to be called “deaf and dumb” or “deaf and mute” –
and this includes Marlee Matlin. A recent episode of Bones TV
series included the comment “a deaf mute” and it got Marlee
very angry about it. Hopefully her influence among Hollywood
producers and scriptwriters is so strong that all of them
will listen to her!

__ Hearing people would walk out if a deaf person is
the banquet speaker?

Discrimination against the deaf was very strong during
the anti-ASL days of past years. The oral method was
very strong among these hearing teachers and educators.
At a Deaf Education conference in the early 1970’s in
Europe there was a strong warning that if a deaf person
was the featured speaker at a banquet, the hearing
professionals would walk out. Fortunately it has not
happened. Times have changed!