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CSCDHH GA Newsletter - February 1997 Issue

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NOTE: This is an abbreviated version of the CSCDHH GA Newsletter. Articles not included have the article title in Italics. To get the full text of the newsletter, become a member of CSCDHH. Thank you!!

Community Service Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
1609 19th Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98122-2848
(206) 322-4996 V/TTY
(206) 720-3251 FAX

Interpreter Referral Service (206) 322-5551 V/TTY

CSCDHH Hours: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri - 8:30am - 5:00pm; Wednesday - 11:00am - 7:30pm

February 1997
1997 - Issue #2

What's Happening - a listing of events now listed on the Events Calendar


Metro's ACCESS Program Review Changes

King County Metro's ACCESS Transportation Program for elderly and disabled riders has experienced many changes in 1996, including the following:

  1. Longer hours for reservation phone lines: now 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.
  2. More vans: by December 31, 1996, there will be 225 ACCESS vans available.
  3. Service seven days a week for ADA Paratransit riders: service to all areas and times of Metro non-commuter bus service will be available by January 6, 1997. Last January, ADA Paratransit riders could ride only in the service zone where they lived; they could not, for example, get rides from Auburn to Bellevue, or Seattle to Issaquah. Starting late in 1996, interzonal service was implemented in phases.
  4. Five start-ups of new operations, including four van service operators: the Multi-Service Center of NE King County (1-800-201-8888) switched from van operator to broker, scheduling rides for certain other operators. DAVE Transportation (1-800-201-8888) serves N/E King County. ATC/Vancom (1-800-201-8888) serves South King County. Seattle Personal Transit (860-8000 at this time) serves the area from the Seattle Ship Canal north to Snohomish County. Laidlaw Transit (971-5522) serves Seattle from the Ship Canal south to Des Moines.
  5. Still to come in 1997 are changes in service areas, days, and hours so that ACCESS van services will more closely match Metro's fixed route services, as required by the American with Disabilities Act of 1990.


Utility bill discounts for Low-Income Homeowners and Renters

The Utility Credit Program/City Light Rate Assistance Program for low-income seniors and adults with disabilities provides substantial savings on city of Seattle water-wastewater-solid waste (Combined Utility Bills) and City Light electric bills. The maximum gross household income to qualify is now $17,991/year ($1,499/month) for a one-person household and $23,526/year ($1,961/month) for a two-person household. Income levels rise as the number of household members increase.
In addition to meeting income guidelines, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. not reside in federally subsidized, public housing
  2. be age 65 or older, or
  3. under age 65 and disabled (disabled applicants must be receiving disability payments, or blind, or on life-support equipment)

It is not necessary to be a homeowner to quality. Renters who pay all or part of their utilities are also eligible. Those renters who do not pay for their utilities may qualify for a rent voucher. Renters who live in subsidized housing, except those in SHA Bond Housing are not eligible. Currently more than 11,000 people are benefiting from this program.
Call 684-0500 or TTY 233-2778 or stop by the Mayor's Office for Senior Citizens, Seattle Department of Housing and Human Services, 618 - 2nd Avenue, Room 250 Seattle, WA 98104. The Department of Housing and Human services also offers special utility rates for other very low-income households. Please call City Light an 625-3000 or DHHS at 684-0268 for more information.


We Want Your Opinions!

The CSCDHH Board of Trustees wants your opinions. If you have a comment, complaint, or compliment, send it to
Terry Docktor, Board President
c/o CSCDHH, 1609 19th Ave.
Seattle WA 98122,
or e-mail at or fax at (206)363-7103 in Seattle.


Letter from the Director by Rob Roth

Those of you who attended December's Santa's Breakfast know what a wonderful event it was. Kids and adults alike enjoyed themselves tremendously for the food was good and the entertainment was great!

I want to take this opportunity to thank Santa's Breakfast chair Chris Opie and Deaf connection for their hard work and many hours spent to make this occasion special for our kids. It is great to see other organizations helping CSCDHH truly become an organization that serves many segments of the community. Santa's Breakfast is for Deaf, Deaf-Blind and hard of hearing children of hearing parents. It is also for hearing children of deaf parents since Santa signs in the language of the parents, often their children's first language.

Special thanks go to the following people: Chloe
Karen Chriest
Dave DeShaw
David Galyean
Peggy Sue Hiro
Katie Hume
Toby Jackson
Marat Karimov
Karen Protus
Jamee Redmond
Patrick Redmond
Shelby Stuart
Bill Tolliver
Mildred Van de Carr
Jennifer White
Nancy Wickward

A big thank you to the following Teens of Deaf Power:

Laura Banks
Nathan Elliott
Lindsay Henderson
Mike Higgens
Cyndi Matt
Bonnie Neeley
Rebecca Neeley
Tori Rekar
Crystal Renner
Ashton Sanderson
Cayci Scoggins
Rickie Smith

And thanks to the following members of CSCDHH's Board of Trustees:

Tom Brown
Cindy Johns
Bob Lichtenberg
John MacWilliams
Mike Richardson
Billy Seago
Dale Wilson

About Town - more events on the Events Calendar


KODA Corner: By Kellie McComas-Ramey

Why it is important to have KODA? Our new mission is "Keep Two Worlds Together." Our hearing children live in two different worlds daily. They go to school where there is a full of people with no knowledge in Deaf culture.
They do ask a million of questions about it. KODA is a place where the hearing children could get together and be themselves.

We face our issues daily about our culture conflicts. For example, my daughter who is 5 years old was playing outside with the next door kid. They happened to get into fight about not sharing a Barbie doll. The conflict here is that the next door kid is only 4 years old and can't read anything beside her name. I was trying to understand her but I couldn't. I was trying to communicate to her by gestures. I did not want to scold her making her think that I am on my daughter's side 100 percent of the time. So I decided to walk over the next door and explained to the neighbor that they were fighting over the Barbie dolls. I did not want my daughter to think that I let the next door friend take charge of this situation. I have to be clear that I am still our "boss" in the house. I do not need the next door friend to take over and solve the problems. I just made the next door friend became the "interpreter" by writing the notes so that way I know what is her daughter side of story.
That is why we established KODA so we can support each other about many issues that we need to solve and make our lives better.

Last Sunday we had 3 CODA panelists: Judie Hutsed, Cliff Poe and Suzy Vigesaa.
They did a great job. We had learned so much about their experiences. We really appreciated to have them came by and share their experiences in growing up with deaf parents. We can try our best to raise our hearing children in positive ways by our understanding their experiences. Last Thursday, I went to Tacoma to give my presentation about KODA. I do hope that they will establish KODA in their area.

We will have an ice skating party on Feb. 9th at Shoreline. See the flyer attached for more information. Please come and join us!!

If you are interested in more information about KODA, please do not hesitate to contact me. My phone number is (206) 487-4816.


A Very Touching World AIDS Day Ceremony - Christine Buchholz

On December 1st, 1996, AIDS Project of the Deaf (APD) hosted its first-ever Ceremony of Remembrance in honor of the annual World AIDS Day. The Ceremony of Remembrance is a tribute to Deaf, Deaf-Blind, Hard of Hearing and Hearing people who were involved in the Deaf community, all whom have passed away due to AIDS. The tribute was so moving that the attendees requested that APD host it every year until the discovery of a vaccine or cure for AIDS, hopefully sometime in the near future.

This event, attended by more than 100 people on the last day of the Thanksgiving weekend, provided a simple program emceed by CB Buchholz (the APD Board Chair) who also gave a speech about the purpose of World AIDS Day and the status of HIV epidemic within the Deaf Community. Throughout the ceremony, the fingerspelling of 325 names of the deceased was conducted by 14 community members. The program closed with deeply personal and emotional stories as told by Polly Mansfield, Nat Wilson (who recited a poem written by Howie Seago), Vicki Moseley and her son Ryan Hutchison, Jim Hernandez, and CB Buchholz. Billy Seago was scheduled to give a story but was ill on the day of the ceremony.

Organized by Jaine Richards and Donna Platt, this event was made even more special with the AIDS Remembrance Wall, a new concept in which wooden bricks could be purchased and the buyer could sign on the name of dear ones who have passed away from AIDS. This unique concept was conceived by Julie Fein, a Seattle-based artist, and crafted by Rachel Simon and Cy Wallace. This remembrance wall is now on display at CSCDHH, and bricks can be purchased and signed. Another attractive feature at this event was the Christmas tree ornaments decorated with red ribbons, as crafted by Cathy Hoog and Betsey Keane.

Of course, no event could go without interpreters, who were splendidly organized by Molly McGuire, and SSPs organized by Shoshanah Epstein. Lastly, many thanks to our renowned cook/chef Marilyn Smith for her delicious desserts! So many other people have contributed special gifts and talents to the ceremony, too numerous to be named here.

All in all, the APD's first-ever World AIDS Day was a very graceful ceremony, giving everyone an opportunity to remember loved ones with fond memories and to honor them in a special way.



The Russians Were Here! By Artie Grassman (Kentucky School for the Deaf [KSD])

Danville - Thousands of miles apart, yet so much in common! That is what we learned after getting acquainted with our Russian friends from the Kamensk School for the Deaf in Southern Russia who were here for almost four weeks.

It was a tremendous experience for everyone involved with the program at the Kentucky School for the Deaf. Within a few days we were able to communicate basic thoughts and ideas through a combination of Russian and American Sign Language. Russian Sign Language (RSL), just like ASL, has its own grammar and syntax apart from the written Russian language.

Six deaf students, four boys and two girls, from the Kamensk School for the Deaf (K. S. D. coincidentally) and two hearing female chaperones visited us.

The two hearing chaperones spoke only Russian. Interestingly, their signs were often different than those used by the students. Since their school's primary mode of communication is through speech and lip-reading, they do not use signs on a frequent basis. The students, however, were quite fluent as signing is not prohibited at their school.

We grew to love them dearly and it was heartbreaking to see them leave. They truly became part of our lives while they were hear. One of the boys celebrated his 18th birthday in America and we had an American birthday party for him.

The students visited and participated in a wide range of events and activities such as going to hear President Clinton's campaign speech the day before the elections, attending the Junior National Association of the Deaf Convention (a convention for young Deaf leaders across the nation), and spending time in the homes of host families. Just visiting the malls was almost too much for them in the beginning. The entire "American" experience was quite overwhelming.

We fear they may have the impression that all Americans are rich although we tried to given them a balanced picture. However, we as Americans really do have so much that we take for granted that we do not even realize how much we really have.

The most successful aspect of the exchange, according to Mrs. Rita Zimheld, Coordinator of Interpreting Services at KSD, was "learning that there is very little difference in people even though there are cultural differences. The need to be accepted and the desire to have fun dominated the exchange for both groups - American and Russians." She felt the greatest impact was made by "allowing the Russian students and adults the opportunity to see successful Deaf culture is in America. At the same time, I believe and hope they will adopt a new perspective on their own deafness and search for their own Deaf culture within their Russian culture."

The KSD part of the exchange will take place in April when six of our students along with two chaperones, Mr. Clyde Mohan and Mrs. Artie Grassman, will be departing for Kamensk. We will be sure to let you know what the other side is like!

This cultural and environmental exchange program is being coordinated through EcoBridge, part of CEC International Partners and sponsored by the United States Information Agency (USIA).


Have a Heart JC Penny Sale Saturday February 8th

Need new shirts? Jeans? Shoes? Kids growing too fast? One day only, February 8th, JC Penny will have a special sale. Donate $5.00 to CSCDHH and you will receive a JC Penny Coupon for 25% off regular-priced merchandise or take and extra 5% off (total 30% off) on sale-priced merchandise. For example, if you bought a $5.00 JC Penny coupon from CSCDHH and if you bought a pair of jeans at JC Penny on sale for $40.00, then $40.00 pair of jeans "on sale" minus $10.00 (25% off coupon and extra 5% off) comes to $30.00 price on jeans ($10.00 saving!) Coupons valid only on February 8, 1997 at your local JC Penny Store. CSCDHH keeps 100% of the proceedings from the coupon sales.

Purchase your coupon at CSCDHH before February 8th.

Community Announcements - two jobs that are now listed on DeafWeb Washington's Job Info page.

AA and Al-Anon Meetings for the Deaf

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