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CSCDHH GA Newsletter - April 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

April 1997
1997 - Issue #4

With Rights Comes Responsibility by Tom Halseth, Community Advocate

While thinking of a good title for this column, I came across the quote With Rights Comes Responsibility from a poster flyer on my office door. This title is related to every aspect of our legal system, including disability- and deaf-related laws. I believe that there are no laws that we can take for granted. (To keep it short, I will use the term Deaf to mean the Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing communities.)

Every now and then, I meet a client who is having some problems obtaining accommodations for his/her needs. In most cases, it involves accommodations for communication access. I would ask if s/he had requested for such accommodations prior to the time needed. Sometimes an individual would say that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allows them the right to such accommodations and that it was the other person’s responsibility to provide this access. I then would repeat my question and explain that they are right that ADA does allow us certain rights, but in order for the ADA to work, we have a responsibility to do our part. We must request the accommodation we need. I feel, as a Deaf person, that this is a fact of life. I understand that it would be nice if society could be totally aware of the needs of the Deaf and provide accommodations without us having to inform them. Unfortunately, access is not a "one-way street," but "two-way."

If we want our needs met, we, as Deaf people, have a responsibility to see that we do our part to inform people. The government has given us certain rights to ensure that we have opportunities in everyday life just like every other person in our society. We cannot take those rights for granted. We need to remind our peers and ourselves that with those rights comes responsibilities.

I remember when I stopped at a motel in eastern Washington, I had just simply registered for a room without informing the desk manager of my needs to certain accommodations. I started to settle in my room for the evening to watch TV. Because I had assumed that all motel rooms had TV with built-in caption decoder, I was surprised to find that the TV in my room did not. I went back to the desk manager and asked for a decoder for the TV. The manager was not sure what a decoder was and called her supervisor. I learned that the motel had a room designed specifically for the "disabled," including a TV with a built-in captioned decoder. So I had to change rooms. According to ADA, all motels and hotels must design at least 10% of their rooms to be accessible to the disabled. So, in the future, when making a reservation or checking in, I will be sure to let the desk manager know of my needs.

We have to inform people of our needs if we want those accommodations. Educating society will be a lifetime task for all of us. The less ignorant society is regarding our needs, the better life will be for all Deaf people. "With rights comes responsibility."

Letter from the Director
April 1997

You will find inserted into this month’s newsletter our Annual Report for 1995. I hope you will find it informative and useful. Normally, you would have received the annual report in 1996; however, our audit was completed late in 1996. We hope to have our 1996 audit completed earlier in the year, and a 1996 Annual Report sent out to all CSCDHH members by August 1997.

As always, feel free to call me or Terry Dockter, Board of Trustees President, if you have any questions. You can email me at, and Terry at

Remember the community forums that were held last fall on the Interpreter Referral Service (IRS)? Many of you may have been wondering what has happened to the information gathered. Those of you who attended know that the forums focused on the quality of the IRS service, and asked for feedback and suggestions on charging a fee for referral services. Since then, the Interpreter Referral Service Advisory Committee (IRSAC) has been meeting almost every two weeks to work on making recommendations to the Board of Trustees. Members of IRSAC met with the board last month to review the recommendations. There was a healthy discussion between the board and the IRSAC representatives about the recommendations. The board then accepted the recommendations and thanked IRSAC for its hard work.

IRSAC is again rolling up their sleeves to work on what the service fee(s) should be. They will be working from ideas gathered at the community forums, as well as feedback that has been provided over time. I very much appreciate the hard work of the IRSAC members, including Karen Carlson, Martha Cohen, Larry Petersen, Estie Provow and Cynthia Wallace, and board members Dmitri Azadi and Sandy Green (chair). Also, I want to thank departing members Karen Carlson and Cynthia Wallace, and welcome new members Marilyn Smith and Debi Westwood.

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

CSCDHH Welcomes New Volunteer Coordinator by Amy Moyak-Zielske

Hi! My name is Amy Moyak-Zielske. I am the new Volunteer Coordinator here at CSCDHH. I am excited to take on the challenge of establishing a new volunteer program here. Congratulations on the growth of CSCDHH and to all in the community who support its development!
Everyone has skills. Skills are a valuable asset. They are the tools that will help us build the community we desire. As a new resident of Seattle, I am looking forward to meeting you and working with all of you on projects that will make our dreams become reality.
Continue to look in GA Newsletter to learn about what volunteers are doing and what opportunities are available for your involvement. Remember, together, volunteers always make dreams come true!

Proposal to Renew Families and Education Levy

The Seattle City Council will be receiving public testimony on the proposal to renew the Families and Education Levy. This proposal seeks to submit to Seattle voters a ballot measure on September 16, 1997, that if passed, will provide $69 million over seven years to assist Seattle Public School students and their families. The proposed Families and Education Levy would fund major service areas that include early childhood development, school-based student/family services, comprehensive health services, out of school activities, and academic improvement. Written comments may be submitted to Seattle City Council (600 4th Avenue Seattle WA 98104) no later than Monday April 7th, 1997. For more information, contact Councilmember Cheryl Chow at (206) 684-8804.


Would You Like To Write for the GA?

Do you have an experience you would like to share? Do you have thoughts and ideas you want others to know about? Are there articles you would like to see or put together? If you would like to contribute an article to the GA Newsletter, please send them to CSCDHH 1609 19th Ave Seattle WA 98122-2848, fax (206) 720-3251, or e-mail Keep in mind, articles should be no more than a page long and must be original.

About Town - more events on the Events Calendar

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