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CSCDHH GA Newsletter - May 1998 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

GA Newsletter
May 1998 - Vol. 17, No. 5


9-1-1 TTY Test Calls

DIALING 9-1-1: POLICE FIRE EMS hello this is approved test call ga hello

ga hello this is an approved test call ga are you going to answer ga

YOUR REPORT hello may I ask if it is ok for me to use that for a test call ga hello are you there qq ga hello are you there qq ga hello hello ga

DIALING 9-1-1: [the remaining sentences italics:] I waited for five minutes.

No response.

DIALING 9-1-1: [the remaining sentences italics:] I waited for three minutes. I had to push the space bar to get an answer.

DIALING 9-1-1: POLICE, FIRE, EMS. hello this is an approved test call ga

[the remaining sentences italics:] I rang 9-1-1 twice. The first time they answered by voice. The second time the police showed up at our house before I got a TTY answer.

DIALING 9-1-1: WHAT IS THE LOCATION OF THE EMERGENCY QQ GA This is an approved test call im at newman lake ga WHERE AT NEWMAN LAKE QQ i live at newman lake ga WHAT IS THE ADDRESS WHERE THE EMERGENCY IS GA [italics: address typed] can't breath feel weak have pacemaker ga WHAT IS YOUR PHONE NUMBER GA [italics: phone number typed] ga IS YOUR FRONT DOOR UNLOCKED GA

Yes me alone need help feel weak ga I WILL SEND MEDICAL PEOPLE TO ADDRESS [italics: address typed] GA yes come what is your operator id number please ga 40 GA thank you bye sksk

Starting at midnight on February 15, 1998, the 9-1-1 / TTY Education Program, began the TTY Call Evaluation Pilot Study by having volunteers make TTY test calls to 9-1-1 centers in Pierce, King and Spokane counties. The above situations are examples of what some of the 9-1-1 TTY Test Call Providers experienced when conducting the TTY test calls.

The 9-1-1/TTY Education Program is a project of the Community Service Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, designed to train 9-1-1 operators on how to effectively communicate with TTY users in Washington. It is funded by the state Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (ODHHS).

During the two weeks of the evaluation period, five 9-1-1 centers received a total of thirty-five TTY test calls from eighteen volunteer TTY users. Twenty-five (71%) of these TTY test calls were answered by 9-1-1 operators using a TTY. Ten (29%) of the TTY test calls attempted to 9-1-1 were not answered during the first try. Although, 9-1-1 operators did answer a majority of the TTY test calls, ten hang-ups are too many when a person's life may be at risk. For six of the calls that were unanswered by a TTY, police were dispatched to the volunteer TTY test caller's homes, but the TTY test caller never got an opportunity to explain what the emergency was or what kind of help they needed. Dispatching a police officer is better than doing nothing at all, however, for two of the TTY text calls that received a hang-up, no police officer was sent.

The good news is that when many of the 9-1-1 operators did respond to the TTY test call, and more than half were able to communicate effectively via TTY. This may be a result of the training sessions conducted during the past three years by Christine Buchholz (CB) and Janel Stromme, former 9-1-1 / TTY Education Program staff. The results of the study do reveal the need to continue training and testing the ability of 9-1-1 operators to communicate effectively with TTY users.

It is important to recognize there may be several reasons why 9-1-1 sometimes doesn't answer TTY calls with a TTY. Some reasons may be related to equipment malfunctioning or technical incompatibility. Other reasons are most likely due to 9-1-1 operator's lack of knowledge and experience handling TTY calls that come in as "silent" calls. Whatever the reasons for the hang-ups, 9-1-1 operators need to improve their ability to respond to TTY calls effectively.

Direct access for telephone emergency services is required under The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): "Telephone Emergency Services, including 9-1-1 services, shall provide direct access to people who use TDDs and computer modems." In addition, the Department of Justice Technical Assistance Manual states that ADA does not require the use of outside services such as the relay telephone service, nor does ADA require additional dialing or procedures such as pressing the space bar on the TTY. It states that operators should be trained to recognize incoming TTY signals or "silent" calls and respond appropriately.

The 9-1-1 County Coordinators and Managers, and the state E9-1-1 Public Information Officer successfully collaborated with the 9-1-1/TTY Education Program staff to design and implement this Pilot Study and will continue to work together, with volunteer TTY users, to conduct on-going TTY test calls to 9-1-1 centers all over the state. The results of this Pilot Study strongly indicate the need for on-going TTY test calls to 9-1-1, to not only ensure ADA compliance by 9-1-1 centers, but also to reassure TTY users that when they call 9-1-1 with a TTY during an emergency, their calls will be answered and responded to appropriately.

The following people provided valuable time to make TTY test calls or assisted with the implementation of the first 9-1-1/TTY Call Evaluation Pilot Study: Paula Avery, Jacinthe Donia Campbel, Sandra Carr, Lisa Dreyer, Priscilla Eberhardt, Chris Ensor, Judy Gebeke, Frances H. Hayes, Lee Howes, Kathy Kastner, Janice Knight, Gay Lloyd Pinder, Donna Platt, Robert Ramirez, Sally Revious, Robert Roth, Robert and Barbara Rummel, Debbie Spreen, Jeanette Stoutimore, and Janel Stromme.

If you would like to volunteer to become a 9-1-1/TTY Test Call Provider, please contact Gail Ploman at CSCDHH (206) 322-4996 (TTY).

CSCDHH Upcoming Events


9-1-1 Education Program of the Year

Washington State National Emergency Number Association (NENA) has selected CSCDHH's 9-1-1 education program as their 9-1-1 Education Program of the Year for 1997.

The selection committee felt that CSCDHH program targeted a unique area of need, which had not been previously addressed. In fact, some communities may not even have been aware that the deaf and hard of hearing presented a special challenge when placing a 9-1-1 call. They recognize that CSCDHH has developed an extensive, user-friendly education program designed for both the 9-1-1 public safety and the deaf and hard of hearing communities.

CSCDHH is proud to be honored as the award recipient for 1997.

FA's First Deaf Audience by Branden Huxtable

Frankie Arnold (FA) first performed in front of a deaf audience at NTID in the eighties. Before his show, he mingled with the deaf students, talking to several of them. He thought this was cool. He had never been around so many deaf people.

Before then, he had always performed in front of hearing people. He always enjoyed it, with all the publicity in small town newspapers and radio ("Did you hear they talked about you on radio?" "How can I? I'm deaf."). He started off in New York studying theater under several groups, including National Theatre of the Deaf, and people, including Matthew Moore who is currently the editor of Deaf Life.

At NTID, he had his first opportunity to make a deaf audience laugh. As a comedian, he loved to confuse people and make them think twice. Even better, a teacher once told him that his signing style is known as signed-mime. Signed-mime is hard term to define, like trying to define music. But, no matter. His signing style is well suited to be a stage comedian.

When he advertises to deaf audience, he prefers storytelling/comedian. Most deaf people have never seen a comedian before (watch closed-captioned stand-up comedians on HBO and try to laugh), but storytelling is very much a part of deaf culture when deaf families used to tell each other stories all night long.

Nevertheless, FA still had lots to learn about Deaf culture. Normally, at the end of his show, FA gets applause from the audience. At NTID, everyone raised their hands above their heads and shook them. FA was confused. They looked like they were either on fire (he was tempted to find a fire hose) or supporting a candidate (but no one voted).

In any case, the show started when the lights dimmed. FA walked on stage and started to tell jokes. He told some of his funnier jokes, but for some reason, he felt strange. He tried again, but picked up no vibes from the audience. He, of course, couldn't see them because of the bright lights. Still, he felt absolutely nothing. He told some more jokes, and started sweating. The show barely started and still had an hour to go. He just couldn't figure out what was wrong. Finally he asked someone to turn on the lights.

Then he understood.

There was the audience, squirming in their seats, trying very hard not to laugh. Teachers and parents have always told them never to make any noise while watching people on stage because it distracts them. They certainly didn't want their laughing to bother FA during his performance.

Once FA explained that it was OK to laugh and be sarcastic, the audience finally relaxed and enjoyed the show. FA made it through the rest of the evening without any more cold sweats.

Community Service Center For The Deaf & Hard Of Hearing, 1609 19th Avenue

, Seattle, WA 98122.2848. 206.568.1234 TTY, 206.322.4996 Voice,

206.568.1230 Fax,, Interpreter Referral Service

206.568.1221 TTY, 206.322.5551 Voice

Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday And Friday, 9 A.M. To 12 Noon; 1 To 5


Wednesday, 11 A.M. To 6:30 P.M.

Board Of Trustees :

Michael Richardson, President

Dimitri Azadi, Vice-President

Ebony Hammon, Treasurer

John MacWilliams, Member At Large

Greg Townsend, Member At Large

Anne Baldwin

Tom Brown

Terry Dockter

Cindy Johns

Kim Kirkpatrick

John Ramey

Dale Wilson


Rob Roth, Executive Director

Mary Bauer And Lou Massaro, Information & Referral Specialists

Tom Halseth, Community Advocate/Executive Assistant

Paul Bert, Interpreter Referral Service Manager

Adam Novsam, Interpreter Referral Account Specialist

Judy Kaddoura, Interpreter Referral Service Specialist

Margie Cooper, Full Charge Bookkeeper

Gail Ploman, Temporary 911/TTY Education Program Coordinator

Bobby Ramirez, Intern

May 1998, Volume 17, Number 5

© 1998 Community Service Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

GA is published monthly by Community Service Center for the Deaf and Hard

of Hearing, 1609 19th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122-2848.

Editor: Branden Huxtable

Layout: James Sharer

Submission Deadline:

April 10th is the deadline for the articles, flyers, letters, announcements and advertising in the next issue of the GA Newsletter.

Subscriptions: $20 per year in the U.S. And $24 (U.S. funds) elsewhere. Send payment in advance to GA, CSCDHH, 1609 19th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122-2848.

Address all correspondence, including articles, letters, and comments to the above address.

CSCDHH welcomes letters, articles, and comments from readers. We reserve the right to edit all submissions for space and clarity.

Opinions and statements expressed in the GA do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or of the Community Service Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Advertisements: For information about advertising rates, sizes, etc., please contact CSCDHH. Advertisements for credit/debit cards, insurance, or travel cannot be accepted due to postal regulations. Publication of advertisements in the GA newsletter does not in any way constitute CSCDHH's endorsement of the services or products advertised.

Director's Letter

Rob Roth

Deaf Youth Program

The Deaf Youth Program is going very well. This program is the result of a collaborative effort between Seattle Mental Health (SMH) and CSCDHH. Due to geographic dispersion and communication barriers, deaf youth often have limited opportunities for developing leadership, cultural awareness and knowledge about essential topics affecting today's youth. As a result, both agencies saw a need for an after-school and summer program for deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing youth, a place where these kids can receive culturally appropriate information about a variety of topics. Working together, CSCDHH and SMH won a grant from United Way of King County. SMH will manage the program, and CSCDHH will provide space and find volunteers.

The Deaf Youth Program offers an opportunity for deaf youth to gather together to expand their knowledge, develop career goals, increase leadership skills, plan recreational activities, build social support, and most importantly, have fun. After six months, we have met our goals to serve at least 15 deaf, deaf-blind or hard of hearing youth during the school year. Students come from Edmonds, Highline and Seattle school districts. The youth, ages 12-19, come after school on Wednesdays to CSCDHH. While at CSCDHH, they meet with each other, receive some tutoring, have a guest speaker on special topics, or go on a field trip. It has been an exciting time for the youth, as well as the staff from Seattle Mental Health.

During the summer, enrolled youth will meet at CSCDHH on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 9am to 3pm. To register for the summer program, contact Sheli Barber for more information at (206) 860-5644 (TTY).

This program would not be successful without its volunteers. To date, both Deaf and hearing persons have served as volunteers, in a wide range of activities. We are always looking for more volunteers. If you are learning sign language, this is a good opportunity to practice your skills. Please call Rob Roth at (206) 322-4996 (V) or (206) 568-1234 (TTY) to volunteer for Deaf Youth Program.

9-1-1 Testing Program

Gail Ploman, our temporary 9-1-1/TTY Education Program Coordinator, has just completed a pilot project to test 9-1-1 centers on their ability to handle 9-1-1 calls from TTY users. 9-1-1 centers in three areas (King County, Pierce County and Spokane) have volunteered to become the "guinea pigs" in this first effort. Our plan is to continue testing 9-1-1 centers around the state to make sure that they are meeting ADA standards, as well as making sure that 9-1-1 operators understand how to handle a TTY call. If you are interested in becoming a 9-1-1 tester volunteer, please contact Gail at 206/322 4996. This is a volunteer effort that you can do from your home.

New Staff Members

Please join us in welcoming new staff members of the Interpreter Referral Service. They are Ginevra DeIanni, Interpreter Referral Specialist; Carla McAlister and Diana English, Office Assistants. They join Paul Bert, Interpreter Referral Service Manager, Judy Kaddoura, Interpreter Referral Specialist, and Adam Novsam, Account Specialist. All of them are committed to making the Interpreter Referral Service the best there is for the community.

Special Thanks

Judie Husted's memorial service on March 27 was a beautiful and moving event. For their assistance to Judie's family in arranging the service, a special thank you goes to Chris Pounds, Perry Bury, Paul Bert, Judy Kaddoura and many, many volunteers. We also thank our neighbors, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, for the use of their sanctuary and multi-purpose room. It was greatly appreciated.

Community Announcements

Eastern Washington Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (EWCDHH) is looking for a new Executive Director. Please send application to Jeannie Hall EWCDHH, 10411 E. Sharp, Spokane, WA 98206

Summer Drama Classes for Deaf Students: Experience the excitement of theatre taught and performed in American Sign Language! Seattle Children's Theatre and the Deaf Youth Drama Program, developed by Billy Seago, offers Deaf and hearing students the opportunity to learn theatre arts in four one-week long classes in July. Deaf and hearing theatre instructors will teach classes in acting, movement, improvisation and other theatre arts - all using ASL. In addition, students will develop and rehearse a short play to present to parents and friends on the last day of class. Hearing students who are fluent in ASL are encouraged to enroll, but please note that the class will be taught entirely in sign. There will be no ASL-voice interpreters during class. All classes meet at CSCDHH. Tuition for each class is $125. For more information, call (206) 443-0807 (V) and ask for the Drama School to enroll. Or call (206) 728-1638 (TTY) and leave a message.

Are you an ASL teacher? Are you an instructor that teaches Deaf Culture, History, and Language? Would you like to network with other ASL teachers/instructors? Would you like to have quality ASL Teaching workshops and seminars offered in our state? Would you like to see a Washington State Chapter of the American Sign Language Teachers Association (ASLTA) established? If YES to any of the questions, please join us. Anyone - ASL instructors, interpreters, and members of the ASL community are encouraged to attend! WA ASLTA presents its first General Meeting and Election on Saturday, May 16th from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at CSCDHH. After the WA ASLTA meeting, dinner will follow for those who would like to join. Silent Games will be sponsored by WA ASLTA from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at CSCDHH. Be sure to bring one game activity. For more information, contact Eric Scheir at (206) 306-9664 (TTY) or or Geoff Mathay at (206) 587-6941 (V/TTY) or

Donor List - January 1998 through April 1998

General Donations:

Brad & Catherine Holt

Thomas K. Popowski

Sammie Fick

Joe Noworatzky

Memorial Donations:

In Memory of Christopher Gasper

Lyle & Doreen Gallichan

Rick Kustina

In Memory of Judie Husted

Susan Cleva & Gregory Cleva

Lewis M. Merkin

United Way Campaign:

Jan Y. Beechinor

Richard Ladner

Walter E. Sande

Laurie Woodward

In-Kind Contributions:

J.W. Pinder

TAG Professional Services

Rose M. Kardel & Bob Redding

Making Your Workplace "Deaf Friendly"

More and more Puget Sound employers today are learning about Deaf Culture and how to make their business "Deaf Friendly" through a special all-day interactive workshop "Working Together: Deaf & Hearing People" offered by Seattle Diversity Works!

Workshop presenters Vicki Moseley, Larry Petersen, and Sara Geballe emphasize that having the right attitude is the key to success. The "Working Together" training includes Deaf Culture, communication sensitivity training exercises, problem-solving exercises, information about reasonable job accommodations (TTYs, relay service, interpreters, signaling devices, etc.), and introduction to basic workplace signs and fingerspelling. Time is also set aside for brainstorming and group discussion so that both deaf and hearing participants develop increased understanding and respect for the differences between their cultures.

Throughout the day-long session, employers first hand understanding that deaf employees are excellent communicators and that there are many effective ways to communicate -- not just in spoken English. The workshop is most valuable when offered on-site so that everyone in the workplace can participate.

If you think your company would benefit from this type of deaf awareness training or would like more information, please contact Sara Geballe at Seattle Diversity Works! at (206) 364-9098 (V/TTY) or FAX (206) 364-1214 or via e-mail at

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