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CSCDHH GA Newsletter - June 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
June 1998 - Vol. 17, No. 6


Shutting the Door by Branden Huxtable

When I work by myself, I typically take my hearing aids off so I can work in peace without listening to everyone running around screaming, especially when I am supporting computer exercises. Too many nearby people shout at each other trying to solve all their little problems. Without my hearing aids, I can easily focus on whatever I need to do to get my software working.

Even working alone back in the office, I normally take my hearing aids off. Occasionally people stop by, or the person across the hall might be yelling, or some heavy machinery outside is roaring. At times like these, no hearing aids are a blessing.

I wish I could say I get total quiet, but I can hear doors shut. The sound is low enough bass for me to hear. I might not be able to hear a jet fly overhead or the traffic next to me, but I can hear the conference room door next door shut. Normally, I have no problem with that.

A while back, my company had a huge exercise on-site. Computers filled that conference room. People from out of state came to participate. The exercise went on for twelve hours a day for a week. I was not involved in that exercise as I had my own little project to keep myself occupied. But, right next door, all day long, people would run in and out. All day long someone would open and shut the door. All day long bang! bang! bang! Right after lunch bang! bang! bang! Every three minutes bang! bang! bang! I tried propping the conference room door open. Five minutes later bang! bang! bang!

This went on for a couple days bang! bang! bang! until finally I had enough. I put on my hearing aids and stopped the next person who tried to shut the door.

"Why do you guys have to shut the door? Why don't you just leave it open?"

"Oh. We've got lots of things going on here."

"Yeah. So?"

"We didn't want to bother you with all the noise."



Senator Gordon on Closed Captioning

Dear Senator Gordon:

Please do not cut or reduce U.S. Department of Education funds for closed captioning. These funds provide critical access to television programs that I watch and enjoy. These programs may not be educational, but don't forget about ADA. We deaf people have the right to enjoy watching programs that aren't educational just like anyone else. How else can we maintain conversations with you guys if we're kept in the dark while the rest of the world advances? Don't forget we rely on our eyes to learn and grow with the rest of you.

Sincerely Jan Y. Beechinor

Dear Ms. Beechinor

I understand your support of continued federal support for closed captioning services of all television shows, regardless of the perceived merits of the show. As you may know, the federal government supports some closed captioning services, and others are provided by private companies.

A limited amount of funding is provided through IDEA for programs that are educational, news and informational television for children with disabilities. As you may know, Senators Coats and Lieberman recently sent a letter to Secretary of Education Riley expressing concern that the limited federal dollars available for closed captioning services were in part being spent to provide the closed captioning service to the "Jerry Springer Show."

The point my colleagues were trying to make was that there are undoubtedly shows much more deserving of closed captioning services than Mr. Springer's and that many taxpayers may object strenuously to having their tax dollars support such a show.

While I understand and support the need for closed captioning services to increase access to television shows for deaf individuals, I also believe Senators Coats and Lieberman raised a valid point with Secretary Riley.

In awarding grants for this service, the Department of Education should exercise discretion concerning the types of shows it funds.

Sincerely Slade Gorton, United States Senator


Jerry Springer by DeafDigest

Some members of the congress objected to funding for closed captions for The Jerry Springer Show. The irony, as one DeafDigest subscriber pointed out was that Jerry's daughter is deaf!


CSCDHH Upcoming Events


Legal Issues by Michael J. Izak

I've been arrested and am in jail. I met with my defense lawyer once but he has not come back. I haven't told him my side of the story and I think he is ignoring me. What can I do to get my lawyer's attention?

Defense lawyers know that many people who have just been arrested and jailed are not in a good position to tell accurate stories about what happened. Jail is a frightening time. All the comforts of home are gone. The jailed person is upset, in shock, is embarrassed, very anxious, worried, frustrated and depressed. He or she wants to get out of jail. Lawyers know this is not a good time to hear their clients' version of the events. Jails are not secure places to talk privately and people are being watched. The best thing defense lawyers can do in their first visit is to take care of their client's pressing needs: (1) reassure their client that they will represent him or her and do everything to get a satisfactory outcome; (2) explain the charges, bail procedures, and how to get release on bail; (3) take care of the client's personal matters (cancel a meeting or appointment; calling the persons' family, spouse or relative, etc.); and (4) tell the client not to say anything to the police or to anyone about his or her case.

Court-appointed lawyers (public defenders) often have large caseloads (35 or more clients) and often ask defendants about their version of events during the first meeting to identify and dispose of "guilties" as quickly as possible through quick plea bargains in order to devote the bulk of their time to cases that would go to trial. Lawyers hired by the client never do this.

Many defense lawyers make it a practice not to ask for their client's version of the events unless there is a good reason to know it. There are written records and papers the defense lawyer can get copies of from the police and the prosecutor's office about his defendant's case. Witness statements, testimonies, case particulars, and described events are usually part of the written reports and papers. The prosecution's job is to prove the accused person did a crime. The defense lawyer's job is more to dispute the prosecution's case than to prove the truth of his client's story.

Even if your attorney has not asked your version of the events yet, be patient. The attorney may ask for your help, not your story, to disprove and cast doubt on the prosecutor's case. Sometimes the written records and papers are not complete. The lawyer will ask you for specific details, but not the whole story. Never, never volunteer to tell your side of your story to your lawyer or anyone else. You will mess up and complicate things for yourself. Trust your lawyer and be truthful when answering your lawyer's questions. Your lawyer is following a plan to get you a satisfactory outcome. There is a lot of legal work the lawyer does that is never seen by the client. Your lawyer is not ignoring you but doing the very best thing he or she knows how for you.

Michael J. Izak is a Deaf lawyer. Please send all questions to P.O. Box 59921, Renton, WA 98058, or leave a message on (253) 638-1433 (TTY). © Copyright 1998 Michael J. Izak, Esq.


Center for Deaf Students at SCCC is Still Alive and Kickin'

For the past two years, rumors have spread through the Deaf Community that Seattle Central Community College's (SCCC) Center for Deaf Students has closed forever.

It simply isn't true! It's time to put this false rumor to rest. When federal grant funding for the Program ended in June 1996, state funding at the College took over. The Deaf Program at SCCC is still alive and well and serving many deaf and hard of hearing students each quarter. As always, SCCC's Center for Deaf Students offers a broad range of services to deaf and hard of hearing students, including: classroom interpreters, notetakers, counseling, career planning, job development and placement and developmental English classes for deaf students. Students can attend courses (depending on placement test results) at any Seattle Community College campus - North Seattle, South Seattle, Seattle Central, or Seattle Vocational Institute.

The Seattle Community College District offers more than 100 different majors to choose from. But you don't need to be a full-time student working on a degree to take advantage of support services available from the Center for Deaf Students. Services are equally available to part-time students and non-credit students. There are also support services available for ESL (English as a Second Language) and ABE (Adult Basic Education) deaf students. In addition, some ESL/ABE English classes are for deaf students only with a teacher who signs for him/herself. These classes are filled based on placement test results.

To find out more about SCCC's Center for Deaf Students, please call (206) 587-4183 (V/TTY).

GA Newsletter Masthead


Letter from the Director

June 1998


At springtime, we see the flowers sprouting through the earth, buds gently opening and revealing themselves to bees and butterflies. As we look around, everything is green. We see our neighbors working on their yards, planting seeds for the future.

At CSCDHH, that process is happening too. We are getting ready for what will be a busy summer. The Afterschool Deaf Youth Program, a joint project with Seattle Mental Health, prepares to hire staff for its summer program, when deaf, deaf-blind and hard-of-hearing youth will come to CSCDHH for three days a week. The Seattle Children's Theatre Deaf Youth Drama Program will be here five days a week for their summer program. Everyone here is looking forward to seeing the community's children and youth at our Center. These programs plant seeds for growth in their future.

The CSCDHH Board and staff are also preparing for our future, discussing ideas and working on projects that will bear fruit for the community in the years 2000 and beyond. The Executive Committee is now interviewing potential candidates for vacancies on the Board. Staff bounce to each other ideas for improving the quality of programs, while redoubling their efforts to maintain current advocacy, education, interpreting, and information services. There is a sense of renewal, of energy, of re-commitment that comes with Spring. I hope that each of you also feel Spring in the air, and re-commit yourselves to working to better your lives, and to better your community.

Whether you donate funds to CSCDHH or volunteer to work on a committee or on the Board, you too, plant seeds for the future.

Staff Changes

It is with sadness that I report Tom Halseth will be leaving CSCDHH at the end of August to pursue new career goals. Tom, who worked as both Community Advocate and Executive Assistant, did an excellent job and received many compliments for his work on clients' behalf. We will miss you, Tom.

A position announcement is being prepared. For those of you who are interested in this position, please send your resume to me in care of CSCDHH.

In Memory

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the staff of CSCDHH, we give our condolences to the families of Meghan Reehling and Lorayne Friesen.


Information and Referral Program by Mary Bauer and Lou Massaro, Information and Referral Specialists

What is the Information and Referral desk? We are those smiling people that greet you the moment you walk through CSCDHH's door. Or as soon as we get off the phone with a person asking about our next Silent Games. Or as soon as we finish selling a book from our bookstore. Or as soon as we finish posting new Deaf community events. Or as soon as we mail out a complimentary GA newsletter.

We cover several areas at the information and referral desk in the CSCDHH lobby, but one of the most frequently asked questions is: What is going on in the Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard-of-Hearing community? We hardly know where to begin because so much happening. We encourage you to come in and look around at all our bulletin boards. They contain a wide variety of information ranging from club listings, groups for practicing sign language, ASL poetry night information, Deaf-Blind class listings, dates for AA meetings for Deaf, and many other services and events in and out of the Seattle area.

We are sure with one visit to CSCDHH you will find out about a club, group, or activity that perhaps you did not even know existed. So come visit us, whether it's to find out what is going on or to let us know what's happening with your club.


I GOT MORE THAN A JOB by Bobby Ramirez, 9-1-1/TTY Intern

I came to CSCDHH looking for a job, but what I received was education. You see, I'm a student at SCCC and an intern at CSCDHH. I decided to find a job that would allow me to use my sign language skills. In September of 1997 I was hired as an intern to assist the 9-1-1/ TTY Education Program.

Within the first week of my internship, the need for the 9-1-1/ TTY Education Program was clear. I realized that the accessibility and understanding between the 9-1-1 centers and the Deaf community has not been equivalent to that of the hearing community even if the Deaf community has a right to equal 9-1-1 emergency services. Our program trains 9-1-1 operators how to respond to TTY calls and provides workshops for TTY users about how to use 9-1-1 services appropriately. Because I am a hearing person, 9-1-1 has always been accessible to me. Until now, I had never truly known about the problems faced by the Deaf community when dealing with the 9-1-1 system. As I read articles regarding the trouble with the 9-1-1 system in connection with the Deaf community, I was shocked at the lack of communication, understanding of Deaf culture, ASL, and the proper use of a TTY.

The program itself is expanding and has become a leader in educating the 9-1-1 centers across our state and beyond. It provides a level of understanding that helps 9-1-1 centers work better with the Deaf community.

But we have a long way to go in making the world a better place to live in with equal opportunity that is deserved by all.

I'm truly lucky to be a part of the 9-1-1/TTY Education Program because I am learning so much more than I expected when I first came to CSCDHH looking for an internship.


Community Announcement

Tacoma Area Coalition of Individuals with Disabilities (TACID) is seeking an Interpreter Referral Specialist to organize and implement TACID's interpreter referral service based in Tacoma and covering Pierce, Kitsap, Thurston, Grays Harbor and Mason Counties. Salary is $13.00 per hour. 20 hours per week to be scheduled on a regular basis. Health benefits, paid vacation and sick leave are provided. Applicants must have RID certification and/or NAD level 3-5, two years certified interpreting experience, good knowledge of the Deaf community and computer data bases and commitment to team-work. The successful applicant will be able to practice as a freelance interpreter outside TACID working within agreed guidelines. For more information, call TACID at (253) 565-9000 (V) or (253) 565-5445 (TTY).


Meghan Reehling

by Nancy Kastel White, Coordinator, D/HH, Bethel School District

Students and staff at Spanaway Junior High and the Deaf & Hard of Hearing program in Bethel School District were shocked and saddened at the sudden loss of teacher Meghan Reehling in a diving accident on Saturday, April 18th. Meghan opened the program at Spanaway Jr. in the fall of 1994, and had taught Deaf students at Franklin Pierce High for 14 years before that. As an RID interpreter, Meghan opened doors for Deaf students and adults in the community and was a strong advocate for interpreter services all around the Puget Sound region. Some of you may remember times before ADA and 504 awareness when Meghan provided interpreter services, when it was possible she might not be paid.

Meghan was beginning to realize her dreams of blending the undersea world and the Deaf world, in providing scuba classes for members of the Deaf community. Meghan said several times to students, "This is one place Deaf have it over hearing, because there is no communication barriers when we sign to one another!" She had just completed a web page for her school to highlight her students and their projects. You may find the site at http://152.15747.5. Students remember Meghan's "Deaf Can" attitude, and already look forward to continuing their dreams of adopting a stream and attending Sea Lab in spring of 1999. When you see them working fundraisers, be sure to support their efforts to keep their dreams alive!

Meghan will be missed by so many in the community. Our thoughts are with her family, students and friends.


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