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CSCDHH GA Newsletter - July 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
July 1998, Vol. 17, No. 7

Leonard Aron New Superintendent at WSD

Governor Gary Locke recently named Leonard Aron as the new superintendent for Washington School for the Deaf in Vancouver. Aron will start his new job on July 13th, succeeding Gary Holman, who resigned last June. Larry Petersen has been acting superintendent since September 1997. Leonard Aron is an experienced administrator, having served at various programs for the deaf across the nation, most recently in North Carolina. The Washington School for the Deaf, which covers a 27-acre campus, provides educational and recreational activities for the deaf and hard of hearing.



WASHINGTON, May 11, 1998 -- Sprint has been awarded a contract valued at more than $30 million by the state of Washington to provide state-of-the-art Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) for the state's deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind and speech disabled consumers. The three-year contract, for which service will begin in June, includes options for two additional years of service to the state.

The existing service now handles more than 100,000 calls a month, and in 1997 Washington state relay users made more than 1.2 million calls totaling 6.2 million minutes. Several Washington state Social and Health Services agencies will collaborate with Sprint on an effort to implement an outreach program to increase awareness and usage of the relay service, free to users, among private businesses, employers, ethnic minorities and persons of disability.

Washington becomes the 22nd state for which Sprint provides TRS, further building the company's national leadership in delivering this important telecommunications service to those with special needs. Sprint has been heralded by customers and public officials nationwide for the high quality of its service, and sensitivity to the needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing persons.

Lyle Quasim, Secretary of the Washington state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) in Olympia said he was pleased that the agreement will increase the quality of service available to the deaf and hard of hearing community and make people more aware of what is available.

G. Leon Curtis, Director of the State of Washington Office of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Services (ODHHS), noted that "Washington state has been fortunate to have a reliable relay program for the past five years, and we look forward to Sprint taking over to continue this wonderful service in June."

Sprint has processed TRS calls for more than seven years, and in 1997 alone processed more than 12.4 million calls totaling more than 76.8 million conversation minutes. Service reliability was 99.6 percent last year, and Sprint operates a maintenance control center around the clock. Sprint also provides operator text telephone services nationwide, providing access for text telephone users for virtually all operator services, including collect calls, directory assistance and others.

Sprint is a global communications company - at the forefront in integrating long distance, local and wireless communications services and is one of the world's largest carriers of Internet traffic. Sprint built and operates the United States' only nationwide all-digital, fiber optic network and is the leader in advanced data communications services. Sprint has $15 billion in annual revenues and serves more than 16 million business and residential customers.


CSCDHH Upcoming Events


Untreated hearing loss may lead to other medical conditions

Although some 28 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss, the medical profession has been slow to recognize that hearing losses are body symptoms that require diagnosis, evaluation, and remediation. A 1992 survey of medical doctors found that while all of them assessed eyesights, only one in six checked for hearing loss during a physical examination.

Research has shown that people with uncorrected hearing loss, especially severe loss, tend to isolate themselves from family, friends, and/or social activities. Isolation can lead to depression, loneliness, anger, fear, frustration, and disappointment.

Such diseases as hypertension, ischemic heart disease, arrhythmia, and osteoarthritis also may occur more often in people with severe hearing loss. Because they cannot hear and monitor their own words, those with severe hearing loss may also experience deterioration in their speech. In addition to hearing aids, assistive technology may significantly reduce the two greatest problems for people with severe hearing loss: distance and noise. Assistive listening devices can enhance the sound from televisions, radios, computers, and in large places such as churches, theaters, and auditoriums. Although severe hearing loss can be life-altering, it doesn't have to be life-shattering.

For more information on hearing loss and assistive technology, contact Hearing Health magazine at (512) 776-7240 (V/TTY), (512) 776-3278 (FAX), e-mail at, or write PO Drawer V, Ingleside, TX 78362. You may request for a free sample of Hearing Health by writing to the address above.


GA Newsletter Masthead


Letter from the Director June - 1998

9-1-1/TTY Education Program Extended

The Office of Deaf and hard of Hearing Services (ODHHS) has announced that it will renew its contract with CSCDHH to provide, on a statewide basis, TTY education to 9-1-1 operators, as well as training to deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing, and speech impaired persons on 9-1-1 services. Leon Curtis, manager of ODHHS, noted that CSCDHH has developed a program that has been nationally recognized for its excellence.

As readers of the GA know, the Washington state chapter of the National Emergency Number Association has awarded the 9-1-1/TTY Education Program its 1997 9-1-1 Education Program of the Year award. At an awards ceremony in Goldendale, WA, Gail Ploman and I accepted the award on behalf of CSCDHH. Also present was Leon Curtis, who received a certificate of appreciation for his role in procuring the funds that made this program possible. Christine Buchholz and Janel Stromme also received certificates honoring their contribution to the success of the program. At this point, I feel it is important to recognize the participation of three persons who volunteered their assistance back in 1994 to prepare the proposal to ODHHS: Karen Carlson, Beth Schoenberg, and the late Judie Husted.

Most recently, Gail Ploman, acting 9-1-1/TTY Education Program Coordinator, has been involved in setting up a 9-1-1 center evaluation project (for more information, see the May 1998 GA), which has received positive feedback from three pilot test centers located in Seattle, South King County (Kent) and Spokane. For the next year, we plan to redouble our efforts to do 9-1-1 center trainings in each of Washingtonšs 39 counties, as well as reach as many TTY users as we can to let them know about effective use of 9-1-1 services. We at CSCDHH are proud of our achievements, and we hope that our program will, in the long term, achieve the goal of appropriate and quality services to TTY users all over the state.

Laurent Clerc Hall Remodel

At long last, the final hurdle with the City of Seattle contract for the remodel of the Laurent Clerc Hall has been cleared. The remodel is scheduled to begin the first week of September, and should be completed by October. The Laurent Clerc Hall will not be rented out during that time. The results should be greatly improved lighting in the Hall, flashing doorbell lights in the Hall and in each office, and better signage.

Job Openings at CSCDHH

Check out elsewhere in this issue the job openings available this summer at CSCDHH. Please spread the word to someone you may know that is looking for a job.

Thank You

We thank the following persons who are leaving the Board of Trustees: Donna Harrison, Barbara Hayes, Cindy Johns and John Ramey. Thank you for the time you have given to CSCDHH and the community.

Additionally, we thank Adam Novsam, who has accepted a position with another company, for his work at the Interpreter Referral Service. Good luck, Adam.



Community Announcements

The Self Help for Hard of Hearing People (SHHH), Lake Washington Chapter, held an election at the May general meeting. The new officers are Diane Jandl and Catharine Talbot-Lawson, co-presidents; Jo and Ken Kander, co-secretaries; and Ruby Morris, treasurer. There won’t be a general meeting for SHHH during the months of July and August.

There will be several deaf actors in the TV movie His Bodyguard July 22nd at 9 a.m. on USA Channel.

Puyallup School District is seeking educational interpreters for the 1998-1999 school year. Assignments are in the district's Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program. Opportunities available in both high school and elementary programs. We offer quality teaming, recent technologies and modern facilities. For additional information, contact Diane Weir, Assistant Director of Special Education at (253) 841-8700 (V) or (253) 841-8655 (FAX).

Information from the Telecommunications Relay Services forum: There is now a Web Site by Jay Wyant devoted to Two-Line Voice Carryover (VCO) at This site offers useful information about Two-Line VCO and is being updated to include some complete information.


About Town


Positions Open at CSCDHH

9-1-1/TTY Education Program Coordinator

With the extension of the 9-1-1/TTY Education Program for at least another year, we are finally able to advertise the permanent (project) position for 9-1-1/TTY Education Program Coordinator. This is a full-time position that will manage statewide training for 9-1-1 operators as well as deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing and speech impaired TTY users, evaluation of 9-1-1 centers compliance with ADA, and distribution of 9-1-1/TTY educational materials. Deadline: 5:00 PM, Friday, July 17, 1998.

Community Advocate

This is a permanent full-time position that initially may include duties assisting the Executive Director as an Executive Assistant. Pending notification of funding late this summer, this position may expand into a full-time Community Advocate position. Primary duties involve working with deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing persons in resolving their communication access issues, and collaborating with human service providers in assuring culturally appropriate services to the deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing persons. Deadline: 5:00 PM, Friday, July 24, 1998.

Executive Assistant

We are welcoming applications now for this permanent full-time position, pending notification of funding later this summer. Primary duties will be to manage the Information & Referral and Volunteer programs for CSCDHH, coordinate the production of the GA Newsletter, and assist the Executive Director in a variety of management tasks. Deadline: 5:00 PM, Friday, July 31, 1998.


This is a permanent, full-time position that will work with the Full-Charge Bookkeeper in managing CSCDHH’s books. Primary duties will include accounts receivable and payable for the Interpreter Referral Service, and other duties as assigned. Deadline: 5:00 PM, Friday, July 17, 1998.

Call (206) 322-4996 (V/TTY) for job descriptions. Faxed applications and applications received after the deadline dates noted above will not be accepted.


Results of Rear Window Captioning Survey
by Elizabeth Ralston

Thanks to everyone who responded to the survey and sent e-mail note of support to me. People overwhelmingly support captioning in the theaters and most expressed a willingness to try the Rear Window Captioning System (RWC).

Survey Results:

Total number of people who responded: 27
People who watch movies in Seattle’s theaters: 17
People who do not watch movies in Seattle’s theaters: 4
People who did not respond to this question: 6

Number of movies people see per month:
None: 5
1-3: 12
4-6: 5
Did not respond: 5

Preference for type of captioning system:
Rear Window: 5
Open captioned: 9
Both: 4
No preference: 4
Did not respond: 5

Big news: Paul Allen has purchased the Cinerama Theater on Fifth Avenue in downtown Seattle, and is currently working with WGBH Educational Foundation (which developed the RWC technology) in Boston to negotiate possibilities for setting up the system in Cinerama! I have written to Paul a letter encouraging him to install the system - after all, he is installing a wheelchair ramp, why not throw in a captioning system?

I would encourage you to write a letter of support to Paul about installing RWC in Cinerama. His address is:

Paul Allen
110 - 110th Avenue NE, Suite 550
Bellevue, WA 98004

Thank for all your support and stay tuned!



Are you looking for opportunities to contribute your time and efforts to helping the Deaf (and hard of hearing?) community? Would you like to be involved in the growth and development of CSCDHH?

The CSCDHH Board of Trustees is actively seeking new Board Members. We are looking for enthusiastic individuals who have professional backgrounds and community involvement experience that will be benefit CSCDHH and the surrounding community. Minimum requirements include:

* A demonstrated interest in and dedication to CSCDHH's mission.

* Experience and/or knowledge in at least one element: administration, finance, personnel, program development, evaluation, public relations or communications.

* Representative of some aspect or segment of the population in the community.

* Commit 10+ hours a month to board activities (includes participation on Board Committees).

* Be (or become) a member of CSCDHH

If you have any questions, please contact Michael Richardson, Board President at (206) 439-8446 (V/TTY) or Rob Roth, Executive Director at (206) 322-4996 (V/TTY).


A Brief Summary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Every now and then, people would call CSCDHH wanting to know their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Briefly, the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, public services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications.

The ADA has five titles:

- Title I protects you from discrimination in job recruitment, hiring, promotions, training, pay, social activities, and other privileges of employment.

- Title II requires state and local governments to give you an equal opportunity to benefit from all their programs, services, and activities. It also covers public transportation services.

- Title III makes discrimination illegal in businesses and nonprofit service providers that are public accommodations. It also covers transportation services owned by private entities.

- Title IV makes public telecommunications relay services available to you, and also requires closed captioning of federally funded public service announcements.

- Title V protects you from discrimination by U.S. Congress and covers administrative and miscellaneous details.

Word of Caution: Congress did not set the laws in the ADA clearly in black and white, meaning there are some loopholes in the ADA. In other words, the ADA has many gray areas. We have to look at each problem on a case-by-case basis. There are a variety of factors to consider before providing a resolution.

The ADA does not cover discrimination in housing, air transportation by air carriers, programs conducted by Federal agencies, programs that receive Federal funding, Federal employment, or employment practices of Federal contractors. There are other laws specifically designed to deal with those discrimination issues.

For reliable information and practical advice on the ADA, you can contact the Northwest Disability Business Technical Assistance Center at 1-800-949-4232 (V/TTY). Their services extend to all provisions of the ADA, including Employment, State and Local Governments, Public Accommodations, Telecommunications, Public and Private Transportation, Barrier Removal and Barrier-Free Design.

We at CSCDHH can also provide you some information on the ADA. Either stop by the office or give us a call and we will be happy to help you.


Questions And Answers About 9-1-1

(From the Washington State 9-1-1/TTY Education Program at CSCDHH)

What is 9-1-1?

9-1-1 is an emergency system that sends three different kinds of help: police, firemen, and medical help and ambulance (including rescue and poison control).

What is the difference between 9-1-1 and E9-1-1?

9-1-1 is the three digit number you dial for quick emergency assistance. The 9-1-1 operator may or may not get some information via a computer, such as name, address and phone number. They will ask you to give your name, address and phone number.

E9-1-1 means Enhanced 9-1-1. The 9-1-1 operator can use the computer to get information from your phone company such as your name, phone number and address if you call 9-1-1. If for some reason you cannot get through to 9-1-1, the 9-1-1 operator still has your name, address and phone number. Do not dial E before you dial 9-1-1 directly.

By December 1998, all 110 9-1-1 centers in Washington State will be an E9-1-1 system. This means that if your area 9-1-1 center does not have a E9-1-1 computer system now, it will by December 1998.

How do I call 9-1-1?

>From home or business -- Simply dial 9-1-1.

>From a pay phone -- Simply dial 9-1-1. You do not need to put money in the pay phone.

>From a cellular or mobile phone -- simply dial 9-1-1. The 9-1-1 operator will not be able to get any information on where you are calling from, so you will have to tell the 9-1-1 operator where you are and how to find you.

When do I dial 9-1-1?

When life and/or property is in danger, you see a burglar outside your neighbor's house, someone is stealing a car from across the street, your car engine catches on fire, you see a child being forced into a car, when you see smoke or a fire, when you see a crime, when rescue or emergency medical help is needed, etc.

What should I expect when I call 9-1-1?

The 9-1-1 operator will ask you questions. Answer all the 9-1-1 operator's questions as quickly and as briefly as possible. Tell the 9-1-1 operator everything you know about the emergency. The 9-1-1 operator may give you CPR or first aid instructions while you wait for help to arrive.

What do I need to report?

Give the 9-1-1 operator the location of the emergency and a description of what is happening (heart attack, chest pains, burglary, robbery, fight, death, fire, etc.).

When do I not dial 9-1-1?

Do not call 9-1-1 for general information, such as road and weather conditions, power outages, or directions. Do not call 9-1-1 as a joke. If you need information from a 9-1-1 emergency service center, go to the inside front cover or first few pages of your Yellow Pages phone book for 7-digit information numbers.


What's Happening


Law and the Deaf

I paid my lawyer $5,000. He wants another $3,000. What does he do with all that money? Can I fire my lawyer?

All lawyers do is talk, right? And, didn't someone once say talk is cheap? Actually, courts and lawsuits cost money. Courts are not free. No one can walk into a court and do this and that for free. There are court costs a client must pay to do something: starting a legal action by filing a complaint ($120-$175), jury fees, investigation fees ($500+), deposition fees ($500+), court-ordered reports ($750+), discovery costs, court-reporter fees ($80/hr), transcript costs ($500+), expert witness fees ($1,000+) and more. It is very easy to run up costs of $2,000 or more in the very first month of a lawsuit. Lawyers are not allowed to pay court costs.

Court costs are not the same as attorney fees. Attorney fees are fees the client must pay for the work done by a lawyer. Many lawyers charge an hourly rate and bill the client every hour done for legal work. For example, if a lawyer's rate is $150 per hour and he does ten hours of work for the client, the client will get a bill for $1,500. If a client has an attorney who works for him pro bono, it means the client will not be charged for the work done by the lawyer. Either way, for free or for a fee, clients must pay for the court costs.

Does an attorney get to keep all the attorney fees? No. Attorneys have overhead and expenses. They must pay for office rent, furniture, telephone, staff, business taxes, wages, payroll taxes, supplies, travel costs, professional insurance fees, state-required continued legal training classes, and more. Lawyers are very lucky if they have $5 left over for themselves. Lawyers have homes and families. There are rich lawyers, but command $350 per hour or more. They specialize in very, very narrow areas of law and often work for big corporations like Boeing or Microsoft. Many small 3-man law firms and solo lawyers have gone broke because they could not make their ends meet. Many lawyers are very careful and very picky what kind of work they will do for their clients.

Lawyers require their clients to pay them court costs and attorney fees first before they start work for them. Many lawyers require their clients to deposit a sum of money with them. The amount of the deposit is adjusted, based on where the client lives, the client's specific case, and the lawyer's hourly rate. The deposit is a minimum paid to the lawyer to secure his or her service. The deposit does NOT cover the entire legal costs and fees. The charges, fees and costs are paid by the lawyer out of this deposit until the money is all used up. The attorney will bill the client on a weekly or a monthly basis to replace the charges, fees and costs taken out. If the client did not pay the lawyer's bill, court costs will not be paid. Attorney fees will accumulate. The client's lawsuit process will stop.

Can I fire my lawyer? Yes and no. Clients may fire their lawyer at any time for any reason, but it must be approved by a judge. The judge may allow clients to fire their lawyer more than 30 days before trial but will not allow clients to fire their lawyer in criminal cases. Either way, if the client owes their lawyer money, they still owe their lawyers money after they have fired them.

Can a lawyer fire a client? Yes. This is called withdrawal. Lawyers may withdraw their services from their client at any time for any reason. Legal services are often withdrawn because clients did not pay their bills. The client must find another lawyer to take over and continue their case. The client still owes money to the lawyer who withdrew from their case.

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.


HSDC by Mary Bauer, Information & Referral Specialist

While working at the information and Referral desk, people have asked us several questions. Some are frequently asked and others are one of a kind inquiries. This month we'd like to address a frequently asked question.

Where do I purchase assistive devices for Hard of Hearing, Deaf, Deaf/Blind, and Speech Impaired People? People from all communities ask us this. We often will refer you to The Hearing Speech and Deafness Center (HSDC). They are located at 1620 Eighteenth Avenue, Seattle WA 98122-2798. Their specialty store provides state of the art assistive devices: TTYs, amplified telephones, closed caption decoders and personal and large area amplification systems, and more. So next time you are taking a stroll in the Capitol Hill area stop by and visit HSDC.

Pick up a catalog not only for yourself but for a friend, family member, employer or employee. HSDC can provide consultation on workplace accommodation and ADA compliance for businesses and public agencies in connection with assistive devices. For more information call them at (206) 323-5770 (V/TTY). With your support and through networking, the community around you can become more informed about the issues of assistive devices.


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