Inside Inside by wuzhenguang


                        Deaf Advocate                  A Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens Publication

                          NAD Approves ASL Position Statement

                        T      he Board of Directors of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD)

                                                                                                                                         Photo courtesy of Gallaudet University Archives
                               approved a new position statement on American Sign Language (ASL)
                               at its January 2008 meeting in Santa Fe, NM.
                          The NAD reaffirmed its stance that acquisition of language from birth is a
                        human right for every person, and that deaf infants and children should be
                        given the opportunity to acquire and develop proficiency in ASL as early as
                        possible. ASL is recognized as the sign language of the American deaf com-
Volume 8 • Issue 3      munity.
Spring 2008               “This ASL position statement now brings us full circle and draws upon the
                        original values of our founders,” said Bobbie Beth Scoggins, NAD President.        George Veditz in 1913
                        “Since 1880, the NAD has worked tirelessly to preserve, protect, and pro-
 Inside                 mote ASL as a human right. The NAD also strongly believes in the right of
                        deaf children to achieve linguistic fluency in both ASL and English so that they can become fully participating,
                        contributing, and productive members of American society.”
  My First Caucus:
    Awesome!                                                    AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE
         3                                                           Position Statement
                                                                National Association of the Deaf
     A Cruise in
   Sign Language                             “As long as we have deaf people on earth, we will have signs…”
                                                George Veditz, Preservation of Sign Language, 1913
                          In 1880, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) was established by deaf leaders who believed in the
    Thumbs Up           right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and
    for Hospital
                        to have its interests represented at the national level. These beliefs remain true to this day, with American Sign
         7              Language (ASL) as a core value.
                          The NAD reaffirms its position that acquisition of language from birth is a human right for every person,
  Rumbler Allows        and that deaf infants and children should be given the opportunity to acquire and develop proficiency in ASL
People to Feel Sirens   as early as possible. This position is also in line with the stance of the World Federation of the Deaf and the
                        United Nations on human rights, including the recognition of sign languages.
                        ASL as a Language
Rewards Begin With
    One Step               ASL is the recognized sign language of the deaf community in the United States of America. As is the case
                        with standardized spoken, written, and signed languages worldwide, ASL conforms to linguistic principles
         11             (e.g., semantics, syntax, morphology, phonology, and pragmatics). The complex visual-spatial linguistic struc-
                        ture of ASL is distinct from English, a linear, sequential language based on auditory processes.
                           As with other languages, native fluency in ASL is achieved through exposure and interaction early in life.
                        Learning of ASL as an additional language can also begin at any time and continue over the course of a
                                                                                                           ASL, continued on page 6

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        Deaf Advocate
                                               Strength and Prosperity
                             NAD ASL Position Statement                                            New DEAF-MADC Board
                             Ever since the infamous 1880 Mi-                                      DEAF-MADC is pround to announce
                             lan convention where sign language                                    its newest board members: Misty
                             was banned in deaf education, NAD                                     Schomberg, who is also the new chair
                             (founded in 1880, a mere five years                                   of the youth committee, Heather Ortiz,
                             before MADC) has, in Milan’s looming                                  and Cindy Dively. Other board members
                             shadow, fought to preserve American                                   include all of the MADC board mem-
                             Sign Language (ASL). They released                                    bers, and Mark Geiger.
Board of Directors           an official position statement in Feb-
   2007-2009                 ruary about NAD’s stand on ASL. ASL,                                  St.Cloud Deaf Club
                             and Deaf culture, defines who we are              President           American Legion generously lent its
                             today. Because of NAD’s establish-              Emory Dively          huge meeting/dining room to enable
        President            ment, MADC exists today. We cannot                                    the St. Cloud Deaf Club to host a fund-
    Emory Dively             afford to lose our hard-earned heri-                                  raising event for the 2009 MADC Con-
      St. Paul               tage and citizenship rights, nor birthright or even ge- ference on Feb. 2 for a spaghetti dinner. MADC board
                             netic rights. With the release of the ASL statement, members joined them after the board retreat, and a
  Vice President             MADC is even more strengthened to prosper in its good time was had by all.
Ralph Fuechtmann             activities. However, to prosper, our hands and feet
      Fridley                are required to make our signs (voices) heard. This DEAF DAY at Timberwolves Basketball
                             is in addition to your strong commitment to MADC - Join us at Deaf Day at the Timberwolves basketball
        Treasurer            which is achieved through your membership. Let us game on Wed., March 19 at 7:00 P.M. For more info,
   Ric-Olin Lyles            go for the possible (not impossible) and have 1,000 check or contact Sonny Wasilowski
    Rosemount                strong active members! MADC’s list of things to do at
                             is neverending - and to preserve our existence, we
        Secretary            can use the best offense: EDUCATE, EDUCATE, EDU- Newsletter Editor
 Cynthia Weitzel             CATE. ADVOCATE, ADVOCATE, ADVOCATE. VOTE, We continue to seek someone to take over the editio-
    Red Wing                 VOTE, VOTE.                                             rship of the MADC newsletter. This is a paid position.
                                                                                     If you are interested, contact Trudy Suggs at trudy@
                             MADC Board Retreat                            
Members-at-Large             On Feb. 1-2, MADC had a successful board retreat
   Linda Durand              at the Catholic Newton Center in St. Cloud with its A Personal Note
      Lakeville              beautiful view of the frozen Mississippi River. Special The Highland Park/MacGroveland District Council of
                             thanks to donors: Minnesota Commission Serving the City of Saint Paul nominated my wife and me for
Galinda Goss-Kuehn           Deaf, Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind People, and ASL the Neighborhood Volunteer Award. We received the
     Burnsville              Interpreting Service and its owner Pamela Nygren- District #15 Volunteer Award, a great honor for us.
                             Olson, for covering meals and room. We had Jeffrey Never underestimate the hearing population’s ability
    Jane Harders             Kirkwood, MRID president-elect and a licensed con- to “see” your civic services to strengthen your own
     Stewartville            sultant, lead our training. We will release a summary community –especially when it comes to the Deaf
                             of our activities in late spring after the next board community.  Let’s strive for continued strength
        Alicia Lane          meeting; the date of the meeting will be announced. and propserity with MADC in 2008!
         St. Paul

 Barbara Schmidt
                                                                                      Gerald “Bummy” Burnstein
    Coon Rapids
                                     MADC Bank Statement                              is renowned around the
                                      as of Dec. 31, 2007                             country as a certified Deaf
                                                ASSETS:                               parliamentarian and his im-
    Contact Us                                                                        pressive accomplishments
                                  Cash/Money Accounts: $ 14,062.66
                                  Mutual Funds:        $138,058.58
                                                                                      within the community. He
        MADC                      Total Assets:        $152,121.26                    also has long-standing ties
  532 Snelling Ave. S.                                                                to Minnesota. Can you find
  St. Paul, MN 55116                  Questions? Contact Treasurer                    him in this newsletter?                       Ric-Olin Lyles at                        wearing the polo shirt with a white collar.
                                                                                      is the first person standing in the third row from bottom
                                                                                      Answer: In the Minnesota group picture on page 5, Bummy

        2           Spring 2008
                                                                                                                                 Deaf Advocate

                My First Caucus: Awesome!
                                                                                                                           MARK YOUR
By Sonny Wasilowski                                          caucus location was at Burnsville Senior High School,         CALENDARS!

                              M             y first caucus   a mere five minutes away from my home. There were
                                            experience       caucuses held everywhere throughout the state on the               MAY 14
                                            was awesome.     same night.                                                  Early Bird Combo II
                                It was an accumulation         Driving up to the high school, I was in awe of how        Registration Deadline
                                of simple preparation,       full the parking lot was, and suddenly I wondered if I        NAD Conference
                                along with the support of    would be able to identify the interpreter in the crowd.
                                a neighbor and friends.      Not to worry – I had a solid method of finding the in-
                                  First, two weeks ahead     terpreter and even other deaf people: I raised my hand             MAY
                                of time, I e-mailed the      and fingerspelled “DEAF” repeatedly. Sure enough,              DEAF-MADC &
                                Republican headquarters      the interpreter quickly found us.                                  MADC
  Sonny Wasilowski              in St. Paul to request an      Once we connected, we learned that we were meet-             Board Meetings
                                interpreter for my local     ing in classrooms instead of the auditorium or large          Day/Location TBA
                                caucus. I quickly got a      meeting rooms like I had imagined. The classroom had
confirmation that there’d be an interpreter. Sweet!          approximately 20 seats and there were over 60 of us.            JULY 7-11
  Second, my deaf neighbors and I took the time to           We quickly learned that this was the largest caucus           NAD Conference
attend a Minnesota Commission on Serving Deaf and            showing since 1996.                                           New Orleans, LA
Hard of Hearing People (MCDHH) workshop a week                 At this meeting, I had two simple goals. One was
before the caucus date. The workshop focused on              to propose a resolution made by MCDHH requiring
what to expect at the caucuses, and what they were all       that the party’s candidates caption all of their televi-           SEPT.
about. The workshop was very much worth our time,            sion and Internet ads. This passed easily with one lady        DEAF-MADC &
especially because we all had a lot of questions. Any-       speaking up in favor of my resolution and no opposi-               MADC
time there’s a workshop in your area, grab it and enjoy      tion. The second goal was to become a delegate. To             Board Meetings
the delicious pizza and drinks that they provide too.        my surprise, there were only a few people nominated,          Day/Location TBA
  Early in the afternoon of Super Tuesday, Feb. 5, I re-     and I was easily elected as one of ten delegates from
ceived an unexpected e-mail stating that the Republi-        my precinct.                                                      NOV. 1
can headquarters had difficulty finding an interpreter.         I’ll attend a meeting at Burnsville City Hall on March    Board Meetings &
Instantly, I called ASL Interpreting Services (ASLIS) and    1 at 9 a.m. You’re all welcome to come and watch the           Fifth Annual
they were quick to find an interpreter. Thanks, ASLIS –      proceedings. I’m confident that in two years at our              Pig Roast
you’re a lifesaver!                                          next caucus, you’ll feel empowered to attend and ei-          Thompson Hall
  A caucus is about meeting with your neighbors in           ther propose a resolution and/or become a delegate.
the smallest setting possible to discuss politics and         Editor’s note: Emory Dively was also elected as a
what platform you’d like to see your party adopt. My         delegate for his precinct in St. Paul.                                NOV. 4
                                                                                                                                 Election Day
Featured Advertiser:
                                                                        In memoriam
                                                                                                                         For more information                                                                                                          on MADC events,

O        ur featured
         advertiser is; the
company generously
covers the postage
                                                                                 Lucille Barton
and associated costs
                                                                                  Diane Lauth
for each newsletter is-
sue printed in 2008.
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speed dial, redialing recent calls, custom calling servic-
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es, and more. You can also access on a wire-
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                                                                               Patricia Swanson
saging software. Also on the website are new articles                                                                        Publication services
and vlogs written by deaf and hard of hearing people                                                                             provided by
every week. The website serves as a great meeting                                                                         T.S. Writing Services, LLC
place for people to share thoughts. You can even keep
track of open-captioned movies playing near you.
                                                                        Submitted by Barbara Schmidt           
                                                                         Chair, Necrology Committee
  Be sure visit today!
                                                                                                         Spring 2008                   3
      Deaf Advocate


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       4         Spring 2008
                                                                                                                                 Deaf Advocate

  PAH! A Cruise with Everything in Sign Language!

        Passengers aboard the first all-deaf cruise,
        “Deaf Freedom,” gather for a group photo.

By Jane Harders
Board Member-at-Large

W            hen my husband, Richard, and I got married on April
             19, 1993, we shared our honeymoon with hearing peo-
             ple on a four-day cruise. At first, we were awed by the
cruise. By the third day, we were ready to go home. There was no
television in our cabin, and there were no interpreters anywhere. We
went on an island tour without an interpreter, and I remember wor-
rying about if the ship would leave without us because we couldn’t                        Passengers from Minnesota
communicate with anyone and had no idea what time we were to
be back at the ship. We ate with other hearing people and could not        An interesting glitch: the ship realized that people’s pass cards
communicate with them at all. Even though we met a couple who            (used for getting into rooms) weren’t working right because peo-
knew sign language on the third day, we could not expect to hang         ple’s Blackberries and Sidekicks were rubbing against the cards,
out with them the entire time.                                           causing glitches. We all had to turn our pagers off. For the rest of
  After our honeymoon, we said we would never go on another              the week I did not see anyone use pagers! The day we arrived back,
cruise again. We changed our mind when we learned of the “all-           everyone immediately began using their pagers again. The ship did
deaf cruise” hosted by Mac and Tab (who has deaf parents) Part-          have Internet access, but access was charged by the minute. Most of
low, the hearing owners of Passages Deaf Travel. On Oct. 28–Nov.         us chose to not check our e-mail so we could relax instead.
5, 2007, we took off for the Deaf Freedom cruise, which had over           Every night there was entertainment by renowned performers
3,800 deaf people and friends.                                           such as Keith Wann, CJ Jones, Bernard Bragg, and others. On top
  This was the first time an entire cruise had been booked solely        of the ship was a very large swimming pool area where many ac-
for deaf people with interpreters and even deaf crew members! We         tivities were held. Although Richard and I didn’t go on tour islands
were to travel to five locales: Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Mexico, Ja-       due to my injured ankle, friends who went on the tours said the
maica and Haiti. The Partlows arranged for staff training and pro-       interpreters provided excellent access and realized how much they
vided sign language classes for the cruise staff before the trip.        would have missed if not for the interpreters. They enjoyed the tours
  When we arrived at the port of Miami, there were interpreters          immensely.
everywhere! Royal Caribbean had hired 124 certified interpreters,          Walking on the ship with all the deaf people made me feel like
including interpreters from other countries and deaf blind interpret-    I was back at the Iowa School for the Deaf where I could com-
ers. Our jaws dropped when we saw the long line of deaf people           municate 24 hours a day. It was amazing how we could make con-
signing everywhere. It was a beautiful sight.                            versation anywhere on the ship – by the whirlpool, in long lines, in
  Upon arrival at our very nice cabin, we discovered a portable kit      the dining room or cafes, or anywhere else. When we were on that
that included an Alertmaster alarm clock and doorbell signaler. All      cruise for our honeymoon, Richard was quick to whip out a small
Royal Caribbean videos showing on our flat-panel digital television      notebook and pen, but on this ship, he didn’t do this once.
were all closed captioned. The ship television network also told in        The cruise was simply AMAZING. It was such a blessing to have
sign language daily of events, updates, agenda, and interviews.          experienced this trip. More more travel agencies and tours are tak-
  On the first night, we learned there was a tropical storm. We were     ing note of how wonderful it is to have an all-deaf group. There are
supposed to go to Haiti first, but in order to avoid the hurricane, we   a multitude of choices such as Italy, London, Alaska, Hawaii, the
went in the opposite direction. We did experience a little tough sea     Bahamas, Panama Canal, and much more. It is an experience that is
but we all were fine. On the same day, we had interpreters at each       unmatched by any other trip experience. The best part was we en-
dinner table for communication with the waiters, but for the rest of     joyed the same things as hearing people did, to the point where we
the week, the waiters used gestures and signs without interpreters.      felt comfortable and safe without worrying about communication.

                                                                                                        Spring 2008                   5
      Deaf Advocate

        ASL, continued from front page                                              urges its affiliates and individual members to welcome deaf chil-
        ASL and Early Development                                                   dren and their families into the deaf community, to work with these
          The earliest years of a child’s life are the most critical for language   families in becoming familiar with the lives and successes of deaf
        acquisition, a time when the foundation is formed for cognitive             persons, to assist them in learning ASL, and to serve as a resource
        and literacy development. Babies are born with the innate ability           and source of support.
        to acquire languages accessible to them and used by their families             Educational programs serving deaf students nationwide are in-
        and care providers. Language competency is essential for cognitive,         creasingly adopting a dual language approach to educating deaf
        social, emotional, and psychological development. The NAD takes             children, based on similar linguistic principles and practices for other
        the position that as a fully accessible visual language, ASL should         world languages which promote learning more than one language
        be made available to every deaf infant, in addition to any assis-           as early as feasible. Language and cultural competencies also con-
        tive technologies that may be used to take advantage of the deaf            tribute to healthy development of identity and self-esteem in deaf
        infant’s access to the language(s) used by their families and care          children, including fluid movement between the deaf and hearing
        providers.                                                                  communities.
          The NAD supports maximizing language proficiency in deaf infants             Programs serving deaf infants and children and their families
        through the implementation of a dual language approach; that is,            should provide ASL immersion opportunities for families of newly
        incorporating early acquisition and learning of ASL and English. Fur-       identified deaf infants and children. Specifically, the NAD takes the
        thermore, the NAD is strongly committed to ensuring that parents of         position that these programs should involve interaction and dis-
        newly identified deaf infants and children receive accurate informa-        course with ASL-fluent members of the American deaf community,
        tion about the benefits of acquiring and developing proficiency in          including parents of deaf children. Early intervention, pre-school,
        both languages.                                                             elementary and secondary education personnel should have the
                                                                                    requisite ASL and English competencies.
        ASL in the Home and at School                                                  The NAD reiterates its position that acquisition of language from
          Preparing deaf children to achieve optimal linguistic fluency in          birth is a human right for every person, and that deaf infants and
        both ASL and English enables them to later engage in meaningful             children should be given the opportunity to acquire and develop
        adult discourse as fully participating, contributing, and productive        proficiency in American Sign Language (ASL) as early as possible.
        members of American society.                                                        Approved January 2008 by the NAD Board of Directors
          The NAD urges parents of deaf infants and children to learn about
        the benefits of the dual language approach (ASL and English) and             This position statement may also be viewed in ASL at www.
        the rich heritage of the American deaf community. The NAD also    

       6                Spring 2008
                                                                                                                                  Deaf Advocate

                              Hanging Out in Minnesota
By Sabra Carlin                                                                             During my last weekend in Minnesota, I at-
Miss Deaf Minnesota 2007-2009                                                             tended the national Clerc Classic basketball
                                                                                          tournament, which had eight schools partici-

H         ello everyone! On Dec. 15, I flew
          back home to Minnesota for my win-
          ter break from Gallaudet University.
It was so great to be back home!
   The day after I arrived, I went to Thompson
                                                                                          pating. I went each day from Thursday to Sat-
                                                                                          urday and watched many splendid games. On
                                                                                          Saturday, I represented Minnesota with my
                                                                                          crown and sash. I was surprised and touched
                                                                                          at how many young girls wanted my auto-
Hall for the Christmas event hosted by Galinda                                            graph.
Goss-Kuehn. She asked me to sign the song                                                   Before the boys’ championship game be-
“Jingle Bells” and read a Christmas book to                                               tween Maryland and Indiana on Saturday eve-
about thirty young children. I also helped the                                            ning of the tournament, I signed the national
children play games and make crafts. With                                                 anthem with all teams’ cheerleaders. This
those games, there were no awards for best                                                event was videotaped and shown on the Deaf
performance—the whole point was to let                                                    Nation website. Several friends who were not
                                                               Sabra Carlin
children have fun! They then became very ex-                                              at the tournament were able to participate by
                                                         Miss Deaf Minnesota
cited because they got to meet Deaf Santa.                                                watching the videoclips on www.deafnation.
The room was full of joy, and I enjoyed watch-                                            com. That long weekend was a perfect way
ing the children.                                                    for me to close my vacation and get ready for my second semester
   I spent my entire break in Minnesota. I attended several practice of college life.
interviews to get ready for the intense week of pageant competi-       I returned to Gallaudet University on Jan. 21 and might be back
tion at the Miss Deaf America Pageant in New Orleans this July. in Minnesota for spring break. This will be a great time for me to
I also spent time with my buddies and family, especially with my visit different schools and events. I am available for appearances;
cherished younger sister who currently attends the Minnesota to schedule a booking, please contact Toni Fairbanks at claytoni@
State Academy for the Deaf in Faribault.                    Stay warm and have a great spring!

                Thumbs Up for District One Hospital
By Trudy Suggs                                                          ing us a thumbs up. That threw us off momentarily - what did the
                                                                        thumbs up mean? After a short pause, I asked, “She’s deaf?” The

I   t was a question that lingered in many people’s minds, includ-
    ing ours. We all wondered, given that my husband is a third-
    generation deaf person and I second-generation, whether our
new baby would be deaf or hearing. My husband and I threw out
the obligatory “The important thing is our baby’s healthy” to any-
                                                                        nurse nodded and went to check my blood pressure. Nothing more
                                                                        was said, and we busied ourselves getting ready to go home.
                                                                          Our own mothers and countless people had told us horror stories
                                                                        of how nurses were sad, uncomfortable, or even domineering in
                                                                        sharing hearing test results - which then affected the parents’ re-
one who asked. We had sent in our blood to Gallaudet’s genet-           actions. We were astounded - and encouraged - by the optimistic,
ics program for testing in the fourth month of my pregnancy, but        “it’s no big deal” attitude at District One Hospital. In fact, a couple
knew the results would arrive after our child’s birth. Either way, it   of times throughout my pregnancy, we were asked about genetic
wouldn’t have made a difference for us if the baby was deaf or          ‘defects’ in our families. Whenever we mentioned our deaf families,
hearing. Even so, we couldn’t help but wonder in the back of our        the nurses always said, “No, that doesn’t count as a genetic de-
heads. All we could do was wait.                                        fect.” Our doctor was equally nonchalant about the hearing issue.
  Meanwhile, I worked with area agencies to enact legislation a           Of course, this is very different for hearing parents with no prior
statewide early hearing detection and intervention program (EHDI),      history. But think about it: what if medical folks everywhere were
knowing it’d have an impact upon thousands of lives, including          as laid-back and optimistic? What if they were empathetic with
mine. I also made sure I stayed in good physical shape, and count-      parents faced with the often-overwhelming news of their child
ed down the days.                                                       testing as deaf? What if nurses and doctors didn’t rush to engulf
  The day after Eavan was born, we asked about her hearing test         parents with so-called solutions or doomsday predictions? Would
as mandated by the EHDI law. The nurse said unconcernedly that          this make a difference in how parents initially react? I think so,
Eavan had tested as deaf earlier that morning, but had also been        although I can never put myself in those parents’ shoes.
fussy so the test would be redone. My husband and I nodded, then          If doctors were neutral but encouraging, perhaps parents wouldn’t
we moved onto other topics.                                             respond with the same amount of shock or negativity that they typ-
  Distracted by a million things, we didn’t give the test another       ically do; human nature is hard to predict. All too often, how we
thought until the following morning when the nurse came into our
room. When asked, the nurse smiled with an enthusiastic nod, giv-                                      HOSPITAL, continued on page 11

                                                                                                           Spring 2008                     7
      Deaf Advocate

         8            Spring 2008
                                                                                                                             bulletin# M2045
                                                                                                                                                  Deaf Advocate
                                                                                                                                               version: 307

               Rumbler Allows People to Feel Sirens
                    RUMBLER I    -C   S                      ™       NTERSECTION          LEARING         YSTEM
By Trudy Suggs                                                                                                    to           Improves emergency vehicle
                                                                                                                             music, or are deaf. It alerts
                                                                                                                               operator safety.

O         n Jan. 31, Emory Dively                                                                                 if they’re immediately next to the
                                                                                                                      ■ Produces penetrating/
          and Trudy Suggs attended                                                                                emergency vehicle, or are walking
                                                                                                                        vibrating low frequency
          a demonstration at the                                                                                          the waves.
                                                                                                                  downsoundstreet,” Monge said. “The
Faribault Fire Department. At this                                                                                Rumbler does not solve all problems,
                                                                                                                      ■ Interacts with most 100/200-

demonstration provided by Leon-                                                                                   but itwatt emergency vehicle siren chal-
                                                                                                                          certainly helps alleviate
ard Schrader of Schrader’s Law                                                                                    lenges of getting people’s attention
                                                                                                                      ■ Enabled via any emergency
Enforcement Supply & Code Three                                                                                          emergency wheel horn
                                                                                                                  whenvehicle steeringvehicles are trying
Installations, the participants were                                                                              to getring. their destination.”
shown the “Rumbler” device.
                                                                                                                                    safety timer
                                                                                                                    He 10 second“We always want to
                                                                                                                         added, automatic tone
  The Rumbler, manufactured by                                                                                    provide the best services and equip-
Federal Signal, is a speaker system                                                                                   ■ possible to protect
                                                                                                                  ment Highly effective in densethe citizens
attached to emergency vehicles                                                                                    in our community. We purchased
                                                                                                                        urban environments with

and allows nearby people feel the Federal Signal RUMBLER , intersection-clearing system, demonstrates the long-
                                                                                                                        heavy vehicle
                                                                                                                  this siren for thetraffic. truck we are
“rumble” of the sirens through standing commitment to continuesounds                     next month and if
                                                                               getting leader in warning sound,it works well, we will buy more in the
                                   low-frequency, bass-type as the technological

when activated. People walking or standing near the vehicles can future to equip the rest of our trucks.” The system costs approxi-
                                  siren development, and operator safety.
feel the sirens, much like one canImproves Intersection Warning Effectiveness
                                    feel music by holding balloons.            mately $500.
                                  law UMBLER introduces a revolutionary new “I want to applaud the
  Dively and Suggs helped local The Renforcement and fire depart- concept to audible warning. ThisFaribault Fire Dept for proactively seeking
                                  system has the ability to interactand fire   better and improved safety measures for all people, especially Deaf
ment personnel, including interim police chief Dan Collins with 100/200-watt siren amplifiers and provide
                                                                               people, and I have the distinct
                                  secondary, low frequency duplicate tones. Low frequency tonesbelieve this may set a trend for other towns in the
chief Mike Monge, test the device to seeofhow far the vibrations materials allowing vehicle operators
                                  advantage      penetrating and shaking solid
                                                                               state,” perhaps even
could be felt. The sirens were easily felt when standing nearthe sound waves, andDively said. see their
                                  and nearby pedestrians to FEEL the ve-
                                  effects through a shaking rearview mirror.
hicle. Next, Dively and Suggs sat in a Jeep about 20 feet away, but              The device is currently used in New York City, Washington, D.C.,
were unable to feel anything. Even so, the benefits are aplenty.
                                  Secondary System with Built-in Safety        Chicago, Philadelphia, and other cities. For more information, visit
  “This is useful for when peopleIn addition to the primary adds a
                                   are on their cell phones, amplifier          speaker, the RUMBLER
                                     secondary amplifier. This gives the system the ability to sense the currently
                                     enabled siren tone signal, reduce the signals’ frequency by 75%, and amplify
                                     the sound through a pair of high output woofers. The systems’ timer allows the
                                     tone to sound for 10 seconds, and then automatically shuts off. The result is a
                                     highly effective backup emergency tone, especially when transitioning hazardous
                                     traffic intersections. The RUMBLER is particularly effective when used in dense urban
                                     environments with heavy vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
                                     A complete RUMBLER intersection-clearing system consists of an amplifier, a timer,

     Minnesota Trees:                two subwoofers, and vehicle specific mounting hardware. This system can be
                                     paired with most 100/200-watt emergency siren amplifiers and the RUMBLER
                                     system is most effective when used as an intersection-clearing device where heavy

    Pretty, Aren’t They?             vehicle and pedestrian traffic is present.

  W           e Minnesotans love our trees. Yet we don’t do
              enough to save them. That’s why MADC offers
              members The Deaf Advocate in full color if
  they receive it as a .PDF file via e-mail. This helps MADC save
  costs and save trees, too.

  In fact, if enough people subscribe to the color newsletter,
  we’ll plant a tree in honor of MADC. Or maybe even two trees.
  Let’s keep Minnesota beautiful and encourage your friends to
  subscribe to the color version of this newsletter.

  If you would like to receive the newsletter via e-mail instead
  of via mail, please e-mail

  Be sure to also sign up for our FREE e-newsletter by going to The e-newsletter is a separate publication
  from The Deaf Advocate; you do not have to be a member
  to receive the e-newsletter.

                                                                                                                              Spring 2008                     9
      Deaf Advocate

                   Did You Know?                                                           DHHSD News
        OnStar Now Available Via TTY                                         By Bruce Hodek, Division Director
           OnStar has partnered with GM Mobility to offer TTY services on
        select 2007 and 2008 model year vehicles to deaf, hard of hearing,
        and speech-impaired subscribers at little or no additional cost.
          With this service, deaf, hard of hearing, and speech-impaired
        subscribers have 24-hours-a-day access to TTY advisors through
                                                                             V        incent (Lee) Clark has accepted the position of Deaf-
                                                                                      Blind Specialist for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ser-
                                                                                      vices Division (DHHS). Lee begins March 5, working to
                                                                             improve services for those with dual vision and hearing loss.
                                                                             He comes to us from North Carolina where he was a DeafBlind
        the blue OnStar button and the red Emergency button. Also, ac-
                                                                             specialist for the NC Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard
        cess to OnStar’s Hands-Free Calling capability2 is made available
                                                                             of Hearing. He is no stranger to Minnesota, having lived here
        through the dial pad.
                                                                             in the past.
          For more information, visit
                                                                               Terry Tauger has been appointed as a mental health special-
                                                                             ist for the DHHS-Rochester office. Terry obtained his master’s
                                                                             degree in social work from Gallaudet University in 2001, and
        Hearing Aid Resource Guide
                                                                             previously worked at an outpatient mental health clinic in De-
          In the market for hearing aids? Unsure of which model to get? A
                                                                             troit. He began working with us on Feb. 20 under the supervi-
        great resource guide is the “Consumer’s Guide to Hearing Aids,”
                                                                             sion of Dr. John Gournaris.
        available at the Hearing Loss Association of America website. This
                                                                               The metro office organized and hosted two legal forum work
        guide is a 24-page color booklet illustrating the different styles
                                                                             groups to begin addressing issues related to access to attor-
        of hearing aids and comparing different models and features.
                                                                             neys and courts, interpreter funding, and training for attorneys.
        Published in 2006, this guide explains about analog and digital
                                                                             DHHS is also working to complete an educational DVD ad-
        hearing aids, compares 27 brands, and provides a glossary and
                                                                             dressing steps to prepare for an emergency. This DVD will in-
                                                                             clude signing, captioning, and voice-overs.
          Available for $4.25, the guide may be bought by going to www.
                                                                               DHHS continues to improve its website at and clicking on “materials.”
                                                                             Please take a few minutes to give us your feedback.
                                                                               Have a great spring!

       10             Spring 2008
                                                                                                                                         Deaf Advocate

                         Rewards Begin With One Step
       By Ric-Olin Lyles
                                                                               Being part of MADC either as a member, volunteer, board mem-
       Board Treasurer
                                                                             ber, or committee member – or even all of the above – is reward-

       I    have to make an admission: I never really got involved in com- ing. MADC needs your talent, enthusiasm and support, even if it
            munity organizations when I was younger. I thought I was too is simply by joining and not doing much more. Your membership is
            busy, because I had three kids, a job, and other interests. How- a loud voice and valuable asset. What supports the community is
       ever, when I began to work with several federal employees who MADC, and what supports MADC is Y-O-U!
       were deaf or hard of hearing to establish our own organization, I       I know it is hard for many to get excited and become involved,
       realized how important it is to volunteer. As                                                 especially those who have families or are
       a co-founder of the Deaf and Hard of Hear- “. . .it was a great honor for me enjoying retirement. But think of the people
       ing in Government (DHHIG), the organiza-                                                      123 years ago: they never once said, “I’m
       tion has grown to include an annual confer-               to know that I was                  too busy.” They simply gathered in Faribault
       ence that hundreds attend from around the          continuing the work of deaf and established this deaf-run, deaf-empow-
       nation. It all began with just a few of us.                                                   ered and deaf-centered organization. Now,
         This made me regret not getting involved
                                                           people from 123 years ago.                123 years from now: will there still be vol-
       with other organizations. When I moved to          That makes my heart swell unteers like these people in Faribault? I say
       Minnesota in 2001, I decided to become                                                        YES! I strongly encourage you to be part of
                                                              with enormous pride.”                  this ongoing legacy for future generations of
       active with MADC for many reasons. I ap-
       preciate MADC’s long history and great ac-                                                    deaf people. They will look back on our gen-
       complishments. When I became part of the board last summer at                                 eration with tremendous pride and respect
       the conference, it was a great honor for me to know that I was con-   as they commence their leadership.
       tinuing the work of deaf people from 123 years ago. That makes          Rewards for MADC, for yourself, and for future generations all
       my heart swell with enormous pride.                                   begin with a single step: joining MADC, or renewing your mem-
         I am also thankful for those who have rallied for MADC for so bership. Come along as MADC continues its advocacy, community
       long–a small group of devoted people. They have strived to bring organizing, and history for all Deaf Minnesotans.
       the best to MADC not for themselves, but for YOU.                       To join or renew, visit

       Hospital Prepared for Deaf Babies
IZES • ENTER GRAND DRAWING • WIN PRIZES • ENTER GRAND DRAWING                             Dive in!
                                                                                          Become a part of the all-new, revolutionary
                                                                                          NAD Across America campaign!
       HOSPITAL, continued from page 7
       react to something is fueled by the amount of negativity involved,                 Here’s the rundown:
       or the lack of.                                                                    Our goal is to expand the NAD by 5,000 more
         Maybe my husband and I shouldn’t have been so surprised by                       individual members. In doing so, together we will
                                                                                          create a new online NAD community, filled with
       District One Hospital’s matter-of-fact approach. After all, this is a              v/blogs.
       town with a large deaf population and the Minnesota State Acad-
       emy for the Deaf. The hospital has had hundreds, if not thousands,                   rough this effort, the NAD will become an even
       of deaf patients over the years. The staff there knows being deaf                  more powerful advocate.
       isn’t a death sentence, and they were prepared in what resources                   Me, what—how?!

NAD Across America
       to offer.
         Even so, it was a relief to us to not have to deal with uninvited
       negativity upon learning Eavan’s hearing status. We were simply
                                                                                          Simply sign up to become a NAD recruiter and get
                                                                                          others to do the same. Help us generate donations
                                                                                          to increase NAD visibility and advocacy impact.
       more concerned about her jaundice, whether she was pooping                         Okay, I’m interested! When is it?
       enough, and if she was warm enough. The hospital provided all                      Right now! e NAA campaign runs from
       the right resources, support and information for us - without a                    November 1st, 2007 through March 31, 2008.
                                                                                          Start now—recruit and win!
       trace of pity or sorrow. That was exactly how we wanted our birth
       experience to be, especially with such a healthy baby who delights
       us every single day.                                                               What are you waiting for?
        This article originally appeared at on January                       Become the top dog in the competition!
       30, 2008. Reprinted with permission.
                                                                                          THE GAME BEGINS AT:
        Trudy Suggs and Randy Shank gave birth to a daughter,                   
       Eavan Idell Shank, on December 19, 2007. MADC extends its
       congratulations to their new family.

                                                                                                                   Spring 2008                  11
    Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens
    604 7th Ave. NE
    Stewartville, MN 55976-1531
                                                                                      TIME-SENSITIVE MAIL

  Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens

                             Name           ___________________________________________________________

                           Address          ___________________________________________________________


                            Phone           ___________________________________________________________

                             Email          ___________________________________________________________

Membership Fees
               Regular – $10/year                q One year             q Two Years         q   ___ years
               Senior Citizens – $8/year         q One year             q Two Years         q   ___ years
               H.S. Students – $5/year           q One year             q Two Years         q   ___ years
               Organizations – $25/year          q One year             q Two Years         q   ___ years

Make checks payable to MADC, and mail to:        MADC Membership
                                                 Jane Harders                    Memberships: $ ________
                                                 604 7th Ave. NE                   Donations: $ ________
                                                 Stewartville, MN 55976-1531          TOTAL: $ ________


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