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Steven A Keeping in Touch The Metro

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									                               Keeping in Touch
                                The Metro Washington
                              Association of the Deaf-Blind
                                        Newsletter – Fall 2009

Letter from the President
Karen Bailey
      Summer is soon coming to an end and my friends in Colorado report
that the leaves on the Aspen trees are changing to fall colors. It seems like
yesterday that we were enjoying the beginning of summer with picnics,
swimming, and Fourth of July celebrations.
Many of you were able to attend deaf-blind camps this summer, seeing old
friends and meeting new, enjoying new activities and making memories.
Many of you visited with family. Some of us celebrated new relationships,
new children, and new grandchildren             (continued on page 2)

      Everyone enjoyed our 25th Anniversary gala! (see page 4)
                Photos courtesy of Deb Livingston
and some of us celebrated the memories of people who have passed away. It
has been a summer full of life’s joy, struggle, and surprise.
      As a relatively new member of our local Deaf-Blind community, I am
often impressed by the level of support that we provide to each other. This
support sometimes comes in the form of a ride to an appointment, a
nutritious meal, a shoulder to cry on, or a game of cards. I have learned
about the kindness and generosity of this community and feel privileged to
be a member.
      I am sure that all of us have become quite familiar with stories of
economic hardship which are the result of our current economic situation.
Many have compared our current situation with that of the Great Depression
where unemployment reached almost 25%. Many people feel that we are
already recovering but many are without jobs and have lost savings and
their homes. Of course, we know that people with disabilities are more
likely to struggle with employment and this is true within our community as
      However, we have built a network of support for people who are deaf-
blind. We have relationships which can give us courage to try our hardest
even in the most difficult of times. We can come together and enjoy time
with others who understand and who share similar frustrations and triumphs.
I always look forward to a good laugh with friends at our events, and often
the memory of those moments gives me the strength to advocate for myself,
even in confusing or frustrating situations.
      As we begin our fall season, let’s all try to remember our community
and the strength and joy we provide for each other.

                 2009 MWADB Award Nominations
                    Deadline September 30, 2009

We are excited to think about recognizing people with the MWADB
2009 awards! Please consider nominating someone who deserves
an MWADB award this year, and read the information starting on
page 23.

                        MWADB Social Activities
2:00-5:00 Saturday, October 17th - SSP Appreciation Day
Brookville Farms, Olney, MD –
   Everybody is welcome to attend our event at Brookville Farms.
   We will have refreshments (anonymous donor) and a cash bar.
   Deaf-blind members who want to show appreciation but cannot come,
     you can send a card or a self-video to Steve Collins.
   We will have a 40th and a 50th birthday celebration for ... who??
     (no birthday gifts, please! But donations to SSP fund welcomed)
   RSVP deadline: October 13! Contact Steven Collins (see below)

2:00-9:00 Saturday, November 15th - Holiday Feast and Election
Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Avenue, NE, Washington, DC

Join us for a holiday feast! MWADB will provide turkey, you bring the rest.
We will play games starting at 2:00, then election at 4:30, dinner at 6:00 and
then awards (see page 23 to nominate people for the awards).

For RSVP and/or information, or if you need an SSP / transportation or
want to volunteer as SSP, please contact:
   Steven Collins at <>
     If you can’t use email, you can contact:
   TTY: Ann Black – 301-309-6180
   Voice: Deb Livingston - 734-646-1193
   To receive email announcements of MWADB events and news,
     contact Dona Sauerburger at <>

            Highlights of our past MWADB events!
      Read about some of the fun we had -- see pages 4-14.

           MWADB Anniversary – What a Silvery Night
                      by Ann C. Black

      MWADB celebrated its SILVER ANNIVERSARY at the
Gallaudet University Multi-
Purpose Room on Saturday, April
18, 2009, one day before the real
anniversary (April 19, 1984). The
room glittered everywhere with
silver decorations and a lucky
silver 25 centerpiece on each
table, surrounded with mints.
Everyone loved the feeling the
room gave us for our MWADB
25th anniversary.
      Doreen Monroe cooked and
served a really delicious dinner
that we will never forget. Beef, hot
chicken salad, brown potatoes,
spinach salad with strawberries,
rolls, and drinks. I can still
remember how delicious the dinner was, and how people raved
about it.
      Blaise Delahoussaye, the Master of Ceremony, and Karen
Bailey, Ann Black and Steven Collins opened the program to
welcome all people who attended this special event. The theme,
“Looking Forward to a Greater Future,” was presented by our
keynote speaker, Jamie Pope, Executive Director of the American
Association of the Deaf-Blind. Jamie, who was once a president of
MWADB, gave a very interesting history of MWADB. She then gave
a future outlook on technology and services for individuals who are
deaf-blind, such as video relay service. It was an inspiring speech,
and we thank Jamie for being there with us -- we felt her spirit and
hope for a greater future of us all.

                            Photo to the left:
                            An SSP Coordinator’s duty is never done!
                            Steven Collins stands watch throughout
                            the evening to ensure that everyone has
                            comfortable communication, and that the
                            needs of deaf-blind people and SSPs are

     During a special moment, all the past and present presidents of
MWADB introduced themselves briefly except Betsy Wohl and Jack
Wright. We really missed our first president, the late Jack Wright, at
our celebration, but we all knew he was with us in our hearts. Art
Roehrig, who helped establish MWADB, spoke on behalf of Jack.
Wish Betsy could have made it too!

      Former and present MWADB Presidents on stage with SSPs:
[left to right]: Art Roehrig (for Jack Wright) with his SSP, Phillip Smith,
   Blaise Delahoussaye, (Ann Black is behind Blaise with her SSP),
                  Steven Frank and his SSP, Jamie Pope,
 Lisa Pugh, SSP, Karen Bailey with SSP Coordinator Steven Collins.
The Presidents (in order of presentation) were:
    Art Roehrig [below, on the far left], speaking for Jack Wright;

                Phillip Smith;               Ann Black;

                    Steven Frank;        Jamie Pope;
Lisa Pugh           Blaise Delahoussaye

            Karen Bailey

      Blaise donated two beautiful anniversary cakes (one is shown
on the front page). Each had the MWADB name and logo on it, and
April 19, 1984. Ann led the song “Happy Anniversary to MWADB.”
Everyone enjoyed eating the delicious yellow or chocolate cake -- I
think we all gained a few pounds (just kidding!).
      Then Jay Einhorn (“JAG”), from
Florida, gave a terrific entertaining,
humorous and educational show on deaf-
blindness. JAG is himself deaf-blind too.
He wore a nice, dark outfit and used his
white cane to do some of the
performance in order to give us more DB
Power in our spirit – real cool! In the
photo here (courtesy of Deb Livingston),
he is giving me a framed, signed picture
of himself with a painting that he used in
his stories.

                                                  Our guest, Ellen
                                            Farnham, Vice President of
                                            Programs at Columbia
                                            Lighthouse for the Blind
                                            (pictured here with her
                                            husband John) pulled the
                                            name of the lucky winner of
the fifty-fifty raffle ticket -- guess who that lucky winner was!? Our
own Treasurer, Bruce Denhart! Bruce donated most of the money to
the MWADB fund, which was very generous.
      All in all, it was a great silvery night as well as a night to
remember MWADB history. We thank all the wonderful people,

including interpreters and SSPs, for being there to make it a special
celebration for MWADB’s 25th anniversary.
MWADB 25th Anniversary Workshops
by Karen Bailey
     In combination with our wonderful evening banquet, we were
also able to enjoy two workshops during the morning and afternoon.
The workshops were both held in a large classroom in the SAC
building at Gallaudet University. In the morning, we learned about
Leader Dogs for the Blind in Rochester, Michigan, and their guide
dog program that is deaf-blind focused. Trainer Ellie Carlson
explained the program at Leader Dogs, including the puppy raising
program, training of future Leader dogs, and the student training
program. She then answered questions from the audience, including
how blind people are able to clean up after their dog, and clarification
of the ADA law regarding service animals.

 Participants enjoy the workshop presentation, facilitated by SSPs.
                  Photo courtesy of Deb Livingston

     We enjoyed box lunches in the Marketplace area of the SAC
building, which were prepared by Bon Appétit Catering. It was a
gorgeous, sunny day and we had a chance to chat with friends and
meet attendees from out of the area. In the afternoon, we went back
to the classroom and Jason Corning shared travel experiences and
tips [in photo to the right, with Steven Collins].
With numerous questions and comments from
the audience, we were able to consider some of
his ideas for our local transportation system. His
stories about traveling with his Leader Dog,
Spencer, were humorous and informative. After
the workshops, everyone had a chance to rest
before the evening banquet began. It was an
enjoyable day and, as usual, it was wonderful to
be together.

MWADB Picnic
by Ann C. Black

      MWADB hosted its annual picnic at Wheaton regional Park in
Maryland on Saturday, June 6, 2009. We had over thirty people for
this outdoor picnic. Many brought delicious food.
      We went on the train ride and the merry-go-around which was
fun. Many of us felt like kids, riding around the park ha, ha. After
that, we played a hot-potato game but passed water balloons around
in a circle instead of a potato. When I waved the flag to stop, the
person who had the water balloon was out. The lucky winner was
Michael Martin, who got an MWADB cap as a prize. Congratulations,
      Of course we all chatted away, to catch up with each other.
Cynthia Ingham, who is the HKNC Regional Representative for our
area, joined us. We were lucky to have terrific weather and enjoyed
the breezy air.
      Many thanks to you all for your wonderful support. Also special
thanks to all of the SSPs for your terrific help to make it a success!
Big smiles to all of you.
MWADB Visits Historic Mount Vernon
by Karen Bailey

       On March 28th, members and friends of MWADB traveled to
beautiful Mount Vernon, Virginia, to visit the home and plantation of
President George Washington and his wife, Martha. The estate is
owned and maintained by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association,
which was kind enough to provide us with reduced rate admission
and a special educational program.
       We started at the recently opened Ford Orientation Center,
which houses works of art depicting the Washingtons and their lives
as well as artifacts from their era. Of special delight to us were the
life sized statues of the Washingtons and Martha’s grandchildren,
which we were able to explore with our hands. This allowed everyone
to develop a clear understanding (or reminder) of what the family
looked like and how they dressed.
       We then walked to the flagpole and I was selected to raise the
flag. It was quite an honor. We then recited the Pledge of Allegiance
and continued on our tour.
       Next, we visited the mansion where the Washingtons and their
grandchildren lived. Guides explained the history of the home and
described the daily life of the family. We were able to see the original
furnishings and treasures which George Washington collected during
his life, including the key to the Bastille which was a gift from the
Marquis de Lafayette. We noticed the small size of the rooms, stairs,
and hallways and compared them to the relatively huge rooms and
stairways which are built today. After visiting the inside of the house,
we relaxed briefly on the veranda which overlooks a sloping lawn and
the Potomac River. The view of this porch and columns is the most
commonly depicted side of Mount Vernon.
       After viewing the house, we walked past pastures which are still
used for grazing farm animals, including cattle and sheep. We
walked through the forest and past the large (and still functioning)
gristmill where Washington ground corn and wheat. We soon arrived
at the George Washington’s pioneer farmer site, where we enjoyed a
wool carding demonstration and an explanation of wool processing
from sheep to sweater by a docent who was dressed as people were
dressed in those times. We were able to feel the materials and the
tools and it was a very informative lesson.

           Photos of wool carding courtesy of Phillip Smith

     Next, we enjoyed a wonderful sightseeing cruise on the
Potomac River. There was indoor seating and a snack bar as well as
places to enjoy the cool breeze and light rain that was falling.
     After our boat ride, we went to lunch in the cafeteria and chatted
with each other. The cafeteria itself looked out onto the estate
gardens and it was a nice rest before we continued with our tour.
     During the afternoon, we met in a classroom and enjoyed
hands-on exploration of artifacts (or recreations of artifacts) from the
18th century. These artifacts included musical instruments, household
items, clothing, and tools. Some of us actually tried on the clothing
and posed for pictures. There was also a large model of
Washington’s house which we could explore and understand its
design and furnishings.

Photos at top of next page: Blaise Delahoussaye shows Ron Ferris
the clothing and wooden water canteen that the Mount Vernon folks
lent him to wear.

                                    Philip Smith touches a Life
                                    Mask, which was made by
                                    putting plaster on George
                                    Washington’s face while he
                                    was still alive.

     Some of us stayed longer and explored the gift shop, and some
of us headed home but all of us enjoyed a very entertaining and
informative day.
MWADB Mexican Night by Ann Black
     MWADB hosted a Mexican night on Saturday, September 12,
2009 at the Gallaudet University SAC Building. Karen Bailey, our
President, cooked a delicious Mexican dinner – we all raved about
how tasty it was – hats off to super Chef Karen!
                                     After dinner, Karen introduced
                                Dan Arabie, who is the new President
                                of the American Association of the
                                Deaf-Blind (left). Getting to meet and
                                chat with him was a nice surprise.
                                     We were also delighted to see
                                Kathleen (“KC”) Spears and Stanley
                                Corinski. KC had just moved to
                                Virginia from California to be near her
                                son Paul and his wife Virginia. It was
                                good to see Stanley back with Jean
after he made a remarkable recovery (see page 25). He had a great
time eating that delicious dinner and seems to be bouncing back
again. Welcome Dan, KC and Stanley!

(left) Eddie Martinez; (right) Dan’s bingo card is declared a winner!
      After dinner we had great fun playing bingo. Prizes included
MWADB hat, T-shirts, and anniversary mugs. Dan and KC each won
a weekend getaway cabin at Shenandoah farms in Front Royal, VA.
      Many thanks to SSP Coordinator, Steven Collins, and the many
wonderful SSPS for making this event a success!
 Member News, Stories and Announcements
This is YOUR column! Send in your stories, accomplishments, news,
suggestions and information to Dona Sauerburger at .

Congratulations Tamara!
     Tamara Ward, an MWADB active member, graduated in May
from Gallaudet University with bachelor degree in Social Work.
Excitingly, she got a new internship as a Social Worker in Deaf-Blind
Senior Citizens program at The Deaf-Blind Service Center in Seattle,
Washington last summer. Congrats, Tamara!

My Mom’s Memorial Service
by Shelley Simms
     This summer, my mom passed away in her sleep in California.
She was 96 years young, and had very bad dementia. I was very
thankful that she had no pain.
     I have a very loving and loyal sister. She had been under
tremendous stress, going back and forth to California every six
weeks to work on Mom’s bills and make sure of the needs of her
caretaker. She and I planned her memorial service. Mom had
requested that her ashes be thrown in the gardens that she really
     We had the service August 1, at the Church in the Forest in
Carmel by the Sea, which has a very nice community of people. My
sister got an interpreter for the service. I signed and sang the Lord's
Prayer, and gave a good speech of how Mom watched over both me
and my sister. My sister was too overwhelmed with sadness to say
     She and I had a good visit. I was really surprised that two of my
cousins came to the service from New Orleans, where my mother
and I had been born. I had not seen them in many years. They told
me some very hard-stricken stories of what Hurricane Katrina did to
the city, which was hard to take emotionally. As a result of this, one
of them has moved to another city.
     When I came back home from the memorial service, I got some
very nice support email and mail, helping me recover from my grief.
My sister and I keep in touch and help each other in this time of our
emotional crisis. She has made some very good attempts to learn
sign language in the last 10 or 15 years – I feel very touched and
fortunate that we are so close and can communicate well.
     I feel good now, and feel that I can go on and make the best of
my life – Mom is very much in both of our spirits and joy. I hope to
see stories of what is going on with the MWADB group, and join
some activities to heal from all the events. Please pray for me at this
very hard time. Thanks for your prayers.

                Deaf-Blind Camping Adventures
      Many of our members attended deaf-blind camps, and
    we are delighted that some of them shared their adventures!

My Experience with Deaf-Blind Camp of Maryland
By Richard Putt
     This summer, my friend Blaise encouraged me to attend the
Deaf-Blind Camp in West River, Maryland, and so I went for the first
     What an inspiring adventure and beautiful place! But there were
some disadvantages – the weather did not cooperate, there was a lot
of rain and high humidity causing bad, muddy, splashes in some
roads. But sometimes we found nice weather!
     The SSPs were wonderful. They listened with their big hearts
and were willing to help every DeafBlind person. Some of them
didn't know DeafBlind people’s abilities and needs at first, but they
learned a lot by the end of the week.
     I was surprised that the Harley Davidson group (members of the
Christian Motorcycle Association) were happy to let us ride on their
motorcycles. It was really fun, a great new experience to ride on such
big motorcycles! We could enjoy it with all our senses – not only
could I see the forest as we rode, I felt the vibration of the motorcycle
and smelled the fresh air.
     And the "Safari" theme was great – we played games, danced,
partied, and had some education. I’ll never forget when I came to the
party dressed like a pure African dancer!!! It was fun. There were
also some nice tours of the Safari Museum, sightseeing in central of
DC, and shopping.
     Also they had many good activities -- crafts, art, Bible workshop,
massages, learning some basic Braille, etc. My favorite activities
were bowling and swimming with a lot of other DeafBlind people.
     Camping at West River, Maryland and camping at Seabeck,
Washington are similar, but of course they each have a different
environment, weather, and SSP's skills. It is extremely important for
you to have some good experiences in every different place. Thank
you for reading my article.

Deaf-Blind Camp of Maryland 2010 -- June 13-18
by Brenda Talley
     Our next Deaf-Blind Camp of Maryland will be June 13 - 18,
2010 at West River Methodist Retreat Center in West River,
Maryland, with training for Support Service Providers on Saturday,
June 12. The theme for next year is "Under the Sea - Pirates."
     Applications will go out this fall. If you are interested in getting
an application, contact Toby Witte-Dix at
Anyone who wants to volunteer should ask Brenda Talley for an SSP
application at

Seabeck Deaf-Blind Retreat – From an SSP’s Perspective
By Ed Knight
     This year, when Steven Frank and I went to the Seabeck Deaf-
Blind Retreat, I kept a diary of our trip. The Retreat is organized by
the Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind at the Seabeck Christian
Conference Center, just outside of Seattle. The buildings of the
Center actually were a small paper-mill town about a century ago,
until the mill closed down and it was bought and renovated.
. . . . Thursday, August 20, 2009
        Steven and I are getting packed to leave Saturday. Actually,
Steven is already packed – I'm waiting until the last minute, as usual!
I'm going to bring my laptop to the retreat, so I don't get separation
anxiety if I leave it at home.
. . . . Sunday, August 23, 2009
        Steven and I arrived in Seattle yesterday morning. It was a good
flight. When we arrived, we joined some deaf-blind friends at a tavern
in Capitol Hill named Julia's. We had a very nice time getting up-to-
date with everybody.
        A couple of our deaf-blind friends have the Deaf Blind
Communicator equipment. They explained how to use the text-
messaging functionality. Very cool!
        This afternoon, Steven and I arrived by charter bus at Seabeck,
a small town on the outskirts of Seattle overlooking Hood Canal. It is
very scenic. The weather here is cool and not humid, a nice break
from the humidity. I attended an orientation for the SSPs. Most of
them were interpreter trainees in their 20’s. Everyone is very
        I have my print schedule and Steven has his Braille schedule.
We are staying in the Inn this year (the main building, not one of the
cabins.) There's coffee and internet access in the lobby – nice!
. . . . Monday August 24, 2009
        Today I have the morning off, am working with Steven for the
afternoon shift, and will SSP for another person tonight. There are
about 80 deaf-blind campers and about 130 SSPs. Each SSP works
two four-and-a-half hour shifts and has one shift off. All SSPs are
off-duty from 5 PM to 6 PM, so that is a quiet time during each day.
As SSP, you follow the lead of your camper, and go with them for
whatever activity they choose. The whole idea is to give the campers
a week without barriers.

        For each shift there are at least two Team Leaders. Many of the
Team Leaders work for the Lighthouse for the Blind and most of
them are deaf-blind themselves. There are extra SSPs who are on
standby. If you are on standby, your schedule says "See Team
Leader". You wait in the lobby or some designated place for the
Team Leader to give you an assignment. This gives the Team
Leaders flexibility to assign SSPs to campers as the need arises, and
makes everything go more smoothly. There is also a camp nurse,
Claudia, who is both an RN and an interpreter.
. . . . Tuesday August 25, 2009
        It's a gloomy day at Seabeck but it's still better than being in my
cubicle at work!
        Last night I worked as SSP for a camper I had not met before.
He is a very nice, positive person. Yesterday Steven spent two
hours in the hot tub chatting with friends. Today Steven got a demo
of a GPS that is accessible for deaf-blind people. I am off duty and
Steven let me observe, since I was curious how it works. Of course
it has a Braille display. We got info about the manufacturer so that
later, I can look it up on the internet. It's fun to learn about these new
gadgets for deaf-blind people.
        The food at Seabeck is wonderful, and there is a salad bar this
year. One problem with the salad bar, though, is that you stand in
line for salad, and by the time you get back to your table they have
already served dinner family-style. So by the time you finish your
salad, the main dish is either cold, or gone. Then as an SSP, you
need to go to other tables to find which ones have plenty of the main
dish left, and then ask if you can please steal some for your camper.
That's a little awkward, but it usually works out okay.
. . . . Wednesday August 26, 2009
        Last night I went to a yoga workshop for interpreters. I've never
had a yoga class before. I learned that I am not very flexible!
Maybe this would be good for my shoulder stiffness. I will look into
taking a yoga class but will have to figure out how to find the time.
Guess I just need to make the time.

     Today I went with Steven to watch him bicycling while I take
photos. I took a photo of Steven with his SSP on a type of bike I've
never seen before -- it looks like fun! Steven and the SSP were
riding a recumbent tandem bike with four wheels, and the riders
seated side-by-side.

         Steven and his SSP, Allison, on the tandem bicycle

     I showed up to get an assignment but never got assigned to any
duty, so I have some free time. There is a massage therapist in the
lobby so I signed up and I got a neck, shoulder, arm and hand
massage. I love Seabeck!

        At lunch we had a salmon BBQ -- delicious! Tonight we went
bowling. I was SSP for another camper I had not met before. At first
he did not want to bowl but he changed his mind. As an SSP I could
have bowled if I had wanted to. SSPs can join in some of the
activities when they are off-duty, but the bowling seems to be one
activity that SSPs can join while they are on-duty as long as they are
giving their campers attention.
        Being around all the interpreters here makes me realize I still
have room for improvement with my ASL. I remind myself that the
other volunteers sign every day, all day long, and I work in an office
with hearing people. But the more I socialize with Deaf people, the
more I learn. I enjoy learning more signs.
. . . . Thursday August 27, 2009
        We went to the county fair. In the morning I was off-duty so I
stayed with Steven for the most part and took photos of him with his
SSP. I was on standby in the afternoon, and after an hour I was
dismissed to have the rest of the afternoon off.
        Sometimes being an SSP at Seabeck means waiting around for
an assignment, which is a little dull, but at least you are in a beautiful
place. I joined Steven with his afternoon SSP but then we got
separated and I wandered around the fair ground until it was time to
catch the bus back
to the retreat center.

. . . . Friday August
      I had the
afternoon off so I
joined Steven on a
water taxi ride
around the Hood
Canal [photo right],
which took us to
Pleasant Harbor.
Very scenic.
     Then I had SSP duty for an old friend of ours, so that was nice.
We attended a BBQ on a lawn near the retreat center, next to the
Hood Canal beach. It was not a sandy beach, it was a little strip full
of oyster shells. The BBQ was nice and then we all went back to the
Meeting House for a final party. It started raining but luckily by then
we were inside. The music at the party was so loud that the hearing
SSPs like me had to wear earplugs. There was lots of dancing
including a conga line. Steven danced with his SSP Kaila and also
danced in the conga line. My feet hurt from dancing in that conga line!

Steven is dancing at the end of the conga line, behind Brenda (SSP)
and Wim (camper from Holland)

 . . . Saturday August 29, 2009
        I packed at the last minute (as usual) and we said some quick
goodbyes to old friends and caught the chartered bus to the Center
Park apartments and then took a cab to the hotel to have one more
day in Seattle. We had dinner at a Thai restaurant in the Capitol Hill
neighborhood of Seattle. It seems like a very pleasant city, and I
could picture living there happily.
. . . . Sunday August 30, 2009
        Today is our last day out West. The weather was sunny except
for one rain shower, and that happened while we were all inside
anyway. We had a great time at Seabeck!

              2009 Award Nominations for MWADB
           Lisa R. Pugh, Award Nominations Chairperson

     The board has worked exceptionally hard to ensure that the
MWADB family stay in touch, have fun, as well as continue to
educate others about deaf-blind issues. As you know, time is set
aside every election year to recognize those people and
organizations that have demonstrated their skills and donated time to
keep MWADB going.
     As chairperson of the Award Nominations Committee, I
encourage that you consider whom you would like to see receive an
award and send me those names by FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25.
Historically, MWADB has given four awards; below are brief
descriptions of each, as approved by the board in 2005.

Jack Wright Award
(Formerly “Deaf-Blind Person of the Year Award”)
    This award is given to a deaf-blind person who lives in the DC
metropolitan area, and can be a MWADB member or non-member.

Board and committee members are eligible except for the current
President, and members of the Award Nomination Committee.
    To be nominated, the person must have made a significant
accomplishment as a Deaf-Blind person; for example:
  - Demonstrated that Deaf-Blind people CAN!
  - Helped or encouraged other Deaf-Blind people
  - Made significant progress in learning skills to be independent
  - Made others aware of Deaf-Blind people and their capabilities
  - Advocated effectively on behalf of Deaf-Blind people and their

Hard Worker of the Year
     This person must be a member of MWADB and can be Deaf-
Blind, Sighted, Deaf, or Hearing-Sighted. To be considered for this
award, she/he will have made a significant impact on MWADB by
working the hardest and/or impacting MWADB with an
action/decision that has a tremendous influence on MWADB’s
direction. Examples are:

  -Making people outside of the Deaf-Blind community more aware of
Deaf-Blind people and their capabilities
  -Advocating effectively on behalf of Deaf-Blind people and their
  -Establishing a program to enhance the ability of Deaf-Blind people
to lead independent and productive lives

MWADB’s Special Recognition
     Nominees for this award can be a person or an organization with
no affiliation with or membership of MWADB, and who provided a
significant commitment, support, or donation to assist MWADB to be
stronger and more effective as an organization. Examples might
   -Providing many hours of volunteer time in some way
   -Donating funds to defray costs
   -Contributing to the accessibility to the needs of Deaf-Blind people
Support Service Provider (SSP) of the Year
     This individual is recognized for volunteering the most hours of
time, commitment, and energy at MWADB events and/or board
meetings during the previous year. He/she exudes a positive attitude
toward a variety of Deaf-Blind people and other SSPs, is an ally of
Deaf-Blind people, upholds the ideals/morals of an SSP, and is a
good role model for all other SSPs to look up to.
The recipient of this award does not have to be a member of
MWADB, and must be Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or a Hearing-Sighted

     Please send me your nominations for these awards and include
a reason why you chose that person to receive the award. The same
person cannot receive more than one award.
     Send your nominations to my email address or to Lisa Pugh, 2204 Greenery Lane, unit
201, Silver Spring, MD, 20906.
    Again, I’d like your responses NO LATER THAN Friday,
September 25. After I hear from you, a ballot will go out listing the
nominees. I appreciate your help with this.

My Visit with Stanley Corinski
by Phillip Smith

     Last April, Stanley Corinski was in the hospital, and Jean
Esquivel sent a message to MWADB members and friends asking if
anyone would be interested in sending him a card or visiting him. I
decided to visit him to cheer him up, and wanted to have a chance to
get to know him better.
     So Jean and I went to Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma
Park, MD one evening and met Stanley. He was thrilled to see us,
especially Jean. He used an oxygen tank to help him to breath. He
had congestive heart failure. He had 3 interpreters for 24 hours each
day to help him to communicate with a nurse or a doctor anytime.
       It was my first time to talk attentively with him. He told me
something about his old school, his old Auto Shop job, and how
much he loves to go to MWADB events. Jean was his "Angel" who
helps him by explaining why he is in the hospital. She has a great
heart to contribute her time with Stanley. He is really lucky to have
someone like her! At end of our visit that evening, I told him that I
hope that he will soon go to MWADB event and he smiled! Jean and
I left for home.
       A week later he got out of the hospital and looked much better.
He spent more time exercising to improve his heart and breathing,
and for a few weeks a visiting nurse went to his home twice a week
to check his pulse, blood pressure and body temperature. He seems
to be doing fine now.

Update: Stanley is indeed doing better and in great spirits - he came
to the MWADB Mexican event with Jean Saturday, September 12!
He said he loved Karen Bailey's Mexican dinner and was impressed
with her cooking skills.


    Silver Anniversary mugs
         one mug costs $5.99
         a set of four mugs cost $15.00

    MWADB T shirts
       (with MWADB logo)
      Shirts cost $15. each

Please contact Ann Black if interested in
purchasing any items:
A Visit to Louis Braille's Grave in Paris
by Blaise Delahoussaye

      Before flying overseas to France in July 2008, I thought about
what I wanted to do in the hearty city of Paris. I recalled that the
world's well-known blind Braille inventor named Louis Braille died
somewhere in that area. Yes, I found out his grave is located in that
city -- my adventure started!
      Full of curiosity, I went to The Pantheon, inside of which many
French national heroes were buried. Wow, that building is so
beautiful -- huge, spacious and tall, with a very glamorous lobby
when you first enter. There are different rooms, so I searched for
some information about where I could find Braille's grave.
    Yes, I found its exact location, but I felt like a ghost myself. Why?
It was SO dark inside the room! It had many arches, with about 8
graves on each wall on the left and right side. I could hardly see the
name of Louis Braille so I used my hands to touch and identify his
name and dates. It was a struggle to see what it was really like. I
used a digital camera to take some shots and oh, it was much better
to see it in that camera than in that room!
      I learned that his grave was moved to The Pantheon in 1952,
after 100 years in a simple grave in a small village east of Paris. At
the time he was buried, he was just like everybody else but later, his
invention of Braille had spread all over the world for blind people who
finally were able to write and read. His name has become
increasingly recognized for making an important difference for blind
people. What an honor to have his grave in The Pantheon!
      Let's honor his birthday of 200 years, and recognize the
difference he made for the people who use the Braille system.

New Deaf-Blind-friendly Website
by Scott Stoffel
       Get free humor and short fiction at Scott’s Mad World. The site
is easy for people who are blind or visually impaired to access. You
can read the humor pieces and stories in Rich or Plain Text. Also, be
sure to check out the great bopoks advertised in the Bookstore: All
books are by deaf-blind authors. New humor and stories are posted
at the beginning of every month, and some items are updated more
often. No registration is necessary.
       If you are a deaf-blind author and would like to share a story,
visit the Crazy Shorts page for info or send an email to
<> and ask about publishing options.
Deaf-blind authors of books can post free ads for their published
books on the site. Send an email for more info on this.
       Whether you’re a writer or a reader, I hope you’ll visit the site
and have fun. Go to the homepage at A
column of tabs down the left side of the screen provides links to the
various sections of the site. The sections include:
    Stoffel’s Guide: Humorous articles. Everything you didn’t need to
       know about something.
    Mad E’s Blog: A humorous science fiction blog.
    Crazy Shorts: Short stories of all sorts.
    Bookstore: See what works have been published by DB authors.
       Some titles have free sample downloads. Books are not sold
       directly by the site, but links are provided for purchasing books
       from other sites.
    Sane Stuff: DB blogs and worthy causes.
    Guestbook: Feel free to leave a note on the message board.

There are no fees or registration to deal with, so stop by as often as
you like!

              Welcome to New MWADB members!
                   by Blaise Delahoussaye

     It's good to know that we’ve got more new members who are
DeafBlind, Deaf and hearing to join us since last March. They are:
                            * Eleanor Brown
                              * Maria Fusco
                             * David Jessop
                             * Lynn Rafferty
                       * Richard and Cheri Putt
Let's greet each of them with your warmth whenever you see them.
Also, we welcome people who have not renewed their membership
or come to our socials for some time. Feel free to ask us any
questions or information.

MWADB Board members

 President                          SSP Coordinator
 Karen Bailey                       Steven Collins

 Vice-President                     Social Recreational Cultural
 Ann Black                          Chairperson              Yashaira Romilus
 301-309-6180 (TTY)       

 Treasurer                          By-Laws Chairperson
 Bruce Denhart                      Randall Pope       

 Secretary                          Parliamentarian
 Deb Livingston                     David Nelson
 (v) 734-646-1193         
           MWADB Membership Form
The Metropolitan Washington Association of the Deaf-Blind
(MWADB) is a social organization which meets monthly. Each
member is entitled to receive newsletters twice a year, the latest
e-news, and discount rates for social gatherings.

            1 YEAR                  2 YEARS
    –   Individual                 – Individual
    –   Student               – Student
    –   Senior (62 & older)        – Senior
    –   Couple                – Couple

 Donation (Thank You!) $________________
Date: ________
City, State, Zip+4:______________________________________
H-Phone #:_________________W-Phone #:_________________
E-mail address:________________________Fax #:___________

Want on e-
Your Birthday for newsletter greeting (Month/Day): ________

Make a check or money order payable to the order of MWADB
and mail this form along with the payment to:

Blaise Delahoussaye
MWADB Membership Coordinator
12109 Portree Drive
Rockville, MD 20852-2112

        Keeping in Touch is the official newsletter of the
       Metro Washington Association of the Deaf-Blind,
 an organization of people who are Deaf-Blind and their friends.

                 For more information, please email
       President Karen Bailey -
 or call Secretary Deb Livingston – (Voice / relay) 734-646-1193
   or visit our web site at

This newsletter is published twice a year. Unsolicited articles are
 welcome. Articles printed in this publication do not necessarily
      represent the views and activities of the organization.

 Photos submitted for consideration must be sent to the editors
          with assurance that everyone in the photo
                 has approved its publication.

           Dona Sauerburger 301-858-0138 (V/TTY)

                 Ann Black 301-309-6180 (TTY)

                Next Deadline: January 15, 2010

Inside . . .
1 Letter from the President
3 MWADB Social Activities
4 MWADB Anniversary – What a Silvery Night
9 MWADB 25th Anniversary Workshops
10 MWADB Picnic
11 MWADB Visits Historic Mount Vernon
14 MWADB Mexican Night
15 Member News, Stories and Announcements
15 Congratulations, Tamara!
15 My Mom's Memorial Service
Deaf-Blind Camping Adventures
16 My Experience with Deaf- Blind Camp of Maryland
17 Deaf-Blind Camp of Maryland 2010 -- June 13-18
17 Seabeck Deaf-Blind Retreat – From an SSP’s Perspective
23 2009 Award Nominations for MWADB
25 My Visit with Stanley Corinski
27 A Visit to Louis Braille's Grave in Paris
28 New Deaf-Blind- friendly Website
29 Welcome to New MWADB members!
29 MWADB Board members
30 Membership form
31 Editors' box

Metro Washington Association                                FREE MATTER
of the Deaf-Blind                                              FOR
c/o AADB                                                    THE BLIND
8630 Fenton Street, Suite 121
Silver Spring, MD 20910


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