Deaf Indiana

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The Week’s Top Deaf Indiana News

The week in Deaf Indiana News – July 12, 2010

Cards for Deaf Drivers in Evansville

Sycamore Services Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community Resource Center and the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office announced the initiative Thursday. Cards have been printed with instructions on communicating with law enforcement and helpful phrases to assist officers in communicating with the deaf or hard of hearing during a traffic stop. The cards will be placed above the visor in the vehicle, helping law enforcement officers be aware of the situation and provide them easy access to communication information.

Michelle Kirk, Sycamore Services spokeswoman, said 2,500 cards have been printed for deaf or hard of hearing drivers in Vanderburgh County. “We’ll keep the supply stocked. This is a great way to improve communication between the deaf and hard of hearing and law enforcement,” Kirk said. “We needed a way to make law enforcement aware that someone is deaf or hard of hearing, they may not be able to respond to officers.”

The communications cards work in conjunction with Sycamore Services’ 911 Emergency Registry program that gathers information from individuals about hearing difficulties and makes the data available to law enforcement officers. Kirk said there are currently 189 individuals listed on the registry, but there are many more people in the community who should register.

Sycamore Services began their 911 Emergency Registry program several years ago, and from that program came the idea for the communication cards in individual vehicles, Kirk said. The information gathered by the registry program provides fire and law enforcement personnel who are dispatched to a home with information about individuals with special needs so they can be better prepared to help in an emergency. As part of the program, local law enforcement agencies will be trained about what to expect when communicating with the deaf or hard of hearing. Sgt. Darren Baumberger of the Sheriff’s Office said his deputies began training with Sycamore Services on Thursday.

“The cards are fine, but for us it’s more about the program. Now that we know the services are available, we know what to expect when we encounter (the deaf or hard of hearing),” he said.As part of the program, Sycamore offers a phone number for sign language interpreters who will meet the officer on site. “We learned that to handcuff (the deaf or hard of hearing) behind their back would be like taping the mouth of a normal speaking person.” Baumberger said. More information about the program and communication cards is available at Sycamore Services Resource Center at 1510 N. Weinbach Ave. or by calling (812) 421-0847. Cards can be picked up at this location.


 Filmmakers take footage for PBS documentary

Hoosier native Wendy Wiatrowski and Maggie Gray are among several several members of the Gallaudet community who will appear in an upcoming PBS documentary, Becoming Helen Keller.

Wiatrowski, who is the Summer and Enrichment Programs coordinator in the College of Professional Studies, and Gray, a 10-year-old former KDES student, acted as hand models as a film crew shot footage in Gallaudet’s TV studio in the Merrill Learning Center.

Director Laurie Block of Straight Ahead Pictures and a film crew spent Tuesday, June 22, on campus, conducting interviews and capturing fingerspelled passages. Close-up scenes of hands fingerspelling will represent Helen Keller communicating at different stages of her life.

Block found Kendall Green an ideal setting. “Gallaudet is rich in skilled and expressive signers,” she said. “All of the talented people who worked with us on this element of the film were greatly appreciated. The personalities of each individual is so evident in their hands!”

Becoming Helen Keller will be part of the PBS “American Masters” series, co-produced by WNET in New York and WETA in Washington, D.C. As a compliment to the documentary, PBS is developing extensive online educational materials, including primary source documents and historic interpretations of Helen Keller’s life.  Education materials will be searchable by grade and aligned with National Social Studies standards.  The documentary is due to be released in 2012. (compiled from Gallaudet University website)

Boozer-Carter family Update

The family of a 15-year-old girl who was struck and killed by an SUV driven by a man who claimed he hadn’t taken his schizophrenia medication will not sue. An attorney for the family of Dawn Boozer-Carter said the family had planned to sue Derek Dewitt, 43, who admitted striking the girl and her mother, Tina Boozer-Carter, 41, and his father, who owned the car. But the attorney told 6News’ Kara Kenney on Thursday that they are working it out with the insurance companies and that the family will be compensated for their suffering.


Tina and Dawn Boozer-Carter were struck on May 20 as they raised money for the Indiana School for the Deaf, where Dawn was a student and athlete. Tina Boozer-Carter is also deaf. During a jailhouse interview with 6News, Dewitt said he had a psychotic episode and “saw something evil” before the crash.  He will go on trial on two charges of attempted murder next month. (compiled from the Indy Channel website)

Rhode Island School for the Deaf in Turmoil

Education Board may regain School for Deaf control State Education Commissioner says she will recommend returning full authority for the Rhode Island School for the Deaf to its board of trustees. Last year, at Gist’s behest, the state Board of Regents put the school under the direct supervision of the state Department of Education, in part because of the instability of the board’s membership. (Compiled from the Providence Journal)


Written by deafindiana

July 12, 2010 at 2:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized