Monthly Communicator­

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Monthly Communicator­

NJ Department of Human Services

Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

June 2010

Vol. 31 No. 6

Jon S. Corzine, Governor

Kim Guadagno, Lt. Governor

Jennifer Velez, Commissioner

David C. Alexander, Director

ASL Story Hour at NJ State Library Talking Book and Braille Center;

Students Enjoy Visiting Snake
Submitted by Chrissy Lam
Ed Borrone, Deaf-blind storyteller, was the special guest at the New Jersey State Library Talking Book and Braille Center’s (TBBC) Children’s American Sign Language Story Hour in April. Mr. Borrone signed The Snake Book, by Mary Ling, Mary Atkinson and Frank Greenaway, to students from the Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf and the public. The book is a brief introduction to 12 different types of snakes ranging from the boa constrictor to the everglades rat snake.
The story-telling with close-up, full color photographs set against stark white backgrounds allow readers to see the details of each reptile's body. The book has a very comprehensive section about the anatomy, hunting skills, habitats and senses of the snake.
Following the story, Ed Borrone described his own snake, “MaMa”, describing how she eats, and sleeps; and even how her skin sheds every three months. The students were then allowed to “meet and greet” MaMa. The Story Hour was interpreted into American Sign Language (ASL) thanks to support from the Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, a division of the New Jersey Department of Human Services.
The Story Hour is part of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Awareness Program offered by TBBC. TBBC is located at 2300 Stuyvesant Avenue in Trenton, NJ. For more information about the program, contact Christine Lam, Coordinator, at 877-882-5593 TTY or
PHOTO: Ed Borrone with MaMa, the boa constrictor

PHOTO: A Deaf-blind student from MKSD holds MaMa with Ed’s help.

PHOTO: MKSD students petting MaMa

Director’s Corner

By David Alexander, Director, Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DDHH)

Saturday June 12 is the 26th Annual Deaf and Hard of Hearing Awareness Day event hosted by the New Jersey Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The event will take place at Six Flags Great Adventure theme park located in Jackson, New Jersey. I hope you have ‘saved the date’ on your calendar and can join us.

The day event is planned to achieve two primary objectives. Foremost, activities throughout the park are designed to enhance the public’s awareness of hearing loss. This event reaches out to thousands of people in attendance at the park. Assistive listening devices and sign language interpreters are available to facilitate communication during various shows throughout the day, and will be made available for guest relations and the first aid building. DDHH staff and use of these services help expose the general public to different forms of communication access, while also enabling people with hearing loss to participate in all that the park has to offer with activities.
Second, the ticket sales proceeds for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Awareness Day benefit numerous organizations that ardently serve people with hearing loss. Specifically for this event, a portion of each ticket purchased from a sanctioned organization, or from the Six Flags’ Web site, goes to the organization to support their programs and services. See pages six and seven for a list of organizations participating in ticket sales or instructions for purchasing tickets from the Six Flags’ Web site.
I hope that you and your family will plan to join us for this annual awareness event. It is also a unique opportunity for your family to have a fun-filled day at Six Flags. Please stop by our exhibit table at the entrance to the park to meet the staff of our division.


The deadline for submissions to the combined September 2010 issue is August 1.

The deadline for the July/August issue was June 1.
Send e-mail submissions to the editor:

Submissions should be “text only,” preferably in a standard word document or within the body of an e-mail message (no pdf files). Photos, which accompany submissions are encouraged.

For a style sheet, contact the editor.

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Monthly Communicator

State of New Jersey

Department of Human Services

Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Director: David C. Alexander

Editor: Alan Champion

PO Box 074

Trenton, NJ 08625-0074

609-984-7281 V/TTY

800-792-8339 V/TTY

609-498-7019 VP (Video Phone) services/ddhh

The Monthly Communicator is published by the New Jersey Department of Human Services Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DDHH), a state agency. DDHH provides information, referral, and advocacy to service recipients. Information or articles provided by others does not imply endorsement by DDHH or the State of New Jersey. There are currently 8,700 copies of the MC distributed monthly.
Deadline for submissions:

First of the month for the following month’s edition.

DDHH Advisory Council Meeting at East Brunswick Public Library

DDHH held its quarterly advisory council meeting on Friday, April 30 at the East Brunswick Public Library, in New Brunswick NJ. Judy Ginsberg was re-elected to the position of chairperson, while Lauren Lercher assumed the position of vice-chairperson.

Ann Marie DePierro and David Cooper, both Montclair State University Audiology Doctoral students, gave a presentation entitled “Differences Between Hearing Aid Dispensers, Master’s-Level Audiologists, and Doctoral-Level Audiologists.”

The next scheduled meeting date is Friday July 30 at Burlington County College's Mt. Holly program on 1 High Street, Mt. Holly NJ. The public is invited to attend. We are asking everyone to RSVP by calling the division at 609-984-7281.

DDHH Advisory Council Meeting
Friday, July 30

9:30 AM to 3:30 PM

Burlington County College: Mt. Holly Center

1 High Street, Mt. Holly, NJ 08060-1701

The public is invited to attend.
Call DDHH to confirm your attendance: 609-984-7281 V/TTY

All DDHH advisory council meetings are fully

accessible with sign language interpreters, assistive listening devices

(ALDs) and CART (open captioning).

DDHH Field Representative Reports for June
DDHH has Five Assistive Technology Demonstration Centers

Submitted by Traci Burton,

DDHH Field Representative
When speaking with our constituency, one of the most frequently asked questions is, “What is the best hearing aid for me?” Hearing loss is as individual as the person who has it, which means the “best” hearing aid is going to be unique to that person as it was chosen and fit to their needs. Carolyn Smada, Aud.D., wrote on this very topic and her February 11, 2010 article that appeared in Healthy Hearing is reprinted below:
Determining the best hearing aids for you begins with purchasing your hearing aids one-on-one from a qualified hearing care professional (an audiologist or hearing aid specialist). Through a hearing aid evaluation, the hearing care professional will help you determine what hearing aids (brand, style and features) are best for you, your individual needs and your budget. There are usually several options available for each person to select from.

There are different levels of technology in hearing aids, and with those different levels come different features and options. It can often be overwhelming to know which features and options to choose. Purchasing hearing aids is very similar to making other consumer purchases. You must look at your needs and what you desire from the product. Let’s use the analogy of purchasing a new car. When purchasing a new car, the basic two-door sedan may get you from here to there just fine; however if you need to transport a large family around, the basic two-door sedan may not work as well as a minivan with extra seating, auto opening doors and a DVD player to entertain the children. It is not

necessarily that the minivan is “better” than the basic sedan – it simply serves different needs and purpose.

This analogy is very similar to hearing aids. With each level of technology, there are different features and options that are included to serve different listening needs and purpose. The best hearing aids for you are hearing aids that will serve your unique hearing loss and listening needs. Thus when selecting hearing aids with your hearing care professional, it is very important to be very specific with your listening needs, listening environments you want to improve and your hearing aid goals.
For a list of licensed New Jersey audiologists and/or hearing aid dispensers in your area, contact your physician for a referral, the audiology department of your local hospital or visit and click on “Online Services” at the bottom of the page.
Contact Traci Burton at or 609-984-7281 for more information as well as for a listening device technology demonstration/presentation.

Promoting Awareness at the College Level

Submitted by Jason Weiland,

DDHH Field Representative
For the past few years, awareness of people with disabilities, with hearing loss, or who are blind has increased tremendously in public schools with K-12 programs. Many of these schools have implemented awareness through special awareness events often called “Learning Differences Day,” “Disability Awareness Day,” or “Differences Day.” Children at this educational level are exposed to the diversity of disabilities. During the past four years, I’ve received requests to join these special events, beginning with two events a year (normally during spring) and increasing now to twelve events this year. The response from school districts has been incredibly positive and supportive.

One would think that at the college level, the same level of awareness is present. In the past 10 years, with the New Jersey Division of Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DDHH), visits to colleges and universities have been limited. This year we are very much experiencing some changes. More and more schools are becoming diverse in terms of individuals with disabilities, individuals with hearing loss and individuals who are blind. In addition, many colleges and universities have American Sign Language (ASL) programs that expose students to the native language used by those who are Deaf or hard of hearing who are also deeply involved with the Deaf community and Deaf culture.

During the past month, I began my college tour with a visit to The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) to join a presentation with our division director, Dr. David Alexander. On this trip, we met with students from the Deaf education program at TCNJ in addition to students who attend ASL classes at the school. Our presentation exposed students to the diverse needs of individuals who are Deaf, hard of hearing, late deafened, Deaf-blind, and those with a cochlear implant. The session also gave students an overview of the programs and services available through DDHH. We also shared information regarding other agencies and services in the area of mental health, education, employment, senior citizens, and some which provide direct services and assistance to Deaf and hard of hearing people residing in New Jersey. Even today, students from the class are continuing their interest in the area of hearing loss that not only could affect their future workplace, but also their own homes and families.

A week later, I visited Kean University and met with their speech and language class in addition to their ASL classes. More than 95 students attended these sessions. The students were exposed to the various degrees of hearing loss and deafness. The presentation included the technology and communication techniques used by both Deaf and hard of hearing individuals. There was also a discussion about cochlear implants and hearing aids as well as assistive listening devices and captioning. The class learned about video relay service and how technology has allowed Deaf people to become more and more independent compared to the services which were available 20 years ago. I also visited Bergen Community College and have continued to establish an ongoing collaboration with one of their ASL professors. The goal is to ensure that students will not only be exposed to Deaf culture and become culture sensitive, but learn more about people who are hard of hearing, late deafened, Deaf-blind, and those with cochlear implants.

One interesting thing I found during my visits was at least one individual with hearing loss in each class (who may or may not use sign language) was not aware of the services and programs available in New Jersey. It was then that the true purpose of visits to these programs was truly realized - educating individuals with normal hearing and individuals with hearing loss to what is available and accessible to them so that they can continue to grow and learn while aspiring to be all they can be. The journey continues….
For more information on how to arrange a presentation or workshop at your university, college, or education program, contact Jason Weiland at or 609-498-7006.

Hearing Loss Association of New Jersey

News and Views
A Monthly Column From The

Hearing Loss Association of New Jersey
This month we offer help with a difficult problem for people who are deaf and hard of hearing – a hospital stay. Sign language users can rely on ASL interpreters. The vast majority of people with hearing loss, however, do not use sign language. HLA-NJ has worked with this problem for years, and has ideas to help.
Arlene Romoff, President HLA-NJ, says, “The patient has to be outspoken about his needs. The problem is that most don’t realize how difficult it will be to function with a hearing loss in a hospital setting until they are in the middle of it. The key is actually two-pronged. At HLA-NJ, we are tackling one aspect — working with hospitals to make sure they understand the needs of patients with hearing loss who do not use ASL. But patients themselves should plan ahead. And, unfortunately, they should expect to have to explain their needs to everyone from their surgeon to the anesthesiologist, from nurses to orderlies.”

Tip 1 –Start planning before you enter the hospital. Find someone in the hospital to be your advocate. HLA-NJ member Carol Granaldi says, “I visit the patient representative or patient relations and discuss my needs. I show them my cochlear implant processors to explain how they work. I check availability of captioned TV, assistive listening devices, TTY phones and so on.” Ask your surgeon, or the hospital administrator’s office, for help in finding the right contact. Also, be aware that you can and should request that a hospital staff member accompany you when you have surgery, to act as your communications assistant. Miscommunications can be deadly.

Tip 2 – Make a “Communications Kit.” Consider bringing a mobile phone for texting, or a CapTel phone. Communicating with hospital staff is also vital. Buy “ear” stickers from that alert hospital staff to your communication needs which can also be put on charts and records. Buy a medical alert bracelet stating you have hearing loss. Buy or prepare a sign to hang over your bed to ask staff to speak slowly, face you to help lipreading and write notes if necessary.

Tip 3 – In the hospital, tell everyone exactly what you need. Unfortunately, you should assume staff have not been trained to deal with hearing loss. HLA-NJ member Ellie Berg, for example, says that during her hospital stay, she “asked to consult with the anesthesiologist prior to surgery. My request was not honored. In the OR, the anesthesiologist was wearing a mask over his/her mouth.
Obviously, I was unable to speech read. I was overwhelmed with anxiety.” If your needs aren’t being met, enlist a spouse, friend, minister or rabbi or someone else to help.
We’d like to hear from you. If you have questions or experiences to share on this or any other topic related to hearing loss, please pass them along to us, at
Get Involved! For information about HLA-NJ, please contact HLA-NJ President Arlene

Romoff at Or visit our Web site at, or come to one of our local chapter meetings. Here is the current schedule. Additional meetings may be scheduled. Please check the Web site for the latest information.

Contact these organizations to purchase tickets to June 12th Deaf and Hard of Hearing Awareness Day:

Bruce St. School for the Deaf

333 Clinton Place

Newark, NJ 07112

973-705-3952 Voice
Burlington County College’s ASL Club

1338 New Rodgers Road

Levittown, PA 19057

267-229-6358 Voice

Deaf Golf Association

420 North Union Avenue

Cranford, NJ 07016

908-975-0103 VP

Eastern Deaf Ladies Gold Association

264 Swinnerton Street

Staten Island, NJ 10307-1641

Northwest Jersey Association of the Deaf

52 Heritage Court

Towaco, NJ 07082

St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church for the Deaf

2222 Vauxhall Road

Union, NJ 07083

908-686-3965 Voice

908-851-2004 TTY

New Jersey Association of the Deaf-Blind

24 K Worlds Fair Drive

Somerset, NJ 08873

732-805-1912 TTY/Voice
New Jersey Registry Interpreters for the Deaf

83 Hawkins Road

Tabernacle, NJ 08088

609-980-8037 Voice

New Jersey Deaf Awareness Week

9 Vessel Road

Waretown, NJ 08758

609-489-7605 VP

New Jersey Deaf Sports

26 N. Shore Boulevard

Helmetta, NJ 08828

732-521-3098 VP

New Feature this year

Tickets may be purchased on the Six Flags Great Adventure Web site.

To purchase tickets on line, follow these steps:
1. Click on

2. In the upper right corner “Enter Promotion Code” box type NJDAD.

3. Click GO. The rest is easy. Any money made from on line purchase will go directly to NJAD.
For more information about tickets, sales, and purchasing, contact NJAD at
Ticket Prices before June 12, if purchased through above

listed participating Deaf and hard of hearing organizations:
Theme/Safari: $30

Hurricane Harbor: $20

2-Park (theme and safari) Season Pass: $85

3-Park (theme, safari and hurricane harbor) Season Pass: $105

Parking Voucher: $12

Ticket prices the day of the event (on June 12):

Theme/Safari: $35

Hurricane Harbor: $25

Age two and under: Free
Tickets purchased can be used throughout 2010 summer season.

VSA arts of New Jersey Seeking Authors for Statewide Writing Competition

The Unlimited Potential Theater Company (UPTCo), a project of VSA arts of New Jersey (VSA/NJ), is seeking poems, essays, short stories and plays by New Jersey residents eighteen years of age or over for its 17th annual Joyce Indik New Jersey Wordsmith Competition. The contest is open to all writers, and submissions by writers with disabilities are especially encouraged. All works submitted will be juried by a panel of judges who are professionals in the fields of theater and/or literature. Selected works will be showcased at the New Jersey Readers’ Theater in late fall 2010. The deadline for submissions is September 9, 2010.

VSA/NJ is a part of the international VSA arts network, an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and is dedicated to promoting the creative power of people with disabilities. UPTCo, a project of VSA/NJ, is an inclusive program designed to involve people with disabilities in all aspects of the performing arts.
There is no entry fee for this competition. In lieu of a fee, a donation of any amount is welcomed and encouraged to cover the cost of the competition. To request an application or to receive additional information, contact VSA arts of New Jersey, 703 Jersey Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, 732-745-3885 Voice, 732-745-3913 TTY or Visit us at

Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Recognizes “Better Hearing and Speech Month”
The month of May is nationally recognized as “Better Hearing and Speech Month”; and the month is dedicated to raising awareness and better understanding of the preventions of hearing and speech loss.
On May 5, DDHH provided an Information Exhibit at the 50 East State Street Food Court to help Trenton residents and state workers take stock of their own hearing and the different hearing and assistive devices available.
DDHH staff, in collaboration with the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services and the Hearing Loss Association, provided people with information and responded to numerous questions/inquiries about hearing loss and shared resources, as well as the services available from the respective agencies. The event was attended by many state, government and community workers, as well as people simply browsing on their way to and from lunch.

For more than 75 years May has been designated as Better Hearing and Speech Month, a time to raise public awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the various forms of communication impairments to include those of hearing, speech, language, and voice.

Communication impairments affect the most vulnerable in our society the young, the aged, the disabled, and the poor.
PHOTO: Cathy Grehlinger and Traci Burton from DDHH respond to inquiries from state workers at the booth.
PHOTO: Carol Granaldi and Judy Ginsberg share information from HlAA.
Senior Housing Community Forum Meets at Midland Park

By Jane Cyran

A community forum was held on April 8, at the Midland Park Senior Center, on Housing for the Deaf, hard of hearing and Deaf-blind. One hundred and forty seniors attended the forum and the fund raising luncheon. Erich Schwenker, President of Cardinal Capital Management (CCM), was the speaker. CCM is based in Milwaukee and put together the funding, managed the design and built the beautiful Water Tower Place for the Milwaukee Deaf, hard of hearing and Deaf/Blind Milwaukee community. NJAD has signed a contract with CCM to establish plans for a similar project in NJ for low income seniors. Erich gave a presentation that gave the background of his company in building and managing housing for a variety of groups with special needs such as blind, disabled veterans, mental health as well as for deaf communities.
Apache Trails in Tempe, Arizona is now in the process of final closing and is taking applications for renting the 75 units from the Arizona Deaf community. CCM expects to break ground have Apache Trails completed within the following year. Both Water Tower Place and Apache Trails are specifically designed to support a comfortable life for seniors with flashing lights on doorbells, fire and carbon monoxide alarms, video equipment at the entrance and in apartments to announce visitors, sound amplification equipment in ceilings that goes directly to hearing aids, spacious sight lines and space for social services. Apache Trails also will be a center for the Deaf community with offices and meeting rooms.

CCM raises financing for this type of supportive low income housing using tax credits for about 60%, private capital financing for about 10 to 15%, and a mortgage for another 10 to 15%. Donations and grants are needed for the remainder. About 50% of seniors in the US would be eligible for low income housing. Apache Trails includes plans for condos which would be sold at ‘market rate’ for Deaf seniors who aren't eligible for low income housing but want to live in a senior community designed for

their special needs.

The New Jersey Deaf Senior Housing Committee has been working since 2006 with CCM. The committee has a goal of raising $2 million for the project which Erich estimates will cost between $18 to $20 million. New Jersey has a population that would support two housing projects for the Deaf, hard of hearing and Deaf-blind. Due to the recent economic crisis, financing for the Arizona project was unexpectedly complex and caused delay. After the final Arizona financing is completed, CCM will be able to put more resources into its plans for Deaf housing projects for New Jersey, Florida and Iowa. The location in New Jersey will be selected based on costs, population, and the availability of transportation and shopping.
ALDA and the New Jersey Deaf Senior Housing Committee can support the goal of New Jersey Senior Housing for the Deaf, hard of hearing and Deaf-blind Community by participating in fundraising, keeping spirits high and continued interest in the needs of our New Jersey seniors.
The forum was hosted by the Bergen County Deaf Senior Citizens Deaf Club and the Northwest Senior Center in Midland Park in collaboration with the New Jersey Deaf Senior Housing Committee and the New Jersey Association for the Deaf. A delicious lunch was donated by the local Shoprite. The ASL Interpreter Referral Service, a co-sponsor of the event, provided American Sign Language Interpreters and CART (Captioning) for hard of hearing and late deafened attendees. Additionally, the New Jersey Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, also a co-sponsor, provided close vision interpreting for Deaf-blind consumers in attendance at the forum. Another forum will be planned for the South Jersey area sometime in the fall of 2010. For more information or questions, you can contact Lila Taylor, committee chairperson at

Invites you to the first annual

Building bridges for people with hearing loss
June 26

10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Raritan Valley Community College

Conference Center

118 Lamington Road

Route 28 and Lamington Road

North Branch, NJ

(FREE Parking in Lots 1 and 2)

Network, connect, and learn about resources in Assistive Technology, Employment

and much more.
Sponsorship Opportunities are available.

For more information:

908-685-1444 ext. 295 Voice, 908-458-9204 VP
Sign Language Interpreters and Assistive Listening Devices will be provided

The Lake Drive Sound Start Program Announces Ivy Nursery
Lake Drive Principal Trish Filiaci and Director of Programs Michele Klimovitch announce the September 2010 opening of The Sound Start Program’s Ivy Nursery, New Jersey’s first inclusive full day program for toddlers aged 18 - 36 months with and without hearing loss.

Designed to take full advantage of the developing brain, the Ivy Nursery Program provides opportunities for stimulating all the senses. The experiential learning curriculum focuses on developing language, literacy, the arts, and movement - the building blocks for future academic success. Individualized programs are tailored to the developmental strengths and needs of each of the participants. An accompanying parent education series provides information and suggestions for enhancing child development at home.

Ivy Nursery Program is in-session daily (for full or half day sessions) from September to June, and funded in part by a grant from The Lake Drive Foundation. Children may enroll for three or five day a week programs. Before and after care is available at an additional modest cost.
If you would like further information or know of any families who might benefit from this program, please contact

State Library Talking Book & Braille Center’s Story Hour Goes On The Road - 

In Newark, NJ on June 18, 3010.
The New Jersey State Library Talking Book & Braille Center (TBBC) is taking its story hour on the road to Newark, NJ. The next story hour will take place at the Newark Public

Library Auditorium, 5 Washington Street, Newark, NJ 07101 on Friday June 18, 2010 at 10:30. The Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing will provide American Sign Language interpreters.

Elizabeth Burns, Children’s Librarian for TBBC, will read Itchy Bear by Neil Griffiths, using puppets to tell this fun tale. Come and view Braille toys, writing tools, Braille books, and find out more about the programs and materials that TBBC provides to people who cannot read a traditional print book.
To register a group to attend this Story Hour, please call the Newark Public Library’s Children’s Room at 973-733-7797. For more information on this program, or about hosting a TBBC story hour at your library, please contact Elizabeth Burns at 609-530-3251 or
Mid-Atlantic/At-Large Regional Academic Bowl

The New Jersey School for the Deaf’s (NJSD) Katzenbach campus hosted the Mid-Atlantic/At-Large Regional Academic Bowl competition from March 18 - 21, sponsored by Gallaudet University. Unlike typical competitions involving hearing students, the Academic Bowl uses computer technology to display students’ written responses and is completely and equally accessible to the Deaf, hard of hearing and hearing members of the audience.

Gallaudet University established the Academic Bowl for Deaf and hard of hearing high school students in 1997, with the goal of promoting academic competition among school teams and to foster academic excellence and achievement among Deaf and hard of hearing students across the country. Each year, five regional tournaments are hosted and the first and second place winners from each region compete in the National Academic Bowl, held at Gallaudet University in late April. This year, the regional competition was offered to 80 students from 12 schools in grades 9 - 12 from New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Washington,DC.
“The Mid-Atlantic/At-Large Regional Academic Bowl is an exciting time for players from 12 different schools in the region to challenge each other academically,” said Lisa Jacobs, Gallaudet University’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator for the Academic Bowl. “It’s a competition of the minds where it’s cool to be smart. Academic Bowl also guarantees friendships and good times that are developed over a period of time. Yet, it’s not just about the competition or bringing home trophies as students learn about team work, problem solving, and making the best of the situation they are in. They learn how to win and how to lose with grace.” Ronald C. Goodwin, interim superintendent for NJSD replied, "We are honored to host this year's regional Academic Bowl competition.

Approximately 100 volunteers ventured to NJSD’s campus on March 19 and 20 to help support the regional competition. “The event at our campus was a huge success.” Heather Osowski, Host Coordinator for NJSD, “The weather was perfect. Everyone worked together and seemed to really enjoy themselves. It was a great opportunity for our school, our students and volunteers. It’s not often that we have such an opportunity to host an event of this caliber and to welcome teams and visitors from all over the region.” Many volunteers were NJSD staff, parents, students, alumni and even retirees. Various college students enrolled in interpreting and/or Deaf education programs also came to volunteer their time.

The team from NJSD consisted of five students and each were selected based on GPA and other academic achievements. This year’s team included: Ashley Wood of Burlington, NJ; Alexander Van Hook of Upper Black Eddy, PA; Joseph Mattiace of Salem, NJ; Yolynn Valdez of Camden, NJ; and Lui DeConcini of Cinnaminson, NJ. The team was led by two coaches: Melissa Morgan, Head Coach and Karan Kriger, Assistant Coach, both teachers at NJSD’s high school.

Sponsors for each regional competition provide substantial support to make this event happen. NJSD’s sponsors this year include Campbell’s Soup, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson and Johnson, Sorenson Communications, NJ Association for the Deaf, The Katzenbach Parent Staff Education Foundation, Gallaudet University, RJ’s Bagels, Doolittle’s Deli, Dunkin Donuts, Shop Rite of Ewing, Mama Floras, Philly Pretzel Factory, and Halo Farms. A special thank you to the New Jersey Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing for providing communication access during our competition.

For information on the National High School Academic Bowl, contact Lisa Jacobs of Gallaudet University at The National Championship match was broadcast on April 266, via Webcast. To see this Webcast, please visit
For more information on the New Jersey School for the Deaf, contact Allwyn Baskin at 609-530-3104 or visit The New Jersey School for the Deaf, an affiliate of the New Jersey Department of Education, is a learning community committed to ensuring the lifelong success of people who are Deaf or Hard of hearing. Working together and with families, school districts, the Deaf community, and its other partners, NJSD creates conditions which optimize learning for students statewide, from birth to high school graduation.

Governor Livingston High School Provides Accessible Theatre

Submitted by Debora Thedinga

Every Spring, Governor Livingston High School in Berkeley Heights presents a musical that is interpreted for the Deaf and hard of hearing, providing accessibility for all theatre goers. This year, the show was Stephen Sonheim’s “Into the Woods” that was interpreted by Elisabeth Chiminec and Debora Thedinga, staff interpreters at Governer Livingston.
When audience members see the two interpreters dressed in black take their positions in the spotlight at the front of the stage, they may not be aware that the interpreters have already spent about a month preparing for opening night:
• The first step to prepare is getting a copy of the script and soundtrack of the music. The

interpreters read the script and listened to the music to become familiar with the story and the songs. Each scene is then looked at to determine which characters are on the stage at the same time. Because there are only two interpreters and many characters in the play, the interpreters must select which roles to interpret.

• Next comes text analysis, which means translating the English words and meaning into American Sign Language (ASL).
• Once that is done, it’s time to “practice, practice and practice!”
• Theatrical interpreting is much different than regular, everyday signing. The interpreters take on the personality of the characters and can be very expressive; they become like the actors on the stage. One Deaf theatre patron mentioned how much she enjoyed watching the interpreters’ facial expressions as part of the overall experience.

Several weeks before the play performances, flyers announcing the play dates and times are sent out to schools with programs for Deaf and hard of hearing students, those which offer ASL as a foreign language, and interpreter training programs. Often, high school students meet up at Governor Livingston H.S. for a pizza dinner before the play starts. It is a wonderful opportunity to socialize with friends both old and new.

Mrs. Chiminec and Mrs. Thedinga agree that “Into the Woods” was probably the most challenging play they have interpreted so far, because there were so many characters and several stories woven together.
The feedback from the audience was very positive. One Deaf student from Governor Livingston. said, “When the curtain opened and I saw all of the characters on the stage with only two interpreters, I was wondering how they would manage. But, the two of them did a great job interpreting alternating roles throughout the play. It was also impressive that their facial expressions matched each character perfectly; this made the show enjoyable and easy for me and the other Deaf and hard of hearing people to follow.”
Live theatre provides the audience with an exciting visual experience. Interpreted performances make it a wonderful night for all at Governor Livingston.
The play program always contains a page with pictures of the interpreters signing the characters’ name signs, as well as a summary of the play story line.
The Art of the English Presentation: An Evening with a Toastmaster

By Cynthia Piana

The Art of the English Presentation: An Evening with a toastmaster was presented by Mary Bacheller, a well known interpreter, educator and toastmaster. The presentations were held in Burlington, Bergen, Camden and Monmouth counties over the past few months. The last one was held on April 21 at the Wall Public Library. Toastmasters International is an educational nonprofit organization that has a long history of helping people to become more competent and comfortable speaking in front of an audience. In the workshop Mary addressed the connection between public speaking skills and interpreter voicing skills. Novices to seasoned interpreters were challenged to assess their language and communication skills and were given strategies to improve. We look

forward to an expanded version of this workshop at the NJRID Conference, November 5-7, 2010.

NJRID’s professional development chair Kathy Ferejohn has been busy

setting up and planning workshops around the state.

Check out to find out about future workshops.


Where is your Allegiance?

Submitted by Regina Flanagan
Your Pledge of Allegiance that is. This and other source material known as frozen text was the topic for NJRID's recent workshop presented by Jane Hecker-Cain at the Monmouth County Library in Marlboro on April 17. The Pledge of Allegiance is a clear example of frozen text, others include a club oath, the Serenity Prayer as well as frequently used prayers from various religious traditions, recited creed, etc. Approximately 42 participants gathered to learn more about how to approach the unique challenges of interpreting these texts and to explore solutions.
An experienced interpreter and educator, Ms. Hecker-Cain approached the topic by requesting a show of hands regarding how many interpreters had experienced frozen text in their work. The majority responded that it is a common occurrence in interpreting and religious settings as well as other venues. Workshop attendees shared their translations of The Star Spangled Banner and other frozen texts and observed sample translations of these well known texts. Using readily available resources such as YouTube along with more unique recordings the participants had an opportunity to view a variety of examples and consider a range of approaches for their own interpretations. A key question emerged: whether to closely follow the frozen text words/language or whether to follow the meaning and intent of the text as a guide or interpretation.

Breaking into small groups, the workshop offered the chance for discussion and problem solving of specific materials that an interpreter might face. Each group drew upon their collective experience and skills while working together toward an interpretation. Lively discussions ensued as text, meaning and solutions were explored. The group work was shared with all attendees, offering insight into how to approach frozen text.

UCC S.I.G.N. Club Celebrates 26 Years of ASL

By Jason Weiland, Field Representative

Every April, one can expect flowers blooming, green grass, beautiful blue skies, and warmer weather. In Cranford, NJ at Union County College, one can expect the annual ASL Festival which gracefully celebrated twenty six years on April 24 with an exciting roster of performers, exhibitors, vendors, and an evening showing of the newly released movie, “See What I’m Saying”. The event is the longest running ASL event in New Jersey and UCC S.I.G.N. Club members continue to sponsor and organize this time-honored tradition.
The day began at eleven in the morning with hundreds of deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing attendees mingling around the more than 45 exhibitors and vendors which were located in the lobby of the Cranford campus. Consumers could buy jewelry, clothes, crafts, and artwork from deaf owned businesses in addition to speaking with representatives from video relay service providers, NJ DDHH, NJ DVRS, NJAD, NJ Black Deaf Advocates, Tri-State Deaf Latino Association, Metro NYC Deaf Asian Association, ACCESS, NJ CODA, NJRID, Union County College Interpreter Training Program (ITP), and other agencies and organizations that were on hand that day. Sprint Relay and Gary Wireless also featured an array of Blackberry and Sidekick devices for the community to browse.

The commons area was transformed into a performance stage where people could sit and watch all performances while still having the opportunity to view the exhibits and vendors. David Rivera, a faculty professor in the UCC ITP was the MC for the day with two performances by third year students Stephanie Zdyrski and Henrietta Gbain. Rivera then introduced Doug Ridloff, ASL Artist from NYC who kept the audience on its toes with his incredible ASL stories. Ridloff performed a duo with Rivera which captivated the crowd. Ridloff then invited members of the audience to do their own duo performance which brought tears and laughter from the crowd.

After the Ridloff show, the UCC S.I.G.N. Club continued with an awards ceremony the results of which follow:

  • The Alan R. Barwiolek Memorial Award went to New Jersey Community Center for the Deaf (NJCCD).

  • The Interpreter of the Year Award went to Lauren Kafka.

  • The Alumni Award went to Jackie Davidson.

  • The Claudia Parsons Memorial Award went to Debra Fuller.

  • President’s Award went to Shaneice Williams.

The day continued with performances by Michelle Torres, Belinda Hughes, Alexandria Bisogno, and Bianca Danella. At the end of the program, the UCC S.I.G.N Club board which consists of Co-presidents Katie Ruiz and Jeanette Lebron along with Vice-President Laura Myers, Secretary Stephanie Olsen, Treasurer Shaneice Williams, Night Representative Henrietta Gbain, and Day Representative Wendy Kane honored faculty professors Eileen Forestal, David, Rivera, Darlene Sarnouski, and Cindy Williams with gift bags for providing a wonderful Interpreter Education Program and their unwavering support of ASL Festival and the UCC S.I.G.N Club.

The evening continued with “See What I’m Saying”, a Deaf documentary film which followed the entertainment lives of actor Robert DeMayo, drummer Bob Hiltermann, comic CJ Jones, and singer TL Forsberg. The real life drama documents the struggles and success of being a Deaf entertainer in today’s society. The movie played to a packed house and the audience was delighted by a surprise visit from actor Robert DeMayo who, along with the film’s director/producer Hilari Scarl, answered questions about the making of the movie. It was a wonderful ending for a great day that left the audience wondering…. When is next year’s event?

Religious Access

join us for a picnic with the Gloucester County Community Church Deaf Ministry

and the Ministry with the Deaf - ICDA 138

Saturday July 17 - rain or shine

9:00 AM to closing

$8 per person, at the gate

Lake Garrison tables under covered pavilion

Directions and lake information:

Swimming, boating, sunning, two children's play areas, and baseball field.

Food is not included in admission cost. Either bring your own food,

purchase food at snack bar or arrange to share with others.

Interpreter available at Second Baptist Church

Asbury Park New Jersey

124 Atkins Avenue

Asbury Park, New Jersey

11:00 AM

First and third Sundays of each month.

20th Annual Deaf Picnic hosted by Grace Bible Chapel of the Deaf

100 Oakdale Road (Cathy Lane) Chester, NJ 07930

July 17

Noon - 5:00 PM

Rev. Jouse Tavarez guest Deaf speaker
Free parking, swimming pool (women use one piece bathing suit)

Food provided.

For more information, contact Roy or Mike

Communicator Signboard
Ocean Deaf Club, Inc. 25th Annual Outing and Picnic

Rain or shine (huge pavilion)

Saturday, July 10

Noon to Dusk

At Veteran’s Park, Veteran Hwy, Bayville, NJ

Members $20, Non-Member $25, Children (5 to 12) $10, Children (under 5): Free

Buffet includes hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, potato salad, macaroni salad,

cole slaw, baked beans, beverages and much more.

Please bring any dessert, cookies and fruit salad to share.

Door prizes also included.

Make your reservations by July 2.

Sorry, no walk-ins and no refunds. Limited to 125 People

Send names, ages, membership, and total amount to

Ocean Deaf Club, Inc, PO Box 34, Lakehurst, NJ 08733-0034

For more information, please contact:
American and Portuguese Deaf Club
Public Festivals
June 5, 6; July 10, 17; August 28; September 18, 25

6:00 PM to Midnight

At Portuguese Social Club

409 Route 1 and 9 and South Broad St., Elizabeth, NJ 07202

Food and drink will be provided
Contact Delfim Fragueiro at,

Happy Hands Camp 2010
Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and CODA (Children of Deaf Adults)

Children ages five to twelve are welcome.

July 12 - August 12 (Mondays - Thursdays)

8:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Bankbridge Elementary School, Sewell, NJ
$138 per week (Mondays - Thursdays)

$673 per five week session (discount is offered for those who pay for all five weeks in advance.)

Contact Mary Hilley, Supervisor 856-415-7530, Ext. 6468 Voice

Lorie Cross-Jones, Camp Director

North Jersey Community Center of the Deaf, Inc. presents Punch For Money

Saturday, June 26

6:00 PM


In advance - $ 10

At the door - $ 12

Members and non-members same price

St. John's Lutheran Church, 810 Broad Street, Clifton, NJ 07013
Refreshments on sale, 50/50 chances, NJCCD affair banknite and door prizes
Chairperson - Matilda O'Klock and Co-Chairperson Karen Belisle
For ordering tickets in advance before June 20, please send a check

or money order payable to NJCCD, Inc. to

Frances Hearne, 25 Lincoln Avenue, Elmwood Park, NJ 07407
For more information or directions, please visit

Calendar of Events 2010
DDHH Advisory Council Meeting

Friday July 30

9:30 AM to 3:30 PM


Burlington County College:

Mt. Holly Center

1 High Street, Mt. Holly, NJ 08060-1701

Call DDHH to confirm your attendance:

609-984-7281 V/TTY

Saturday, June 12

DDHH 26th Annual

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Awareness Day

Six Flags/Great Adventure

Jackson, NJ

Garden State Walk 4 Hearing

Saturday, October 16

Regular Office Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

DDHH Office – Days Closed

Monday, July 5 – Independence Day

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