Archive for March 28th, 2007

Big Bear Grizzly:

Big Bear Grizzly

“Baby talk


Wednesday, March 28, 2007 6:06 PM PDT

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Marilyn Vecchio is a pot of gold to mothers in the Valley. The Mothers on Mountain Project education coordinator helps mothers through difficult times. So it was appropriate that a rainbow appeared over Big Bear just minutes before her baby sign language class began on March 22.

Four women, three mothers and a grandmother ignored the intermittent rain showers and showed up at the Bear Valley Community Healthcare District Rural Health Clinic for the baby sign language class. The class is the third installment of Vecchio’s Baby’s First Year series. The classes teach parents skills to get through the first year of their newborn’s life.

Perhaps no skill in the class is more important than baby sign language. Babies want to communicate. Vecchio says if the frustration and crankiness often associated with toddlers can stem from the inability to communicate needs, she says. Baby sign language gives kids the tools to communicate with the world. …”

Kokonut Pundits – they’re nothing like a coconut.: Greg Gunderson’s Racing Plan for 2007 and 2008:

Greg Gunderson’s Racing Plan for 2007 and 2008

“Greg Gunderson’s Racing Plan for 2007 and 2008
From Greg Gunderson to all those racing fans out there, be sure to check out the newly revamped Gunderson Racing website.

The Gunderson Racing Team is seeking more sponsors for the 2007 racing season. Greg Gunderson, a veteran Sprint car driver from Sioux Falls, S.D., has an ambitious plan to become the first ever deaf NASCAR driver. The 2007 racing schedule includes races in South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and specific tracks in other states as requested by sponsors.

‘Not only do I want to publicize the exciting sport of racing; I also want to emphasize the fact that Deaf people can do anything except hear,’ said Greg as he makes plans to achieve his ultimate goal of becoming the first ever deaf NASCAR driver. The 2007 racing season in Sprint circuit is the first step toward the goal. In 2008 Greg plans to race on asphalt tracks in the ASA Late Model Series or ARCA Series before attempting to become a NASCAR driver in 2009.

Short- and long-term sponsorships will be integral part of Greg’s future NASCAR plan and will receive the following marketing benefits:

· Greg has a strong fan base with a wide diversity: 31 million Americans with hearing loss, millions more Americans with other disabilities, racing fans, friends, co-workers, deafness-related professionals and many more;

· Greg has been an inspiration to deaf and hard of hearing children and adults;

· Media enjoys doing stories on Greg because readers and listeners love a great human interest stories;

· For more information, visit the recently redesigned Gunderson Racing Team website at or email
Greg has 15 years of racing experience and has consistently been in the winner circle;

· Greg finished 3rd place in popular voting for a new reality TV show, Racin’ for a Livin’, and is waiting to get on the TV show in the near future.”

CAD-CCSD VRS in Canada

TO: Members of the Deaf Community; Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf (CCSD); Canadian Association of the Deaf (CAD) Affiliates; AVLIC President and Members
RE: Video Relay Service (VRS)
Date: January 31, 2007

This is a brief update to let you all know what is happening with VRS in Canada. Everyone has different opinions or information about what is happening and so we wish to update everyone together. We have not forgotten about this need and we have not forgotten you.

CAD and CCSD submitted their proposal to the CRTC for a national VRS in August 2006. The problem is funding. It is easy for us to say, that the government should fund it. In reality, this does not happen so we are relying on CRTC’s decision to push for funding from telecommunications companies. We had several meetings with the CRTC one year ago. We applied to the government and got approval for a company called Sign Relay Canada – Service de Relais Canada Corporation, at arms length from CAD-CCSD but with CAD and CCSD as the overseeing Board.

We submitted our proposal for national VRS in August, 2006 the first chance we had after six months of CRTC proceedings. CRTC proceedings must follow strict rules and they decided we should not submit our proposal so soon because it was bending rules. It took them three months to decide to call another proceeding to deal with the accessibility issues.

They then extended the deadline for proposal submissions again (due February 19, 2007) in order to give telecommunications companies more time to submit their proposals. Once they have made a decision about whether VRS should be at a national or provincial level, we believe it will be set up right away, hopefully by the end of 2007.

People have been asking, “What about Sorenson? They have a call centre in Canada, right?” They are asking for sign language interpreters applications, etc. We need to clarify it is for US services, not Canada. They are in dire need of ASL interpreters for the US.

Our position is to have a national level VRS in Canada with Canadian interpreters and Canadian workers. The new CRTC proceeding which you can follow at the CRTC’s own website, at Telecom Public Notice 2006-15 sets out a one year timeline that makes it clear when VRS will finally start up. If we win this funding fight, it would be up and running on the national level by the end of 2007. If Bell and Telus win their fight, it will be up and running in only four provinces probably by the beginning of 2008.

Stay with us on this…we have not forgotten you.

Helen Pizzacalla, President, Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf and Sheila Carlin, President, Canadian Association of the Deaf