Archive for May, 2007

Gold Coast Poker Tourney Raises Money for Troupe

A Total of $4,100 was Raised for the Sign Design Theatre Company

The Sign Design Theatre Company, a Las Vegas-based nonprofit organization that teaches young people American Sign Language, is used to giving back to the community. On Sunday, a charity poker tournament took place at the Gold Coast Casino in Las Vegas to give back to them.

A field of 58 players showed up to play in the $125 buy-in event on Sunday. There were $20 rebuys available for the first hour. By setting aside $10 out of every $125 buy-in and 100 percent of the rebuys for the donation, a total of $4,100 was raised for the company. Since $100 of every initial buy-in was put towards the prize pool, the players competed for their piece of $5,800. Robert Mercer won $1,640 for his first-place finish.

Long-time Las Vegas high-stakes poker player “Oklahoma” Johnny Hale, whose daughter used to be a member of the Sign Design Theatre, was there to offer his support. He played in the event and at the beginning stages, walked around each table and placed $25 bounties in front of his friends and family members, just to sweeten the pot.

Also, to thank the players, the Sign Design Theatre Company put on a show before the tournament started that featured the performance of choreographed musical numbers, including Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler.”

“The atmosphere of the entire tournament, from the dealers to the players, was great. It was good day and a great cause,” said Becki Plutte, member of the Board of Directors for the Sign Design Theatre. “People were happy and having fun with some great poker play. It was a good combination.”

For more information on the Sign Design Theatre Company, visit the Web site at


NAD Urges Attendance at IDEA Public Meetings

The U.S Department of Education is holding public meetings on the NPRM. Please try to attend one of these meetings if it is in your area, and spread the word to others in our community.

The meetings will be held:

1. June 4, 2007, 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Portland–Embassy Suites Hotel Portland Airport (Pine & Spruce Room), 7900 Northeast 82nd Avenue, Portland, OR.

2. June 6, 2007, 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Oklahoma City–Metro Technology Centers (Auditorium), 1900 Springlake Drive, Oklahoma City, OK

3. June 11, 2007, 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Indianapolis–Indiana Government Center South Conference Center (Auditorium), 402 W. Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN.

4. June 14, 2007, 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Washington–Academy for Educational Development, 1825 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC.

Sign language interpreters will be provided. For more information on these meetings please contact Katherine Race, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC, telephone (202) 245-6443.

Talking points based on the NPRM.

1. Introduce yourself and your program or interest in Part C. Name any deafness-related organizations you are a member of. Describe the successes and challenges you have seen in your early intervention program. The Department will benefit from learning more about deaf and hard of hearing children and the best ways to serve them, especially since more deaf and hard of hearing children are being identified early and enrolling in early intervention.

2. Thank the Department for specifically mentioning the needs of deaf and hard of hearing children, especially in relation to: the listing of early intervention services, where sign language, cued language, and oral language are included, and the definition of special educators, where teachers of deaf and hard of hearing children are included.

3. However, note that some clarification is needed in describing how to provide sign language services to children and families. It must be clarified that sign language services are not speech-language pathology services, and speech-language pathologists are not qualified to provide them. Speech-language pathologists have no training or expertise in this area. Sign language services must be provided by teachers of the deaf and/or other qualified personnel with the requisite knowledge and experience.

4. Part C should include “special factors” provisions similar to those in Part B of IDEA that address the language and communication needs of deaf and hard of hearing children as well as specific needs of children in other disability categories.

5. Add any further comments of your own, and thank the Department for the opportunity to comment.

Please let the NAD know about your experiences at these meetings. Thanks for all you do!

Vandals steal deaf woman’s door signal

May 31, 2007
By Andy Jenks, NBC 12 News

Vandals have played a cruel prank on a deaf woman, stealing a link to the outside world. A button outside the woman’s home is connected to lights inside. That’s how she knows if there’s an emergency.

Now that button is gone, stolen by vandals who chose to target a helpless victim.

If there were a fire near Denise Frantz’s home, it would be difficult for her to know without a series of light signals triggered from the outside. There used to be one on her door at The Bluffs on Victoria Street in Hopewell, until someone vandalized the button, apparently knowing she was not around to stop the crime.

Even at 81 years old, Henry Frantz is still looking after his daughter. Denise is 50, deaf and mute since birth, but this month she has been hospitalized for three weeks, receiving treatment for ovarian cancer.

Henry knows that at the hospital or at home, even the tiniest of devices could mean life or death, which is why he was so upset over a signal button, apparently stolen from Denise’s apartment door.

“Oh, it’s dire important,” he said. “If something happened to her … she wouldn’t know it.”

The button triggers a light on the inside, which is how Denise knows there’s someone outside. Henry made the discovery and reported it to the apartment complex’s management and police.

But there’s been no fix, and really no idea how or why anybody would be so cruel. Whoever took the button is no longer as important as getting a new one. Henry believes his daughter’s life depends on it.

If you were near The Bluffs on Tuesday and saw something suspicious, call Hopewell Crime Solvers at 541-2202.