Archive for the ‘Deadline’ Category

Wilkes announces 2007 graduation speaker

Academy Award winning actress Marlee Matlin to address grads

Nick Podolak
Issue date: 3/26/07

Marlee Matlin.jpgVice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Paul Adams confirmed last week that hearing impaired actress Marlee Matlin will deliver the keynote address at the University’s 60th annual spring commencement to be held on May 19, 2007.

“I think her story is great…what she’s overcome,” he said.

The Morton Grove, Illinois native, began acting at the age of seven when she took on the role of Dorothy in a stage production of The Wizard of Oz. After being discovered in the stage production of Children of a Lesser God, a story that takes place at a school for the hearing impaired, she was cast to star alongside William Hurt in the film version.

Receiving critical acclaim worldwide in 1986, Matlin won the Academy Award for Best Actress in her silver screen debut at age 21—making her the youngest recipient of the prestigious honor, and only one of four actresses to win in their motion picture debut. Since then, Matlin has appeared in various sitcoms on television shows such as Picket Fences, The West Wing, The Outer Limits, Spin City, Desperate Housewives, My Name is Earl, and most notably, Seinfeld, where she played a deaf tennis player in a popular episode.

“You name it, she’s been in it,” Adams commented.

But it is her spirit—not just her talent—that makes her such a great choice to speak at this year’s spring commencement, Adams noted. Matlin currently serves as the national celebrity spokesperson for The American Red Cross, was a major force in persuading Congress to pass a federal legislation in 1992 for all television sets to be equipped with a closed-caption technology, and serving on the boards of other charitable organizations such as the Easter Seals and the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation.

“She’s a very talented lady if you look at the list of things she’s done, but she gives back. She’s very philanthropic, the sort of character Wilkes would want for a commencement speaker,” said Dr. Bonnie Culver, English professor and director of the MA in creative writing program, whose screenplay Raining Rainbows was optioned by Matlin’s production company, Solo One Productions.

Culver’s ties to Matlin are what ultimately led her and Dr. Adams to bring her to campus.

“I’ve never met her in person, so it will be great for me to meet her,” Culver said. “I’m just as excited as everyone else.”

Matlin has played the lead role in Against Her Will: The Carrie Buck Story, a made for television movie based on the true story of a landmark Supreme Court case that addressed the experimental sterlization of mentally challenged women. Most fans who have seen Matlin’s performances on television or in film agree that her ability to speak is so refined that they cannot tell she is hearing impaired.

“She is someone who has lived most of her life without being able to hear. She’s become a tremendously accomplished actress, performer as well as a philanthropist and somebody who does advocacy to all of those less advantaged. I hope the respect will resonate with the graduates,” Adams said.

Wilkes University has a long history of offering a sign language interpreter for its graduation ceremonies. There is no word as to whether Matlin will sign for herself throughout the speech.

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Paramount Film – Looking for Deaf/HOH Children age 8-15

The Film shoots in May 2007 in Los Angeles, California

A production company is looking for Deaf Children from the ages of 8 to 15 years old to be in a scene in a film for Paramount Pictures. Prefer child actor to be from the Southern California area.

The film is a period piece taking place in the late 1800’s and one of our lead characters is a 10 yr old boy who goes deaf in an accident and is sent to one of the first Deaf Schools in the United States. We are looking for Real Life Deaf Children to be in the scene for authenticity (background signing atmosphere).

If you know a young person who fits this description please have their parents contact either Connie Loper or Vikee Waltrip at When responding, please include a picture of the deaf child and a phone/email contact. Thank you!

Casting Director’s name is Cassandra Kulukundis

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Texoma Council for the Deaf to hold party, car wash, picnic

Sunday April 29, 2007
By Kathy Williams
Herald Democrat

Texoma Council for the Deaf continues to invigorate its program and has planned a grand party, a car wash and a picnic for its Deaf Club members and supporters.

The club invites the deaf and hard of hearing, their parents and children, sign interpreters and students to join in the fun planned for its “Grand Opening Social Night.” The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. May 12 at the Quality Inn, 3605 Highway 75 South in Sherman. Tickets for the event are $3 for members and $5 for non-members. A room is provided free of charge for children. Party planners urge those who attend to dress casually. TCD has planned a car wash fund-raiser for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 5 at Long John Silver’s at 1828 Texoma Parkway in Sherman. Car washes will be $5 each. In case of rain, the car wash will be rescheduled.

“Many thought TCD was dead,” TCD President Lisa Wynn wrote in a press release. “But it is not. For your information, TCD has not closed down, there just has not been any advertising about the organization. It still stands strong, as it has since 1976 and has activities and board meetings. We are working very hard step by step to let people know that TCD is still here.”

Wynn said she is excited to lead the organization and her goal is for TCD to continue growing stronger. She said the Deaf Club is a non-profit organization and she invites all members of the public to get involved with it by becoming a member and to attend board meetings.

“TCD members have very good team work and cooperation because we believe that WE CAN DO IT,” Wynn wrote recently.

Wynn said officers and members will use that can-do attitude to press forward on other goals including creating a Web site, securing and equipping an office and finding more sponsors to help with these activities.

In 2005, TCD held its first picnic, which was not well attended. However, Wynn said, the group kept up its efforts to become more visible in the community. Last year’s Deaf Picnic drew about 50 participants to Munson Park in Denison.

Wynn said officers are planning more activities for children and hopes many more people will enjoy the day June 16. The picnic will move to Waterloo Park. More information on the Deaf Picnic will be released closer to the date. But TCD officers already have planned a buffet and raffle, and a social night to follow. She added she and the other planners hope to draw double last year’s crowd.

For more information on any of the events, about joining TCD, volunteering with or funding the organization, contact Wynn at

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