Nj department of Human Services Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

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P If you have specific training or job skills check the Internet for job opportunities in your specialty or profession.
Losing your job is a major life crisis for most people but it is even worse if you have a hearing loss. Some people bounce back from a job loss in a few weeks. Others are not themselves after several months and some never really recover. Learning how to deal with the stress is very important for the dislocated worker to get on with your life.
Unemployment can have long-term effects on a person’s health and emotional well being. It also affects the family. Remember to reintroduce laughter into your life. Norman Cousins author of ‘Anatomy of an Illness” discovered that 10 minutes of genuine belly laughter gave him two hours of pain-free sleep. Worry in a positive way. For example, think about a possible new career that you could pursue or consider opening your own business. Practice job interviewing skills to build confidence. Don’t forget to apply for unemployment compensation.
Some people struggle with the anxiety that comes from being unemployed. In such instances, consider getting professional help. Ask your primary care physician for a referral. Some communities have low or no-cost professional services available for dislocated workers. Ask your doctor or check the yellow pages of your phone book.
Employment for people with a hearing loss is a complex matter because of the many variables involved and because each person has specific factors that must be considered. Hopefully this article has provided a road map that may be helpful in obtaining and sustaining a job, avoiding unsuitable jobs, getting needed accommodations, interacting with supervisors and co-workers, achieving promotions, losing your hearing while being employed, returning to work with a hearing loss and losing one’s job.
Comments about this article are welcome by contacting the author at pfarabas@yahoo.com or 908-876-4748.

Vote November 4, 2008

Diver with Hearing Loss Competes for the U.S.

Submitted by Liz Barany, DDHH Secretarial Assistant
While many young children dream of becoming an Olympic athlete, there is something special that sets US Olympic diver Chris Colwill apart from just any kid with Olympic hopes. Colwill was born with about 40 percent of his hearing, and has been wearing a hearing aid since age four. He can’t wear the aid when he dives, so he is not able to hear the whistle that signals to the divers to enter the pool. For this, the referees nod to him in addition to using the whistle so that he can recognize the signal. He says in general it’s an advantage not to be able to hear during competitions, because he isn’t distracted by noises. His coach also says it’s an advantage, but not for the same reason: “Chris can see things halfway across the pool in a split second that other divers don’t see. His sense of awareness of where he is in the air and his peripheral vision is exceptional, too. It’s almost cat-like the way Chris can see and react to things.”
Chris Colwill’s diving career began the same way so many childhood dreams do. Always an active kid, Colwill started out in gymnastics, baseball and soccer. After gymnastics practice one day, he saw divers practicing and wanted to try it. He tried both gymnastics and diving, but diving took over because he liked being in the water. He began training with Jetstream Diving at five years old. He attended Tampa Prep and was a stand-out diver for the school. He was Tampa Prep athlete of the year for 1997-98 and the NISCA High School All-American in 2001. In 2003, he entered the University of Georgia where he met and developed a wonderful working relationship with diving coach Dan Laak. In 2006, he won the NCAA title on 1 Meter and 3 Meter Springboard and was the runner-up on Platform, earning him the honor of NCAA Diver of the Year. Chris is the most decorated diver in Georgia history. After a successful career at Georgia, Colwill graduated in 2008 with a degree in speech communications.
After competing in June’s US Olympic diving trials and then July’s US Olympic Selection Camp, Chris earned a place on the US Diving Olympic Team for the 2008 Games in Beijing, China. He qualified to participate in the 3 meter Springboard event as well as the Synchronized 3 meter Springboard event with his teammate Jevon Tarantino. Colwill not only possesses great physical strength and leaping ability, he puts together one of the toughest dive lists in the world. In the synchronized event, Colwill and Tarantino are ranked No. 4 in the world.
The Olympic experience was not all that Chris Colwill dreamed or hoped it would be. In the Men’s Synchronized 3 meter Springboard event, he and Jevon Tarantino finished fourth losing their hopes for a bronze medal by less than five points. The Americans were third heading into the last of six rounds. Coming up was their reverse three and a half somersault, a dive they like to save for such occasions. “That was our big dog. That was our dive,” Tarantino said. Tarantino’s entry was short of vertical, resulting in individual scores of 4.0 and 5.0. This allowed Russia to climb from fourth to second. Ukraine finished ahead of the Americans and took the bronze medal.
In his second event of the Olympic Games, the 3 meter Springboard finals, Colwill decided to gamble by performing a list of six dives that, when combined was the most difficult of any of his competition. The list included a dive that had the highest degree of difficulty and had been attempted by only one other athlete during the Games. He had improved to 11th place before his sixth and final dive, but on his difficult finale - a reverse two and a half with two and a half twists - he scored relatively low. The gamble didn’t pay off and resulted in a 12th-place finish.
Chris Colwill makes no excuses for his performance during these 2008 Olympic Games. This is the first Olympics for both Colwill and his teammate Tarantino. “We’re new at this,” Colwill said, “and we’re going to try to come back and win a medal.”

Peri Himsel: 2008 NJCL Convention

Submitted by Stacie Greenberg
It was the first time my 15 year old daughter, Peri, went on a trip that wasn’t a family occasion; and to say I was nervous would be an understatement. You might think that’s a normal reaction for any mother. Peri is Deaf and she was going to the middle of the country to participate in the 2008 National Junior Classical League (NJCL) convention as part of the NJ delegation. She would be the only Deaf student there with one interpreter who could effectively communicate with her. I was nervous and excited for her at the same time. Apparently, my daughter was feeling the same mixture of euphoric anticipation and fear of the unknown.
During the 12 hour drive from New Jersey to the University of Miami, in Oxford, Ohio for the convention, she said she thought a lot about what was going to happen that week. Besides her ASL interpreter Courtney Fast, her friend Aaron, and of course her Latin teacher, Mrs. Pearlman, she would not know anyone else and wondered if people’s awkwardness with an interpreter might effect the experience? As it turned out, in her own words, she had one of the best weeks of her life.
Peri decided to take Latin this past year at Clearview Regional High School and enjoyed it so much that she also joined the Latin Club. She then was invited to participate in the annual NJCL convention this past summer as part of the NJ delegation, which also included Collingswood High School, Colts Neck High School, Gateway Regional, and Parsippany High School.
Prior to leaving for the convention, she spent three intense and challenging weeks creating a colored pencil drawing of a Roman soldier, for which she won first place in the 7-9th grade Graphic Arts contest. She also placed ninth in the 9th grade Creative Essay contest and twenty fifth in the Mythology I Academics contest.
To see how New Jersey fared as well as the rest of the other participants, visit www.njcl.org/activities/2008/convention/default.asp. When I asked Peri what it was like being the only Deaf student there, she replied, “There so many new things I was introduced to, and with exception to a few specific moments, I found it not so hard being a Deaf person there. Maybe it was because we all shared having survived learning Latin or maybe it was because the whole convention was made up of a wide range of diversity of people; but there was a healthy dose of respect for each other in which I was also included.”
She shared numerous stories about the friends she made and bonded with, about the fellowship meetings and the General Assembly which all the delegates were required to attend as well as the spirit awards every delegation tried to win. As a concerned mother, I wanted to know about the specific moment that had occurred and she said, “The only thing which left a bad taste in my mouth was the Open Certamen. It’s like a trivia event, only with a Latin/Roman culture theme. In my humble opinion, even at a normal trivia event with a Deaf person, interpreter and a bunch of hearing people, it’s hard for a Deaf person to have fun. The interpreter has just started the question and everyone else is already answering with wild intensity. Throw in some Latin, hard to spell names, and more Latin, you get a lot of confusion. It just doesn’t work. I don’t blame the people running this; they never had a Deaf person attend here. They did ask us what they could improve for next year when our situation was explained, but really, it was the only smudge in an outstanding week that I am willing to overlook.” I was very pleased to see how open they were toward changes to improve this issue for next year’s convention.
As her mother and advocate for so many years, having to let go was difficult. Peri went, had a great time, did well in the competitions, and was accepted for who she is and what she could offer as a participant. I think she represented her school and the State of New

Jersey very well. I am very proud of my daughter.

Clearview High School Student Essays

My Experiences as a Deaf Latin Student

By Peri Himsel

While traveling in a bus from New Jersey to the University of Miami, in Oxford, Ohio for the National Junior Classical League convention of 2008 a 12 hour drive), I was worrying constantly about what was going to happen that week. Besides my interpreter Courtney Fast and my friend Aaron, I knew nobody there and worst yet, I wondered would my trip here be ruined by people’s awkwardness with an interpreter? As it turned out, my worrying was for naught, as I had one of the best weeks of my life.

I had decided to take-up Latin the past year in high school, and was invited to come to the annual National Junior Classical League (NJCL) convention that summer. Prior to the convention, I had spent three frustrating weeks creating a colored pencil drawing of a Roman soldier and I won first place. That and ninth place in an essay contest wasn’t the only thing that surprised me.

To put it bluntly, I enjoyed being around mostly smart but really crazy people all week. It’s hard to summarize my time there, because there so many new things I was introduced to. However, it was not hard being a deaf person there. Maybe it was these people who survived learning Latin or just the whole convention being full of a large variety of people but I felt most people had a good dose of respect for each other, in which I was also included.

Everyday there was sort of an adventure. It wasn’t until Thursday that Courtney and I got the general idea of the campus layout, so we spent a bit of time finding the events we picked from the schedule, like Ludi Chess, lunch, essay contest, and art registration. With that idea in mind, I like to impart to you a little lesson I learned there: Sometimes, flip-flops are not good for walking long distances.

In the middle of this adventure I found myself in, all delegates were required everyday to attend something called “The General Assembly”. Basically, it was this bunch of speeches and awards from previous conventions and for the people that went, the main thing that put the spice in it was the “theme” of the day. Previous to the convention, the Latin teachers and attendees are told the theme of the day, and they have to create an outfit (composed of a t-shirt, something to hold and something on your head) to fit the theme.

I’d like you to imagine this: over 500 people from different states, dressed up in crazy outfits, in a giant assembly hall, some who are carrying potential weapons like pitchforks and giant signs, all told if they cheer their heart out till their throat gets sore they have a chance at getting a spirit award. And this goes on for a full 15 minutes, so loudly even a deaf person would be complaining. You will not be able to feel your arm after the first five minutes of hefting your “potential weapon” and screaming till you lose your voice all in effort to be noticed. I will admit the total truth here: It was an enormous amount of fun and pain at the same time.

I went without knowing most of the people of there except for brief glimpses of the some that went to my school. Now me, I’m not the best at making friends, but there, I would see these people everyday, go to at least two events with some of them, and we all kind of bonded at fellowship meetings every night as we sat in a really hot room and discussed our day.

I might not be best friends with all of them, but I got to know them, and by the end of the week we would all sit together for breakfast, lunch or dinner and most of us felt comfortable joking around with each other When it was time to say goodbye, we didn’t want to. The only event which I didn’t like was the Open Certamen (it’s like a trivia event, only with a Latin/Roman culture theme).

In my humble opinion, even at a normal trivia event with a deaf person, and interpreter and a bunch of hearing people, it would be hard for the deaf person to have fun while the interpreter has just started the question and everyone’s answering (no offense to my interpreters here, I know you’re doing the best you can). Now throw in some Latin, hard to spell names, and more Latin, and you get a lot of confusion.

I don’t blame the people running this, as they never had a deaf person attend here. They did ask us what they could improve for next year when explained our situation but really, it was the only glitch in a good week that I can overlook.

Friday ended beautifully with a “Roman Feast” with all the states dressed in togas and eating some good food (the better stuff they hid all week from the dining halls, but I’m not complaining). We ended up putting the NJCL president in a maid’s costume that one of our, err, male, delegates wore for NJ’s “That’s Entertainment” show act (also the one he fell off the stage with). We again all gathered in the hot, stuffy room for fellowship for the last time where we went over the highlights of the week and I think we were all wishing this didn’t have to end. I know I was.

Clearview Regional High School is located in Mullica Hill, NJ and house a Deaf Education program.

A New Door to the Deaf World

By Melissa Simon
Hi, my name is Melissa Simon. I am a senior at Clearview Regional High School, in a deaf program. I have been in a hearing school with a deaf program my whole life. Four years ago, I was a girl who thought there was only one world, the so called “hearing world.” A new door began to appear when Mrs. Cross-Jones, my teacher of the deaf at Clearview, experienced a world beyond this one.

The world I’m talking about is called “The Deaf World” where I would find perfect communication access and other people like myself. For once in my life, I won’t feel alone in the world of the “hearing.” However, not only would the deaf world help me fit in but to spread the knowledge that deaf people have a lot to offer.

You’re probably wondering “Where is this deaf world?” Well, I have the answer to your question. The first paragraph I briefly mentioned that my teacher went into a world beyond this one. The deaf world she stepped into takes place at Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. Gallaudet is an unique college because only deaf and hard-of-hearing students can attend. Not only that but they also provide support and guidance for their students.

This past summer for the first time I experienced a whole week at Gallaudet University. I wanted to take up classes in a program called “Knowledge for College” to help me prepare for the ACT test. Also, I wanted to get a taste of college life and the “Deaf World.”

The very first time I stepped on Gallaudet’s campus, my eyes grew big and my heart started to race! Everyone around me was signing and I didn’t have to struggle to understand what they were saying. The new door was finally unlocked and I opened it with complete shock. It was like entering the world of my dreams.

At Gallaudet, I interacted with deaf people and teachers on the campus. It was so cool because I learned a lot from them and from Gallaudet itself. After talking to deaf people in my group, we all became friends. Every day, we would have breakfast, lunch, and dinner together. These people came from many different states and I loved hearing about their home town and learning different signs. We learned a lot from each other and in the classrooms as well.

Gallaudet is a place where your self-esteem will grow and a smile will always be upon your face. After enjoying my stay at Gallaudet, I learned that we will always need the support of others in order to succeed. This was a one-in-a-lifetime experience and I hope to share my knowledge with those who are interested in the deaf world. I can’t help but thank Mrs. Cross-Jones for opening my eyes, and my heart, for sharing her experiences at Gallaudet University with me.

Visiting RIT and My Future

By Stephanie Penk
Hi everyone! My name is Stephanie Penk. I am deaf and an eighteen-year old senior at Clearview Regional High School in Mullica Hill, NJ. I want to tell you about my experiences at Rochester Institute of Technology and what I want to do in my future.

I first heard about RIT for Explore Your Future program from my teacher named Mrs. Cross-Jones. She said she thought it would be a good experience for me. It’s for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing high school junior and senior students who are preparing to make decisions about colleges and careers.

On July 19th, my parents drove me to RIT in six hours. It was a long drive. I was so nervous because it was my first time to visit there. I never stopped being nervous. I finally arrived at RIT and saw a lot of people I didn’t know. I met with the new people. They were so nice to me. Everyone was signing. It was fun to hang out with them.

I had to take the COMPASS/ESL Test for college. I passed. I was so happy and was proud of myself. I had two classes for 5 days. I learned about different career categories such as Realistic (Doers), Investigative (Thinkers), Artistic (Creators), Social (Helpers), Enterprising (Leaders) and Conventional (Organizers) for career explorer. It helped me learn about myself and possible life/career choices. I participated in a lot of activities including ice skating, swimming, and going to a movie. I made some new friends. They are from different states such as Louisiana, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and California. We all had so much fun at RIT.

I have to make a decision about which college I want to go to after high school. It’s hard for me to decide. I don’t want to go away from my family and friends. They are always supportive and are there for me. I was thinking about maybe going to Camden County College in Blackwood, NJ then transferring to RIT for two years. I really want to become a fashion designer. That’s my dream. I love to make clothes and things like quilts and purses.

All my life, I have been in a deaf program in public schools. I have never been at a school with so many deaf people and where everyone signs. It was a shock for me but it was great experience. I felt so involved and it was a happy feeling.


(New Jersey American Sign Language Teacher Association)


“Hands On Activities”

Presenter Sharon Lane from Ohio

November 22, 2008

9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Rahway Library in Rahway, NJ
2 City Hall Plaza, Rahway, New Jersey
For more information, including workshop fees, contact Lynne Jacob at NJASLTA@aol.com.


(Association of Late Deafened Adults-Garden State)

Presents its

Fall Workshop
December 6, 2008

10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

at the East Brunswick Public Library

2 Jean Walling Civic Center East Brunswick, NJ 08816

Morning - Jeffrey Newman, Deputy Clerk,

Appellate Division Superior Court of NJ will speak on court access for those with hearing loss.

Free lunch will be served.

Afternoon - Thomas Lesnick, Manager of Client Services, PhoneTag will demonstrate PhoneTag service.

CART, assistive devices and sign language interpreters will be available,

courtesy of the Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

The College of New Jersey’s Deaf-Hearing Connection

Proudly presents
Christy Smith and Dave Justice

Co-founders of Discovering Deaf Worlds.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

(reception to follow)
The College of New Jersey

Mildred & Ernest E. Mayo Concert Hall

for directions visit www.tcnj.edu.
Christy and Dave will discuss their experiences with Deaf cultures around the world, including those in India, Nepal, and Thailand to name a few! Interpreting services will be provided and there is no admission fee.

For more information, contact The Deaf-Hearing Connection at deafhc@tcnj.edu.

Sorenson Communications Hosts

New Jersey Center Open House

Submitted by Stacie T. Angelo

Sorenson Communications hosted an open house for its new Edison, NJ, Video Relay Service (VRS) Interpreting Center on Wednesday, August 20. The Deaf community, interpreters, family, and friends saw first-hand the inside workings of a VRS center and met some of the faces behind the Sorenson Communications name.
Among those in attendance were Ron Burdett, Sorenson Communications Vice President of Community Relations in the Salt Lake City office; Jody Kulchinsky, Area Specialist Manager; Michael Canale, Eastern Region District Manager; Stacie Angelo, Interpreter Manager for the Edison VRS Interpreting Center; and installers/trainers, as well as Edison VRS interpreters, who helped out with demonstrations, tours, set-ups, and refreshments. Jo Madden, Manager of the Philadelphia VRS Interpreting Center; Debbie Olsen and Chris Tester, Director and Manager (respectively) of the New York City Sorenson VRS Interpreting Center also attended.
The open house was held under an outdoor tent and began with a welcome by the center manager, followed with remarks by Michael Canale. Jody Kulchinsky then introduced Ron Burdett, who shared stories of how he used to have to depend on his wife to make calls on the TTY. He explained how he now works closely with the FCC to ensure that the Deaf community has every opportunity for equal communication access, including access to communication for 911 emergencies. The formalities ended with an official ribbon-cutting and tours of the new center and demonstrations of VRS technology.
For more information about the center and Sorenson, contact Stacie T. Angelo, Manager Edison Sorenson VRS Interpreting Center, Sorenson Communications 866-639-1487; 516-356-4902 Cell; 908-755-7797 FAX;

sangelo@sorenson.com or visit us at www.sorensonvrs.com.

Anti-Semitism In Poland

After Auschwitz

A Lecture By Dr. Jan Gross

• Noted historian and renowned lecturer

• Acclaimed award-winning author and scholar on the Holocaust

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