Dave Mortensen Honored at Unveiling
by Valerie Kinney
“Deaf people can do anything (just) as anyone else except hear. (We just want opportunities) for better jobs, communication barriers being broken down and to be involved in things that people who can hear are involved in but don’t think of including deaf people.” –David Mortensen, advocate for the deaf
On March 29, a special ceremony was held to unveil two plaques honoring more than forty years of advocacy on behalf of the Utah deaf community. He focused on Deaf rights in education, the workplace, interpreting and medical fields. His work often was behind the scenes, but his contributions have lasted for many years.
A brunch was served to over 50 people, compromised of his extended family, UAD board members and people who worked closely with Dave while he was president.
The plaques are located in the south hallway, just outside of the lecture hall.
Speakers Philippe Montalette, UAD president; Marilyn Call, DSDHH division director; Don Uchida, retired USOR executive director; and Valerie Kinney, gave talks covering various aspects of Dave’s life, from childhood to present day. Among his accomplishments:
• Lobbied to obtain money to establish the deaf center
• Sought money to set up the TTY program
• Worked to add two deaf people to serve on the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind Intuitional Council.
• Saw to that a state law was passed to provide the relay service for the deaf.
• Lobbied the legislature to recognize American Sign Language as an official language.
• Helped to establish the interpreter Training Program at Salt Lake Community College.
• In addition, saw to that the Utah Association of the Deaf provided the first interpreter service
• Worked tirelessly to meet with doctors and hospitals to provide interpreters for deaf patients and clients.
• Met with law companies to explain about the Americans with Disabilities Act and encourage them to provide interpreters.
• Made sure that the law enforcement agencies were aware of the ADA and to provide interpreters.
In his professional life, Mortensen was the first person in Utah to become a certified social worker.
Marilyn Call summed up Dave Mortensen’s adult life thus: “We have all kinds of accessibility and technology today. Our lives are much better because of him.”
Jasen Lee, Deseret News journalist, and KSL reporter, provided parts of the article.
For more information, links are provided below:
The National Association of the Deaf hosted its first annual Gala, at Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, CA. I decided to attend it with my daughter, Kristina and her friend. We met many well known people such as actresses and actors, producers and directors. NAD wants to break through Hollywood make people aware of deaf performers. We had a wonderful time meeting wonderful people, especially Amber Zion who signed ASL at Super Bowl last month.
I also want to encourage you to look at The Utah Association of the Deaf website to find information about the new bill, HR 4040, the Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act. It has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. It is very critical bill how it impacts deaf education in this country. Be sure that you write letter your local senators and congress to support this bill.
CEASD and NAD encourage everyone to contact their Congress members and ask for their support of this act. For more information go to
What you would do this July? Why don’t you consider attending the biennial NAD convention? It will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, July 1 to 5. To find more information, check http://new.nad.org Hope to see you at the convention. UAD board is sending JR Goff, vice president and Dan Hoffman, member at large, as delegates.
We encourage you to join UAD as a member and show your support to UAD; this will strengthen the organization. UAD needs your voice and your
opinion to help us move forward to the future.
February 26, 2014 – Collin Welch passed away at the age of 28. He worked as a CIR representative at Sorenson Communications for several years, alongside many other deaf employees. He was very well liked in his department and had many friends there. He graduated from the SLCC ITP program. He was part of the ICAN program the Sanderson Community Center for a year, and worked as an interpreter at SLCC. Collin leaves behind his wife Jessica, son Layne and daughter Brielle, as well as an extended family. Funeral services were held in West Jordan with burial in South Jordan.
March 6, 2014 – Richard Brubaker, 79, passed away in Houston, TX. He resided in Bountiful from 1966 to 1971, and worked for the Weber County Recorder’s Office in Ogden. While in Utah, he served as Utah Association for the Deaf treasurer. He is survived by his wife, Joan, and his children, Dan Brubaker, a partner with Hands on Travel (H O T) agency in Seattle, WA and Joyce Brubaker, who serves as Rocky Mountain Deaf School project director in Golden, CO.
March 14, 2014 – Terry Tomkinson passed away at the age of 55. She was a talented artist and a wonderful seamstress, and had the ability to create beauty in everything she touched. Her creativity and talent were gifts that she shared freely, and used to touch the lives of many. Terry was well known for her acts of service and always had a bedroom available for those who needed a place to stay. Though her family was large, her heart always had room to welcome everyone into her life and family. Through the years many people have been blessed through her generosity and kindness. Her last request before she passed away was that black was not to be worn at her funeral, only bright and happy colors. Funeral services were held in Provo with burial in Orem. She is survived by her husband of 34 years, Dan Tomkinson, and their six children and twelve grandchildren.
The celebration of Elsie Anderson’s 92nd birthday took place on March 16 at the home of Theron Anderson, her son, in South Jordan; it was well attended.
Elsie is originally from Idaho where she lost her hearing at seven. Four years later, she attended the Idaho School for the Deaf. She was married to Lawrence Anderson, a printer at NAC. They had five children – Wayne, Kent, Theron, Boyd and Karen Mae. Larry passed away in 1986 and Elsie remained in their Holladay home until recently when she moved to live with her granddaughter Rebecca Servoss, in South Jordan. Elsie loves spending time in her Holladay home as often as possible. She keeps busy spending time with family and sending birthday cards to her four living children, 19 grandchildren and 42 great-grandchildren. Elsie also enjoys reading novels and going out to eat.
April 2014 Holidays
1 April Fool’s Day
13 Palm Sunday
18 Good Friday
20 Easter Sunday
22 Earth Day
24 Take Your Daughter to Work Day
Jean Massieu School News
What an amazing month!!! JMS has been a bustle of activity and learning.
First, our Academic Bowl team competed against other deaf schools in the regional academic bowl competition, hosted by the Texas School for the Deaf. Our students, Josette Savea, Daniel Himes and Katie Cook placed 4th and will be competing at the national level at Gallaudet University in April. We are so proud of their accomplishments and can’t wait to see how they perform in Washington, D.C.
Another exciting event was our week long Read-A-Thon. At the beginning of the week, students establish reading goals and commitment to reading each night of the week. Some students made reading challenges with another student or teacher. Each day of the week focused on a different genre in reading. There were storytellers that came throughout the week and read to the students. On Friday, all the students spent an extensive time silently reading. Middle School students stayed after school that Friday and silently read in the cafeteria. The week ended with an ASL storytelling event for the community. Those students who achieved their goals were awarded with very fun field trips.
Those students that did well at our JMS science fair, competed for the first time at the Regional Science Fair. At this competition, we had four 5th-6th graders compete with a large pool of competitors. We are very pleased to announce that Senait Ricks won a Special Award for testing which leavening agent (baking soda, baking powder, yeast) worked the best for causing cupcakes to rise!
We also had 15 7th-10th graders compete in a variety of categories. 7th and 8th graders were in one category and 9th-12th graders were divided into specialized categories (i.e. biology, animal behavior, physics…etc) We are THRILLED to announce that Alexah Sloan placed in the top 3 for her category! Rhett Carbine and Meseret Ricks were nominated for two Special Awards (meaning a specialized award in their category) while Javier Lopez and Jessiah Gonzalez were nominated for a Special Award in their category! JMS was also offered a partnership with the outreach program at the University of Utah! We are very pleased with all of our student’s science projects. They were amazing!
This month will mark the first time our students have participated in soccer. We have created a co-ed team along with a few Skyline students. They competed in their first games this month and won both of them. We still have more games to play coming in April.
We ended the month with a bang, as we competed and hosted the Regional Drama Competition for our division. We are delighted to report that we will have several students advancing to the State Theatre Competition! Rhett Carbine and Saul Felix placed 1st place for the contemporary scenes. Anthony Claypool and Josette Savea placed 3rd for their scenes, while Aaron Solorio, Meseret Ricks and Katie Cook placed 4th. We can’t wait to see how they do at the State level in April.
Finally, Jr. Jazz has begun again. Boys in the 4th – 8th grades are participating in a recreational league on Saturdays. This will be in addition to the Girl Scouts we are offering on Tuesdays and a dance class on Thursdays.
We seek to promote the development of the whole child and want to provide opportunities for our students to learn and grow in a variety of ways. We hope by offering opportunities like these we will see our students improve academically, socially and physically to the best of their abilities.
Craig and Jill Radford hosted a farewell party so that they could see their friends one last time before moving to Florida. The event took place February 28 at the Sanderson Community Center. The Radfords provided pizza and friends brought in side dishes. They had a fantastic time with their friends!
Craig, who has worked for ZVRS for some time, was promoted and is now working as director of business development at its headquarters in Clearwater. They, along with their children – Alexis, 12, Taylor, 9, Jordan, 7, Mason, 4 and Titan, 7 months – flew to Florida on March 5 and are living in Palm Harbor, Florida.
Brandon and Lisa Dopf with daughter Hallie, 4, of West Haven, moved at the end of February to Florida where Brandon accepted a position as technical support engineer with ZVRS.
Brandon commented: “The move was a huge change in our lives, moving further away from family and friends. However, we felt it was a right move for us for several reasons: to gain the experience for my career, meet new people, and go on an “adventure” as a little family. We are loving it here so far!”
XMission Hosts UAD Website
The Utah Association of the Deaf website had its beginning in 1999, under the guidance of Ron Nelson, who was vice president at the time. As secretary-treasurer, he set up a website for NorthWest Athletic Association at the same time. Both websites were run under the same ISP. Catherine Holt took over in 2007 and managed the website until 2009.
XMission has hosted the UAD website since November 24, 2009. Because Utah Association of the Deaf is a non-profit organization, the business Internet provider provides the hosting service for free.
The website underwent a major facelift in August of 2013, bringing it into the 21st century. Philippe Montalette, UAD president, worked with Elise and Laurence Whitworth of Satdaya, based in Hurricane, to accomplish the change.
We thank XMission for hosting the website at no charge. Curious what the XMission logo looks like? Take a look at the bottom of the UAD home page; you will see the XMission logo.
NAD Breakthrough Gala
Liam Collins, Kristina Montalette, Marlee Matlin, Philippe Montalette
In March, more than 200 people gathered at the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, California to celebrate breakthroughs in the media on behalf of deaf and hard of hearing actors and artists and to recognize those who have paved the way for these actors and artists in Hollywood and the media. The NAD convened this unprecedented Breakthrough Awards Gala to showcase the importance of these breakthroughs, which help increase awareness of the importance of authentic inclusion of the deaf and hard of hearing community. With this eye-opening event, the NAD seeks to translate the heightened awareness into increased opportunities for our community to gain prominent roles both in front of and behind the camera.
Philippe Montalette, UAD president and NAD treasurer, attended the event, along with his daughter, Kristina, and a family friend, Liam Collins.
Attendees included major media companies, deaf and hard of hearing actors and artists, television and movie executives, directors, producers, writers, agents, and casting professionals. The NAD thanks all who attended and is especially grateful to our sponsors including many from the industry: Comcast/NBCUniversal, CBS, Eisenberg & Baum LLP, ABC Family, Margie Somers of Allred Maroko & Goldberg, NFL Foundation, Disney Parks & Resorts, Showtime, Media Four Management, and David Walsh of Morrison & Foerster LLP.
Six recipients of the first Breakthrough Award were recognized for their trailblazing work in the entertainment industry that made it possible for deaf and hard of hearing artists and supporting cast to have a meaningful presence in Hollywood:
~ Marlee Matlin
~ Aaron Sorkin
~ Lizzy Weis
~ Bernard Bragg
~ The Walt Disney Company
Utah’s Biggest Liar Contest!
On March 31, 2014, our own Dale H Boam competed in The Timpanogos Storytelling Institute’s sixth annual “Utah’s Biggest Liar Contest.” Contestants are encouraged to tell their best tall tale, whopper and big fish story to impress the audience with their ability to humorously deceive.
Those of you who know Dale, know that he is always ready with a story; and as an attorney he may be too qualified. Dale participated in the preliminary Biggest Liar’s contest on March 21, 2014. From this first group of nearly 20 storytellers 8 were chosen to compete in the finals.
“I love going to the storytelling festival every year at the end of August,” said Dale. The festival is so much fun and has gone out of its way to be Deaf friendly. I told myself for years I wanted to tell a story at the festival and this year I just went for it!”
Participants are scored on technique, story development, originality and effectiveness. The contest features a separate division for children and adults, and requires the stories to be three to six minutes in length. This year the contest added new criteria, audience appeal.
Utah’s Biggest Liar Contest was started by April Johnson, a member of the Utah Storytelling Guild. Johnson was inspired by lying contests in West Virginia and Texas. The winner of each division receives the coveted Golden Shovel Award, signed by Bil Lepp; five time winner of the West Virginia Liars contest. The winners also get the opportunity to perform their pieces at the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival. This annual festival is in its 25rd year, and is the biggest of its kind in the world.
Utah Academic Bowl Team Compete in Texas
The Utah Academic Bowl team, comprised of Danny Himes, Josette Savea and Katie Cook, flew to Austin, Texas to compete with other regional teams the weekend of February 27 to March 2. The players wasted no time on their arrival – they got to working, drilling themselves with the knowledge of arts, deaf culture, and other subjects. Earlier, the team was able to scrimmage with New Mexico School for the Deaf team. We owe a huge thanks to the New Mexico School for the Deaf for giving our team ideas and hints where to find a study guide to help them to become well prepared for the national competition. Jenefer Reudter, assistant coach, went with the team; the coach, Kristi Mortensen, was unable to go due to medical issues. It was the first time for Kristi not to accompany the team to the regionals. Jenefer kept in touch with Kristi, texting information and sending pictures. Thank goodness for technology! Teams were divided into two groups: the Buff group, which the Utah team was put in, and the Blue group. At the end of the competition, the team won the coveted Sportsmanship Award for the Buff pool, and Danny Himes won the All Star Player for the Buff pool. Kristi Mortensen surprised her team by meeting them as the team arrived at the Salt Lake International Airport. There were hugs all around. The Utah Academic Bowl team and BOTH coaches are gearing up and readying for the nationals. They will take off for Washington DC on April 4 and return April 8.
There is one more fundraiser, on Wednesday, April 23, hosted by Fremont High School ASL honors students. 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. There will be great Deaf storytellers present that evening, including the academic bowl team members – they have prepared fun stories to share. You may not want to miss this one! Fremont High School in the lecture hall (upstairs on the second floor, and is located at 1900 North 4700 West in Plain. Admission is$2.00 for students, $3.00 for adults and a family package is $6.00.
Please come and enjoy the evening. All proceeds will be donated to the Jean Massieu School of the Deaf Academic Bowl team. Any questions, you may contact Amy Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summary of General Meeting Minutes
At the general meeting held on February 22, 2014, the following points were discussed:
The current number of membership is 81.
UAD yearly budget was presented and approved. UAD Board will follow the budget.
Membership and affiliation costs were changed in the UAD Bylaws.
Married Couples/domestic partners…………. $25.00
Seniors (age 50+)……………………………… $10.00
Senior Couple…………………………………… $15.00
Student or associate (non-Utah resident)…… $10.00
• Affiliation – The Association shall pay an affiliation fee to the National Association of the Deaf.
Nonprofit organizations may affiliate with the Association for a fee of $50 per year.
Businesses may affiliate with the Association for a fee of $100 per year.
Two board members, Dan Hoffman and J.R. Goff, will attend as delegates to NAD Conference in Atlanta, GA in July 2014.
UAD Conference 2015 theme will be “ASL Now and Then”.
Topics to be followed up:
• The Utah Telecom Book staff is interested in finding trainees to learn how to work with the directory and produce it
• An ad-hoc committee has been set up to investigate how to improve the Utah Telecom Book
• Fundraising events will be set up during the year to help fund the delegates’ trip to NAD Conference.
• The date for UAD Conference is in question. A survey will be sent to ask for community input.