The UAD Board expresses thanks to our community in support of UAD to stay strong.  We wish you a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!

We encourage you to join UAD OR you can always donate money to UAD before end of year.  It is 100% tax deductible.  To join, go to and click on ‘Join Us’.  To donate, contact Philippe Montalette at

President’s Corner

We hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving!

The biggest thing that happened in November was the Legislative Advocacy Training provided by Kim Bianco-Majeri.  It was very educational and we learned the importance of working together as a community to advocate for the changes we want to see.  UAD will be providing a more in depth update on this.  Stay tuned!

The next main thing coming up will be in January.  National Association of the Deaf (NAD) Board is coming to town! Please feel welcome to come to the town hall meeting at Sanderson Community Center on Friday, January 15th.  It’ll be great to meet everyone on the board who has an important role in preserving, educating and fighting for our rights.  NAD also overlooks 50 state associations for the deaf, like UAD. 🙂

As for December, please have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe 2016 is just around the corner!

We strongly encourage you to join UAD as a member and support UAD; membership strengthens the organization. UAD needs your voice and your opinion to help move it forward in the future. Membership is only $15 a year and is tax deductible.  To join, go to and click on ‘Join Us.’ Donations to UAD are always appreciated. To donate, contact Philippe Montalette at

Stephen Persinger
UAD President

Wedding Bells

November 19, 2015 – Connie Becerra and Stephen Welch, united in marriage with family and close friends in attendance, at the Bella Vista Reception Center in Lindon . His children, Sophie and Tomas, were with them. They honeymooned in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

To a Higher Glory

November 20, 2015 – Ottrie Schwab passed away at the age of 91 from heart failure. She was born in Youngs Creek, Kentucky. As a teenager, she moved by herself to Ohio where she worked in an aircraft manufacturing plant during World War II in Ohio. She and John Palmer moved to Salt Lake City, John’s home, to raise their family. Ottrie was a practical woman, who worked hard all her life. Her ashes were buried by her first husband, John.

December 2015 Holidays

  • 6    Chanukah lasts 8 days
  • 7    Pearl Harbor Day
  • 22  Winter Solstice
  • 25  Christmas Day
  • 27  National Fruitcake Day
  • 31  New Year’s Eve

Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind News

Michelle Tanner

It is a pleasure to update you on what is happening at the Utah Schools for the Deaf.

I thought this time of year would be a great time to explain my role as the Superintendent of the Deaf for USDB.  As the USD Superintendent, I have many duties that include a multitude of meetings.  I have weekly meetings with the other members of the superintendency of USDB, as well as monthly meetings with each division director of the school, lead interpreters and special education directors across the state.  During these meetings we carefully evaluate and monitor budgets, as well as address any personnel issues that may have arisen.  I am also responsible to provide guidance for audiology, speech and psychology.   There are also times when I am called upon to conduct IEP meetings within a given month.   Other duties include attendance at each USDB Advisory Council and Board of Education meeting.

One of the most prominent goals at USD is to improve the outcomes of students.  This has meant advertising and hiring staff for USD that have included interpreters, teachers and various specialists.  Additionally USD has been focusing our energies on improving transition services.  We recently convened a task force that will meet monthly to continually address the student needs for better post high school outcomes.

As part of raising the bar at USD, teachers and staff will soon be given an ASLPI.  This evaluation tool measures the ASL skills of each staff member.  Once this measure has been administered, USD will identify acceptable skill levels for each position and work towards in improving the skills of each staff member.

As we begin looking towards January and the legislative session, I want to make you aware of legislative happenings.  USDB will be requesting the following increases:


  • Educator Salary Adjustments (1.7% increase): $460,000.00
  • Necessary legislative increase for our teaching staff.
  • USIMAC Stability: $650,000.00
  • Helps maintain the funding for this required statewide service.
  • Teacher Aides & Interpreter Increases: $277,831.00
  • Provides a very necessary pay increase to allow USDB to be competitive.


  • Purchase Grant Building in Springville: $1,200,000.00
  • This facility would provide a permanent school for our students in the Orem, Provo and Springville areas.
  • Cottages Upgrades:  $320,000.00
  • Provides necessary upgrades to our residential cottages in Ogden.

Finally, we are hoping to run legislation to require direct referrals to USDB when a child is found to have a hearing loss.

I hope you holidays are enjoyable and that you are able to attend some of the USD basketball games.  I have provided the schedule below, in case you are able to attend a game or two.

Thank you for all the support you provide to our students.


Jean Massieu School News

Aimee Breinholt

We at JMS would like to wish you a happy holiday season!  We hope you will find joy at this time of the year!  Our winter program will be held on December 18th at 10am in the auditorium.  Please come and join us as we celebrate.  The students have worked hard and are excited to share this theatrical production with families and our community.

Basketball season is starting.  Our high school boys will be coached by Jayson Bluhme and Dan Mathis.  We are working to get an eighth grade boys team together.  We are in need of a few more players.  Students must be eighth grade age.  If you know of anyone please contact Wade Hester at

We have hired Janae Larsen as our receptionist.  We are thrilled to have her join our team.  Come by when you can and welcome her to our JMS family.

We are thrilled to share the hard work of our middle school journalism students.  Brandon Hill has helped the students create a weekly news bulletin, the Buzz News.  If you have not yet subscribed, we encourage you to do so and stay current with happenings at the school.  Subscribe through the YouTube channel – Jean Massieu School Buzz News – .

Please stop in and see us at JMS and thank you for your support!

Directory Undergoes Changes

Valerie Kinney

The Utah Association of the Deaf announces a new name for the Utah Telecom Book – it will be known as Utah ASL Directory.  There are several reasons for the change in the directory name.

  • Telecom is an old terminology that’s not used much in today’s young generation
  • Technology is constantly changing and that affects the ways we communicate with each other. There’s now Facebook, FaceTime, Messenger, Glide, email and texting.
  • Changing the title of the book shows that we have a community of ASL users that we value
  • Through this Utah ASL Directory we can help preserve and build those connections to the hidden community

In order to encourage people to become UAD members, the UAD has set fees for the purchase of a directory copy:

  • UAD MemberFree copy; if shipped, $4 for postage
  • Non Member$15 membership plus $2 for the book
  • Non Member$6 for the book; if shipped, $4 for postage

Group sales to businesses and churches are available. Contact Adele Sigoda for details.

The Utah ASL Directory will be available for distribution in January 2016 at the UAD Bookstore.  Directories to be shipped to out of state people will come from the UAD Bookstore also.

When the directory is ready for distribution in January 2016, an announcement will be sent out through UAD Announce.

Sego Lily Holiday Open House 2015

Sego Lily News Fall 2015

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