President’s Corner


We have some things in the works! We’re planning on releasing the new website for UAD  soon! (just a couple last touch ups and testing then it’s ready to go!) 

Don’t forget about the Family Skate Night on Feb 15th! It’s from 6 to 10 pm at Classic Fun Center- 9151 S. 255 W. Sandy, UT 84070. 

There’s also the Deafhood 101 workshop if you’re interested in taking it! It’ll be March 7-10th at Sanderson Community Center! Registration fees for this are as following: 

UAD member: $175
Non-UAD member: $200

If you want to register, please email me at ASAP since space is limited!

We’re finalizing some details for the upcoming UAD Conference this fall – date to be announced soon. So there’s a lot of planning to do. Please keep an eye out for the announcement about that as well. 

The legislative session will be starting soon – January 28-March 14, 2019. Have you been in touch with your representative? If not, it’s NOT too early to get in touch and ask what their goals are for this legislative session. Let them know who you are and share what issues you feel are important to you. 

Last but not the least, have a SUPER AWESOME NEW YEAR! 

That’s all we have for now. If you have any questions feel free to email me at  Thank you,

Stephen Persinger, UAD President

To a Higher Glory

September 24, 2018 – Larry Kinnett, 80, who hailed from Indiana, passed away. He loved bowling with his deaf friends, fishing and crafts. He was also a member of a deaf camping club. Larry also enjoyed playing poker, watching Jazz basketball, and Cowboy football. He is survived by his wife, Heather.  A memorial service was held in Taylorsville.

November 20, 2018 – Clarke Zemp, 72,  passed away peacefully from complications of diabetes and dementia. He loved making everyone laugh, enjoyed jokes, and relished creating his own personal pantomimes. He took great pleasure in bringing a giggle and a smile. His quirky sense of humor will be remembered. A memorial service was held in West Jordan, with graveside dedication to take place in Hurricane at a future date.

December 28, 2018 – Gary Mortensen, 80, formerly of Twin Falls, ID, passed away in Tacoma, WA, He skied for many years and competed in Deaflympics. In 1967 he and Art Valdez competed in Berchtesgaden, West Germany, while in 1971 he competed in Adelboden, Switzerland. He is survived by his wife, Sandra Mortensen. A family memorial was held.

News of Note

November 17, 2018 – Family and friends celebrated Gerry Shepherd’s 90th birthday. She is the widow of Lee Shepherd, a long time shoe cobbler in Spanish Fork.

SCCDHH Hosts New Signing Training

TAYLORSVILLE — People who are deaf-blind have to communicate and experience the world around them using mostly just one sense: touch.

Recently, a group of deaf-blind Utahns learned an emerging method of sign language that could change their lives.

Jelica Nuccio and John Lee Clark, both nationally recognized trainers, came to the Sanderson Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Nov. 8-10 to teach deaf-blind individuals and interpreters Protactile American Sign Language.

While tactile sign language helps the deaf-blind to understand by feeling someone’s hands while they sign, protactile signing provides a way for the deaf-blind to better communicate and understand conversations, and more fully experience the world around them. It utilizes the whole body, such as the legs, arms, chest, back and head.

For example, lightly tapping on a deaf-blind person’s arm or knee signifies that the listener is nodding in agreement. Quickly rubbing back and forth on the same areas would signify “no,” a disagreement or another negative reaction. Drawing a question mark on the deaf-blind person’s chest means the listener is confused or doesn’t understand.

Protactile ASL is new to Utah’s deaf-blind community, Stephen Ehrlich said. It was developed “organically” by people in the deaf and blind community starting in 2007, and he thinks Utah was just out of the loop for a while.

Ehrlich, who was born deaf and visually impaired before eventually losing sight completely, participated in the training. He said although having three full days of training was great, he wishes they had more.

“It was very rich experience for everyone involved,” he said in sign language via interpreter Clay Anderson.

Ehrlich teaches sign language at the Sanderson Center, particularly to adults who are developing deaf-blindness. He is also part of a committee that will discuss what the next step will be in continuing protactile education.

Printed in Deseret News
November 24, 2018

Stephen Ehrlich Honored

Stephen Ehrlich was honored in absentia by the “47” Alumni Association for the Deaf at its 110th Anniversary celebration.  The association awarded the 2018 “47” Hall of Fame for his tireless devotion and work with the deaf community. Stephen attended PS 47 in the Bronx, New York.

Stephen was unable to attend the banquet and awards which was held on Sunday, November 11, 2018, He sent a note accepting and appreciation of the award. The event was the day after he concluded the three day protractile workshop at the Sanderson Community Center for the Deaf. 

New SCCDHH Staff Member

Morgann Smith is a new staff member at the Sanderson Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She replaces Joene Nicolaisen, and started August 2018 at Community Program Manager.  She supervises three programs: Hard of Hearing, Outreach and Assistive Technology, and Community Education and Events.

She is a native Utahn and graduated from Skyline High School in 2007 under USDB. She was an oral student and it wasn’t until she was 15 years old when she started learning ASL . It wasn’t until I went to Gallaudet I started to really identify as Deaf because she could still hear and talk. She has no hearing in both of my ears and has never felt more proud to be Deaf

Morgann graduated from Gallaudet in 2014 and in 2016 with degrees in both bachelors and masters in social work. After she graduated with her masters, she worked for Gallaudet Admissions for about a year and then moved to Las Vegas, Nevada and worked as a Case Manager for the Deaf Center of Nevada.

She is married to Dyana Thurgood and she teaches preschool at Jean Massieu School. We have been together for almost 10 years and almost married for 2. Her BA in Deaf Studies was at Utah Valley University and her MA, also in Deaf Studies, at Gallaudet University. She also has a Deaf sibling who works as a Deaf Mentor for USDB and is also a Certified Nurse Assistant

Morgann loves the outdoors here. She really enjoy her job and loves what she does.  She hopes to strengthen our community in ways that will benefit everyone.

Utahn in Town for Survey

Dr. Zach Featherstone, a Utah native, was in town to conduct a survey for those in the senior community who are 55 years of age and above.

The survey was held on December 20 at the Sanderson Community Center. It is sponsored by Gallaudet University and seeks health information from deaf seniors.

Light refreshments were provided and individuals who completed the survey were compensated for their time. This link has more information if you are interested: 

USU to Host Winter Workshops

Save the date for the Utah State University Winter Workshops

Theme – For the Love of Language

Saturday, February 23, 2019

All sessions conducted in ASL

More details and registration coming in a future announcement.

For more information, contact

Utah Deaf Campers 2019-2020

New Utah Deaf Campers’s Officers for 2019-2020

President Clark Gaudette,
Vice President Gregory Rathbun,
Secretary Judy Saunders,
Treasurer John Peebler,
Trustees, Stan O’Neal, Gary Leavitt and Abel Martinez!

May the force be with you always!

WDS Elects 2019 Officers

Wasatch Deaf Seniors held its 2019 elections:

President: Nellie Sausedo
Vice President: Anita Archuleta
Treasurer: Richard Oscarson
1st Trustee: Susan Neal
2nd Trustee: Sherry Garner
3rd Trustee: TediAnn Wilson

American Sign Language Classes – Winter 2019

ASL I – Beginning

The course is an introduction to American Sign Language (ASL). Includes basic grammar, vocabulary, finger spelling, numbers.

January 15, 2019 – March 21, 2019

(30 students)

6:30pm – 8pm

Tuesdays or Thursdays

ASL II – Intermediate

The course demonstrates ASL grammatical rules (facial expressions, body language, body shifting, listing, different

categories of classifiers, and gesturing). You must know basic ASL prior to joining this class.

January 15, 2019 – March 21, 2019

(22 students)

6:30pm – 8pm

Tuesdays or Thursdays

ASL for Children – Age range: 6-11

The course covers basic vocabulary and different topic categories (animals, colors, food, etc). The children will learn through games, role playing, and videos.

January 15, 2019 – March 21, 2019

(15 students)

6:30pm – 8pm

Tuesdays or Thursdays

Please note, this is an ASL class geared for communication with Deaf Culture. For more information on the sign class designed for the hard of hearing, late-deafened, their family & friends, contact the front desk at 801-657-5200 (VP) or check the events page on our website.

Creative Sewing Class

WHEN: Saturday, January 5, 2019

TIME: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

WHERE: Sanderson Community Center – 5709 South 1500 West, Taylorsville, UT 84123

In January’s class, we will share how to make a tablet/mobile bag. Or you can bring any projects that are not completely finished. There will be a teacher available to assist you.

Online registration is REQUIRED! To register, please click the link below:

We will let you know what supplies to bring once you register. This class is taught in ASL. If you need additional accommodations or questions, please contact Mary Beth Baierl at 801-657-5205 or

Ice Skating Night


Let’s have a GREAT start of the new year by joining Sego Lily’s YES! (Your Empowerment Series) activities! We will have activities every quarter.

Our very first YES! activity will be Ice Skating at the Gallivan Center. Mark your calendars for January 5th at 6 pm to 9 pm! We will provide hot chocolate and donuts at the Sego Lily’s office afterwards! This is a perfect activity for singles, families and friends for a night of socializing!

Please RSVP to Erin Kelly Watkins, Outreach Program Coordinator, at or call her at 801-657-5102 by January 4th if you plan on attending.

See you in 2019!

USD Update

Michelle Tanner

Welcome, 2019!  This year the Utah School for the Deaf intends to continue to reach for new opportunities for our students to learn.  Our teachers are creating online content for courses.  We are exploring innovative ways of learning to occur.

Our visit from the League of Innovative Schools was a huge success.  Comments from participants indicated they loved our students and innovative things we are doing. They also praised our teachers for their dedication.  Most observers felt that our school represented how other schools should be functioning and left we a renewed sense of how to teach students.  We were delighted with the kind remarks.

The basketball season is in full swing! This year we have a boys team, a girl’s team, and a cheerleading squad.  We are pleased with the continual growth of these programs. Support our games.  For information about the team and the game schedule, please follow this link:

We will also be participating in the Western States Basketball Classic January 30th – February 2nd in Vancouver, Washington.  We are grateful to the coaches that make this possible.  Thank you, Wade Hester, Dante Ramirez, Dyana Thurgood, Frances Sorrentino, Sharice Baker and Ashley Kindred for making all of this possible!

The ground has been broken in Springville for our new facility.  We are excited to see this project underway.  We will continue to post images of the progress.  It is anticipated that the school will be open in January 2020.  Keep your fingers crossed that there are no delays in our timeline.

The legislative session will begin soon. We are hopeful for some positive outcomes for USDB.  We are requesting a substantial pay increase for our teachers once again, as well as increased funding to assume services for three of the larger school districts.  If these requests are funded, our teachers will receive a significant pay increase, and we will be able to support the larger districts across the State better.  The Department of Facilities and Construction Management will be requesting additional funding for the increased building costs for our new school in Springville. Any support from the community would be greatly appreciated.

At the Utah School for the Deaf, we value the Deaf Community for all the tremendous support given to us and our students. Thank you for caring about our students.  We appreciate you!


Flash News:

The UAD board has agreed that we will publish UAD Bulletin 3 times a year of instead 4 times a year.  It will be January, May, and October every year.


The UAD Bulletin is available online to everyone. For more information, you may contact the editor, Philippe Montalette, at 801-331-5533 or

We are working to update the Facebook page for Utah Association of the Deaf. To see what is coming up, check the flyers within the UAD Bulletin.

Join us in Facebook, type in search “Utah Association of the Deaf”.

Want to learn a little about Utah Deaf history? There is a website,, titled Utah Deaf Historical Digital Library, where you can read various articles – Utah Association of the Deaf, National Fraternal Society of the Deaf, Sanderson Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Gallaudet University (Utah connection), Deaf Latter-Day Saints, and more. Jodi Kinner spent several years of spare time to develop these articles and is commended for her devotion to the project. If you would like to contribute information or pictures that are missing from any of these articles, please contact Jodi at

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