Utah Association of the Deaf (UAD) New Board 2013 – 2015

Please welcome the new UAD Board:

UAD Board
President:                Philippe Montalette
Vice-President:        J.R. Goff
Secretary:                Ellen Hanna
Treasurer:               Adele Sigoda
Member At-Large:  Laurie Bishop
Joyanne Burdett
Dan Hoffman
Meme Kerr
Carol MacNicholl

We are excited to announce that the winner of the logo contest is James Smith.  His logo was chosen by the UAD board and members.

UAD LogoThe message of this logo is:

“With the sun rising over the Wasatch front, UAD welcomes the second century with ambition and passion in continuing the legacy of excellence as it has been since 1909.”

President’s Corner

UAD Conference was very successful. There were over 80 people at the conference. Many people enjoyed themselves at several workshops and the Rathskellar performance / VAME.

A big THANKS go to two wonderful people, Ellen Hanna and Patricia Lowry who worked very hard to make sure that our conference went smoothly.  A special thank you to the Eventida people who helped us to arrange for the conference in Hurricane. Without them, it would be much harder for us to prepare. They also live in same town where the conference held.

A thank you to Rob Kerr who was on the board for a long time.  He decided not to stay on the board.  Time for him to enjoy his retirement with his lovely wife Sally. A thank you to Abel Martinez, Jodi Kinner, Marion West and Eleanor McCowan, outgoing board members, for their sacrifice to take the time to serve on the UAD board.

We are grateful that we have five new faces on the UAD board for the next two years. We welcome them as part of the board and look forward to working with them and sharing their perspectives and experiences.

UAD will have an updated website and will be ready for the public when it becomes available. We are also working on a new email system a web-based look and feel of email.

If you have any feedback the new website, please feel free to contact me. We love to have your feedback!

Philippe Montalette, President

SYNERGY 2013 in Southern Utah

Ellen O’Hara Hanna – Co-Chair

The Utah Association of the Deaf Conference 2013 was the beginning of a big change for Utah ASL Community. Hosted in Hurricane, the conference was packed with fun and information from Thursday, June 13 to Saturday, June 15. Many members from Utah ASL Community, north and south, gathered together with a few parents, teachers and interpreters. We attended workshops, viewed several exhibits of art and/or vendors, and enjoyed fabulous local food while catching up with friends.

Summarizing the events of the conference, Thursday began in the afternoon with a kick-off party at Sand Hollow State Park. The sand was smooth red and the lake was refreshingly cool. Some played in the water, played volleyball, chatted under the trees or grilled a dinner. Marvin Miller, one of the founding board members of Deafhood Foundation, fired us up on Friday morning with his powerful speech about regaining our people and empowering ourselves to change our community. Following the keynote speech, Ellen O’Hara Hanna led the group into a discussion about Utah Deaf education and how we can begin the process of healing, building, and rebuilding a stronger Utah Deaf education. Then the rest of the day was filled with six different workshops: two relating to safety, two relating to professionalism, and two relating to the community. We held a brief memorial moment for our deceased deaf members who had passed since the last UAD conference.

Friday night ended with an delicious banquet feast and two awards: the Golden Hand Award went to Jodi Becker Kinner and the President’s Award went to Sego Lily Center for the Abused Deaf. Rathskellar and Visual Art Media Entertainment left us laughing and enlightened by their music and performance. Saturday brought a beautiful rock tour and informative legislative training. We concluded our conference with the election of new board members: Laurie Bishop, Joyanne Burdett, Dan Hoffman, Meme Kerr and Carol MacNicholl are members at large. The UAD board elected Philippe Montalette to continue to be the president. J.R. Goff became the vice-president. Ellen Hanna will serve as secretary and Adele Sigoda remains as treasurer. The new UAD Logo was revealed. Eventida, the deaf website company, presented the upcoming updated UAD website look.

Throughout the conference, everyone chipped in helping with the cleaning and volunteering their time with interpreting for the low-vision and deaf-blind persons. The conference was filled with a good feeling and uplifting synergy. The participants reported that they found the workshops very beneficial and the entertainment very engaging. There is a lot of support from the Utah ASL community. We hope to see more parents, teachers and interpreters in the next UAD conference. Thank you!


June 10, 2013 – Jerry Taylor, 82, passed away peacefully.  He started his career in 1958 at Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind as a teacher, and served as basketball, track and cross country coach, eventually becoming athletic director.  He retired after 29 years.  He was active in the Utah Association of the Deaf, and was a long time member of National Association of the Deaf and the National Fraternal Society of the Deaf.  Funeral services were held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church where he and Nancy were faithful members.  He was laid to rest beside Mary, a daughter who passed away in 1981.  He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Nancy of South Ogden.

June 10, 2013 – Elmo Mankin, 78, passed away in Salt Lake City.  He was a janitor at the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind for over 45 years.  Viewing was held at the Salt Lake Valley 2nd Ward, with burial in Wellsville. He is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, Beth, and his son, Rex, both of Salt Lake City.

June 17, 2013 – Della Wilding passed away in Gooding, ID at the age of 74. Della’s main role was that of a loving wife and mother who raised nine children, having great impact on those around her – either directly or through her children.  She was very involved with church and humanitarian projects. She was involved with the Idaho Association of the Deaf, the Idaho Athletic Association of the Deaf, and the National Association of the Deaf.  She was also the first president of the Gooding Deaf Club. At the Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind, she was a teacher, volleyball and basketball coach, and teacher’s aide for several years. Funeral services were held in Gooding, ID with burial at the Gooding cemetery.  In addition to her husband, Jerry, to whom she was married 52 years, most of her children lived in Utah at one time or another; one, Camilla Carpenter currently resides in Pleasant Grove.

Birthday Milestone

May 28, 2013 – Friends and family surprised Kenneth Kinner at a get together on June 8 at the Ogden LDS Deaf Branch.

Scholarships Available to Deaf College Students

by Valerie Kinney

The Ned C. Wheeler Scholarship Foundation for the Deaf is pleased to announce that scholarships of $1,000 to $1,500 are available this spring for the 2013-2014 academic year, with a deadline of July 31 to apply.

The organization has awarded scholarships to deserving deaf students in colleges and universities for more than 30 years. Awards are given based on GPA, financial need, and maintaining a full time status as a student.

Criteria for qualifying includes three years residency in Utah, GPA of 3.0 or higher, proof of deafness, and more.

Eligible candidates for the scholarships need to apply now and gather up all required documentation to be sent in well before the deadline.

Applications are available at the UAD website, www.uad.org. On the home page, look at the right side scroll near the bottom where you see the Ned C. Wheeler Scholarship Foundation for the Deaf information. Click on “Application.”

For further information or to request an application, contact Valerie Kinney, secretary at vkinney@comcast.net or call her by VP 801-784-6962. You may also contact Melainie Garcia, chair, at melainie@gmail.com or call her at 801-731-1038.

July 2013 Holidays

  • 1     Canada Day (Dominion Day)
  • 4     Independence Day
  • 23  World Youth Day
  • 26  Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony

A New Superintendent is Chosen for USDB

by Bronwyn O’Hara

On June 7, the State Board of Education met in the morning and announced that Joel Coleman has been selected as the new superintendent of the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind. He will begin his job sometime in August 2013.

The day before, June 6, 2013, the Utah Board of Education met together to finish up the final interviews with the three candidates for the position of Superintendent for the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind. The candidates were Joel Coleman, Larry Taub, and Karl Wilson. Each candidate brought strengths and talents to the job. Tami Pyfer, Board member with special assignment to USDB, reminded the Board and audience that the State Code has been changed in regards to the job responsibilities of the USDB superintendent Rather than requiring the candidate to have expertise in either Deaf or Blind education, the person needed to have more of a CEO role in running the agency (USDB). (Note: Under Utah law, USDB is not a school but a state-run agency serving a portion of the state’s handicapped population.)

Over a period of two months (April-May) the interview questions were gathered from stakeholders who are interested in Deaf Education. These were then compiled and submitted to the Board by Glenna Gallo, State Director of Special Education. This process insured vital questions were part of the interview.

The interviewing process that evening at the State Office of Education (250 East 500 South, in Salt Lake City) took almost an hour and a half. Each candidate was given 30 minutes to look over the questions that would be asked. Each candidate’s interview with the Board lasted about 30 minutes.

The meeting was live-streamed with the camera on the sign language interpreter so internet viewers who are Deaf could participate. These proceedings were recorded and archived for later viewing. If you were unable to watch it live, you can go to this USOE website and watch it: http://connect.schools.utah.gov/p1x4drrd5r2/. Be aware that the delivery speed is choppy but I hope it’s fast enough to be able to follow the interpreter.

The UAD and the UAD Education Committee look forward to forging a working relationship with the new superintendent and have plans to invite him to meet with them this coming September.

Jean Massieu School News

by Michelle Tanner

It’s summer time and JMS is still working! This year we have been able to offer a myriad of summer programs. Some have already been completed. We have already held an art camp that focused on weaving. We had a kickball camp for the older students hosted by Salt Lake Community College interpreting students. We had a great time during the final week of June with several sports camps and even had a dance class taught by Stephanie Mathis.

There are several more camps to come! Two camps in July will allow the students to experience dorm life, as they sleep over in the cottages at the Ogden campus. Our science camp has been a popular camp. We are looking forward to some fun science activities the first week of July. Another popular camp is the literacy camp. Students will enjoy fun activities centered around great literature! We will also be hosting another art camp and a drama camp. We are excited to have so much to offer our students!

We are also pleased to report that we have several camps for preschool! We were able to get a grant through the State Office of Education for preschool summer camps. There will be four different themed camps. (Farming, Zoo Animals, Fish & Community Life) These activities will occur over the course of 3 days. The first day will be spent on pre-teaching vocabulary and building background knowledge. The second day students will be traveling to a local attraction for a language experience activity. The final day will be spent creating language experience books about the field trip.

If you are interested in supporting JMS, we always appreciate donations. Donations are accepted anytime at the front office located at 1655 E. 3300 S. in Salt Lake City. Please make checks payable to the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind and then on the memo line write: JMS. These monies are used to support activities and materials for our students.

If you are interested in becoming a substitute at JMS, we will be interviewing in July for more substitute teachers. You can apply for these positions at http://statejobspostings.utah.gov/. Make sure you apply for the ASL/English substitute teaching position. Thank you for all the support you give JMS. We genuinely appreciate the assistance.

We can’t wait to see our students again on August 21 for the first day of school. Preschool and kindergarten will start August 26.

Deaf Bikers of America thunders through Salt Lake!

by Mistie Owens

They came from as far back as New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and more! To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Highway (Hwy 50), which was created in 1913 to connect the East coast to the West, a large group of Deaf bikers left New York on June 15.

Three Deaf Utahns joined the ride on June 24th in Rock Springs, WY for the remainder of the trip to Castro Valley (near San Francisco): Layne Owens, Chris Monell, and Matt Woerner. They left Salt Lake City on the morning of June 24 and rode for breakfast in Evanston and battled strong winds through the route that nearly knocked them off their bikes! They rolled into Rock Springs around 3 pm and had a “meet n’ greet” with the group that arrived from back East, and enjoyed pleasant dinner company for the evening.

Due to his lifelong knowledge of the beautiful Utah outdoors, Layne volunteered to lead the group from Rock Springs through SLC, and they left early in the morning of June 25, and made a stop in Park City for lunch along Main Street. Afterwards, they followed the route over the Guardsman’s Pass and arrived into SLC approximately 2 pm, and some had the opportunity to visit the Sanderson Community Center for the Deaf. That evening, about 23 bikers or so met up with 10-12 local Deaf Utahns for dinner at Fiddler’s Elbow in Sugarhouse. There was really good company and good eats! The bikers asked about our state’s interesting tidbits, history and demographics, and they shared some highlights of their trip. The “hidden” route through Guardsman’s Pass was definitely on top of their list, and they wanted to see more of the Utah landscape on their way out.

Early the next morning, the whole group – including our Utah bikers – met up at a service station in Saratoga Springs where they were led out through more “hidden” routes revealing the majestic beauty of our western desert, then continued their ride through Nevada enroute to California. It was a pleasure meeting them and having them visit our grand state! Deaf Bikers of America riders, come again and stay a while next time!


Lincoln Hwy

Deaf Parent Infant Program

by Paula Pittman

As we roll into summer, Parent Infant Program is focusing on three primary things. First, we are still interviewing and trying to get fully staffed. Our hope is to be fully staffed by August when school begins with our Opening Institute on August 15 and 16. We still need to fill one Deaf Mentor position for someone who is willing to travel down south and one Parent Advisor who can help us with Listening Time activities for all of our children. We are feeling good about the interviews and hope to have everyone hired and trained as the new school year rolls around.

Our second focus right now is to begin gathering data on our PIP children so we will have two data points to report on at the start of the new school year. We have not had data of this kind in the past, so we are excited to see how the children are doing as a group. This is a lot of work for our staff, but everyone has been so positive about gathering the information and getting it in to us. The month of July will be focused on analyzing all of the data we get in. In conjunction with this we are also working out the bugs that have popped up on the new statewide early intervention data system, BTOTS (Baby and Toddler Online Tracking System). That system was launched on April 29, 2013, so home visit reports are actually going onto that system now. We have had a few struggles, but overall, PIP staff is getting the feel for doing all of our reporting on this new online system.

Our final goal for the summer is to complete the collaboration that we have had with Utah State University on their Tele-Intervention Grant. In this grant we were helping USU explore the benefits and challenges of doing home visits over the computer online instead of doing visits face-to-face in the home. We prefer doing visits face-to-face, but we were hoping to find out the best ways to do online visits on those occasions when distance and/or poor weather or child illness prevent us from making visits directly to the child and family in the family’s home. We are hoping to get good information from this study that will be of help to our program as we continue to try to provide best services to families.

Our staff also had the opportunity to attend the Education Summit in June that was held in Salt Lake City, and also the Western Regional Early Intervention Conference in Jackson Hole, WY last week. Our staff had the wonderful opportunity to learn about current research and about programs around the Mountain West, which has given us many new ideas for things we can do to improve our program in the years to come.

Enjoy your summer!


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