Deaf Women United Chapter in Utah? The Time Has Come!

Meme Kerr

In spite of Memorial Day weekend opening with an array of events, thirteen Deaf women* managed to gather in a semi-circle to go over the herstory of Deaf Women United as well as its mission and goals. After exchanging thoughts and past experiences, they arrived at the consensus that Utah was, indeed, ready to have an affiliate set up. They agreed Deaf women in Utah, especially those 18 to 30 years old, could benefit from a chapter providing personal growth/ professional development opportunities.

Deaf Women of Utah has a galore of talents and they saw it fit to interweave their resources with an effort to make our community a thriving one. Along this line, we took a pause to congratulate Elsie Whitworth for her outstanding achievement in capturing recognition as one of Utah’s 30 women to watch in Utah business. It is quite a stellar honor to be among these great “ambitious, powerful, smart women shaping Utah” (Utah Business, May 2014 issue). Following the meeting, some of us flocked to Beer Bar to celebrate Elsie’s “Breaking the Ceiling” momentum.

Throughout the summer, some of the women will be working on the bylaws. Elections for officers and board members will happen sometime in August before the fall semester begins. All Deaf women are welcome to join. Hearing women can be part of this affiliate as supporters but can only make up to 25% of the membership base per the national bylaws.

On an exciting note, we will have a kick-off party, also in August. It’s open to anyone who wants to join the celebration of Deaf women in Utah uniting for the betterment of our precious community. The new name for the chapter will be announced as well. More details will be forthcoming.

For more information about Deaf Women United, visit Interested in joining the chapter? Contact Meme Kerr at

*The women in attendance:

Mary Beth Baierl
Jennifer Caldwell
Sharelle Goff
Ellen Hanna
Meme Kerr
Jodi Kinner
Kelly Leeper
Patricia Lowry
Stephanie Lynn
Stephanie Mathis
Yvonne Montalette
Kristi Mortensen
Elise Whitworth



Left to right: Stephanie Lynn, Kelly Leeper, Mary Beth Baierl, Jodi Kinner, Stephanie Mathis, and Meme Kerr

President’s Corner

We are excited to let you know that we have confirmed a final contract with ASL Film to show their tenth movie.  It is called “Beyond the Embers: Vol. 1.”  It is an exciting movie full of mysteries and bizarre tales.

To view the trailer, click on this link: https://vimeo.com92960667.  It will be shown at the Sanderson Community Center in Taylorsville on Friday, September 12 and Dixie State University on Saturday, September 13.  Both dates start at 7 p.m.  A flyer will be ready in few weeks.

JR Goff, UAD vice president and Dan Hoffman, UAD board member, are preparing to attend the National Association of the Deaf conference in Atlanta, Georgia.  The conference will be held July 1-5, 2014.  I, Philippe Montalette, will be attending as NAD treasurer.  Both JR and Dan will present information from the conference in the fall.

We encourage you to join UAD as a member and give your support to UAD; this strengthens the organization.  UAD needs your voice and your opinion to help us move forward in the future.

Philippe Montalette


May 23, 2014 – Richard Walker, 66, the younger son of the late Rodney and Georgia Walker, and a stepson of Patricia Walker, passed away after a valiant fight with cancer. He served in the National Guard as a green beret from 1966 to 1970. He was in the transportation division most of his life, as well as successfully running his own business from 1986 to present. He was an avid gardener who enjoyed having the prized yard of the neighborhood. Funeral took place in Holliday with interment in Richmond.

May 25, 2014 – Gladys Hind passed away at the age of 93, telling one of her sons, “I am going away.”  She was married to Spencer Hind for 68 years before he passed away in 2008.  Gladys and her husband Spencer were pioneers in the leadership of the deaf branch of the LDS church.  Gladys loved to interpret songs with sign language and was known for her graceful hands and meaningful expressions as she signed each song. Funeral services and interment took place in West Jordan.

Change at Salt Lake Valley 2nd Ward

Recently, Ayas Hussain was appointed as second counselor at the Sale Lake Valley 2nd Ward, replacing Bret Wallace who was released.

Calamity Jane Performance to be Interpreted

Desert Star Theater will have an ASL interpreter at the 7:00 pm performance of Calamity Jane on Wednesday June 18.  The subtitle is “Cowgirls Just Wanna Have Fun!”

For tickets, you can call ahead of time; the cost is $18.95 for adults and $10.95 for children.

Desert Star Theater is located at 4861 South State Street, Murray.

For more information, contact Laura Lewis at or 801 266-2600.

Bonneville Recreation Club of the Deaf

Bonneville Recreation Club of the Deaf will have a picnic on Saturday, June 21! Everyone is welcome!

The picnic will be held at Cherry Hill, 1325 South Main, Kaysville. Come and camp with us! There are RV sites with full hook ups and tent sites, also a pavilion for us. There will be games, raffles and prizes. On June 21, the day will begin with a light breakfast for $5.00 at 8:00 am – choice of muffins, donuts, bagels, fruit, orange juice, apple juice, coffee and tea. The supper for $10.00 will have BBQ & teriyaki breast chicken, potato salad, baked beans, rolls, watermelon, dessert and water bottles. For more information, contact Rhonda Christensen, chair, at 801.938.5106, VP  For ticket sales, contact Robert Kerr at 801.590.4940, VP. Nancy Li, foods host, 801-207-9317 VP.  A count is needed for dinner. Deadline: Saturday, June 7. After deadline, add $2.00. There is no refund after June 7.  Do not miss the fun!

June 2014 Holidays

  D Day, WWII (70th Anniversary)

14  Flag Day

15  Father’s Day

21  Summer Solstice

Jean Massieu School News

Michelle Tanner

School is almost over and summer is about to begin.  May has been a productive month.  Our students completed the end of year state testing known as the SAGE.  Our students have also been busily preparing and performing their final theatrical performance of the year, Peter Pan.  They did a marvelous job!  We also had the opportunity to see our after school dance class perform a recital for friends and family.  Thank you to all who supported these performances.

Summer camps are around the corner and we look forward to offering camps in ASL, Art, Literacy, Language, Science, Adventure, Drama and Dance.  There will also be thematic camps for the preschool students.  If you are interested in volunteering at any of these camps, please contact Kristin Walker at to request the volunteer paperwork.

We are currently recruiting for two teaching positions.  We are looking for a preschool teacher and a 3rd grade teacher.  Individuals with a degree in deaf education and a background in the ASL/English Bilingual Bicultural approach to teaching deaf children are encouraged to apply.  If you or someone you know is interested and qualified for either of the these positions, please send a letter of interest and resume now to Carol DeRosier at

We will also be seeking 5 new aide positions in the fall.  Watch the Utah State Jobs website ( for when these position become open in July.  At that time we will also be interviewing any individuals interested in becoming a substitute teacher for JMS.

As always, if you would like to make a donation to JMS, please bring in a check made out to USDB with the notation that it is for JMS on the memo line.   Thank you for all your tremendous support and have a great summer!!

Outdoor Movie Night!!

Anne Fife

Good day!!  We will have a phenomenal evening happening on Saturday night June 14, 2014!!

An outdoor movie!!

And a visit from Alpine Garrison, the Star Troopers (like those from Star Wars!) Yep! Wouldn’t you like to meet them! They are so awesome and cannot wait to meet you, too!

We will have so much fun and as soon as it is lightly dark, we will watch an awesome movie with yummy treats at the Sanderson Community Center of the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing in Taylorsville!

More information to come! Watch for it!

Contact Anne Fife or Chris Wagstaff for further information at

Utah Business Magazine Honors Deaf Woman

Scott Caldwell 

We are pleased that Elise Whitworth of Satdaya, LLC was recently selected as one of Utah’s 30 Women to Watch by Utah Business magazine!  Elise was honored during the annual awards luncheon held at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City on May 22, 2014.  This prestigious event has been hosted by Utah Business magazine for 15 years. Not only was Elise the only deaf woman to be honored, she was also the only woman from the entire St. George area! This nomination came as a surprise to Elise — she had been secretly nominated by two of her staff members for being an effective and innovative leader. Although she doesn’t like to be “in the limelight,” she was truly honored to be selected.

About 30 Women to Watch

Every year 30 of Utah’s brightest, boldest and most dynamic women are honored for excelling in their individual fields. These women come from a variety of professions and industries. Some are small business owners. Some are executives of billion-dollar companies. Some dedicate their time to non-profit charities and organizations. Regardless of industry or title, Utah Business magazine describes these 30 women as “playing an important role in shaping Utah.”

Utah Business Magazine’s Profile of Elise from their website and May 2014 print magazine:

Elise Whitworth is a self-described “idea person.” She says, “I get thrilled by new ideas and just want to run and make it happen.”

This creative energy has led Whitworth through most of her life, up to her current role as managing partner for Satdaya in St. George. Since the company began, she’s taken it from a web development service with a few contractors juggling projects to a full-fledged creative services firm.

Whitworth, who is deaf, also works to serve as a role model to other females in her industry, particularly deaf women.

“[I want to] do my part to help them prosper, to create a balance in the industry where men learn that women communicate differently and adapt,” she says. “I am also very passionate about advocating for ASL. I believe that all deaf children should be taught ASL and have the opportunity to interact with peers using a language they are able to 100 percent understand and not be left out or behind.”

“Do one thing at a time and you will be more likely to be more successful.”


Audition for Signing Time Educational Video

Curt Radford

Are you proficient in American Sign Language (ASL)?

Would you like to audition to be in a pilot episode for an educational video series by the makers of Signing Time?

If so, we invite you to audition! This digital, state-of-the-art, interactive video series will teach a full ASL curriculum.

WHO: Auditions are open to deaf and hearing individuals of all ages who are proficient in American Sign Language. You are welcome to forward this message to others who are proficient in ASL.

WHAT: You will be signing on camera, just showing the signs to teach ASL. You do not need to speak nor sing. We are looking for individuals who are proficient in ASL and have on-screen charisma. Your audition will be between 5 and 10 minutes long. The auditions are low-pressure; casual dress is fine.

In lieu of an in-person audition, you may email a short video (or a link to a short video) of yourself signing to

WHEN: In-Person Auditions: Choose from Saturday, June 14 or Saturday, June 21 between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm. Video auditions are due by June 21.  Filming of Pilot Episode: Those who are cast in the video pilot will be filmed during the week of August 18-23, 2014.

WHERE: Auditions and filming will be held at Azevedo Studios, located at 870 E North Union Avenue, Midvale (behind Hoppers Restaurant)

HOW: Go to the link to book your audition:

For more information, contact Curt Radford at

Battle of the Books

Kristi Mortensen

Battle of the Books is a competition that Gallaudet University has promoted in addition to Academic Bowl. Gallaudet University received federal funding to focus on elementary students and to prepare them for the Academic Bowl competition in high school. Jean Massieu School of the Deaf was one of the first groups, joining the Gallaudet University roster for the academic year 2012-2013. That year, there were two color teams: Blue and Green. Each team had about 4-5 players. The first time that the teams competed was through videophone.  Gallaudet University students had sheets of papers with questions for each color team. It was fun!  It was a huge learning experience for our JMS students. They did not win, but they did enjoy their participation.

For the academic year of 2013-2014, JMS was joined by Kenneth Burdett School for the Deaf and Orem Deaf School. That was a huge success. We had two color teams, Blue and Green. There were 11 students participating. Three students were from middle schools while the rest was from elementary schools. Each of the three teams was assigned four specific books. They were given the books to take home and read. Kristi Mortensen, the coach / chaperone, sent an email message to all parents, encouraging them to keep track of their children’s reading assignment. They had almost two months to finish the four books. The competitions began January 2014. Each team had its day to compete with other teams of the same color, from Eastern states, using videophone. It was truly a great experience and fun for the players. Both days were all-day competitions. The players had a great time answering questions and our teams mastered skills in discussing which answer to give.

All the players were asked if they wished to stay on the team; their reply was a shout-out yes! Battle of the Books is a fun game but it takes hard work through reading and develops comprehension of what the book is about and what the climax of the story was. The players learned firsthand the meaning of story climax. Next year, when the new school year begins, Kristi Mortensen hopes add one more team, Buff, to the existing Blue and Green teams. It is her hope that at least one team will get to go to Gallaudet University for the championship competition next year. There is always high hope for these students. She is very proud of these players, and gives credit to the parents who support the Battle of the Books and their children’s participation.

Ben Soukup Announces Retirement

News Release

After 38 years of dedicated service, CSD founder and CEO Benjamin J. Soukup has announced his retirement from his duties as CEO effective June 30 of this year. CSD Board of Directors has named Christopher B. Soukup as Chief Executive Officer.

Celebrating the Legacy of Benjamin J. Soukup

CSD was established in 1975 in response to a national movement for high quality sign language interpreting services. The program in its entirety was designed to serve the immediate and particular needs and interests of the community of Sioux Falls. To this day, the CSD business has retained its roots in the field of communications. The program was conceived and implemented with clear inspiration and passion – to enable deaf and hard of hearing people to communicate with anyone and to do so with the same dignity which their hearing contemporaries took for granted.

The ultimate goal back then, as well as today, was to enhance communication among and between the general public and deaf of hard of hearing individuals. This goal was made possible on November 1st, 1975 for the targeted Sioux Falls, SD population with a shoestring budget of $12,000 provided by the South Dakota State Legislature. The South Dakota Association of the Deaf subsidized 25% of the funding, and supplemental monies totaling $7,000 came from the South Dakota School for the Deaf.

That initial funding was instrumental in bringing the inaugural project to a successful conclusion through a variety of collaborative ventures – the upshot being CSD’s status today as the world’s largest and most successful company of its kind.

Brief Resume of Chris Soukup 

Christopher B. Soukup

BS, Business Administration: Gallaudet University 2001

15 years of service at CSD in the following capacities:

– President
– Senior VP, CSD Business Group
– Senior VP, CSD Contact Centers
– Chief Strategic Officer
– Chief Marketing Officer
– VP, CSD Ventures
– Director of Contact Center Operations
– Assistant VP of Development, Senior Sales Executive

Gala 2014

UDH Volunteer

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