Local Snowboarder to Compete in Winter Deaflympics – Russia

Jeff Pollock

Hi everyone!  I have been a USA Deaf Snowboard Team member since 1998.  I am excited to again represent Utah and the USA as the sole male alpine snowboarder competing in the 2015 Winter Deaflympics.  I will be competing in the Giant Slalom, Slalom, and Snowboard Cross events.  During the 2014 USASA Nationals in Colorado, I won the silver medal in all three of these events, proving the Deaflympic motto, per ludus equalitas, that is “equal through sports.”

I still need financial support to get to the Deaflympics.  I have a fundraising account set up at www.gofundme.com/eeh8bo.   As of February 23, I am just $625.00 short of my goal.  Please consider supporting me with your contribution, and encouraging others to contribute as well.  I plan to send regular updates to UAD-Announce and to my Facebook page while at the Deaflympics.  Thank you for your support!

The Deaflympics (www.2015deaflympics.org) will be held March 28 – April 5 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.  Approximately 450 athletes from 27 countries are expected to participate.


Russia to Host Its Third Deaflympics in a Row

Being a host to the upcoming Deaflympics 2015, the Russian Federation has now made new history of being a three-time Olympics host with respect to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games.

Deaflympics is worldwide sports competition for deaf athletes with the equal status as the Olympics and Paralympic Games and also held once every four years. In the global sports movement for deaf athletes, the Russian athletes have taken part in this since 1957 and is one of the leaders of the unofficial team standings.

The 18th Winter Deaflympics will be held from 28 March to 5 April with five different sports and 33 (thirty-three) sets of medals will be awarded. Competitive events include snowboarding, cross country skiing, curling, ice hockey and alpine skiing (slalom discipline) and will be held at the sports facilities of the Khanty-Mansiysk. Complex “Arena Ugra” Ice Palace, Khvoyny Urman Ski Resort, Center of Winter Sports are the venues used for the 18th Winter Deaflympics, along with the ski center, Metallurg-Magnitogorsk, as the main venue for alpine skiing at Magnitogorsk in the Chelyabinsk region.

To date, 449 deaf athletes from 27 countries have registered for the 18th Winter Deaflympics. Listed countries are: Armenia, Austria, Hungary, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Kazakhstan, Canada, China, Mongolia, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Unites States of America (USA), Turkey, Ukraine, Finland, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Estonia and Japan.

The most “summer” of the countries represented at the Winter Games is Turkey with six Turkish athletes competing for medals in the cross-country skiing, alpine skiing and snowboarding.  From the Russian website: http://www.2015deaflympics.org/

President’s Corner

The Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) town hall was very successful.  There were over 40 people there to share their experience.  We were glad that Dale Boam showed up and shared with us what law was written about VRI few years ago.  The board will discuss and develop a template, brochure, and more. to share with the community how VRI service issues will be addressed. Thanks go to Dale Boam and Jared Allebest for sharing their expertise and experience.

Another UAD yard sale will be held later this month, on the 28th.  See flyers on pages 7 and 8 for more information.

The 2015 UAD biennial conference will be held in Provo October 16 and 17. Do save the date! Informational announcements will be posted through UAD Announce and UAD Bulletin. Do join us!  UAD and UTRID are partnership for the conference.  We have posted ticket prices in advance for the conference.  We offer different plans such as early bird and seniors/students. Check it out on our UAD website.

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 uad.org and click on ‘Join Us’

Donations to UAD are always appreciated. To donate, contact Adele Sigoda at fab622@comcast.net.

Thank you,

Philippe Montalette, 


February 1, 2015 – ToyAnn (Sewell) Newell, 52, passed away unexpectedly but peacefully in her sleep. She graduated from Woods Cross High, in Bountiful Utah, a member of the spirit squad. ToyAnn was also a member of the Deaf Shall Dance at the University of Utah under the direction of Benae Arnold. Her great, great, great grandfather was Brigham Young. She attended the Daughters of Brigham Young Society social every year. ToyAnn is survived by her husband, Mark Newell, as well as her daughter Kilee.  Funeral took place in Sandy with burial in Cottonwood Heights.

February 20, 2015 – Margo Sellers, 74, passed away after suffering a stroke days before.  She was the mother of ToyAnn Newell, who passed away 19 days before her.  She was loved by everyone who she came in contact with and loved to help anyone and everyone.  Funeral services were held in Bountiful.

Rattles ‘n’ Powder

February 7, 2015 – A son, Thomas Jex, born to Steven and Laurel Mortensen of Midvale. He is the first grandson of Kevin and Sandy Mortensen of Salt Lake City and the third great grandchild of Dave and Shanna Mortensen of Murray.

Wedding Bells

February 12, 2015 – Patricia Mary Lowry and Bruce Walton Johnson, both of South Jordan, were married at the North Shore of Oahu, Hawai’i. The wedding was on a beach during sunset, and a sea turtle was there with them. The bride is employed as a language mentor in the Salt Lake City community and ASL coordinator at the  Robert G. Sanderson Community Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The groom is employed at Sorenson Communications in Salt Lake City, Utah. There will be two receptions to honor this marriage; the first reception will be in Atlanta, Georgia in April 2015. The second reception will be at South Jordan, Utah.

February 28, 2015 – Seychelle Van de Graaff to Kyle Wylie, united for time and all eternity at the Manti LDS Temple. A reception was held that evening in Pleasant Grove.  Seychelle, who is an interpreter, is a daughter of Nathan and Wendy Van de Graaff, formerly of Provo and now residing in West Virginia, and a granddaughter of Patricia Walker of Salt Lake City.

Teacher Nominated for Golden Apple at Timpview High

Valerie Kinney

Kristi Mortensen, one of two ASL teachers at Timpview High, was honored by Timpview High with a nomination for the Golden Apple Award.  Although she did not receive one of the two Golden Apple Awards, her nomination was unique in that she has been at Timpview less than three months. Nominations generally go to teachers who have been at Timpview for much more time.

March 2015 Holidays

8     Daylight Savings Begins at 2:00 a.m.
8     International Women’s Day
13   Friday the 13th
17   St. Patrick’s Day
20  Spring
20  International Earth Day
29  Palm Sunday

Scholarships Awarded to Utah College Students

Valerie Kinney

The Ned C. Wheeler Scholarship Foundation for the Deaf is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014-2015 scholarships. Tatiana Tabish and Andrea Vigil each received $1,000 to apply towards their education at their university.

Tatiana Tabish currently attends freshman classes at the University of Utah. Classes include anatomy, economics, chemistry and algebra. Tatiana’s hobbies are reading, exercising, cooking and dancing.

She resides in Draper and attended Juan Diego Catholic High School in the same city.  While there she participated on the SilverLine drill team, Juan Diego cheerleading squad and 10th grade yearbook committee.

Tatiana is in the process of finding an internship for summer 2015 that would have to do with finance or marketing. It is her hope that the internship will show her the direction to pursue her major.

Andrea Vigil is in her last year at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. She comes from Taylorsville, and attended Skyline High School where she participated in the Latino Student Union and the Sister of Color Organization.

Her classes at Gallaudet has centered on communication.  Andrea particularly has enjoyed Latino Student Union, Keep the Promise and studying abroad in Costa Rica, among the many extracurricular activities.

When she isn’t busy, her hobbies are dance and filming for fun.  After graduation, she plans to work at a summer deaf camp and apply for a job after that where she can advocate for women, Latinos, and the deaf community.

Candidates for a Ned C. Wheeler Scholarship Foundation for the Deaf scholarship must meet three basic criteria: GPA of 3.0 or higher; hearing loss of 55 dB or higher in the better ear; and carry 12 credit hours (undergraduate), 9 credit hours (master’s) or 6 credit hours (doctorate).  They must also have at least three years of residency in Utah.

Donations fund the scholarships.  We welcome donations at any time of the year.   Please consider a donation in memory of a loved one – a family member or a friend.  We also accept donations in honor of a significant event, like the 60th wedding anniversary of a couple, or the retirement of a good friend.

All donations to the foundation are tax deductible. An acknowledgement card is sent to the donor as well as to the family of the loved one.

Send your donation to Valerie G. Kinney, Ned C. Wheeler Scholarship Foundation for the Deaf Secretary, 5320 South 4100 West, Roy UT 84067-7727.  You may also address your questions about the scholarships to her at valerie.g.kinney@gmail.com.

Case Managers Cover Utah

Stephen Persinger

Stephen Persinger, a case manager based at the Sanderson Community Center in Taylorsville, now serves once a month in Ogden.  This month, it will be on March 19th, 9 am to 4 pm, at the Ogden Vocational Rehabilitation Services office. He will be there every third Thursday of the month.  He can be called at (801) 657-5204 or emailed at spersinger@utah.gov.

Cheri Mills, a new case manager/counselor at Sanderson, goes to Provo once a month.  She started in February, and will be at the Provo Vocational Rehabilitation Services office on 150 East Center Street, Provo, UT 84606 on March 12th, 9 am to 4 pm. She’ll be there every second Thursday of the month. Her phone number is (801) 657-5227 or she can be emailed at cmills@utah.gov.

In St. George, Diego Acosta serves in St. George, at the Southern Utah Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program, 1067 East Tabernacle, Suite 10, St. George.  He will take appointments for any day from Monday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm.  Call him at (435) 767-0113 or email him at dacosta@utah.gov.

Services cover food resources, Social Security, legal needs, mental health counseling and referrals, employment, housing, budgeting and other issues.  All services are provided to deaf, deaf/blind, hard of hearing individuals at no cost. This service is very much welcome as it saves on time to travel to and from Sanderson Community Center, taking time off, or arranging for child services.

Captioned Broadway Plays

Melanie Sperry

The information on the plays at the Capitol Theater and Kingsbury Hall is kept here for anyone who is interested. It is fun to know what is going on with the use of captioning, and the plays are wonderful!

If you’d like to attend, you may get tickets from Artix. Phone number is: 801-355-ARTS (2787). Be sure to tell them you want to sit on the side of the theater that will allow you to see the captions. Also, ask for the ADA price to get the best price.

For each play in their season, there is one Saturday afternoon matinee at 2 pm that will be captioned:

Mama Mia (March 14) at Kingsbury Hall

Once (April 11) at Capitol Theater

The Illusionists (June 27) at Capitol Theater

Book of Mormon (August 1) at Capitol Theater

Interesting Article from St. George (DeafDigest)

L’Chef is a catalog company in St George, Utah, specializing in kitchen equipment. It sells products under the names of Nutrimill, Bosch and L’Equip. After hiring a group of deaf people to work in the factory, the general manager has asked the Southern Utah State Services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to help teach ASL with the hearing employees. So far, the general manager is very happy with these deaf employees.

USDB Update

Michelle Tanner

February is a busy time for USDB at the legislature.  During this month we present requests to increase funding to our schools.  This year we requested ongoing funding to pay our teachers increases in their salaries; as well as money for more positions at USDB.  Three of the positions requested are for the Deaf School.  For one-time funding we requested funding for a new modular unit in Orem to create a classroom for ASL Preschool students and we requested funding for more embossers for the blind.  The Public Education Appropriations Committee received all of these requests favorably.  In fact, this committee was so pleased with USDB that they also added their support to fund the building of our new learning center behind JMS.  All of our funding requests were ranked high and we are hopeful that these requests will be granted.

This past month I also attended a conference on transition services for deaf students to post high school activities.  Marilyn Call, Kelly Boehmer and Wade Hester joined me.  We were able to collaborate with teams from EVERY state in the nation, except Hawaii.  Puerto Rico even sent a team.  We are hopeful that these collaborate work groups will improve services for deaf and hard of hearing students across the nation, including Utah.

This is also the time of year when all schools begin recruiting for all kinds of teaching positions.  If you are aware of anyone who is a Teacher of the Deaf or Speech Language Pathologist encourage them to apply at USDB.  This can be done by sending a resume and letter of interest to Carol DeRosier at carold@usdb.org   We will have several positions open for the new school year that need to be filled in all areas of the state.  We would appreciate your help in getting the word out and informing people that we are interviewing now for positions in the fall.

Jean Massieu School News

Aimee Breinholt

Our students have worked hard during the month of February.  We have just finished the state writing assessment, the SAGE.  Students and teachers continue to delve into their studies with enthusiasm and dedication.  We celebrated our 100th day of school at the beginning of the month.  First and second grade welcomed in the Chinese new year with a hand crafted dragon and parade.  We are excited to welcome the month of March with our read-a-thon week.  We encourage all of you to join us in this celebration and read a good book!

This coming month we will start an after school reading clinic.  The program will start small with room for growth.  Our reading specialist, Trish Vierra will lead the clinic.  We are always looking for volunteers to work with our students.  If you are interested, please contact us.

There are several upcoming activities.  The Academic Bowl team has been studying and scrimmaging in preparation for the regional competition.  They will compete at the end of this month.  We are excited to see how their hard work pays off and wish them luck in their matches.  Sarah Leathers has been spending countless hours with our drama team as they also prepare for regional competitions.  Break a leg!  David Oyler has earned money through Donors Choose to fund space camp for several of our middle/high school students.  This has been a wonderful opportunity in the past and we look forward to hearing about their experience.

We are starting our next sporting activities.  Our seventh and eighth grade boys will be in a Junior Jazz basketball league.  Soccer season will start mid March.  We would love your continued support and cheers!



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