President’s Corner

Hello everyone in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community,

Here’s some updates from the recent Legislative Session: 

SJR 1 Joint Resolution Recognizing Educators of the Deaf and American Sign Language Instructors – – PASSED 

HB 139 Sub 2 Telepsychiatric Consultation Access Amendments – PASSED

This is a great step for the deaf community who need access to quality mental health counseling from out of state if they are unable to find one here in Utah. In person counseling is always the best but this will help broaden our choices.

SB 153 Carson Smith Scholarship Amendments – They added DeafBlind as a qualifying disability for this scholarship.

HB 317: Special Education Amendments – With this amendment, this clarifies the timeline for high school students when at 22 years old, school will end at the end of the school year instead of at the end of semester. 

This was also a good year for USDB since they got the $713,000 funding they needed to build the 2 hallways and one classroom for their Springville location. The new Steps pay for teachers was also approved. This will help teachers start with a higher pay for their first year of teaching with a smaller but consistent increase each year. Hopefully this will help draw quality teachers from out of state when there’s a vacancy. 

Our legislative committee is already working on getting ready for the 2019 session and possibly may even introduce a couple bills of our own. Please stay tuned.  We’re also hoping that with our new website (yes it’s still in the works!) that we’ll have an easier time keeping everyone updated on what bills we’re following, supporting or fighting against. Remember we still need YOU to support us with these bills. 

Our Events committee just hosted a yard sale a couple weeks ago and it was successful in fundraising $420.  Thank you everyone who helped out and donated some things for us to sell. There’s a couple other fundraisers in the works and will be announced soon. Deafhood 201 is coming soon and we’re hoping to schedule another Deafhood 101 shortly afterwards. So there’ll be less of a gap like last time.  We’re trying our best.  Deafhood Foundation is very busy with flying their teachers across the USA and hosting workshops at various locations. 

Our Public Relations team has been fine tuning our Facebook page policy and UAD Email Announce blast policy. So it’ll be more insync and be more clear on what we can or cannot post. There’s also a couple videos in the works and will be released on our Facebook page when it is ready! 

At our recent Board meeting on April 11th – we voted to tentatively close the UAD Bookstore at the end of the year – Dec 2018. The UAD Bookstore has been seeing less and less activity and we’re making just enough to pay the room rent at Sanderson Center. So we’re possibly closing the store at the end of the year. If you have any comments or feelings you want to share about this we’re all “ears” (pun not intend or was it?) and please email us at

Our UAB Board meetings are 2nd Wednesday of each month at 5pm. We’ve been using two different locations for our monthly meeting – sometimes its at Sanderson Center and sometimes it’s at the new building Oppenshaw Education Center (OEC) near JMS.  They have an awesome Zoom system that makes it easier for our UAD Board who live in St. George to stay involved. Watch our email/Facebook announcement to know what the location will be for next month. Remember we don’t meet in July and December every year. 

If you’re interested in becoming an UAD member please feel free to sign up online for just $10 a year. Here’s the link: There’s some benefits of being a member like getting discounts to various events/workshops, being allowed to vote at our conferences or special meetings, and with more members you’ll be helping us fight and protect our rights. 

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

Stephen Persinger
UAD President

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.

To a Higher Glory

December 29, 2017 – Charles Moore, 66, passed away of heart failure in Billings, MT  He attended Utah School for the Deaf and was there until 1972. 

January 5, 2018 – Connie Collard, 74, passed away peacefully in Sandy. Connie was blessed with an endearing kindness and innocence that touched everyone she met. She loved all animals and routinely provided support to many nonprofit animal organizations. She is predeceased by her husband, Elmore. 

January 12, 2018 – Brenda Jacobs Barker, 53, passed away at her home in Kanosh, After graduation, she worked for Deseret Industries and Cassette Productions. She and Kenneth married in 1990 and moved to Kanosh. Brenda enjoyed her childhood Deaf Shall Dance group, family history, handicrafts, snow and water skiing, boating, hiking, camping, riding horses and spending time with family. Services and interment were held in Kanosh.  She is survived by her husband, Kenneth. 

January 20, 2018 – Dave Mortensen, 86, gently passed away in West Jordan, Utah surrounded by those whom he loved and loved him in return. He focused all his energy to improve the quality of life of all the deaf in the State of Utah. He served as Utah Association for the Deaf president for 22 years. He lobbied legislatures, governors, and various community organizations in the state and nationally on behalf of those without a voice. Through his community service, David received many awards, acknowledgments and honors. One prestigious award that gave him joy was given by the National Association of the Deaf: The Knights of the Flying Fingers. He is survived by his wife, Shanna and his daughter and son in law, Kristi Mortensen and Ron Nelson.

January 24, 2018 – Beverly Allred, 80, passed away surrounded by her loved ones. She attended Utah School for the Deaf. She married Kirk Allred on March 25, 1955, together She loved to travel and enjoyed outdoor activities. She was predeceased by her husband Kirk, and is survived by her son Lawrence and daughter in law Dannie Allred. 

February 1, 2018 – Sonia Hovey, 59, was a daughter of Leon and Connie Curtis and the late Kay Curtis. She died peacefully in her sleep after a brief struggle with influenza. Ron Hovey, her husband of 39 years, was by her side. At a young age Sonia had a love for fashion and sewing. She was coordinator of interpreting services in the Davis School District. Sonia is survived by her father and stepmother, Leon and Connie Curtis, as well as her sister Becky Larsen of Arizona.

February 4, 2018 – Barbara Clay Anderson, 66, died Sunday, at Holladay Healthcare Center in Holladay, She graduated from Utah School for the Deaf in 1972. As a youth Barbara was talented in drawing and sketching. She loved home crafting and produced many wonderful decorative projects. Barbara’ and her husband, Dennis were married 40 years before he preceded her in death one year ago on January 8, 2017.

February 5, 2018 – George Gavros, 86 years, passed away. In his younger years he enjoyed bowling with his wife, Carola. He is survived by daughters: Bobbie Gavros, daughter and son in law, Dannie and Lawrence Allred. Carola preceded him in death.

February 7, 2018 – Kathryn Arthur, 71, died peacefully. She worked as a sign language interpreter in service to the Deaf community she loved. She is survived by her husband, Paul Arthur. 

February 26, 2018 – EJ Royce, 69, passed away peacefully surrounded by family struggling with a recurrence of ovarian cancer. She enjoyed her service as an employee and volunteer at the Sanderson Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She is predeceased by her husband, Herb, and survived by a son, Chip Royce, a well known interpreter.

March 5, 2018 – Sally Roberts, 62, passed away surrounded by her family.  She made many loyal and lifelong friends during her time at USDB, including her sweetheart, Lennis Roberts, whom she married in 1975. Sally volunteered much of her time at the Sanderson Community Center to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, working with deaf senior citizens. Sally married Carl Roberts, another school friend, in 2011. Carl passed away in 2012. 

April 7, 2018 – Steven Coombs, 61, passed away due to effects of diabetes.  He especially enjoyed motorcycling. 

April 11, 2018 – Edward Li, 69, passed away surrounded by his family. He was born in Hong Kong, and emigrated to the United States as a young adult, continuing his education and learning English and American Sign Language. After American School for the Deaf and Gallaudet University, Ed started his career at NASA Research Center in California ending at Sorensen Video Relay Service in Salt Lake City. Edward loved sports cars, traveling, and fixing computers. He is survived by his wife Nancy. 

Utah Teen wins Gallaudet Literary Competition second year in a row

An Utah teen, Zane Rhyne, won first place in writing and overall grand prize in the Literary Competition from Gallaudet University. This is the second year that he has competed in the writing competition and won 1st place/Grand Prize. He was also awarded second place in the Poetry competition from this year for his poem “Wood Times.” 

He really enjoyed writing this story, “Omaha.” Zane loves to read and write short stories and says that “a good story grabs the attention of the reader and involves their emotions”. His story this year did just that!

Zane was presented his trophy by Gallaudet alumni at Grantsville High School recently where he was given a standing ovation by the entire school and staff in a surprise assembly. Zane, a junior at Grantsville, feels proud to represent his school and the Deaf community in this competition.

Dan Mathis Chosen as New Sanderson Leader

A native Utahn, Dan Mathis, was selected by the Department of Workforce Services’ Utah State Office of Rehabilitation to lead the Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.  As such, he is responsible for the oversight and administration of programs serving Utah’s community of deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind individuals and their families. Dan assumed his duties on March 5, 2018.

Dan said, “I’m honored to serve as a leader for this exemplary program supporting the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community in Utah. I look forward to making a positive impact on the lives of those we serve.”

He can be found at the Sanderson Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Taylorsville.

For information on Dan’s background, the March 18, 2018 of Community Connections with Utah’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Newsletter.

USD Update

Michelle Tanner

What an exciting time to be part of the Utah School for the Deaf.  We have such a remarkable staff that focuses all their energy on our students.  As we draw closer to the end of the school year, we want to celebrate opportunities our students have been given to enrich their lives.  

Recently, the Utah Schools for the Deaf sponsored 12 students in a study abroad educational tour to Italy.  This included deaf and hard of hearing juniors and seniors from various parts of the State. Some came from our campus programs and others our outreach programs.  In preparation for this educational event, the students were tasked with earning some money to attend the event, and researching economic, cultural, historical and political information Italy.  This culminated in a first draft of a research paper.  These drafts are in the process of being edited to include new understanding students have gained as a function of this study abroad experience.    

During the trip, our students combined with the Rochester School for the Deaf and made some cherished friendships.  We appreciated our opportunity to meet they wonderful peers from New York.  During our tour students had the opportunity to meet with peers from Italy when we spent time at the ISISS Magarotto School for the Deaf near Rome, Italy.  We appreciated their warm welcome and enjoyed the time we spent getting to know their student body.   

We met with prominent deaf business owners while in Italy. Roberto Enrico Wirth is the owner and Managing Director of the Hotel Hassler, a five-star hotel located at the top of the Spanish Steps in Rome, Italy and Giovanni and Paolo Convito, owners of a winery in Siena, Italy.  All of these men have overcome obstacles and continue to seek opportunities for growth.  They were great role models for our students.

Of course, we enjoyed time in Venice on gondola rides and leaning on the tower of Pisa.  Our visit included the Sistine Chapel and a tour of Vatican City.  We spent time in the ruins of Pompeii and the colosseum.  The trip itself was a learning experience as students exchanged currency, negotiated purchases, experienced travel abroad, tasted authentic Italian food and many other wonderful opportunities.  We are hopeful to continue these learning experiences into the future for our deaf and hard of hearing juniors and seniors across the State.  

At the Utah School for the Deaf, the students are the focus.  Their learning and growth has great value to us.  We will continue to keep that attention on these remarkable students.   

 JMS Update

Aimee Breinholt

Its at this time of year that we ask ourselves where the time has gone!  Believe it or not, we are wrapping up another school year.  We are thrilled with the progress students have made; the language development that has occurred; and the friendships that have been solidified.  

Students have engaged in amazing opportunities.  Our track team just participated in the Berg and Seeger Classic held at CSD in Fremont.  This was a wonderful learning experience packed full of opportunities to interact with students from more than 20 other Schools of the Deaf nationwide.  Our juniors and seniors just returned from a ten-day trip to Italy.  They walked through several towns enjoying the art, food and history of each place with their traveling companions from the Rochester School for the Deaf.  Students had an opportunity to meet Deaf business owners and visit the Rome Deaf School. Our middle school and elementary students have been focusing on kindness.  They worked hard to show kindness to all throughout the month of March.  We celebrated their success with a school wide ice cream party.  It has been wonderful to see the continued focus on thinking of each other! 

The last 6 weeks of school are full of learning, testing, and celebrations.  Our upcoming events include:

  • April 20th at 6pm: Annual Ssstingers Game (staff vs. student basketball game).  Please wear yellow to support the students and black for our staff.  (I expect to see you all in black!)  
  • April 30th at 6:30pm: PTA sponsored Deaf Panel night for our families
  • May 2nd (at JMS): PTA sponsored First Annual Fun Run (Students are looking for sponsors to help us raise money for the school.)
  • May 10th (in Ogden): Prom
  • May 16th: Secondary Lagoon Day
  • May 17th (in the O’Hara Auditorium at JMS): USD Graduation
  • May 24th (in the O’Hara Auditorium at JMS): Preschool Graduation
  • May 24th: K-6 Field day
  • May 25th (in the O’Hara Auditorium at JMS): Awards Assembly and last day of school

We are looking forward to our summer camps.  These are open to all deaf/hard-of-hearing students throughout the state of Utah.  Registration forms will be sent to you by contacting the school (801.464.200-voice or 385.282.6945-VP).  Please feel free to contact me at with any questions.  All registration paperwork is due by May 15th.  

With the ending of the school year, we anticipate our needs for the 2018-19 school year.  We are currently seeking to fill a preschool teaching position and 2 elementary teaching positions at JMS.  If you are interested in applying please send your letter of intent, a copy of your transcripts and teaching license to Melanie Butters at  We will be posting aide openings in early July.  These will be posted on the state site at  We appreciate your help in spreading the word!

Thank you for your continued support and interest.  We are so grateful for our community! 


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, http://, 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

UAD Bookstore



Jewelry… Comteks…

Door Knockers… Amplifiers…

Alarm Clocks… Vibrators… Signalers for Doorbell, Phone, Baby Cry and Videophones… Smoke/Fire Alarms…

Books on Sign Language, Deaf Culture, Deaf History…

If you can’t find an item, we can Special order it!

Adele Sigoda, Manager


UAD Bookstore Hours

Year Round Tuesdays through Thursdays 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Other days/times by appointment (48 hours notice)

Closed on holidays

Located in the Sanderson Community Center for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing

 5709 South 1500 West

Taylorsville, UT 84123-5217

801-657-5207 – work VP 801-938-5083 – home VP

Visit us online at

Share and Enjoy !

0 0 0