UAD Conference a Success

Valerie Kinney

Held in the Provo Marriott Hotel, the conference entitled “ASL Now and Then,” opened Friday afternoon with registration.  Adele Sigoda and her assistants were busy processing people.

The evening banquet was well attended, with over 90 enjoying an excellent dinner of Chicken Chausser with green beans, roasted red potatoes and salad, with chocolate mousse for dessert.  Billy Krahl was the master of ceremonies for the program that followed. David Reynolds’ keynote talk, “The Importance and Need of ASL/English Bilingual Deaf Education” was enjoyed by all.

After that, the President’s Award was presented to Adele Sigoda for her many years of volunteering for UAD and for managing the UAD Bookstore for eight years.  The Golden Hand Award was given to Philippe Montalette for his involvement in several organizations for the deaf – National Association of the Deaf, Sego Lily Center for the Abused Deaf, and Utah Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, in addition to the Utah Association of the Deaf.

Billy Krahl gave mime skits between video clips showing time change over the years in deaf culture — ASL, technology, interpreters. Terrylene Sacchetti shared three poems, “Try,” “Painting” (dedicated to Chuck Baird) and “Hey, Brother”

Saturday morning, members of Utah Association of the Deaf as well as friends gathered for breakfast of eggs, bacon, potatoes and oatmeal buffet

A call to order later in the morning convened the conference meeting.  Two past presidents, Leon Curtis and Rob Kerr, were introduced. UAD members attending the meeting numbered 29. In addition, Utah Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf members and friends were in attendance. After the introductions, the necrology was read.

Each officer presented a report: Philippe Montalette, president; Dan Hoffmann, vice president; Ellen Hanna, secretary and Adele Sigoda, treasurer.

Committee reports followed:

~ UAD Social Affairs, by Laurie Bishop and Pamela Lowry
~ UAD Education, by Meme Kerr
~ UAD Announce, by Donna Melander, Valerie Kinney and Philippe Montalette
~ UAD Museum, by Jodi Kinner, Rob Kerr and Philippe Montalette.

Motions were brought up:

~ Have the Utah Telecom Book online with option of PDF download.  For members only to post and share, and have a checkbox for privacy.  It was moved to refer the motion to the Law Committee and to establish a committee.  The main motion with the amendment passed.

~ Change senior membership age to 62+ (from 50+).  Motion passed.

~ Change one year membership term to July 1 to June 30 (from June 1 to May 31).  Motion passed.

~ Hold the 2017 UAD Conference be held in Ogden with the date to be decided at a later date.  Motion passed.

Election of new officers then took place. The following were elected to the board.  They will lead the Utah Association of the Deaf for the next two years:

Philippe Montalette
Ellen Hanna
Laurie Bishop
Stephen Persinger
Pamela Lowry
Pamela Mower
Gabrielle Humlicek
Sari Williams
Roberta Dunlap


Workshops were held before and after the UAD meeting. presenters gave a variety of topics:

~ Dr. Carolyn Ball – Interpreter History and  Education
~ Alyce Reynolds – Understanding Deafhood
~ Philippe Montalette & Melody Fico – Organization Involvement
~ Pamela Mower – VRI Challenges in Hospital Settings
~ Carol MacNicholl – College Advocacy
~ David Davenport – Deaf World & Technology
~ Joseph Featherstone – Importance of CDI
~ Dawn Duran & Stephanie Mathis – Providing Resources
~ David Reynolds – How to and What is Involved with ASL/English Deaf Education

Results of officer voting by board members were announced at the conclusion of the afternoon workshops:

Stephen Persinger, president
Pamela Mower, vice president
Ellen Hanna, secretary
Philippe Montalette, treasurer

President’s Corner

This will be my last President’s Corner report for UAD Bulletin.  I want to give special thanks to the past board who worked very hard to make sure that events in the last four years were successful – they were, with your support.  I wish the best luck with the new board, especially the new president, Stephen Persinger. You are always welcome to contact him if you have concerns, questions or feedback.

The UAD Conference went very well. Special thanks go to Ellen Hanna and her committees for working hard to make this the best conference ever.  You can view the conference pictures on our UAD Facebook and the UAD website.

Stephen will start his own President’s Corner with the December issue.

We are partnering with the Sanderson Community Center to host a legislative training for the first time. It will be on Saturday, November 14 from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. Check the flyer on page 7 for more information. It is FREE. You will benefit in learning how to build relationships with important people in your area.  Don’t miss out on it!  Lunch will be provided.

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 and click on ‘Join Us.’ Donations to UAD are always appreciated. To donate, contact Philippe Montalette  at

Philippe Montalette
Past President

To a Higher Glory

September 28, 2015 – Dennis Platt, 73, passed away peacefully after a valiant three year battle with lymphoma cancer.  Dennis was a well-respected leader in sports and civic organizations.  He was active in the deaf community, volunteering for over 45 years.  One notable event in his life was when he was selected as an Olympic torchbearer for the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics.  Dennis was a lifetime UAD member, and was a member of the Institutional Council of the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind for a number of years.  He is survived by his widow, Shirley H. Platt, and his first wife, Valerie Kinney.

ISD and IAD Induct Jerry Taylor into Hall of Fame

Valerie Kinney

Recognized for his outstanding personal achievement, Jerry Taylor was posthumously inducted by Iowa School for the Deaf and the Iowa Association of the Deaf into Hall of Fame. Jerry attended Iowa School for the Deaf during his youth. After graduation from Gallaudet College (now University), he taught at the Utah School for the Deaf, for 29 years. His work and dedication in developing the USD Athletic Department was notable. He served as basketball, track and cross country coach. He also dedicated many years of civic service to the deaf community, both local and national.  Nancy Taylor, his widow, and Ruth Taylor, daughter, flew to attend the weekend activities at the school in Council Bluffs.  John Taylor, son, came from Chicago to be with Nancy and Ruth.  All three enjoyed meeting many friends, old and new.

November 2015 Holidays

  • 1  Daylight Savings time ends
  • 3  U.S. General Election Day
  • 11  Veteran’s Day
  • 13  Sadie Hawkins Day
  • 26  Thanksgiving Day
  • 27  Black Friday

Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind News

Michelle Tanner

The Utah Schools for the Deaf believes in the abilities of our students.  We recognize that all of our students have varying skills and talents.  Each student is valuable and we believe that each child can improve upon their reading abilities.  In order to prepare students to be ready for college or a career, USD is increasing our attention to reading instruction by providing focused professional development for our teachers.  As part of this professional development USD is purchasing materials and resources to implement these reading techniques and strategies.  In addition, USD will be offering training for parents on how to help their child improve their reading skills.

Knowing that transition services are vital to the success of our students once they leave our schools, USDB has set the goal to make post school outcomes a priority.  To support this goal USDB is creating a task force to improve transition services; which will ultimately improve the lives of students once they graduate from USDB.  The team will include various teachers and staff from USDB as well as other members from outside agencies and begin meeting in November.   The task force will meet regularly to plan ways to strengthen services for our students and to better prepare them to be college and career ready.

At USD we know how important the Deaf Community is to our schools.  We welcome your feedback and would love to involve you in strengthening our program.  Your support makes all the difference!

PIP Update

Paula Pittman

We began our first ASL Sign Class for families four weeks ago and we have had a wonderful time.  We have had a good turn out and the families seem to be having a wonderful time learning more ASL skills.  Roberta Dunlap, who is on our Language Orientation Team and is also a Deaf Mentor, is our ASL teacher, and she has done a wonderful job of developing and teaching the class.  Two of our Parent Advisors, Mindi Allen and Melody Mower, work with the children during part of the class so the parents can focus on developing better ASL skills. Roberta is developing materials for the second class now so we will be able to keep the class going through next semester.

We have just completed three days of training with Jodee Crace and Stacy Abrams, two members of the SKI-HI Deaf Mentor National Training Team.  We had five of our newest Deaf Mentors in attendance, and we all had a wonderful time.  It was such a great training experience and it was fun to watch our team grow and learn from such experienced professionals.  They all left training so excited about being able to help families develop better ASL skills and communicate more effectively with their deaf children.

We are also quite proud of one of our Parent Advisors, Kimberly Geurts, who will soon be honored by the Utah chapter of the National Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) with the Teacher of Tomorrow Award.  We have such a wonderful staff and we love it when they are recognized for their wonderful achievements.

We are making plans now for our 2nd Annual PIP Polar Express event, which will take place on December fourth.  This event had the highest attendance of all of the events we sponsored this year.  It was great fun for all of us, and we look forward to the magic of Christmas again this year.

Thank you all for supporting our Deaf PIP Program!

BCGUAA Alumni Get Together

Valerie Kinney

A barbecue and meeting marked the annual get together of Gallaudet University alumni, a total of 22, along with their spouses and children. The board prepared hot dogs and hamburgers with side dishes for all who came.

Beehive Chapter of Gallaudet University Alumni Association is the official organization that brings together alumni from all over Utah.

Officers were introduced:

~ Pamela Mower, president
~ Mary Beth Baierl, vice president
~ Duane Kinner, treasurer
~ Yvonne Montalette, liaison
~ Valerie Kinney, secretary

Mary Beth Baierl and Valerie Kinney were unable to attend.

Mary Beth Baierl asked to step down from her position as vice president. Kim Smith was elected by acclamation to fill the one year remaining in Mary Beth’s position.

It was announced that Pamela “Bobbi” Cordano has been selected as president of Gallaudet University.  She takes over on January 1, 2016 from Dr. T. Alan Hurwitz, who has been president for over five years.

New Gallaudet University President Announced

Gallaudet University

The Gallaudet University Board of Trustees has announced Roberta “Bobbi” Cordano, J.D., to become the next president of Gallaudet University, effective January 1, 2016.

Ms. Cordano, who is deaf, currently serves as the vice president of programs for the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation in Saint Paul, Minnesota. In this role, she oversees direct community-based programs for nearly 9,500 people in the areas of early childhood, community mental health, family supportive housing, aging and caregiver services, school reform, and food access.  She is widely credited for managing and sustaining programs in a highly volatile revenue environment, providing community leadership, fostering innovation, strengthening and supporting diversity within the workforce, and structuring services for optimal alignment and collaboration.

She has held several leadership roles in different sectors, including health care; higher education as assistant dean for the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota; and in government as an assistant attorney general for the State of Minnesota.  She is a founding member of Metro Deaf School, a pre-k through eighth grade school, a bilingual-bicultural charter school for deaf and hard of hearing children in St. Paul, and a founding board member of Minnesota North Star Academy, a bilingual-bicultural charter high school for deaf and hard of hearing students. In 2003, Ms. Cordano, along with Vice President Walter Mondale and former Minnesota Governor Elmer A. Anderson, was a recipient of the inaugural Public Leadership Award from the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

Gallaudet’s current president, Dr. T. Alan Hurwitz, is retiring at the end of this year. He began his presidency on January 1, 2010.

NAD.Legislative Training

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