President’s Corner

One of the biggest happenings of the last three months was going to the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) conference in Phoenix, Arizona as a representative for UAD. It was definitely an eye opener since it was my first time as a delegate. I got to see all the discussions about various issues our deaf community is experiencing and vote on which issues NAD will focus working on for the next two years. I never fully realized the long list of issues we’re all facing, and now I understand why setting up a priority list is important. If we don’t set up priorities then we’ll spread out ourselves too thin and never get anything done. This was an amazing experience for me since I was able to meet a lot of new people including Presidents of deaf associations from other states. There’s so many people who are on fire to see things improve for our community.

This is very inspiring to see and this helped the fire in me blaze even bigger than before. 🙂

Here’s the top five priorities NAD will be focusing on for the next two years:

• Campaign to End Language and Cultural Deprivation

• Enhance NAD Information Clearinghouse and Communication Strategy

• Creation of Mental Health Training Program and Communication Hub on Health Related Information

• Child Protection Services and Best Practices with respect to language and culture

• National Employment Resource Center

For more information, go to

To see some pictures of the NAD Conference, feel free to check out our photo album at our Facebook page:

Stephen Persinger
UAD President and Representative

Good news! Due to such an amazing experience and turnout for the recent Deafhood 101 workshop, we managed to book it and have it come again next year! When? February16th to 19th 2017! Thurs/Fri from 6 to 9:30pm and Sat/Sun from 9 to 5pm. It is a 20 hour workshop for the deaf and hard of hearing. It is full of good information and will make a lasting impression on all of us for many years. Interested? Contact Stephen Persinger at – to see the flyer go here:

Wedding Bells

August 8, 2016 – Lorenda Wegehaupt to Anthony Cordero, wedded at Pace Bend Park. Their wedding was Texas Lake beach style, fun times for Lorenda and Anthony as well as their guests; swimming in the lake, games, beach-style picnic, with Texas style BBQ and dinner, drinks. Lorenda’s children are Levi Berness, Jasmine Wegehaupt, Pearla Cuevas; Anthony has a daughter, Jami Cordero. Attending the wedding and the fun times from Utah were her mother, Linda Berness, sister Lora Berness and friend Tracy Berrett.


July 31, 2016 – Barbara Walker of St. Helens, Oregon, passed away peacefully on July 31, 2016. She was born in Long Beach, California. Among her children were Michael Walker and Jeff Walker.  She lived for a time in Sandy. A celebration of life was held August 27 in Oregon.

August 27, 2016 – Elaine Sprouse passed away at the age of 80. She  was born March 8, 1936 in Roosevelt, Utah to Lawrence and Evelyn Sprouse. She was married to Gerald “Jerry” Henry Deelstra and later divorced. She is survived by a daughter Among her children is Nick Deelstra. The funeral service burial were held in Layton.

News of Note

Vynola Perkins celebrated her 90th birthday on September 4 with family and friends coming together the day before.

Richard and Inez Williams celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on September 10 with a small gathering of friends and family, hosted by daughter Kim.

Deaf Counseling Center

The Deaf Counseling Center has Deaf staff that provides mental health services in ASL for all states.

If you or someone you know need counseling or other mental health services in ASL, you can go to this link to learn more:

We believe in Deaf therapists and clients working together as equal partners to address client concerns.

Our approach to therapy is primarily Deaf-centered and existential-humanistic in orientation. As the first psychotherapists to conceptualize a Deaf-centered framework of therapy and the first to establish a practice grounded in a Deaf-centered philosophy, we are conscious of how Deaf people’s lives are shaped by their identities and experiences as members of this cultural and linguistic minority group, as well as the much other intersectionality in their lives.

Check out the website, and get started!

The UAD Bulletin welcomes news of new babies, weddings, deaths and notable events in this space. Contact Valerie Kinney at or 801-784-6962 and give her all the details.

53rd Biennial NAD Conference

July 5-9, 2016 in Phoenix, AZ

The 2016-2018 Board of Directors of the National Association of the Deaf!  Elections on July 7:

President – Melissa Dragnac-Hawk (1st Term)

Vice President- Joshua Beckman (1st Term)

Secretary – Jenny Buechner (1st Term)

Treasurer- Philippe Montalette (3rd Term)

Region I – Steve Lovi and Michelle Cline

Region II – Richard McCowin and Linsay Darnall Jr.

Region III – Jerry Nelson and Holly Ketchum

Region IV – Martin Price and Lisa Furr

CEO- Howard Rosenblum

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – On Friday, July 8, 2016 – Tanea Brown and Jeffrey Spinale, Jr. were named as the National Association of the Deaf Youth Ambassadors for 2016-2018!  The Youth Ambassador Program (YAP) Competition took place in Phoenix, Arizona during #NAD2016, July 5-9, 2016 with Sandra Mae Frank and Jeremy Lee Sanchez as the fantastic emcees for the event.

Roberta Dunlap, UAD Representative

Utah Association of the Deaf Secretary

Upon arrival at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona during the fourth of July week; the lobby was filled people signing! Hotel staff greeted and made attempts to communicate with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing guests before American Sign Language interpreters stepped in to take care of the rest of translation. I knew right then and there: I was excited to be part of the 53rd Biennial National Association of the Deaf conference for the first time.

Over three-day Council of Representative (COR) meetings, it was a complete eye-opener. For many years I thought education and accessibility barriers were the two issues in our community we were focusing on solving. It turns out there were several other issues we are faced with. Other issues like employment and senior citizen facilities for the deaf and hard of hearing were recognized as two of those 21 priority proposals we discussed inside and outside of the COR meetings. At the final

wrap-up of COR meetings, the delegates and I had the opportunity to vote for our 2016 – 2018 National Association of the Deaf candidates.

Overall this rich experience, I had met many people including those who represented their home state deaf association. Also during the closing ceremony, I represented Region IV in Pulse THAT! game, and we won second place! Yay!

Anyway, after the positive experience I had, I am looking forward to attend 54th Biennial National Association of the Deaf conference in Hartford, Connecticut, July 2018.

USDB Update

Michelle Tanner

My dear friends, I have a great deal to report this quarter about what has been happening at the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind and specifically the Deaf schools.  It is my great pleasure to announce the completion of a new building behind JMS.  This building will house administrative offices for many staff members (including myself), preschool classrooms for the Listening and Spoken Language and blind students, a low vision clinic, kitchen, cafeteria, courtyard and audiology testing area.  You will most certainly enjoy the new gymnasium built specifically to accommodate deaf and blind students.  In fact, the entire building was built around the principles of ‘Deaf Space.’  The moment you enter the building the eye can take in everything from almost every direction; from the first floor to the second, north, south, east or west.  This building is a long awaited treasure for our deaf, blind and deaf-blind students.  The name of the building is the C. Mark Openshaw Education Center or OEC, for short and is already operational.

You have probably also heard about some recent audits of USDB.  One audit reported about theft of donated funds committed by a former member of the business office and discovered by some new members of the business office.  While we are disgusted by the deception of our former staff member, we are pleased with the integrity and skill of our recently hired staff.  We will also be seeking criminal charges for the funds that were stolen.  The second audit was about the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that existed for several years between USDB and Sound Beginnings.  You will recall that we severed this MOU with Sound Beginnings last year amid anger from USU staff.  This audit was a postmortem audit of the funds expended for Sound Beginnings services and the operation of the MOU over the course of the final year.  I am pleased to report that these audit findings validated all the reasons that USDB ended this relationship.

Finally, for the past few months USDB has been working tirelessly on advocating for a Deaf Education license.  If this request is adopted by the Board of Education, the State of Utah will have a license that honors the skills of teachers of the deaf trained to work in ASL/English classrooms.  The current licensure only acknowledges teachers of the deaf with a LSL background.  With the passage of this proposal there would be two avenues for teachers of the deaf to obtain licensure in the State of Utah; one for ASL/English teachers and one for LSL teachers.  I would like to publically thank the UAD Board for all their support of USDB throughout this the process.  We still have more to do to accomplish this goal.  However, I am so grateful for their continued dedication to the needs of our Deaf students.  Together we accomplish so much more!  And there is more to do!

I am sincerely grateful for the continued support of the Deaf Community.  This relationship is deeply treasured by USD.

On a personal level, I would like to thank each of you for supporting me during my grief from the loss of a dear friend followed immediately by the loss of my sister.  It has been deeply moving for me to know how much the Community cares about me personally.  I love the Deaf community.

Thank you for all the joy you contribute to me and the school.

Deafhood 101

Pamela Mower

Deafhood 101 was an amazing experience for me and has benefitted me a lot. About 15 deaf people came from all over Utah for this workshop. Our presenter was Butch Zein who is so full of energy and passion. His way of sharing information challenged our ways of thinking and perceptions. This workshop has helped me to understand better how Deafhood was started by Paddy Ladd and how that concept has evolved over time to the philosophy now held.

This workshop has helped me learn better about who I am as a deaf person; learn more about the roles Deaf people have held in history. Many of the deaf people back then used to hold prestigious titles and roles before the Milan Conference. Also, he discussed how Oralism thinking has and is still dominating the society’s way of thinking, how the educational system is being run. He also got us to analyze how WE as a community of deaf and hard of hearing people think about the system, ourselves and each other.

If you haven’t taken this workshop, I STRONGLY encourage you to take it! IT’s an eye opener!

UAD is currently working on setting up another Deafhood 101 workshop in the spring so if you’re interested, please email our UAD president at and he will add you to the list of interested candidates.

Pamela Mower
UAD Vice President

Now, two other people who have attended this workshop will also share their experiences below. Enjoy!

Martin Price– Good sized lens are useful for many things such as enlarging fine print or helping people see things clearly.  The Deafhood workshop gave us special lens that we used to see Deaf history in a very different way.  Never again would I see Deaf history as just a post-Milan experience nor would I allow American Sign Language to be treated poorly by anyone ever again.  As all Americans study American History, Deaf people would be strongly encouraged to study Deaf History in its entirety and not just from 1880 to the present. They would also be encouraged to learn and appreciate the beauty and intricacies of ASL as part of our Deaf Heritage. The special lens gave each and every one of us an opportunity to learn about the ties that binds us as Deaf community.

Sandy Rae Scott – How do I describe the recent Deafhood workshop? Mind boggling are two exact words I would describe it. Even with a BA degree in Deaf Studies and a MA degree in Deaf Education, I felt like I finally learned a whole lot more than what I learned in my college days! Butch Zein, a person with such passion to empower every single one of us, did a fabulous job of facilitating our workshop. After the completion of the Deafhood 101 workshop, I’m even still thinking about how I can decolonize myself and foster other people to do the same thing.  I strongly recommend every single Deaf/hard-of-hearing person to take the Deafhood workshop!

JMS Update

Aimee Breinholt

Welcome back to school!  The summer was full of summer camps (adventure camp, BMX camp, preschool camps, reading clinic, around the world, self defense camp, basketball camp and so forth) that the students enjoyed!  Thank you to our teachers and the community for helping to make these such a success.

We would like to recognize and express our love for Ellen O’Hara.  Her passing has greatly impacted our school family.  Ellen was a phenomenal teacher and advocate for the deaf.  She will always hold a special place at JMS.  We express our continued love and support to her family, friends and the community!

We are excited to be back in the classroom after the summer break.  We have several new faces at JMS.  Please help us welcome Dan Mathis as our ASL specialist; Jenni Johnson and Coleen Jennings as our new middle school teachers; Emily Tanner as our social worker; Meleah Miller as our job coach; Whitney James as our after school activities coordinator; and Tyson Illi and Justin Walker as our new teacher aides.  We are thrilled to have them join our staff!

This year our preschool staff is collaborating with the listening and spoken language preschool teachers.  We are excited to open up more opportunities to all students to be able to access American Sign Language and deaf culture.  This allows us to uniquely individualize each student’s education at USD.  In addition to this collaboration, we are now offering Friday as an optional day for preschool.

We have begun our ASL family classes at JMS.  These classes will be taught weekly on Monday evening from 5:30-6:45pm by Sandy Scott.  Deaf awareness week is September 26th through the 30th.  Dan Mathis is looking for deaf community members to come into the classroom.  If this is something you would be willing to help us out with please contact Dan at  Drama auditions and rehearsals are underway for the upcoming Shakespeare festival in Cedar City.  The drama team will compete October 6-8th.  If you can make it to Cedar City we guarantee a great show!  Our reading clinic and after school activities have started for the year.  These activities run weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  These activities are open to any student who is deaf or hard-of-hearing.  For more information or to help teach a specific activity please contact Whitney James at

Thank you for your continued support of JMS.  We look forward to working together as we partner with you to provide educational opportunities to our students.

Loveland Aquarium Tour

A large group of deaf people went by vans to tour the Loveland Aquarium recently. A few came from Northern Utah by FrontRunner and some drove directly to the aquarium  Many forms of sea life were on display, with a spectacular overhead window that spanned from side to side.  The aquarium has a large gift shop where they could browse and a cafe to relax with drinks and snacks.

Afterwards, the Sweet Tomatoes restaurant in Sandy was the place to get lunch and to chat among friends before going back to the Sanderson Community Center.


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