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CSD Awarded Deaf Advocacy Training Project Grant

The National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers (NCIEC) has awarded CSD a grant to implement phase one of their Deaf Advocacy Training (DAT) project. The project will develop and implement a nationwide advocacy education project as a resource for deaf and hard of hearing people who use interpreters. Phases one of the DAT, called "Identifying Effective Practices Related to Enhancing the Deaf Community's Ability to Self-Advocate for Their Rights to Communication Access," will be a data collection project that CSD will be involved with. The collection of data will determine the type of advocacy information the deaf community should know, and the best way to educate the deaf community.

The NCIEC is funded under the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). "We know the competition was tough and the project is huge," said Larry Puthoff, director of organizational relations. "It is exactly aligned with CSD's mission, and I look forward to bringing the project to life!"

CSD was chosen in part because of their wide network of partners and collaborators, including the National Association of the Deaf, the Association of Late Deafened Adults, the World Federation of the Deaf, Telecommunications for the Deaf, Inc., the National Council of Hispano Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and the Deafblind Service Center. Dr. Harold Johnson, Michigan State University director of the Deaf Education Teacher Preparation Program, will provide assistance to design a data collection and dissemination system that will effectively enable CSD to accomplish the project's goals.

CSD will perform its research by literature review, forming focus groups in its branch offices (Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas), setting up expert interviews and conducting surveys across the nation with the support of project partners, working closely with the NCIEC during every step of this project.

Future phases will focus on developing the information into training materials, producing all print and electronic media and disseminating the materials. Each phase is a stand-alone project. For more information about the DAT, contact Larry Puthoff via telephone at (800) 737-2051 (voice), by e-mail at, or by videophone at

CSD a Gold Sponsor of 2007 Winter Deaflympics

CSD is one of the main sponsors of a global event, the 2007 Winter Deaflympics, that will take place in Salt Lake City, Utah Feb. 1 – 10. CSD has a strong history of supporting deaf sports. In 2001, the United States of America Deaf Sports Federation (USADSF) entered a partnership with CSD. USADSF has an office at CSD headquarters, also known as the USADSF home office and museum. In 2003, CSD sponsored the USA team to travel to Sweden for the Winter Deaflympics and sent CSD staff to cover and report on the event. Said Benjamin Soukup, CSD CEO, "By sponsoring the 2007 Winter Deaflympics at the highest possible level, we are reaffirming CSD's commitment to deaf and hard of hearing people on a national and global scale. Best of luck to all of the athletes, and I look forward to traveling to Salt Lake City and witnessing another milestone in Deaf History."

CSD Chosen As National Interpreter Certification Supersite

CSD has been recognized by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) as a testing site. Local testing administrator (LTA) Kay Oldfather-Daigle will be coordinating the newly designed testing system process at CSD. The new test, called the National Interpreter Certification (NIC) test, has been developed through a partnership with RID and the National Association of the Deaf (NAD). This will be to the advantage of interpreting students seeking certification in the region.

"The closest location for taking the test was in Denver or Minneapolis," said Oldfather-Daigle. "Now with CSD being recognized as a testing supersite, we will be able to serve those candidates in this region by offering a full range of testing options." NIC knowledge tests, Certified Deaf Interpreter, Oral Transliteration Certification and Specialist Certification: Legal tests are available at the site. For more information, contact Oldfather-Daigle by phone at (605) 367-5760 or via e-mail at

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Oklahomas Have Access to Smoking Helpline

CSD of Oklahoma is encouraging deaf and hard of hearing smokers and tobacco users in Oklahoma to call the free Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). Consumers can call through their state relay service using TTY, Captel or videophone for assistance to quit smoking.

"We're advocating for our deaf and hard of hearing friends and family members to take advantage of this effective free service to help them quit tobacco," said Glenna Cooper, CSD of Oklahoma division director. The Helpline staff consists of professional Quit Coaches who work with callers to create a quit plan tailored to their individual needs, including up to four additional personal coaching sessions. The hours of operation are 7 a.m. – 11 p.m. seven days a week, and staff will return any messages left after hours.

CSD of Maryland gets Health Education Grant

The Delaplaine Foundation Inc., a private family foundation based in Frederick, Maryland, awarded CSD of Maryland a grant to provide health education for the benefit of the deaf and hard of hearing. The Delaplaine Foundation is dedicated to the enrichment of communities and families within Maryland, nearby states and the District of Columbia by supporting programs to strengthen the arts and sciences, history preservation, educational advancement, spiritual enlightment and physical well-being.

CSD of Maryland's community education program, which will benefit from this grant, develops educational activities that promote community responsibility for health education and emergency preparedness.

Community Foundation of Frederick Grant For Sign Language Lab

The Community Foundation of Frederick County awarded CSD of Maryland a grant that will establish a new sign language training lab that will assist Adult Basic Education learners, AL students and interpreters, as well as other consumers who wish to enhance their English and signing skills.

"CSD of Maryland is committed to equal access to communication for deaf and hard of hearing individuals," said Karen Sheffer-Tucker, CSD division director. "This means not only providing direct services to those who are deaf and hard of hearing, but helping hearing individuals learn how to communicate with the deaf and hard of hearing population." The lab is accessible Monday through Friday during office hours (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) and during class when feasible.

Statewide Domestic Violence Grant Renewed for CSD of Oklahoma

The Oklahoma District Attorneys Council has renewed the statewide Services-Training-Officers-Prosecutors (S.T.O.P.) Violence Against Women Grant for 2007. Originally awarded the grant in 2006, CSD will continue to provide its domestic violence program. The program is led by Kristina Hakey, CSD community specialist, and will resume work with the deaf and hard of hearing community, domestic violence/sexual assault service providers, law enforcement, as well as medical, legal and other providers with the support of the State of Oklahoma District Attorneys Council and the Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

"We'd like to thank the Oklahoma District Attorneys Council for its commitment to stopping domestic violence in the deaf community," said Benjamin Soukup, CSD chief executive officer. "Violence against women doesn't just permeate hearing culture – abuse happens in all cultures. With this recommitment, we stand ready to be a resource for all of our constituents in Oklahoma."