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CSD and Sprint Partner for Domestic Violence Awareness

Between July and December of 2007, CSD of Oklahoma and Sprint collaborated with a series of workshops to promote awareness about domestic violence topics and how Sprint’s nationwide communication solution products and services — Sprint Video Relay Services, Blackberry pagers, 711 TRS, VCO, Sprint AIM, CapTel™ and the like — can be of critical use to maximize communication access as well as accommodate all other telecommunications uses (conversations with friends and loved ones, business-related communications, e-mail, etc.).


Outreach activities, demonstrations and trainings were offered to mainstreamed deaf and hard of hearing youths and the general deaf and hard of hearing community in various Oklahoma locations.  Kristina Hakey, CSD of Oklahoma domestic violence outreach specialist, completed presentations on the following domestic violence topics: bullying, taboos, teen dating and healthy relationships. Hakey also demonstrated how Sprint telecommunication products and services may be used as a natural, comfortable resource for individuals seeking resolution for domestic violence scenarios.  


Rex Moers, Sprint Account Manager, provided leadership support and resources for the educational outreach project activities.

CSD of Maryland Expands Literacy Resources and Community Education Programs

CSD of Maryland’s growing community education and literacy services offer a wide variety of educational opportunities through its community programs.  CSD recently requested for and won an award from The Community Foundation of Frederick County, Md. Inc. to expand upon those opportunities by purchasing a SMART Board. The SMART Board will assist in providing community education and literacy services to the area’s deaf, hard of hearing and sign language interpreter community.


“The Community Foundation serves as a vehicle for positive and lasting change in Frederick County by building and fostering relationships with generous citizens who aspire to support the common good,” is the foundation’s mission statement. You can learn more about The Community Foundation of Frederick County, Md. Inc. by going to


(photo caption: Left to Right:  Lauren Phegley, Gallaudet Social Work Intern; Jackie Kanekuni, CSD Community Support Specialist; Karen Sheffer-Tucker, CSD Division Director, and Community Foundation Trustees Andrew Carpel and Scott Grove.)

CSD Staff Promotes Women’s Heart Health on Wear Red Day

Friday, Feb. 1 was declared National Wear Red Day by the American Heart Association. Across the nation, thousands of individuals, companies and organizations wore some article of red clothing (ties, blouses, shirts, sweaters, red pins, etc.) to support women’s heart health and to raise awareness. Statistically, heart disease is the number one killer of women.


Not only did people join in Wear Red Day, but cities across the U.S. did as well, from Bayard, Neb. to Graceland, Tenn. to Baltimore, Md. The cities decorated their respective monuments and tourist attractions with red lighting. Even Niagra Falls was illuminated with red lighting this year.


CSD joined in the cause, as staff at both headquarters in Sioux Falls, S.D. and in branch offices around the nation wore red on Feb. 1.


“Even though I never wear the color red, I participated because it is a fun way to promote heart awareness,” said Kim Barron, CSD communications director. “I could feel the team spirit and camaraderie among my coworkers who participated.”


To learn more about National Wear Red Day, go to

CSD of Texas and ABC Affiliate Partner to Air Daily Sign Language Newscasts

On a daily basis, in the middle of “Good Morning America” on Austin TV station KVUE (ABC), the station offers its viewers a five-minute local newscast, touching on area updates, weather, and breaking/important headlines. Now, deaf viewers will have the opportunity to see this same newscast communicated not in voice and captions, but completely in sign language.

Every day, Monday through Friday, a CSD interpreter will be recorded signing that exact same five-minute newscast. Viewers need only go to to watch the video, which is updated daily.

“At CSD, we provide the great State of Texas with both community and video interpreting,” said Mark Seeger, CSD of Texas director of interpreting operations. “We jumped at the chance to offer another service to our consumers and give them the option of viewing the daily news in their native language, American Sign Language. A special thanks to KVUE for making this possible as well.”

To schedule an interpreter or to learn more about CSD of Texas, go to

CSD of Minnesota Participates in Clerc Classic Basketball/Cheerleading Tourney

Every year, deaf schools across the nation participate in Clerc Classic, a basketball and cheerleading tournament that lasts for several days. This year, the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf (MSAD) hosted the tournament. Students and players from the Texas School for the Deaf, Maryland School for the Deaf, California School for the Deaf and several others were part of the tournament. A large part of CSD’s Civics program with deaf immigrants includes different opportunities to learn about their local community, as well as the deaf community in Minnesota. The goal was to provide the Civics’ students with exposure to an event that is an important part of the deaf community. A teacher from the middle school at MSAD also wanted her students to learn about other countries and meet students; she wanted them to gain a greater appreciation for their school and all the advantages afforded Deaf people here in the United States. The visit and presentation was arranged for on Jan. 17, the first day of the Clerc Classic tournament.


Nine students made the trip from Fairbault to the tournament. When the students entered the middle school, they could see the other students talking among themselves and met several teachers who were deaf; they were amazed by all the Deaf people there. With approximately 20 middle school students in attendance, Sarah Hogue, CSD of Minnesota lead teacher/Consortium manager,  began her presentation by sharing her experience working in Liberia, West Africa. The students were shown photos of the city and resulting damage from the civil war — the students couldn’t believe that there was no running water and electricity in most of the houses.


After Hogue’s presentation, the Civics’ students shared stories about their native countries: Somalia, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka and Mexico. They explained about their experiences growing up with nobody knowing sign language and being able to communicate with them; they shared stories on the lack of education for deaf children in their areas. Some of them never attended school growing up and others went to hearing schools, only to sit and watch the teacher’s mouth move all day long.


Other students shared stories of going through war in their homeland, how scared they were not knowing what was happening and being separated from their families. A mixture of their newly learned American Sign Language and native signs, as well as gestures, made for a great storytelling experience for the middle school students. The Civics’ students also showed some of their native dress; two Somali students brought beautiful dresses that are typically worn to a wedding ceremony.


After the presentation, the students shared lunch. This provided to be even more beneficial for both groups. They chatted about different topics and asked questions about their cultures. They also showed off their native dances and one middle school student was brave enough to show them American dancing.


After lunch, we went to the gym to watch basketball games as part of the Clerc Classic tournament. Again, the Civics’ students were thrilled to see so many deaf people in the same area and were fascinated with everyone signing so fast to one another. Some of the students had never watched a basketball game before; they asked many questions about the game and its rules. They were also interested in the cheerleaders and enjoyed the loud drumming that accompanied their routines. During the afternoon, several middle school students from earlier that day approached the Civics’ students and chatted with them; one boy even helped some of the students order food in the basement concession.


The group enjoyed themselves so much that they stayed and watched basketball games all afternoon into the night, finally leaving at 9 p.m. They were disappointed that they couldn’t come back on Friday and Saturday for the remainder of the tournament, but were determined to return to MSAD for another event. This was truly an amazing experience for CSD’s Civics’ students, one that was empowering because they were able to educate the middle school students about their lives and homeland. They also benefited from seeing young deaf people who were receiving an education at a deaf school, as well as many deaf people attending an event. They were able to see how proud the deaf community is, and see that the community leading lives just like anyone else. All agreed to have this type of presentation every year and include a visit to the high school.