Saturday, May 23, 2015

ASD Graduation Night - May 21, 2015

The Arizona School for the Deaf High School Graduation was held on Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 6 p.m at Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway Blvd in Tucson, Ariz.   The graduating class of 2015 includes 12 students: Fatuma Ali, Joshua Chavez, Deshane Escalante, Nicholas Hales, Kristine Hodgkinson, Marquel Moody, Gerardo Parra, Jr., Amanda Taylor, Rosario Valentin, Sydney Wood-Miller, Nja Woodfork, and Alyeen Zavala.   The Commencement Speaker was Polly Brady-Garcia.
Valedictorian Fatuma Ali
The Graduating Class of 2015 along with Class Sponsor Clarice West
Fatuma Ali along with her close-knit family

Polly Brady-Gracia as Commencement Speaker

The Graduating Class of 2015

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

High School Graduation Event

May 21, 2015 at 6 p.m.

Berger Performing Arts Center
1200 W Speedway Blvd
Tucson, AZ


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The CDI workshop on Saturday, May 2, 2015 Was Awesome!

Delynn Saunders - Presenter
The workshop–"Understanding Your Role When Working in Deaf/Hearing Interpreter Teams" was held on Saturday, May 2, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Tucson Deaf Community Center.  The workshop presenter was  Delynn Saunders, an experienced CDI.  (Certified Deaf Interpreter).

Only thirty interpreters, most of them from Tucson and five from Phoenix, showed up with much enthusiasm.   In addition, four interpreters who are Deaf came to the workshop because they want to become a certified Deaf interpreter soon in the future.

 Throughout the workshop, the interpreters were given an opportunity to develop new communication strategies and explore potential conflicts and learn techniques to resolve conflicts.  Role playing in various settings helped improve the interpreter's skills.
Role Playing Practice
Hearing interpreters
learned many new skills needed in working with CDI.  Interestingly, a  Certified Deaf Interpreter has a special certification approved by RID and can work as a team member with a certified interpreter who is hearing.  In some situations, a CDI is needed when the communication mode of a Deaf consumer is so hard that it can not be interpreted by an interpreter who is hearing.  For more information on CDI,  it is available on the internet: Use of A Certified Deaf Interpreter

According to many interpreters, the workshop was very good.  They had a wonderful time.  They thought that Delynn Saunders did a superb job.   The following photos are available for view.


Any questions or comments,
Feel free to contact Mike Crago

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The "What Is Abuse" Presentation Draws Many People, both Deaf and Hearing

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The audience watch attentively the presenters
More than 75 people floored the auditorium of the meeting room of the Tucson Convention Center located in downtown Tucson to attend the "What Is Abuse?" presentation on Saturday, April 25, 2105 from 9 am to 12 pm.  The event was hosted by COPD (Community Outreach Program for the Deaf), Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse and DeafHope with the help from the Tucson City Court.  

Amber Hodson explains the violence wheel in details
The lectures were given in American Sign Language by  Lindsay Janes and Carolyn Jaedecke, both COPD counselors and  Amber Hodson, who is in charge of DeafHope.  The lectures covered many interesting topics including "What is DV?," "Warning Signs," "Causes of DV," "Barriers," "Safely Planning," and "What to Do now?."   Videos using a few COPD employees and Deaf community volunteers as fictional characters were shown on the screen along with captions. 
Video displays Chaz describing his fear.
They expressed their domestic abuse experience in these videos. Many people found all videos to be really helpful and very touching - "heart-touch." 

Judge Wendy Million and Interpreter Gail Masek

Judge Wendy Million gave the audience a nice lecture explaining how she got a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to start a domestic violence court project.  The court has currently worked with COPD and Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse to provide ASL interpreting services and  educational programs for court staff members, judges and community members who experience domestic abuse.  Emerge! Center also receives assistance from the court to provide safe shelters for victims and survivors of domestic violence.  
There were several booths (see pictures below) available to provide information and resources about Domestic Violence.    
 When the presentation was over, many people walked away with strong feelings of RESPECT because they finally understood much better many issues concerning abusers and victims.  Some people shed idle tears after they learned so much about domestic abuse. One person not named said, "I now see what the violence wheel means," describing the behaviors that abusers use to get and keep control in their relationships.   

Anne Levy, Executive Director of COPD was very happy with the turnout of the event.  She said, "The presentation was a big success and effective in addressing the domestic abuse among Deaf people, especially Deaf women." 

Anne Levy, Executive Director of COPD expresses special thanks to the audience and sponsors.

Judge Wendy Million and Court Victim Advocate Cindy.

Interpreter Gail Masek for Interpreting for Survivors of Domestic Abuse

Becca Bailey and Aimee Mousavi, both Deaf Specialists listen to a Deaf consumer asking questions about services provided by ACDHH

Kathy Rawls–licensed counselor and Chaz McBride–Vocational Program Director
 COPD provides counseling for Deaf clients and their families
to assist them in dealing with life's challenges. 

DeafHope from California provides training and consulting to support local agencies.

Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse
This organization offers emergency shelters, housing programs, 
outreach and advocacy services and more.

The event was hosted by COPD, Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse and Deaf Hope.

If you have questions or concerns, feel free to contact Mike.
Mike Crago,

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Cyclova Tucson - Car-Free Bicycle Fest on Sunday

The route is a little over 5 miles
The Cyclovia Tucson event last Sunday, April 19, 2015 nearby Downtown was AMAZING!  Over 20,000 people came out to the streets, making this event the largest attended route.  A group of Deaf cyclists came out to have fun bicycling and socializing.  They really enjoyed the whole time.  

If you missed the fun; it is not over, yet as the next event will be held on Sunday, November 1, 2015 so mark your calendars!

A Bunch of Deaf Cyclists
Clockwise from left: Marilyn Pacheco, Donna Jones, Joy Saunders, Steve Jones, Andrea Kovach, Carol Newman, Delynn Saunders, Dave Saunders and Mike Crago

Vendors offering some products for Free

Andrea's dogs - Phoebe and Lou enjoy the wagon ride

 Dave and his old bicycle

Good beer, too.


Cyclovia Tucson is a program of Living Streets Alliance, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to promote healthy communities by empowering people to transform our streets into vibrant places for walking, bicycling, socializing, and play.

Mike Crago,