Dear Maine Residents,
Hamilton Relay, the contracted service provider of Maine Relay, is seeking your assistance in identifying candidates for the Hamilton Relay 2013 Deaf Community Leader Award. We are looking for individuals who are deaf or deaf-blind and who have been a positive influence in Maine, demonstrating commitment to advocacy, leadership and enhancing the lives of those around them. The award will be presented during Deaf Awareness Week in September.
Is there someone you wish to nominate?
Here is a link to download a questionnaire to assist in providing information about your candidate, including a brief description about the individual and what this person has done that causes you to nominate him/her. Please send your nominations directly to me by August 21st via e-mail, fax or by mail. My contact information is included under my signature below.
Celebrating community leaders during Deaf Awareness Week is something we look forward to each year. Thank you in advance for your participation in nominating deserving individuals from your community. We are eager to learn more about the community leaders in Maine.
Justin M. Gifford, Manager
Telecommunication Equipment Program
Maine Center on Deafness
68 Bishop St, Suite 3
Portland, ME 04103
Maine Center on Deafness has recently learned that one of its former employees may have taken money from the agency through unauthorized use of a bank card for his own personal use. The investigation of this potential crime is ongoing and we respect this former employee’s right to be presumed innocent until and unless he is proven guilty.
In the meantime, we want all of MCD’s supporters and everyone in the D/deaf community to know that we are cooperating with authorities as they investigate this crime, we are working with vendors to get as many of the charges reversed as possible, and we have made a claim under our insurance policy so that in the end we are confident that we will be able to recover most, if not all, of the money that has been stolen.
Being the victim of a crime is always difficult, and it is particularly disheartening when the alleged perpetrator is someone who was once trusted colleague. We have, however, been lucky to have the assistance of a diligent and professional police detective assisting our staff as they work to ensure that the agency is not prejudiced by this breach of trust. We are cooperating with that investigation, and are sure that the public understands that our ability to comment is limited.
ASL translation of press release
By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff
FRIENDSHIP, Maine — A Friendship woman who worked 31 years at a local nursery school claims she was fired after the Maine Department of Human Services refused to relicense the facility with her as an employee because of her hearing loss.
In response, Rosemary S. Kelley is suing the Maine Department of Health and Human Services’ division of licensing and regulatory services, and DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew.
The federal lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Portland on Dec. 21 argues that the state’s actions violated the Maine Human Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the federal Rehabilitation Act.
“It [has] been the worst nightmare of her life to be told she was unsafe for the children she loved and to be fired,” the lawsuit states.
Kelley is seeking compensation for the loss of her job, civil damages for the state’s actions, and attorney and legal fees.
The lawsuit notes that Kelley has had a hearing loss since childhood and has worn hearing aids.
Kelley had worked for 31 years at the Sonshine Nursery School in Friendship as a teacher’s assistant until December 2010 when she was terminated.
She is represented by attorney M. Elizabeth Gallie of the Maine Center on Deafness from Portland.
To read the full story, click on this link
Due to a significant snow storm in the mid-west, some CapTel users may experience a delay in their captioned telephone calls being answered and/or slower than usual hold times. Hamilton Relay (the service provider for Maine Relay) has added more staff to other call centers in other parts of the country to try and minimize the impact. Your patience is appreciated.
PORTLAND, Maine – The Maine Center on Deafness has been selected by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to be the sole administrator of the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) in Maine.
The goal of the NDBEDP is to ensure that every person with combined hearing and vision loss has access to modern telecommunication tools and the training necessary to use them. Examples of specialized equipment that may be distributed under the program include: laptop or desktop computers (and computer software that can zoom text or read text aloud), iPads or other tablets, amplified telephones and Braille communicators.
Eligibility for the program is determined through an application process that requires proof of annual income and verification of hearing and vision loss by a qualified professional. Once eligibility is established, the equipment is distributed at no cost.
The Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program is an addition to the current Telecommunications Equipment Program (TEP) administered by the Maine Center on Deafness which can provide qualified Maine residents with telecommunications equipment such as an amplified or captioned telephone or flashing devices designed to alert deaf or hard of hearing individuals that the telephone is ringing. The equipment included in TEP is often distributed at no or low cost.
Maine Center on Deafness also provides advocacy, education, training and support for Mainers as they navigate the world of hearing loss.
To learn more about the Maine’s Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program, the Telecommunications Equipment Program or Maine Center on Deafness, call toll free 800.639.3884; email: email@example.com or visit www.mcdmaine.org.
You may also read about the Deaf Blind Equipment Distribution Program in today’s Bangor Daily News. Click on the BDN logo below: