ALDA Chicago

News from ALDA

Watch this space for news about ALDA Chicago business and events and other news of interest to people who are late-deafened or have other hearing loss. 
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  • 21 Oct 2016 8:27 AM | Sarah Wegley (Administrator)

    A graduate student is working on a short documentary about the relationship of music and people within the deaf community. Do you or anyone you know play an instrument, sing, or have a general interest in music? Could you help as an interpreter for the shoots or in adding subtitles in post production? If you would like to participate in this project, please contact Chad at

  • 01 Oct 2016 11:21 PM | Sarah Wegley (Administrator)

    Congratulations, Liz! Linda Belice received word this week that ALDAn Liz Booth won the Oticon 2016 Focus on People Award for Advocacy. She thanks her ALDA friends for their support over the years and votes for her in the Oticon contest. 

    Read her bio on the Oticon website here.

  • 01 Oct 2016 10:22 PM | Sarah Wegley (Administrator)

    The following information is courtesy of the Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission (IDHHC).

    Resources continue to expand for the DeafBlind population in Illinois. Below are some resources:

    Helen Keller National Center for DeafBlind
    The Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths & Adults (HKNC) gives people who are DeafBlind tools to live, work and thrive in the communities of their choice. HKNC has a regional office, known as Region 5, in Moline, IL that also covers some surrounding states including Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. 

    Judy Knisely, who is the representative for Region 5, is available for assistance and is able to connect DeafBlind individuals, their families, and service providers to programs, services, assistive technology, and more. Judy can be contacted at or 419-951-6020/419-951-0474 (VP).

    HKNC maintains a confidential National Registry of people who are DeafBlind. The collected information assists in their research, program planning, and enhances their advocacy efforts.

    HKNC offers a variety of programs: the traditional programs, youth programs, senior adult services programs, DeafBlind Individuals with Cognitive Challenges programs, professional development programs, and some online courses including “Confident Living: A Course for Individuals Supporting Older Adults with Combined Vision and Hearing Loss” and “Working with Individuals who are DeafBlind: A Course for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors and Other Professionals.

    In addition, HKNC is accepting applications for their Confident Living Program for Senior Adults to be held at the headquarters in Sands Point, NY. This on-site training will be provided on October 3-8, 2016. Please contact Judy Knisely for more information.

    Chicago Lighthouse
    The Chicago Lighthouse (CLH) provides educational, clinical, vocational and rehabilitation services for children, youth and adults who are blind or visually impaired including DeafBlind and multi-disabled. Their DeafBlind program provides communication support, crisis intervention, adaptive technology training and advocacy. The program serves people throughout the state of Illinois with varying degrees of visual and hearing losses, providing access to other Lighthouse programs, services within the community and appropriate referrals to agencies. The DeafBlind program offers the following services: telecommunication assessment and training, job readiness preparation, braille phone/Deafblind communicator training, sign language training, braille training, basic counseling and functional assessment.

    CLH also administers the iCanConnect Program (The National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program) which is a national accessibility program providing communications technology free of charge to low-income people of all ages who have combined vision and hearing loss. Individuals work with qualified program specialists to identify hardware, software and applications that best suit their communications technology needs.

    CLH also operates a north side facility in Glenview, IL, known as the Chicago Lighthouse North that sponsors a parent support group facilitated by psychologist Dr. Joseph Wallach for parents with children who are blind or visually impaired. Their Children's Enrichment Program also offers music therapy for children ages 6 months to 3 years old, a teen transition program, and social events designed to connect families.

    Project Reach
    Project Reach is a federally funded grant program that provides technical assistance, information, and training to address the early intervention, special education, related services, and transitional services needs of DeafBlind children and enhance state capacity to improve services and outcomes for children and their families. Technical assistance is designed to assure that service providers more effectively provide special education services, provide in-service training to paraprofessionals and professionals, provide activities to facilitate family involvement, provide consultative services, and promote the integration/inclusion of children with deaf-blindness with children with other disabilities and without disabilities. Project staff members include DeafBlind specialists and family specialists with many years of experience. This grant program is currently funded until September 30, 2018 and is located at the Phillip J. Rock Center & School in Glen Ellyn, IL. They distribute newsletter bi-annually and you can find this information at this page.

    Illinois Service Resource Center
    The Illinois Service Resource Center (ISRC) provides behavior support to Deaf, Hard of Hearing & DeafBlind students in Illinois. Behavior support can be for individual students with challenges, or at the preventive level with classrooms or school programs. ISRC serves students with hearing loss regardless of communication mode.

    ISRC provides free training, onsite assistance and resources for parents and educators of students who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing or DeafBlind. ISRC team members visit homes and schools to work with families and educators in developing positive behavior support plans for DHH students in need of intensive level supports. ISRC team members work with DHH programs and classrooms to develop positive behavior support plans that teach appropriate expected behaviors for all students. The ISRC logo now includes printed braille letters as well as sign language. Stay posted for more information as ISRC expands its mission.

    Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission
    The Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission (IDHHC) has a Service Animals Resource page on its website. For information, please check this page. In addition, IDHHC has a Statewide Services for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind page that gives brief information on each agency including its mission that provides services to the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind in the state of Illinois.

  • 26 Sep 2016 5:37 PM | Sarah Wegley (Administrator)

    Source: Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission (IDHHC). Visit their website at

    In light of recurring situations where there is miscommunication between law enforcement and Deaf, Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind citizens, it is critical to know and understand some tips in order for the interaction to go smoothly. Below are some resources:

    ·The Deaf/Hard of Hearing Communication Card for Law Enforcement & Citizens can be used by both law enforcement and Deaf citizens. This communication card holds some quick communication tips, resources on how to obtain auxiliary aids and services, communication symbols where one can point to assist with communication during a traffic stop. This is available for printing and can be found on IDHHC’s website under Programs & Services: Information for Service Providers.

    ·J88 Deaf/Hard of Hearing Drivers License- J88 is a notation on a drivers license that alerts law enforcement officers before approaching a vehicle that a motorist is deaf or hard of hearing. Below is information on how the J88 notation works. The information is found on the Secretary of State’s website in its manual, “A Guide to Services Serving Senior Citizens, Persons With Disabilities and Veterans.

    • Request the J88 notation be added to your drivers license at any Secretary of State Driver Services facility. J88 will appear on both the front and back of your drivers license.

    • Include your drivers license number on your vehicle registration to link the two together.

    • If you are stopped by a law enforcement officer, he/she will run your license plate or drivers license number, and a “Deaf/Hard of Hearing: Uses Alternative Communication” message will appear. The officer will then know to use alternative communication.

    • You must request the J88 notation if you want the option. (The SOS office will not ask you if you want to include the J88 option.)

    · Marlee Matlin On Deaf And Police Interaction- This is an ASL video signed by Deaf actress, Marlee Matlin, who is the wife of a police officer. This video provides tips on how Deaf people should know their rights when interacting with law enforcement.

    This information is provided for informational purposes only and should not be substituted for appropriate legal advice. IDHHC does not control, monitor or guarantee the information contained in these sites or information contained in links to other external web sites. The existence of these links are provided for the convenience of visitors signed up on the IDHHC email listserv and should not be construed as an endorsement by IDHHC of the content or views of the linked materials.

  • 03 Aug 2016 7:32 PM | Sarah Wegley (Administrator)

    ADA 25 Advancing Leadership is currently accepting applications to the next Leadership Institute to be held in early 2017. Applications are open until August 31st, 2016.  

    The Leadership Institute seeks emerging leaders with disabilities who meet the following criteria:

    · 5-10 years of management and/or leadership experience demonstrated in one or a combination of professional, civic or community service contexts.

    · Self-identifies as a person with a disability (both apparent and non-apparent disabilities, defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities).

    · Is a resident of the Chicago region (this includes six counties: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake and McHenry Counties).

    · Is committed to becoming engaged, or expand current engagement, in the civic life of metropolitan Chicago, and is seeking the possibility of voluntary participation on a board, commission, or other leadership position in public, private or non-profit sectors.

    Additional details are also available at

  • 03 Aug 2016 7:21 PM | Sarah Wegley (Administrator)

    Are you a Deaf, Hard of Hearing or DeafBlind individual that has a passion in providing support to families that have children who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing or DeafBlind?  The statewide Deaf Mentor program “Connections” will be under the Youth Program at Chicago Hearing Society (CHS).  Through this program, mentors will provide support to families by sharing their perspective as an individual, help families achieve their individualized program goals, provide information and resources, and so much more.  This great opportunity is applicable to the entire state of Illinois.

    For further information, download this job description. If you have questions, contact Karen Aguilar at

  • 03 Aug 2016 7:09 PM | Sarah Wegley (Administrator)

    You are cordially invited to Empowering Lives: Past, Present, and Future on August 19, 2016 from 6-10 p.m. This event celebrating the 100th anniversary of Chicago Hearing Society will take place at Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Chicago, IL. Tickets are priced at $115 and can be ordered at

  • 27 Jun 2016 10:17 AM | Sarah Wegley (Administrator)

    The Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) announces the return of Access Chicago Expo for people with disabilities on July 13th from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM at Navy Pier in the Festival Hall A building. There will be disability organizations, government services, products, recreation, raffle prizes, health pavilion and more.

    The event will be free and open to the public.

    To learn more about the event, visit

    [Information courtesy of Linda Belice.]

  • 27 Jun 2016 10:00 AM | Sarah Wegley (Administrator)

    Voting is now open for the 2016 Oticon Focus on People award.  Liz Booth, a long-time member of ALDA and a consistent contributor to ALDA Chicago's newsletter for many years is among the nominees in the Advocacy category.  Liz moved from Chicago to Arizona at least 5 years ago and has continued her advocacy efforts on many fronts on behalf of the late-deaf there.  If you would like to vote, the link is below.

    Voting closes on August 15, 2016. Winners will be announced on September 27, 2016. First place winners receive $1,000 cash prize, $1,000 to a charity of their choice and a pair of Oticon hearing devices with BrainHearing™ technology. Second place winners receive $500 cash prize. Third place winners receive $250 cash prize.

    [Information courtesy of Linda Belice and the Oticon website]

  • 27 Jun 2016 9:55 AM | Sarah Wegley (Administrator)
    Plans are continuing to develop for ALDAcon 2016.  In addition to Jane Fernandes, I King Jordan and Judge Richard Brown as keynote or luncheon presenters, the agenda will include the following workshops:

    Legal and Advocacy Updates-  John Waldo
    Resources for persons with hearing loss-  Neil Bauman
    The Art of Lipreading-  David Harrison
    Beginning Sign Language-  Tina Childress and Sharaine Rawlinson Roberts
    Cochlear Implants-  Tina Childress and Sharaine Roberts
    Communicate Clearly-  Sarah Wegley
    PEPNet2 Resources-  Jenna Beacom and Shannon Aylesworth
    Chapter Leadership workshop
    Becoming Deaf: Pros and Cons (tentative title)-  Jane Schlau and Linda Dratell
    Quality of Life in Late Deafened Adults-  L'Tanya Fish
    You can be happy, Dammit-  Tess Crowder (Friday afternoon plenary session)

    Other workshops are still being confirmed.

    In addition to the above mentioned activies, we will be showing the movie "Signs of the Times" which is about Dummy Hoy, a deaf baseball player in the early 1900s, on Thursday evening.   The traditional Karaoke Party will be held Saturday evening.   Both these events are included with your registration fee.

    The following links provide more information on the movie Signs of the Times

    Signs of the Times 

    Making "Signs of the Times”

    Bringing History to Life

    The Journey 

    Remember the "early bird" registration deadline is June 30.  Registration forms are available at  The registration fee includes 5 meals (lunch on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Friday awards banquet and Sunday brunch).  First time attendees are also invited to a Thursday morning brunch to learn more about ALDAcon and ALDA.

    [Information courtesy of Steve Larew, ALDA President. Contact Steve at]

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