Northeast Ohio Deaf-Blind Association
News from NEODBA
May 31st 2012
Angela C. Orlando
In this issue:
1. What Is Deaf-Blindness?
2. Welcome Kara Bull, Our New SSP Coordinator
3. Upcoming Event: Lorain International Festival
4. DB Survivors at the White Cane Walk
5. Volunteers Needed for Two Reunions
6. Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C)
7. Lakeland Community College
10. Contact Us
What Is Deaf-Blindness?
I recently visited a new church, where I met a gentleman who was
introduced to me as being deaf-blind. As we talked, he said that
he is deaf with limited vision. He's been using close range sign
language, but it's getting harder for him to clearly see the
signer's hands. At this service, he would be trying tactile
communication for the first time.
I started to tell him about Northeast Ohio Deaf-Blind
Association, but he cut me off. "It sounds like a nice group, but
I'm not deaf-blind," he said.
I was bewildered by this comment. He explained, "I can still see,
so I'm not really deaf-blind."
Now I understood. It's a common misconception that all deaf-blind
individuals are completely deaf and completely blind. In fact,
only a small percentage of people who are labeled deaf-blind are
totally deaf and blind. Sometimes individuals who do have some
hearing or vision do not identify themselves as being deaf-blind.
The term deaf-blindness describes a condition that combines in
varying degrees both hearing and visual impairment. Two sensory
impairments multiply and intensify the impact of each other
creating a severe disability which is different and unique. All
deaf-blind people experience problems with communication, access
to information and mobility. However, their specific needs vary
enormously according to age, onset and type of deaf-blindness.
People who are deaf-blind are unable to use one sense to fully
compensate for the impairment of the other. Thus they will
require services which are different from those designed
exclusively for individuals who are deaf or individuals who are
People who are classified as deaf-blind may be deaf with low
vision, hard-of-hearing with low vision, blind and
hard-of-hearing or completely deaf-blind. They use a wide variety
of communication methods including sign language, close range
sign language, tactile sign language tracking, print-on-palm,
speech and assistive technology.
NEODBA is for any person who has any degree of both hearing and
vision loss. We welcome everyone who has a dual sensory
impairment, even if they do have some usable hearing or vision.
This includes those who use speech and hearing as their primary
communication method. We encourage all to join NEODBA and attend
our social events.
Welcome Kara Bull, Our New SSP Coordinator
We are pleased to announce that NEODBA now has a new SSP
Coordinator. Please welcome Kara Bull to our organization.
Kara graduated in 2003 from Bethel College with a Bachelors
degree in ASL/English Interpreting. She has been NIC certified
for 6 years. Kara has lived and worked in central Ohio, Orlando,
Florida and most recently in Cleveland. She currently works for
the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities as a sign
Kara explains, "I love what I do! I love the language,
facilitating communication and the thrill of understanding an
individual who may not communicate in a 'typical' fashion."
She has worked with deaf-blind individuals throughout her career
and says she is, "eager to start working with NEODBA!"
Upcoming Event: Lorain International Festival
NEODBA invites you to a Summer outing!
Join NEODBA at the Lorain International Festival
Sunday June 24th, 2012
1:00 to 5:30 PM
Location: Black River Landing in Lorain (just east of Broadway)
Admission: $2 per person
Parking is free
River Tours (optional) cost $10
Light house tours (optional) cost $20
Extra money will be needed to purchase food and gifts
Who is invited? Individuals with hearing and vision impairment,
SSP's, volunteers, friends and family
We hope to arrange car pools. Please let me know if you are
willing to drive and where you are coming from. If anyone would
like to attend but does not have transportation, likewise, let me
RSVP by Thursday June 20th.
Please help spread the word.
Lorain International Festival and Bazaar is the premier event of
the summer for Lorain, Ohio. Various nationalities, cultures and
our community area celebrated with the sharing of gifts from our
many homelands through food, music, costume and tradition.
The bazaar takes place along the scenic Black River, and features
a wide variety of ethnic cuisine to sample. There is wonderful
entertainment, including on-going live performances. Stop by the
different cultural booths that feature crafts and items from many
homelands. There are covered dining areas, paved walkways and
Visit the transportation Center to buy a great variety of Ethnic
Souvenirs & Crafts
River Tours $10 per person, 12 years and under free
Sunday 1:30 to 6:00 PM
Light house tours $20 per person
Sunday 2:00 to 3:00 PM
Contact the lorain Port Authority at 440-204-2269 for tickets.
Walk-on tours are available also.
This festival celebrates a variety of cultures: Greek, Irish,
Croatian, Romanian, Filipino, Russian, Hungarian, Mexican, and
DB Survivors at the White Cane Walk
NEODBA member, Nicole Mitchhart, is looking for team members to
walk with her during the White Cane Walk. This walk-a-thon is
sponsored by the Cleveland Sight Center. The purpose of this
event is to spread awareness about white cane laws. Sighted
people are encouraged to participate. They wear blindfolds and
walk with a white canes and guides.
7th Annual White Cane walk
Cleveland Sight Center
June 9th, 2012
10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Legacy Village - Cleveland, Ohio
Nicole's team is called the DB Survivors. In addition to needing
more team members, she is also looking for sponsors.
If you are interested in walking with or sponsoring the DB
Survivors, please contact Nicole.
Volunteers Needed for Two Reunions
Two deaf-blind individuals are seeking interpreters/SSP's to help
with their upcoming reunions. Both use tactile communication. Can
A gentleman from Mayfield school will be attending his reunion on
July 14th. We have found two volunteers for the actual reunion
and one for the daytime trolley ride. We need one more volunteer
for the trolley tour. This will take place from 9:30 AM to 4:00
PM. If you are interested, please contact Jenine at
I am a 1992 graduate from Theodore Roosevelt High School. My 20th
reunion will be held on July 28th, 7:00 to 11:00 PM. The event
will be located at the Rose Run in Stow, Ohio. A free dinner
(valued at $60) will be provided for each volunteer. I have
found one person, but will be needing a second. Please contact me
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C)
We are pleased to be developing a close relationship with the
Tri-C ASL Club. In March, Nick Abrahamson attended a club
meeting. He talked about assistive technology and the importance
of inclusion of all people who are deaf or deaf-blind.
I attended the April meeting and talent show. I enjoyed my first
experience with music in ASL. For my part, I played a medley of
children's songs on my soprano saxophone.
Dr. Hall present an over-sized check made out to Northeast Ohio
Deaf-Blind Association. This check was tactile and very creative.
(There's a real check, too.) Tri-C ASL Club raised $250 to donate
to NEODBA. We are so thankful and hope to continue working in
collaboration with Tri-C.
Lakeland Community College
NEODBA Participated in Deaf Awareness Days at Lakeland Community
College. Nick Abrahamson and Nicole Mitchhart ran our booth on
April 11th. Jasper Norman and I were there on April 12th, along
with many volunteers and SSP's. We had the opportunity to make
new contacts and spread the word about NEODBA.
On April 21st, Lakeland Signers held a Dingo. All proceeds ($245)
were donated to NEODBA. We thank Lakeland Signers for their kind
We would like to congratulate our friends and supporters who
recently graduated from Cuyahoga Community College, Lakeland
Community College, Kent State University and Cleveland State
University. We wish you the best of luck in your future career
and hope you will stay in touch with NEODBA. If you need a letter
of reference or confirmation of number of volunteer hours, please
let us know.
Please check out and "like" NEODBA's Facebook page. You can find
us at www.facebook.com/neodba.
We post information about what's happening with NEODBA,
deaf-blind resources and a variety of Deaf and ASL social events.
Stay in touch with your community through our Facebook page.
Twitter: www.twitter.com search for neodba1
contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.