Deaf Expo showcases deaf-owned businesses

Amtrak representatives talk with visitors checking out vendors

Delaware School for the Deaf celebrated Deaf Awareness Week on Saturday by hosting the annual Deaf Expo, which showcases deaf-owned and deaf-friendly businesses.

Organized by the Delaware Association of the Deaf, the event is held in a different location around the state each year. Feta Fernsler, president of the organization, said that holding the event at DSD gave students there a chance to meet successful deaf people and envision their own future.

“We don’t want to limit kids’ expectations,” Fernsler said.”The world is open to them.”


More than 30 vendors participated in the event, including many businesses owned by deaf people or children of deaf adults. Some sold products catering to deaf people, such as alarm clocks that vibrate and light up.

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Volunteer ASL teacher (Georgetown, DE)

Volunteer caption with varying colored raised hands to indicate volunteerism

The First State Community Action Agency in Georgetown is looking for a volunteer ASL teacher to work with middle school aged students (ages 10 to  14) for 10 weeks, once a week for an hour. Students are in the program Monday through Friday from 2:30 – 5:30 pm. They would like to start in October as soon as possible.

Contact Gail Garner at  Deaf.Outreach16 at or text her at 410-409-4976 to get connected with Karen Mann who is coordinating the class. 


A Denver disability lawyer was excluded from jury service because he’s deaf. Now he’s suing the court.

Spencer Kontnik

A Denver attorney who specializes in disability discrimination litigation, has found himself in the shoes of the very people he represents.

Spencer Kontnik is suing the Denver County Court for excluding him from jury service because he is deaf.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in Denver District Court, alleges discrimination against a qualified juror with a disability and claims the court violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, which states people with disabilities must not be excluded from participating in services, programs or activities provided by a public entity or state agency. A court is a public entity.

Kontnik and the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, a nonprofit advocating for disability rights statewide, are asking the Denver County Court to stop violating the law and ensure prospective jurors with disabilities do not experience discrimination by implementing new policies.

“Individuals with disabilities should be valued and under Colorado law, frankly, do have the right to be treated the same as others,” Kontnik said by phone Monday afternoon.

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Other links of interest – or

Delaware Voting Updates

Delaware passed 3 new laws this year – early voting, vote by mail (different from absentee ballot/voting), and same day voter registration.  To check the status of your registration or voting locations, go to  General election info including candidate info can be found at

Another resource is ACLU’s new website –

September 13, 2022 – Primaries Election (to narrow down candidates by party)
November 8, 2022 – Statewide General Election (also known as mid-term elections and still important)



‘Dancing with the Stars’ : Teresa Giudice, Wayne Brady, Selma Blair and More Celebs Join Season 31

Teresa Giudice, Wayne Brady and Selma Blair. Photo: GETTY (3)

The stars are aligning for season 31 of Dancing with the Stars!

On Thursday, ABC and Disney+ announced the latest celebrity cast members who will compete on the upcoming season of the reality dance competition show on Good Morning America — and the list does not disappoint!


The cast includes The Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice with partner Pasha Pashkov, actor and comedian Wayne Brady with partner Witney Carson, actress Selma Blair with partner Sasha FarberArnold Schwarzenegger‘s son and fitness model Joseph Baena with partner Daniella Karagach, and Jersey Shore star Vinny Guadagnino with partner Koko Iwasaki.


Also joining the cast is Coda star Daniel Durant with partner Britt Stewart, country singer Jessie James Decker with partner Alan Bersten, recent Bachelorette lead Gabby Windey with partner Val Chmerkovskiy and singer Jordin Sparks with partner Brandon Armstrong.

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Love Island’s Tasha: ‘A little sign language goes a long way’

Tasha Ghouri signing in BSL, blond hair w white cami shirt on a yellow sofa with a big green planter behind her

Tasha Ghouri was Love Island’s first deaf contestant. Now her time on the show is over, she wants to use her on-screen fame to make a real-life impact for other deaf people.

“I never had anyone to look up to that’s like me on websites or TV,” says Tasha – who finished fourth in the ITV competition this summer.

Before the villa, the 24-year-old modelled – for websites such as ASOS – with her cochlear implant visible, yet she was a rare example.

But according to Tasha, the depiction of the deaf community on TV is “moving in a very positive direction”.

“I think representation is really coming a long way from where it was a couple of years ago,” she tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

“For example, Rose [Ayling-Ellis] on Strictly, and then I’m on Love Island,” she says.


Eastenders actress Rose, Strictly Come Dancing’s first deaf contestant, won the show last year.

“That’s a massive thing for the deaf community, and in terms of representation, [it] doesn’t happen enough in my opinion,” says Tasha.

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Disability program closures forcing some parents to quit jobs

CLIFTON PARK — A staffing crisis that is crippling care programs for individuals with disabilities is forcing Saratoga County’s largest nonprofit human services agency to temporarily “pause” a day habilitation program in Clifton Park.

For some of the roughly two dozen families affected, the looming decisions include whether a parent might have to quit their job to care for their loved one during the day.

“At that particular site we felt that it’s not safe to do the day program with as many individuals, with the staffing shortages that we have,” said Jane Mastaitis, chief executive officer at Saratoga Bridges, one of 36 chapters of The Arc New York, the state’s largest nonprofit organization serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “We’re just so short of staff; it’s just a decision that we made as as team … for the safety of the individuals.”

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DAD Note: It is happening all over the country including here impacting some of our deaf patients too.  It is not known yet how the states or governments will fix this as it also impacts an Olmstead Supreme Court ruling.

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