Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New Boss at Deaf Center doesn't sign well

The Vermont Association of the Deaf is not happy with who's been hired to lead the Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing which is headquartered at Brattleboro's Austine school for the Deaf. The advocacy group says William Gurney, the new president and CEO, is not deaf and doesn't know sign language. He's presently an associate superintendent in the Keene School District of New Hampshire. Mary Essex of the Vermont Association of the Deaf says the entire process of hiring Gurney was flawed. She wrote in a letter to the Board of Trustees:
"VCDHH has so many resources and is capable of being a strong asset to the state of Vermont. We seek to collaborate our resources and work together as a team to improve the quality of life for all deaf and hard of hearing Vermonters."
Essex says parents of students and alumni were not told of the change. Gurney is taking over for Bert Carter, who is moving to the Willie Ross School in Massachusetts. The school has hired an ASL teacher for Gurney.