Monday, December 12, 2011

The 18 Year Long Day by Cindy Henrion

I submitted my resignation letter to my employer today, the State of FL Department of Revenue. Mind you this was just a required formality, and out of respect. The decision to retire from the state has been in progress almost two years now with actually starting the process ie paperwork, just last October. A mix of emotions is setting in. One is relief. Relief from the daily 8-5 grind, anjjjd a grind it has become. The daily constant shuffling of taxpayers forms and payments with no end in sight I finally have full appreciation of when Seinfeld’s Newman painstakingly yelled out, "The mail never stops!" I laugh to myself often referring to it as the 18 year long day at the office. Sure feels that way.

Deafness has never been an issue in my work, I can do my job fully deaf, if anything like in the real world it's created social barriers that 'late-deafness' presents and is an annoyance at times, but also a welcome blessing as I’ve escaped most of the office politics that abounds in every work place. The slow progressive hand loss, both hands now extremely affected, and walking issue is another story and my reason for this decision. On the flip side, I will miss the people who have become my friends especially these last few years. It wasn’t always that way as it took me well over 12 years and 4 Supervisors to feel any semblance of belonging to the group. Even now my once rigid authoritarian supervisor has become a friend which is maybe the biggest lesson this job has taught me, to show compassion and forgiveness even if you don't feel you should.

I'm just a tad fearful of having nothing to do, feeling useless, bored. Ok, I'll get over that in about 5 minutes ;) So its 13 days countdown to my last day. I've been sitting behind a desk for over 20 years, as my size 14 jeans prove. I'll probably sit at home on the couch watching THE OFFICE for a week, then let out a collective musing of, “Now what?” Then I’ll go outside in the day time breath in fresh air and feel the sun on my skin. I’ll walk my dog at noon, shop at 3 pm, I’ll continue to be grateful for all my blessings and spend more time with family and friends and supporting causes I care about. And never ever stress out about being late for work again (collective merriment) ;)

More thoughts as I blog my last 13 days to come....

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I've stopped being mad at homeless people for being in better physical shape than a lot of us. Yes, they can hear, they can talk, they can walk, most of them appear physically fit in every way. In contrast we're deaf, a few have mobility and balance problems, we all seem to have other health issues. But when you think about it, if it wasn't for God's providence for us - in giving us family, a government that helps the disabled, friends - we could be in their second-hand shoes, in their cold tents, staring into their empty pots. They're taking on the homeless suffering that would have been our lot from being too disabled to work - from being cast off from families that would have been unable to shoulder the burden of caring for us. This year, when enjoying the warmth of the Christmas Season, let's not forget to share a little with our neighbors without a house.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Need to Over-turn Florida Governor's veto of the FCCDHH

On May 26, Governor Scott signed the state's 2011-2012 budget into law. He exercised his line item veto as he said he would. The Florida Coordinating Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (FCCDHH) was a direct casualty of that line item veto. As of midnight June 30, 2011, the Council will cease to exist.

Here is a link to the 2011 Report to the Governor: Please look it over to educate yourself about this organization.

Some folks from the Clearwater HLA and the Orlando HLA are already starting a letter-writing campaign. I hope you will join them by writing a letter, including the FCCDHH 2011 Report, and then asking your friends to make their voice heard too. Here are some suggestions for sending messages:

House Speaker Dean Cannon

Senate President Mike Haridopolos

Please also write to your legislators. You can find them here.
(Click on Find Your Representative.)

Monday, August 16, 2010

No News is Good News

You know it's hot out when you envy dogs getting hosed down and bathed in their front yard. Our much awaited summer is bearing down on us now in its full glory. When I walked out to my car at 7:15 this morning and my glasses steamed up I just shook my head. 'Tis the season of $350+ power bills, flip flops, pony tails, fungal infections, and afternoon thunder showers. You don't need me to tell you this of course.

So what's ALDA Suncoast up to? Like the summer heat we are moving in slow motion. Join us next Sunday August 22nd , 4 pm, at Captain Al's Waterfront Grill & Bar, The Pier, St. Pete “Where the whole family dines by the water without breaking the budget!” Looks great guys, come on down at the base of the Pier all the way back by the water’s edge. An insanely gorgeous view and hope to see many friends there.

Our coffee nights every 4th Wednesday at Starbucks Pinellas Park mall continues to be a major hit. Especially with the local SP College ASL I and II students who continually show up for practice and contact hours.

A picnic is on the agenda, but not until the mercury dips to 80, at least :) Perhaps another post Thanksgiving picnic complete with roast turkey and mashed potatoes on the grill like we did in '07. Suc h a good time. What do you think of that?

Don't forget the OC and RV captioned movies that were for years actively advocated for. Full listings at . A rare treat BEACH THEATER lists 3 foreign films showing --

Micmacs (Not Rated)
French with English subtitles

The Girl Who Played With Fire (Not Rated)
Swedish with English subtitles
3:20pm, 8:30pm
3:20pm, 8:00pm

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Not Rated)
Swedish with English subtitles

Sunday, April 18, 2010




Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Movie Theater Captioning

Sunday night I went with my sister to AMC Woodlands to see Alice in Wonderland. I looked up the movie on CaptionFish. I guess I should have paid closer attention to the icons. Being an “inexperienced” deaf person, I assumed that the movie would be open captioned with the text on the screen.

When we purchased our tickets at the window, my sister told the guy that I needed the theater with captions. He did not say anything, just handed her the tickets. When the movie started, we were both confused when we did not see captions…were we in the wrong theater? My sister went into the lobby, found an employee and told him the problem. His response was, “Oh, the captioning is not working, they are fixing it.” My sister came back and sat down.

Fifteen minutes later, we were still wondering what was going on. My sister went back into the lobby and found another employee (my sister thinks he was a manager). She said he snapped at her, “What is the problem?!” My sister again asked why the captions were not working. She told me that he rudely explained that the movie was Rear Window Captioned and handed her an acrylic panel.

On the way out, I went to the desk and politely said, “May I make a suggestion? Maybe the theater could figure out a way to let hearing impaired people know that they need to ask for the acrylic panel in order to be able to see the captions.” I explained that I had not been deaf that long and didn’t know better. I said, “There are many hearing impaired people and you can’t assume that they know what to do in order to see the captions”. The man told me that since they can’t tell who needs the captions, there is no way to direct people. I suggested putting a sign on the door of the captioned theater or training the ticket sales people – when someone requests tickets for the captioned movie – to ask if they know how rear window captioning works. The man replied that they would look into it, but his tone of voice did not convince me that he was being sincere.

Is it enough that a theater offers captioning? Or should they make sure people know how to take advantage of it?

What upsets me is that the first employee my sister went to for help obviously had no clue how the captioning worked. If he had, he would have been able to inform my sister and I would not have missed the first 25 minutes of dialogue. And the second employee, who may have been a manager, was rude about explaining the captioning!

-- Cindy R.

Sunday, July 27, 2008