The Daily Moth 8-28-2018

August 29, 2018

Homeless Man Lands Job at McDonald’s With Help of Tallahassee Police Department; 4 Teenagers Killed While Pushing Stalled SUV; New Trade Agreement Between U.S. and Mexico; Canada in Negotiations; Irish Deaf Community Protests For More Sign Language Access on TV; NAD Opposes Judge Kavanaugh For Supreme Court; Summary of Case Involving Deaf Person

Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Tuesday, August 28. Ready for news?




Homeless Man Lands Job at McDonald’s With Help of Tallahassee Police Department


Last month, in Tallahassee, Florida, a homeless man named Phil went into a McDonald’s and asked for a job.


Judy McClellan, the recruiter, said she was explaining about online job applications to Phil when he interrupted her and said he could work harder than anyone else.


She could tell Phil was serious about the job, so she told him to clean up and come back on Monday.


Phil went next door to a Circle K gas station and got ahold of an electric razor.


Police Officer Carlson offered to help, as Phil did not have a mirror and was trying to shave outside. Someone filmed them and the video went viral.


Phil, cleaned up, went back to the McDonald’s that Monday as told, but did not have all the identification documents needed to complete the application.


The Tallahassee Police Department and Senator Marco Rubio (R, Fla.) worked together to help Phil get his identification card and social security card.


On July 30th, Tallahassee Police tweeted that Phil started his new job that day, and they were very proud of him.


Senator Rubio’s office also tweeted a congratulations to Phil for starting his new job.


The McDonald’s restaurant owner, Raphael Vazquez, said if Phil stays with McDonald’s for at least 90 days (three months) and works at least 15 hours a week, he’ll qualify for McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity program, which can help him with getting a HS diploma and college tuition.


(VIDEO here)




4 Teenagers Killed While Pushing Stalled SUV


On Saturday night, 4 teenagers were killed while pushing a stalled SUV in Cortland, Indiana.


It was Victoria V.’s 15th birthday and there was a slumber party planned.


Her mother was driving 9 children in her Chevy Suburban when it broke down, about a block away from their home.


A group of children got out of the SUV to push it the rest of the way when another car hit them from behind.


The driver, 24-year-old Elizabeth Watson was not injured and has not been charged.


The four who died -- they were Nevaeh L., and Jenna H., both 14, and Brittany W., 15, they died at the scene. 16 year old Martin M. died at the hospital shortly after.


Five other juveniles were hit and injured, and three of them had to be flown to hospitals in bigger cities.


Birthday girl Victoria was also injured and is still in the hospital.


Seymour High School hosted a candlelight vigil on Sunday for the deceased.




New Trade Agreement Between U.S. and Mexico; Canada in Negotiations


Yesterday (Monday) President Trump announced he has a new trade agreement with Mexico, called the “United States-Mexico Trade Agreement.”


Trump is removing the name of the previous trade deal — NAFTA.


The new agreement will require 75% of an automobile’s value to be manufactured in North America, which is higher than NAFTA’s 62.5%. It is higher at 75%


The deal will also require 40% to 45% of the car to be made by workers earning at least $16 an hour.


There are also new standards for digital trade, financial services, and intellectual property.


This deal, similar to NAFTA, will allow American companies to operate in Mexico and Canada without tariffs (trade taxes).


News media said any trade deal will have to be approved by Congress.


Trump said yesterday he hopes Canada will negotiate fairly and join, or agree to a separate agreement, or they would face tariffs for automobiles.


Mexico’s President Nieto said yesterday they want Canada to join the deal as well.


Today Canada is restarting official negotiations with the U.S., with several top government officials flying to D.C.


Canadian news CBC quoted a source who said they need to see what exactly the U.S. and Mexico have agreed to before they can have an opinion on their negotiating position.


The news of a trade agreement between the U.S. and Mexico sent stocks up, with the S&P 500 and NASDAQ reaching record highs.




Irish Deaf Community Protests For More Sign Language Access on TV


On Monday, the Irish Deaf Society (IDS) published an open letter to the Irish national television and radio broadcaster, RTÉ.


The letter details how RTÉ failed to provide access to Irish Sign Language (ISL) on TV on several occasions.


RTÉ did not televise ISL interpreters for the Deaf community in any of the live broadcasts of the recent Papal visits in Ireland over the weekend. It was not shown on TV.


The IDS said they’d contacted RTÉ earlier this month and asked about their plans to televise the ISL interpreters, who had already been booked to interpret at various Papal events.


But it is said that throughout the Pope’s visit, interpreters were visible on TV in the background, but they were not shown signing on screen. So they felt that full access was not granted to Deaf viewers at home.


A Irish Deaf community activist, Michael Kelliher, said that Pope Francis talked about a more equal society, and yet Deaf ISL users were excluded from the event.


RTÉ responded that as host broadcaster, they were providing a world feed, they were filming it for the world, which meant they needed to broadcast in multiple languages.


They said having an Irish Sign Language interpreter on screen would not have benefited other countries watching, so that was why it was not possible to televise the live signing. They provided live subtitling in English.


A nationwide protest is planned for Thursday, where protestors will meet outside of several of RTÉ’s offices. More than 4,000 people have signed a petition that calls for more TV access to ISL.


The IDS promoted the hashtag, #StopHidingISL. The IDS asked RTÉ to include ISL interpreters at future historic events of importance, starting with a broadcast of an ISL performance of the Irish National Anthem at next Sunday’s Ireland Football Final.


This is a especially hot topic because Ireland’s government just passed a bill to recognize ISL in December.




NAD Opposes Judge Kavanaugh For Supreme Court; Summary of Case Involving Deaf Person   


The NAD CEO Howard Rosenblum announced in a vlog yesterday that the NAD opposes President Trump’s nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to fill the empty Supreme Court Justice seat.


I will call him “Judge K” for short.


Howard said many disability rights organizations view Judge Kavanaugh’s decisions in court as not being good for the disability community.


Howard said the NAD does not usually get involved in political issues, but they are joining forces with other disability rights organizations.


Howard named several cases that Judge Kavanaugh wrote opinions on cases related with disabled people, including one case that involved a deaf person, James Adeyemi.


Howard asked the deaf community to contact their Senators to tell them to oppose Judge Kavanaugh.


Now, let’s look at the deaf person, Adeyemi’s case. I will call him “J.A.,” using his first and last initials, for short.


This case is from 2008. J.A. filed a complaint saying he was discriminated against when the D.C. Public School System (DCPS) did not hire him for a Information Technology (IT) specialist position. He said DCPS discriminated against him.  


Judge Kavanaugh was a Circuit Judge for the D.C. Court of Appeals (federal court) and oversaw the case with two other judges. Judge Kavanaugh wrote the court’s opinion, which sided with the DCPS against J.A.  


I read the court’s opinion. Here is a summary.


I will mention Howard/NAD’s view at the end.


In 2002, the DCPS, for some reason, abolished all of their IT positions then re-opened the jobs, advertising seven “Level 11” positions.  Those who were IT employees and lost their jobs could re-apply.


DCPS also advertised for several “Level 12” IT positions, which had more stringent requirements.  


J.A. (the deaf person) applied for both the Level 11 and Level 12 positions. On his application, he did not mention that he was deaf.


DCPS said when they received J.A.’s application, they saw that he was qualified for the Level 11 position, but not for the Level 12 position.


DCPS selected 20 people for interviews for the Level 11 position, including J.A.


DCPS found out J.A. was deaf when he arrived for his interview. There was no interpreter. They communicated by typing back and forth on a computer.


The school interviewers asked him how he communicated with those who didn’t know sign language. He responded that he often uses written communication.


J.A. would later say this question of how he communicated with others showed that DCPS had an animus (motivation) towards discrimination.


Let’s go back. J.A. said his interview score tied him for fifth place out of the 20 applicants.


After all the interviews, DCPS re-hired five IT employees who previously worked for the school. They were eliminated, then rehired.


For the remaining two positions, DCPS decided not to hire the other 15 people who were interviewed, including J.A.


DCPS re-advertised the “Level 11” position for the two vacant spots, but said they didn’t find anybody they were satisfied with.


DCPS then decided to offer the last two positions to two other people who applied for the Level 12 position, the “higher” position. They were offered the job.


The school said the two people were better qualified with the necessary skills DCPS was looking for. The two joined the other five hires.  


J.A. then filed an compliant with the EEOC saying he was discriminated against in violation of the ADA.


There was a mediation that was not successful. Adeyemi (J.A.) then filed a complaint in D.C. federal court.


Now in that D.C. District Court case, it was led by Judge Kavanaugh. He issued a summary judgment against J.A., which meant there would be no trial and the case was “finished” with DCPS’ side winning.


Judge Kavanaugh said he did not think that DCPS intentionally decided not to hire J.A. because of his disability.


He said Adeyemi had to show that he was significantly better qualified for the job to prove discrimination.


Judge Kavanaguh said J.A. did not produce sufficient evidence to counter the DCPS’ statements.


About J.A.’s complaint with the interview question on how he could communicate with other people, Judge Kavanaugh said the question was appropriate because the ADA allows employers to make pre-employment inquiries on an applicant’s ability to perform job-related functions. He said he can be asked the question, it was not discrimination.


Now — let’s go back to the NAD’s statement — Howard said this case shows that Judge Kavanaugh thinks Adeyemi would have to prove that he is much more qualified than the hired persons and others, that he had to work hard to prove that he experienced employment discrimination.


Howard said this is a very difficult way to prove discrimination and is not fair.


The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law said this case shows that Judge Kavanaugh is reluctant to scrutinize an employer’s actions, that he puts a high bar, high expectations for job applicants who allege discrimination -- the burden is on them.


Right now, U.S. Senators are doing research and interviews with Judge Kavanaugh to make their determinations on if they support him or not.


Judge Kavanaugh is expected to appear in hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee in September, with his final Senate vote in October. The Senate only needs a simple majority to confirm him.  


NAD CEO Rosenblum Vlog and Transcript:


DC Circuit Judge Kavanaugh Opinion/Decision:$file/07-7077-1116671.pdf


NAD’s Links:






That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!



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