Dr. Michael Kemp: Obituary from His Family

Posted on 1 December 2008. Filed under: Deaf, East Asia Pacific Region, Latin America & Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, News, signed languages | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Gallaudet University Provost’s Office has released the following obituary for Dr. Mike Kemp. People who wish to send condolences to his family will want to take note of the contact information provided at the end; condolences should please be sent directly to the family, NOT via We Can Do. I had reported on the news of Kemp’s loss over the weekend. I know that he will be missed not only by the Gallaudet University community but also by the Deaf communities of Vietnam and Thailand.

December 1, 2008

Dear Campus Community:

The family of Dr. Michael Kemp, who passed away last week, has written the following obituary in celebration of Dr. Kemp’s life and accomplishments:

Dr. W. Michael Kemp, 60, a professor in the Department of American Sign Language and Deaf Studies, died on November 24, 2008 in Alexandria, Virginia.

William Michael Kemp was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania to William and Marie Kemp. Deaf from birth, he graduated from Lancaster Catholic High School. Mike, as he was known, received his bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1971 from Gallaudet University, and his master’s degree in deaf education in 1975 from William McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College). He earned the degree of Doctor of Education in higher education administration in 1986 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His dissertation was titled “A Comparison of the Simultaneous Method Evaluation and the Sign Communication Proficiency Interview (SCPI).”

Dr. Kemp taught American Sign Language for 35 years, the last 31 at Gallaudet University. He served for 12 years as chair of three different academic departments before stepping down to focus on teaching and consulting. His main area of interest and expertise was training people to communicate gesturally to prepare for travel abroad.

Since 1980, he had trained sign language instructors throughout the United States and the world, in the Far East, Central and South America, the Caribbean islands, the Middle East, and Europe. He taught at the University of Puerto Rico, the University of British Columbia, Douglas College (in British Columbia), Thailand’s Ratchasuda College, and Vietnam’s Teacher Training Center.

For the last 10 years, Dr. Kemp worked extensively in Thailand and Vietnam with groups of deaf students in the Sign Language Teacher Training Program. He made frequent trips to serve as a visiting professor at the Cao Dang Su Pham (Teaching Training Center) in Dong Nai Province, near Ho Chi Minh City. Last month, Dr. Kemp was invited as a technical expert on information and communication access at the “Gathering Inputs and Recommendations for the Development of the National Law on Disability” conference in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Dr. Kemp received a research stipend award from the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research to attend the 18th International Congress on Education of the Deaf in 1995 in Tel Aviv, Israel. He also received the T. J. O’Rourke Memorial Award from the American Sign Language Teachers Association in 2002 in recognition of his international work, and the Teacher of the Year Award in 2008 from the Alpha Sigma Pi Fraternity.

Dr. Kemp was a member of the advisory board for the interpreter training program at Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale campus. He was a member of the National and Virginia Associations of the Deaf. He enjoyed photography, reading, traveling, and spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren.

Dr. Kemp is survived by a son, William M. Kemp, Jr., of Fairfax, Virginia; William Jr.’s mother, Dr. Vicki J. Shank, a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science; his wife of 13 years, Joan Kemp; and two step-daughters, Jennifer Yost Ortiz and her husband, Anthony, and Jamie Yost, a staff interpreter with Gallaudet Interpreting Service, and her husband, Raymond Merritt, a professor in the Department of Biology; and two grandchildren, Zion and Zeke Ortiz. He is also survived by a brother, Thomas Kemp, his wife, Linda, and two nephews, Dan and Jack.

There will be two memorial services. The first will be private, for family and close friends. The second will take place in early 2009 on the Gallaudet University campus, and will be open to the community. The date for this service will be announced at a later time, as will information about memorial contributions.

Condolences may be sent to Dr. Kemp’s son, Bill Kemp, at 13112 Watchwood Lane, Fairfax, VA 22315, and to his wife, Joan Kemp, P.O. Box 4228, Alexandria, VA 22303.



If there are any obituaries for Dr. Kemp that have been written by members of the Deaf communities in Vietnam or Thailand, or that are otherwise centered on his international work in developing nations, I would be interested in publishing them at We Can Do. Or, if these have already been posted elsewhere, then I would like to link to them. Please contact me by leaving a comment below with your email address in the email address field, or send me an email at ashettle[at]patriot.net (substitute the @ at sign @ for [at] to create my address).

A biography of Dr. Kemp is available at http://deafstudies.gallaudet.edu/Faculty-Staff/ASL_and_Deaf_Studies/Kemp_Mike.html. A former student of Dr. Kemp at Gallaudet created a video memorial for Kemp, presented in American Sign Language, at http://deaffilmblog.blogspot.com/2008/11/in-memory-of-dr-mike-kemp-re-defining-d.html.

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[Published at wecando.wordpress.com (We Can Do)]

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CASE STUDY: Strengthening Disabled Women Organizations in Nicaragua

Posted on 26 January 2008. Filed under: Capacity Building and Leadership, Case Studies, Cross-Disability, Latin America & Caribbean, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

A publication entitled “Learning from experience: strengthening organisations of women with disabilities” (PDF format, 1.3 Mb) shares lessons learned about organizing, personal empowerment, awareness raising, and incorporating a gender perspective. The publication focuses on work done by a Nicaraguan non-governmental organization (NGO), Solidez, that works to strengthen the capacity of local disabled women’s organizations and integrate women with disabilities into society. Solidez aims to help independent organizations improve their ability to manage their own decisions and self development.

In particular, this profile about Solidez is meant to analyze the lessons they have learned in organizational work and projects, empowerment and personal growth, awareness raising, and advocacy. It describes some of the barriers that Solidez has encountered in its work, for example in overcoming negative, religion-based attitudes toward gender or disabilities. Solidez also explains some of the strategies they used and their results: for example, they attribute part of their success to the use of home visits and meetings in women’s homes. The publication offers frank discussion of some of the challenges Solidez has confronted, such as finding ways to support groups in resolving sometimes very emotional inter-personal conflicts. It concludes with recommendations for how Solidez could further improve upon its efforts.

The publication is available from One World Action, an NGO based in the United Kingdom that works to create opportunities for the world’s poorest people.

You can download “Learning from experience: strengthening organisations of women with disabilities” in PDF format (1.3 Mb) at

http://www.oneworldaction.org/Resources/One%20World%20Action/Documents/Disability%20Rights/solidezreport6.pdf



We Can Do learned about this case study through contacts at Mobility International USA and from the Siyanda database of resources on gender and development.



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FUNDING for Conference Participation from Developing Nations

Posted on 29 November 2007. Filed under: East Asia Pacific Region, Events and Conferences, Funding, Human Rights, Latin America & Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, Opportunities, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

[You can reach this post directly with this short URL: http://tinyurl.com/yvhakm]

Every year there are dozens of international disability-related conferences. These conferences allow thousands of participants to network with colleagues around the world, forge partnerships across national and professional boundaries, and enrich their knowledge and understanding of the work they do with disabled people in their home countries.

But every year, there are also thousands of people from developing countries who are cut off from these opportunities because most conferences do not take their financial limitations into account. Usually the easiest expense for conference organizers to control are the registration fees. But many do not even have discounted fees for participants from developing countries. Even those that do usually don’t, or cannot, help reduce the cost of travel or lodging. So where can would be conference-participants from developing countries turn for assistance?

Although limited, a few options may be available to you depending on your country of origin, the location of the conference, the goals of the organization that you represent, or the purpose of your trip. Try exploring one of the following three organizations. (Note that the AJ Muste Memorial Institute and the Inter-American Foundation are primarily for people in the Latin American region. Only the Ford Foundation addresses the needs of people from all or most regions.).

Please note that any requests or applications for funding should be directed to these three organizations, NOT to We Can Do. Leaving a comment here will NOT help you contact these three organizations. Instead, please follow the link to the official web sites for each of the three organizations below.

Ford Foundation
The Ford Foundation has 12 country offices in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Russia. The country offices have travel grant monies which may be usable for attending international conferences. Go to their contact us page to find and contact a regional office near you. Also try looking at their grants page for more information on applying for Ford Foundation grants in general.

AJ Muste Memorial Institute
The AJ Muste Memorial Institute has a number of different grants for projects that promote nonviolence means for achieving social justice, particularly in areas such as peace and disarmament; social and economic justice; racial and sexual equality; and labor rights.

This includes the NOVA Travel Fund (in Spanish), which makes grants of up to $1,500 to help base-level activists from Latin America and the Caribbean attend regional conferences and meetings. Grant recommendations are made by a committee of advisors representing different regions of Latin America. Their next deadline is October 1, 2008 for trips that would begin after November 15, 2008–but check back at their web site for future deadlines.

Follow the links for the NOVA application form in html format or to download the NOVA application form in RTF format (in Spanish).

Inter-American Foundation (IAF)
The IAF funds the self-help efforts of grassroots groups in Latin America and the Caribbean to improve living conditions of the disadvantaged and the excluded, enhance their capacity for decision-making and self-governance, and develop partnerships with the public sector, business and civil society. The IAF does not identify problems or suggest projects; instead it responds to initiatives presented. Projects are selected for funding on their merits rather than by sector. IMPORTANT: The IAF only supports projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The above links to the IAF web site in English, but their web site is also available in Spanish, Portuguese, and Creole:

IAF in Spanish
IAF in Portuguese
IAF in Creole

Also see the web page on IAF’s involvement with Disabled Peoples’ Organizations (DPOs).

Grant requests need to come from organizations, not from individuals. The IAF has supported disability rights activists from Latin America in attending the Ad-Hoc Commitee meetings at the United Nations and also in attending meetings in Panama for the Latin America Decade.

 


 

Some of the text in this blog entry is taken from the relevant web sites describing the grant funds in question. Thank you to Diana Samarasan at the Fund for Global Human Rights–Disability Rights Initiative for alerting We Can Do to these funding sources. Anyone who is aware of additional resources relevant to DPOs in developing countries is urged to please let me know. You can leave a comment in the comments area below, or you can email me at ashettle [at] patriot [dot] net.

[Edited 16 January 2008 to correct links to Ford Foundation web site and to add a sentence amplifying that two of these foundations are primarily oriented at the Latin American region. People from other regions will want to look at the Ford Foundation.]
[Edited 19 October 2008 to add a line emphasizing that people interested in applying for any of these opportunities should please contact the relevant organization, NOT We Can Do. In other words, leaving a comment here will NOT help you apply for funding. Instead, please follow the relevant link from the organization you think is most likely to be able to help you. Then read their official web site carefully and apply directly with the relevant organization.]

 


 


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