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Ed Thies, pastor for the Deaf (Training from Liberty Home Bible Institute, a program through Liberty Baptist University located in Lynchburg VA) Offers a 10:30 AM church service in ASL at:

Immanuel Bible Church
5433 N. Center Rd
 (1/2 mile North of Tittabawassee Rd)

Big church but the Deaf will have their own service separate room from the hearing congregation.

ENTER church at front door and follow “DEAF SERVICE” signs to your room.

QUESTIONS?? Call…1-989-755-1600. If no answer, please leave a message.

Come hear in AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE how much GOD loves you!!

Pastor Ed

V.O.I.C.E., Inc. has joined in the effort to declare May 1st an annual Interpreters Appreciation Day! If you get a chance, thank an interpreter today and check out this article about a national appreciation day.


To Our Interpreters, past and present, staff or contract, we sincerely appreciate all you do for our Deaf citizens and for our agency!


Help Support The Louise Tumarkin Zazove Foundation

The Louise Tumarkin Zazove Foundation is hosting an evening of ASL and Voice Storytelling at Eastern Michigan University to raise funds for their scholarship program for the Deaf.  (Download the flyer here).  Consider grabbing a couple of friends and making the drive to this worthwhile and fun event!

See below for an explanation of the Louise Zumarkin Zazove Foundation and its goals:

(Excerpted from the foundation website) People with hearing loss, regardless of its degree, tend to get less schooling. As a result, even when they complete high school, they read, on average, only at middle school level. Therefore their socioeconomic future is likely to be relatively low. Even a high school degree doesn't cut it in today's world. A college graduate earns 38% more in their lifetime, and a community college graduate earns 19% more during their lifetime, than someone with only a high school degree. Our foundation, by providing college scholarships and other assistance, is designed to change that situation -- to help people with hearing loss beat the odds.

Whether scholarship recipients prefer spoken English or American Sign Language, the Foundation's aim is to help them get the education they need to make their way more effectively in a hearing world. With a college or postgraduate degree, they will qualify for higher paying jobs, have more rewarding careers, and enjoy a better quality of life. Furthermore, they'll be more productive in our society.

What have we accomplished?

Since we began operations early in 2003, we've granted scholarships to nineteen students, at various colleges across the country. And we now have alumni, grantees who have completed college and are using their advanced education to establish their careers. All of our grantees had already done well in high school. They'd been active in sports and numerous other extracurricular activities, had volunteered in many ways both in and out of school, had been recognized as excellent college material by their teachers and were eager to continue their education. (end of exerpt)

Our fundraiser for Julie Poletti was a resounding success - thanks to the many of you who came out to support her!! Between our event in Saginaw and collections taken by the northern Michigan Deaf community, led by Hanni Adams of N.E.W.S. we were able to present Julie with cash and checks totalling over $2,000!

One of the really neat facts about the event was that everything was donated: the soups, desserts, coffee, drinks - eveything, so that all of the money collected went straight to Julie!  Even the use of the Tri City Association of the Deaf's building was provided for free! Thanks, TCAD and our sincere appreciation to all of you who donated items to ensure the success of the fundraiser.

Julie let us know that she truly appreciates all of your support and be assured the money is going to be a big help while she recovers from her frightening accident!

Follow this link for Photos of Julie's Fundraiser!

One of our long-serving freelance interpreters, Juliana Poletti, was recently involved in a serious automobile accident that resulted in a broken arm and a broken facial bone that required surgical repair.  She is expected to be unable to work for a minimum of 6 - 8 weeks and her family (husband Russ and their three young daughters) depends heavily upon her income as an interpreter.

We are hosting a Soup & Salad Luncheon benefit fundraiser to help offset Julie's medical expenses and to assist with day to day living expenses.  It will be held Saturday, March 9, 2013 from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm at the TriCity Association of the Deaf, 3520 Schust Rd., Saginaw, MI 48603.  Cost will be $8.00 per adult, children 12 and under $3.00, lapsitters are free. Donations of non-perishable food items will also be accepted at the luncheon..

Should you be unable to attend, donations to Julie are appreciated.  Make checks payable to Juliana Poletti, and mail them to:

Julie Poletti
c/o VOICE, Inc.
4274 State St.
Saginaw, MI 48603

Please see our Events page for a flyer and additional details.

Much of the time Deaf and Hard of Hearing children live in a world where sounds are muted and the earth is quiet. However, the Christmas holidays come through quite loudly; reds and greens in striking contrast, flashing lights, fanciful desserts and Santa Claus!  Deaf eyes dance wildly with excitement on the smiling faces of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children at Christmas time and the children were anything but quiet as we celebrated our annual Deaf Children’s Christmas Party.

With the support of the Delta College ASL Club, the party was held in the commons of Delta’s campus for the first time this year. We are very grateful for Santa’s helpers not only from Delta, but from Mott Community College, Lansing Community College, Central Michigan University, the Psi Iota Xi Sorority, and V.O.I.C.E. Inc. as well! They all played a part in making the event a success!

We came together in mid December for the children with games, crafts, and food to celebrate the holidays and give back to the community that supports us.  Our special guest, Mr. Kringle was there to hear the children’s Christmas wishes.  Spoken or signed, all wishes were understood by our signing Santa and we were sure to capture the precious moments.  Be sure to check out the link to our Flicker account to see photos from the event!

The infamous "Black Friday" is upon us and the official Holiday Shopping Season has begun!  As you are bustling about pushing your way through the crowds and waiting in never ending lines, take the time to reflect on all that you have to be thankful for.  There are so many others out there that can not say the same.  It is easy to to pass by the bell ringers at every store front; keep your eyes down, pretend to be busy.  Afterall, you could not possible give to all of them.   But what can you give back?

At V.O.I.C.E. Inc, we try to give back when we can; our way of thanking the community that supports us and keeps us alive.  Coming up on Friday, December 14th we will be partnering with the ASL Club of Delta College to host our annual Deaf Children's Christmas party.  Admission for adults is only $2 and children get in free with the donation of 1 non-perishable food item.  We will be supplying a meal, games, stories and even a Signing Santa!  We invite you to join us, or even volunteer to help run the activities!  For more event details, visit our December Calendar of Events on our Events page.

If you are unable to help with our Christmas party, we also graciously accept donations.  As a non-profit organization, your monetary support is crutial!  By visiting our homepage and scrolling to the bottom you will see a link to "Support Voice Services."  Click on this link to offer your support.  As you know, we not only offer interpreting services, but also home staffing for individuals with disabilities and employment services to assist individuals looking for work.  Please consider supporting us as we support our community!

Taking place on the campus of Madonna University Saturday, October 27th students, interpreters and several members of the Deaf community moderately filled a rather large lecture hall for a 6 hour presentation on the inner workings of ASL interpretation. The Deaf presenter, Jimmy Beldon,  made it clear that CDIs (Certified Deaf Interpreters) can be useful in a variety of settings such as Deaf Blind Interpreting, Consecutive or Simultaneous Platform Interpreting, Medical Interpreting and Legal Interpreting as well as scenarios involving mental health or foreign signers. The differences between ASL and English discourse were described as well as various linguistic registers and the types and goals of communication. Jimmy also discussed what he called the seven identities of Deaf people and the six linguistic skills of Deaf adults and children which was to serve not as a method of stereotyping, but as a way for interpreters to identify ways to best match a Deaf consumer’s communication needs.

Jimmy Beldon is a native of Deaf Culture and ASL as well as a trained and certified Deaf Interpreter.  He served on the national board for the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf for 8 years, and currently works as a Certified Deaf Interpreter and teaches at the St. Catherine University in the Interpreter Training Program on the St. Paul Campus in Minnesota.

Staff interpreters Colleen Rhinehart and Karen Jones, Interpreter Coordinator Lily Thompkins, and V.O.I.C.E. Inc Executive Director Tammy Scholl were all in attendance thanks to sponsorship from V.O.I.C.E. Inc.

September 14th and 15th V.O.I.C.E. Inc sent staff interpreters Colleen and Karen to the Trix Bruce workshop in Livonia.  Sponsored by My Hands Your Heart interpreting agency, we girls learned some valuable lessons in classifiers and had a lot of fun.

Patricia Bruce, called Trix by the Deaf community, is a fabulously talented performer and interpreter educator.  She travels the country sharing her knowledge of classifiers and storytelling techniques through entertaining performances and interpreter workshops.  Trix actively involves her audiences by asking for topics to lead her impromptu ABC and Number stories as well as to join her on stage where hilarity undoubtedly ensues.

Saturday’s workshop analyzed the details of classifiers.  Trix reviewed classifier hand shapes and provided lists upon lists of what they might be used to represent.  She also provided video of native signers telling stories and examined the details of their production with the audience. Participants were asked on several occasions to practice a minute detail and perform it for the audience; for example the flaring nostrils on a bull preparing to charge, or the personification of a microwave popping popcorn.

Trix’s workshop challenged its participants to think on a much more visual level and to take the time to consider the details of a story.  She was well received by her audience of interpreters and the Deaf community alike. Obviously enthusiastic about ASL linguistics, Trix was an extremely knowledgeable workshop presenter and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next!

Whether we'd like to admit it or not, Fall is definitely here.  Cooler nights, shorter days, and children heading back to school.  Time for interpreters to go back to school too and with several workshops taking place across the state, professional development should be an easy find.

Paul Fugate kicked off the school season with a workshop on Educational Interpreting on August 25th at the Royal Oak Library.  Ideal setting for such a topic.

September 14th and 15th Trix Bruce will be at the Schoolcraft VisTaTech Center in Livonia, Michigan.  Friday evening will include a short workshop on voicing skills and evening entertainment.  Saturday promises a workshop on classifiers.

October keeps us busy with a DODHH Advisory Council meeting on the 19th and a workshop at Madonna University on the 27th entitled "Deaf and Hearing Interpreting." For Hearing and Deaf Interpreters alike.

November 3rd and 4th, MIRID will host its fall workshop at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.  They're still looking for certified interpreters to work the event and presenters interested in sharing their knowledge.  Visit for more information.

If you hear of another workshop that hasn't been mentioned here, let us know!  We do our best to keep our event calendar filled with all of the state wide events, but occassionally we miss a few. And if you haven't liked us on facebook yet, check us out! We post regularly about local events and other fun stuff. 

Hope to See you Soon!

For the second year the Mug@Wirt Coffee Shop and Cafe set up a food vending operation during the St. Patrick's Day festivities in Bay City .  Amanda and her staff from the Mug@Wirt, Jerolyn and Dacy, spent the week prepping food, organizing equipment and getting the word out that we woulds be there!

On the morning of March 18, 2012, a group of 5 volunteers joined the Mug@Wirt staff and set up the vending operation.  First up was a large Army tent for food preparation and sales then another large white tent for patron seating.  Next the group unloaded a grill, ice cream freezer, smoothie machine and several coffee urns along with all the ingredients for the delicious menu items:  

  • Irish Wolfhounds (Brats w/ Sauerkraut)
  • Irish Puppy Dogs (Hot Dogs)
  • Paddy O'Burgers (Hamburgers and Cheeseburgers), 

and our 2 signature items:

  • Irish Steak Sandwiches (Beef, Marinara Sauce and Cheese on a Roll)
  • Paddy Steak and Cheese (Beef, Grilled Onions and Peppers and Cheese on a Roll) 

The weather was fantastic and the people turned out for the race and the parade by the thousands!!  The line for food at our booth was often 20-30 people long and from about noon until 4 pm we were swamped!  At the end of the day Amanda and her tireless crew had earned over $1700.00 for the agency!

   Our staff and volunteers (left to right) Dave S., Jolene H. (hidden), Jason A., Jerolyn C., Amanda W., Audrey W., Jesse G., and Dacy W. await the crowds!!

  Our Cooks - Jordan M. (volunteer) and Dave S. (V.O.I.C.E., Inc.)

One of our Contract Interpreters, Shannah T., (Center) on the home stretch of the 10K Race

Shannah with the World's Largest Leprechaun!!

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