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February 14, 2005

Deaf Specialists Join Meril

From: KQTV, MO - Feb 14, 2005

Two more counselors are now available to help the area's hearing impaired. The additional crew enables meril to see more clients. One of the new counselors is a member of the deaf community and serves as a role model for other deaf athletes.

Kenny Walker tends to talk with his hands. Its not just a way to express himself. Its how he communicates with the world and today he's helping his co-workers learn sign language. "It feels superb to advocate for others and see them become successful" says Walker. He and Kim McNulty are new additions to the Meril. Along with Sarah Kurtz, they work as counselors for the hearing impaired. McNulty and Kurtz also work as interpreters. "We help people with things like riding the bus and learning to cook" says Kurtz.

Walker was just two years old when he came down with Meningitis. The illness left him profoundly deaf. Now he wants to help others overcome the challenges of living in a world without sound. We need to improve services for deaf and hard of hearing" says Walker. Walker has overcome some major challenges of his own especially in the world of college and professional football. "When i went to the University of Nebraska, they'd never had a deaf player before." He went on to play professional football for five years and even landed himself on the pages of this book about "Great Deaf Americans".

While walker has left his football cleats behind, he has opened the door for others. "We hope to see the number of deaf and hard hearing football players grow." he says.

Now he and others can help those thrown into a world a silence find their own voice. To find out more about Meril's Services for the hearing impaired, call (816) 279-8558. you can also call the T-T-Y line at (816) 279-4943 or logon to

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