Best of Austin: ACCESS News!

Jennifer Stoker (Interpreter), Dvorah Ben-Moshe (Producer), Tamara Suiter-Ocuto (Host)

Civication and The Austin Community College partner to produce second season of ACCESS News

AUSTIN, Texas (April 12, 2012) – Civication is pleased to announce our partnership with The Austin Community College District to produce the second season of ACCESS News!

Standing representing the Austin Community College: Nancy Holden, Supervisor, Video Production; John Breed, Video Producer; Erika Domatti, Associate Professor, ASL-ESOL, Assistant Dean, Arts & Humanities; Mike Midgley, Vice President, Instruction; Lyman Grant, Dean Arts and Humanities; Peck Young, Director, Center for Public Policy; Gary Hampton, Dean, Applied Tech, Multimedia, Public Service; Susan Thomason, Director, Instructional Development Services; Seated representing Civication, Inc.: Dvorah Ben-Moshe and Ken Hurley

ACCESS News is a unique half-hour television program hosted by Tamara Suiter-Ocuto, a graduate of Gallaudet University. Tamara interviews people from all walks  of life, including: Congressional leaders, Nobel Prize laureates, law enforcement officials, New York Times best selling authors, community activists, and more. Tamara is deaf and each episode is presented in American Sign Language, English, and captioned! ACCESS News is enjoyable for all viewers Deaf and hearing alike. ACCESS News is designed to inform the viewer about the importance of civic-learning. The “A More Perfect Union” segments focus on the United States Constitution.

Last season, host Tamara Suiter-Ocuto interviewed a range of guests, including Congressman Michael McCaul, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ken Herman. Don Miller, associate professor of English for speakers of other languages at ACC, presented a civic-learning segment during each episode.

“Deaf education and culture are growing in Austin, and we are proud to help bring this resource to the community,” says Lyman Grant, dean of arts and humanities at ACC. “ACCESS News is a quality program that inspires intellectual discussions on topics that are engaging, relevant, and important for all viewers, whether they are Deaf or hearing.

The upcoming season of ACCESS News will tape at ACC’s production studios at Pinnacle Campus, with episodes scheduled to air on KLRU-PBS TV this fall.

ACC serves as a regional center for Gallaudet University, the world’s only university in which all programs are specifically designed for Deaf and hard of hearing students. The college has a number of education programs and services for Deaf students and those preparing for careers working with the Deaf community. ACC has more than 150 Deaf or hard of hearing students, and several faculty members graduated from Gallaudet University.

“The collaboration between ACC and ACCESS News will help make our program more accessible to those in the community,” says Ken Hurley, director of Civication. “It also presents learning opportunities for students in different departments within the college. We couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity.”

More than half of all Central Texas high school graduates and adults  choose the Austin Community College District for their college education. ACC helps students meet a variety of goals, including workforce training for high-demand careers, university transfer, college readiness, and attainment of new skills for career advancement. The college is home to the Student Success Initiative, a comprehensive effort to accelerate student achievement and promote innovative instruction. ACC partners with business and industry to create a pipeline of skilled workers and build a stronger, more vibrant economy. With eight campuses and a dozen centers, there is an ACC location near you. Find out more at


Civication, Inc. is nonpartisan, nonprofit, educational, and tax exempt under the IRS 501(c)(3), section 170(b) (1) (A) (v1), as a public-charity educational organization whose mission is to promote civic learning and civil responsibility. The founders are Ken Hurley, Director; and Dvorah Ben-Moshe, President. Mr. Hurley and Ms. Ben-Moshe are the Executive Producers of ACCESS News.

ACCESS News is funded though the Knight Community Information Needs Challenge Grant offered by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advancing journalism in the digital age and investing in the vitality of communities. The Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed and engaged communities and lead to transformational change.

ACCESS News is also supported by the Austin Community Foundation, a unique, not-for-profit connection between donors from all walks of life and the broad spectrum of efforts that improve our evolving community.  The Foundation brings an efficiency of scale to donors, allowing charitable dollars to go as far as possible toward improving life for all Central Texans.

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