Giving Thanks. Giving Back. #GivingTuesday, December 1, 2015!

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Join the movement & give back

December 1st, 2015


On Tuesday, December 1, organizations and individuals around the world will join together for the biggest giving day of the year: #GivingTuesday!

We invite you to join the #GivingTuesday movement by making a gift to the Mill Neck Family of Organizations. In doing so, you help us to continue to enhance the quality of life for people who are Deaf, or who have other special communication needs, through excellence in individually designed educational, vocational or spiritual programs and services.

From our Mill Neck Family to yours, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

Join the movement.

Make your contribution.

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Opportunity for Expression and Empowerment for MNM Students

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Mill Neck Manor student video producers with members of D-PAN, including Sean Forbes (front at left), Teddy Dorsette, Adrean Mangiardi (front 1st and 3rd from right) and Mark Levin (back right).

Collaboration. Expression. Empowerment. These reigned throughout the three-day music video workshop held recently for the high school students at Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf. This was the second time the students at the Deaf Education Center (DEC) participated in the workshop facilitated by the nonprofit Deaf Professional Arts Network (D-PAN). The Detroit-based D-PAN, co-founded in 2006 by musician Sean Forbes, focuses on translating popular songs into American Sign Language (ASL) music videos for Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. Forbes, who is Deaf, channels his passion for music into his outreach to the Deaf community via the ASL videos, and also through workshops and music camps.

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Little Joshua Morocho felt inspired to take the stage during Sean Forbes’ performance.

Forbes and several other members of the D-PAN team brought their workshop to Mill Neck for the first time last fall. With D-PAN’s guidance, the DEC students created their first music video featuring the song, “Shut Up and Dance.” This year, the students chose to produce a video with Katy Perry’s hit “Roar.” Given the reactions of the student videographers, D-PAN team and all attending the video’s premiere, the experience once again proved to be enriching.

DEC student William Arnold was part of the camera crew. “I liked how we used a wheelchair as a moving video camera for filming people moving around,” he said. Senior Sabrina Russell and fellow DEC student Noel Rodriguez were co-directors of the new video. Each found their second experience working with D-PAN just as rewarding as the previous time. According to Sabrina, the video was successful, even with the few struggles and frustrations encountered. “Yes, a few communications errors, but we all managed to get through it together! That’s the key word of the whole thing, together,” she said. Sabrina added that her experiences, both this year and last year, have been beneficial for improving her communication skills and for learning patience.

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Mill Neck high school students Sabrina Russell and Noel Rodriguez join musician Sean Forbes onstage to relate their experiences as co-directors of this year’s music video.

Noel described “a great experience being a first-time director.” He liked showing his peers what to do in the scenes. He and several other students stayed at school overnight to do final editing.  He acknowledged, “The editing was tough, but I’m glad I got to do it. It’s so amazing working with D-PAN!”

Although the videos D-PAN produces are essentially geared toward the Deaf and hard-of-hearing, the hearing population is also expressing a growing interest. To make his music accessible to all, Forbes, who is also an accomplished songwriter and drummer, vocalizes and signs his lyrics simultaneously, while animated lyrics flash on a screen. In his workshops, Forbes encourages total immersion in a project, believing that participants are empowered through their musical expression.

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During the three-day music video workshop, students were involved in every aspect of the project, from concept through final editing.

Empowerment is the ultimate goal in D-PAN’s workshops. The professionals provide guidance; from concept through final editing. Otherwise, the students take over, effectively encouraged to make the project their own.

At the debut of the DEC’s 2015 video, the excitement was palpable. The student videographers were clearly proud and, given the prolonged applause, so was the entire audience. Following the video, Sabrina and her back up, performed “Fight Song.” The show concluded with a powerful performance from Forbes.

In her final comment, Sabrina said, “I loved it! She advised any students given an opportunity to participate in a D-PAN workshop, “Take it. You won’t regret it!”

The Mill Neck Family of Organizations, which includes Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf, founded by Lutheran Friends of the Deaf in 1947, Mill Neck Manor Early Childhood Center, Mill Neck Services, Mill Neck Interpreter Service, Mill Neck Services Center for Hearing Health and Lutheran Friends of the Deaf. For information on programs and services, please call 516-922-4100 or visit


View the video:

Deaf Ministry Week 2016

Deaf Ministry Week 2015 for web

A Joint Effort of Lutheran Friends of the Deaf and Life in Christ Lutheran Church

How does the church reach the Deaf community with the Gospel? In an effort to answer this question Lutheran Friends of the Deaf constantly strives to push the limits of Deaf mission work. We created conferences to train Church interpreters and hone the skills of certified interpreters who want to specialize in church interpreting. We traveled to other countries to support their efforts to reach the Deaf with the Gospel.

Now, LFD is doing it again. We are partnering with Life in Christ Lutheran Church in Phoenix, AZ to host Deaf Ministry Week. During this week we will hold Bible studies for the Deaf, teach church members ASL, train church members to interpret worship, hone the skills of certified interpreters and participate in community events for the Deaf. We hope this will be the first of many regional conferences held for the convenience of lay people, interpreters, Pastors and Deaf Christians who want to bring the Gospel to the Deaf community.

Through Deaf Ministry Week 2016, LFD is once again providing an opportunity to reach out to the Deaf community, not only by ourselves, but through local churches and local Deaf groups. It is the local church that makes all the difference. We provide support, advice and training, but the local church carries out the mission of reaching the Deaf with the Gospel and providing them with a church family they can call their own. We couldn’t do it without these local churches that are willing to do the groundwork long after the conference is over. Life in Christ Lutheran Church is providing a beautiful example to other churches that have Deaf ministries and maybe some churches who are thinking about reaching out to the Deaf community.

Consider joining us at Life in Christ Lutheran Church in Phoenix, AZ from February 21st to the 28th. Even if you can’t make it for the conference, please keep us in your prayers as we encourage, train and administer the Gospel to the Deaf community.

Registration Information:


Overall cost of the conference is $100 per person*

Please click the button below to submit your application online.

DMW Application 2016- button

Payment may be submitted online (via PayPal within the application) or mailed in the form of a check or money order, payable to:

Lutheran Friends of the Deaf – 40 Frost Mill Road, Mill Neck, NY 11765

*Members of Life in Christ Lutheran Church, Phoenix, AZ do not need to pay this registration due to the partnership with their Church. A few scholarships are available for those in need.  It will cover up to $80 of the cost. 


Feburary 21-28, 2016


Life in Christ Lutheran Church
14802 N. 75th Avenue
Peoria, AZ 85381


Participants are free to make reservations at any hotel near Life in Christ Lutheran Church in Phoenix, AZ. The hotel listed below is the hotel we are reserving for students.  It is 4 minutes from the church.

Hampton Inn Phoenix/Glendale/Peoria
Arrowhead Fountain Centre
8408 West Paradise Lane
Peoria, AZ 85382

Note: For the group discount rate, mention “Lutheran Friends of the Deaf.” After 10 rooms are reserved there will be a 20% discount.  Otherwise the price remains the same.


For questions, please email Rev. Thomas Dunseth at
or Rev. Tyler Walworth at

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Deaf Ministry Bible Story Books

Published in 2011 by Mill Neck Family of Organizations


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